NEW PODCAST LIVE NOW Covid Vaccines and Religious Groups

Reflecting on recent science news stories and current events, authoritative thinkers unpack the implications for society. Naked Reflections is chaired by Ed Kessler, Founder President of the Woolf Institute.

You can subscribe to the Naked Reflections podcast series at and through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Android subscription platforms.

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What is Naked Reflections?

In this 15-minute clip, we combine material from three of our episodes to give you a glimpse into our fascinating series.

Covid Vaccines and Religious Groups

Why were COVID infection rates so high in some Muslim and Jewish communities?

Reflecting on the Good Friday Agreement

The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland is under pressure. What does the future hold?

Building a sustainable future

How we can build more sustainably and improve the urban environment we've inherited.

Does interfaith work?

Is interfaith just slappy, clappy sarees, samosas and steel bands, or a serious engagement with difference?

Talk the Talk

Marking 100 editions of Naked Reflections, Rowan Williams and Chris Smith discuss the merits and dangers of eloquence

Reflecting on Paganism

There's more to paganism than someone who takes their clothes off and dances round a stone circle.

How to Disagree Amicably

We seem to be drowning in a rising tide of anger and rancour. How can we disagree better?


There’s a disturbing amount of antisemitic material on social media, and hate postings in general are rife.

Reflecting on Terrorism

Neither the Torah nor the Quran are short of violent calls to arms. So is this where terrorism comes from?

Wet Markets and Lab Leaks

The theory that the COVID epidemic escaped from a lab in Wuhan is gaining traction

Reflecting on Big Pharma

“Big Pharma” is sometimes painted as a greedy villain, protecting its patents at any cost. But is this fair?

Confused by Cryptocurrency?

Paypal handles it, and Bitcoin is now legal currency in El Salvador. So what’s next for the crypto currency revolution?

Get Rich Quick!

The gap between rich and poor is getting ever wider. Or is it?

Reflecting on Decadence

There’s more to decadence than eating too much chocolate cake. It can be an artistic movement with serious intent for times of uncertainty.

Summer Break: Childhood, and the blame game

Exploring the concept of childhood through literature, psychology, religion and education and how we play the blame game.

Summer Break: Nudges and Manuscripts

From encouraging positive action around pensions to restoring old masters and manuscripts too fragile to touch.

Lost in Translation

It's crucial to science, diplomacy, theology and literary culture, but it's not always easy to get a translation right

Space Oddity

Could space be where the next arms race plays out?

Black and British

Black Britons 70 years after Windrush


Does justice have to be served to bring about reconciliation? Or does the memory of some harms just fade away with time?

Reflecting on Multiculturalism

What is it, and do we accept it?

Reflecting on Policing

A Metropolitan Police commissioner and a criminology PhD student discuss policing...

Diversity in Sport

​Beyond the glory and the drama of football, what is the impact of increasing cultural, ethnic and religious diversity in the sporting arena?

Troubled Minds

What’s the best way to deal with everyday difficulties or trauma when they occur?

Group Think

What makes for good collaborative thinking?

Religious Relics

If we believe something is sacred, does it make it so?

What makes a good leader?

Does leading on the sports field differ from leading a political party?

Mysteries of Quantum Mechanics

Quantum theory has practical applications in everyday life but remains an enigma for most of us...

Reflecting on Voting

'Do elections still belong to the people?'

Is Failure an Option?

And does failure get any easier...

Reflecting on Islamophobia

Islamophobia can take many forms. But why does it happen?

Reflecting on Antisemitism

Antisemitism is a deep rooted problem with a long history...

Working in Harmony

April is Autism Awareness Month, a global event to improve the understanding of this condition...

Hope Springs Eternal

A sense of hope seems to be essential to human wellbeing, but could it be delusional?

Reflecting on Communication

When communication goes wrong, bad things happen...

Reflecting on Corruption

Are we as honest as we would like to think?

Diabesity and COVID-19

Are we in danger of putting all our eggs into the COVID basket and ignoring the dangers of worldwide obesity?

Bionic Soldiers: Playing God?

Are robot wars a real possibility?

Restoring Old Masterpieces

How do you deal with a manuscript that’s so fragile you can’t touch it, or an old canvas that needs touching up?

Reflecting on War Crimes and Justice

Two distinguished peace makers discuss war crimes, conflict and justice...

Reflecting on Addiction

Addiction can take many forms and it’s worth remembering that none of us are immune to its temptations...

