3.2 Charles and Rianna - listen now
Guests Charles Cockell and Rianna Walcott talk about woolly mammoths, deep sea gigantism and knowing your place in the family hierarchy.
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About our guests
Chosen object: a piece of woolly mammoth
Recording location: living room
Charles is Professor of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. His group focuses on the study of life in extreme environments and understanding the diversity, processes and biosignatures of life in extremes, and the potential habitability of extraterrestrial environments.
In 2011 he set up the UK Centre for Astrobiology. Their activities have ranged from establishing an underground astrobiology lab, to studying life in the deep subsurface, to launching education projects in Scottish prisons and experiments in the International Space Station.
He has written a number of popular science books. ‘Impossible Extinction’ (Cambridge University Press) explores the tenacity of microbes on the Earth, ‘Space on Earth’ (Macmillan) investigates the indivisible links between environmentalism and space exploration and ‘The Equations of Life’ (Basic Books) presents a groundbreaking argument for why alien life will evolve to be much like life here on Earth.
Charles runs the popular free open online course ‘Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life’ on Coursera.
Chosen object: an artwork clock by her sister, Maïa Walcott
Recording location: living room at home in London
Rianna is a PhD candidate at King's College London researching Black women's identity formation in digital spaces, and a graduate twiceover from the University of Edinburgh.
She co-founded Project Myopia, a website that promotes inclusivity in academia and a decolonised curriculum. She frequently writes about feminism, mental health, race and literature for publications including gal-dem, The Skinny, The Guardian, The BBC, Vice, and Dazed. Rianna is co-editor of an anthology about BAME mental health - The Colour of Madness, and in the time left over she moonlights as a professional jazz singer.
Host: Richenda Rae
Theme music: Nathan Webb
Producer: Sonia Mullineux