The Cosmic Shed
Sheddy McShedFace - A trip to the Antarctic

Sheddy McShedFace - A trip to the Antarctic

June 21, 2019

It's an action packed episode today as Russell Arnott reports back from his exciting science expedition to Antarctica on the RRS James Clarke Ross.

The James Clarke Ross is a British Antarctic Survey ship and Russell was on board for a whole host of adventures including the saving of a baby dolphin.

show notes

The Cosmic Shed is now part of The Stimulus Network
Russell Arnott is a friend of the shed and a Researcher in Phytoplankton

Jim Al-Khalili - Sun Fall

Jim Al-Khalili - Sun Fall

June 8, 2019

Professor Jim Al-Khalili makes some of our favourite science documentaries. He's professor of Theoretical Physics, Chair of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey and now he's written a Science Fiction novel.

We're delighted to welcome him to this very special episode of The Cosmic Shed.

Jim Al-Khalili and our Andrew at Cheltenham Science Festival

Jim and Andrew were chatting at Cheltenham Science Festival in 2019.

Listen by pressing play or download via your usual podcast app.

show notes

Get your copy of Sun Fall by Jim Al-Khalili here
Jim first joined us for our episode on Jurassic World way back in Episode 9 of The Cosmic Shed

Jim recommends The Three Body Problem bu Liu Cixin

You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network


Lost in a Good Game

Lost in a Good Game

June 6, 2019

Are computer games really bad for us? Is Psychology in a bit of a mess? Who did Andrew meet at MCM ComicCon?

All these questions, and more, answered in this episode of the Cosmic Shed as we're joined by Dr Pete Eetchells, author of the wonderful book, Lost in a Good Game and researcher in the short and long term effect of video games.

Dr Pete Etchells and his wonderful book Lost in a Good Game.

Pete and Andrew discuss all things video games and we hear from some game developers including the people behind Eleven Eleven, a new way of storytelling in VR from Syfy.

We hear from the people developing the new Doctor Who VR game The Edge of Time and hear about the wonderful work being done by Special Effect, the charity who specialise in helping people with disabilities get gaming.

Aside from that, there are a surprise guest or two...

Special Effect design gaming set ups for disabled people to get them gaming - brilliant.

A packed and rather wonderful episode of the Cosmic Shed. We know what you're thinking...what about the Science Fiction?! Don't worry. We're the shed. It's in there. Just listen in.

show notes

You can find out more about the wonderful Special Effect here, including how you can help them or vice versa

You can buy Pete's wonderful Lost in a Good Game Book here

Get your tickets for the next MCM Comic Con here

You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network



May 17, 2019

Up from the deep, you know the rest. We're joined by Aardman's Tom Vincent to explore all things Godzilla ahead of the new film in cinema's and Ti and Tom's Godzilla-Geddon in Bristol on May 25th.

Ti and Tom in The Cosmic Shed

We also hear from Dr Olivier Lambert, the co-author on the paper on the discovery of a Four Legged Whale with teeth. Yes, really. It was discovered just off the coast of Peru and dates back some 50 million years.

Godzilla and the Four Legged Whale with big teeth

Settle in, it's time for Godzilla and The Cosmic Shed. Listen in the usual way you listen to podcasts or press play on this page.

show notes

Get your tickets for Godzilla-geddon here

You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network and so, now, is The Spooktator

May the Fourth be with Mark O’Connell

May the Fourth be with Mark O’Connell

May 4, 2019

It's Star Wars Day, May the 4th, and we're joined by Mark O'Connell, author of the wonderful book Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us.

Mark is, like our Ti, an author and the two of them sat down to discuss all things Star Wars and 80s nostalgia for this special Star Wars Day episode of the Cosmic Shed.

Pop on your Walkman, press play on the tape and go for a bike ride through the golden era of American cinema.

show notes

You can get your own copy of Watching Skies here
You can get your own copy of Ti's book Born to be Bad here
Our episode featuring Joonas Suatamo (Chewbacca) is here 
Our episode featuring Zach Galligan (Gremlins) is here
Our episode on the Physics of Star Wars is here
Our episode featuring Cavan Scott (Star Wars author) is here 
C3PO is played (in this episode of the podcast) by Alfie Wearn
Our episode on some rather interesting Star Wars research is here
Our episode on Ready Player One is here

In other words, you might as well subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

April 25, 2019

We're joined by neuroscientist Dr Felicity Inkpen as we delve into Michel Gondry's 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Can we remove memories? Should we? Would we?

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Andrew, Maddy and Steve gathered with Dr Felicity Inkpen in the shed and this fun and fascinating chat ensued. Happily, it's now a podcast so you can listen to it and no unethical company can remove it from your mind.

Download, press play or head over to wherever you subscribe to us from to listen now.

