Nature Podcast


Huge dataset shows 80% of US professors come from just 20% of institutions

00:46 Inequalities in US faculty hiring

In the US, where a person gained their PhD can have an outsized influence on their future career. Now, using a decade worth of data, researchers have shown there are stark inequalities in the hiring process, with 80% of US faculty trained at just 20% of institutions.

Research article: Wapman et al.

09:01 Research Highlights

How wildlife can influence chocolate production, and the large planets captured by huge stars.

Research Highlight: A chocoholic’s best friends are the birds and the bats

Research Highlight: Giant stars turn to theft to snag jumbo planets

11:42 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, what science says about grieving for a public figure, and why suburban Australians are sharing increasingly sophisticated measures to prevent cockatoos from opening wheelie bins.

Nature News: Millions are mourning the Queen — what’s the science behind public grief?

The Guardian: ‘Interspecies innovation arms race’: cockatoos and humans at war over wheelie bin raids

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

More Episodes


A trove of ancient fish fossils helps trace the origin of jaws

In this episode:00:45 Piecing together the early history of jawed vertebratesA wealth of fossils discovered in southern China shed new light onto the diversity of jawed and jawless fish during the Silurian period, over 400 million years ago. Nature editor Henry Gee explains the finds and what they mean for the history of jawed vertebrates like us.Research article: Zhu et al.Research article: Gai et al.Research article: Andreev et al.Research article: Andreev et al.News and Views: Fossils reveal the deep roots of jawed vertebrates09:09 Research HighlightsMice studies help explain why some people with a rare genetic condition have heightened musical abilities, and high-resolution images reveal how bees build honeycomb.Research Highlight: How a missing gene leads to super-sensitivity to soundResearch Highlight: X-rays reveal how bees achieve an engineering marvel: the honeycomb11:27 A lack of evidence in transgender policy makingAround the world, many laws are being proposed – and passed – regarding the rights of transgender people to participate in various aspects of society. We talk to Paisley Currah, who has written a World View for Nature arguing that these policies are frequently not backed up by data, and that policy affecting trans people’s lives needs to take a more evidence-based approach.World View: To set transgender policy, look to the evidenceWatch our video about research trying to crack the nature of consciousness by dosing volunteers with psychedelic drugs and scanning their brains.Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.