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Powered by Herts podcast

The new Powered by Herts Podcast features the University of Hertfordshire’s researchers discussing their latest breakthroughs and expert views on the big issues of the day.

In our first series, host Matthew Weait, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, speaks with six academics about their pioneering work finding solutions to the myriad of challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Powered by Herts podcast will launch on Monday 20 July and we’ll be releasing a new episode every Monday over the next six weeks. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the latest episode.

Episode 1 - Sleep, dreams and COVID-19

Matthew Weait talks to Richard Wiseman, professor of public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, to find out about how people’s sleep has changed during the pandemic, what people can do to improve their sleep and the science behind dreaming.

Episode 2 - How Covid-19 has increased the risk of malnutrition in the UK

Matthew Weait talks to Professor Wendy Wills about the growing issue of malnutrition in the UK in the wake of the pandemic. The podcast explores how Covid-19 has impacted food security for children and families, through to how older people have struggled to access food during lockdown and what steps supermarkets can take to reassure vulnerable groups that it’s safe to shop again.

Episode 3 - Lessons learned about greener transport in lockdown

Following the Government’s new initiative to encourage more people to cycle and walk, Matthew Weait talks to Stephen Joseph, visiting lecturer in our Smart Mobility Research Unit, about how transport use changed during lockdown. Stephen discusses how these changes in travel habits presents a huge opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and change future UK transport policy.

Episode 4 - Joining the global COVID-19 fightback

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has required a global response. In this week’s episode Matthew Weait talks to Dr Michael Schmuker, reader in data science at the University of Hertfordshire, who joined the Global Consortium of Chemosensory Researchers early in the pandemic to research the link between loss of the sense of smell and COVID-19. Find out how their work led to loss of smell becoming a recognised COVID-19 symptom and how their work is helping to improve our understanding of the virus.

Episode 5 - Health inequalities exposed by COVID-19

In this week’s episode Matthew Weait talks to Dr Shivani Sharma, executive lead for equality, diversity and widening participation at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Life and Medical Sciences, about how COVID-19 has highlighted health inequalities among minority ethnic groups. They discuss Shivani’s research, which focuses on patients affected by end-stage organ failure, and the role of university education in reducing disadvantage.

Episode 6 - The spread of COVID-19 fake news and misinformation

The last episode in our first Powered by Herts Podcast series is now available to listen to or download.

As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, many people are looking for information on preventing the disease and how to cure it. This has paved the way for a flood of misinformation online. Matthew talks to Jyoti Choudrie, Professor of Information Systems at Hertfordshire Business School, about the spread of misinformation during the pandemic, the role AI can play in combatting it and how people across the world identify misinformation.