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Futuremakers

Welcome to Futuremakers from the University of Oxford, where our academics debate key issues for the future of society.

Season Three: The History of Pandemics (Starting 01 Dec 2020) - Returning for its third series, the University of Oxford's Futuremakers podcast follows host, Professor Peter Millican, as he talks to researchers from around the world about some of the devastating pandemics humanity has experienced. Peter and his colleagues look at ten major outbreaks: from the Plague of Athens to the West African Ebola outbreak, via the Black Death, Cholera and Smallpox, and ask how these outbreaks have shaped society, what we may be able to learn from them today, and where we might be heading?

Season Two: Climate Change - Conversations on how we respond to a changing climate, and how humanity will cope and thrive in an uncertain future, with some of the world’s leading thinkers. (28 Oct 2019 - 20 Dec 2019)

Special episode: Could quantum computing change the world? (11 Apr 2019)

Season One: Artificial Intelligence (16 Oct 2018 - 08 Jan 2019)

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Coronavirus and ‘Disease X’ Professor Peter Millican interviews the Oxford scientists working at the forefront of research into Disease X Peter Millican, Sarah Gilbert, Peter Horby, Jimmy Whitworth 14 Jan 2021
2 Ebola Professor Peter Millican begins the final episode of this series in 2014, at the onset of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Peter Millican, Kevin Decock, Katie Ewer, Brian Angus 14 Jan 2021
3 HIV/AIDS In the ninth episode of our History of Pandemics season, Professor Peter Millican leaves the perils of influenza behind, only to discover an entirely new virus: HIV. Peter Millican, Harold Jaffe, John Frater, Kevin Decock 14 Jan 2021
4 The 'Spanish' Flu Professor Peter Millican arrives in the twentieth century, during the last years of the Great War, to a pandemic which you may have read a lot about during the early coverage of our current COVID outbreak. Peter Millican, John Oxford, Brian Angus, Claas Kirchhelle 14 Jan 2021
5 'Russian' Flu: the pandemic that wasn't? In this episode, Professor Peter Millican discusses a controversial outbreak... Peter Millican, Julia Mannherz, Claas Kirchhelle, Brian Angus 14 Jan 2021
6 Cholera Professor Peter Millican makes it to the nineteenth century to discuss the achievements of John Snow Peter Millican, Claas Kirchhelle, Brian Angus, Blanche Oguti 14 Jan 2021
7 Smallpox, and Jenner Welcome to the eighteenth century, at a point when Europe is going through another major smallpox outbreak, a disease that by this point has been plaguing populations around the globe for centuries. Peter Millican, Claas Kirchhelle, Brian Angus, Blanche Oguti 01 Dec 2020
8 The Great Plague in the final plague episode of the series, Professor Peter Millican talks to his guests about the last major outbreak of this horrific disease in seventeenth-century England. Peter Millican, Paul Slack, Emma Smith, Kees Windland 01 Dec 2020
9 The Black Death Professor Peter Millican arrives in the fourteenth century and meets history's most notorious plague outbreak. Peter Millican, Samuel Cohn, Blanche Oguti 01 Dec 2020
10 The Plague of Justinian Welcome to the Eastern Roman Empire in the sixth century. This time, Professor Peter Millican discusses a plague that historians and medical experts agree was likely the first plague pandemic humanity experienced. Peter Millican, Michael McCormick, Abigail Buglass 01 Dec 2020
11 Athens: the first plague? Join Professor Peter Millican in 5th century Athens, a crowded city in the midst of a siege, where a devastating disease had just erupted. Peter Millican, Tim Rood, Brian Angus, Blanche Oguti 01 Dec 2020
12 Mark Carney on Climate Change Professor Millican travels to the Bank of England to interview its Governor, Mark Carney. Peter Millican, Mark Carney 20 Dec 2019
13 Solving climate change - nature or technology? Solving climate change can involve either mitigation – reducing the greenhouse gases we're putting into the atmosphere – or adaptation – the process of adjusting to our changing environment. Peter Millican, Nathalie Seddon, Jim Hall, Helen Gavin 20 Dec 2019
14 Is climate conflict inevitable? In this Futuremakers episode we ask experts the question - is climate conflict inevitable? Peter Millican, Kate Guy, Troy Sternberg 13 Dec 2019
15 Climate change - who should we sue? In this episode of Futuremakers, we’re asking what does a rise in litigious climate action mean for society as we race to meet climate targets? Peter Millican, Fredi Otto, Liz Fisher, Myles Allen 13 Dec 2019
