Science for the People

Science for the People

www.scienceforthepeople.ca
Science in Context


#527 Honey I CRISPR’d the Kids
Jun 14 • 60 min
This week we’re coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born.…
#526 Let Me See You Sweat
Jun 7 • 60 min
Summer is coming, and summer means sweat. Why do we sweat so much, and how do we do it? We hear from Yana Kamberov about the evolutionary origins of our sweat glands, and why it’s one of the things that makes us mammals. Then we talk about why some (but…
#525 Chernobyl
May 31 • 60 min
This week we’re looking back at a man-made disaster that changed the world: the Chernobyl meltdown. We take a closer look at all the contributing factors that lead the No 4 reactor at Chernobyl to explode and how the Soviet Union’s political, scientific,…
#524 The Human Network
May 17 • 60 min
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with…
#523 Happy As A Clam (Garden)
May 10 • 60 min
This week we’re discussing clam gardens on the west coast of Canada and the US, and how indigenous people have been actively managing food resources in the area for thousands of years. Clam garden rock walls are thousands of years old, and people have…
#522 Home Alone?
May 3 • 60 min
Do you keep your house clean? Do you think that, maybe with the exception of the dog, you’re alone in your home? Well, we hate to tell you this, but you’re wrong. Your house is filled with microbes, fungi, bugs and much more. This week, we talk about the…
#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Apr 19 • 60 min
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet… but it turns out we don’t know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they’re surprisingly difficult to…
#520 A Closer Look at Objectivism
Apr 12 • 60 min
Update: the previous file had overlapping tracks during the second interview. This has now been fixed. This week we broach the topic of Objectivism. We’ll be speaking with Keith Lockitch, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, about the philosophy of…
#519 Animal Architects
Apr 5 • 60 min
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that humans are the only species that’s mastered architecture. There are bugs out in this world that form huge, self healing structures out of their own bodies. And there are other bugs that form fountains of thousands -…
#518 With Genetic Knowledge Comes the Need for Counselling
Mar 22 • 60 min
This week we delve into genetic testing - for yourself and your future children. We speak with Jane Tiller, lawyer and genetic counsellor, about genetic tests that are available to the public, and what to do with the results of these tests. And we talk…
#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
Mar 15 • 60 min
Our modern lives run on plastic. It’s in the computers and phones we use. It’s in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it’s devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the…
#516 The Keys to Skeletons Lost
Mar 7 • 60 min
Until we break a bone or two, we tend not to spend too much time thinking about our bones, where they come from, and how we know what we know about them. Well, today we’ve got a bone to pick with our own skeletons. We’ll talk with Brian Switek, author of…
#515 Humanimal
Feb 28 • 60 min
Are humans special? We feel special, like we’re somehow different from the rest of life on the planet. But are we really? This week, we spend the hour with Adam Rutherford, science broadcaster, writer, and author of the book “Humanimal: How Homo Sapiens…
#514 Arctic Energy (Rebroadcast)
Feb 21 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable…
#513 Dinosaur Tails
Feb 14 • 60 min
This week: dinosaurs! We’re discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book “Dinosaurs of…
#512 All Over The Map
Feb 7 • 60 min
Today we’re talking about maps: why we can spend hours pouring over them, the stories they tell, the information they visualize, and how they border between map and a work of art is a gloriously fuzzy one. We spend the hour with journalists Betsy Mason…
#511 Ok you worked out, now what?
Jan 31 • 60 min
Ok, you got out the door and did a workout. Excellent work! Now you’re sore. Rats. What do you do? Foam roll? Stretch? Stand butt naked in a tank pumping in liquid nitrogen? Put on specially branded pajamas? The recovery options are endless these days.…
#510 Gene Drives (Rebroadcast)
Jan 24 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People: who is driving this genetic bus? We’ll talk with Kevin Esvelt about gene drives, what they are, where they come from what they can be used for, and why the science on gene drives should be done as openly as possible.…
#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
Jan 17 • 60 min
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We’ll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain…
#508 Freedom’s Laboratory
Jan 10 • 60 min
This week we’re looking back at where some of our modern ideas about science being objective, independent, and apolitical come from. We journey back to the Cold War with historian and writer Audra Wolfe, talking about her newest book “Freedom’s…
#507 Poaching, and We Don’t Mean Eggs
Jan 3 • 60 min
We all know poaching elephants for their ivory and pangolins for their scales is wrong, right? Then why do people keep doing it? We speak with Rachel Nuwer, author of the book “Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking”, to find out, and…
#506 Everybody Poops (Rebroadcast)
Dec 27, 2018 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, everybody poops! And everybody pees. But we probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how that works. Well, put down your lunch and listen up. We’re talking with David Chu, a pediatric urological…
#505 Top Science Stories of 2018
Dec 20, 2018 • 60 min
We’re looking back over 2018 and calling out our favourite science news stories from this past year: the ones we think you should remember — or hear about for the first time if maybe you’ve been taking a break from the internet — and we’ve brought in a…
#504 The Art of Logic
Dec 13, 2018 • 60 min
How can mathematics help us have better arguments? This week we spend the hour with “The Art of Logic in an Illogical World” author, mathematician Eugenia Cheng, as she makes her case that the logic of mathematics can combine with emotional resonance to…
#503 Postpartum Blues (Rebroadcast)
Dec 6, 2018 • 60 min
When a woman gives birth, it seems like everyone wants to know how the baby is doing. What does it weigh? Is it breathing right? Did it cry? But it turns out that, in the United States, we’re not doing to great at asking how the mom, who just pushed…
#502 Nerd Gift Extravaganza
Nov 29, 2018 • 60 min
It’s that time of year when nerds who care about each other buy each other nerdy presents. And because we know it can be so difficult to find that “just right” gift for the geek in your life, we’re here to jump start the process with a boost of…
#501 Hidden Technology
Nov 22, 2018 • 60 min
This week we spend the hour with Kat Jungnickel to discuss her new book “Bikes & Bloomers: Victorian women inventors and their extraordinary cycle wear”. New technology can change social expectations and sometimes requires other new inventions so everyone…
#500 500th Episode
Nov 15, 2018 • 60 min
This week we turn 500! To celebrate, we’re taking the opportunity to go off format, talk about the journey through 500 episodes, and answer questions from our lovely listeners. Join hosts Bethany Brookshire and Rachelle Saunders as we talk through the…
#499 Technology, Work and The Future (Rebroadcast)
Nov 8, 2018 • 60 min
This week, we’re thinking about how rapidly advancing technology will change our future, our work, and our well-being. We speak to Richard and Daniel Susskind about their book “The Future of Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human…
#498 The Poison Squad
Nov 2, 2018 • 60 min
This week, let’s go back in time. Back to the 1900s, when life was pure and clean, and your milk was preserved with formaldehyde, your meat with Borax and your canned peas with copper. On second thought, that trip back in time doesn’t sound so great. This…
#497 Built
Oct 26, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about towers, bridges, sinking cathedrals, and other feats of structural engineering. How do we build skyscrapers? How do engineers plan for disaster? What have we learned from structures that have failed about how to build things…
#496 Anti-Intellectualism: Down With the Scientist!
Oct 19, 2018 • 60 min
This week we get to the bottom of anti-intellectualism. We’ll be speaking with David Robson, senior journalist at BBC Future, about misology — the hatred of reason and argument — and how it may be connected to distrust of intellectuals. Then we’ll speak…
#495 Earth Science in Space
Oct 12, 2018 • 60 min
Some worlds are made of sand. Some are made of water. Some are even made of salt. In science fiction and fantasy, planet can be made of whatever you want. But what does that mean for how the planets themselves work? When in doubt, throw an asteroid at it.…
#494 The Tangled Taxonomic Tree
Oct 5, 2018 • 60 min
The idea of the tree of life appears in many of the world’s religions, and it appears, famously, in science, with Darwin’s famous tree of life, where species evolve over millions of years from a common ancestor in the trunk to new species in the branches.…
#493 Trowel Blazing (Rebroadcast)
Sep 28, 2018 • 60 min
This week we look at some of the lesser known historical figures and current public perception of anthropology, archaeology, and other fields that end in “ology”. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an archaeologist, writer, and co-founder of the TrowelBlazers, tells us…
#492 Flint Water Crisis
Sep 21, 2018 • 60 min
This week we dig into the Flint water crisis: what happened, how it got so bad, what turned the tide, what’s still left to do, and the mix of science, politics, and activism that are still needed to finish pulling Flint out of the crisis. We spend the…
#491 Frankenstein LIVES
Sep 14, 2018 • 60 min
Two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley gave us a legendary monster, shaping science fiction for good. Thanks to her, the name of Frankenstein is now famous world-wide. But who was the real monster here? The creation? Or the scientist that put him together?…
#490 Breaking Down Chemical Weapons
Sep 7, 2018 • 60 min
It sounds like something out of a spy novel: an ex-spy is poisoned on a park bench, or a dictator’s brother is sprayed in the face with a chemical weapon and dies. But these are real life events, and they are the result of chemical weapons. What are these…
#489 Sand
Aug 31, 2018 • 60 min
Did you know that, even though sand the most used building materials in world, the sand in the desert is more or less useless? Did you know there is a serious black market trade in sand in certain parts of the world, and that people are murdered to…
#488 Big Chicken (Rebroadcast)
Aug 24, 2018 • 60 min
We eat a lot of chicken. But we didn’t used to. What changed? In part, what changed was the discovery that antibiotics could build a bigger, better chicken. Now, the big chicken may be suffering the results of too much medicine. This week, we hear from…
#486 Volcanoes
Aug 10, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re talking volcanoes. Because there are few things that fascinate us more than the amazing, unstoppable power of an erupting volcano. First, Jessica Johnson takes us through the latest activity from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to help us…
#485 Fine Times with Wine
Aug 3, 2018 • 60 min
How do you pick your wine? By its history? By its grape? By the picture on the bottle? Well you’re about to get your wine world turned upside down. We’ll hear about the history of this fabulous fermentation from Kevin Begos, author of the book “Tasting…
#484 Animal Weapons (Rebroadcast)
Jul 27, 2018 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about weapons: both the ones that evolve in nature, and those created by humanity. We’ll talk about the arms races that spur the development of horns and claws, warships and nuclear weapons, with Doug Emlen, Professor in the…
#483 Wild Moms
Jul 20, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about what it takes to be a mother in the wild, and how how human moms compare to other moms in the animal kingdom. We’re spending an hour with Dr. Carin Bondar, prolific science communicator and author. We’ll be discussing a…
#481 23 and You
Jul 6, 2018 • 60 min
These days, all you need to do is fill a tube with spit and mail it off to find out all about your ancestors, and even about your risks for certain diseases. Loads of DNA sequencing and typing companies exist to tell you all about yourself. But how…
#480 Cursing and Conversation
Jun 29, 2018 • 60 min
Ever notice how the bits of language we use all the time are often the bits we study the least? Like ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’, the way conversations flow and of course curse words! Today we’re taking a deeper look under the hood of the conversation machine, and…
#479 Garden of Marvels (Rebroadcast)
Jun 22, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about botany and the colorful science of gardening. Author Ruth Kassinger joins us to discuss her book “A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of the Way Plants Work.” And…
#478 She Has Her Mother’s Laugh
Jun 15, 2018 • 60 min
What does heredity really mean? Carl Zimmer would argue it’s more than your genes along. In “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity”, Zimmer covers the history of genetics and what kinship and heredity really mean…
#477 Cure for Catastrophe
Jun 8, 2018 • 60 min
Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. These are the sorts of natural disasters movies are made from, because throughout history we’ve learned that natural disasters often become human disasters. But how much are we contributing to the scale of the human toll…
#476 Science in Fiction
Jun 1, 2018 • 60 min
Nerds and geeks of all stripes love to dissect exactly how their favorite (or least favorite) sci-fi and fantasy tales got science so wrong. But many TV shows, movies and book actually manage to get science pretty right (except for those pesky time-travel…
#SB1 2018 Science Birthday Bonus Short Minisode: Lloyd Quarterman
May 31, 2018 • 60 min
Our very first Science Birthday spotlight shines on Lloyd Quarterman, born May 31, 1918. He died in 1982, but not before leaving his mark on science. Join Bethany and Rachelle in a little special birthay minisode celebrating Lloyd and his accomplishments.…
#475 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You (Rebroadcast)
May 25, 2018 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We’re joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet, to talk about his book “Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through…
#473 Colour Me… Structurally?
May 11, 2018 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we’re looking at a different way of producing colour than you might be used to. Structural colour relies on nano-scale structures to reflect particular wavelengths of light. To start things off, we’ll be discussing…
#472 A Good Bout of Plague
May 4, 2018 • 60 min
Who doesn’t love a good medical pandemic? This week we’re diving into the bubonic plague. We’ll talk with Boris Schmid about whether rats should really get the blame for the Black Death, and we’ll talk with Loren Cassin Sackett about what happens today…
#471 Pigs and Fish: Personality in Animals
Apr 27, 2018 • 60 min
This week we learn about how personality is studied in two of our favorite animals: pigs and fish. We’ll be speaking with Rose O’Dea, PhD candidate at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre in Sydney, about using computer animation technology to…
#470 Information Spookyhighway
Apr 20, 2018 • 60 min
This week we take a closer look at a few of the downsides of the modern internet, and some of the security and privacy challenges that are becoming increasingly troublesome. Rachelle Saunders speaks with cyber security expert James Lyne about how modern…
#469 The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
Apr 13, 2018 • 60 min
What happens when you take 5 enourmous freshwater lakes isolated in the middle of a continent and suddenly open them up to the Atlantic? The ecology of the North American Great Lakes is changing fast. We spend the hour with Dan Egan, an award-winning…
#468 Slicing into Surgery
Apr 6, 2018 • 60 min
Surgery isn’t generally a good time these days. There’s pain and danger. But surgery today is nothing to the surgery of the past, when desperate patients had to sit, awake and with no painkillers, through the sawing-off of their own limbs. If they made it…
#467 Pests in the City (Rebroadcast)
Mar 30, 2018 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the ways human-made environments support - and shape - the lives of many species we think of as vermin. We’ll talk to Geography and Environmental Studies Professor Dawn Day Biehler about her book “Pests in the City: Flies,…
#466 Wildfire
Mar 23, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about fire: in particular, wildfires. How they spread and how we manage them, but also the deeper history of wildfires on our planet and how they’ve been shaping our world for a long, long time. We speak with Andrew Scott, Emeritus…
#465 How The Nose Knows
Mar 16, 2018 • 60 min
We’ve all got a nose but how does it work? Why do we like some smells and not others, and why can we all agree that some smells are good and some smells are bad, while others are dependant on personal or cultural preferences? We speak with Asifa Majid,…
#464 How We Endure
Mar 8, 2018 • 60 min
Endurance athletes. How do they do it? How does someone push themselves to run an almost 2 hour marathon? How does someone else push themselves to finish a marathon at all? How did humans conquer Everest and free dive to the ocean floor? There’s a new…
#463 Trench to Bedside (Rebroadcast)
Mar 1, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re taking on maggots, wounds, and diarrhea in an episode about medical problems that plague the military, so make sure your last meal is a few hours behind you before you tuck in your ear buds. We speak with Captain Mark Riddle, the director…
#462 The Future of Energy
Feb 22, 2018 • 60 min
This week, we have some very special guest hosts, sharing a recording of a panel they moderated about the future of energy and where we can draw inspiration from science fiction. This panel was recorded at the Generation Energy Conference in Winnipeg,…
#461 Adhesives
Feb 15, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.
