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Archive for July 2013

In this episode, The Barometer spent a day with historians and social scientists at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine which took place in Manchester from 21-28 July 2013.

We listened to talks and interviewed speakers from the Symposium named "Gaining it / losing it/ regaining it(?) Knowledge production in climate science, status anxiety, and authority across disciplines". The full programme of the symposium and abstracts of all the speakers and talks that are mentioned in the episode are online here.

Listen to this "Alternative History of Science" episode to find out how looking back to the past can put the science of the present into a different context, and thus give surprising new insights.


This episode includes interviews with:

* Philipp Lehman, The desiccation of the world: debates on climate change and geo-engineering in colonial desert environments in the session: "Climates of conquest? Anxieties about climate variability and change in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia"

* Christina Barboza, The scientific controversy over the Brazilian great drought of 1877-1880: science under scrutiny in the session: "Narratives on climate and water"

* Simon Carter, Sunlight and health: modifying the sunlit climate in the session "Working atmospheres: histories of climate, technology and economics"


We also interviewed speakers from the final session ("Climate change discourse and the case of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)" ) which we will report on in a separate episode.


Many thanks to Alex Hall and Vladimir Jankovic from the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine who enabled us to attend the Congress.


All sounds and music from freesound.org.

Presenting: Samuel Illingworth

Chat: Dominique Young, Gary Lloyd, Jennifer Muller & Kimberley Leather

Production: Jennifer Muller




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St. Swithun's day, if thou dost rain,

For forty days it will remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days 'twill rain na mair.

Ever heard of St. Swithun's day on the 15th July? Who was this St. Swithun and what has he got to do with a 40 day weather prediction?
In this episode,  Sam will discuss the St. Swithun's day weather folklore, so listen to find out whether this myth gets busted or not!

And for those of you like things modern, check out Sam's updated myth below:

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain,

For forty days, Atlantic weather systems may well remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days, the Azores High could dry the air.


Mythbuster: Samuel Illingworth
Chat & editing: Jennifer Muller


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