Welcome to our podcast series ‘Exploring Global Problems’ where our academics talk about how their ground-breaking research helps to tackle a variety of global challenges. 

Topics include health innovation, climate change, clean energy and human-centred digital technologies.

Click on the buttons below to explore each season and then listen and subscribe to the series using your preferred podcast provider.

Visit our podcast help page to find out more about how to listen. 

Review For Exploring Global Problems: Diverse and insightful

Some really thought provoking topics (diverse range even across the two episodes I’ve listened to so far) from a range of speakers which is good to see, I hope this continues. Hopefully the start of a long and successful series from Swansea University!

Season 4

Can we trust politicians? How do we ensure global food security? Who is eligible to compete in elite sports? These are the questions being answered by Swansea University academics in this 9-episode fourth season of research podcast Exploring Global Problems.

New episodes released every two weeks


Exposing A Long History of Assassinations

6 May 2024
Season 4, Episode 1

Dr Luca Trenta discusses how some states use covert action, with a spotlight on the US Government's involvement in state-sponsored assassinations. Spanning the time period from the Cold War through to contemporary times, Dr Trenta explores the intricate dimensions of these clandestine operations.


Listen to episode 1
Family on a beach

Enabling Inclusive Family Travel Experiences

20 May 2024
Season 4, Episode 2

Professor Brian Garrod sheds light on the hurdles faced by neurodivergent children and their families on holiday and delves into how the tourism industry could adapt to be more accessible and welcoming.

Listen to episode 2
Wheelchair user in virtual reality room

Is Immersive Learning the key to improving healthcare education?

3 June 2024
Season 4, Episode 3

Joanne Davies discusses how highly trained educators and sim technologies; high-tech mannequins and the world's largest installation of immersive wall technology simulation are advancing healthcare education. 

Listen to episode 3
text reads truth

Do we trust our politicians? Do they trust us?

17 June 2024
Season 4, Episode 4

Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy explores the concept of trust. With the danger posed by disinformation during societal crises (such as the pandemic or climate change), trust in facts and science seems more important now than ever. Does the public trust politicians and scientific experts? Conversely how much does the public feel trusted by those in power?

Listen to episode 4
Person spraying crops with pesticide

Ensuring global food security: are biopesticides effective for pest control?

1 July 2024
Season 4, Episode 5

Dr Farooq Shah discusses the detrimental impact that insect pests have on food security and the urgent need to develop alternatives to chemical pesticides, which pose risks to human and animal health and well as the environment.

Listen to episode 5
GP with patients

Are the needs of asylum seekers and refugees being met by NHS Wales?

15 July 2024
Season 4, Episode 6

Dr Ashra Khanom discusses her research which aims to address the needs of people seeking sanctuary in the UK, including how they access healthcare services.

Listen to episode 6

Previous Seasons

Meet our Host

Meet the host of our 'Exploring Global Problems' series, Sam Blaxland. Sam is an Honorary Fellow at Swansea University, having been a Ph.D. student, Post-doctoral Fellow, Tutor and Lecturer in Modern History between 2013–2022. He now works at UCL. Whilst at Swansea, Sam wrote a book on the history of the University to mark its 2020 centenary. He also taught on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Sam was born and raised in Pembrokeshire. He is a regular contributor to the British and Welsh broadcast media and has recently appeared on the BBC News channel and BBC 1's Breakfast programme, amongst others, to discuss modern political history and contemporary current affairs. Outside of work, he is a keen runner (everything from Saturday morning parkruns to marathons), and a fan of old-fashioned, hard-copy newspapers. He also enjoys cooking, learning about (and drinking) wine.