Science Vs

Science Vs
The show that pits facts against fads, hosted by Wendy Zukerman. New episodes coming in 2016, from Gimlet Media.
Introducing: Conviction
Feb 14 • 35 min
Hey Science Vs listeners! We’re back in mid-March but in the meantime, here’s Conviction - a new true crime show from Gimlet you can binge right now.
The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice
Dec 20, 2018 • 42 min
A dead body turns up with a stolen identity. This week, we tell the story of how a grandmother tracked down the truth — and helped create a whole new and controversial world of crime fighting. To tell this story, we talk to U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott, Dr.…
The Science Of Being Transgender
Dec 13, 2018 • 40 min
Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about transgender identity. That made us wonder… what makes us the gender that we are? And what should you do if your kid doesn’t fit the mold? To find out, we talked with endocrinologist Dr. Joshua Safer, psychologist…
The Wank Worm: How NASA Got Hacked
Dec 6, 2018 • 32 min
Before WikiLeaks, there was the Wank Worm. In this week’s episode, we tell you the story of how Australian hackers infiltrated NASA, just months after the country was hooked up to the internet in 1989. Joel Werner, host of Sum of All Parts, helps us tell…
Ancient Aliens: Who Really Built the Pyramids?
Nov 29, 2018 • 29 min
Is it possible that the pyramids were built with a helping hand… from aliens? If not, how on Earth did the Egyptians built them without modern technology? To get to the bottom of this, we speak to author Erich von Däniken, paleoanthropologist Dr. Shelby…
7 Minute Workout: Fit or Fad?
Nov 21, 2018 • 9 min
The 7 Minute Workout is all the rage, but can working out for just 7 minutes really do anything? To figure out whether this fitness trend is a load of crock, we speak to exercise scientist Prof. Jeff Coombes. Plus, Wendy gives it a go. Check out the…
CBD: Weed Wonder Drug?
Nov 15, 2018 • 35 min
CBD mania is in full swing and people are using it for just about anything, but what is this chemical in cannabis? In this week’s episode, we tell you unlikely origin story of CBD and if the science backs up the hype. We speak to Paige Figi,…
Election Special: Immigration
Nov 2, 2018 • 35 min
In the final installment of our election series, we tackle immigration: the #1 concern of Americans as they head to the polls.It’s been a huge focus for President Trump… and people say immigrants are stealing jobs and driving up the crime rate. But what…
Election Special: Climate Change
Nov 1, 2018 • 48 min
Recently we’ve been warned that climate change is scarier than ever — and that we are to blame. Yet surveys find around half of Americans don’t think climate change is caused by humans. So how does science know that? And how bad will climate change get?…
Election Special: Abortion
Oct 31, 2018 • 47 min
The battle over abortion is fast becoming one of the key issues of the midterm election. And in this battle you’ll hear many things about abortion: that it’s painful for the fetus, and that late-term abortions are a huge issue. But what does the science…
Election Special: Gun Violence
Oct 30, 2018 • 36 min
After 11 people were shot and killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend, mass shootings are back in the news. With the midterm elections happening next week, we’ve updated our episode on guns and are re-releasing it to give you the facts ahead of…
Meet Chompers: A Kids Toothbrushing Show
Oct 27, 2018 • 4 min
Is getting your kids to brush their teeth a daily struggle in your house? Gimlet has a podcast for that! Check out Chompers - available on Alexa, Amazon, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Online Dating: Can Science Find You Love?
Oct 26, 2018 • 37 min
Online dating can feel like drudgery… can science help you game the system? And do those matching algorithms actually work? To find out, we talked to psychologist Asst. Prof. Paul Eastwick, social psychologist Prof. Viren Swami, mathematician Asst. Prof.…
Murder Mystery: An 1850s Whodunnit
Oct 18, 2018 • 36 min
It’s 1849, and a gruesome murder has just happened at Harvard. As body parts turn up, the science of the day is put to the ultimate test… to find out: who did it? We speak to Prof. Paul Collins, who tells us how this morbid mystery unfolds. Check out the…
Gentrification: What’s Really Happening?
