This is a transcript of The Conversation Weekly podcast episode: Keeping buildings cool as it gets hotter, published on September 15, 2022.
NOTE: Transcripts may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.
Gemma Ware: Hello, I’m Gemma Ware in London.
Dan Merino: And I’m Dan Merino in San Francisco. It is good to be back.
Gemma: We’ve been busy working on some new ideas for the show over the past few months, which is why you’ve not been hearing so much from us. And we’re really excited now about the stories we’ve got coming up for you.
Dan: Welcome back to The Conversation Weekly.
Gemma: Dan, I heard that you guys have been hitting some temperature records over there in California. Is it really, really hot?
Dan: It’s so hot right now, Gemma. We’ve been breaking records all over the Bay area. San Francisco was super hot yesterday. Let me just look this up real quick … I think we hit 116 fahrenheit in Livermore, which is in the East Bay, 115 in Santa Rosa.
Gemma: What is that in my speak, in celsius?
Dan: Uhhh north of 46, close to 47 degrees celsius.
Gemma: Wow, 46. That is hot. How are you keeping cool?
Dan: Well, at least in San Francisco the city, most of the houses don’t have air conditioning. It’s not usually this hot. And certainly it’s not been that hot here in San Francisco, but yesterday I was lying on my housemate’s room’s floor because she has the colder room in the house. It kind of worked, I took a nap.
Gemma: Well, that sounds a little bit like what we were doing here in London a couple months ago when we hit our own temperature records. It hit not 46, but 40. And I was putting towels, wet towels in the fridge and draping them around my neck. Yeah, it didn’t smell so great, but yeah it was hot.
Dan: I remember you had a wet towel around you and we were trying to record something. It looked like a good idea.
Gemma: You going to try it?
Dan: Uh, we’ll see if the sun comes out today. But we’ve both been going through this heat, right Gemma? And we both live in cities that aren’t traditionally super hot. And we’re not alone this year, right? There’s been a lot of different places all around the world that are dealing with unusually high temperatures.
Gemma: Yeah. Europe’s been having them, in China they’ve been having heat waves, and in North Africa. This has been a really, really bad year for extreme heat.
Dan: So, one thing that struck me yesterday. And my friends and I were talking about it, I remember we talked about it when you guys were having your heat wave, is that San Francisco, London, and presumably a lot of places around the world this year, just aren’t used to the heat that they’re experiencing. Right? It’s like, I don’t have air conditioners in my house and you don’t either Gemma, right? There’s a lot of mismatch between the infrastructure and the cities and the buildings and the climate people are living in this year.
Gemma: You’re right. Your house, my house, these buildings are just not designed for this kind of heat. But while this is a pretty new problem for London and for San Francisco, around the world there are actually lots of buildings built in ways that are just not right for their environment.
In this episode, I’ve been exploring how certain styles of architecture and building design were exported all over the world. And in the process, they usurped traditional building techniques that are better suited to hotter temperatures.
As we’re going to hear, though, in this episode, some architects are trying to change that. And I wanna start the story with one of them, Anthony Ogbuokiri. Today Anthony is a senior lecturer in construction management at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. But he was born in Nigeria …
Anthony Obguokiri: South-eastern Nigeria, which is as tropical as it gets, if you like. And then I went through college, finding my path in the built environment, and my interest in knowing more about design and the making of buildings, making things generally. So I was drawn to study architecture.
Gemma: One of the things that I know you are interested in is how well a building is suited to its actual environment and the place it’s built – the environment of where it’s built. Tell me, when you were studying in Nigeria and working in practice, did you ever have to work on designing buildings that you knew just weren’t suited to the climate of Nigeria?
Anthony: Tell me about it. So in my year out as a pupil architect working in firms, there were several, without mentioning names, there were several commissions where at that time you may have been involved in some drafting … and you’d be looking at the structure: it’s an office block, it has lots of glazing. And each time you ask questions, common answers you get are, “well, the building was going to be air conditioned.” You know, your environmental analysis senses would kick-in when you looked at your layout and they will tell you, well, this is going to be artificially lit and it’s going to have ACs – definitely you’re going to have to use mechanical systems.
Gemma: Anthony was being asked to design a typical-looking concrete office block with big windows, a design that’s become pretty much the international standard over the past century.
