Important, Not Important

Important, Not Important

www.importantnotimportant.com
Join us as we bend the motherf’ing arc of the universe towards a radically more livable planet for you, me, and everybody else. Our Webby-nominated, weekly conversational podcast dives into a question affecting everyone on the planet right now: climate change, clean energy, space, artificial intelligence, cancer, and medicine. Our guests are diverse (78% not white guys!) and qualified as hell: scientists, doctors, politicians — even a reverend. We work towards action steps our listeners can take with their voice, their vote, and their dollar. Hosted by Quinn Emmett & Brian Colbert Kennedy


Fun Talk: Brian as a Lounge Singer in the 40s
Dec 19, 2019 • 38 min
We’re back after a short break (and before another break (blame Brian)) for a Holiday Fun Talk! Quinn & Brian chat about Brian’s sweet Canva skills, how bad Quinn’s ensemble looked when he wasn’t wearing his usual uniform, endeavoring to look adult-ish…
Fun Talk: It Is The Epitome of Laziness & I Am Here For It
Nov 29, 2019 • 46 min
Fun Talk is back, back again. Just a nice chat, with two friends. Fun Talk’s back, Fun Talk’s bac— That’s probably enough of that. But we’re just getting started! Because it’s been far too long since we’ve done one of these in person and we’re excited.…
#83: Knock Knock. Who’s There? Climate Change. Climate Change Who? Climate Change Pooped On Your Head. (A Conversation About Mangroves)
Nov 5, 2019 • 95 min
In Episode 83, Quinn & Brian discuss: Blue carbon, the patriarchy, and how one of those two things has ruined the other (we’ll give you three guesses). Our guests are Dr. Sarah Myhre and Priya Shukla. Dr. Myhre is a leading voice in the fields of climate…
BONUS: Help Dr. Ghazala Hashmi Flip Virginia
Oct 29, 2019 • 49 min
We’re interrupting your normally scheduled programming with a Special Election Report! So, today, Quinn & Brian ask: Will You Help Us Flip Virginia? Our guest is Dr. Ghazala Hashmi, an immigrant, educator, and mother who is running in the general election…
#82: Sustainable Trees + Death Metal = Climate Progress
Oct 22, 2019 • 64 min
In Episode 82, Quinn & Brian discuss: How to fix our somewhat pressing land reconfiguration issues — from 30,000 feet down to the soil under your feet. Our guest is Dr. Iara Lacher, a land use ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.…
#81: Legalizing the Other Weed
Oct 8, 2019 • 77 min
In Episode 81, Quinn & Brian discuss: Legalizing the weed of the sea. Our guests are Bren Smith and Tom Ford, two fine, clean-living gentleman who are out on the water, every day, trying to change the way that we eat and use the ocean to our benefit —…
#80: Mosquitoes. The Serial Killers of Nature. Should We Make Them Go Away?
Oct 1, 2019 • 67 min
In Episode 80, Quinn & Brian discuss Quinn’s wife’s least favorite thing: Mosquitoes! Our guest is Dr. Natalie Kofler, a trained scientist and the founding director of Editing Nature at Yale University, a global initiative to steer responsible development…
#79: Air Pollution: The Low Hanging Fruit of Our Hellish Future
Sep 24, 2019 • 73 min
In Episode 79, Quinn & Brian are back to discuss: Optimism in the air (wait… that doesn’t sound like us). Our guest is Beth Gardiner, an environmental journalist and the author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution. We talk about why Beth…
#78: How to Be A Better Ancestor
Aug 27, 2019 • 70 min
In Episode 78, Quinn & Brian discuss: Planning for chaos. Our guest is Bina Venkataraman, author of the upcoming book The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age and a teacher in the program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Fair…
BEST OF THE BEST: Where Does Ebola Go From Here?