#460 Brake For Menopause
Feb 8, 2018 • 60 min
I don’t know about you, but when I learned about the female reproductive cycle, I learned that hey, these are the hormone changes that happen. Then in menopause they stop. And you get hot flashes. But it turns out it is a lot more complicated than that.…
#459 Postpartum Blues
Feb 1, 2018 • 60 min
When a woman gives birth, it seems like everyone wants to know how the baby is doing. What does it weigh? Is it breathing right? Did it cry? But it turns out that, in the United States, we’re not doing to great at asking how the mom, who just pushed…
#458 Circumcision (Rebroadcast)
Jan 25, 2018 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the contentious medical and ethical history of circumcision. We’re joined by Sarah B. Rodriguez, medical historian and lecturer in global health and bioethics at Northwestern University, to talk about about her book “Female…
#457 Trowel Blazing
Jan 18, 2018 • 60 min
This week we look at some of the lesser known historical figures and current public perception of anthropology, archaeology, and other fields that end in “ology”. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an archaeologist, writer, and co-founder of the TrowelBlazers, tells us…
#456 Inside a Conservation NGO
Jan 11, 2018 • 60 min
This week we take a close look at conservation NGOS: what they do, how they work, and - most importantly - why we need them. We’ll be speaking with Shyla Raghav, the Climate Change Lead at Conservation International, about using strategy and policy to…
#455 New Year’s Resolutions
Jan 4, 2018 • 60 min
Happy New Year! Science for the People is ringing in the new year with a hard look at new year’s resolutions. A lot of these involve long term goals, and forming new habits. But how do we stick with them? We’ll speak with Charles DuHigg, author of the the…
#454 Sports Science (Rebroadcast)
Dec 28, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the ways that science and technology are changing sports, on and off the playing field. We’ll speak to journalist Mark McClusky about his book “Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of…
#453 The Biggest Science Stories of 2017
Dec 21, 2017 • 60 min
Should old science findings be forgot, and never brought to mind? No! For the year may be nearly over but we’re going to see it out in style! This week, Bethany and Rachelle look back on some of the biggest science findings of the year with the writers of…
#452 Face Recognition and Identity
Dec 14, 2017 • 60 min
This week we deep dive into the science of how we recognize faces and why some of us are better — or worse — at this than others. We talk with Brad Duchaine, Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College, about both super recognizers and face blindness.…
#451 Merry Science Giftmas
Dec 7, 2017 • 60 min
You probably have shopping to do and plenty of gifts to buy, and — as is our tradition — we have put together a list of helpful suggestions for things the science lover in your life might appreciate receiving. This year we brought in Illinois’s School of…
#450 Sing a Little Song
Nov 30, 2017 • 60 min
How do we talk? And how do we sing? Most of us walk around making sound all day without any real idea of how we do it. We’ll speak with vocologist Ingo Titze about how the human voice sings, the parts of a human singing voice, and more. We’ll also speak…
#449 Arctic Energy
Nov 23, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable…
#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
Nov 16, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We’ll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of…
#447 Stormy Weather
Nov 9, 2017 • 60 min
This week on we take a closer look at weather forecasting, meteorology, and the science (and art) of predicting severe weather patterns, both locally and more broadly across the planet. We speak with Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the…
#446 Frogs From the Skin In
Nov 3, 2017 • 60 min
Pictures of poison frogs are a popular form of home decor. Tiny size, bright colors, super deadly, they’ve got it all. But how exactly do poison frogs avoid poisoning themselves? This week we talk with Rebecca Tarvin and Cecilia Borghese, two scientists…
#445 AI: Ant Intelligence
Oct 27, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at why ants seem to act much smarter in groups than on their own, and how we can study their swarm intelligence using robots. We’ll be speaking with Stephen Pratt, associate professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State…
#444 The V-Word (Rebroadcast)
Oct 20, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the social and biological science of female sex organs. We’ll talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine, about the creation and use of lab-grown vaginas.…
#442 From Nobel to Ig Nobel
Oct 6, 2017 • 60 min
The Nobel prizes are, well, the Nobel prize of prizes! One of the most elite prizes in the world. But where did they come from, why do they matter, and how do they influence the practice of science? This week we speak with medical historian Nils Hansson…
#441 Superhuman
Sep 29, 2017 • 60 min
This week we take a closer look at people with brain abilities that appear superhuman. We speak with Craig Stark, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California Irvine, about hyperthymesia and people who possess an extremely…
#440 Weapons of Math Destruction (Rebroadcast)
Sep 22, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People we look at the modern, inventive ways we try to use math and algorithms to make better decisions, and what happens when those solutions cause more problems than they solve. We speak with Cathy O’Neil about her book…
#439 Flooded
Sep 15, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we take a closer look at what happens when water falls from the sky, how it moves once its on the ground, and what happens when people and water get in each other’s way. We talk with Lucy Barker, Hydrological Analyst…
#438 Big Chicken
Sep 8, 2017 • 60 min
We eat a lot of chicken. But we didn’t used to. What changed? In part, what changed was the discovery that antibiotics could build a bigger, better chicken. Now, the big chicken may be suffering the results of too much medicine. This week, we hear from…
#437 Tiny Bubbles, Big Impact
Sep 1, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing an effect called cavitation: low pressure causes bubbles of vapour to form in a liquid, which can cause a lot of damage when those bubbles collapse. First up is Paul Brandner, Associate Professor and Research Leader of the…
#436 Beauty is A Beast (Rebroadcast)
Aug 25, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the science of beauty products and procedures. We’ll talk to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, co-founder of thebeautybrains.com, about his book “It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick.” And we’ll speak to cosmetic surgeon Dr.…
#435 Total Eclipse of the Sun
Aug 18, 2017 • 60 min
On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse is going to appear, visible to most of the continent of North America. Bethany is very, very excited. What’s going to happen, and what are scientists doing to take advantage of the event? Bethany Brookshire starts with…
#434 The Dictionary
Aug 11, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at the science, art, and craft of lexicography as we go backstage into the process of how dictionaries are made. We spend the hour with Kory Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and author of the book “Word by Word: The Secret…
#433 The State of Science Journalism
Aug 4, 2017 • 60 min
This week we step into the world of science journalism from the perspectives of two unique and reputable popular science publications. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Katie Palmer, senior editor of the online science and health section at WIRED, about…
#432 A Sting In The Tail (Rebroadcast)
Jul 28, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the fascinating lives of bees, and the important role they play in our global ecosystem. We’ll speak to University of Sussex biology professor Dave Goulson about his book “A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees.”…
#431 Memory and Emotion
Jul 21, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at how our brains process memory and emotion. We talk to Michael Yassa, Associate Professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Neurology at UC Irvine, about how our brains discriminate similar memories from each other…
#430 Bacteria in Bodies and On The Farm
Jul 14, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at how new science and new challenges are pushing us to think differently about the role of bacteria in healthcare and pest control in agriculture. We speak to award-winning science writer Ed Yong about his book I Contain Multitudes: The…
#429 Gene Drives
Jul 7, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People: who is driving this genetic bus? We’ll talk with Kevin Esvelt about gene drives, what they are, where they come from what they can be used for, and why the science on gene drives should be done as openly as possible.…
#428 Cities of the Future (Rebroadcast)
Jun 30, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening to “Cities of The Future,” a panel discussion about the future of human living spaces recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Jamie Bernstein, Ryan Consell and Shawn Lawrence Otto discuss how cities can adapt to accommodate…
#427 The Life Project
Jun 23, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re diving deep into the history and current state of some of the largest and longest running studies in the world. We speak with science journalist, Chief Magazine Editor for Nature, and author Helen Pearson about her book “The Life Project:…
#426 Everybody Poops
Jun 16, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, everybody poops! And everybody pees. But we probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how that works. Well, put down your lunch and listen up. We’re talking with David Chu, a pediatric urological…
#425 Cooperative Microbes
Jun 9, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some of the ways bacteria cooperate with other organisms to break down plants. First we speak with Dr. Lisa Karr, Associate Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and get into the details of how…
#424 Biohacking (Rebroadcast)
Jun 2, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We’ll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito…
#423 Built On Bones
May 26, 2017 • 60 min
This week we dig into the world of bioarchaeology to discover what a bunch of dead people’s bones can tell us about our past. We spend the hour with Brenna Hassett, bioarchaeologist and author of the new book Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and…
#422 Is Our Children Learning
May 19, 2017 • 60 min
This week on science for the people, we’re taking on the educational system. We’ll be talking with Ulrich Boser about what people think they know about education. It turns out that education is a lot like driving: everyone thinks they’re well above…
#421 Hopeful Monsters
May 12, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we are talking about a controversial theory in evolutionary biology that has led to research on the role of single mutations that drastically alter the body plan of organisms. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Olivier…
#420 Medical Marijuana (Rebroadcast)
May 5, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a closer look at the medical marijuana controversy. How effective is medical marijuana and for what conditions is it a suitable treatment? In our attempt to separate evidence from anecdote we’re joined by a panel of three: Dr.…
#419 The Death and Life of the Single-Family House
Apr 28, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People we take a closer look at North America’s housing culture: how it got the way it is today, and how it’s changing. We speak with Nathanael Lauster, an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of…
#418 Animal Research Revisited
Apr 21, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re revisiting animal research. There’s no denying animal research has done amazing things for both humanity and the animals we live and work with. But there are also good reasons why it makes people uncomfortable. We’ll talk with philosopher…
#417 Lab-Cultured Beef
Apr 14, 2017 • 60 min
This week we go into a lab that’s working to make our kitchens more sustainable. Guest host Jessie Yaros speaks with Professor Mark Post about lab cultured beef, including how a hamburger is grown from scratch in the lab, the advantages of cultured beef…
#416 Bodies Everywhere (Rebroadcast)
Apr 7, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the morbid and fascinating history of our attempts to grapple with disease and death. We’re joined by medical historian Richard Barnett to talk about his book “The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration.” And…
#415 Weapons of Math Destruction
Mar 31, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People we look at the modern, inventive ways we try to use math and algorithms to make better decisions, and what happens when those solutions cause more problems than they solve. We speak with Cathy O’Neil about her book…
#414 Perpetual Now
Mar 24, 2017 • 60 min
Most of us probably think about memories as being about the past. But when memories are gone, it becomes clear just how much they are also about the future. This week we are in search of lost memories. We’ll speak with Michael McCloskey about how memories…
#413 Concrete
Mar 17, 2017 • 60 min
This week is all about that most ubiquitous of building materials: concrete. Historian Robert Courland joins us to talk about his book “Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World’s Most Common Man-Made Material”, our long history…
#412 PTSD
Mar 9, 2017 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we’re talking about our changing understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how we define the trauma that can trigger it. We speak with Alexei Morozov, an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion…
#411 Coal Wars (Rebroadcast)
Mar 2, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re learning more about the fossil fuel that powered humanity’s first industrial age, and helped set us on a course for a looming climate crisis. We’ll speak to Richard Martin, energy editor at the MIT Technology Review, about his book “Coal…
#410 The Big Sleep
Feb 23, 2017 • 60 min
This week we take a closer look at hibernation and how it works. We speak with Kelly Drew, a neuroscientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who studies the Arctic ground squirrel, the “Usain Bolt” of hibernators. And we talk with Frank van…
#409 Trump War On Science
Feb 16, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at what’s happening to science in the first days of the Donald Trump presidency, and what might happen if we don’t take action in a world where science is growing increasingly political — whether or not we want it to. Librarian John…
#408 The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar
Feb 9, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we look at the strange, curious, and sometimes amusing strategies creatures use to make it through the day. Guest host Jessie Yaros spends the hour with science writer and author Matt Simon talking about his new book “The Wasp That Brainwashed…
#407 Voices Within
Feb 2, 2017 • 60 min
This week we’re thinking about how we think: the ways we talk to — and with — ourselves, why we do it at all, and what happens when some of us hear voices that aren’t our own. We spend the hour with Charles Fernyhough, Professor of Psychology at Durham…
#406 Running Low (Rebroadcast)
Jan 26, 2017 • 60 min
This week, we’re going back to a previous episode and looking across the Periodic Table and assessing the scarcity of modern society’s essential elements. We’re joined by Dr. Thomas Graedel, Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale…
#405 STEM Pipeline
Jan 19, 2017 • 60 min
This week we look at the current state of the STEM pipeline and what happens when people drip out. We speak with Paula Stephan, Professor of Economics at Georgia State University, about practicing “PhD contraception” in order to better match supply with…
#404 Sex In The Sea
Jan 12, 2017 • 60 min
This week we talk about sex… in the sea! Anika Hazra speaks with marine biologist Marah Hardt about her new book “Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep”. We…
#403 Indigenous DNA
Jan 5, 2017 • 60 min
This week we take a closer look at the intersection of genetics, politics, identity, and hundreds of years of colonization. We speak with Kim TallBear, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples Technoscience and Environment and Associate Professor in…
#402 Boozy Science (Rebroadcast)