Oct 11, 2018 • 35 min
You’ve probably heard that gentrification changes neighborhoods for the worse: first come the hipsters and then the bankers. Soon, the neighborhood is overrun with dog spas and wine bars, and the original residents are nowhere in sight.But what does the…
Soy, Almond, Oat Milks: Are They Udder Bull?
Oct 4, 2018 • 10 min
Moooove over, dairy milk: the alternative milk craze is here. But are they more than just a frothy fad? To find out which is best for the planet, we speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore.Check out the transcript right here.Selected references:…
Vegans: Are They Right?
Sep 27, 2018 • 30 min
Do vegans have a right to be so smug? This week we find out whether it really is better for the environment, and our bodies, to go vegan. We speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore, historian Prof. Connie Hilliard, anthropologist Prof. Katharine…
Essential Oils: Science or Snake Oil?
Sep 20, 2018 • 29 min
Essential Oils - and their claims - are huge right now. But is it all hype, or is there something special about these little brown bottles? To get to the bottom of it, we dig through the studies and speak to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Rachel Herz and…
Plastics: The Final Straw?
Sep 13, 2018 • 32 min
We’re back! This week we tackle the War on Straws and how worried we should be about all the plastic filling our oceans. We speak to marine biologist Christine Figgener, environmental educator Carrie Roble, physiology Prof. John Weinstein, and ecology…
We Return… With A Twist.
Sep 6, 2018 • 2 min
Season Five of Science Vs will be in your ears next Thursday. This season we’re covering plastic straws, essential oils, veganism, ancient aliens and a lot of other topics that have got the internet hot and bothered.
Science Vs Presents: Sit or Squat?
Aug 30, 2018 • 12 min
The team at Every Little Thing answer our burning question: Are you wasting your time by hovering above public toilets? Should you just sit down?
Welcome, New Listeners!
Jul 17, 2018 • 2 min
We’ll be back in your ears with season 5 of Science Vs in the Fall… but in the meantime, new listeners, here’s some episode recommendations to get you started.
Serial Killers: Science of the Lambs
Jun 28, 2018 • 32 min
What makes a serial killer? What drives them to kill again and again? To find out the truth about this ghastly lot, we talked to forensic psychologist Prof. Eric Hickey, criminologist Ass. Prof. Wayne Petherick, and psychiatrist Prof. Gwen Adshead.Check…
UFOs: What the Government Covered Up
Jun 21, 2018 • 38 min
Could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? What really happened at Roswell? The truth… is right here. We talked to astronomers Dr. Jill Tarter, Dr. Seth Shostak, investigative journalist David Clarke, and physicist…
Lyme Disease: How Scary Is It?
Jun 14, 2018 • 36 min
This week, we’re entering the Lyme Wars. We’re asking: what is Lyme disease? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? And if you get infected, are you stuck with it forever? To find out we talk to neurologist Dr John Halperin, neuropsychology…
Circumcision: Why Are We Doing This?
May 31, 2018 • 34 min
This week, we’re entering the foreskin firestorm. We’re asking: what are the risks of circumcision? And are there any medical benefits? To find out we talk to pediatric urologist Andrew Freedman, HIV researcher Godfrey Kigozi, and sex researcher Caroline…
How Science Created Morons
May 25, 2018 • 36 min
This week, how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to the bottom of this disturbing…
Polar Bears: A Surprising Tail
May 17, 2018 • 32 min
We have this idea that polar bears are teetering on the brink of extinction. But the story isn’t that simple. To find out why, we talk to environmental lawyer Kassie Siegel, wildlife biologist Dr. Karyn Rode, and sea ice expert Dr. Ignatius Rigor. With a…
Scott Kelly: How A Year in Space Changes You
May 3, 2018 • 31 min
This week, something different. We speak to astronaut Scott Kelly, who went up to space a man and came back a Rhesus monkey. Just kidding, that didn’t happen at all. Listen to find out the real story. PLUS: We talk to Lynn Levy, star producer of the…
Ketogenic Diet… Is Fat Good For You?
Apr 26, 2018 • 32 min
People who love the ketogenic diet swear it boosts their brainpower, melts their fat, and makes them better athletes. Is it true? To find out, we go keto. And, we talk to some scientists: neuroscientist Dom D’Agostino, medical researcher Eric Verdin, and…
Nuclear War… Total Annihilation?
