Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Using Podcasts and Videos

Science in society is a topical course. Much of the science that students can learn about will develop during their study. It is helpful if they can use sources of information other than textbooks and teachers.

There are many places on the internet where science is discussed. In this document you will find a number of suggested videos and podcasts that students could use.

Learning Skills for Science (LSS)

There are two LSS activities that are useful here.

Listening to a podcast This can be found in topic 1.4 here in the scheme of work, but could be used in any of the topics to be studied.

Taking notes on a presentation Again, this could be used anywhere during the course.


Possible programmes:
BBC radio is good source of podcasts. Some programmes have an archive of previous programmes, though this may be limited. It is recommended that if you find a good episode then you should save it to your computer, just in case it is removed. You could use itunes (or similar) to subscribe to the programmes to obtain the most up to date one every week.

The World Service:
Discovery: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/science/2009/03/000000_discovery.shtml
One Planet: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/science/2009/03/000000_one_planet.shtml
Science in Action: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/science/2009/03/000000_science_in_action.shtml

Radio 4:
Material World: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qyyb
Medical Matters: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/medmatters/
More or Less: Behind the stats: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/moreorless/

Lectures for Gifted and Talented
These podcasts are longer and may be more suited for G&T students. However, they are aimed at the general public, so should be within the capabilities of most A level students.

Gresham college: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/
Lectures on a variety of subjects, generally 60 minutes long.

Royal Society: http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=3966
Both vodcasts (mainly ppt presentations and audio) and podcasts on a variety of subjects.

Video clips:

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) started out as a conference bringing these three areas together. Video talks from the conferences are available free on the website. TED aims to bring cutting edge thinking in all areas of knowledge together. The clips range from about 3 minutes to 20minutes long. The following are just a few of the clips which could be useful for the course.

Bacteria (topic 1.1 and 1.2)

A different view of Air Quality (topic 1.3)

Your genes are not your fate (topic 1.8)

What can fossils teach us? (topic 1.9)

Why search for ET? (topic 1.11)

Please note that these videos represent the personal views of the presenters.

Other sources of videos:

The Vega Science Trust:

iTunes U
A number of HE institutions have made material available via iTunes. Students who have access to this could use this, although they should remember that the topics may be in greater depth than they might need.