Anthony: If you look at late-19th to early-20th century architecture when, if you like, the modernism movement came – it was moving away from ornamentation up to lightweight structures that achieved maximum values, especially on the commercial spectrum. This is typical what a high-rise building, office block on the skyline of a city, what it should look like. And that became almost like a template.
Gemma: It’s a template that’s now being used around the world, no matter how hot or cold the climate.
Anthony: So if you take a photo … There was an analysis I was doing with a colleague, and we’re looking at developing countries particularly. If you just literally took a flight through the west African sub-regional coast – if you picked up Lagos, Accra, all the way to Dakar in Senegal, and round the block all the way to Tanzania, Kenya and East Africa – if you took different shots of the skylines, you couldn’t tell the difference. You couldn’t tell the difference. And yet within that journey, you would’ve come across various climatic conditions.
Gemma: Anthony says it was the same when he compared an office tower in Lagos and one in Birmingham in the UK.
Anthony: You couldn’t say these two animals, where would they nest? And you would ask, why do they look almost the same? And you know exactly that one of them is out of place. And it makes it even worse when as a copy of that international style, everybody inside that building is dressed in black – in a formal, again what is considered the international corporate style.
Here we are in the UK, I’m struggling wearing even a white shirt sitting next to a window. Imagine somebody in some office in Lagos, having a suit on top of this with a tie, and lots of that type sat in several tables. So you’re literally ramping up the cooling load even by behaviour – and, by the way, that culture was also a copied culture.
Gemma: Anthony has a name for this kind of architecture: duplitecture. He says its roots lie in the legacy of colonialism.
Anthony: Unfortunately, with the interruption of those societies through colonialism between the 18th century and a hundred years later when there was independence in 1960, you might argue that a hundred years of organic development was lost.
Dan: It’s interesting to think about the places I’ve visited around the world where, now that I think about it, absolutely, so many of these skylines are really similar – it’s kind of sad, right? I would’ve loved to see places built organically with their own local culture and heritage infused within the architecture because when you go see another giant apartment block, it looks the same as every other one I’ve ever seen. So it’s an excellent point.
Gemma: Yeah. And it does really just show this ideological and cultural power that former colonial countries have, and their architects have had on building styles around the world. And this idea that local methods just weren’t modern enough, and so kind of got thrown out.
Dan: “Modern” is an interesting word to use there, because I imagine modern has to do with design, sure, but also materials, right? Like I’m thinking glass and concrete and steel and stuff.
Gemma: Yes, you’re right. It’s concrete. Concrete is a really big part of this story.
Vyta Pivo: According to some statistics, concrete is the second-most consumed material on Earth after water.
Gemma: This is Vyta Pivo. She’s a post-doctoral scholar and assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan in the US. Her research focuses on the social and political history of concrete, and how it became such a ubiquitous building material around the world.
Vyta: It took a long time for us to get there. And it wasn’t just that it became this material. There’s parties that were interested in making the material the most consumed material on earth.
Gemma: Vyta used to think very differently about concrete than she does today.
Vyta: I grew up in Lithuania so I was surrounded by concrete. But it had a very different kind of context – it was this medium of modernity, it was the future, it was the Soviet kind of utopia. Everyone wanted to live in a concrete tower because it meant you had proper facilities and kitchens and bathrooms and trash shoots. And it was a modern kind of living condition. Living in a concrete building meant living in the future.
And then when I moved to the United States as a teenager, I realised that concrete here has a very different kind of connotation, and it’s really more connected to urbanity, poverty, crime. And so I realised that there was this one material but it has these very different cultural meanings and contexts. And that made me think that actually there’s multiple histories and multiple stories to tell.
Gemma: For thousands of years, civilisations around the world have used different recipes to make concrete. But rapid social and economic changes in the early 20th century, particularly in the US, led to the production of concrete on an unprecedented scale.
Vyta: In the US context, a huge influx of immigrants came to the US at the turn of the 20th century to participate in the construction of different factories and different industries. The popularisation of cars and the construction of roads and highways. I’m thinking also about the population growth and the need for housing, military infrastructure, in the first half of the 20th century, and then this kind of concern for hygiene and health – that was an entry point for the construction of concrete hospitals and medical facilities.
Throughout all of these efforts to modernise different industries and different types of people, concrete was tested and then tested again. And all of this effort was supported by the federal government to make sure that we come up with the kind of strongest, safest recipe.