Apr 19, 2018 • 35 min
Nine countries, including North Korea, have nuclear weapons. What would happen if a nuclear bomb was dropped— say, in New York City? We talk to nuclear historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein, nuclear engineer Dr. Tetsuji Imanaka, and epidemiologist Dr. Eric…
Sex Addiction: Are They Faking It?
Apr 5, 2018 • 35 min
Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are said to have it. You probably have a friend who says they have it too. But is sex addiction the refuge of scoundrels? Or is it a real psychological problem? We speak to sex therapist Dr. David Ley, clinical…
Opioids: Kicking America’s Addiction
Mar 29, 2018 • 36 min
America’s got an opioid problem. So where do we go from here? What can actually help people struggling with opioid addiction? We speak to Dr. Anna Lembke, Dr. Marvin Seppala, and a patient we call Mischa.UPDATE 04/17: We’ve adjusted a couple of lines of…
Opioids: How America Got Hooked
Mar 22, 2018 • 43 min
More people in the U.S. died from opioids in 2016 than the peak year of the AIDS epidemic. So how did we get here? We speak to Prof. June Dahl, pain specialist Dr. David Tauben, and emergency physician Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone.If you or someone you love is…
Brand New Science Vs!
Mar 16, 2018 • 2 min
We’ll be in your ears with new episodes next week - Thursday March 22nd.
Obesity - Is It Your Fault?
Dec 14, 2017 • 36 min
We’ve always been told to get off the couch and stop eating junk food if you want to lose weight - but is the obesity epidemic that simple? (Spoiler alert: it’s not.) We speak to geneticist Dr Giles Yeo, exercise physiology researcher Dr Lara Dugas,…
Dec 7, 2017 • 33 min
Can they help with back pain or anything else? We talk to chiropractor Carl Cleveland III, physical therapist Anita Gross, neurophysiologist Dr. Marcello Costa…and Kaity Sawrey’s parents.Check out our full transcript here.By the way… Gimlet’s doing a…
Birth Control - The Biggest Myths
Nov 30, 2017 • 35 min
Everyone’s got a myth or two about birth control they want cleared up. Like… is ‘pulling out’ AKA withdrawal really such a bad idea? Does the pill change your brain? Are IUDs safe? And why isn’t there a pill for men, already?! We ask gynecologist Dr.…
Molly - Scary Drug or Promising Therapy?
Nov 16, 2017 • 38 min
Molly, Ecstasy, MDMA… whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same thing. This week, we’re turning up the bass and checking out what does it do to your brain. Is it bad for you? Could it be a potential medicine? To find out, we talk to public health…
Balding - What Actually Works?
Nov 9, 2017 • 36 min
So… you’re losing your hair. Is there anything that can be done about it? And are the treatments dangerous — for your or your penis? We talk to geneticist Prof. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach and dermatologists Dr. Wilma Bergfeld and Dr. Robert…
The Bee-pocalypse
Nov 2, 2017 • 34 min
What is killing the bees? And will we have enough food to eat if the bee-pocalypse becomes worse? We speak to Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology and Bumblebee ecologist at the University of Sussex, Judy Wu-Smart, Research Entomologist at the University of…
Vitamins & Supplements - Are They Worth It?
Oct 19, 2017 • 38 min
Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamins and supplements, but are they worth it? We look at the science behind some of the most popular supplements with nutritional epidemiologist Prof. Katherine Tucker, neuroscientist Dr. Simon Dyall, and medical…
Oct 12, 2017 • 35 min
All over the world people report sightings of big, hairy, human-like beasts, so could Bigfoot really be out there… somewhere? We ask Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Prof. Bryan Sykes, Prof. Todd Disotell, and the Round Rock, Texas, Department of Parks and Recreation.…
100% Renewable Energy - Can We Do It?
Oct 5, 2017 • 40 min
We need to ditch fossil fuels. Can America go 100% renewable by 2050? Does the technology already exist? We speak to Prof. Mark Delucchi, Prof. Christopher Clack, and Prof. David Connolly.UPDATE: Since this episode was published, Tesla have unveiled a…
Science Vs Presents: I Want That Purple Stuff
Sep 28, 2017 • 26 min
We’re on a break this week — we’re back in your ears next week with an episode on Renewable Energy. So we have a treat for you - The Nod (another show from Gimlet Media) did a great episode on the science of purple drink. We wanted to share it with you so…
The Rise of Anti-Vaxxers
Sep 21, 2017 • 37 min
Last week we explored the science behind vaccine safety. This week we try to understand where these fears came from, and why they persist. We speak to three historians: Prof. Nadja Durbach, Prof. Elena Conis, and Prof. Robert Johnston. And a concerned mom…
Vaccines - Are They Safe?
