Impacted: the podcast series about research for real change

Welcome to Impacted - the podcast series about research for real change. Each episode showcases researchers at the University of Sussex (UK) and considers the impact their work is having in the world.

Episode 10: Michael Gasiorek

A leading authority in understanding the mechanisms by which trade affects peoples lives, Michael talks about how his work has had a significant impact by informing policy makers about the potential risks and benefits of the decisions they make.

Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, as well as Managing Director of a University spin-out company, InterAnalysis and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO).

Episode 9: Rob Byrne

Working for a number of years in Botswana and Tanzania on various sustainable energy projects, Dr Rob Byrne’s experience is particularly instrumental in providing real-life context for the study of innovation, energy and climate policy. In this episode of Impacted, he talks about just how complex the process of adopting new innovations and technology can be.

Rob is a Senior Lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). He is also a co-convener for the Energy and Climate Change Domain of the STEPS Centre (a research initiative between SPRU and the Institute for Development Studies).

Episode 8: James Fairhead

In this episode, Professor James Fairhead talks about how understanding human behaviour and cultural motivation is an essential part of mitigating the spread of any disease.

In 2014, his research played a crucial role in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, an epidemic with many similarities to the Covid-19 pandemic, working to improve the international response to epidemics through anthropology.

Episode 7: David Weir

In our latest episode of Impacted, we’re exploring the world of textual analysis, social media and big data with David Weir, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sussex. Research carried out by the Text Analysis Group lab, which David co-founded, revealed that anti-Islamic hate speech spikes on Twitter after acts of terrorism. This is just one of the many insights to come out of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, a collaboration between the University of Sussex and the think tank Demos, which uses Method52, software tools and methodologies developed by the Text Analytics Group.

Episode 6: Martin Yeomans

Martin Yeomans is a Professor of Experimental Psychology and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange with the University of Sussex. He is founder of the Sussex Ingestive Behaviour Group, which conducts research on behavioural nutrition and explores how we develop a liking for different foods and drinks, and how we perceive flavour, among many other topics.

Yeomans has a long history of engaging with the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries internationally. His group has carried out consultancy and contract work with many international companies and has attracted over £3 million in grant income at Sussex to date.

Episode 5: Chris Sandom

We speak to Dr Chris Sandom, a specialist in rewilding and paleo-ecology, who has already fed into Government reviews on Rewilding and Ecosystem services and provided evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, in our latest episode of Impacted.

Hear more about Chris' research, including Through The Bush Backwards, a collaboration between the University of Sussex, Brighton artist Daniel Locke, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Rewilding Sussex, which aims to inspire young people and rethink how the Sussex countryside could look.

Episode 4: Lucy Robinson

Credit: Creative Commons, UNEP.

We speak to Lucy Robinson, Professor of Collaborative History at Sussex. She explains why assumptions about today's students being politically disengaged are incorrect – and why the existing narrative around youth culture needs to change.

She also talks about Queerama, a film created from the BFI archive, which has been broadcast by the BBC and in many festivals and fora around the world. Lucy has also developed three online modules on how she approaches history as a contemporary historian, and she talks about how these collaborative projects have led to impact beyond academia.

Episode 3: Dave Goulson

Professor Dave Goulson’s research into the impact of pesticides on bumblebees has been widely cited in the media, and has led governments to take action to better protect insects. Dave Goulson, who is a Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex, is the author of several popular science books, including The Garden Jungle and A Sting in the Tale.

He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity devoted to reversing bumblebee declines, and the Buzz Club, a citizen science group which aims to involve people in conservation and in science. Find out more about his research on bumble bees and his public engagement and citizen science work in this Impacted podcast.

Episode 2: Gail Davey & Melanie Newport

Gail Davey, a Professor of Global Health Epidemiology at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, initiated a research programme into podoconiosis (podo), a form of elephantiasis or swelling of the lower leg in 2005 and helped lead efforts to have the World Health Organisation add podo to the list of neglected tropical diseases in 2011.

Melanie Newport is a Professor of Infectious Diseases and Global Health researching the genetic susceptibility to infection and to tropical diseases.

Their genetic, public-health and social-science research work has had a significant impact on tropical societies and economies where podoconiosis is endemic.

Episode 1: Anil Seth

Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director (with Prof. Hugo Critchley) of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He is also a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Co-Director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme: From Sensation and Perception to Awareness.

He has edited and co-authored several popular science books, such as the best-selling 30 Second Brain (Ivy Press, 2014). His TED talk (recorded in Vancouver in 2017) has had over 7 million views and he features in the Vice/Motherboard feature documentary The Most Unknown, now streaming on Netflix. He explores consciousness and shares his innovative approaches to public engagement and education in this Impacted podcast.

Please note: we are currently working on transcripts for the podcasts on this page. If you require an accessible, written version of this content, please contact

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