Aug 20, 2019 • 73 min
In Episode 62, Quinn & Brian asked: Where does Ebola go from here? Our guest is Karin Huster, a Field Coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, where she is currently bouncing between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. She spent a decade in…
#77: Please, Please, Please Do A Good Job, Colorado
Aug 13, 2019 • 60 min
In Episode 77, Quinn & Brian discuss: How Colorado can fix this wholllllle thing with one little election. Our guest is Mike Johnston, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Colorado and the first in our series of conversations about the 2020…
#76: Save the Corals, Save the World
Aug 6, 2019 • 68 min
In Episode 76, Quinn & Brian discuss: What you don’t see (any more) when you snorkel. Our guest is Dr. Kim Cobb, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology who specializes in climate change,…
BEST OF THE BEST: It’s Getting Hot in Here, and America’s Poor Are Dying Faster Than Everyone Else
Jul 30, 2019 • 60 min
In Episode 50, Quinn & Brian discussed: How D.C. and LA are dealing with urban heat issues. Our guests are Yesim Sayin Taylor and Molly Peterson. Yesim is the founding Executive Director of the D.C. Policy Center and Molly is a renowned reporter focusing…
#75: Can Zebrafish Beat Childhood Cancer?
Jul 23, 2019 • 67 min
In Episode 75, Quinn & Brian discuss: Beating the crap out of childhood cancer with science and… zebrafish? We’re getting really nerdy about beating childhood cancer with Dr. Jaclyn Taroni and Dr. Genevieve Kendall. Dr. Kendall is a Postdoctoral scholar…
#74: Incentivizing Those Dirty Capitalists to Solve Climate Change for Us
Jul 16, 2019 • 72 min
In Episode 74, Quinn & Brian discuss: Making carbon capture suck more (but this time, with carrots). Our guest is Henry Elkus, the frustratingly young and impossibly optimistic founder of Helena, an organization that assembles “some of the world’s most…
BEST OF THE BEST: What’s it Feel Like To Be Asked To Save the World?
Jul 9, 2019 • 88 min
Today’s episode is a rerun of Episode 56, where Quinn & Brian asked: What’s it feel like to be asked to save the world? Our guest is Rhiana Gunn-Wright, who is writing policy and leading the Green New Deal project at New Consensus, which is one of the…
#73: Did A.I. Just Make My Life’s Work Obsolete?
Jul 2, 2019 • 67 min
In Episode 73, Quinn & Brian ask: Hold On A Minute — Did A.I. Just Take Our Jobs? Of course, we aren’t talking about our jobs. If A.I. took our jobs, the show would have won that Webby. We’re talking about really, really important jobs – like curing…
#72: The Monsoon Is 11 Days Late
Jun 25, 2019 • 70 min
In Episode 72, Quinn & Brian discuss: Monsoons, food, and people. Our guest is Dr. Deepti Singh, an Assistant Professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University - Vancouver who is motivated by the potential for climate studies to…
#71: Why Raising the Status of Girls Can Change Everything
Jun 18, 2019 • 87 min
In Episode 71, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why raising the status of girls can help change everything. Our guest is Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, a Vice President at Drawdown, an author, a public speaker, and an expert in just about everything. She’s made a very…
#70: Who’s Fixing the People Fixing Our Planet?
Jun 11, 2019 • 88 min
In Episode 70, Quinn & Brian discuss: When things are broken, when the people who are working on those things are also broken, and why we need to help them. Our guest is Nikki Silvestri, the founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, a project development firm…
#69: Rebuilding Los Angeles & L.A.’s Green New Deal
Jun 4, 2019 • 70 min
In Episode 69, Quinn & Brian discuss: Rebuilding Los Angeles and L.A.’s Green New Deal. Our guest is Jeanalee Obergfell, who works just down the street from Important, Not Important HQ as a City Planning Associate for Los Angeles. When it comes to making…
#68: Let’s Send Our Homework into Space
May 28, 2019 • 73 min
In Episode 68, Quinn & Brian discuss: Sending our homework to space. Our guest is Michelle Lucas, an actual rocket scientist and the founder of Higher Orbits. Michelle spent 10 years at NASA, where part of her role involved teaching astronauts how to… you…
#67: Is Climate Change “Flippable”?
