The Cosmic Savannah - Episode 52: Head Space
    Dan

    Welcome to The Cosmic Savannah with Dr. Daniel Cunnama

    Jacinta

    and Dr. Jacinta Delhaize. Each episode, we'll be giving you a behind-the-scenes look at world-class astronomy and astrophysics happening under African skies.

    Dan

    Let us introduce you to the people involved, the technology we use, the exciting work we do, and the fascinating discoveries we make.

    Jacinta

    Sit back and relax as we take you on a safari through the skies.

    Dan

    Welcome to episode 52. And this week, we are joined by Dr. Jack Radcliffe from the University of Pretoria. And we will be giving you a behind-the-behind-the-scenes look at world-class astronomy. And we'll be discussing mental health.

    Jacinta

    Yeah. So Jack is going to tell us a bit about his work that he does with VLBI, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, a bit about his PhD, his work with the SKA preparations, and also about DARA, the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy, that he works with to teach students about radio astronomy.

    But mostly we're going to do quite a deep dive into our personal stories - the three of us - about mental health, and mental health in astronomy, and in academia in particular. It's a particularly important topic to talk about for everybody because our minds are our greatest tool. And in academia specifically, we kind of paid to think, essentially. And so you can't do that unless your mind is well. And so it's definitely important to make absolutely sure that your mind is in the best condition that it can be, just as it's important to make sure that your body is in the best condition it can be.

    So this episode is going to be talking a lot about mental health. So we'd just like to give a trigger warning about some of the topics involved and we will be sharing our own experiences. And there will be a brief mention of self-harm.

    Dan

    Yeah, thank you. And, you know, as you said, it's an incredibly important thing, not just in academia, for everyone to take care of themselves or their own mental health. And we'll talk a little bit more about it with Jack, but both myself and you have had our mental health challenges and, you know, it's very important that we are able to speak about it and share that. And hopefully in doing so, we can make it a little bit easier for others to seek help and to feel a little bit more comfortable with some of the challenges they're facing.

    Jacinta

    Absolutely. And we're both quite passionate about that now, but this is actually the first time that we've spoken about these things publicly, which is not a problem, but we just aren't quite super eloquent at it yet. So bear with us as we kind of try and explain our stories and also just to stress that we are not experts on mental health. So please do take the advice of mental health experts and your doctors and specialists, when it comes to issues like these. So I think without further ado, let's hear from Jack.

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