Category: Episodes


  • How can you use a telescope to look for aliens?

    Lily has just about recovered from the excitement of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first science images, and she’s ready for Lloyd’s next question: “How can we use a telescope to look for aliens?”. With support from Eva-Maria Ahrer (University of Warwick Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability), Lily helps Lloyd to understand how we use […]

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  • Why does cake taste so good if it’s bad for me?

    Lloyd has been trying to eat more vegetables, but he can’t stop thinking about cake. Which has got him wondering: why does cake taste so good if it’s bad for us? With help from the king of tasty tomatoes Professor Harry Klee (University of Florida) and author Mark Schatzker (The Dorito Effect, The End of […]

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  • Can plastic-eating enzymes really save the planet?

    Lloyd’s spotted something interesting in the news recently: plastic-eating enzymes. This new method of recycling seems to be a perfect solution to plastic pollution, but could it really transform the way we use and re-use our plastic? With help from Daniel Acosta (University of Texas Austin), who is a part of the team behind some […]

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  • What is dark matter, and how on earth do you look for it?

    With the reopening of the LHC and the launch of its newest experiment FASER, Lloyd’s been reading about dark matter… and he’s got questions. What is dark matter? And how on earth do you look for something you can’t see? With help from Dr Michaela Queitsch-Maitland (University of Manchester) and Savannah Shively (University of California […]

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  • Why can we sing?

    Lloyd wants to know why Lily is a better than singing than him, so this episode’s question is: “Why can we sing?” With help from Nathan Welham from the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, Lily explains how human beings are able to use their bodies as instruments, and why some of us are just […]

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  • Why does water have to be so weird?

    In this episode, a question from listener Freddie – “What’s heavier, cold water or hot water?” – leads Lily and Lloyd into a discussion about why water is so important for life on Earth. With help from Elle Bethune from the UK Centre for Astrobiology, Lily explains how water’s weirdness helped life to form on […]

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  • Why are identical twins different?

    Explaining Science to my Dad is back for a new series! In this episode, Lily answers a puzzling question from listener Shirley about why identical twins are often different. With help from Max, Sergio, and Colette from the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London, Lily introduces Lloyd to the field of […]

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  • What is quantum entanglement, and why does it make my brain hurt?

    Our fifth episode deals with Big Heavy Stuff which is actually Really Very Small Stuff, as Lily tries to unpick Lloyd’s confused anxiety about quantum entanglement – the concept that Albert Einstein called ‘spooky action at a distance’. Lily takes us on a crash course in quantum mechanics with the help of Virginia Ciriano, a […]

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  • Whatever happened to Doggerland?

    Our fourth episode starts with Lily and Lloyd standing on a sandbank in the North Sea, having sailed out in an old whelk boat. This sparks a new question from Lloyd – what exactly happened to Doggerland? As usual, the truth is more complicated – and more interesting – than he expected, as Lily explains […]

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  • Is it possible to bring back an extinct animal?

    Having watched Jurassic Park too many times, Lloyd wonders if it’s possible to bring back extinct animals using only their DNA. The truth, as it turns out, is far more complicated, and far more interesting, as Lily explains with the help of Ben Novak, lead scientist at Revive and Restore and head of that organisation’s […]

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