Gemma: Vyta told me that concrete’s popularity grew out of this government support, alongside a broader cultural acceptance of the need to start building things that were permanent, that would last. And as the industry grew, it gained political clout and started lobbying for the material to be used more and more. This kind of pressure is actually still going on today.
Vyta: So in the US context, there are these professional trade organisations that push for expanding applications of concrete. Their argument is that concrete is permanent. Concrete lasts a much longer time. It’s resistant to these different environmental conditions and to fire, and buildings of a particular size and scale – they must be built of concrete. And so any resistance to that idea gets a lot of attack from the industry; it’s infringing on their territory. A state might say buildings that are three storeys or lower can be built of wood, and so that is the law. But the concrete industry is always eager to push it down as much as possible.
Gemma: As the US concrete industry grew in the mid-20th century, it began to have global ambitions. But the Americans found they weren’t alone. One moment that you’ve talked about is this kind of post-second world war era in the cold war where both the US and the Soviet Union gave countries who they were allied with concrete. Can you tell us a bit more about what happened there and why that was happening?
Vyta: During the cold war, the United States and the Soviet Union were competing for who could spread their version of concrete. And that meant both the actual material but also the technologies for its manufacture, techniques for constructing housing and other types of infrastructure. So both of these countries were sending literal cement plants.
Gemma: That’s because cement is a key ingredient in concrete. By itself, cement isn’t actually very strong and it’s prone to cracking, but when it’s mixed together with sand and rock, it acts as a powerful binder creating an extremely strong rock-like material: concrete.
Now, the two cold war powers, weren’t just sending cement plants …
Vyta: … But also experts to instruct local people how to do this – blueprints and architects for how to actually build particular types of concrete housing. They were called concrete gifts. And it was a competition both to discover who had actually mastered concrete, and who was better at gathering the materials, gathering the people, gathering the energy to make concrete.
Gemma: Vyta told me this has significantly shaped how concrete is viewed and valued today.
Vyta: So I talk about the “concrete gift economy” as a way to influence global politics, but also as a way to spread their own unique ideas about modernity. Basically concrete became a measure for industrialisation and which country was ahead of the other. And in many ways, we continue to measure our own country’s national product and health based on the construction market.
Gemma: As a result of what Vyta calls the “concrete gift economy”, in many parts of the world building with concrete has gradually undermined traditional techniques and materials.
Vyta: So in my own work I think about Vietnam, which was a kind of benefactor of the concrete exchange because the US collaborated with the private industry to build concrete infrastructure and establish a modernised cement industry in Vietnam. During the war, Americans portrayed themselves as kind of teachers. So they were global experts that disseminated knowledge. But by accepting this knowledge and this kind of concrete gift, the local country then agreed to participate in the maintenance of those technologies. So then the US would come and maintain the cement plants with their own technology.
So basically the idea was that the US created a market they could continue drawing from while disseminating their own tools of manufacture. So the US was not making cement, but it was providing the technologies for other countries to make that material. And now Vietnam is a top-five cement manufacturer in the world – it’s a major commodity for them. So they developed a kind of dependency on concrete.
Gemma: You know Dan, this really struck home to me because I’ve been to Hanoi in the north of Vietnam. And I have this vivid memory of standing on this concrete plaza that you have to wait on when you go and visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. You’re standing and it’s boiling hot. Scorching. And then you go into this really cold mausoleum, and everyone kind of dawdles because they want to make the most of the air conditioning – and then they have to go back outside again into this burning concrete landscape and ah, it was horrible.
Dan: I have to imagine a concrete plaza is a pretty miserable place to be in the heat of the day. But with all this talk of concrete, Gemma, I just can’t not think about the fact that concrete production is a super CO2-intensive process.
Gemma: It is. And Dan, do you know exactly what percentage of global CO2 emissions come from concrete?
Dan: Uh, 2%?
Gemma: You’re quite a way off. It’s actually 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
Dan: 8%? That’s shockingly huge!
Gemma: I know, 8% is a lot. I think a lot of people think aviation is one of the biggest contributors to global CO2 emissions, but that’s only 2.8%. So concrete is a real culprit here. And it’s not gonna get any better because the industry is continuing to grow. The problem is that despite concrete’s huge carbon footprint, construction industries around the world have become just so reliant on the stuff that it’s hard to do away with it.