Movement of People

The movement of peoples seems to be as old as the hills they move across. We take the long view...

Biology's Holy Grail

Claims for a game-changing A.I. breakthrough in biological science were made recently by Google. True or hype?

Who gets the blame?

Where does blame end and responsibility begin? Why do we find it so difficult to take responsibility for our mistakes?

What does science make of creation?

How the accounts of creation in scripture compare with the latest biological research...

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first?

How are we prioritising whom to immunise against Covid-19 first? And is that the right way?

Magic Thinking

Some Christmas magic, but not as we know it...

America's Choice of President

Reflecting on the contested aftermath of the American Presidential election and Trump's legacy

Good Grief

Immortality is a fantasy so we better get real about death and dying...

Resolving Conflict

What does it take to make an effective peacemaker?

Living Together

How good are we, in Britain, at living together?

Conflicts over minerals

Is the way we mine the minerals for electric car batteries and mobile phones fair or responsible?

Reflecting on Natural Disasters

Insights into acts of God, and how to prepare for them...

Covid-19: saving lives vs saving the economy?

The tough moral and ethical choices facing us as we struggle to deal with second wave of the COVID pandemic...

Documenting the history of writing

A look at the long history of writing, from tablets to tablets...

Zoonosis: how new diseases appear

When a pathogen jumps from an animal to a human, bad things can happen...

Nudging you to act...

Is nudge theory a euphemism for psychological manipulation?

How humble are great scientists and artists?

Should we reconcile our drive and ambition with a need for humility?

Nationalism versus Patriotism

Should nationalism play any part in spurring scientific endeavour?

Reflecting on Censorship

Censorship seems to be as old as society itself. But why do we do it?

The Basis of Prejudice

Discrimination seems to be engrained in human nature. We explore the consequences and remedies...

The Changing Face of Human Conflict

Is war a natural part of human society?


What makes our genetic ancestry so compelling?

Covid-19: Thinking Positively

How can real change be brought about?


A home is something everyone deserves...


What does it mean to be free?

Neighbours and neighbourhoods

Do we really know our neighbours better now?

Einstein: Archetypal Genius

What makes Einstein's legacy so fascinating?

Reacting to Rubbish

Rubbish is a big problem. What about our nuclear waste? What’s to be done?

Memories of Dementia

Where do we find meaning when we're deprived of memories?

Religion and Artificial Intelligence

How might the development of AI affect religious belief or practice?

What Makes Music?

Why are we so drawn to music?


Are we reaching a tipping point in our attitudes towards racial inequality?


What is it that makes us feel lonely?

The History and Future of the City

What can we learn from holy and heavenly cities?

Organ Donation: Giving for Living

Compassion in action?

Memories Lost and Found

Can memory be used as a weapon?

High Anxiety

How can we tell the difference between stress and anxiety?


Have you been betrayed before?

Alpha Females

Are we doing enough to support female leaders?

Dialogue: The Moses Story

How do we manage difference?

Colours in our Minds

Can some of us hear and feel colours?

Changing Minds

Psychology, theology, literature...what do they tell us about depression and mental health?

In Sickness and In Health

What challenges does COVID-19 present to social, scientific and religious leadership?

Apocalypse Not Now

It's not the end of the world, right? What would the apocalypse even look like according to scientists, theologians and medical professionals?

Food Glorious Food

What so deeply connects us to food and how can our diets affect the planet? What do religious dietary requirements look like? Bon appétit!

Social media and the modern day Messiah

What would it take for you to believe the Messiah had arrived?

Sick Planet

How do we keep ourselves accountable when the planet is growing sicker in front of our eyes?

Booze and Religion

Bottoms up or bottles away? What does history and scripture say?

Gut Feeling

Should we really go with our guts?

Laughing Matters

What makes laughter so good for us?

Genetics and ethics: the Sanger controversy

Do we have ownership of our genetic data?


Can we really forgive and forget? What benefits are there to forgiving others?

Evolution: Past, Present and Future

What do debates about evolution look like when we have millions of years of evidence to contend with?

Whose genes are they anyway?

How far is too far when it comes to genetic modification?

Changing attitudes to childhood

What does childhood look like in literature, psychiatry, education and religion? Have our attitudes towards children changed?

What makes a good death?

Is there a good way to die? What does scripture, literature and medicine tell us?

Who believes experts anymore?

Do we care less about authority or do we need our leaders more than ever?
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