Sep 14, 2017 • 39 min
Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems. Could these really be side effects of vaccines? This week, we dive into the science to find out how safe vaccines really are. We also talk to public health researchers Prof. Dan Salmon and Prof. Amy…
Detoxing & Cleanses - Do They Work?
Sep 7, 2017 • 37 min
Juice cleanses, fancy foods, sweat, charcoal, and colonics— is there a scientifically proven way to ‘clean out’ your system? This week, we dig in deep to the science of detox and turn ourselves into guinea pigs for a juicing experiment. We talk to a…
New Season… Coming Soon!
Aug 31, 2017 • 2 min
Science Vs is back in your ears next week! This season we’re going to dissect the science behind detox diets, the safety of vaccines and whether America can run on 100% renewable energy. We also figure out whether vitamins and supplements are a waste of…
Introducing… The Pitch
Jul 26, 2017 • 25 min
Check out a new show from Gimlet Media called The Pitch! On it, real entrepreneurs pitch to real investors for real money. In this episode, a startup founder pitches his technology designed to reduce repeat head injuries in sports
Artificial Sweeteners - not so sweet?
Jun 8, 2017 • 53 min
Low calorie, no calorie and so sweet. Artificial sweeteners just seem too good to be true. Is there a catch? We dig into two big questions: Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer, and are they making us fat? We talk to Prof. John Glendinning, Prof. Susie…
Nuclear Power - what are the Risks?
Jun 1, 2017 • 42 min
Fukushima. Chernobyl. Three Mile Island. There’s been some big nuclear accidents over the past few decades, but how dangerous is nuclear power really? We take you inside the core of America’s biggest nuclear power plant and trace what went wrong at…
May 25, 2017 • 35 min
Silicon Valley CEOs, Tibetan monks, and crunchy hippies alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can it reduce stress, increase your attention, and improve mental health — or is all this focus on breathing…
True Love
May 11, 2017 • 47 min
What is love? With half of first time American marriages ending in divorce by the 20th anniversary, and infidelity being widespread, Science Vs asks: have we been lied to by our love songs?On today’s episode we explore: What happens to the brain when we…
May 4, 2017 • 37 min
Are chocolate, coffee and red wine actually good for us? Reading the news it seems that one day they are helping us live longer, and the next day they are giving us heart attacks. So what’s going on here? Host Wendy Zukerman and DJ/senior producer Kaitlyn…
Abortion: What You Need To Know
Apr 27, 2017 • 46 min
Abortion is so taboo. People don’t talk about abortions they’ve had. Doctors don’t talk about abortions they’ve given. But it’s happening a lot. Almost a million abortions happened in the US in 2014. So, what actually happens in an abortion, can the fetus…
Introducing… Every Little Thing
Apr 20, 2017 • 17 min
Every Little Thing is a new show from Gimlet Media… plus, a mea culpa on last week’s GMO episode.
Apr 17, 2017 • 47 min
Science Vs peels back the label on GM foods to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Both sides of the debate have written impassioned songs, but what does the science say? We talk to Prof. Fred Gould, Dr.…
Apr 6, 2017 • 34 min
Why do four out of five dentists recommend Colgate? How many Americans really approve of Trump? This special episode is a two-parter: First, we talk to Prof. Dan Levitin, author of ‘Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era’, about…
Mar 30, 2017 • 51 min
One third of Americans believe in ghosts, and one fifth have had a personal encounter. We go to a haunted house with some paranormal investigators and things get spooky. But, scientists aren’t scared - they have a range of explanations for why so many…
Climate Change… the Apocalypse?
