Garden Library - Talks On Demand

Browse and watch past live talks in our Garden library. The same fascinating content, ready when you are.

Choose from 24 past Garden talks.

Why do humans have such a unique relationship with food?

With Dr. John S Allen

Not even our closest primate relatives think about food in the way humans do. What does the food we eat tell us about our own evolutionary history?

What alien habitats exist on the bottom of the ocean?

With Prof. Erik Cordes

The tech required to explore the deepest parts of the ocean is coming on in leaps and bounds. What bizarre habitats and organisms have we found, and what still remains to be discovered?

Can life be both wonderful and terrible at the same time?

With Prof. Shannon Murray

The modern world is increasingly polarised; we see things in black and white. How can Shakespeare teach us to hold two conflicting ideas in our heads simultaneously?

How do you separate fact from fantasy in a cold case?

With Professor Jim Fraser

Cold case reviews often have to battle misinformation and conspiracy theories, as well as missing pieces. How do investigators see through the chaos to a solution?

Rethinking Catherine de Medici: Why do we love to hate a woman in power?

With Dr. Leah Redmond Chang

History's leading ladies often come with a bad reputation. What can the Black Queen teach us about the misunderstood women of the past?

Does the ocean breathe?

With Dr. Veronique Oldham

The oceans absorb nearly 1/3 of our carbon emissions; they are literally the world's lungs. How does the sea 'breathe', and why does it do it?

How are truths made?

With Prof. Lisa Dickson

What you believe about the world depends on the lens you view it through. What does Shakespeare's Henry V have to tell us about different perspectives and where the real truth lies?

Is it ethical to use biometrics to catch criminals?

With Dr. Richard Guest

Fingerprints are getting rarer - everyone's seen the TV shows. What new tools can we bring in to confirm a criminal's identity, and is it ethical to use them?

Rethinking Representation: Why are our universities getting whiter?

With Prof. Kalwant Bhopal

With more scrutiny on it than ever, inclusion in our universities should be the widest it's ever been. So why do so many key metrics tell a different story?

How did oceans shape human history?

With Prof. David Abulafia

Territory, food, commerce and conquest: what role have the seas played in the development of the nations we see today?

How can psychedelics help us understand consciousness?

With Dr. David Luke

How can someone on an acid trip see sounds or hear colours? And why do some people have this same experience all the time, drug-free?

How do we handle mentally ill offenders?

With Dr Sohom Das

It's not always clear what drives a criminal to act the way they do. How does the justice system deal with offenders whose behaviour is rooted in mental illness?

Is the human brain pink, blue or fifty shades of grey matter?

With Prof. Gina Rippon

Do the anatomical differences between men and women extend to the biology of the brain? Or does it all come down to environmental influence?

How can investigators identify a criminal when they don't leave DNA?

With Dr. Candice Bridge

DNA is the go-to forensic evidence in many criminal cases. What other trace evidence can be used to identify the perpetrator when they don't leave DNA behind?

Rethinking Maths: Which mathematical challenges will shape the 21st Century?

With Prof. Yang-Hui He

The most transformative scientific breakthroughs depend on maths. Which problems are mathematicians working on that will drive scientific change in the coming decades?

Why does the mind create real symptoms in the absence of disease?

With Dr. Suzanne O'Sullivan

The body can create a shocking array of symptoms, from paralysis to seizures, seemingly without any medical explanation. Is the brain responsible, and if so, why does it do it?

Why isn't DNA analysis a silver bullet for solving crimes?

With Dr Georgina Meakin

As the science improves, we can detect smaller and smaller traces of DNA. Does that mean we could pin someone to a crime scene who was never there at all?

Rethinking Learning: Why is a computer not a good analogy for the brain?

With Dr. Angus Fletcher

Artificial intelligence systems are built to mimic human intelligence. Do they have any chance of replicating all the abilities of a brain?

Why does the brain love stories?

With Dr. Michael A. Yassa

Stories make it easier to understand complex topics and make sense of our lives. But why does the brain work this way?

When does pain management become the pain of addiction?

With Dr Kelly E. Dunn

More than 70% of deaths linked to drug use worldwide are related to opioids. How did these drugs designed to treat pain end up crippling communities?

Rethinking Early Christian History: Did Jesus answer fan mail?

With Dr. James Corke-Webster

The Abgar Legend tells the story of the King of Osroene, who (it's said) got into a correspondence with Jesus. Are these letters real?

How do our waking lives meet our sleeping brains?

With Dr Lauren N. Whitehurst

We know some of the basic factors that can disrupt sleep: caffeine, blue light, stress... But how does the way we spend our waking time change our sleeping brain?

Rethinking Serendipity: How is luck created?

With Dr. Christian Busch

Research has proven that there's more to luck than simple chance. How can the right mindset turn uncertainty into serendipity?

Rethinking Forensic Science: We know what it is, but what does it mean?

With Prof. Ruth Morgan

We think of forensics as a science - dispassionate and objective. But can we say the same about the humans who interpret it and decide what it means?

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