Quick fire questions!

We rattle through your question to our panel of science experts.
13 April 2022

Interview with 

Mary-Frances O’Connor, University of Arizona & Kit Chapman, Falmouth University & Matt Bothwell, University of Cambridge & Fiona Fox, Science Media Centre


Julia Ravey speaks with Mary-Frances O’Connor, Kit Chapman, Matt Bothwell & Fiona Fox to find the answers to your submitted questions...

Julia - Mary-Frances, Jenny asked 'If someone close to you is going through grief, how can you best support them?'

Mary-Frances - Often people think the goal is to cheer them up, but actually that often creates more feeling of distance. The person is already under this really dense cloud. Really the goal should be more to just be with them, and to let them know that there is a future and you will be with them there as well, even when they can't quite envision it yet.

Julia - Now Kit over to you. Paul asked 'How much do you think formula 1 cars will change over the coming years with advancing technology based on how much they've changed in the past?'

Kit - Hugely. We are looking at moving to probably an entirely new fuel system. The ICE, the internal combustion engine, won't be around much longer. We're looking at a carbon neutral sport within the next 8-10 years. They're gonna start looking at alternative fuels. Maybe that's electric, maybe that's hydrogen, maybe that's synthetic hydrocarbons, but you will not see petrol in formula 1 cars in 5 years time.

Julia - Fiona. We've got a science media question for you here. Don's asked, 'Do platforms like Twitter do more harm than good when it comes to communicating science news?'

Fiona - No, I don't think they do more harm than good. I don't think we know that. There's a huge amount of good, accurate evidence based information on social media platforms. Many, many people share links to great science on Twitter. I don't think it does more harm than good. I think it has the potential to do harm and that's why we are asking scientists to get out there and use social media and engage with mainstream media and make sure they drown out the voices of harmful misinformation.

Julia - Brilliant. Matt, finally over to you. We've got a question from Lewis who asks very simply, 'What are your thoughts on space tourism?'

Matt - I think it's going to happen whether we like it or not. I think if billionaires want to go into space, they're going to do whatever they want. I think to be honest, it's a little bit of a distraction right now. I think there's a lot of exciting things going on in the space technology industry and just a handful of billionaires having joy rides up to the upper atmosphere is not particularly interesting. I'm not very interested in it to be honest, compared to a lot of other stuff going on in the space tech industry.


Add a comment