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The Pioneers

The Pioneers is a brand new series that tells the stories of people improving the planet. You’ll hear how Rolex supports these innovators with whom they share a passion for safeguarding the earth for future generations. Gain precious insight into the fresh thinking that is disrupting received wisdom for the better; and learn how fearless action continues to be the crucial driver of change.

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Latest episode

Olivier Nsengimana:

Rwandan veterinarian Olivier Nsengimana tells us about his mission to save the endangered grey-crowned crane, an elegant bird that represents wealth and prosperity but has been poached for people to keep as a pet.

Latest episodes

EpisodeDateDescriptionDownloadPlay
1625 Sep 2020
19 min

Olivier Nsengimana: 

Rwandan veterinarian Olivier Nsengimana tells us about his mission to save the endangered grey-crowned crane, an elegant bird that represents wealth and prosperity but has been poached for people to keep as a pet.

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1511 Sep 2020
20 min

Brad Norman: 

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, recognisable by its celestial markings. Australian scientist Brad Norman has been tracking this elusive and endangered creature by using technology designed to study stars, as well as images collected through ecotourism. Norman is based in Perth, where he runs his company Ecocean.

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144 Sep 2020
19 min

Bruktawit Tigabu: 

Former teacher Bruktawit Tigabu is teaching children in Ethiopia about hygiene through a hit TV show she created, ‘Tsehai Loves Learning’. It features a six-year-old giraffe who has become a beloved character watched by millions across Africa.

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1313 Mar 2020
19 min

Francesco Sauro: 

We speak to speleologist Francesco Sauro about the physical and psychological demands of cave exploration. He tells us what it's like to be the first person to set foot in a cave and how being a subterranean expert has enabled him to work with astronauts.

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125 Mar 2020
20 min

Mark Kendall: 

We meet rocket scientist-turned-immunology expert Mark Kendall to find out about his Nanopatch, which could revolutionise vaccinations and eradicate some diseases.

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1121 Feb 2020
30 min

Andrew McGonigle: 

We speak to volcanologist Andrew McGonigle about the technology he’s developed to get inside volcanoes, where he finds his inspiration and how volcanology can take you to space.

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1018 Feb 2020
22 min

Sara Saeed Khurram: 

Andrew Mueller speaks to Sara Saeed Khurram, founder of Sehat Kahani, about the “doctor brides” phenomenon and what she is doing to get female doctors in Pakistan practising while also making healthcare accessible.

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97 Feb 2020
27 min

Andrew Bastawrous: 

We meet eye surgeon and founder of Peek Vision, Andrew Bastawrous who is a leading force in making eye healthcare available for everyone.

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820 Dec 2019
30 min

Emma Camp: 

We meet marine biologist Emma Camp as she sets off in search of resilient corals that could save some of the world’s reefs.

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713 Dec 2019

Joseph Cook: 

Robert Bound meets glaciologist Joseph Cook to find out what life is like on an ice sheet and how he’s using AI to map these vast, icy landscapes as they disappear.

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66 Dec 2019
20 min

João Campos Silva: 

The Brazilian ecologist tells us about how his plans to save the arapaima – the giant endangered Amazonian fish – is not just about preserving a species but also about helping indigenous communities to survive.

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529 Nov 2019
29 min

Brian Gitta: 

We meet a Ugandan IT specialist who has found a way to diagnose malaria quickly, without drawing blood. He tells Andrew Mueller about his research and how he hopes to convince those affected to embrace new technology.

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422 Nov 2019

Krithi Karanth: 

In rural India, relationships between humans and large mammals are increasingly fractured. Dr Krithi Karanth tells us how she intervenes by helping farmers get compensated for damaged land and by teaching children that the animals aren’t all bad.

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315 Nov 2019
25 min

Grégoire Courtine: 

We meet the French doctor making major advances in the treatment of paraplegic patients. He tells Andrew Mueller how he used his background in maths and physics to devise a spinal bridge that’s helping people to get moving.

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28 Nov 2019
29 min

Miranda Wang: 

Our new series begins with Californian molecular biologist Miranda Wang, who’s been thinking about the plastic crisis since high school. Now in her mid-twenties, she tells Andrew Mueller about her company BioCellection, which could turn a third of the world's plastic waste into wealth.

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