Illustrasjon: Kolbjørn Skarpnes

Podcasts have become more and more mainstream, in Norway and across the globe.  In the US alone, surveys show that more than half of all Americans over the age of 12 listen to podcasts.

Now, it’s NTNU’s turn to jump into the international arena— with a podcast in English, says Siv Anniken Røv, NTNU Director of Communication.

“There’s a huge audience that’s hungry for new podcasts, and we’re excited to test this new medium to share NTNU research internationally,” Røv said.

Foto. Portrett av kvinne.

Siv Anniken Røv, NTNU Director of Communication.

“Even though there are many English-language science-based podcasts, as best we can tell, there’s no English-language podcast that’s devoted solely to Norwegian science and technology,” she said. “This is a niche we hope we can fill.”

The new podcast, named “63 Degrees North” officially launches on 1 February at the virtual Arctic Frontiers Conference.  IFLScience, which hosts a Facebook page with more than 24 million followers, has written an article about the podcast and helped produce a video, both of which will run in association with the official podcast launch.

The podcast teaser is already available on all major podcast platforms, including Google PodcastsApple Podcasts and Spotify — which means that eager listeners can already subscribe so they get the first episode as soon as it is available.

Each of five episodes in the first season takes listeners “behind the scenes”, to tell the surprising stories behind the research, with interviews with NTNU researchers and their research partners from across the globe.

Among the episodes are stories about how a happy accident helped biologists discover that the polar night is far different than previously believed, how geologists and engineers are helping battle climate change, and exactly what it took to create Norway’s nanotechnology based COVID-19 test.

Norwegian podcast already launched

In early January, NTNU’s Communication Division released a new Norwegian-language podcast, “De store spørsmålene” (The big questions).  Each episode features three NTNU researchers drawn from across academic disciplines to discuss some of the biggest issues facing Norwegian society today.

Listeners to the Norwegian show can hear socioeconomist Ragnar Torvik talk about how oil production could make Norwegians poor in the future, and architect Pasi Aalto talking about how Norway’s culture of owning second homes or huts isn’t necessarily the best for the climate, among others.

In addition to sharing NTNU’s research findings, the goal of both podcasts is to reach people who are engaged with the nation — and the world’s — pressing social problems. The podcasts also enable the university to increase the number of NTNU researchers who share their expertise in the public debate.

Number of NTNU podcasts on the rise

Many NTNU researchers and research groups have already begun to produce their own podcasts as a way to share their research,  a move that Røv applauds.

“It’s been inspiring to see how many researchers have decided to test this new medium on their own,” Røv said.  “We have already seen how powerful a medium podcasting can be, just from our early listener numbers from the Norwegian podcast.”

The project group behind the podcasts include Nancy Bazilchuk and Anne Sliper Midling, from the Communication Division, former Communication Division Director Christian Fossen and Randi Lillealtern from Historiebruket.

Sneak peak – 63 Degrees North

Listen to Sneak peak from 63 Degrees North. Ever wonder what’s happening in some of the more far-flung places on the planet? In 63 Degrees North, we’ll bring you stories from Norway every week about surprising science, little-known history, and technology and engineering discoveries that can help change the world.

The official release of the first of five episodes is February 1. But the link below gives readers the chance to hear the first episode now. Brought to you by NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.