Dr Felicity Inkpen is a Physicist turned neuroscientist and an artist.

show notes

It's not mentioned in the episode but Dr Felicity Inkpen is also an artist

You can hear our episode on PIXAR's Inside Out here

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network

Robert Llewellyn (Kryten)

Robert Llewellyn (Kryten)

April 18, 2019

Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Fully Charged, Science Fiction author, Scrapheap Challenge, Carpool) joins Andrew ahead of the Fully Charged Live event at Silverstone (June 7-9, 2019).


Andrew and Robert have a wide ranging chat all the way from Red Dwarf, through to the wonderful News From Trilogy and, of course, electric cars.

Download, press play or head over to wherever you subscribe to us from to listen now.

show notes

You can get your tickets for Fully Charged Live here

The Cosmic Shed is part of The Stimulus Network

Robert's Science Fiction Trilogy of novels are here


Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

March 1, 2019

There were so many ways this episode could have gone. We explore the wonderful Spider-man into the Spider-verse and the science of multi-verses.

Miles Morales is Spider Man

Ti and Andrew are joined by Professor Jo Dunkley, professor of Physics and Astrophysics at Princeton University and try not to get too tangled up in her  research into the Cosmic Microwave Background or caught in the discussion about Dark Matter before we end up wondering if we really can spark a whole new universe just by typing this word instead of this one.
Professor Jo Dunkley authored Our Universe.

Ben also pops in for a poem. In other words, it's a brand new episode of The Cosmic Shed and it's about Spider-Man.

show notes

You can explore more of these wonderful discoveries and ideas in Jo's book: Our Universe - An Astronomer's Guide

You can see Ti's appearance on Who wants to be a Millionaire here

You can see Donald Glover on Spider-Man here

Science & Religion:Exploring the Spectrum

Science & Religion:Exploring the Spectrum

February 15, 2019

A former Creationist, a former Muslim and a former Baptist Minister walk into a shed...

Don't worry. There's plenty of science fiction chat but we explore the relationship between science and religion with three former religious people who are now working in science communication. 

We're joined by Jordan Collver, Tay Aziz and Malcolm Love as we explore some of the themes brought up by Jordan's wonderful comic "My Evolution: Loving along the spectrum of science & religion".

Jordan Collver's comic explores the relationship between Science and Religion

Are science and religion at loggerheads? Are they comfortable bedfellows? What happened to these people to lead them to lose their faith? How have their worldviews changed? Is this the only time we've posted a list of questions and done more than three? What even is an ascending tricolon?

Some of these questions are answered in this episode.

What happens when reality comes crashing down at your feet?

If humanity creates something can we really expect it to be better than we are?

Have you seen things we people wouldn't believe?

Science fiction explores the human experience and religion is both a part of that and a tool humanity uses to explore itself. Depending on your worldview, we probably should not talk about this or it's about time that we did. We explore the spectrum.

show notes

Malcolm Love presents Love and Science on BCFM
Jordan's comic is free to read here
Tay Aziz's latest film, on Synaesthesia is here
Andrew's article on Oumumua with Jordan's illustrations is here

The Meg

The Meg

February 7, 2019

We're inundated with wonderful guests for this megalong episode of The Cosmic Shed all about sharks and The Meg. Jump in, it's perfectly safe.

The Meg is a fun movie and this episode of the Shed reflects that.

We hear from Steve Alten, the man who wrote the books that the film The Meg is based on.

We hear from Kayleigh Burns who recently got up close and personal with the biggest Great White Shark we know of. Her encounter, with her colleagues at One Ocean Diving hit the news recently and we are delighted to be able to bring you this interview with Kayleigh after her life changing experience.

We talk to Kayleigh Burns (the person in this photo of Big Blue) Credit @camgrantphotography.

Andrew, Maddy and Ti are joined in the shed by Ric Barnes of Spin Up Science. Ric spent some time doing shark research with Lemon Sharks and tells us a wonderful fact about sharks he heard about in that research. 

Annie Moir and Ric Barnes in The Cosmic Shed

Annie Moir is a huge fan of Steve Alten's Meg books, appears as a character in his Shark Man book and is, (almost certainly) more importantly, the film maker behind this deeply wonderful film featuring humpback whales. Find yourself the best headphones or sound system you can and press play.

Annie Moir's film A Voice Above Nature is free to watch on YouTube

If that weren't enough, we also hear from Professor Adrian Melott, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas. Adrian joined Andrew to talk about his recent paper on the discovery that there is a good possibility that the Megalodons were wiped out by Supernova explosions far out in space.

Did Supernovas kill the giant prehistoric sharks?

Even if you never see The Meg, don't worry, this episode of The Cosmic Shed does not require you to have seen the film and will not spoil it if you do eventually see it. It's an episode packed full of fun and interesting interviews and we had a huge amount of fun making it. We hope you'll have just as much listening.

Show notes

Kayleigh mentions the Instagram of Jim Abernathy for the petition.
Andrew mentions this episode of The Octonauts
One Ocean Diving have a website here and can take you freediving with sharks...

