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Physical Attraction


Maybe you've seen a thousand science documentaries and you're tired of hearing about the same subjects; or maybe you don't know the first thing about physics, but would love to learn. My aim with this show is to explore the vast range of topics in physics, from quantum mechanics and relativity to the physics of stars, galaxies and black holes. We will explore brand-new topics in science and technology as I learn about them. Whether you know the story already or are learning it all for the first time, my aim is to "educate, inform, and entertain!" 

We are a physics podcast. But not just a physics podcast - interviews with scientists, scholars, authors and reflections on the history and future of science and technology are all in the wheelhouse.

You can read about us here, contact us here and if you like what we do and want to help us keep doing it, you can donate here. You can subscribe to the Physical Attraction: Extra! Feed over at Patreon: www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction - where for $2 per bonus episode, you can help to support the show, and get some juicy bonus content too. If you donate $2+ via the Paypal Link, I can also send you a direct download link to a bonus episode of your choice. Just leave your email, and the episode you want. Bonus episodes released so far: Alien Attack, Part II (45m), Failed TEOTWAWKI Predictions, Part II (1hr). 

We have a sister podcast, Autocracy Now, which deals with the lives of famous historical dictators. (Why host one podcast when you can host two?) You can find some of their episodes on our feed, or the show itself at www.autocracynow.libsyn.com 

Jan 1, 2019


Hello, and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction. In this episode, I interview Karin Kuhlemann on the subject of population.
We touched on this briefly during the TEOTWAWKI specials, particularly in relation to the ancient ideas of Malthus - that famine might "correct" natural excesses of human population in due course. In that case, a technological fix in the form of agricultural and green revolutions allowed the Earth to support many times more people. But how sustainable is this? And, if you decide that the world is overpopulated, and there aren't enough natural resources to allow everyone to live fulfilling lives, what could we do to change this situation? Whenever I read any article about the environment, people in the comments section are often quick to blame "overpopulation" rather than "overconsumption", but seldom suggest any solutions that aren't utterly terrifying.

So all this means we have an interesting interview in store today. Karin Kuhlemann is a PhD candidate at the UCL Department of Political Theory and a practicing lawyer specialised in public, financial services and regulatory law. In the course of her PhD, she's published several articles in both the academic and popular press, and they're all well-worth reading: in this interview we particularly refer to "Any size population will do? The fallacy of aiming for stabilization of human numbers", but you can find several of them at http://ucl.academia.edu/KarinKuhlemann.


Thanks for listening to this episode of Physical Attraction. I think this topic is a truly important one to debate, even though it's incredibly complex and prone to all kinds of misunderstandings and moral hazards, emphasising one argument over another too much. Sometimes, dealing with humanity's problems isn't always easy: it requires difficult conversations. But if you'd like to be part of that conversation, there are plenty of ways you can get in touch to discuss this or any of our episodes - you can contact us via the form at www.physicspodcast.com, you can contact us on Twitter @physicspod or Facebook at the Physical Attraction page.

Soon, we'll be launching our series on nuclear fusion. I'm going through some very busy weeks at the start of this year, so it's possible that I might have to duck out for the odd week, but rest assured - there are enough scripts written for us to keep doing shows way into 2019, and I'm not done writing yet. So stick around, and we'll explore all kinds of things in the world of physics and beyond!

Until next time, be kind to each other.