Looking Glass: Serious thinking about who and what we are

Looking Glass is a podcast from the Institute of Physics. In our first series, Angela Saini hosted challenging conversations about our society, exploring ideas and innovations across disciplines to create a blueprint for a future world. In series two, Gemma Milne discusses the climate crisis and looks at the part physics has to play in powering a new green economy. 


Looking Glass: A Green Future, with Gemma Milne

Series 2: A Green Future 

We’re delighted to announce that Looking Glass is back for a second series, focusing on the climate crisis and exploring how our economy must evolve to address it. 

In Looking Glass: A Green Future, science journalist, podcaster and author Gemma Milne speaks with leading experts from across the political, scientific and social spectrum to discuss the seismic changes we need to make to ensure a green and sustainable future for our planet. 

Looking Glass launched in 2020 and the first series has received over 20,000 downloads from listeners in more than 50 countries.

Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 6: A Green Blueprint

In the series so far, we’ve heard about the visions and potential pathways for a new green economy from some of the people working to make it happen. But what role do physicists have to play? Gemma talks to two physicists at very different stages in their careers to get their perspectives. Featuring Professor Martin Freer and Luke Wheeler.

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 5: Only Radical Change Will Do

We need a new, green economy – and fast. So what would it look like? And what needs to change to make it possible? In the series so far we’ve looked at the importance of greener energy and the impact of consumer choices – but what about the global structures that are going to have to change? Featuring Ann Pettifor and Farhana Yamin. 

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 4: Students of Life – The Work Revolution

Rapidly evolving economies need people with the right skills to propel them. We’ve heard about the work that needs to be done to deliver a green economy – but who will actually do it? Who can build and maintain the technology? How long will those people be necessary in a world of AI? And with diversity and inclusion at the heart of this conversation, how do we make sure every worker is valued? Featuring Grace Suh and Warda Heetun.

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 3: The Big Energy Opportunity

The way the world uses energy must change – and it represents a huge opportunity. In Episode 2 we talked about how we use energy as individuals, but what about the global picture? Business, travel, even political relationships are bound up in whether we produce or import energy – but all that’s about to change. So how can nations lead the way as we make the big energy transition? Featuring Dr Daniel Scholten and Dr Gbemi Oluleye.

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 2: Think More Use Less

We know we have to change the way we make energy, as we move from fossil fuels to renewables, but we also need to rethink how we use it. Without knowing what we’ll be using it for in the future, we can’t know how much we need to create. To what extent do we need to change the way we use energy as individuals? Do our consumer and travel choices actually make a difference? Featuring Dr Madeleine Morris and Professor Alice Larkin.

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

Episode 1: We're Not All There Is

The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing our world. It’s up to us to start solving it, so that future generations aren’t left with a burning planet. How do we become the best ancestors we can be? What role does science have to play? Featuring Sophie Howe and Dr Suchitra Sebastian.

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Looking Glass: A Green Future

A Green Future: Trailer

Looking Glass is back! Listen to series two host Gemma Milne as she introduces A Green Future in our trailer.

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Looking Glass: Society, with Angela Saini

Series 1: Society

The first series of our new Looking Glass podcast explores some of the most pressing challenges we face as a society – and asks what role physics has to play in solving them.

Series 1 host Angela Saini talks to thought leaders and innovators on topics from health inequality to climate change, cancel culture to artificial intelligence to understand the issues and potential solutions.

Launching in IOP’s 100th anniversary year, Looking Glass is also an inquiry into the purpose of a scientific institution in the 21st century, to help us understand how we must evolve to be part of a modern society, and help shape it.

Looking Glass: Society

Episode 6: A Blueprint for the Future

What can we – and science – learn from listening to thinkers and practitioners from wider society? As we tackle the global challenges affecting our lives and those of future generations, how can scientific organisations adapt to ensure they remain active players within society? Featuring Dame Frances Saunders and Sophie Martin.

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Looking Glass: Society

Episode 5: The Ethics of Big Data & AI

In an age when data and information drive many aspects of our society, we are increasingly confronted by uncomfortable questions around misinformation and privacy. What responsibilities should scientists take? And how can we ensure Big Data & AI are used for our benefit? Featuring Cansu Canca and Shiv Malik.  

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Looking Glass: Society

Episode 4: Who's at the Table?

How do we look beyond the traditional western scientific canon and be more reflective of other knowledge systems? As students around the world look to decolonise their curriculums and learn from indigenous knowledge, the question of who’s at the table has never been more pressing. Featuring Melz Owusu and Carolina Behe.

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Looking Glass: Society

Episode 3: Healthcare & Inequality

Serious questions are emerging about how we care for people as a society – and how existing inequalities have an impact on health outcomes. How can innovation help us to bridge those gaps? How is the physics community leading this conversation? Featuring Ivan Beckley and Professor Kevin McGuigan.

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Looking Glass: Society

Episode 2: Power, Privilege & Cancel Culture

In our social media age, how can organisations listen, learn and engage with public debate on highly charged issues? As organisations step out of their comfort zones, how should they navigate this new world of communication? Featuring Sheree Atcheson and Brenda Trenowden.

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Looking Glass: Society – Episode 1: The Climate Crisis

Episode 1: The Climate Crisis

How do we ensure the planet remains habitable for all of us, wherever we are in the world? Can clean energy become green energy? Can scientists offer sustainable solutions for climate change? Featuring Fatima-Zahra Ibrahim and Dr Emily Shuckburgh.

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Looking Glass: Society

An introduction to Looking Glass

In this introductory podcast, IOP Deputy Chief Executive Rachel Youngman talks to Angela Saini, host of Looking Glass: Society, about why we've created the series. She explains what makes it so relevant now, and the important role the podcast series has to play in helping IOP to reflect on our place in our diverse society. 

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Rachel Youngman on Looking Glass: Society

IOP Deputy Chief Executive Rachel Youngman explains why we’ve created the series – and what makes it so relevant.

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