New Scientist Weekly


#158 Exxon’s 1970s predictions for climate change were super accurate

Season 1, Ep. 158

Scientists working for oil giant Exxon between 1977 and 2003 accurately predicted the pace and scale of climate change and warned of the harm of burning fossil fuels, while firm’s executives played down the risk. Now Exxon’s quantitative climate projections have been assessed for the first time. 

On this special episode of the podcast, host Rowan Hooper discusses the Exxon science with New Scientist environment reporter Madeleine Cuff, and climate scientist Peter Stott. Peter is the author of Hot Air, The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial and is a specialist in climate attribution at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre. There is also a contribution from climate scientist Michael Mann.

The panel discuss ExxonMobil’s response to the new study, and talk about what we can take from it in terms of not being beguiled by vested interests when pushing for a fast transition to a world free from fossil fuels.

The team also reacts to the news that the head of one of the world's biggest oil companies will be president of the COP28 climate summit later this year.

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#176 Human organoids are new AI frontier; Listening to the big bang through the cosmic microwave background

Season 1, Ep. 176
Brainoids - tiny clumps of human brain cells - are being turned into living artificial intelligence machines, capable of carrying out tasks like solving complex equations. The team finds out how these brain organoids compare to normal computer-based AIs, and they explore the ethics of it all.Sickle cell disease is now curable, thanks to a pioneering trial with CRISPR gene editing. The team shares the story of a woman whose life has been transformed by the treatment.We can now hear the sound of the afterglow of the big bang, the radiation in the universe known as the cosmic microwave background. The team shares the eerie piece that has been transposed for human ears, named by researchers The Echo of Eternity.Artificial intelligence can now read our minds…under a very specific set of circumstances. The team looks at a mindblowing new study which feels very sci-fi.Pop legend and environmentalist Feargal Sharkey makes a cameo to highlight the campaign New Scientist is running in collaboration with the i newspaper, to draw attention to the shocking state of Britain’s rivers. Great apes like to twirl around like ballerinas. As the team finds out, it turns out it’s not just humans who like to spin around and make themselves dizzy, it’s fun for many other species of ape too.Bonnie Garmus, author of the bestselling novel Lessons In Chemistry, speaks to comment and culture editor Alison Flood about the success of her debut novel. She explains the inspiration behind her protagonist and why she made her a chemist. And she discusses fan-favourite character Six-Thirty the dog and the intelligence of animals.On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Michael Le Page and Alison Flood. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at and discount codes:NS JWST Event: