A podcast named

Wonder Cupboard

What is science?
Where does it come from?
Is it a cupboard?

Latest Episode

The latest episode is

#017

Air Conditioning

Is it me or is it hot in here? Elena and Ian try to keep their cool as they find out how A/C came to be, and the surprising ways it's changed our world.

Artwork for episode 017, Air Conditioning Listen Now

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See previous episodes

What’s all this about?

Wonder Cupboard is a podcast that asks what science is, how it works, and how it came to be.

Elena Falco and Ian Bridgeman present a new topic on the history and philosophy of science every episode.

Tell us things

You can send us feedback, questions and lovely stories about science by emailing us: hello@wondercupboard.com

We’re also on Twitter and Instagram.

Your Hosts

Elena Falco and Ian Bridgeman

Elena Falco has a degree and an MA in philosophy, with a focus on philosophy of science, obtained after a long flirtation with neuropsychology. She is a PhD student and teaching assistant in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Elena has also worked in science publishing.

Ian Bridgeman likes computers, jokes and Daim® bars. He spends most of his time doing social media for a radio station.

Previous episodes

#016

Ice

Ice, Ice, Baby. Not just lyrics from one of history’s great musicians, but also the topic of this episode. Elena and Ian take a cold, hard look at how chilling changed the world. Cool story, bro.

Artwork for episode 016, Ice Listen Now

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#015

Are Viruses Alive?

Not that virus. Well, yes, that one too, but not specifically. All of them, actually. Elena and Ian take a look at life and times of these vivacious virions by asking what it means to be alive at all…

Artwork for episode 015, Are Viruses Alive? Listen Now

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#014

Beauty Part 2

Imagine a perfect rhino. Done it? Great. Keep it in mind while Elena and Ian are joined by the Level Up Human podcast's Simon Watt, to discuss what we're really doing when we look for beauty in nature.

Artwork for episode 014, Beauty Part 2 Listen Now

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#013

Beauty Part 1

Phwoar, that equation, huh? Look at the numbers on that! No scientist has ever said this, hopefully, so why are there so-called 'beautiful' theories? Elena and Ian peruse this polynomial pageant, joined by theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, author of 'Lost In Math' and science blog Backreaction.

Artwork for episode 013, Beauty Part 1 Listen Now

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#012

Merry Christmas

'Tis the season… for science and reason! Well, that's what the Victorians thought at least. Elena and Ian take a look at how science and Christmas became fashionable pals in the 19th Century.

Artwork for episode 012, Merry Christmas Listen Now

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#011

Vaccines and Power

Vaccines are great, but not everyone agrees. Elena and Ian take a jab at finding out why and when we began our preoccupation with inoculation.

Artwork for episode 011, Vaccines and Power Listen Now

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#010

Do we live in a simulation?

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? A veritable landslide of such questions await you in this episode, which Elena and Ian wish to clarify is surprisingly, and almost entirely, Matrix-free™.

Artwork for episode 010, Do we live in a simulation? Listen Now

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#009

Lab Coats

When did scientists start wearing white coats? Why do doctors wear them too? And are they strictly necessary in toothpaste commercials? Elena and Ian don their most fashionable lab jackets to look at the life and times of science's iconic wardrobe.

Artwork for episode 009, Lab Coats Listen Now

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#008

Valentine’s Special: Mamie & Kenneth

Mamie & Kenneth Clark’s work in psychology was instrumental in the fight to ban racial segregation in US schools. For Valentine’s Day, Elena and Ian tell the story of one of their favourite scientific couples.

Artwork for episode 008, Valentine’s Special: Mamie & Kenneth Listen Now

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#007

What Are Numbers?

What are they though? And where do they come from? Did someone invent them? Elena and Ian attempt to answer countless such questions in an episode critics are already rating Pi out of Planck.

Artwork for episode 007, What Are Numbers? Listen Now

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#006

Mesmerism

Elena and Ian find out how one man and his impressive finger sparked the genesis of hypnosis and psychotherapy.

Some waterfowl were harmed in the making of this episode.

Artwork for episode 006, Mesmerism Listen Now

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#005

What’s the Language of Science?

Elena and Ian look at the languages science speaks… and the difficulties of writing them down. Guest starring: Galileo, Newton and the Fairy Pitta.

This episode was recorded in celebration of peer review week: the planet's premier 7-day festival of intra-field regulation.

Artwork for episode 005, What’s the Language of Science? Listen Now

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#004

Flat Earth

And Round Earth. And Hollow Earth. And Treasure Chest Earth. Elena and Ian attempt to work out who thought the earth was shaped like what, and when. It's not as simple as you'd think.

Artwork for episode 004, Flat Earth Listen Now

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#003

Sexy Plants

Plants, eh? Phoar. Elena and Ian find out why botany became scandalously sexy for a whole century. Features two rude words and some extremely questionable poetry.

Artwork for episode 003, Sexy Plants Listen Now

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#002

Why Does Science Work?

Elena and Ian take a look at why science works, before getting embroiled in a boxing/wrestling match between realists and instrumentalists. Typical.

Artwork for episode 002, Why Does Science Work? Listen Now

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#001

Galileo

Elena and Ian don their gowns, and rebelliously take them off again, in order to discuss the life and times of Galileo Galilei: scientist, lover, and all-round renaissance man (literally).

Artwork for episode 001, Galileo Listen Now

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