S3 Episode 1: The End of the World with Dr Hauke Riesch

a profile picture of Hauke Riesch

The Science & Belief in Society Podcast is back – but for how much longer? In this opening episode of Season 3, James and Will welcome Dr Hauke Riesch, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Brunel University, London, to talk about the end of the world…

Narratives of the apocalypse – stories of how the world will end, and humanity’s fate before, during and after these variously prophesied cataclysms, have been a central feature of many global religions. From the threat of nuclear war via global pandemics to the onset of climate breakdown, these narratives are now increasingly prevalent in scientific discourses. We discuss Hauke’s work in this area, which has traced the continuities and breakages in how these narratives are deployed in both religious and scientific contexts, the different forms they take and their existential and social function. We also discuss the lighter side of the end times, contrasting apocalyptic narratives with other communication strategies for engagement, including comedy.

(This episode was recorded in October 2022)

This podcast is 44 minutes and 06 seconds long.

The keywords associated with this episode are:

  • Apocalypse Narratives
  • Climate Crisis
  • Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Communication Strategies
  • Humour

To learn more about Hauke’s work, we recommend you check out:

Riesch, H. (2021) ‘Apocalyptic narratives: Science, risk and prophecy‘. Routledge. ISSN 10: 0367275732 ISSN 13: 9780367275730

Riesch, H., Vrikki, P., Stephens, N., Lewis, J. and Martin, O. (2021) ‘“A Moment of Science, Please”: Activism, Community, and Humor at the March for Science‘. Bulletin of Science Technology and Society, 41 (2-3). pp. 46 – 57. ISSN: 0270-4676

Riesch, H. (2016) ‘Humour, Science and Seriousness’, in Burguete, M. (ed.) Humanities As Science Matters: History, Philosophy & Arts. Pantaneto Press. pp. 185 – 205.