Published on 11/09/2020
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  • Aston University and Pint of Science team to deliver a four part mini-series of podcasts
  • Hear about the ongoing fight with antibiotic resistant diseases, explore the link between your mental and physical health, discover the future of stem cell technology and whether the brain really is affected by nature or nurture?

Aston University has joined up with the Pint of Science Festival team to produce a new mini-series of podcasts which launched today.

The series of four “pintcasts” is the result of a collaboration between researchers from Aston University and the team behind the global science festival, Pint of Science.

The annual festival, which usually takes place in pubs and bars across the country for three days in May every year, had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead was held online between 7 and 11 September.

The podcast series is presented by Pint of Science’s Sam Datta-Paulin, in conversation with some of Aston University’s leading researchers who discuss their research, what makes them tick, how they are changing the world for the better and pushing the boundaries of the understanding of humankind.

The series kicks off with Dr Jonathan Cox, director of the Mycobacteria Research Group. He specialises in antibiotic resistant diseases such as tuberculosis.

Jonathan said: “Although at the moment coronavirus is big in the media and the world is locked down because of coronavirus, actually more people die every year from tuberculosis than have done this year of coronavirus by quite some sizeable margin”.

Episode two focuses on psychology, highlighting the work of Dr Rebecca Knibb. She discusses the psychology of allergies and the day to day impact on people living with allergies and the anxiety this can cause.

The third episode introduces the innovative world of stem cell technology through the work of Dr Eric Hill, senior lecturer and member of Aston University’s Biosciences Research.

Eric explains: “For a long time we weren’t able to work with human brain tissue that was alive, but using stem cells we’re able to generate different brain cell types that we can use to study different diseases.”

The mini-series closes with professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon, talking about the thought-provoking topic of brain development and the idea of the ‘gendered brain’ – the concept that it is predominantly society, rather than our biology, which determines how and why men and women behave differently.  

To listen to the mini-series, visit -



Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive.

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