One Ocean Diving in Hawaii. Our guest: Kayleigh and the sharks 
Credit @camgrantphotography.

The Meg (broken link. please use the other one)

The Meg (broken link. please use the other one)

February 6, 2019

We've spotted a small issue with this link

The episode is now available here 

Star Trek Discovery - Oh Brother what a return!

Star Trek Discovery - Oh Brother what a return!

January 23, 2019

Star Trek Discovery returns and we're back with much excitement to discuss this wonderful new episode and the promise of plenty more Trek to come with Picard and animated series on the cards.

We talk all things Trek and look at the Short Treks as well as Brother, the first episode of Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery.

Star Trek is back and possibly even better than before

Andrew, Tushna and Ti gather in the shed and we also hear from ESA's Exobiologist Dr Nicol Caplin about her work and the Chang'e 4 seeds on the moon.

ESA's Dr. Nicol Caplin and our Andrew

We also find a little time to discuss the Star Trek ideas that never quite made it to screen...and which Trek characters are most like each of us...

If you'd like to stay ahead of the game, and watch the films we're going to be discussing next, you might like to check out Spider-man into the Spider-verse and The Meg. You should definitely watch one of those anyway and the other has big sharks in it.

Show notes

You can hear our episode with Marina Sirtis here


Marina Sirtis - Dark Sublime

Marina Sirtis - Dark Sublime

January 9, 2019

Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi in Star Trek TNG) joins us for our first episode of 2019. Marina has been cast in the brand new play Dark Sublime coming to London's West End this summer and joins us to talk all things Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, Donald Trump and, of course, Dark Sublime

Dark Sublime at Trafalgar Studios, summer 2019

Dark Sublime is a play about an ageing science fiction actress and her relationship with a fan. It's a comedy about space...and time.

Marina tells us that she has finally got round to watching Star Trek Discovery (she waited until she was back in the UK and could watch it on Netflix) and tells us what she thinks of it. You'll have to listen to find out what Marina thinks...

Star Trek TNG is available on Netflix and, hopefully, your own DVD/BluRay collection.

All of us in the shed have got our tickets for Dark Sublime. You can get yours here.

If you can't get there or even if you can but just want to support it further, you can get involved in their indiegogo campaign. There's even a gala event where you can mingle with the cast...

show notes

Dark Sublime runs June 25th to August 9th 2019 at Trafalgar Studios
Seriously, get your tickets here

Marina was talking to Andrew and Ti.

Previous episodes of The Cosmic Shed where we have discussed Star Trek include:
Star Trek Discovery with Prof Ethan Siegel
Door Twelve of The Cosmic Shed Advent Calendar
The Cosmic Shed Live - The Wrath of Khan
The Cosmic Shed Live - First Contact

Marina Sirtis is a Tottenham Hotspur FC who are also known as Spurs. They were not playing themselves in the semi-final of the Carabao cup, no matter what Andrew says at the start of this podcast. Sorry about that.

BONUS: Prof Alice Roberts - How do we grow?

BONUS: Prof Alice Roberts - How do we grow?

December 27, 2018

Professor Alice Roberts is currently delivering the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures so we thought we'd bring you a tiny bonus episode featuring Alice answering Lyra's question; "How do we grow?"

show notes

You can watch this year's RI Christmas Lectures on the BBC

Door 24 - The Cosmic Shed Advent Calendar

Door 24 - The Cosmic Shed Advent Calendar

December 23, 2018

It's time to open Door Number 24 of The Cosmic Shed Advent Calendar. This is the last one. We're not making one for Christmas Day. You know what to do. Open the door by pressing play on this page or by downloading the episode to your favourite podcast app or whichever podcast app you use. It doesn't have to be your favourite.

Those of you who have been with us over the years will need no introduction to one of today's guests and those of you who haven't aren't going to get one anyway. It's Ben. There's two guests on the podcast too whose identity will be revealed below.

The LHC at CERN discovered the Higgs Boson but hasn't stopped there.

Behind Door Number 24 of The Cosmic Shed Advent Calendar are Achintya Rao and André David, both of the CMS Experiment at CERN, home to The Large Hadron Collider. Achintya and Andre managed to find a quiet spot at a Christmas party to bring us a quick chat for this episode.

Ben also pops in to deliver the poem that this advent calendar has been missing. We've never done an advent calendar for the podcast before but it wouldn't be right without one of Ben's poems.

Ben's poem was inspired by Evelyn Berezin, designer of the first computer-driven word processor who also worked on computer-controlled systems for airline reservations and won many awards for her work. Evelyn passed on December 8th 2018, aged 93.

Evelyn Berezin, (1925-2018)

show notes

The Cosmic Shed is a podcast which explores the way science and storytelling collide, recorded in a crumbling garden shed somewhere in suburban Bristol.

Andrew mentions The Dark Sublime, a new play featuring Marina Sirtis. Get your tickets here.