Oxford University hits 32 million podcast downloads, plans to launch new series ‘Big Questions’By Editor
It may be one of the oldest educational facilities in the world, but that doesn't mean Oxford University isn't at the vanguard of modern day mediums.
This month the school celebrates six years of its free of charge iTunes U channel, a channel that in its short time has amassed 23 million downloads.
Covering a large spectrum of topics and themes, the university has published more than 6000 episodes and over 5,500 hours of audio or video material.
So how does a university as brilliant as Oxford celebrate such a landmark? They release a whole new science-based series, 'Big Questions - with Oxford Sparks', of course.
The series will cover the origins of the universe, origins of earth and the solar system, and finally, the origins of human life
Oxford University's Department of Physics, Professor Jo Dunkley said: “To me one of the biggest questions we can ask is how the Universe began. We can actually come close to an answer by looking at the earliest picture we have of the cosmos, a snapshot from almost 14 billion years ago, taken most recently by the Planck satellite.
“In this new podcast I had fun explaining how this works and why it is so interesting, and I hope people will share my excitement that we are able to work out what happened in the first trillionth of a second of the Universe's life.”
Sounds pretty intense, right? Well, if you're worried it might go over your head, don't worry, because the three-part programme aims to be as accessible as possible.
Peter Robinson, manager of Oxford University on iTunes U has assured those worried that, “The Big Questions series is presented in a friendly, engaging way and I'd recommend them for any student at school or University.
“They're a perfect starting point for the hundreds of other great science podcasts we make available for free on the University's Oxford on iTunes U channel. If you like the
Big Questions format you'll probably also love our series on 'Chemistry for the Future' or 'Flash Talk Physics'.”