Ben Valsler

Ben Valsler

While teaching science in north east Thailand, I realised just how exciting and interesting communicating science could be. Taking the opportunity to produce and present the 'English hour' on Thai local radio, it dawned on me to combine the science with the radio, and I’ve never looked back.

A zoologist by training with an MSc in science communication, I have become something of a jack of all trades.  I specialised in astronomy and materials science during my tenure with Cambridge University’s Naked Scientists, before taking on the online and multimedia editor position at Chemistry World.  Far from a disadvantage, being a generalist allows me to revel in learning new aspects of science, and has given me a real interest in the boundaries – the edge effects where one specialism meets another, where theory meets application and where science meets engineering.

  • Remdesivir
    Podcast

    Remdesivir

    2020-04-03T14:30:00

    Will new clinical trials for Covid-19 give remdesivir a second chance? Ben Valsler introduces the broad-spectrum antiviral that didn’t quite make it as the Ebola drug it was originally planned to be

  • A mosquito, a bottle of hyroxychloroquine tablets and social distancing advice
    Podcast

    Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine

    2020-03-27T16:30:00

    The Covid-19 pandemic – and some very high profile backing – has led to malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine hitting the headlines worldwide.

  • An assortment of foods rich in vitamin K
    Podcast

    Vitamin K

    2020-02-21T12:00:00

    Ben Valsler on vitamin K – the blood clotting factor that is likely to be the first supplement you ever receive

  • Viva la vegan sign outside a restaurant in London
    Podcast

    Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

    2020-01-10T15:33:00

    If you’re trying out a vegan diet, you’re likely to be told to make sure you get enough vitamin B12. But what is B12, where do we get it from, and how can we be sure we’re getting enough?

  • A composite image of Tom Lehrer, Helen Arney and the Waterbeach Brass band
    Article

    The Elements Song 2019

    2019-12-10T10:38:00

    For the international year of the periodic table, we’ve worked with Helen Arney and the Waterbeach Brass Band to update Tom Lehrer’s Elements Song

  • Thanksgiving dinner spread with a roast turkey
    Podcast

    Tryptophan

    2019-11-29T09:13:00

    Ben Valsler tackles ‘zombie facts’ and the tenuous connection between tryptophan in turkey and your post-Thanksgiving dinner doze

  • A man sits on a Nepalese mountainside with his head in his hands - apparently suffering from altitude sickness
    Podcast

    Hypoxia-inducible factors – HIFs

    2019-10-18T12:14:00

    The oxygen sensors that help life react to changing conditions, key to the 2019 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine

  • An image showing Nobel Prize medal shaped chocolate
    Article

    The data behind the Nobel prizes

    2019-10-07T11:11:00

    We’ve looked at over 100 years of data behind who and what wins the Nobel prize

  • Several pills of MDMA (Extasy) on white table
    Podcast

    2C psychedelics

    2019-06-28T10:44:00

    A class of hallucinogenic phenethylamines, explored by the 'godfather of psychedelics' Alexander Shulgin and sadly implicated in a tragedy at a 2017 music festival

  • Cambridge pride 3
    Opinion

    Pride and prejudice

    2019-06-26T12:08:00

    Cambridge’s first official Pride event stood in contrast to the everyday experiences of some LGBT+ scientists, but a new report shows how things are improving

  • XOPCAJ - CSD's millionth strutcure
    News

    The Cambridge Structural Database hits one million structures

    2019-06-06T10:31:00

    Warning! Contains extreme crystallography

  • A Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel displays confiscated ecstasy at a press conference in Manila on September 14, 2016
    Podcast

    Pentylone

    2018-09-21T10:17:00

    The latest in an alarming trend of novel psychoactive substances being mis-sold at festivals as traditional street drugs, putting users at risk

  • Corrugated asbestos cement roofing
    Podcast

    Asbestos

    2018-08-17T14:30:00

    How the ‘world’s most wonderful mineral’ became one of the world’s biggest health hazards

  • CBD oil - cannabis oil containing cannabidiol
    Podcast

    Cannabidiol

    2018-07-13T11:30:00

    The story of Charlotte Figi, Dravet syndrome and the cannabis compound controlling her condition

  • Slices of beetroot
    News

    Beetroot beats route to Alzheimer's

    2018-05-02T09:00:00

    Betanin, the compound that gives beetroot it’s distinctive purple colour, may slow the process of protein misfolding that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease

  • Cycling road race – from behind
    Podcast

    Triamcinolone

    2018-04-20T17:27:00

    Concluding our pair of podcasts on a recent cycling scandal, Ben Valsler looks at the corticosteroid triamcinolone

  • Cyclists in a road race
    Podcast

    Acetylcysteine

    2018-04-12T11:53:00

    How a versatile drug that helps manage lung conditions and treat paracetamol overdose found itself at the centre of a cycling scandal

  • Front cover of The Dialogues by Clifford Johnson
    Review

    The dialogues: conversations about the nature of the universe

    2018-03-23T12:00:00

    A graphic novel with a conversational review

  • View from the top of paint, tools and plastic scale model
    Podcast

    Butanone

    2017-05-17T16:01:00

    Butanone or methyl ethyl ketone is better known to many as the polystyrene cement that keeps scale models secure

  • A bucket collecting maple syrup tapped from the tree
    Research

    Maple syrup enhances antibiotics

    2017-04-06T02:40:00

    A phenol-rich mixture extracted from maple syrup allows much smaller doses of antibacterial drugs to achieve the same results

More by Ben Valsler