May 21, 2019 • 76 min
In Episode 67, Quinn & Brian ask: Is Climate Change “Flippable”?. Our guest is Catherine Vaughan, CEO and Co-Founder of Flippable, an organization dedicated to flipping state governments from red to blue. You may not be surprised that Catherine is,…
#66: So We Can’t Just Blow Up Asteroids, Then?
May 14, 2019 • 64 min
In Episode 66, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why, apparently, we can’t — and further — shouldn’t just blow up asteroids. Our guest is Professor K.T. Ramesh, who is a professor of mechanical engineering at John Hopkins, founding director of the Hopkins Extreme…
#65: Chernobyl: A Preventable and Rare Accident from the Past or a Vivid Picture of Our Hellish Nuclear Future?
May 6, 2019 • 84 min
In Episode 65, Quinn asks: Is Chernobyl a preventable and rare accident from the past or a vivid picture of our hellish nuclear future? Our guest is Craig Mazin, a screenwriter, podcaster, and the creator of a new HBO mini-series called Chernobyl – which…
#64: Sunrise Movement Tour - Live (ish) in LA!
Apr 30, 2019 • 18 min
In a very special Episode 64, Quinn & Brian discuss (live! Kind of): everything that’s good at the Sunrise Movement Tour (and everything that’s not-so-good in the local communities)! Our guests are politician and native Hawaiian Kaniela Ing, environmental…
#63: Green Acres: Farming for Millennials and Other People Who Like Food
Apr 23, 2019 • 53 min
In Episode 63, Quinn & Brian discuss: Building a new pipeline of sustainable food growers. Our guest is Dena Leibman, the Executive Director of the Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (or Future Harvest for short), a non-profit…
#62: Where Does Ebola Go From Here?
Apr 16, 2019 • 74 min
In Episode 62, Quinn & Brian ask: Where does Ebola go from here? Our guest is Karin Huster, a Field Coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, where she is currently bouncing between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. She spent a decade in the…
#61: How Do We Atone for Poisoning Generations of American Minorities?
Apr 9, 2019 • 76 min
In Episode 61, Quinn & Brian ask: How do we atone for poisoning generations of American minorities? Our guest is Dr. Michael Dorsey, a recognized expert on global energy, finance and sustainability matters. Dr. Dorsey holds Rotary International’s highest…
#60: Why You Should Run For Something in 2020
Apr 2, 2019 • 62 min
In Episode 60, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why YOU should run for something in 2020! Our guest is Amanda Litman, the co-founder and Executive Director of Run For Something, a PAC that helps recruit and support young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot…
#59: Is Florida the Harbinger of Doom? (Probably)
Mar 26, 2019 • 75 min
In Episode 59, Quinn & Brian ask: Is Florida the harbinger of doom? (Probably) Our guest is Dr. Salvador Almagro-Moreno, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida. His lab, The…
#58: Is Faith Sustainable?
Mar 19, 2019 • 77 min
In Episode 58, Quinn & Brian ask: Is faith sustainable? Our guest is Dekila Chungyalpa, a trained scientist and Buddhist operating at the intersection of science, faith, and the environment. She is the director of The Loka Initiative, a new and innovative…
BONUS REPLAY: Is Food Waste the Stupidest Thing We Do (& How Do We Cut it in Half)?
Mar 12, 2019 • 60 min
We’re digging into our vault and playing a hit this week because there’s big news for former guest Dr. James Rogers and his company Apeel Sciences: Fast Company named Apeel the 7th most innovative company on their list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative…
#57: Make Food Great (Nutritious) Again
Mar 5, 2019 • 79 min
In Episode 57, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why more food ≠ more nutrition. Our excellent guests are Professors Kristie Ebi and Irakli Loladze. Dr. Ebi is the Rohm & Haas Endowed Professorship in Public Health Sciences at the University of Washington, where she…
#56: What’s It Feel Like To Be Asked To Save the World?
