Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 1st Jul 2012

An Olympic Effort - Keeping Crowds Safe and Healthy

The 2008 Olympic Torch (c) Adam Brookes

Later this month, the 2012 Olympics kicks off in London. With hundreds of thousands of people expected from overseas, is this the perfect trigger for a pandemic? This week we're looking at the public health implications of events like London 2012. We discover why an understanding of crowd psychology can avert disasters, and how mathematical models can predict and prevent jams in human traffic. Plus, a new technique to communicate with "locked in" patients, the evidence for warm blooded dinosaurs, and does ice really help to treat an injury?

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:29 - Protecting Health at the Olympics

    One of the things we have to think about when we gather a large number of people into a small space, such as the Olympic village, is the risk of spreading diseases. We’ve seen in the past how outbreaks of diarrheal illnesses can spread rapidly through hospitals, care homes, and...

  • 09:51 - Crowd Psychology in an Emergency

    Every large building has an evacuation procedure. Most offices and schools have regular fire drills but this isn’t an option in preparation for the Olympics. So how can an understanding of crowd psychology help keep people safe?

  • 24:20 - Tracking Olympic Swimmers Under Water

    It’s not only the athletes taking part in London 2012 who are feeling under pressure at the moment. What about their coaches? For a sport like swimming, the process of coaching is very tricky because you have to assess an athlete’s technique with the added complication of rath...

  • 31:16 - Dinosaurs were warm-blooded

    Make no bones about it, dinosaurs were warm-blooded, new research has revealed.

  • 34:20 - Daddy's Damaged DNA and Tornadoes Heating up the Sun

    How smoking fathers risk passing on damaged DNA to their children, Magnetic tornadoes heating up the surface of the Sun and the surprising diet of Australopithecus Sediba...

  • 37:46 - Power to the Pollinators - Planet Earth Online

    On a farm in Berkshire, not far from Reading, you’ll find a rather unusual looking campsite. Here special "tents" allow perfect control of plants and pollinators, to help scientists understand this careful balance...

  • 43:05 - Mathematically Designed to Move People

    How can mathematical modeling make better buildings? Meera Senthilingham visited the newly refurbished Kings Cross train station in London to meet Steven Bishop, the Professor of Dynamics at University College London to find out how maths can keep crowds on the move......

  • 51:04 - Can we use virtual worlds to study crowds?

    Can we use virtual worlds to study crowds?



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