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Series 02 Episode 03 - Professor Jim Smith, Environmental Scientist

The effects of Chernobyl radiation on wildlife 

Professor Jim Smith

Professor Jim Smith

This episode sees Callam and Jim meet Professor Jim Smith, Environmental Scientist at the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth.

Jim started his career as a physicist, and has spent the last 30 years working in the Chernobyl disaster zone in Ukraine and Belarus. His work is somewhat unusual in combining physics and the science of radioactive decay, with environmental science and the effects of said radiation on wildlife populations.

Jim's something of an expert on what happens to nature when humans are taken out of the picture - as they have been in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and, to an extent, in much of the rest of the world by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Oh, and he's also developed Atomik Vodka, the first spirit made from wheat grown in the exclusion zone.

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Photo by Michał Lis on Unsplash

About the Podcast

The Pint of Science podcast meets scientists and science writers at a safe social distance around the UK (and the rest of the world) to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything.

Series 2 sees us target more topical stories and discuss the science around them. Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

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The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs and cafes in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This year, Pint of Science is going live online! We will be going digital on the evenings of 7-9th September with a great selection and variety of online Pint of Science events. 

You can donate and help Pint of Science through these incredibly challenging times. For obvious public health reasons, we are recording remotely at the moment - but we hope to be back in the pub very soon (and very safely).