Vyta: Part of the challenge, I think, is that the cement industry very aggressively pushed that material. They wanted to invent different kinds of products and different things that could be built of concrete. And so it became a very well studied, researched and tested material. So that’s why a lot of governments support concrete, because we just know so much about it. It’s not so much that it’s actually a better material, because in many cases it’s not really appropriate for particular climates. It’s not really the best or the cheapest; it’s just that we know so much about it that it makes sense to design zoning codes and legal infrastructures to use that material.
There is real economic incentive in terms of the companies shipping their material and producing and selling it to build newer, bigger, larger structures. So in terms of the politics and the economics of concrete, it’s a losing battle.
Dan: OK, so we’ve heard a lot about how concrete became this go-to dominant building material around the world and is, of course, a giant CO2 emitter. But anytime I’ve been in a concrete building, they always feel really hot. So I’m trying to understand why that might be, Gemma, because when you’re talking about a building that you want for a cool environment, you want it to be insulated. Is concrete particularly bad at this kind of thing?
Gemma: It really is. There are actually two main reasons for this that I’ve been learning about. First, it absorbs a lot of heat that hits its surface. And second (although it depends on the exact recipe you use and the conditions the building is exposed to), most concrete actually allows heat to transfer from its surface across to the other side.
Dan: And I’m thinking the same thing about glass too. All these modern buildings are made of glass, and glass is literally what you use to build a greenhouse.
Gemma: Exactly. Remember Anthony Obguokiri, who we were hearing from earlier? He was telling me about these office buildings that all look the same, they’re made from cement and glass. And because of that, they’re all really reliant on air conditioners or what he calls chillers.
Anthony: In Lagos with above 60% glazing, when you step outside you see where the chillers are. What the chillers are essentially doing is that you have a greenhouse with trapped heat inside, and it’s trying to combat that high cooling load. You have that cooling load transferred to the AC units and they’re pushing it back into the streets. So when you go to the back of AC systems, it’s really warm.
Gemma: So if you walk past these buildings, you’re going to get a huge blast of heat?
Anthony: If you are close enough to the AC units. When I was doing my PhD, I went to Lagos and I went to a few commercial buildings on the marina. And as you are walking past each of them towards where the AC units are, you can actually see the heat that is being comparted. This is made worse by the hard landscape. It’s almost like: “let’s all push all our heat out to the streets which then comes back as a higher cooling load for everyone”.
Gemma: Urban planners call these phenomena urban heat islands. That’s when urban environments retain and emit excessive heat, just like that plaza in Hanoi I mentioned earlier. Now there’s a bunch of factors that go into creating these heat islands – concrete is one of them, and so are air conditioners. A high density of urban development without any vegetation exacerbates the problem too.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember Anthony told us about the building practices that were lost as a result of colonialism in countries like Nigeria? But if you travel across the country, now you can still find some examples of buildings designed using those traditional methods. And they’re well suited to the varying local climates.
Anthony: If you move from what is called the south, were you have the real tropical mangrove area, towards the inner Savannah belt … if you look at the traditional architectures of these layers, you do actually see a difference.
Gemma: Here people build thatch houses with walls made out of adobe, a type of building material made out of earth, that’s one of the oldest in the world.
Anthony: You see the high, large overhanging roofs that are so prominent, and they even try to cut in verandas in the traditional style. Then as you move further up north through the savannas, you see the roofs becoming smaller and the walls becoming more prominent. And as you hit the north that is a little bit arid, as arid as it gets in northern Nigeria, suddenly the roof has completely disappeared.
Gemma: Instead the houses have thick walls to insulate the insides from the arid heat.
Anthony: Now they didn’t go to schools of architecture to learn that, they figured it out over hundreds of years of evolution.
Gemma: Anthony says you can see echoes of the architecture in the plants of the region, too. Something called biomimicry – when humans mimic what’s going on elsewhere in nature.
Anthony: When you look at, for example, the mushroom plants that you will find, or cocoyam, a lot of them want to have broad leaves both for photosynthesis purposes, for struggling for light, and also for removing excess water, evapo-transpiration, through their stomata. You see that their structures reflect their location.
If you compare a plant in the south of Nigeria, or near Lagos in the southwest, and went to the north and looked at the kind of plants you see there, you see the difference. The animals figured that out too. And then people, of course, through the vernacular styles also align their practice with the flora and the fauna.