Dec 29, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back at a previous episode an discussing some science surrounding our favorite adult beverages. We’ll revisit our interview with Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, about the chemistry of…
#401 The Serengeti Rules
Dec 22, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring how life is regulated at very small scales — down to the molecular level — and how those rules and regulations also seem to apply when we zoom back out to look at environments and ecosystems across the planet. We spend the hour…
#400 What Doesn’t Kill You…
Dec 15, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re discussing public perception of entomologists and their study organisms of choice: insects. We speak with Justin Schmidt, author of the new book “The Sting of the Wild”, and an example of an entomologist who goes above and beyond for his…
#399 The Sugar Pill
Dec 8, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking on the science of the sugar pill. We’re talking about the placebo effect, its potential benefits and its pitfalls. We speak with Erik Vance about his new book “Suggestible You: The Curious Science of your Brain’s Ability to…
#398 Gifts For Nerds
Dec 1, 2016 • 60 min
Once again, we’re here to help you with all your nerd-specific holiday shopping with our annual gift guide for science lovers. We brought back Skepchick writer Mary Brock and science librarian John Dupuis to give us their top picks from their 2016 science…
#397 Risk Management
Nov 24, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about risks and resources. We speak with Dr. Lianne Lefsrud, Assistant Professor of Engineering Safety and Risk Management in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta, about how engineers think about and evaluate…
#396 Trench to Bedside
Nov 17, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re taking on maggots, wounds, and diarrhea in an episode about medical problems that plague the military, so make sure your last meal is a few hours behind you before you tuck in your ear buds. We speak with Captain Mark Riddle, the director…
#395 Happy People (Rebroadcast)
Nov 10, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring what science can tell us about happiness. We’ll speak to John Helliwell, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity, and Well-Being, about the World Happiness…
#394 On the Origin of Bad Science
Nov 4, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about what bad science looks like, why good scientists with good intentions often use techniques of bad science in their work, and how we may be unintentionally selecting for bad science over good science in our culture. We speak…
#393 Check Your Facts
Oct 28, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re sitting down with three experienced fact-checkers to better understand what the process of fact-checking looks like from the inside, and what the challenges are when news and politics collide. We speak with Brooke Borel, a contributing…
#392 Venomous
Oct 21, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at some of the animals, insects, and creatures we fear the most and the venom that makes them so powerful. Biologist and science blogger Christie Wilcox returns to talk about her first book “Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest…
#391 Effective Altruism (Rebroadcast)
Oct 14, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning how science can boost the effectiveness of philanthropy. We’ll talk to philosophy professor William MacAskill about his book “Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference.” And we’ll speak to education…
#390 Decolonizing Colonization
Oct 7, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re trying to wrap our head around our colonial history and the ideas of decolonization. We speak with Ryan McMahon, creator of the Indian & Cowboy podcast network, about what reconciliation and decolonization mean today and why they are…
#389 The Jazz of Physics
Sep 30, 2016 • 60 min
This week we look at what science, music and art can learn from each other. Theoretical physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander, author of the new book “The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe” talks…
#388 Fish
Sep 23, 2016 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People we have a trio of fishy experts helping us look at how fish are adapted to their — sometimes extreme — environments, and what their behaviour can tell us about their intelligence and experience. We speak to Kristin…
#387 The Melting World (Rebroadcast)
Sep 16, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we look back at a previous episode about how climate change is altering the face of the planet, and affecting the lives of the people who live here. Desiree Schell speaks to science writer and naturalist Christoper White, about his book “The…
#386 Humans Vs Robots
Sep 9, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re airing a recorded panel, moderated by Desiree Schell, from the recent Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Human spaceflight captures the imagination like nothing else, but robotic probes have explored the…
#385 Sociolinguistics
Sep 2, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the field of sociolinguistics: what it is, why it’s important, and what it can tell us about our culture and our society. University of Toronto Professor Sali Tagliamonte helps us better understand the field, how her…
#384 Grunt
Aug 26, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re tackling the science of the soldier and how to keep them fighting when difficult conditions — and our own human bodies and brains — get in the way. We spend the hour with best selling science author Mary Roach, talking about her latest…
#383 The Atomic Era (Rebroadcast)
Aug 19, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back at a previous episode and learning about the power and peril of the atom, with two books about women who were instrumental in helping us unlock its secrets. We’re joined by Huffington Post editor Shelley Emling, to discuss…
#382 Risk of Going Nowhere
Aug 12, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re airing a recorded panel, moderated by Desiree Schell, from the recent Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. As a safety and headline driven culture, how will we explore dangerous, distant places that are…
#381 The Triumph of Seeds
Aug 5, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the world of seeds: how they’ve become so successful, how they work, how humans depend on them, and what we still don’t understand about them. We spend the hour with Thor Hanson, conservation biologist and award-winning author,…
#380 Yer A Wizard Harry
Jul 29, 2016 • 60 min
Today we mashup the science of genetics with the world of Harry Potter to get a better handle on how genetics works, and to find out what the odds are when it comes to getting a Hogwarts invite. (We can dream, right?) Dr. Tina Saey, who covers the…
#379 A Special Hell (Rebroadcast)
Jul 22, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re going back to a previous episode talking about the use - and appalling misuse - of genetics in pursuit of human perfection. We’ll speak to Claudia Malacrida, sociology professor and eugenics researcher, about her book “A Special Hell:…
#378 Paris Climate Agreement
Jul 15, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re reviewing the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris and trying to better understand what happened at the conference and what the agreement means for the future. We speak to Tamsin Edwards, Lecturer in Environmental…
#377 Hearing From The Humanities
Jul 8, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re taking a tentative step into the humanities. We spoke with Jimena Canales, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at the University of Illinois-UC, about her newest book “The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson…
#376 Technology, Work and The Future
Jul 1, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re thinking about how rapidly advancing technology will change our future, our work, and our well-being. We speak to Richard and Daniel Susskind about their book “The Future of Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human…
#375 Severed (Rebroadcast)
Jun 24, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re going back at a previous episode, looking at our scientific curiosity - and morbid fascination - about the human body and its amazing anatomy. We’ll speak to anthropologist and author Frances Larson about her book “Severed: A History of…
#374 The Ninth Planet
Jun 17, 2016 • 60 min
This week on we’re turning our attention to Pluto – what we used to think of as our ninth planet – and also to the mysterious new Planet 9 that might be orbiting on the outskirts of our solar system. We speak to Jeffery Moore, a research scientist at the…
#373 The Confidence Game
Jun 10, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the science — and art — of the con, from huge Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds. We speak to Maria Konnikova about her new book The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time” on the psychology of the con and why we keep…
#372 The Planet Remade
Jun 3, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re taking a look at the controversial strategies and science of geoengineering. We’ll speak to Oliver Morton, author of the new book “The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World”, about how geoengineering might work, and the…
#371 Meningitis
May 27, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about meningitis and legal issues surrounding parents and standards of care. We speak with three members of The Maiden Lab, a multidisciplinary group working on understanding the biology of bacterial pathogens, including…
#370 Me, Myself, and Why (Rebroadcast)
May 20, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re revisiting a previous episode and exploring genetics, neuroscience, and psychology, to find out what makes every person - and personality - unique. We’ll talk to science writer Jennifer Ouelette about her newest book “Me, Myself and Why:…
#369 Fraud and Forgery
May 13, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re taking a look at two very different types of white collar crime — financial fraud and painting forgery — and how we use investigation and science to detect them. We’ll speak to Jennifer Fiddian-Green, a partner at Grant Thornton and lead…
#368 Beyond the Galaxy
May 6, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at astrophysics, zooming out to get a better idea of how universe works and what it might look like. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel returns to talk about his new — and first — book “Beyond the Galaxy: How Humanity Looked Beyond Our…
#367 Neurodiversity
Apr 29, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring our evolving understanding of neurodiversity and the different ways people think. We’ve invited award winning science writer Steve Silberman back to continue the conversation about autism, neurodiversity, and his book…
#366 Self-Driving Cars
Apr 22, 2016 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we’re talking with three guests about the technology challenges, possible repercussions, and ethical quandaries of self-driving cars. We’ll speak with University of Waterloo Professor and Director of the Waterloo…
#365 Evolutionary Psychology
Apr 15, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the field of Evolutionary Psychology: what is it, how the research is done, what types of questions it might be good at answering, and times its ideas may have led us astray. We are joined by a panel of four: Maeve O’Donovan,…
#364 Combat-Ready Kitchen
Apr 8, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at how food — and the containers it comes in — have changed over time, and some of the factors that have influenced these changes. We’ll speak with Anastacia Marx de Salcedo about her new book “Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S.…
#363 Falling Into The Fire (Rebroadcast)
Apr 1, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back at a previous episode to get a gripping first person account of the challenges involved in mental health diagnosis and treatment. We’ll spend the hour with Dr. Christine Montross, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human…
#362 Roadkill
Mar 25, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the surprisingly robust science research that can be done with animals that have died along our highways. We’ll speak with Sarah Perkins, an ecologist at Cardiff University in Wales, about the Project Splatter, a citizen science…
#361 Too Hot To Handle
Mar 18, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about sex education: why we started teaching it in schools in the first place, how it’s changed over the years, and what it might – or should – look like in the future. We’ll speak with Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of education…
#360 Medical Marijuana
Mar 10, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a closer look at the medical marijuana controversy. How effective is medical marijuana and for what conditions is it a suitable treatment? In our attempt to separate evidence from anecdote we’re joined by a panel of three: Dr.…
#359 In The Courtroom
Mar 3, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re going inside the courtroom to try and understand how evidence and witness testimony is presented, and how courtroom strategy can affect a trial’s outcome. We spend the hour with Colin Miller, a Professor of Law at the University of South…
#358 Zika
Feb 25, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re focusing in on the Zika virus and the current outbreak to better understand what we know about how its spreading and what the risks are. Meghan Rosen, a staff writer from Science News who has been following the outbreak, talks about where…
#357 The Brain Electric
Feb 18, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the progress we’ve made toward connecting our minds with machines. We talk with journalist Malcolm Gay about the challenge of creating prosthetics, how close we are to controlling them with our thoughts alone, and his new book…
#356 Insects En Masse
Feb 11, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at two types of insects that have made their homes among us in our cities, and are almost always found in large groups and colonies. We’ll speak with Dr. Corrie Moreau, an Associate Professor/Curate at the Field Museum of Natural…
#355 Superstorm (Rebroadcast)
Feb 4, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re revisiting a previous episode, exploring the evolving frontier of extreme weather, and how it’s influenced by our warming planet. We’ll talk about the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded with writer Kathryn Miles, author of…
#354 HIV and AIDS: Updated and Revisited
Jan 28, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’ve brought together a panel of experts to talk about the history of HIV/AIDS, and get an update on the current science, ongoing research, and medical treatments. Joining us on the panel are Salim Abdool Karim, clinical infectious diseases…
#353 Scream
Jan 21, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about fear: how it works, what it does to our bodies and brains, and why we sometimes seek it out. We’ll spend the hour with Margee Kerr – a sociologist, fear researcher, and diehard haunted house fan – talking about her new book…
#352 Good Thinking
Jan 14, 2016 • 60 min
This week, we’re trying to better understand our human brain, it’s quirky ways and unexpected processes, so we can use it better in daily life. We’ll speak with Guy Harrison, author of “Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier,…
#351 Contraception
Jan 7, 2016 • 60 min
This week we’re taking a closer look at our current – and potential future – contraceptive methods. We’ll speak with Beth Sundstrom and Andrea DeMaria, Co-Directors of the Women’s Health Research Team at the College of Charleston, about why the pill is…
#350 Science In Wonderland
Dec 31, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about imaginative ways to teach science to children, and how to use science as a tool for parenting. We’ll hear about fanciful tales written to explain scientific concepts, with Cambridge University science historian Melanie…
#349 Getting Away With Murder (REBROADCAST)
Dec 24, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back to a fan favourite, “Getting Away With Murder,” a panel discussion about forensic science and pop culture recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Amanda Leinbaugh, Emily Finke, Bug Girl Gwen Pearson, and Raychelle “Dr.…
#348 Artificial Intelligence
Dec 17, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about artificial intelligence, and how thinking machines are fitting into – and changing – our lives and cultures. Should we be concerned or excited about the future of artificial intelligence? To try and find out, we’re joined by…
#347 Where Do Camels Belong?
