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Physical Attraction

We are the podcast that explains ideas in physics, one chat-up line at a time. Not just a physics podcast, though - 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: - 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). 

Apr 12, 2018

One of the best and most enjoyable parts of hosting this show is when my favourite authors are kind enough to speak to me. I'd like to thank Simon for an excellent, enlightening, entertaining discussion: if you enjoy listening to it half as much as I enjoyed the conversation, you're in for a real treat.

Today, as part of our series on science in the USSR, I'm delighted to say that we have an interview with Simon Ings, the author of a wonderful book on the subject - Stalin and the Scientists. Simon began his career writing science fiction stories, novels and films writing books on perception (The Eye: A Natural History), 20th-century radical politics (The Weight of Numbers), the shipping system (Dead Water) and augmented reality (Wolves). He co-founded and edited Arc magazine, a digital publication about the future, before joining New Scientist magazine as its arts editor, and writing Stalin and the Scientists. He very kindly agreed to be interviewed for our little show; as usual, I detained my guest for a very long time, and so I've split the interview into two parts.

The second part of our interview followed scientists through the Soviet Union's tumultuous time under Stalin - through the Gulags and the Great Terror, through the horrors of the Second World War and the Sharaskhi. We discuss the legacy of the Soviet Union and move towards what we can learn about science in our society today. 

If you want to find out more about Simon's work, you can buy Stalin and the Scientists online and at all good bookstores - and I highly recommend you do - and he's online at and also tweets @simonings.

As for us: follow the show @physicspod , or visit the website for more information at : there you'll find a contact form where you can bombard us with questions, comments, concerns, topic suggestions, guest suggestions, praise, anonymous threats - anything you like!

If you've enjoyed the show, you can help us a number of ways. We have a paypal donate link which you'll find on the site. You can subscribe to our Patreon. But most of all, please, please - tell as many people as possible to listen. Tie them down if necessary.