Gemma: Biomimicry or biomimetic design is one way to make sure the inside of a building stays cool by simply keeping the heat out in the first place. But if the hot air is already inside, how do you go about cooling it down without the use of air conditioning or, in fact, any electric energy at all? Across north Africa and the Middle East, people who have actually been doing this through the way they designed their buildings for thousands of years.
What is the temperature outside there today?
Susan Abed Hassan: It’s 47.
Gemma: And inside?
Susan: Inside, between 30 and 35.
Gemma: This is Susan Abed Hassan. She’s a professor in architectural engineering at Al-Nahrain university in Baghdad, Iraq.
Susan specialises in environmental engineering – specifically, how to adapt buildings to hot climates like Iraq’s. And the reason it’s more than ten degrees colder inside Susan’s home than it is outside is because she designed it herself using what’s called passive design.
Susan: In passive housing design or passive building design, we try to minimise as much as possible the energy consumption from electricity or another type of energy.
Gemma: This means designing buildings so they stay cool without the use of air conditioners or electric fans.
Susan: Now I feel the problem, I live in this climate. It’s always been a high temperature in Baghdad. But now the number of days with high temperatures is more than before. Usually we have a month with really high temperatures, but now we have 60 to 90 days with very hot temperatures. This is a serious problem because we are not able to go out during the day.
Gemma: Susan says that extreme heat is also leading to more frequent power cuts. This means that even households that are lucky enough to have air conditioners are often unable to use them.
Susan: Now I’m talking to you with no electricity in my home. The electricity is cut off.
Gemma: Susan says that insulating building materials can offer ways to help cool down buildings without using any energy at all.
Susan: If we minimise energy consumption in buildings, we will reduce pollution in the air. We will reduce the increase in temperature. The insulation of walls and roofs is very important, it can reduce energy consumption by about 40%. This is a large number.
Gemma: Another way to keep buildings cool is through clever design using natural ventilation. And that’s where something called a windcatcher comes in.
Susan: We need to support it: buy a windcatcher!
Gemma: Windcatchers, or badgir as they’re referred to in Iraq, are traditional architectural vents. They cool buildings by creating a natural flow of air inside, by making use of the prevailing wind outside.
Susan: If you build it in the right way, in the right direction, you can get airflow through these spaces. I use it in my house. I have two windcatchers.
Gemma: Susan has a two-storey house and her windcatchers poke out of the top of it by about a metre, like a chimney.
Susan: I put it in a northwest direction, this is the wind direction in Baghdad.
Gemma: Inside the house, the rooms have small windows in them that open into the windcatchers’ vents.
Susan: I can have air through this opening, and I can get a flue in my house with natural ventilation.
Gemma: So if you’re sitting in your house, sometimes you can feel the breeze from the windcatcher?
Susan: Yes of course. You can feel it easily. Only open the windows that are on these windcatchers. I have rooms that have two windcatchers, and you have a very clear flow of air in these rooms. I can speak to you now in a moderate climate without feeling hot, very hot. If there is an increase in temperature, the windcatcher is very important and it can be modified according to the climate, according to the city.
Gemma: In Iraq, for example, Susan told me that the airflow is actually fairly low, but a well-positioned windcatcher can still make even a slight breeze work to cool down the inside of a building. Sometimes this relies on what’s called the stack effect. Hot air is less dense than cold air and so if a room is particularly hot, when that hot air enters the internal windows of the wind catcher, it tends to travel upwards and escape out of the opening at the top.
Susan’s research is looking at how to improve the design of traditional windcatchers and make them even more efficient. One potential solution she’s looking at is to channel the wind over cool materials like soil underground, or even water to make the breeze a few degrees cooler.
Susan: In my work with other researchers, we try to use the earth’s cooling design. In summer, that earth is still cool until September, so if we dig down into it, we can use it to cool water in pipes and then use this water to cool down the spaces with the windcatcher.
Dan: So Gemma, does this windcatcher idea work on bigger buildings, or is it really only suited for smaller spaces?
Gemma: Well, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work in bigger buildings. Actually Susan has been researching how to make them smaller and how to retrofit existing residential blocks or even schools with windcatchers.
Dan: I love that idea. Instead of having dry and crinkly, cold air-conditioning air coming out of the air ducts, you just get natural air flown in from outside. But what about even bigger buildings? Like a skyscraper, or something like that, would windcatchers work there?