Mar 16, 2017 • 47 min
Less than half of Americans think climate change is caused by humans, but scientists are sure about it. So, how do they know that humans are to blame? We also look into the climate change crystal ball to figure out are we doomed? Is the apocalypse nigh?…
Mar 9, 2017 • 49 min
Trying to get rid of acne can feel like a science experiment with your face — so we get to the bottom of what works and what doesn’t. We investigate the role of diet, stress and hygiene, and meet internet celebrity Dr Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper. We…
Mar 9, 2017 • 49 min
We head to a farm in Alabama to find out what happened after thousands of immigrants left the state. Did it create more jobs for Americans and what happened to the crime rate? We speak to economists Prof. Samuel Addy, Prof. Jennifer Hunt, and Prof. Brian…
New season… coming soon!
Feb 28, 2017 • 1 min
We’ve read the studies. We’ve spoken to the experts. And now it’s time for facts. There is no alternative. The new season of Science Vs will be out March 9th.
Introducing Undone
Nov 21, 2016 • 20 min
Today, we’re introducing you to a new Gimlet Media podcast about how big news stories that we thought were over were actually the beginning of something else. It’s called Undone. We spoke with the show’s host, Pat Walters, and give you a peek of their…
Oct 28, 2016 • 41 min
There’s an intriguing body of research that suggests the power of antidepressants doesn’t come from chemicals in the drugs, but from the power of placebo. Not everyone agrees, though. We speak to researchers and medical professionals on either side of the…
DNA and the Smell of Death
Oct 20, 2016 • 50 min
In these cases, emerging DNA evidence and the smell of death (yes, really) pushed the boundaries of what was technologically possible. But how reliable are they? To find out, we go to a body farm and talk to Assoc. Prof. Joan Bytheway, Asst. Prof. Sheree…
Forensic Science
Oct 7, 2016 • 40 min
There are a slew of scientific techniques that forensic experts use to solve crimes. But how reliable are they? We’re putting forensic evidence under the microscope. To help us crack the case, we talk to Assoc. Prof. Sibyl Bucheli, attorney Chris…
Sep 30, 2016 • 39 min
Since 2015 there have been Zika outbreaks reported in sixty countries. So, where did Zika come from? What happens when you get infected? How worried should you be?And why has Zika has become such a problem recently? To find out, we speak to Assoc. Prof.…
Sep 22, 2016 • 42 min
This week, we explore the science of hypnosis, and take Science Vs to the edge of consciousness. In the service of journalism, Wendy tries to get hypnotized at a comedy club and in a doctor’s office. We talk to comedian Jim Spinnato, Prof. Philip Muskin,…
The G-spot
Sep 1, 2016 • 41 min
Join us on a hunt for the elusive G-spot. Our guides: Prof. Beverly Whipple, who introduced America to the G-spot in the 1980s, and Prof. Helen O’Connell, a urologist and expert on female sexual anatomy. CreditsThis episode has been produced by Heather…
Organic Food
Aug 25, 2016 • 36 min
People are going bonkers for organic, but what are you really getting when you buy them? Better taste? Fewer toxic chemicals? A cleaner environment? Farmers Mark, Andy, and Brian Reeves, nutritional epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Bradbury, Ass. Prof. Cynthia…
Gun Control (Pt 2)
Aug 11, 2016 • 42 min
In last week’s episode, we learned that around 30,000 Americans die each year from guns. This week, we examine possible solutions. Do better background checks, buybacks, and gun registration lead to fewer shooting deaths? What happened in Australia after…
Aug 4, 2016 • 41 min
We find out how many times a year guns are used in self-defense, how many times they’re used to murder someone, and what impact guns have on the crime rate. In this episode we speak with Prof. David Hemenway, Prof. Helen Christensen, Prof. Gary Kleck and…
Attachment Parenting
Jul 27, 2016 • 39 min
Judy, a mother of two young kids, practices a demanding style of child-rearing. It’s called attachment parenting, and it says you should keep your baby close at all times, breastfeed on demand, share your bed, and avoid strollers. Like many attachment…
Jul 27, 2016 • 44 min
We often hear stories about fracking that go like this: a gas company comes to a small town, starts drilling wells, and then terrible things start to happen. People get sick. Water burns from taps. Earthquakes ruin houses. And the climate will soon be…
Sneak Peek
Jun 28, 2016 • 3 min
There are a lot of fads, a lot of strong opinions and a lot of blogs, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the new show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through…