ABC Podcasts

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ABC Podcasts launches Dear Science

Your scientific ‘agony aunts’ have arrived – whether you asked for them or not

How would the world’s agony aunts respond to real people’s questions if they had the backing of real science? That’s the task that ABC science journalist Bernie Hobbs and research chemist Dr Alice Williamson have taken upon themselves in their hilarious new podcast, Dear Science.

Bernie and Alice take real letters written in to advice columns in magazines and online, and answer them again – but this time through the lenses of science (and humour). With the help of hard research, expert analysis and a whack of good fun, our scientific agony aunts are writing back to the world’s troubled souls one letter at a time. Can quantum physics solve a long distance relationship? Do bad dreams really mean something? And what does the scientific literature have to say to a Libran who had a brutal year?

Dear Science launches by tackling ‘Fetishes’ and ‘Pet Names’: first up, can fetish research help raincoat-lover Peter? And second, how does science navigate the intricacies of naming rights if your terror of a sister-in-law bans your preferred doggy name?

These are real people’s problems answered with real science. “No one’s actually asked us for help with their problems, but that’s not stopping us from butting in with the best advice evidence can give,” says Bernie. “It’s one thing to get advice from a dream analyst, Alanis Morrissette, or let’s face it – a regular journo in disguise. But at Dear Science we take real people’s real problems and we try to help them by asking, what would science do?” says Alice.

More than 200 people enjoyed a sneak peek of Dear Science when it previewed during the World Science Festival in Brisbane last month. Bernie and Alice tackled problems from the audience and Twitter live on stage, including tips for kids getting noticed in the classroom (wear green!), the science of biscuit dunking and how to handle a podcast addiction (they were no help).

If you have a query that needs the #DearSciencePod treatment, send your questions to Bernie and Alice on Twitter at @DearSciencePod.

Subscribe to Dear Science via the ABC Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.

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Australia’s #1 Podcast Reveals New Leads in Cold Case Murder

New evidence from ABC’s Trace podcast reveals buried clues to a decades-old cold case murder
It’s the cold case that everyone’s talking about. After 37 years, will new evidence solve the murder of Melbourne mother Maria James? The overnight release of Episode 2 reveals new leads that journalist and host, Rachael Brown suggests could have serious implications for more than one Australian institution.

After reinvestigating the Maria James murder case for the past year, Trace presents a thorough and compelling examination of the events leading up to her murder, and the suspects and evidence recorded by police during the investigation that followed.

In the latest episode, testimonies of blood-covered suspects leaving the crime scene, and allegations of child sex abuse come to the forefront of the investigation.

ABC Walkley Award-winning Rachael Brown revealed on last night’s The Project, “There’s someone that was ruled out that I don’t think should have been. There’s a new suspect that I’ve found, that I think should have been questioned at the time and wasn’t.

“On the day of the murder, a witness saw someone near the crime scene covered in blood. And just who that person was will shock you.”

Working alongside Maria James’ two sons, and the now-retired homicide detective who was part of the initial investigation, the Trace podcast team has appealed to the Australian public to provide new information that can bring truth to the surface of this unsolved mystery.

The response has been enormous and the podcast will continue to unfold as fresh information is brought to light by Trace and the public appeal.

This is a story that’s captured the hearts of Australian listeners, and has real-world implications for the family of Maria James.

Episodes 1 & 2 now available. Subscribe to Trace on the ABC Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.

#TracePodcast | trace@abc.net.au |abc.net.au/trace

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