Everything that is thrilling, controversial, and fun about science and technology
ETH Zurich – Where the future begins! Our university for science and technology dates back to the year 1855, when the founders of modern-day Switzerland created it as a centre of innovation and knowledge. At ETH Zurich, students discover an ideal environment for independent thinking, researchers a climate which inspires top performance. Situated in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, ETH Zurich is pioneering effective solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow. ETH Zurich has an excellent reputation in scientific circles: 21 Nobel laureates have studied, taught or researched here, and ETH regularly ranks as one of the world’s top universities.
Panoptikum.io: Podcast "ETH Podcast"
Joel Mesot, President of ETH Zurich
In response to these exceptional times, the monthly ETH Podcast will appear as a series of short items dealing with various aspects of the novel form of coronavirus and all its ramifications. We’ll be starting with ETH President Joël Mesot. President Mesot is working from home – like nearly all ETH members at the moment. ETH Zurich was one of the first universities to close all facilities and switch to online teaching in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including those in Singapore, Basel and Lugano. "The main challenge is making sure that our students do not suffer from this situation,” he says. Mesot is navigating the university through this phase, together with his colleagues on the Executive Board. In the ETH Podcast, he talks about why ETH was so quick in deciding, how he has experienced the past few days, and what the most significant challenges are.
Samuel Kunz has quadriplegia and needs a wheelchair to get about. Right now he’s preparing to take part in the CYBATHLON 2020. The CYBATHLON is a unique championship organised by ETH Zurich in which people with physical disabilities compete against each other to complete everyday tasks using state-of-the-art technical assistance systems. With the support of neuroscientist Rea Lehner and a team from ETH Zurich, Samuel is training his brain to navigate a car through a computer racecourse via a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). The ETH podcast follows him through a test run and Samuel talks about what it takes to prepare for the competition.
He built one of the largest modular synthesizers in the world: Joe Paradiso is Professor at the MIT Media Lab in Media Arts and Sciences, and he also plays an important role in the international scene of electronic music. Much of what Joe does today started in the 1980ies as a postdoc in the department of physics at ETH Zurich. While he was researching in Zurich in the daytime, he created sounds and started to build a synthesizer (the Paradiso Synth.) at night. One of his favourite places to record audio material was the parking garage at the ETH Campus Hönggerberg. In our Podcast, he explains how his fascination for that obscure place grew, and why it is essential for scientists like him to think out of the box. We will also be listening to audio material, and stream sounds from Joe’s massive synthesizer that is sitting in his basement in Massachusetts. Joe stopped by at the ETH Podcast Studio before traveling to Davos during the World Economic Forum.
Renana and Roi Poranne
Renana and Roi Poranne are both senior scientists at ETH Zurich: Renana in Chemistry, Roi, in Computer Sciences. But they are not only committed researchers, they are also parents to their nine and five years old children. In the December Episode of the ETH Podcast, Roi and Renana talk about how they manage life between research and family. They tell us their secrets of how to bring everything under one roof and give advice to young researchers thinking about starting a family.
And what it is
As of this semester, it is possible to do a master’s degree in Quantum Engineering at ETH Zürich. What actually is Quantum Engineering? Who is studying this new subject? In this episode of the ETH Podcast we accompany a student, talk to a professor about the curricula and also ask people from the industry what their hopes are in the graduating class in Quantum Engineering from ETH Zürich.
ETH Professor Nicola Spaldin
Nicola Spaldin, Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zürich, is one of the leading researchers in her field. She was awarded with some of the most prestigious prizes for her pioneering work in the area of multiferroics. Multiferroics are materials that are both magnetic and electrical. Having both properties in one material simultaneously is what makes multiferroics special. Nicola Spaldin conducts research projects and aims to make computers energy efficient. In this episode of the ETH-Podcast we talk to her about her sparking energy and motivation to teach and research and listen to her play the clarinet with her chamber music ensemble.
ETH hosts THE World Academic Summit
“How Talent Thrives” is a subject that university, as well as industry, is interested in. The Times Higher Education (THE) summit will bring leaders from around the world to ETH Zurich to explore the topics regarding talent. In the ETH Podcast, Rector Sarah Springman and Professor Manu Kapur are going to talk about how they seek for talented people and how talents, learning skills, and knowledge can merge.
Do we have to rethink intelligence in the context of AI?
The pace of technological progress is rapid. Artificial intelligence and machine learning make us look at human intelligence in a new light. In the podcast, we talk to the ETH professors Benjamin Grewe, Simone Schürle, and Thomas Hofmann about the advantages and the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. We also take a glimpse into the future and talk about new technologies such as little implants to enhance human brains. How much has fiction already become a reality?
Grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms - our new food?
What do grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms taste like? While some people can’t overcome their disgust, others enjoy eating these crawly creatures fried or as a chunky burger. In the ETH Podcast, we talk to ETH experts Christina Hartman, department of Environmental Systems Science and professor Alexander Mathys, department of Health Sciences and Technology about whether one can overcome disgust and what the benefits are - for people and the environment - if more insects instead of meat end up on our plates.
How to survive an extraterrestrial journey
ETH researcher Grace Crain thinks on a galactic scale. She is hoping to develop an ecosystem that could provide food, drinking water and clean air to astronauts on a space station or to the inhabitants of a Moon or Mars base. In this ETH podcast, she explains why she chooses to use human urine and faeces to fertilise her plants.