16 Can we be green AND capitalist? In this episode we ask; can we be green AND capitalist? Peter Millican, Ben Caldecott, Thomas Hale, Charmain Love 28 Nov 2019
17 Should nuclear power be part of our energy system? Should nuclear power be part of our energy system? Join our host, philosopher Peter Millican, as he explores this topic with experts from Oxford. Peter Millican, Nick Eyre, Sarah Darby, James Marrow 28 Nov 2019
18 What did the Paris Climate Agreement change? What did the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement change? what did the politicians at Paris actually achieve? Peter Millican, Fredi Otto, Richard Miller, Sugandha Srivastav 07 Nov 2019
19 Climate change: do individual actions matter? Is there still potential for actions on an individual level to shape the future of the planet? Peter Millican, Susan Jebb, Tina Fawcett, Tristram Walsh 28 Oct 2019
20 How do you build a greener country? What does the current infrastructure in the UK look like, and how far is it from where we need to be to meet our international commitments? Peter Millican, Cameron Hepburn, April Burt, Alison Smith 28 Oct 2019
21 Climate change and politics - why haven’t we done more? With the IPCC warning that policymakers have limited time to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5° C - why haven’t we done more? Peter Millican, Caroline Lucas, Ryan Rafaty, Tristram Walsh 28 Oct 2019
22 Twelve years to climate disaster? The IPCC’s 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C broke into the public consciousness through media reporting that we only had twelve years to limit climate change catastrophe.   Peter Millican, James Painter, Myles Allen, Helen Johnson 28 Oct 2019
23 Could quantum computing change the world? Peter Millican tries to discover the truth about a global race to develop the world’s first scalable quantum. Peter Millican, Peter Leek, David Deutsch, Vera Schafer 11 Apr 2019
24 Season Finale: AI selection box In the final episode of our series, we’re looking back at the themes we’ve discussed so far, and forward into the likely development of AI. Gil McVean, Sandra Wachter, Nigel Shadbolt, Peter Millican 08 Jan 2019
25 Is China leading the way in AI? In the penultimate episode of series one of Futuremakers, we’re looking at the development of AI across the globe. Peter Millican, Mike Wooldridge, Xiaorong Ding, Sophie-Charlotte Fischer 19 Dec 2018
26 What does AI mean for the future of humanity Join our host, philosopher Professor Peter Millican, as he explores this topic with three experts from Oxford University. Peter Millican, Allan Dafoe, Mike Osborne, Jade Leung 12 Dec 2018
27 Has AI changed the way we find the truth? Around the world, automated bot accounts have enabled some government agencies and political parties to exploit online platforms in dispersing fake messages. Peter Millican, Rasmus Nielsen, Vidya Narayanan, Mimie Liotsiou 06 Dec 2018
28 From Ada Lovelace to Alan Turing, the birth of AI? Many developments in science are achieved through people being able to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ and in the history of AI two giants in particular stand out. Peter Millican, Ursula Martin, Andrew Hodges, Jacob Ward 19 Nov 2018
29 Does AI have a gender? Join our host, philosopher Peter Millican, as he explores the topics of gender and AI. Peter Millican, Gina Neff, Carissa Véliz, Sian Brooke 12 Nov 2018
30 Is AI good for our health? Join our host, philosopher Peter Millican, as he explores the topic "Is AI good for our health?" Peter Millican, Alison Noble, Paul Leeson, Jessica Morley 02 Nov 2018
31 Is the banking sector about to change for ever? AI is already playing a role in the finance sector, from fraud detection, to algorithmic trading, to customer service, and many within the industry believe this role will develop rapidly within the next few years. Peter Millican, Stephen Roberts, Nir Vulkan, Jannes Klaas 22 Oct 2018
32 Are all algorithms biased? Our lives are increasingly shaped by automated decision-making algorithms, but do those have in-built biases? If so, do we need to tackle these, and what could happen if we don't? Peter Millican, Sandra Wachter, Helena Webb, Brent Mittelstadt 22 Oct 2018
33 How will the automation of jobs likely progress? In 2013 two Oxford academics published a paper entitled 'The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?', estimating that 47% of U.S. jobs were at risk of automation. Peter Millican, Mike Osborne, Judy Stephenson, David Clifton 22 Oct 2018
34 Trailer: season one launching 22nd October! Down winding streets, beyond the dreaming spires, inside the college walls, debates are happening - in every study room and lecture theatre - about the future of society. Futuremakers, from the University of Oxford, invites you to that debate. Peter Millican 16 Oct 2018