Introducing our RMIT summer podcast series

Is science fiction bending your view of reality?

What makes someone volunteer for a one-way ticket to the Red Planet?

Could your morning coffee be quietly killing you?

Introducing our summer series of science podcasts, produced by journalism students from RMIT University.

The first piece is by student Nat Tencic: ‘a different kind of viral‘ asks whether big scientific ideas and the short social media attention span are really compatible.

She gets a few tips from the team at ScienceAlert, the IA-supported Facebook page which last week reached 5 million fans, about how to package science in bite-size chunks.

“ScienceAlert is a really interesting idea – science is so big on the internet, but has always been a geeky, nerdy interest,” Nat says.

“But I pick up the odd science podcast, and if something cool gets shared, I’ll click on it. So that got me thinking: how is science becoming really ‘click-baity’, and is that a problem?”

This student science journalism project was the brainchild of Alex Wake, who teaches radio journalism at RMIT University. She wanted her young journalists to learn how to report science accurately and to explore the role of science in society.

“I think that the most important stories of this century are about science and I don’t think there’s enough understanding of science among journalists,” Alex says.

“This project was about giving smart young people an opportunity to find the science behind everything, and there are some really fabulous examples of things I’d never have thought they’d do.”

We’ll post a couple of stories on the IA website each week over the 2013-14 summer break, and you can follow @inspiringaus on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

Or, if you feel like a science listening binge while you sleep off your Christmas pudding, head to Soundcloud for the whole series.