Feb 26, 2019 • 85 min
In Episode 56, Quinn & Brian ask: What’s it feel like to be asked to save the world? Our guest is Rhiana Gunn-Wright, who is writing policy and leading the Green New Deal project at New Consensus, which is one of the main think tanks working on the Green…
#55: What are the Energy Requirements of Well-being?
Feb 19, 2019 • 62 min
In Episode 55, Quinn & Brian ask: What are the energy requirements of well-being? Our guest is Julia Steinberger, a Professor of Social Ecology & Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment. Her research examines the…
#54: The State That’s Not a State is a Hell of a Lot Greener Than Your State
Feb 12, 2019 • 53 min
In Episode 54, Quinn & Brian discuss: why the state that’s not a state is a hell of a lot greener than your state. Our guest is Jamie DeMarco, a State-Level Carbon Pricing Coordinator with our friends the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (who are working to save…
#53: How the Hell Do We Pull Clean Drinking Water Out of Thin Air?
Feb 5, 2019 • 55 min
In Episode 53, Quinn & Brian ask: How the hell do we pull clean drinking water out of thin air? Our guest is Dr. Shing-Chung “Josh” Wong, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Akron In addition to pursuing bio-inspired materials…
#52: What’s the Deal With the Green New Deal?
Jan 29, 2019 • 53 min
In Episode 52, Quinn & Brian ask (using their best Seinfeld impression): What’s the deal with the Green New Deal? Our guest is Varshini Prakash, a founder of the Sunrise Movement, a veritable army of young folks fighting to stop climate change and create…
#51: Are We Thinking About CRISPR All Wrong (& What the Hell is CRISPR)?
Jan 22, 2019 • 71 min
In Episode 51, Quinn & Brian ask: Are we thinking about CRISPR all wrong (and what the hell is CRISPR)? Our guest is C. Brandon Ogbunu, an evolutionary systems biologist working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary…
BEST OF 2018: New Antibiotics in a Post-Antibiotic Era
Jan 15, 2019 • 67 min
Back in Episode 19, Quinn & Brian asked: What’s the future of antibiotics? To find out, we sat down with bowtie enthusiast and professor of pathology and immunology and biomedical engineering Dr. Gautam Dantas. Dr. Dantas leads the Dantas Lab at the…
BEST OF 2018: He’s Given 200+ Climate Speeches to Congress. What’s Next?
Jan 8, 2019 • 54 min
Back in Episode 26, Quinn & Brian asked: what drives a man to give 200 climate speeches to Congress? Our guest was Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the junior senator from Rhode Island and all-around stellar human. He’s been a member of Congress since 2007 and…
BEST OF 2018: Is It Harder to Build Clean Power Plants or Play in a Reputable Cover Band?
Jan 4, 2019 • 44 min
Back in Episode 38, Quinn & Brian asked: Is it harder to build clean power plants or play in a reputable cover band? Our guest Sean Casten then went on to win the election for congressman of Brian’s home district, Illinois’ 6th! There’s a little more hope…
BEST OF 2018: Congress Got a Female Air Force Officer / Engineer / Chemistry Teacher / Mom
Jan 3, 2019 • 50 min
Back in Episode 37, Quinn & Brian asked: Why does Congress need a female Air Force Officer / Engineer / Chemistry Teacher / Mom among its ranks? We found out – and now our guest Chrissy Houlahan is the new congresswoman from Pennsylvania District 6! So…
#50: It’s Getting Hot in Here & America’s Poor are (Not Surprisingly) Dying Fastest
Jan 1, 2019 • 62 min
In Episode 50, Quinn & Brian discuss: How D.C. and LA are dealing with urban heat issues. Our guests are Yesim Sayin Taylor and Molly Peterson. Yesim is the founding Executive Director of the D.C. Policy Center and Molly is a renowned reporter focusing on…
#49: How Can HUGE Food & Beverage Companies Contribute to a More Sustainable Future?
Dec 25, 2018 • 60 min
In Episode 49, Quinn & Brian ask: What can the HUGE food and beverage companies do, right now, to improve U.S. food systems and drive trends towards a more sustainable future? It’s a big and complicated question, but our guest Jennifer Mleczko is going to…
#48: Why Does Childhood Cancer Exist & What Can We Do to Make It Go Away Forever?
Dec 18, 2018 • 70 min
In Episode 48, Quinn & Brian ask: Why the hell does childhood cancer exist, isn’t the world effed up enough as it is, and what can we do to make it go away forever? Our guest is one of our favorite humans, Jay Scott, Co-Executive Director of the Alex’s…
#47: The Future of Digital Health, Part 2: America’s Data
Dec 11, 2018 • 61 min
In Episode 47, Quinn goes solo for a minute to discuss: America’s data and the future of digital health. Quinn sits down for a one-on-one chat with Dave Gershgorn, the lead artificial intelligence reporter at Quartz (AKA qz.com), to figure out why our…
#46: Is There Nuclear Waste in the Ocean (& Can We Become Super Heroes if There Is)?
Dec 4, 2018 • 65 min
Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson is an Associate Dean and Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Carolina, and today she schools us on radioactivity in the ocean. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or…
#45: Poop Vs. Cancer
Nov 27, 2018 • 49 min
Our guest is Dr. Diwakar Davar, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a a medical oncologist/hematologist. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message:…
#44: Is Food Waste the Stupidest Thing We Do (& How Do We Cut it in Half)?
Nov 20, 2018 • 60 min
Our guest is Dr. James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences and one of our most mind-blowing guests yet. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message:…
#43: The Future of Digital Health, Part 1
Nov 13, 2018 • 54 min
Our guests are Dr. Indra Joshi & Maxine Mackintosh, the co-founders of One HealthTech. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/important-not-important/message
#42: What Happens When You’re Almost an Astronaut… And What Comes Next?
Nov 6, 2018 • 68 min
Dr. Sian Proctor tells us how we can all help get more women and more people of color into space, one way or another. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message:…
Trailer — Important, Not Important
Oct 30, 2018 • 2 min
“The Conversations Most Vital to Our Survival As a Species”. Quinn Emmett & Brian Colbert Kennedy, publishers of the popular “Important, Not Important” weekly newsletter and otherwise regular, progressive, terrified folks like you, host weekly-ish…
#41: Outsmarting Cholera
Oct 30, 2018 • 62 min
Our guest is Dr. Minmin Yen, the CEO and co-founder of medical startup PhagePro, where she and her team are developing viruses specifically designed to kill bacteria and prevent bacterial infections. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave…
Bonus: The #1 thing you can do to fight climate change
Oct 26, 2018 • 63 min
Hi. So you read the IPCC climate change report. Not great, Bob. We get it. Now you want to do something about it. We get that, too. So here’s a re-run of one of our favorite episodes, “What’s the #1 Thing You Can Do To Affect Climate Change?” Enjoy. — On…
#40: What Takes a Young Woman from Art School to NASA… & Why Might That Change Everything Forever, for Everyone?
Oct 23, 2018 • 77 min
Our guest is Ariel Waldman, the author of What’s It Like in Space? Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There, the founder of Spacehack.org, the global director of Science Hack Day, and a member of the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts. Want to…
#39: Is The Ocean Running Out of Oxygen? Is That Bad?
Oct 16, 2018 • 72 min
Our guest is Dawn “Deepsea Dawn” Wright, Ph.D., the Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (AKA Esri) and a Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave…
#38: Is It Harder to Build Clean Power Plants or Play in a Reputable Cover Band?
