Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021, a year that can’t possibly be any worse than 2020…right? Well, at least from a podcast point of view we’ve got you covered. We’ll be releasing Episode 2 of Research on the Rocks in the next day or so, starring Dr Rachel Wheatley. Rachel’s research is all about the quest for new antibiotics: if you’ve heard that in a few years time modern medicine could become obsolete due to deadly unkillable bacteria, then Rachel is definitely someone that you want to be listening to!

We’ve got a whole host of exciting interviews lined up for you this year, on everything from how we prepare for disaster (#2020) to the multilingual life of Samuel Beckett, from how mathematical modelling is advancing medical research to democracy in Ghana, from the history of vaccines to the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence. And one or two good cocktails too…

So come and find us on your platform of choice, get involved on twitter, and look out for our chat with Rachel! It’ll be available everywhere in the next couple of days, but should appear on your device automatically as soon as it’s uploaded for subscribers – so you know what to do…!


…aaand we’re off! Again! But properly this time, starting from One like how most people count

We’re really glad that so many of you tuned in to Episode Zero – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just my Mum listening to it over and over again on repeat, so that counts as a good start as far as I’m concerned! Thanks very much for the support, it really does mean a lot. And now that we’ve given you a little taste of what me and Paula do on a day-to-day basis, we can get started with the Real Thing. Our first interview will be hitting podcasting services near you this Wednesday! After a short delay, we think that we should now be up on Google Podcasts but if you can’t find us wherever you like to listen then just let us know!

This week we’ll be talking to Josh Cowls, a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute. His PhD revolves around Facebook even more than mine did, because he studies the links between the internet giant, artificial intelligence and ethics – in particular the ways that algorithms interact with online hate speech. He’s also a host of AlgoRhythms, a tech-focussed podcast, and is therefore a lot more well-practiced at this whole podcasting thing than we are. (Well, than I am – Paula’s done this before!)

You’ll be shocked to hear that we actually recorded this in advance (I know, we’re in danger of starting to look organised…) and so I can tell you that it’s going to be a fun and wide-ranging conversation covering everyone from Ada Lovelace to Donald Trump (sorry, he made it in). We hope you enjoy it!

One last thing – we’ve now added a link to our Cocktail Cabinet where you’ll be able to find recipes for whatever it is that we’re drinking in the background. So please do join us for some hanky panky* while you’re listening.


*It’s the name of a cocktail, OK?!

…and we’re off!

Episode Zero is now live! With any luck, it should be available wherever you listen to your podcasts – if you can’t find it, it’s certainly available on our home page. I have, and I cannot stress this enough, literally no idea how this works. I assume it’s some sort of magic that Paula is capable of.

We’re getting off to a strong start by completely ignoring our own format for this episode; it’s more of an introduction to what we’re trying to do and a chance for us to chat a little bit about our own work. That means that there’s no guest this week, and no tipsiness either (we’re 7+ timezones apart at the moment). I’m secretly very pleased about this because it meant I didn’t have to try and persuade Paula why it’s often a good idea to start counting at zero rather than one, so having an intro Episode Zero is a definite plus for the programmer in me.

We’ll be uploading our first interview soon, which will be with the amazing Josh Cowls, a doctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. I promise that one involves much more of us getting tipsy, and also features plenty of great insight into the role of the web in the upcoming US election, which is no longer quite so upcoming (unless you’re one of the 538 people who make the official decision on December 14th.)

So, please spread the word and repeatedly listen to me saying the word “umm” over and over again as many times as you can stand it. If you’ve got any feedback that you’d like to share, let us know by dropping us an email or, even better, tweeting us @ResearchRockPod. See you soon!


Hello world!

Welcome to our website! If you’re reading this then we’re probably still making it, but as a reward for getting here early you can enjoy this link to a whole twitter account devoted to cats getting in the way of important research.

We should be launching our “Episode Zero” within the next few days, before we start with the properly intoxicating academic research. In that episode, we’re going to be introducing ourselves and letting you know why we thought we had a cool idea to offer to the world of podcasts. So pull up a pint, get yourself a cocktail or two, make yourself at home in my living room (if you’re reading this in 2020, please take that armchair over there so that you’re at least 2m away) and get ready to hear about some genuinely cool research.

Most of our evenings in the pub turn into asking friends about research / ranting about our research / questioning the poor life decisions that mean we’re not all stinking rich investment bankers right now. And now you can join us! Because, if life as massive nerds has taught us anything, it’s that what people really want is to spend more time with us in the pub. We’ve been wanting to make this podcast for a while now – unfortunately there’s a slight pandemic going on at the moment, which has obviously made it harder to get people in the same room, at the same time, with the same cocktail. But we’ve finally made it, and now we’re excited to unleash our podcast onto an unsuspecting world. We hope you enjoy it at least a little bit as much as we have!