What polling pitfalls can we avoid this election season? And what's it like being a candidate on the campaign trail? We speak to pollster Matt Singh and first time Labour candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale Lizzi Collinge about what being a candidate in a very close marginal actually feels like. Plus! We catch up with Dr Liz who speaks to us on location from a slightly unexpected country.
This week we figure out the process for joining the EU (hey, it might be important soon), and discover if the conventional wisdom that winter weather is bad for election turnout is actually nonsense. Plus we learn about a Prime Minister who went to Europe, got a deal, and was then turfed out of office in less than a year... it happened in the 18th century. Plus a look at a new podcast based on an amazing dataset: The log books of an LGBT helpline from the 1970s and 80s.
Caroline Gillan's PhD on the Earl of Bute.
This week we go from the serious to the absurd. We find out what the Kurdish region of Syria is actually like, we take Owen Jones’s suggestion of a National Restaurant chain seriously, get down to a Brexit Disco, and ask an actual goose behaviour scientist if geese really are dicks.
Our theme music is by the amazing Milton Mermikidies.
This week we ask a question that could prove as tricky as Brexit: If Northern Ireland votes to join with the Republic of Ireland... has anyone actually thought through how that might work? We speak to Irish border expert Dr Katy Hayward about what the news channels could be asking her about in 2025.
We also dig into another Brexit spin-off issue, the problem of the "left behind" areas of the country and what we can do to help them - we speak to an economist and policy expert who has one intriguing idea. And on the mercifully non-Brexit front, we scare ourselves silly by talking about the WannaCry attack that hit NHS computer systems, and spoke to the author of a new study on exactly what the impact was on the health service. And finally, we look at the publicity hungry location app What3Words, and why it might not be such a great idea after all.
Follow your host, James O'Malley, on Twitter. You can email him on psythor(at)gmail.com - prospective advertisers are especially welcome!
Dr Saira Ghafur works for the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.
The WannaCry study, published in Nature.
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Why did Britain end up a democracy? And could it all fall apart? Plus: Branches of Currys that still use the old logo.
This week we do some hardcore political science, but don't be scared - it explains whether Britain can survive the current shitshow or not. Also! Whether a four day week could actually work, why normal people think about politics way differently to us nerds, and all about what will become your new obsession: Spotting shops with out of date signage.
Chris Curtis from YouGov tells us about this intriguing research into how voters think about policy.
It's really happening. THE POD DELUSION IS BACK!
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Jeannette Ng’s acceptance speech:
Under The Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng:
Brenna Smith’s Bitcoin Terror Financing piece:
Jonathan O’Callaghan’s SpaceX scoop:
Helen Zaltzman’s new podcast, The Veronica Mars Investigations:
Dr Liz’s Science Fiction Double Feature podcast: