#115: Quantum consciousness; next decade of space exploration; songs played on rat whiskers

What is consciousness? We’ve discussed many theories on the podcast, but in this episode the team explores a particularly bonkers one. Experiments with anaesthetics have hinted that something might be going on at the quantum level with microtubules in the brain. But is this finding enough?

Ever wondered what a rainbow sounds like? Or perhaps what sounds a rat’s whiskers would make if played like a harp? Then wonder no longer! You can hear these sounds and more as the team speaks to musician and TV presenter Richard Mainwaring about his new book ‘Everybody Hertz’.

The next ten years of priorities for United States space exploration have been mapped out in the latest decadal survey. The team discusses some of the most exciting missions we can look forward to, including trips to Uranus and Enceladus, as well as a sample return mission from Mars.

Taylor Swift is our Lifeform of the Week - but not the musician and global sensation. No, this is a newly discovered millipede named after her. The team uses this opportunity to explore the fascinating world of undiscovered species.

Wording in the most recent IPCC report on the ‘Mitigation of Climate Change’ has come under scrutiny. The document says greenhouse gas emissions need to peak "at the latest before 2025". The team explains why that statement has been met with backlash.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Chelsea Whyte, Sam Wong, Leah Crane and Adam Vaughan. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.

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