Oct 9, 2018 • 47 min
Our guest is Sean Casten, a scientist, clean energy entrepreneur, and cover band member who is running for Congress in Illinois’ 6th district. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message:…
#37: Why Does Congress Need a Female Air Force Officer / Engineer / Chemistry Teacher / Mom?
Oct 2, 2018 • 53 min
Our guest is Chrissy Houlahan, a candidate for Pennsylvania District 6 on Nov. 6th. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/important-not-important/message
#36: Can Latinos Save the Planet?
Sep 25, 2018 • 77 min
Our guest is Mark Magana, the Founding President & CEO of GreenLatinos, a national coalition of Latino environmental, natural resources, and conservation advocates. Want to send us feedback? Tweet us, email us, or leave us a voice message! —- Send in a…
#35: Can These Scientists Really Save Congress?
Sep 18, 2018 • 70 min
Our guest is Shaughnessy Naughton. She is the President & Founder of 314 Action, an organization founded by members of the STEM community; grassroots supporters and political activists who believe in the power of SCIENCE! Want to send us feedback? Tweet…
#34: Electrocuting the S#!t Out of Cancer.
Sep 11, 2018 • 76 min
In Episode 34, Quinn & Brian discuss: Electrocuting the S#!t Out of Cancer. Our guest is Theo Roth, an MB/PhD student candidate at UCSF who spends his days running experiments in the Marson Lab, and contributing to kick-ass research like the development…
#33: This is Zero Hour… So What The Hell Are You Doing?
Sep 4, 2018 • 77 min
Our guests are Elsa Mengistu and Emelly Villa, two of the young people behind Zero Hour, a movement that is bringing the voices of diverse youth into the conversation on climate and environmental justice. They’re doing incredible things to make this the…
#32: Are You Ready for Some Radical Environmental Justice?
Aug 28, 2018 • 73 min
Our guest is Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, whose mission is to “educate, equip, and mobilize Christian communities and individuals to protect, restore, and rightly share God’s Creation,” focusing on providing…
#31: Can Texas Go (Clean Energy) Independent?
Aug 21, 2018 • 68 min
In Episode 31, Quinn & Brian ask: Can Texas Go (Clean Energy) Independent? Joining us this week is candidate for Texas district 21, Joseph Kopser. He’s a military vet and clean energy entrepreneur on the hunt for enemy of science Lamar Hunt’s seat. This…
#30: What’s the Business Incentive for Climate/Clean Energy Action?
Aug 14, 2018 • 75 min
In Episode 30, Quinn & Brian ask: what’s the business incentive for climate/clean energy action? In light of the Paris Agreement and all the bullshit that’s gone down since, we drafted Will Hackman to be our guest and explain it all. Will’s been a…
#29: The Pope Has Decided to Defeat Climate Change with His Own Bare Hands.
Aug 7, 2018 • 74 min
In Episode 29, Quinn & Brian ponder the fact that the Pope Has Decided to Defeat Climate Change With His Own Bare Hands. Our guest — Jose Aguto. Jose is the Associate Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, where he works to lead Catholicism into…
#28: Why the Hell is Space Exploration Important When the Planet is Literally on Fire?
Jul 31, 2018 • 70 min
In Episode 28, Quinn & Brian ask: why the hell is space exploration important when the planet is literally on fire? To answer that, they’ve brought on The Space Gal, Emily Calandrelli. And boy does she set the record straight. Emily is an MIT-engineer…
#27: What Happens When the Atlantic Ocean Invades the Arctic Ocean?
Jul 24, 2018 • 53 min
In Episode 27, Quinn & Brian ask: what happens when the Atlantic Ocean invades the Arctic Ocean? Our guest: Julia Roberson, vice president of relations for the Ocean Conservancy in Washington D.C. Julia takes complex issues, like one ocean invading…
#26: He’s Given 200 Climate Speeches to Congress. What’s Next?