Gemma: I don’t really know actually, Dan, that’s a good question. But there are other passive cooling techniques that could be used on big buildings. Actually, Anthony Obguokiri was telling me about a really big shopping centre in Harare that was designed with a particularly ingenious technique in mind …
You’ve pointed to this really great example in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. A shopping and office complex called the Eastgate Centre, which has been inspired by a termite mound. Can you describe that to us and tell us what it’s doing right, basically?
Anthony: OK, in Zimbabwe they might actually have quite a range of temperatures – sometimes really warm days and really cold nights. So you’re looking for a building that can manage to achieve a temperature that is fairly balanced and consistent regardless of what happens outside. The team that did that project were really very smart. They looking at termites, because termites need to maintain a temperature that is somewhere in a range of maybe two to three degrees.
Gemma: Researchers involved in the building of the Eastgate Centre in the mid-1990s believed that termites maintained a stable temperature inside each mound by connecting its physical structure to the soil underneath. They thought this allowed for colder air to flow upwards, essentially harnessing the earth’s cool properties.
Anthony: When you dig down into the earth, within three, four, five metres you have a constant temperature, essentially. So they’ve created a mound that connects substructural levels and superstructural levels, and created openings that help them to move temperatures and maintain temperatures within the range they want. Basically, if air gets very warm, it will rise and escape.
Gemma: So that’s the model upon which the Eastgate Centre was designed.
Anthony: Colder air is drawn in through the lower parts of the building and then gets drawn up through a vent system, a shaft area, so the warm air then gets expelled from the higher height. They try to accelerate the movement of the air by design. And they created valves of different sizes which work as a team – opening and closing different valves at different times of the day, at different levels, in order to achieve the temperature they want. It took quite a lot of work already in terms of how they harness that concept.
Gemma: Since the Eastgate Centre was built, newer research has actually changed our understanding of how termites cool down their mounds. It’s actually more like they act as a kind of lung using the air outside. But the building still achieves what it intended to; it’s cooler inside than it is outside.
Anthony says it’s likely to be some time before more architects start making more use of traditional knowledge, materials and technologies.
Anthony: There’s a lot of investment required to allow space and opportunity for that to be developed. Unfortunately, when it comes to commercial buildings, it’s a longer journey for people to see the impacts – sometimes because it is not the people developing the building who actually use it straightaway.
Gemma: Anthony still laments the way traditional forms of architecture were replaced. Take, for example, mud architecture. He thinks a different future could have been possible.
Anthony: So imagine mud architecture: if you have a dream, and think if mud architecture was not interrupted and was allowed to evolve naturally and develop at its own pace, where would it be today if not for that interruption?
Dan: So as the world keeps getting hotter, it’s cool to hear about these other ways that people can passively, more efficiently, more sustainably stay cool and adapt to the hotter summers and days and nights and everything coming down the line.
Gemma: Yeah, totally. And as I’ve been talking to the researchers we’ve been hearing from in this episode, I couldn’t help thinking about how sad it was that all this knowledge about how to keep buildings cool has often been dismissed by western architecture. But it’s given me hope that people are trying to rehabilitate some of these technologies, so we can try and use them for really hot places. And hopefully more and more architects will be thinking about these kind of things in the future.
That’s it for this week. We’ve got a few people to thank for this episode. First of all, our colleague Adejuwon Soyinka, who worked with Anthony Ogbuokiri on a piece back in 2020 that inspired this story. Also, thanks to our colleague Dale Berning Sawa for her input. And to Vanderly M John, a scholar who we also spoke to for this episode. Thanks too to our global executive editor, Stephen Khan, to Alice Mason for our social media, and to Dan Eboka for help with our transcripts. And finally to Graham Griffith for all his help over the past few months.
If you like what we do, please support the podcast and The Conversation more generally – just go to donate.theconversation.com.
Gemma: This episode of The Conversation Weekly was produced by Mend Mariwany and sound was designed by Eloise Stevens. Our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. I’m Gemma Ware, the executive producer of the show.
Dan: And I’m Dan Merino. Thank you so much for listening.
Anthony Ogbuokiri and Susan Abed Hassan do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Vyta Pivo has received funding from the Michigan Society of Fellows, Andrew Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, National Academies of Sciences, National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.