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Professor Jo Dunkley on Huma Impact podcast
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all of our ingredients were made right in the middle of a star, our differences are smaller than our similarities

Jo Dunkley is professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton, a full professor at Oxford at 35. She has won awards from the Royal Astronomical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society for her work on the origins and evolution of the Universe.  In Our Universe , cosmologist Jo Dunkley clearly explains many of the big things we know about the universe, and how scientists came to discover them, from black holes, to distant galaxies, expanding space, and more. Complemented by simple, effective illustrations of complex astrophysical concepts and techniques, Our Universe is an engaging introduction to the nature of our cosmic home.


She talks to Ed Andrew on Human Impact about working with NASA, how billion dollar science projects transfer technology into humanity and her work to increase female and racial diversity in science. 

Talking Points:

  • discussing what took a young girl into science - "using maths to answer questions in the world, understanding how things work, language to answer interesting questions"  


  • "what defines you as a scientist and it is based now on questions you think are most interesting - why are we here, what is the biggest story and where we fit in"


  • discussing her backstory - cosmology and her area of astro physics, looking at Big Data 


  • discussing the the cosmic wave background - the Simons Array and Atacama wave telescope-  the beginning of the universe, no stars and planets 


  • the beginning of the universe and the Big bang, energetic beginning of the universe (12)


  • discussing how we are all stardust and connection with anthropology, we are all one, "all of our ingredients were made right in the middle of a star, our differences are smaller than our similarities”


  • discussing Plank and European Space Agency satellite, the quest to take the earliest image of the universe 


  • explaining the theory of the multiverse, the possibility that other parts of Space grew at different times (19)


  • the objectivity of measuring time (21) 


  • being driven by data - and then answer a question based on how I can measure it - not having confirmation bias, "everything is up for grabs until it is proved or disproved" 


  • "the most interesting things are the unexpected results, the surprises are what is exciting, science takes the big leaps when you find something you were not looking for (20)


  • discussing the biggest application of science in humanity - big change and impact we can now trace the evolution of us in our solar system with  path though the entire universe. 


  • pitching satellite missions to NASA, $10bn projects to answer big questions,  when we cannot answer a question with a telescope on earth (30)


  • discussing the the limitless nature of the universe  


  • discussing technology transfer, Plank and The European Space Agency, one of the biggest technological transfers is the amazing images we can make and feeds back into people iphones and cameras (35)


"if we do our best science it ends up producing the best technology" - "pushing science to its frontier"


  • the cross over between how computer science and machine learning - teaching technology students the basics of  physics


  • discussing her work to bring more women and racial diversity into science and changing the perception of scientists (40)


  • measuring the expansion of the universe, and how long it takes to make the data readable


  • discussing her long term project - "I want to know what set the universe off in the first place"


  • discussing how many planets we have been finding around different stars,  most of the stars we see will probably have planets around them, planets with two suns


  • discussing universal energy and solar energy, there is other energy in the form of matter, but it is very tiny as most of Space is very far from us (50)


  •  discussing the chance of life in the Universe, maybe micro organisms (53)


  • her book The Universe, making science more accessible and taking people pay to the edge of the Universe 

To contact Jo or find out more please click on the links below

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