Dec 10, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing ecosystems, biodiversity, and whether or not “invasive” outside species are really as bad as they’re made out to be. We’ll spend the hour speaking to Dr. Ken Thompson, lecturer in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at…
#346 Gift Giving For Nerds
Dec 3, 2015 • 60 min
Once again, we’re here to help you with all your nerdy holiday shopping with our annual gift guide for science lovers. We brought in science librarian John Dupuis and Skepchick book club columnist Mary Brock who give us their top picks from 2015 that will…
#344 Effective Altruism
Nov 19, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning how science can boost the effectiveness of philanthropy. We’ll talk to philosophy professor William MacAskill about his book “Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference.” And we’ll speak to education…
#343 Conversations About Death
Nov 12, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the science that informs our understanding of death and dying. We’ll talk to Simon Davis about Post Mortem, his VICE column that explores death and other morbid topics. And analytical chemist Raychelle Burks returns to share…
#342 Amazons (Rebroadcast)
Nov 5, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning how science can shed light on the stories told by our ancestors. We’re joined by folklorist and science historian Adrienne Mayor, author of “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World,” to learn what…
#341 Psychedelic Treatments
Oct 30, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about powerful mind-altering substances, and their potential to help treat serious mental and physical illness. We’ll spend the hour with Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing at Multidisciplinary Association for…
#340 Mandatory Vaccination
Oct 23, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about disease prevention, public health, and whether or not some types of vaccinations should be mandatory. We’ll spend the hour in a panel discussion with Barry Bloom, Harvard University’s Distinguished Service Professor of the…
#339 Citizen Science
Oct 16, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about distributed science projects that get the public involved in testing hypotheses and crunching data. We’re joined by physicist Eric Donovan to talk about the Auroral Zone, a website that crowdsources the classification of…
#338 Science and the Canadian Federal Election
Oct 9, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about politics, and the prospects for pro-science politicians, parties and voters in Canada. We’ll spend the hour with panelists Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy, science librarian John Dupuis, journalist…
#337 Martians (REBROADCAST)
Oct 2, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re celebrating exciting science and entertainment focused on Mars, by listening back to two interviews about the fascinating red planet. We’re joined by “lifelong space nerd” Andy Weir, to talk about “The Martian,” his gripping debut novel…
#336 Lovelace and Babbage
Sep 25, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about a pair of 19th-century geniuses, and the friendship that gave rise to the era of modern computers. We’ll speak to artist and animator Sydney Padua about her graphic novel “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage:…
#335 Fact Checking Elections
Sep 18, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re back at the intersection of science and politics, comparing economic data to partisan talking points and polling predictions to election results. We’ll talk to Jim Stanford, economist at Unifor, about his report “Rhetoric & Reality:…
#334 Eye of the Beholder
Sep 11, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the history of optics, and how our perception of the world and how we see it underwent a radical transformation in 17th-century Holland. We’ll spend the hour with historian, philosopher, and science writer Laura J. Snyder,…
#333 How to Clone a Mammoth
Sep 4, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about genetics research that could help preserve existing species, and might let us bring back others that have gone extinct. We’ll talk to Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of…
#332 Coffee Table Science
Aug 28, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’ll meet the authors of three big books that use stunning images to tell intriguing stories about the history of science. We’ll discuss evolution and the building of the fossil record with invertebrate palaeontologist Paul Taylor, author of…
#331 The Birth of The Pill (REBROADCAST)
Aug 21, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re listening back to an episode exploring the intersection of science, society and sex, and the origin story of the birth control pill. We’ll speak to author Jonathan Eig about his book “The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented…
#330 Animal Weapons
Aug 14, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about weapons: both the ones that evolve in nature, and those created by humanity. We’ll talk about the arms races that spur the development of horns and claws, warships and nuclear weapons, with Doug Emlen, Professor in the…
#329 Coal Wars
Aug 7, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning more about the fossil fuel that powered humanity’s first industrial age, and helped set us on a course for a looming climate crisis. We’ll speak to Richard Martin, energy editor at the MIT Technology Review, about his book “Coal…
#328 Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll
Jul 31, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the science - and surprising sophistication - of the instincts we serve in the pursuit of pleasure. We’re joined by science writer and journalist Zoe Cormier to talk about her book “Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll: The Science of…
#327 Research, Regulation, and Ethics
Jul 24, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the regulatory frameworks that try to balance scientific progress with the safety of research subjects. We’ll speak to Holly Fernandez Lynch and I. Glenn Cohen of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology,…
#326 Bruno Pontecorvo
Jul 17, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re digging into a tale of intrigue that may have changed the course of physics research in the 20th century. We’ll spend the hour with Frank Close, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford,…
#325 Happy People
Jul 10, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring what science can tell us about happiness. We’ll speak to John Helliwell, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity, and Well-Being, about the World Happiness…
#324 High Price (REBROADCAST)
Jul 3, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re revisiting an episode about the science and policy of treating drug addiction. We’re joined by psychology professor and researcher Carl Hart to talk about his book “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges…
#323 Alzheimer’s
Jun 26, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning more about Alzheimer’s disease, from the perspective of a researcher and a patient. We’ll discuss Alzheimer’s and brain degeneration with Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati, neurobiologist and researcher at the Tanz Centre for Research in…
#322 Biohacking
Jun 19, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We’ll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito…
#321 Galileo’s Middle Finger
Jun 12, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about justice, truth and social activism, and how they influence scientists and their research. We’ll spend the hour with Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg…
#320 Dataclysm
Jun 5, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at how powerful computers and massive data sets are changing the we study each other, scientifically and socially. We’re joined by machine learning researcher Hanna Wallach, to talk about the definition of “big data,” and social…
#319 A Special Hell
May 29, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about the use - and appalling misuse - of genetics in pursuit of human perfection. We’ll speak to Claudia Malacrida, sociology professor and eugenics researcher, about her book “A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta’s…
#318 Come As You Are
May 22, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the intersection of human sexuality, research and education. We’re joined by sexuality educator and blogger Emily Nagoski, to talk about her book “Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life.”…
#317 Secure Communications
May 15, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at technology for keeping secrets safe from prying eyes and ears. We’re joined by Dan Younger, professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Waterloo, to discuss the remarkable work of his colleague Bill Tutte, who broke…
#316 Sports Science
May 8, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the ways that science and technology are changing sports, on and off the playing field. We’ll speak to journalist Mark McClusky about his book “Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of…
#315 Pests in the City
May 1, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the ways human-made environments support - and shape - the lives of many species we think of as vermin. We’ll talk to Geography and Environmental Studies Professor Dawn Day Biehler about her book “Pests in the City: Flies,…
#314 Severed
Apr 24, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at our scientific curiosity - and morbid fascination - about the human body and its amazing anatomy. We’ll speak to anthropologist and author Frances Larson about her book “Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found.” And…
#313 Heavy Metal Birds
Apr 17, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the impact that the byproducts of our industrial societies have on avian populations. We’ll speak to filmmaker Matthew Podolsky about his documentary “Scavenger Hunt,” that looks at the effects of lead on the California…
#312 Impossible Space
Apr 10, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the limits of science exploration in both fictional and fact. We’re joined by “lifelong space nerd” Andy Weir, to talk about his debut novel “The Martian,” that pits human inventiveness and ingenuity against the unforgiving…
#311 On Intelligence
Apr 3, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about how scientists and society measure intelligence, and the relationship between smartness and success. We’re joined by cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, to talk about his book “Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined.” And…
#310 Circumcision
Mar 27, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the contentious medical and ethical history of circumcision. We’re joined by Sarah B. Rodriguez, medical historian and lecturer in global health and bioethics at Northwestern University, to talk about about her book “Female…
#309 Celebrity and Science
Mar 20, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at how famous personalities influence public opinion about science and pseudoscience. Health law professor Timothy Caulfield returns to talk about his new book “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and…
#308 Women in STEM
Mar 13, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re celebrating Women in Science by looking at the victories and challenges of women working in science and tech. Join us for a panel discussion with postdoctoral research associate and science communicator Raychelle “Dr. Rubidium” Burks,…
#307 Pavlov
Mar 5, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We’ll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of…
#306 Superstorm
Feb 26, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the evolving frontier of extreme weather, and how it’s influenced by our warming planet. We’ll talk about the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded with writer Kathryn Miles, author of “Superstorm: Nine Days Inside…
#305 Struck By Genius
Feb 19, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at brain injuries, and the ways they change the lives of patients. We’ll talk to Jason Padgett and Maureen Seaberg, authors of “Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel.” And we’ll speak to neuroscientist…
#304 Alan Turing
Feb 12, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning more about the groundbreaking work and too-short life of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician, codebreaker and philosopher who laid the groundwork for the modern age of computing. We’ll spend the hour with Oxford University…
#303 Shocked
Feb 5, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at medical advances that are blurring the lines between life and death. We’re joined by physician and researcher Dr. David Casarett, to talk about his book “Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead.” And we’ll talk to…
#302 A Sting in the Tale
Jan 29, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the fascinating lives of bees, and the important role they play in our global ecosystem. We’ll speak to University of Sussex biology professor Dave Goulson about his book “A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees.”…
#301 The Birth of The Pill
Jan 22, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the intersection of science, society and sex, and the origin story of the birth control pill. We’ll speak to author Jonathan Eig about his book “The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution.”…
#300 Private Sector Space
Jan 15, 2015 • 60 min
This week we’re learning how private enterprise has jumped in to fill the gap left by shrinking government budgets for space exploration. We’re joined by journalist Elmo Keep, to talk about her article on Mars One, a nonprofit planning to make a reality…
#299 Falling Into The Fire
Jan 8, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we get a gripping first person account of the challenges involved in mental health diagnosis and treatment. We’ll spend the hour with Dr. Christine Montross, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and the Director of Counseling…
#298 Technocreep
Jan 1, 2015 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the ever-expanding streams of our personal information being collected by businesses and governments. We’ll talk to author and futurist Tom Keenan about his book “Technocreep: the Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization…
#297 Falling Upwards REBROADCAST
Dec 25, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re revisiting an epsiode about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We’ll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his book “Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air.” We’ll talk about the…
#296 Amazons
Dec 18, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re learning how science can shed light on the stories told by our ancestors. We’re joined by folklorist and science historian Adrienne Mayor, author of “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World,” to learn what…
#295 Science Up Your Holidays 2014
Dec 11, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re observing our annual holiday tradition, helping you find gifts for the science lovers on your list. We’ll hear from some of our favorite past guests as they share their most-treasured science books from 2014, as well as classics to help…
#294 Survival Doc
Dec 4, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the limits of the human body, and the essential science of survival. We’ll talk to Dr. James Hubbard, creator of TheSurvivalDoctor.com, about emergency measures to take when a disaster has cut off your access to medical…
#293 The Edge of the Sky
Nov 27, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about the mindbending science trying to understand the inner workings of the Universe. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel returns to discuss the BICEP2 experiment, and its search for the fingerprints of cosmic inflation. And we’ll talk to…
#292 The Psychopath Whisperer
Nov 20, 2014 • 60 min
This week on Science for the People, we’re looking at the science of psychopathy. We’ll spend the hour learning about social science research, neuroimaging and behavioral therapies with Kent Kiehl, neuroscience researcher, lecturer and author of “The…
#291 The One About Ebola
Nov 13, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about Ebola: how it works, how it spreads, and how we’re trying to stop it. We’ll talk to infectious disease epidemiologist, professor and blogger Tara C. Smith about how Ebola is being handled here in North America, and…
#290 Understanding Neuroscience
Nov 6, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the ways we try to understand the inner workings of the brain. We’ll talk to University College London researcher Cliodhna O’Connor about patterns in the way the public interprets neuroscience news. And we’ll ask Duncan Astle,…
#289 Bodies Everywhere
Oct 31, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the morbid and fascinating history of our attempts to grapple with disease and death. We’re joined by medical historian Richard Barnett to talk about his book “The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration.” And…
#288 Science and Shakespeare
Oct 24, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the way science influenced the work of the greatest author in English, and what modern scholars think about its origins. We’re joined by journalist and author Dan Falk, to talk about his book “The Science of Shakespeare: A New…
#287 Troublesome Inheritance
Oct 17, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the intersection of race, history and genetics in science writer Nicholas Wade’s 2014 book “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History.” DNA researcher Jennifer Raff and science journalist David Dobbs share their…
#286 An Epidemic of Rumors (REBROADCAST)
Oct 10, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re revisiting an episode about the power of stories and innuendo to shape the public perception of science. We’ll speak to author Jon Lee about his book “An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease.” And we’re joined…
#285 High Price
Oct 3, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the science and policy of treating drug addiction. We’re joined by psychology professor and researcher Carl Hart to talk about his book “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You…
#284 Edible
Sep 26, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the environmental impact of foods we eat, and others that we should. We’ll speak to Daniella Martin, host of the insect cooking/travel show “Girl Meets Bug,” about her book “Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects…
#283 Mental Illness Myths
Sep 19, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening to “Mental Illness Myths,” a panel discussion about public perceptions of mental health at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Megan Press, Miri Mogilevsky, Julia Burke and Olivia James discuss misconceptions about diagnosis, treatment…
#282 Cities of the Future
Sep 12, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening to “Cities of The Future,” a panel discussion about the future of human living spaces recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Jamie Bernstein, Ryan Consell and Shawn Lawrence Otto discuss how cities can adapt to accommodate…
#281 Getting Away With Murder
Sep 5, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening to “Getting Away With Murder,” a panel discussion about forensic science and pop culture recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Amanda Leinbaugh, Emily Finke, Bug Girl Gwen Pearson, and Raychelle “Dr. Rubidium” Burks…
#280 Hypatia and Women in STEM (REBROADCAST)
Aug 29, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re revisiting an episode looking back in history and to the modern day, to discuss women who defend and advance science and learning. We speak to author Faith Justice, about her book “Hypatia: Her Life and Times,” which examines the literary…
#279 Starlight Detectives
Aug 22, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the night sky and the history of astronomy. Physics professor Alan Hirshfeld joins us to talk about his book “Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe.” And we’ll speak to…
#278 Garden of Marvels
Aug 15, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about botany and the colorful science of gardening. Author Ruth Kassinger joins us to discuss her book “A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of the Way Plants Work.” And…
#277 Science and Politics
Aug 8, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about science and evidence in the political process. We’ll talk to Dan Kahan, Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, about the Cultural Cognition Project, which studies group values and perceptions of risk…
#276 Game Change
Aug 1, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at the math and science of business decisions. We’ll speak to David McAdams, Duke University Professor of Business Administration and Economics, about his book “Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic…
#275 Perv (REBROADCAST)
Jul 25, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening back to a discussion of taboo sexual practices, and whether they’re really as unusual as we think. Psychologist and author Jesse Bering talks about his book, “Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us.” And we’ll speak to Nicole…
#274 Coffee and Cigarettes
Jul 18, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about some of the legal chemicals that regulate the moods of millions of people every day. Journalist Murray Carpenter joins us to talk about his book “Caffeinated - How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us.” And science…
#273 The V-Word
Jul 11, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the social and biological science of female sex organs. We’ll talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine, about the creation and use of lab-grown vaginas.…
#272 Science and the Death Penalty
Jul 4, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the science of the ultimate criminal punishment. Pharmacologist and science writer David Kroll joins us to discuss the chemistry of the drugs used in lethal injections. We’ll talk to law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the…
#271 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You
Jun 27, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We’re joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet, to talk about his book “Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through…
#270 Environmental Debt
Jun 20, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at how worldwide environmental challenges interact with our increasingly global economy. We’ll speak to Amy Larkin, founder of Nature Means Business, about her book “Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global…
#269 Sonic Wonderland
Jun 13, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the science of sound and hearing. We’ll talk to Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford, about his book “Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound.” And we’ll speak to Andrew Wise, Senior…
#268 Extreme Medicine
Jun 6, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re on the frontiers of medicine, from the fabulous to the foolhardy. We’ll talk to Dr. Kevin Fong, co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at University College London, about his book “Extreme Medicine:…
#267 Ephemeral Particles
May 30, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about some of the many invisible particles that surround us. We’ll speak to astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana about his book “Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe.” And…
#266 Always More Health Controversies
May 23, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re tackling more controversial topics in the realm of healthcare. We’ll speak to Edward Archer, post-doctoral fellow in the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, about the tendency toward…
#265 An Epidemic of Rumors
May 16, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the power of stories and innuendo to shape the public perception of science. We’ll speak to author Jon Lee about his book “An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease.” And we’re joined by Dr. Paul A.…
#264 The Infested Mind
May 9, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the relationship between insects and humans, both mental and physical. We’ll speak to entomologist and essayist Jeffrey Lockwood about his book “The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects.” And we’ll talk to…
#263 Internet Things
May 2, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at controversies over connectivity, both online and in the physical world. University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist walks us through the arguments over net neutrality. And we’ll speak to researcher Rob van Kranenburg about…
#262 Me, Myself, and Why
Apr 25, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring genetics, neuroscience, and psychology, to find out what makes every person - and personality - unique. We’ll talk to science writer Jennifer Ouelette about her newest book “Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of…
#261 Accidents and Eccentricity
Apr 18, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about some of the most fortunate accidents and fascinating personalities in the history of science. We’ll talk to astrophysicist and author Mario Livio about his book “Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal…
#260 Running Low
Apr 11, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking across the Periodic Table and assessing the scarcity of modern society’s essential elements. We’re joined by Dr. Thomas Graedel, Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale University, to talk about the rare metals that…
#259 News From The Dark
Apr 4, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re peering out into the black to learn about deepest space, and our own night sky. We’ll talk to Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, about recent measurements of gravity waves, and what they tell us about the birth of the Universe. We’ll speak to…
#258 Emerging Infections
Mar 28, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing invading organisms large and small. We’ll talk to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to learn why (and how) researchers are creating new…
#257 Falling Upwards
Mar 21, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We’ll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his newest book, “Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air.” We’ll talk about the…
#256 Beauty is A Beast
Mar 14, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re exploring the science of beauty products and procedures. We’ll talk to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, co-founder of thebeautybrains.com, about his book “It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick.” And we’ll speak to cosmetic surgeon Dr.…
#255 Impossible Computing
Mar 6, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re learning about the science and math on the cutting edge of computing research. We’ll talk to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Scott Aaronson about the hype and the hope for the field of quantum computing. And we’ll…
#254 On Genius
Feb 27, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re thinking about thinking, and the capacity of the not-so-humble human brain. We’ll speak to science writer Fritjof Capra about his book “Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius.” We’ll take a look at IQ testing with…
#253 The Philosophical Breakfast Club
Feb 20, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back at four remarkable minds whose weekly meetings set the stage for a revolution in science and technology. We’re joined by science historian Laura J. Snyder, to talk about her book “The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four…
#252 Everyday Science and Math
Feb 13, 2014 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at some ordinary life experiences that harbor extraordinary science and math secrets. Filmmaker and author Simon Singh joins us to talk about his book “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”. Mathematician Christopher…
#251 Countdown
Feb 6, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at population and politics, and what we can do to make human life on Earth more sustainable. We’ll speak to journalist and author Alan Weisman, about his book “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth.”And we’re joined…
#250 For Frack’s Sake
Jan 30, 2014 • 60 min
This week, it’s another foray into the realm of science and politics, and the messy way they influence each other. We’re joined by Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy, to discuss the evidence and the arguments about the…
#249 Health Controversies Again
Jan 23, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at controversial topics at the intersection of healthcare and ethics. Law professor and author Timothy Caulfield returns to discuss the rise of stem cell tourism at clinics worldwide. And science writer David Dobbs joins us to…
#248 Perv
Jan 16, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing taboo sexual practices, and whether they’re really as unusual as we think. Psychologist and author Jesse Bering returns to the show to talk about his newest book, “Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us.” And we’ll speak to…
#247 The Atomic Era
Jan 9, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the power and peril of the atom, with two books about women who were instrumental in helping us unlock its secrets. We’re joined by Huffington Post editor Shelley Emling, to discuss her book “Marie Curie and Her Daughters:…
#246 Last Ape Standing
Jan 2, 2014 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the past and the future of the human race on the planet we’ve come to dominate. Rachelle Saunders talks to Chip Walter, founder of AllThingsHuman.net, about his book “Last Ape Standing:The Seven-Million-Year Story of How…
#245 Boozy Science
Dec 26, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing some science surrounding our favorite adult beverages. We’ll revisit our interview with Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, about the chemistry of the brewing process. And we’ll speak to…
#244 Science Has A People Problem
Dec 19, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about the people, passions and personalities that shape the pursuit of science. Desiree Schell sits down with Dr. Morton Meyers, Distinguished Professor of Radiology and Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook,…
#243 Science Up Your Holidays
Dec 12, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re helping add some science to your holiday season. We’ll hear from some of our favorite past guests, and members of the Science for the People team, as they share their most-treasured science books from 2013, as well as classics to help…
#242 Time Warped
Dec 5, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning more about the fourth dimension, with a look at the brain science and the physics of time. Desiree Schell speaks to BBC journalist Claudia Hammond about her book “Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception.” And…
#241 Against Their Will
Nov 28, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at what happens when medical research clashes with basic ethics. Desiree Schell speaks to author Allen Hornblum about his book “Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America.”…
#240 Humorology
Nov 21, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’ll speak to a trio of online experts for a look at the lighter side of science. Desiree Schell welcomes favorite guest Scicurious, to talk about the 2013 IgNobel Prizes. Rachelle Saunders speaks to researcher and blogger Derek Lowe, about…
#239 Science and The Shutdown
Nov 14, 2013 • 60 min
When the United States Congress forced a 16-day government shutdown, nearly all government research funding was put on hold. Now that the latest budget impasse is over, we’ll discuss the lingering effects of that funding gap. We’re joined by Andrew…
#236 Fukushima
Oct 25, 2013 • 60 min
This week, Rachelle Saunders spends the hour discussing the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor. She’ll examine the impacts on the environment, public health and the reputation of nuclear power, with Dr. Charles Ferguson, president of the…
#235 Food Sustainability
Oct 18, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the technological, environmental and economic challenges of feeding the human race. Desiree Schell spends the hour with Valentine Cadieux, professor of Sociology and Geology at the University of Minnesota, and graduate…
#234 Science For The People
Oct 11, 2013 • 60 min
This week, Skeptically Speaking becomes Science For The People. Hosts Desiree Schell, Rachelle Saunders and Marie-Claire Shanahan discuss the new name, the motivation for the change, and how it conveys their vision for the show. We’ll speak to researcher…
#233 Poop
Oct 4, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re skipping to the tail end of the digestive tract, to learn some fascinating facts about feces. Rachelle Saunders welcomes science journalist Maryn McKenna back to the show to discuss human gut bacteria, and the biome-boosting power of…
#232 Food Science
Sep 27, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re exploring the everyday experiments that take place in our very own kitchens. Desiree Schell speaks to Guy Crosby, Science Editor for America’s Test Kitchen, about his book “The Science of Good Cooking.” And geneticist and science writer…
#231 Thinking About Thinking
Sep 20, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re diving back into neuroscience, to learn how common conceptions of the brain stand up to real research. Desiree Schell speaks to neurologist and author Robert Burton, about his book A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and…
#230 Bug Music
Sep 13, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re jamming to the rhythm of the insect world. Desiree speaks to musician and philosopher David Rothenberg, author of the book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise, about the possible insect inspirations for human music. And she’s…
#229 The Way of Science
Sep 6, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking science out of the lab and into everyday life. Rachelle Saunders speaks to Dennis R. Trumble, Senior Biomedical Engineer and Instructor of Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital, about his book The Way of Science: Finding Truth and…
#228 Monster Mash
Aug 30, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re telling spooky stories about monsters both real and imagined. We’ll speak to science writer and blogger Frank Swain about his book How to Make a Zombie: The Real Life (and Death) Science of Reanimation and Mind Control. And we’re joined…
#227 Math on Trial
Aug 22, 2013 • 60 min
This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders explores the ways that math can help (and hinder) the pursuit of justice. She speaks to mathematician and University of Paris Professor Leila Schneps, co-author of the book Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and…
#226 Robots!
Aug 16, 2013 • 60 min
This week, it’s an hour on robots! We’ll speak to John Long, Director of the Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory at Vassar College, about his book Darwin’s Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of…
#225 Extra Sensory
Aug 9, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re examining the scientific perspective on “psychic powers” like telepathy, telekinesis and remote viewing. We’ll speak to science author Brian Clegg about his new book Extra Sensory: The Science and Pseudoscience of Telepathy and Other…
#224 The Half-Life of Facts
Aug 2, 2013 • 60 min
This week, guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends an hour exploring knowledge and certainty, and how they change over time. She’ll speak to Samuel Arbesman, applied mathematician and fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard…
#223 Weird Life
Jul 26, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the search for strange and exotic lifeforms, in outer space, in overlooked corners on Earth, and even deep within our own tissues. We’ll speak to David Toomey, Director of the Program for Professional Writing and Technical…
#222 The Evolution of Language
Jul 19, 2013 • 60 min
This week, it’s an hour on the evolution of language. Linguist, philosopher, author and activist Noam Chomsky joins us to discuss the concept of universal grammar, and the possibility of a human genetic capacity to create and use language. Terrence…
#221 War on Science
Jul 12, 2013 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at threats to science and critical thinking, and how you can sort fact from fiction. York University science librarian John Dupuis joins us to discuss what he calls the Canadian government’s War on Science. And Chris MacDonald…
#220 Community Specific Science
Jul 5, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the ways that science and medicine impact specific communities. We’ll speak to biologist and science educator Danielle N. Lee about the state of science journalism at media sources that serve minority audiences. Microbiologist…
#219 Kingdom of Rarities
Jun 28, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about ecology and biodiversity, and the preservation of endangered (and even extinct) species. We’re joined by Eric Dinerstein, Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund, to discuss his…
#218 Historic Discoveries
Jun 21, 2013 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at science history, with two books about the passion and perseverance that drive the pursuit of scientific discovery. We’re joined by science writer Mark Anderson, to talk about his book The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An…
#217 Money Matters
Jun 14, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some of the less savory effects of global trade and market economies. We’ll speak to Mark Harrison, Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine and Professor of the History of Medicine at Oxford University, about…
#216 The Evolution of Aging
Jun 7, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the aging process, and how science and medicine are treating it as a problem to be solved. We’ll talk to Michael Rose, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of…
#215 Breasts
May 31, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing the function, evolution and complicated social norms attached to the human female breast. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to freelance health and science journalist Florence Williams, about her New York Times notable book…
#214 Coding Life
May 24, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a closer look at the code that runs our computers, and permeates so much of our lives. Desiree Schell talks to Stephen Gold, Vice President of Watson Solutions at IBM Software Group, about new healthcare applications for cognitive…
#213 Bird Brains
May 17, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at birds, and what the study of their behavior and anatomy can tell us about ourselves. We’ll talk to Dr. John Marzluff, professor of Avian social ecology and demography at the University of Washington, about his book Gifts of the…
#212 Star Stuff
May 10, 2013 • 60 min
This week, Skeptically Speaking looks to the stars that light up the night sky, and fuse hydrogen and helium into the elements that make life possible. Science writer Jennifer Ouellette examines the possible evidence of ancient supernovae in bacterial…
#211 The Year Without Summer
May 3, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the explosive geology of volcanoes, and how they shape our world both physically and politically. We’ll speak to climate researcher Nicholas Klingaman, about his book The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened…
#210 Spillover
Apr 26, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we take a sobering look at infectious diseases in animals, and the scary things that happen when those infections spread to humans. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan talk to journalist David Quammen about his book Spillover: Animal Infections…
#209 Drinking Water
Apr 19, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the science and the history of the water that makes life and society possible. We’ll speak to law and environment professor James Salzman, about his book Drinking Water: A History. And we’re joined by Juewen Liu, chemistry…
#208 Brain on Fire
Apr 12, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the brain, and the fascinating – and devastating – things that can happen when its functions are disrupted. We’ll speak with journalist Susannah Cahalan, about her bestselling memoir Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness. And…
#207 Paleofantasy
Apr 5, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a look at the past, present and future of food, and what science has to say about some popular health trends. We’re joined by biology professor Marlene Zuk, to talk about her new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us…
#206 Frankenstein’s Cat
Mar 29, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at how biotechnology is super-charging the toolkit for customizing our pets, affecting the use of animals in medicine and livestock, and changing our relationship with the animal world. We’re joined by science writer Emily Anthes,…
#205 Rat Island
Mar 22, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at invasive predators, changing ecosystems, and the ethical questions raised by killing one species to save another. We’ll speak to science journalist Will Stolzenburg, about his book Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the…
#204 Mars Rocks!
Mar 15, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking one orbit outward, at the little red planet that’s inspired so much science and science fiction. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan talks to University of Tennessee geologist Linda Kah, about her work as part of NASA’s Mars Science…
#203 The Genius of Dogs
Mar 7, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a look at man’s best friend through the lens of current research. We’ll talk to Brian Hare, director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center and co-founder of Dognition, about his book The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You…
#202 The Altruism Equation
Feb 28, 2013 • 60 min
This week. we’re looking at what science has to say about the origins of selfless – and even self-sacrificing – behavior. We’ll speak to biology professor Lee Alan Dugatkin, about his book The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of…
#201 Bad Pharma
Feb 21, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a look at the questionable practices and suspect science employed by the companies that make our most widely used prescription drugs. We’ll speak to Dr. Ben Goldacre, about his book Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors…
#200 The Science of Beer
Feb 14, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re pouring over the science of that most beloved beverage, beer! Guest host Rachelle Saunders is joined by Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis. We’ll take an in-depth look at the chemistry of the…
#199 Fate of the Species
Feb 7, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the ways that people are changing the planet, and the consequences for all of us if we don’t start doing it responsibly. We’re joined by Fred Guterl, Executive Editor at Scientific American, to discuss his book The Fate of the…
#198 Nature’s Compass
Jan 31, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some of the amazing abilities exhibited by our animal cousins. We’ll speak to James Gould, co-author of Nature’s Compass: The Mystery of Animal Navigation, about the varying strategies animals use to find their way across all…
#197 Future Bioethics
Jan 17, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the debates over the ethics of medicine and medical research, and the future of new medical technology. We’ll talk bioethics and public policy with Center for Inquiry CEO Ronald Lindsay. And we’re joined by Dr. Rob Tarzwell, to…
#196 World Changing Ideas 2012
Jan 10, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we team up with Scientific American, to learn more about the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We talk to Sci-Am editors and writers about cutting edge research. From artificial life forms to new ways to…
#195 The Penis Panel
Jan 3, 2013 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a closer look at the variety of organs that evolved to deliver reproductive cells. Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon, biologist and YouTube sensation Carin Bondar and blogger and researcher Scicurious return to the show to talk…
#146 Spider Silk (REBROADCAST)
Dec 27, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’ll listen back to an episode featuring some of nature’s most accomplished materials scientists, and the amazing substance they produce. We’re joined by Leslie Brunetta, co-author of Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning,…
#194 Year In Science 2012
Dec 20, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking back at some of the most important science news of 2012. Writers Maryn McKenna and David Dobbs, BoingBoing Science Editor Maggie-Koerth Baker, and paleontology blogger Brian Switek join us to share the stories that made headlines,…
#193 Science Books for Your Gift List
Dec 13, 2012 • 60 min
Whether you’re dropping a last-minute hint to a relative, or buying science books for the people you love, Skeptically Speaking has you covered. We’ve enlisted two dozen scientists, science writers and bloggers, including some of our favorite past guests.…
#192 The Particle at the End of the Universe
Dec 6, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at one of the biggest science stories of 2012, and one of the largest instruments in the history of science. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, author of the new book The…
#191 More Current Controversies
Nov 29, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at science stories driving headlines and causing conversation. We’ll speak to particle physicist James Pinfold about recent experiments that cast doubt on a possible explanation for dark matter, and new research that he’s…
#190 Rabid
Nov 22, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about a viral menace that’s one of the scariest – and deadliest – known to science. We’ll talk to WIRED editor Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy about their book Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical…
#106 Science and Culture (REBROADCAST)
Nov 17, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening back to an episode which examines the ways that society and science inform and influence each other. Frequent guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan, Professor of Science Education at the University of Alberta, and President of the…
#189 Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why
Nov 10, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the science of sexual orientation, where debates over nature vs. nurture have influenced law, policy and equal rights. We’re joined by neuroscientist and writer Simon LeVay, to talk about his research on the topic, and his book…
#188 Why Should I Care About Space?
Nov 4, 2012 • 60 min
In almost any discussion of space exploration and observation, one question always arises. Why should we spend the money, when there are problems here on Earth? This week, we’re going to tackle this question, with a panel of people who know just how…
#187 Funny Science
Oct 26, 2012 • 60 min
We’re taking a break from live recording this week. On the podcast, we’re looking at the lighter side of science, both real and imagined. We’re joined by Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the…
#186 The C Word
Oct 19, 2012 • 60 min
No, not that C word. This week, we’re talking about Cancer; its myriad forms, many causes, and most promising treatments. We’re joined by engineering professor Brendan Harley, who works on making cancer research more effective, and Dr. David Gorski,…
#185 Genetically Modified Foods Revisited
Oct 12, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’ll spend the hour talking about genetically modified foods, that are causing conversation among scientists, lawmakers and the public. Horticulture professor Kevin Folta returns to the show, along with Karl Haro von Mogel and Anastasia…
#184 Your Baby’s Best Shot
Oct 5, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the science – and pseudoscience – that affects the healthcare decisions parents make for their children, and women make for themselves. We’re joined by Allison Hagood and Stacy Herlihy, to talk about their book Your Baby’s Best…
#183 Current Controversies
Sep 28, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at two science stories making headlines and stirring debate. Science writer David Dobbs returns to the show, to discuss the controversial neuroscience in Naomi Wolf’s new book Vagina: a Biography. And genetics researcher Michael…
#182 Science Cinema
Sep 21, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at film and video as an exciting, engaging way to communicate science to the public. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with independent film-maker and former BBC video journalist Brady Haran, and artist and…
#181 Science Reporting 2012
Sep 14, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at new and evolving ways of bringing important science news to the public. Journalist and author Maryn McKenna returns to the show, to talk about her recent report for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, about evidence for a…
#180 Measure for Measure
Sep 7, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re thinking about science as an instrument, and the parallels between an understanding of music and the history of science. Thomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing at MIT and author of Newton and the Counterfeiter, returns to talk…
#100 Semen Science (REBROADCAST)
Sep 1, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re listening back to one of our all-time most popular episodes. Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon explains the amazing diversity of sperm design, and its connection with mating behaviour. And Scientopia blogger Scicurious discusses some of…
#179 Waterworld
Aug 24, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing some fascinating science focused on the liquid portions of our big blue planet. We’re joined by graduate researcher Andrew David Thaler, founder of Southern Fried Science, to talk about the weird and wonderful networks of life…
#178 World Wide Mind
Aug 18, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at a possible future where integrated technology makes exchanging digital information as natural as using the senses we’re born with. We’ll talk to technology writer Michael Chorost, about his book World Wide Mind: The Coming…
#177 Climate Change at CONvergence
Aug 11, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a break from live recording. We’ll listen back to highlights from “The Chilling Effects of Denialism,” and “Who Will Save the Polar Bears,” two panels on climate change recorded live as part of the Skepchickcon track at CONvergence…
#176 The Violinist’s Thumb
Aug 3, 2012 • 60 min
This week, it’s part two of our two week focus on evolution and genetics. Science writer Sam Kean, author of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, returns to the show to talk about his new book The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales…
#175 Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Jul 27, 2012 • 60 min
This week, it’s part one of a two-week focus on evolution and genetics. For our first installment, we’re looking at the ways that evolution might influence our modern lives, from obesity to overpopulation to heavy metal music. We spend the hour with Rob…
#174 Ignorance
Jul 20, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at how the basic condition of not knowing things provides the motivation to keep science moving. We’re joined by Stuart Firestein, Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences, to talk about his book Ignorance:…
#173 Seeking Sickness
Jul 13, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some common assumptions about healthcare, including the well-known benefits – and less discussed costs – of popular screening technologies. We’re joined by drug policy researcher Alan Cassels, to talk about his book Seeking…
#172 A Brief History of Infinity
Jul 6, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re diving back into the fascinating world of numbers, from the toughest theoretical concepts, to the numbers that describe our favorite pastimes. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to science writer Brian Clegg, about his book A Brief…
#171 Ask a Pharmacist
Jun 29, 2012 • 60 min
We’re back live this week, and we’re giving you the chance to Ask a Pharmacist. Ontario pharmacist Scott Gavura is the founder and editor of Science-Based Pharmacy, and a contributor to Science-Based Medicine. He’ll be answering audience questions for the…
#170 Infrastructure and You
Jun 22, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re taking a break from live recording. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour looking at the infrastructure that makes our modern, increasingly urbanized lives possible. She’s joined by journalist Scott Huler, author of the book On…
#169 Play Reality
Jun 15, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the intersection between science and play time. Guest host Julieta Delos Santos talks to Dr. Jayne Gackenbach and Teace Snyder, about their book Play Reality: How Videogames are Changing Everything. And we’ll listen back to…
#168 Sex, Bombs and Burgers
Jun 8, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about the basic, biological impulses that drive our technological advancement. We’re joined by author and journalist Peter Nowak, to discuss his book Sex, Bombs and Burgers: How War, Porn and Fast Food Shaped Modern Technology.…
#167 Liars and Outliers
Jun 1, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about trust and cooperation, and the implications these social values have for security in the era of global networking. We’re joined by security technologist and author Bruce Schneier, to talk about his book Liars and Outliers:…
#166 The Cure for Everything
May 25, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at what the evidence has to say about common claims about diet, exercise, weight loss and other hot health topics. We’re joined by health law professor Timothy Caulfield, to talk about his book The Cure for Everything! Untangling…
#165 Dark Matter
May 18, 2012 • 60 min
What do you get when all the stuff in the universe can’t account for the mass we observe? You get Dark Matter, that mysterious source of gravity that might be the only thing keeping galaxies from flying apart. This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders talk…
#164 Babies, Brains and Boobs
May 11, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some of the ways motherhood changes the brain and the body. Kayt Sukel, author of Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships, returns to explain the neurological effects of pregnancy and motherhood. And…
#163 Newton and The Counterfeiter
May 4, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re digging into a fascinating and little known chapter in the life of one of the giants of modern science. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with Tom Levenson, Professor of Science Writing at MIT, to talk about his book Newton…
#162 The Science of Belief
Apr 27, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about the perspective of science on the mechanisms of belief. We’re joined by science writer Jesse Bering, to discuss his book The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life. And we dive into the…
#161 False Profits
Apr 20, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re joined by Robert FitzPatrick, founder of Pyramid Scheme Alert, and co-author of False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes. He’ll discuss the promises and pitfalls of schemes,…
#160 Before the Lights Go Out
Apr 13, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re joined by Maggie-Koerth Baker, Science Editor at Boing-Boing, to talk about her new book Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us. Maggie will discuss the economics and social incentives that spurred…
#159 Too Big To Know
Apr 6, 2012 • 60 min
This week we’re talking about how global connectivity and the rise of big data are transforming the way we look at knowledge. We’re joined by David Weinberger, co-director of Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab, to talk about his book Too Big to Know:…
#158 Reef Madness
Mar 30, 2012 • 60 min
This week, guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with science writer David Dobbs, to talk about his book Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral. The 2005 book, which was recently adapted into a set of…
#157 Predators and Prey
Mar 23, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking into the many strategies that animals employ in the struggle to eat other animals. We’re joined by freelance science writer Matt Soniak, to discuss the often complex relationship between hunter and hunted. And biological…
#156 Beyond 42
Mar 16, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re experiencing the power of stories to communicate science. Join us for Beyond 42: How Science Can Use Stories to Explain Life, the Universe and Everything. This event, recorded live in Edmonton, features Scientific American Blog Editor…
#155 Dirty Minds
Mar 8, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking into what happens in our brains when we’re experiencing some of the most powerful feelings we feel. We’ll spend the hour with science writer Kayt Sukel, to talk about her book Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and…
#154 Mathtastic! Part Two
Mar 1, 2012 • 60 min
This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders is back for part two of our two-part series on the fun and fascinating world of math. Rachelle spends the whole hour with Ian Stewart, mathematician, professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, and author…
#153 Mathtastic! Part One
Feb 23, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re diving into the fascinating math that describes the world around us. Guest host Rachelle Saunders speaks to Malcolm Roberts, PhD Applied Mathematician at the University of Alberta, about fluid dynamics, the math that models motion in…
#152 The Poisoner’s Handbook
Feb 16, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking science and storytelling. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan speaks to science journalist and author Deborah Blum about her national bestseller The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.…
#151 Everyday Superpowers
Feb 9, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the amazing abilities and potential of the human body. Evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi joins us to talk about his book The Vision Revolution, which looks at the evolution of vision from a novel new direction. And Dr.…
#150 Fungi and Fossils
Feb 2, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about strange lifeforms that stretch our assumptions about the natural world. Molecular pharmacologist David Kroll, Science Communications Director of the Nature Research Center at North Carolina’s state Museum of Natural…
#149 There Will Be Blood: The Evolution and Function of Menstruation
Jan 26, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about what may be the most stigmatized facet of human reproduction. We’re joined by Dr. Kate Clancy, anthropology professor and science blogger, to learn about the physiology and function of menstruation, and the history of how…
#148 Brain Bits
Jan 19, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we take a look at some of the most interesting things we’ve learned about the brain. We’ll revisit some of our favorite episodes on the brain and its fascinating functions, from interpreting music, to justifying cruel behavior, and its role in…
#147 Science and Politics
Jan 12, 2012 • 60 min
This week, it’s a panel discussion about what happens when science intersects with politics. We’re joined by Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-author of Unscientific America, anthropologist/blogger Greg Laden, and Shawn Lawrence Otto, co-founder of ScienceDebate.org…
#146 Spider Silk
Jan 5, 2012 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at some of nature’s most accomplished materials scientists, and the amazing substance they produce. We’re joined by Leslie Brunetta, co-author of Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and…
#145 World Changing Ideas: Part Two
Dec 29, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s Part Two of our series with Scientific American, on the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We’ll talk to Sci-Am editors and writers, and researchers who are developing cutting edge tech that just might…
#144 World Changing Ideas: Part One
Dec 22, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s Part One of our series with Scientific American, on the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We talk to Sci-Am editors and writers, and researchers who are developing cutting edge tech that just might shape…
#143 Here is a Human Being
Dec 15, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re digging into the genome, the molecular blueprint that our bodies use to build themselves. We’ll discuss DNA, genetics, and personal genomics with Dr. Misha Angrist, Assistant Professor at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences Policy, and…
#142 Science is a Hell of a Drug
Dec 8, 2011 • 60 min
…and drugs are a hell of a science. Researcher and blogger Scicurious returns to examine the various substances that we use to alter consciousness. How do they affect us, how do we study them, and do they have any uses beyond their recreational…
#141 The Common Cold
Dec 1, 2011 • 60 min
This week we’re discussing the viral menace that makes our lives miserable, and has stymied attempts at a cure from the earliest days of medicine. Pharmacist Scott Gavura returns to the show, to tell us how colds infect us, what causes their symptoms, and…
#140 Speedy Neutrinos
Nov 24, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we dig into the story behind the experiment which might have discovered neutrinos moving faster than the speed of light. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks with theoretical astrophysicist Dr. Ethan Siegel, to discuss the nuts and bolts of the…
#139 Culture and Tradition
Nov 17, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re featuring a panel discussion on the origins and influence of tradition, with biological anthropologist Greg Laden, science education researcher Marie-Claire Shanahan, and primatologist Eric Michael Johnson. We’ll discuss where traditions…
#138 Evolution and Politics
Nov 10, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at what happens when a bedrock scientific theory goes up for debate in the contentious realm of politics. We’ll speak to Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director, and Steven Newton, Programs and Policy Director, at the National…
#137 Memory Science
Nov 4, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re featuring a pre-recorded interview on the work of Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, author, university professor, and pioneering researcher into the way our brains make and modify memories. And we’re joined by Iowa State University researcher Gary…
#136 Quantum Mechanics
Oct 28, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the mindbending physics that happens on the smallest imaginable scales. We’re joined by physics professor James Kakalios, to talk about his book The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science…
#135 Microorganisms
Oct 21, 2011 • 60 min
This week we’re looking at some of the microscopic organisms that share our planet and, occasionally, our bodies. We’re joined by science writer and blogger Carl Zimmer, to talk about his new book A Planet of Viruses. And we’ll speak to…
#134 Mad Like Tesla
Oct 14, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re talking about the unorthodox thinkers who might help us innovate our way to new energy solutions. We’re joined by journalist Tyler Hamilton, to discuss his book Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Bold Pursuit of Clean Energy.…
#133 Science As Fiction
Oct 7, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re speaking to authors whose fiction appeals to the science lover. We’ll speak to astronomer Stuart Clark, about his novel The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth, the first of a trilogy examining pivotal moments in astronomy history. And we’re joined by…
#132 Changing Planet
Sep 30, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re looking at the medical effects of global climate change. We’re joined by Dan Ferber, to talk about his book Changing Planet, Changing Health: How The Climate Crisis Threatens our Health, and What We Can Do About It. And Josh Rosenau, of…
#131 Neurology Past and Present
Sep 23, 2011 • 60 min
We’re taking a break from live recording this week. We’ll listen in on an interview recorded live at Dragon*Con 2011. We’ll discuss the history and practice of neurology, with academic clinical neurologist Dr. Steven Novella, and Dr. Jason Schneiderman,…
#130 The Earth That Was
Sep 16, 2011 • 60 min
This week we’ll look back into prehistory, for a glimpse of what life was like before humanity spread across the globe. We’re joined by anthropologist and author Brian Fagan, to discuss his book Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern…
#129 The Prince of Evolution
Sep 9, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re discussing evolution, and a less well known, but just as fabulously bearded, scientist who helped to expand the theory. We’ll talk to Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin, about his book The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science…
#128 Elemental Intrigue
Sep 2, 2011 • 60 min
Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to science writer Sam Kean, about his book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. And we’ll learn about cutting edge research…
#127 Random Things That Can Kill You
Aug 26, 2011 • 60 min
Hurricane Irene interfered with our plans to interview science writer and blogger Carl Zimmer about his new book A Planet of Viruses. Instead, we talked hurricanes with Shaun Tanner, head of Meteorological Operations at the weather science resource site,…
#126 Bug Girl’s Favorite Insects
Aug 19, 2011 • 60 min
From ants to aphids, mosquitoes to mantises, entomology blogger Bug Girl has covered all kinds of things that creep, crawl and fly. This week, she joins us to talk about her favorite bugs, and why she finds them all so fascinating. And anthropologist and…
#125 Global Population
Aug 12, 2011 • 60 min
The human population of planet Earth is rapidly approaching 7 billion. This week, we’ll look at how fast our numbers are growing, what they mean for things like resources and the environment, and what we can do about it. Maybe. We’re joined by William…
#124 The Theory That Would Not Die
Aug 5, 2011 • 60 min
This week, show favorite Sharon Bertsch McGrayne returns to tell us about her new book, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy. We’ll…
#123 Data Analysis
Jul 29, 2011 • 60 min
This week, data analyst Keith Schon returns to the show. We’ll ask him about his work as an information archaeologist, and how state-of-the-art software can piece together huge datasets of your online interactions, and build a picture of your personality.…
#122 HIV and AIDS
Jul 22, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re joined by graduate student and Scienceblogs writer Abbie Smith, to learn about the latest research on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. How does HIV cause AIDS? What are the latest treatments? How close are we to a cure? What strategies…
#121 The Nature of Human Nature
Jul 15, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re joined by Dr. Carin Bondar, biologist and author, to talk about her book The Nature of Human Nature: Reflections On Our Position As “Natural” Entities In The Animal Kingdom. The book takes a critical look at some of the things that we…
#120 Tracking the Chupacabra
Jul 8, 2011 • 60 min
This week, Skeptical Inquirer Managing Editor Benjamin Radford returns to the show, to discuss his newest book, Tracking The Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast In Fact, Fiction and Folklore. He’ll explain his investigation of the legendary monster, and his…
#119 Mistakes Were Made
Jul 1, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’re learning about the ways our brains are hard wired to fail at reality. Guest host Rachelle Saunders will speak with Dr. Carol Tavris, co-author of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by ME): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and…
#118 The Reasonableness of Weird Things
Jun 24, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s an hour with Daniel Loxton. The editor of Junior Skeptic and author of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be returns to the show to share “The Reasonableness Of Weird Things,” his keynote address from LogiCON 2011. Join us for…
#117 Rural Medicine
Jun 17, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we’ll look at how society and geography affect people’s access to healthcare, and the quality of care they receive. We’re joined by Dr. Sasha Mullally, professor at the University of New Brunswick, to discuss her research into the social…
#116 What is Mental Illness?
