Hanna Siemaszko is not a scientist. But she loves science. And podcasts. And so the English-Polish translator decided to start telling others about science happening in Luxembourg in her English-language podcast SciLux. We spoke to Hanna about her new endeavour.
What can listeners find in your podcasts and who’s it for?
SciLux is for people interested in scientific research and technology who don't necessarily have a scientific background. It's a way for the general public in Luxembourg to get to know what is happening behind the scenes in local science. Our episodes present the latest research in a concise and entertaining way. Our inspirations are from the University of Luxembourg, LIST, LIH, LISER, FNR and the Natural History Museum, which always have some excellent news that deserve additional attention. Sometimes we find it really hard to choose! Each episode of SciLux also contains a pub quiz question that is answered at the end of the podcast.
Can you give some concrete details about a recent episode?
As space is one of our pet topics, in one of our episodes we talked about the importance of lowering the weight of objects taken into space (and how Luxembourg researchers want to help). We also presented antimicrobial coating made in Luxembourg and scientists trying to find a solution for the re-entry blackout when all communication is lost with a landing spacecraft. We also congratulated a Luxembourg-based company for getting a contract with NASA and talked about the intricacies of doing space business.
What goal do you pursue with your podcasts?
Luxembourg is a country where thousands of things happen every day, but not that many people know about them. Our goal is to show how much amazing research is done here and how many important answers are found. We believe that scientific research can be of interest to anybody, it simply has to be presented in an entertaining and jargon-free way.
What topics do you plan to address in the future?
The topics we address are the ones that the scientists work on. Normally we don't talk about ongoing projects, but rather the research results. In the future we also want to interview some of the researchers to understand their work better and get some more inspiring stories.
Tell us a bit about yourself: What is your background and why are you doing this?
I am a translation studies graduate who is passionate about sound, radio and IT. I love telling others about science and I participated in several projects revolving around popular science (e.g. Science Cafes for adults and children, workshop for journalists wishing to write about science). Podcasting is my hobby and since there aren't that many podcasts in Luxembourg yet, I decided to combine some of my interests and start SciLux.