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Oxford Sparks, the University's digital engagement platform for the sciences Big Questions podcast series is in need for a festive episode idea.

The Big Questions podcast is aimed at the curious and pub-quiz whizzes, to reveal and unravel science in a light-hearted and entertaining way.

In each 10-15 minute episode podcast producer Emily Elias challenges researchers at the University of Oxford to tackle a different question that helps us understand the world around us; be it via everyday objects, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the latest science stories, or a hidden historical story.

Our next series will be launching in October. Each year we make a festive episode, trying to find a fun christmassy slant on research here at the University.

Past episodes include: How do you survive the office Christmas party? Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist, passes on their top tips over a pint. Can a machine pick the perfect Christmas gift with computer sciences researchers, and 'What would happen without parasitoid wasps?' where we give this under-rate insect the Wonderful Life treatment, with Zoologist Chris Jeffs.

Do you have a seasonal spin on your research that could be this year's Christmas episode, due to launch in mid-December? It'll also be our celebratory 100th episode!

We're looking for any and all ideas. Here's an example of some stuff we've come up with...

Do you research food or packaging waste? Where does our Christmas waste go?

Do you study transport systems? How could we make seasonal travel less of a pain?

Is the traditional Christmas dinner at risk from climate change? Will food availability affect the price of our food?

How can you win the Christmas cracker battle?

How can you engineer a sturdy gingerbread house?

Have there been any major historical scientific meetings over the festive period that have changed the face of science?

 

And literally anything else... if you've got an idea that you're happy to contribute then get in touch.