Jun 10, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s an hour on the brain, and the diseases and conditions unique to this amazing organ. We’re joined by Dr. Richard J. McNally, researcher in the psychology department at Harvard University, and author of What Is Mental Illness? And we’re…
#115 Cell Phone Science
Jun 3, 2011 • 60 min
Researcher and Scientopia blogger Scicurious returns to discuss the fact and fiction of mobile phones. What effect do they have on brain cells? What about sperm cells? And do they have anything to do with declining populations of bees? And we’re joined by…
#114 Practical Wisdom
May 27, 2011 • 60 min
What exactly is “wisdom,” and how can we apply it in our daily lives? We’re joined by Barry Schwartz, Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, and Kenneth Sharpe, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Political…
#113 Science-Based Medicine and the Media
May 20, 2011 • 60 min
What is science-based medicine, and how does the media (perhaps unwittingly) distort it? Our guest this week is Dr. Steven Novella, academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, Executive Editor of the website Science-Based…
#112 Strange New Worlds
May 13, 2011 • 60 min
We look at the cutting edge science and old-fashioned wonder of the hunt for planets circling other stars. We’ll talk to Ray Jayawardhana, Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and author of Strange New Worlds:…
#111 Animal Testing
May 6, 2011 • 60 min
We’ll look at the practical advantages, and the ethical pitfalls, of using animals in scientific and medical research. We’re joined by Janet Stemwedel, Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Jose State University, and author of the blog Adventures in…
#110 A History of Childbirth
Apr 29, 2011 • 60 min
We explore the changing ways that medicine and culture have treated pregnancy and childbirth. We’ll talk with doctor and medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein, about her book Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth From the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank.…
#109 A Lifetime of Data
Apr 22, 2011 • 60 min
We’ll get the scientific perspective on the causes and effects of aging, and how they change over a lifetime. We’ll speak with Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, about the biology and…
#108 Magical Thinking
Apr 15, 2011 • 60 min
We ask professional magicians how the study and practice of magic can help teach critical thinking skills. We’ll talk to sleight-of-hand master Jamy Ian Swiss, and Scam School creator Brian Brushwood, about the ways that magic can demonstrate - and help…
#107 Zombie Attack!
Apr 8, 2011 • 60 min
We dig into the fascinating ways these movie monsters overlap with real-world science. We talk to entomologist David P. Hughes, about his work studying parasites that use mind control to direct the behavior of their hosts. And mathematician Robert Smith?…
#106 Science and Culture
Apr 3, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we examine the ways that society and science inform and influence each other. We’re joined by Marie-Claire Shanahan, Professor of Science Education at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Science Education Research Group, to…
#105 Making Science Funny
Mar 25, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s a panel discussion on the plusses and pitfalls of using humor to promote science. We’re joined by Science Comedian Brian Malow, blogger Scicurious, and Brian Thompson, host of The Amateur Scientist Podcast. They’ll look at how engaging the…
#103 Sewer Science
Mar 18, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we take another look at water, and what happens to it after it goes down the drain. Researcher Liz Borkowski joins us for a look at the connection between sewage and civilization, and the struggle to introduce modern sanitation in the…
#104 Blood Work
Mar 18, 2011 • 60 min
It’s an hour on the blood that runs through your veins, and how modern medicine can supplement your supply. We’ll talk to Holly Tucker about Blood Work, her book exploring the pioneering science and the political intrigue behind the world’s first blood…
#102 Fluoride and Water Tech
Mar 10, 2011 • 60 min
From the Roman aqueducts to the latest research on what happens when you turn the tap, it’s an hour on water. Dr. William James joins us for a lesson on the history and technology of municipal water systems. And we’ll talk to University of Toronto…
#101 Brain Games
Mar 3, 2011 • 60 min
It’s an hour on the brain, the senses, and how you can fool them both. We’re joined by neuroscientist Tom Stafford, co-author of the book Mind Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain. We’ll talk about how your brain processes information, and all of…
#100 Semen Science
Feb 24, 2011 • 60 min
Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon returns to explain the amazing diversity of sperm design, and its connection with mating behaviour. And Scientopia blogger Scicurious joins us to discuss some of our favorites from her Friday Weird Science archives.…
#99 Quacks and Scams
Feb 17, 2011 • 60 min
It’s an hour on scams and charlatans, with Dr. Stephen Barrett. He’s the creator of QuackWatch, a family of websites that tracks dubious healthcare claims, and the people and practitioners who make them. James “The Amazing” Randi joins us for a history of…
#98 An Optimist’s Tour of The Future
Feb 10, 2011 • 60 min
We’re joined by science writer Jessica Wapner, to examine the intersection between ethics, economics, and drug development, and what it means for the future of pharmaceutical research. And we sit down with author, comedian and futurist Mark Stevenson, to…
#97 The Science of Kissing
Feb 3, 2011 • 60 min
We’re joined by researcher and science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum, to talk about her book The Science Of Kissing. We’ll learn about the surprisingly complex chemistry that’s going on during a passing peck or a passionate liplock. And Greg Laden returns for…
#96 Human Factors Engineering
Jan 27, 2011 • 60 min
Researcher and blogger Ash Donaldson joins us for a pre-recorded discussion on the fascinating field of Human Factors Engineering. This multi-disciplinary science draws on anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology and communications research, as it tries…
#95 The Science of Allergies
Jan 20, 2011 • 60 min
Dr. Gary Stadtmauer returns for a pre-recorded discussion on the science behind the causes, symptoms and treatment of allergies. And we start the hour with paramedic Michael Kruse to talk about 10:23, a campaign to raise awareness about the scientific…
#94 Art and Science
Jan 13, 2011 • 60 min
This week, it’s an hour on the intersection between science and the creative arts. We’ll speak to Lauren Redniss, author and illustrator of Radioactive, a visual narrative about the work, life and love of Marie and Pierre Curie. Art historian Jenna Marie…
#93 The Paradox of Choice (REBROADCAST)
Jan 6, 2011 • 60 min
This week, we revisit our interview with Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author. He contends that, although you may think you want more options, having myriad alternatives is actually making you miserable. And we start the hour with Daniel Loxton, author…
#92 The Introvert Advantage
Dec 30, 2010 • 60 min
We ring in the New Year with an interview for those of us who prefer a good book, a quiet chat, or an interesting hour of radio over a night of wild partying. We’re joined by Dr. Marti Laney, family therapist and author of The Introvert Advantage. We’ll…
#91 Religious Artifacts
Dec 23, 2010 • 60 min
We sit down with Joe Nickell, scholar, author and veteran paranormal investigator, to talk about his experiences examining religious relics. We’ll discuss his investigations of artifacts from all over the world, including weeping statutes, saintly…
#90 Holiday Book Shopping Guide
Dec 16, 2010 • 60 min
We help you plan your holiday gift-giving with an hour on the best books about science. We’re joined by a panel of former guests, including astronomer Nicole Gugliucci, psychotherapist Dana Blumrosen, and writer/performer Kennedy Goodkey. They’ll share…
#89 Health Controversies
Dec 9, 2010 • 60 min
We’ll talk to medical physicist Dr. Marc MacKenzie about the new scanning equipment that’s causing a stir at U.S. airports. How do the machines actually work, and is their radiation dangerous? And Dr. Brian Goldman, the host of CBC’s “White Coat, Black…
#88 Written in Stone
Dec 2, 2010 • 60 min
Science writer Brian Switek joins us to talk about his new book Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. We’ll take a detailed look at the fossil evidence, to learn about the evolution of life on Earth, and our evolving…
#87 The Calculus Diaries
Nov 25, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. We’ll find out how much advanced math figures into our daily lives, and how even the mathematically challenged…
#86 Consensus Science
Nov 18, 2010 • 60 min
We look at scientific consensus through the eyes of non-scientists. Skeptic North bloggers Erik Davis and Steve Thoms explain how non-professional researchers can understand the state of modern science on questions from climate change to the effects of…
#85 Cooking for Geeks
Nov 11, 2010 • 60 min
We set the table for Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food. From overclocking your kitchen appliances to recipes right out of a chemistry lab manual, we’ll explore how delicious cooking can be when you add a…
#84 A Retrospective
Nov 5, 2010 • 60 min
In honour of CJSR’s FunDrive, we took a look back at some of our favourite moments from the show, and offered our (insightful and witty) commentary. Please note: Although FunDrive is over, it’s never too late to donate. If you do decide to contribute…
#83 Race and Reality
Oct 29, 2010 • 60 min
The first show of our host station’s CJSR’s annual FunDrive campaign features a look at the science of race, with Guy P. Harrison, author of Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity. Is there any real biological basis to…
#82 Vaccines
Oct 22, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to Dr. David Gorski, surgical oncologist and Managing Editor of Science-Based Medicine, about the science and the suspicion of vaccinations. How do vaccines actually work? Why do so many parents fear them? And how has vaccine anxiety contributed…
#81 Delusions of Gender
Oct 15, 2010 • 60 min
We speak with academic psychologist Dr. Cordelia Fine. Her new book, Delusions Of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, challenges the assumption that gender roles are wired into our brains, and shows us how ubiquitous…
#80 Science Journalism
Oct 8, 2010 • 60 min
We’ll speak to Bora Zivkovic, Blog and Community Editor at Scientific American and one of the ScienceOnline organizers, about how online science reporting and the explosion of science blogging are affecting the way science news is brought to the public.…
#79 Your Brain on Music
Oct 1, 2010 • 60 min
We’re joined by neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, to discuss his book This Is Your Brain on Music. We’ll look at the neuroscience of music appreciation, and explore the fascinating ways that listening to music affects our brains. And on Speaking…
#78 Improbable Research
Sep 24, 2010 • 60 min
We look at the stranger side of science with Marc Abrahams, the editor of Annals of Improbable Research and creator of the the Ig Nobel Prize. Is science that makes us laugh better at making us think? And neurobiologist Dr. Richard Wassersug explains his…
#77 Bad Research
Sep 17, 2010 • 60 min
Cognitive psychologist Barbara Drescher joins us to discuss the common mistakes scientists make, and what happens to the science when their research goes wrong. And on Speaking Up, journalist David Dobbs explains the case against Marc Hauser, a prominent…
#76 The Women Of Skepticism
Sep 10, 2010 • 60 min
Live from Skeptrack at Dragon*Con, we talk to the women of skepticism about the contributions they’re making to science and critical thinking. We start with a panel including Kylie Sturgess of The Token Skeptic, Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy of Skepticality,…
#75 Nobel Prize Women in Science - Part 2
Sep 3, 2010 • 60 min
Author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne returns to tell us about more about the most influential women in the history of modern science. Part 1 of the episode is here. And on Speaking up, we talk to our own Ryan Bromsgrove explains everything you need to know…
#74 The Conspiracy Skeptic
Aug 27, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to Karl Mamer, host of The Conspiracy Skeptic, a podcast that examines the breathless claims and the actual evidence behind today’s most tenacious conspiracy theories. On Speaking Up, we speak with geneticist Josh Witten on what irrational beliefs…
#73 Transhumanism - Part 2
Aug 20, 2010 • 60 min
Back by popular demand: George Dvorsky, of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and science blogger Greg Fish. It’s time for another look at Transhumanism, this time to debate Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity. On Speaking Up, we…
#72 Sex at Dawn
Aug 13, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to author Christopher Ryan about his new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. We’ll discuss the most recent science and theories, and how social norms compare to our biological impulses. On Speaking Up, we have Derek…
#71 Genetically Modified Foods
Aug 6, 2010 • 60 min
University of Florida researcher Kevin Folta discusses what an expert in plant genomics thinks about the claims and controversy surrounding genetically modified foods. On Speaking Up, we talk with Monty Harper and the “Songs From the Science Frontier”…
#70 The Culture Of Fear
Jul 30, 2010 • 60 min
We’re joined by sociologist and author Barry Glassner. For ten years, his book The Culture Of Fear has shed light on the way that cultural anxiety is manufactured to drive media ratings and win votes for politicians. The book has recently been updated to…
#69 The Science of Sleep
Jul 23, 2010 • 60 min
Dr. Kimberly A. Cote, Director of the Brock University Sleep Laboratory, discusses the research into the relationship between sleep, cognition and performance. On Speaking Up, we talk with Josh Hunt from the Cleveland Skeptics, on Critical Thinking 101.
#68 Adventures Among Ants
Jul 16, 2010 • 60 min
We’re joined by explorer and wildlife photographer Mark W. Moffet, to discuss his new book Adventures Among Ants. We’ll journey around the world to learn about these fascinating insects, and discover the parallels between their societies and our own. On…
#67 Cruelty
Jul 9, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to researcher Dr. Kathleen Taylor, the author of Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain. Has the human brain evolved the capacity for evil? We’ll examine cruelty as a scientific phenomenon, using the latest research from psychology and…
#66 Scientific Paranormal Investigation
Jul 2, 2010 • 60 min
Our guest is Ben Radford, columnist and managing editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Ben is a veteran investigator of paranormal incidents, and the author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. He’ll share stories…
#65 Transhumanism
Jun 25, 2010 • 60 min
We explore the predictions and the problems in the quest to “enhance” human beings. We’re joined by George Dvorsky of Sentient Developments and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and blogger Greg Fish. How will advancing technology affect…
#64 The Cosmetics Cop
Jun 18, 2010 • 60 min
Paula Begoun is the bestselling author of “The Beauty Bible” and “Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me.” We’ll examine the science behind some popular beauty products, and find out what real research says about makeup myths. On Speaking Up we talk…
#63 Vitamins
Jun 11, 2010 • 60 min
Pharmacist and blogger Scott Gavura returns to give us the evidence-based perspective on vitamins and the claims that are made about them. Which ones are beneficial, which ones are bunk, and how is this billion-dollar industry regulated? And on Speaking…
#62 The Evidence for Climate Change
Jun 4, 2010 • 60 min
We’re joined by John Cook, author of Skeptical Science, a website that examines climate change denial. What are the most common arguments used to create doubt about global warming? Are they supported by scientific evidence? On Speaking Up we talk to Meg…
#61 Bonobo Handshake
May 28, 2010 • 60 min
Journalist and author Vanessa Woods joins us to discuss her new book Bonobo Handshake. The memoir takes us inside Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary, a refuge for orphaned baby bonobos in the Congo. What can studying these highly social primates tell us about…
#60 Massimo Pigliucci
May 21, 2010 • 60 min
Philosophy professor and author Dr. Massimo Pigliucci joins us to discuss his new book Nonsense On Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk. We’ll discuss why people embrace pseudoscientific beliefs, and how it affects our culture. And on Speaking Up we talk…
#59 Young Skeptics
May 14, 2010 • 60 min
We’re joined by three members of the Young Australian Skeptics: Jack Scanlan, Elliot Birch and Jason Ball. We’ll find out what’s it like to discover reason before you’re eligible to vote, how they communicate with their more credulous peers, and where…
#58 Cryptozoology 101
May 7, 2010 • 60 min
Blake Smith and Dr. Karen Stollznow, two of the hosts of MonsterTalk, join us to share some of their favorite stories of fictional fauna. On Speaking Up, we talk with Myron Getman of themadskeptic.com on The Dangers of Cryptozoology.
