Jonny Berliner - science through song

Musical Abstracts


The Great Vape Debate

This catchy folksy sing-along was written with Cochrane reviewer Jamie Hartmann-Boyce of the tobacco addiction group  at Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Care in Oxford.

It is designed to communicate the most up to date research on vaping as a means to quit smoking. Whilst we cannot say anything about the long term effects of vaping (it has not been around long enough to research it), experts overwhelmingly agree that it is less harmful in the short and mid-term than smoking and may help many to quit.

Use the Digital

Use the digi.jpg

This bluegrass song was written with Mark Graham, a professor of internet geography at the Oxford  Internet Institute. 

Mark maps the internet and studies the very real consequences of the digital world on the real world. If we want the digital world to reflect the interests of the physical world in a truly representative and democratic way we must all contribute to it. If we don't, we will be under-represented and the interests of the internet giants will be prioritised over our own.

The Stomach is the Monarch

Stomach Monarch.jpg

This bluesy swing song was written with Emilie Taylor-Brown, a post-doctoral researcher into diseases of modern life, from Oxford University's faculty of English. 

Her research crosses the boundaries of biology and literature, looking at what can be learned about gut health by studying Victorian literature. By looking at medical texts, fiction, pamphlets and other sources, her work shows that the Victorians had a surprisingly modern and holistic approach to digestive diseases. They were keenly aware of the effects of diet on mood and linked digestive health to the bacteria in our guts.

Understanding Misunderstanding

Understanding misundersting.jpg

An 18th Century inspired grime tune written with Abigail Williams, a professor of 18th century English Literature at St Peter's College, Oxford.

Abigail's research looks at ways in which the misreading of text in the 18th century parallels many of the problems faced navigating new media in the digital age. Her research tells us that there is no need to worry. As people learned to handle new media in the 18th century, they learned to deliberately misread texts, leading to great satire. It is just a matter of time until we can do the same with digital information.



This fist-pumping hair-rock anthem was written with Neil Bowles, an associate professor of planetary sciences in Oxford University's department of physics.

Neil is involved with a project to send seismometers to Mars on a lander called InSight, in order to sense the planet's vibrations. By listening carefully to the planet quaking, he hopes to find answers to a whole heap of mysteries surrounding the formation and geology of Mars, shedding light on how planets were formed in the early solar system.