I am an academic researcher based in Brussels, Belgium (learn more). Thanks to my Marie Curie grant, I have had the chance to travel a lot during the past year and a half. I’ve been to Greece, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Canada, the US... and I’ve met a lot of incredible people. People are the true potential of this world. The stories they tell you! The knowledge and experience they carry! It's humbling. And inspiring!
At the same time, I became a true podcast junkie, bingeing on hours and hours of lectures and debates, with my mind spinning at full steam, racing from religious studies to physics, from politics to anthropology. Synaptic fireworks. I was constantly triggered by new ideas. One day, after yet another interesting conversation with someone I met during my travels, I thought: if only I could share this! If only I could record this conversation and let more people know about this amazing person I just spoke to. Then it hit me: I must have my own podcast!
I have been active in academia for ten years now. My research, which was initially centred on technical issues related to analogue-to-digital audio transfers, is now focused on high-level issues related to multimedia preservation – and, even more broadly, on why cultural heritage matters, how it relates to the concepts of memory and identity, and how it helps us answer fundamental questions of the human condition. I found myself interested in the human, absolutely fascinated by human beings and our ways of being on earth - but I'm also a nerd and a tech junky, so I can't ignore how pervasive digital technology is in our lives, from devices to services, from Facebook to deep learning for medical applications... it's almost too much to behold.
However, I find myself critical of generic statements like "digital technology has revolutionised our lives" or "robots will steal our jobs." These statements are true... but not true enough. I want to look into these statements and see what we’re overlooking. This podcast is not about my research work - nor about myself. It is about people, words, and ideas. I talk to guests with the most diverse backgrounds in the fields of research, technology, art, and science. I ask questions. Because I am curious and that’s what I do! I don't express my own opinions much; in this sense, the podcast episodes are more interviews than conversations. Each episode is about one hour long. You may not find all of the episodes equally interesting, considering the wide range of topics. But isn't that one of the great things about podcasts? You can stop, skip, or play again. There is no particular order to the episodes. I aim to complete about 30 interviews by early 2019. I hope you enjoy listening to Technoculture as much as I enjoyed producing it.
My sincerest thanks to Marie Curie for supporting the realisation of this podcast. It’s my way of exploring the many voices of science, fostering interdisciplinary conversations, expanding my own interests, and bringing it all back to my core intellectual work. Thank you.