#57 The Survival Guide for Outsiders
Apr 30, 2010 • 60 min
We talk to Sherman K. Stein, mathematician and author of Survival Guide for Outsiders: How To Protect Yourself From Politicians, Experts, and Other Insiders. What makes us so susceptible to social influence, and how can we guard against being manipulated?…
#56 Baba Brinkman
Apr 23, 2010 • 60 min
We sit down with Vancouver rapper Baba Brinkman, the artist behind The Rap Guide to Evolution, and the new rationalist anthem Off That. And on Speaking Up, we talk with Jason Brown with skepticator.com.
#55 Science Education
Apr 16, 2010 • 60 min
How are today’s teachers sharing the wonders of science and critical thinking with the next generation of students? With cognitive psychologist and university lecturer Barbara Drescher, and Mike McRae, former science teacher and current science writer for…
#54 The Genius in All of Us
Apr 9, 2010 • 60 min
We’ll be joined by journalist and bestselling author David Shenk, to discuss his new book, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong. We’ll dig into the relationship between intelligence, talent and…
#53 Obesity
Apr 2, 2010 • 60 min
Researcher and writer Peter Janiszewski joins us to discuss the science of obesity, and the latest research on weight loss and human health. And on Speaking Up we talk with Carrie Iwan of Skepchick on Skepchicon.
#52 The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Mar 26, 2010 • 60 min
We speak to Miriam Goldstein, doctoral student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography about her research expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Greg Fish from worldofweirdthings.com on Transhumanism. While we…
#51 Nobel Prize Women in Science
Mar 19, 2010 • 60 min
In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne joined us to discuss the lives, careers and Nobel Prize-winning research of women scientists. And on Speaking Up we talk to Heidi Anderson previews She Thought.
#50 Investigating Technology
Mar 11, 2010 • 60 min
We spoke to Jonathan Strickland, senior writer and “TechStuff” for howstuffworks.com, about the importance of critical thinking when examining new technology, and when determining whether the tech we use now does what it claims. And on Speaking Up we talk…
#49 Sex, Genes and Evolution
Mar 4, 2010 • 60 min
Biologist John Logsdon joins us to discuss the genetic and evolutionary aspects of sexual reproduction. Why do we have sex, anyway? Why do some creatures reproduce sexually, while others don’t? And beyond the simple act of making other humans, what role…
#48 The Interactive Conference
Feb 25, 2010 • 60 min
We looked at the increasing focus on interactivity at science and skeptical conferences. Science Online 2010 organizer Bora Zivkovic discusses the evolution of that conference model, and his experience putting together a massive multi-day,…
#47 The Wakefield Study
Feb 18, 2010 • 60 min
We take an in depth look at the recent Lancet retraction of Andrew Wakefield’s research into a correlation between Autism and the MMR vaccine. Pharmacist Scott Gavura, research ethicist Nancy Walton and author and philosopher Chris MacDonald explore the…
#46 The Independent Investigations Group
Feb 11, 2010 • 60 min
We spoke to three members of the Independent Investigations Group, to discuss their organization and their $50,000 Paranormal Challenge. Steve Muscarella, Jim Newman and Spencer Marks explained how they investigate extraordinary claims, and put them to…
#45 Skeptical Scientist Dr. Rachel Dunlop
Feb 4, 2010 • 60 min
We spoke to Rachel “Dr. Rachie” Dunlop, Australian scientist and Skeptic Zone podcaster. We discussed her work as a scientist, researcher and blogger, as well as her efforts to promote reason and critical thinking to her fellow Australians. And on…
#44 Evolution Education
Jan 28, 2010 • 60 min
We sat down with Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, to talk about the state of evolution education. How is the science being presented in schools? What new tactics are anti-science advocates using to…
#43 Skepticism and Race
Jan 21, 2010 • 60 min
Is the face of modern skepticism really as monochrome as it appears? How do we make our message appeal to a broader, more diverse audience? And how do racial demographics influence belief in pseudoscience and the paranormal? Our panel includes LaVerne…
#42 Climate Change
Jan 14, 2010 • 60 min
Guest host Mike Harrison spoke to Dr. John Gamon, professor and researcher at the University of Alberta, researcher for the TROPI-DRY Collaborative Research Network, and cofounder of SpecNet, about climate science and research. And on Speaking Up, we talk…
#41 How Many Licks?
Jan 7, 2010 • 60 min
We spoke to author and physicist Aaron Santos about his new book, How Many Licks. Have you ever wondered how many calories are in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? How many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How long it would take to dig…
#40 Alcohol
Dec 31, 2009 • 60 min
In honor of your possible New Year’s over-indulgence, we discussed alcohol with Dr. Rob Tarzwell and Dr. Ken Mukamal. How does intoxication work? When is alcohol actually good for you, and how much is too much? And of course… how to get rid of a hangover.
#39 The Paradox of Choice
Dec 24, 2009 • 60 min
Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author, contends that although you may think you want more options, and that having those myriad alternatives will make you happier and more satisfied… you’re wrong. It’s actually making you miserable.
#38 Microbiology
Dec 17, 2009 • 60 min
Lisa Hammett talks to us about pathogens, viruses, probiotics, antibiotics… if it’s too small to be seen without a microscope, it’s up for discussion. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Mike Meraz with Actually Speaking: Exploring the Human Side of Skepticism.
#37 Radiation and Health
Dec 10, 2009 • 60 min
Dr. Marc MacKenzie, medical physicist, discusses radiation: why a little can be good, why a lot can be bad, and why radiation is more important than you think. And on Speaking Up, we discuss The James Randi Educational Foundation with Bart G. Farkas.
#36 Belief and Education
Dec 3, 2009 • 60 min
We spoke to Martin Bridgstock and Kylie Sturgess, who recently completed one of the largest surveys of paranormal, pseudoscientific, superstitious and conspiracy theory beliefs in Australia. They’ve studied how age, gender, religion, and voting preference…
#35 Punk Rock Skepticism
Nov 26, 2009 • 60 min
We spoke with Nicky Garratt, guitarist for the legendary punk band, the UK Subs, who also happens to be an outspoken skeptic. Does speaking out against pseudoscience, magical thinking and unexamined beliefs get in the way of damning the man? And, by…
#34 Health Fraud
Nov 19, 2009 • 60 min
We spoke with Brent Homan from the Canadian Competition Bureau, about their attempts to combat health fraud. Questionable cancer cures, fake vaccines, miracle machines, creams and treatments. What’s the government doing to educate consumers and smack down…
#33 Human Research Ethics
Nov 12, 2009 • 60 min
Nancy Walton helps us explore the intricacies of human research ethics. The Millgram Experiment. The Stanford Prison Experiment. Randomized trials on orphaned and abandoned children. Stem cell research. Studying the effects of torture. Does “ethics” mean…
#32 The Skeptical Alt-Heath Practitioner
Nov 5, 2009 • 60 min
Paul Ingraham is a Vancouver Registered Massage Therapist and science writer who criticizes questionable practices in alternative health care — and his professional regulator calls it offensively unprofessional and wants to censor his website with tens of…
#31 Science Fiction and Skepticism
Oct 30, 2009 • 60 min
Discussing the intersection of science fiction and skepticism with Derek Colanduno, co-host of the podcast Skepticality. Saying that “both involve science” is only scratching the surface. And on Speaking Up we talk about horror movie superstitions with…
#30 Digital Footprints
Oct 23, 2009 • 60 min
Keith Schon of Cataphora discusses how computers can track behavior, and find out all your dirty little secrets. What are the limits on what your company is allowed to find out about you, and how are they doing it? How do we figure out, after the fact,…
#29 Getting Noticed
Oct 16, 2009 • 60 min
From comedy and music, to scientific studies and how we respond to them, to blogging vs. mainstream media, to attention-grabbing stunts… is all publicity good publicity, or do our own efforts sometimes work against us? With Greg Laden, biological…
#28 Canadian Skepticism
Oct 9, 2009 • 60 min
We discuss the challenges and successes of the Canadian evidence-based community with contributors to the new Canadian skeptical blog, Skeptic North. Guests include Steve Thoms from Ontario’s Niagara Region, Jonathan Abrams from Ottawa, and Jesse Brydle…
#27 Randall Munroe of xkcd
Oct 2, 2009 • 60 min
Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd, discusses stick men, math, science, relationships and what it’s like to be an internet meme. And on Speaking Up, Omar Mouallem with a Skeptical Ghost Story.
#26 Science Comedian
Sep 25, 2009 • 60 min
Brian Malow, earth’s premier science comedian, discusses using humour as outreach, why people are scared of science, and what’s so funny about the second law of thermodynamics. And on Speaking Up we disucss H1N1 anti-vaccination paranoia with Scott Gavura.
#25 Surprise Guest Adam Savage!
Sep 18, 2009 • 60 min
Adam Savage, co-host of the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters will be on the show this week, to discuss skepticism, celebrity advocacy, and of course, the wildly popular TV show and its role in skepticism. And Derek Bartholomaus, creator of The Jenny…
#24 Richard Saunders
Sep 11, 2009 • 60 min
Richard Saunders, paranormal investigator and host of the Skeptic Zone podcast, will explain how we can properly use the scientific method to test psychic and supernatural claims, how to become a credible resource for mainstream news, and how to keep a…
#23 The Skeptical Actor
Sep 4, 2009 • 60 min
Kennedy Goodkey, writer of/actor in the new independent movie The Beast of Bottomless Lake will discuss Ogopogo, being a skeptic in the not-so-skeptical acting community,and what it’s like to shoot a movie in a town where the tourism industry is built on…
#22 Genomics
Aug 28, 2009 • 60 min
Fintan Steele discusses genetic information and research, and its implications for medicine, law and ethics. And on Speaking Up, The Skeptographers with Marion Kilgour.
#21 Skeptical Education
Aug 21, 2009 • 60 min
Daniel Loxton, the editor of Junior Skeptic magazine, discusses how we can help to ensure that the next generation is thoroughly prepared for all the irrationality, pseudoscience and disinformation that the world will throw at them. And on Speaking Up:…
#20 Ask A Pharmacist
Aug 14, 2009 • 60 min
Scott Gavura discusses naturopaths prescribing medicine, the right to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral grounds, and how not every remedy in your local pharmacy is evidence-based. And on Speaking Up: Brownian Motion and the Ants.
#19 Gender and The Skeptical Community
Aug 7, 2009 • 60 min
So where are we with gender and sexism within the skeptical community? The facts and opinions may surprise you. With guests Dana Blumrosen, Marion Kilgour and Jill Powell.
#18 Astrobiology
Jul 31, 2009 • 60 min
Dr. Maggie Turnbull, consulting scientist for NASA’s New World Observer, a space telescope mission to discover and study Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and for the MIT Exoplanet-SAT, a mission to search for transits of habitable exoplanets,…
#17 Cyber Security
Jul 24, 2009 • 60 min
Nullsession explains just how totally dependent we are on our computers, and the myriad ways in which we are vulnerable. I for one, welcome our robot overlords. And on Speaking Up: IQ denialism with Rodrigo de la Jara.
#16 TAM Forever
Jul 17, 2009 • 60 min
The cast discusses their trip to TAM7, with the goal of making you ridiculously jealous. With surprise calls from Tim Farley, Jeff Wagg and Richard Saunders!
#15 Stormchasing
Jul 3, 2009 • 60 min
Jeff Richardson talks with us about tornadoes and other extreme weather conditions, and what drives someone to choose such a potentially hazardous hobby. And on Speaking Up: Amy Davis Roth of surlyramics.com. Beautiful jewelry for the fashionable skeptic.
#14 Math
Jun 26, 2009 • 60 min
The episode in which Simon Rose attempts to assist Des in her ongoing struggle with numbers. Spoiler: numbers win. And on Speaking Up: science-inspired clothing line thephage.com with Sibina.
#13 Astronomy
Jun 19, 2009 • 60 min
Astronomer, popular author and super-blogger Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy joins us to talk about all things astronomy. Why is Pluto now not a planet? What’s NASA up to lately? And what’s the deal with the Hubble Telescope?
#12 Biotechnology Ethics
Jun 12, 2009 • 60 min
Author, philosopher and ethicist Chris MacDonald discusses the ethics involved in this broad and sometimes morally ambiguous field. On Speaking Up: Skepticamp with Nathan Hinman.
#11 Nuclear Power
Jun 5, 2009 • 60 min
Fascinating discussion on nuclear power with Dr. Jeremy Whitlock, reactor physicist and author of the website The Canadian Nuclear FAQ, and Elena Schacherl, founder and Co-chair of Citizens Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy (CAUSE), which is a…
#10 Geology
May 29, 2009 • 60 min
Dr. Hans Machel discusses flood theory, crystals, the concept of a hollow earth, and why all these things can be explained using his Square of Irrational Thought. And on Speaking Up: celebrities and your health with Jill Powell.
#9 Quitting Smoking
May 22, 2009 • 60 min
The cast decides to quit smoking and provides their research on the most (and least) evidence-based ways to go about it. Special appearances by MC Frontalot and Catherine Nissen.
#8 Censorship
May 15, 2009 • 60 min
Dennis Young, leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada, and Matthew Johnston, publisher of the Western Standard, discuss censorship and free speech. And on Speaking Up: the epigenome with Mike Harrison.
#7 Skeptical Activism and Bill 44
May 8, 2009 • 60 min
Brian Mason, leader of the Alberta NDP, discusses Bill 44, the Alberta Government’s proposal to allow parents to opt-out of classes that conflict with religious belief. Tim Farley, creator of What’s the Harm (pictured), explains how to most effectively…
#6 Neuroeconomics
May 1, 2009 • 60 min
Dr. Ming Hsu discusses the way your brain deals with decisions about efficiency, versus how it deals with issues of fairness. And on Speaking Up: skepticism in movies with Jill Powell.
#5 UFOs
Apr 24, 2009 • 60 min
Jim Moroney of the Alberta UFO Study Group discusses his experiences with and research into aliens. And on Speaking Up: new exoplanet Gliese 581 E with Brownian Motion.
#4 Science of Love
Apr 17, 2009 • 60 min
Helen Fisher was slated to be on the show to talk about the biological roots of romantic love, but was unable to appear. Mike Harrison substituted. And on Speaking Up: supermarket science with Marion Kilgour.
#3 The Gerson Diet
Apr 10, 2009 • 60 min
Howard Straus of the Gerson Institute, who is featured in the movie A Beautiful Truth: The World’s Simplest Cure for Cancer, discusses this controversial treatment. And on Speaking Up: “Our visit to the Body Soul and Spirit Expo” with Nathan Hinman and…
#2 Science of Cults
Mar 27, 2009 • 60 min
Dr. Stephen Kent discusses brainwashing, ritual abuse and the difference between cults and religions. And on Speaking Up: potty training with Brad Salomons.
#1 Secularism in Alberta
Mar 20, 2009 • 60 min
Cliff Erasmus, Chair of Centre for Inquiry Calgary, discusses Alberta’s secular landscape. And on Speaking Up: the psychology of gender with Mike Harrison.