Jul 17, 2018 • 60 min
In Episode 26, Quinn & Brian ask: what drives a man to give 200 climate speeches to Congress? That’s once a week since 2007. Our guest today: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the junior senator from Rhode Island. We discuss his speeches, his future carbon…
#25: Middle School Physics: Lame, or the First Step to Being an Superhero?
Jul 10, 2018 • 78 min
In Episode 25, Quinn & Brian ask: “Middle school physics: Lame, or the first step to being a SUPERHERO?” Our guest today is “The Physics Girl”, Dianna Cowern. She’s hunted for dark matter with MIT and Harvard, worked at GE, and is now one of the world’s…
#24: When Will San Francisco Be Underwater?
Jul 3, 2018 • 67 min
In Episode 24, Quinn & Brian ask: when will San Francisco be underwater? On the mic today is the ever-intrepid Molly Peterson, a renowned reporter focusing on the environment and climate change. Molly’s worked at Southern California Public Radio,…
#23: Can We Predict the Next Big Earthquake?
Jun 26, 2018 • 75 min
In Episode 23, Quinn & Brian ask: can we predict the next big earthquake? Pretty please? Joining us is Josh Bashioum, founder of Early Warning Labs, an earthquake early warning technology developer, whose mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs…
#22: How Does Your Phone Call Become Law?
Jun 19, 2018 • 73 min
In Episode 22, Quinn & Brian ask: how does your phone call become law? To help answer that question, they’ve got Andres Jimenez on the line. Andres is the Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Citizens Climate Lobby, working with both the House…
#21: The #1 thing you can do to fight climate change
Jun 12, 2018 • 69 min
In Episode 21, Quinn & Brian finally get to the heart of it: What’s the #1 thing YOU can do to affect climate change? On the mic and down the street, Peter Kalmus, an atmospheric scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Peter…
#20: How the hell are we gonna feed 10 billion people?
Jun 5, 2018 • 74 min
In Episode 20, Quinn and Brian wonder: How the hell are we gonna feed 10 billion people? Enter Fred Iutzi of the Land Institute, where they’re focused on the incredibly modest goal of working to displace the predominant industrial, disruptive system of…
#19: What’s the future of antibiotics?
May 29, 2018 • 70 min
In Episode 19, Quinn & Brian asks: What’s the future of antibiotics? To answer: the irrepressible Dr. Gautam Dantas, the professor of pathology and immunology and biomedical engineering at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. He leads…
#18: A new science foundation in America
May 22, 2018 • 85 min
In Episode 18, Quinn & Brian try to build a more flexible, approachable, and fun new science foundation in America. But they don’t know where to start. Enter the legendary Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer”. He’s an astronomer (obviously), author, and…
#17: What’s the future of emergency medical systems in the age of climate change?
May 15, 2018 • 78 min
In Episode 17, Quinn & Brian ask: What’s the future of emergency medical systems in the age of climate change? Joining us: Jason Friesen, the founder and executive director of Trek Medics, a 501 c3 registered NGO dedicated to creating or improving…
#16: Clouds ruin EVERYTHING
May 8, 2018 • 69 min
In Episode 16, Quinn & Brian ask: what’s the future of climate modeling? Also, what’s a climate model? Enter Dr. Kate Marvel. She’s a climate scientist and a writer. A theoretical physicist by training, she is now an associate research scientist at NASA’s…
#15: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action, Part II?
May 1, 2018 • 69 min
In Episode 15, Quinn and Brian dig deeper and ask: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action, part II? On the mic: Akshat Rathi, a reporter for Quartz in London. He wrote a series last year called The Race to Zero Emissions about carbon…
#14: How do we improve America’s agriculture system?
