64 – Does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism?

With the power of digitalization, criticisms toward journalism now often are aired in digital spaces, such as social networks and blogs. But does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism, and how do journalists handle this? These are questions asked by David Cheruiyot in his doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies. Through in-depth interviews with journalists, media critics, and media accountability agents, David’s research gives us an understanding of how journalistic practice in Kenya and South Africa is affected by new forms for mainstream media criticism. Prior to the digital era, journalists could deal with criticism in controlled spaces, such as letters to editors. Today, they may need to grapple with open hashtag campaigns built up by many different stakeholders of journalism. As David explains in our interview, this has profound effects on journalists and journalistic practice.

63 – Modelling the life span of the sewage system mathematically?

When old sewage pipes break, they can undermine the soil. In the worst case, this can lead to the formation of sink holes that devour buildings, vehicles and other things.

In our podcast we talk to Arthur J. Vromans who does research that can potentially predict the degradation of sewage pipes and thus prevent the formation of sink holes. For this he has developed a mathematical model that can assess the life span of existing sewage pipes and estimate the degradation rate in the sewer system over a long time period.  His work offers a way to estimate error margins, predict degradation processes and hopefully avoid series of unfortunate events related to broken sewage pipes.

20 – Making high-quality pulp from trees

In this podcast, we are digging deeper into the world of pulp and paper. Pulp is generally produced from wood and has a significant impact on our everyday life: we are dependent on the wide range of products that are made from it such as paper, textiles and personal care products. Raghu Deshpande tells us about his PhD thesis “The initial phase of sodium sulfite pulping of softwood: A comparison of different pulping options, in which he tried to find the perfect recipe to produce high-quality pulp from softwood. His focus has been on sulfite pulping, which is more competitive than Kraft pulping when producing dissolving grade pulp with biorefinery applications.