Apr 24, 2018 • 69 min
In Episode 14, Quinn (Brian abandoned him) asks himself: How do we improve America’s agriculture system? On the mic, Emily Cassidy, the Sustainability Science Manager at the illustrious and beautiful California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and a…
#13: A blueprint for suing the pants off fossil fuel companies
Apr 17, 2018 • 70 min
In Episode 13, Quinn and Brian plot a blueprint for suing the pants off fossil fuel companies. Of course we don’t know where to start, so we asked for help. Meet the mastermind: Mayor Serge Dedina of tiny Imperial Beach, California, one of the first…
#12: Can algorithms predict the next major pandemic?
Apr 10, 2018 • 81 min
In Episode 12, Quinn and Brian ask: Can algorithms predict the next major pandemic? Pretty please? Joining us: Dr. Sam Scarpino, Assistant Professor of Marine & Environmental Sciences and Physics and a core faculty member in the Network Science Institute…
#11: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action?
Apr 3, 2018 • 74 min
In Episode 11, Quinn & Brian ask with fingers crossed: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action? On the mic: David Hawkins, director of the climate program at the National Resources Defense Council, and the man basically responsible for…
#10: The Tantrum That Saved The World
Mar 27, 2018 • 73 min
In Episode 10 (we made it!), Quinn & Brian read a picture book. And a damn good one. Introducing The Tantrum That Saved The World. On the mic: Megan Herbert, Aussie co-author and illustrator of the popular new children’s book about climate change…
#9: How do we stay safe from infectious disease (zombies)?
Mar 20, 2018 • 84 min
In Episode 9, Quinn and Brian cower under the desk and ask: How do we stay safe from infectious disease (zombies)? Please meet Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious diseases physician, Assistant Professor at Boston University, and the Director of Infection…
#8: How do we safeguard science in American schools?
Mar 13, 2018 • 79 min
In Episode 8, Quinn and Brian ask: How do we safeguard science in American schools? Here to answer: Don Duggan-Haas, a lifetime advocate for science education standards (he literally wrote the textbook, and yes, this is the correct use of “literally”), as…
#7: How can we use the ocean without using it up?
Mar 6, 2018 • 89 min
In Episode 7, Brian and Quinn ask: How can we use the ocean without using it up? Meet Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist extraordinaire. And like a hundred other things, because her hobbies include…
#6: The queer female volcanologist who wants to change Congress
Feb 27, 2018 • 82 min
In Episode 6, Quinn and Brian meet the queer female volcanologist who wants to change Congress Today’s guest is the one and only Jess Phoenix, volcanologist, geologist, and Congressional candidate for CA-25. We discuss her experience in the field, her…
#5: Is climate action worth getting kicked out of Congress?
Feb 20, 2018 • 68 min
In Episode 5, Quinn and Brian conclude (for now!) their conversations with conservative climate activists, asking: Is climate action worth getting kicked out of Congress? Uniquely qualified to answer is former Congressperson Bob Inglis of South Carolina.…
#4: What does the bible say about climate change?
Feb 13, 2018 • 72 min
In Episode 4, Quinn and Brian continue with the second in their “trilogy” of conversations with conservative climate activists, and ask: What does the bible say about climate change? Here to answer: Reverend Mitch Hescox of the Environmental Evangelical…
#3: A professional climate denier changes his mind
Feb 9, 2018 • 66 min
In Episode 3, Quinn and Brian host the first of three conversations with conservative climate activists. In the first, a professional climate denier changes his mind. Meet Jerry Taylor, former professional climate denier turned good guy. Like Darth Vader,…
#2: Can this boat full of women save the world?
Feb 6, 2018 • 71 min
In Episode #2, Quinn introduces his co-host, Brian Colbert Kennedy, the mad genius (ugh) behind IMNIM’s infographic game. Together, they ask the question: Can this boat full of women save the world? Join Quinn and Brian as they have a conversation with…
#1: Sixteen Minutes to Live
Jan 17, 2018 • 35 min
In this impromptu first episode of the Important, Not Important podcast, host Quinn Emmett is joined by childhood friend David Schmidt for a conversation about the longest thirty-eight minutes of David’s life — what he said, did, and feared the morning…