The Story Collider

The Story Collider

storycollider.org
Whether we wear a lab coat or haven’t seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives.


Impressions: Stories about our relationships to data
May 22 • 27 min
This week we present two stories from people who used technology to understand their relationships. Part 1: Digital consultant Phong Tran navigates his relationship through various digital platforms. Part 2: Fed up with feeling lonely, Sufian Zhemukhov…
Celebrating 10 Years: Our favorite stories
May 15 • 67 min
This week we present four of our favorite stories of all time. Part 1: Neuroscientist David Carmel tests his own understanding of the brain when his own father suffers a stroke. Part 2: Ralph Bouquet goes off script during a psychology research study with…
Becoming Mom: Stories about wanting to mother
May 8 • 32 min
This week we present two stories from two women who struggled to adopt. Part 1: Inspired by her work as a parental behavior researcher, Bianca Jones Marlin and her husband decide to become foster parents. Part 2: Raised by white adoptive parents, Kim…
Something’s Not Right: Stories about needing to figure things out
May 1 • 39 min
This week we present two stories from people who needed to decipher themselves. Part 1: After some unfortunate night-time incidents, Keith Mellnick realizes he needs to better understand his sleepwalking before it starts causing even more problems. Part…
When I Was a Scientist: Stories about an earlier life
Apr 24 • 29 min
This week we present two stories from people who used to be scientists. Part 1: Despite loving science, Ivan Decker’s first exposure to field work doesn’t go as planned. Part 2: Nathan Min tries to pursue a ‘respectable’ scientific career, but finds…
Unprepared: Stories about unprepared parents
Apr 17 • 42 min
This week we present two stories from people who found themselves without the tools they needed. Part 1: When Jack Walsh finds out his first child will be born in just a few days, he panics. Part 2: After experiencing hearing loss, Jeannie Gaffigan…
Revelations: Stories about big reveals
Apr 10 • 42 min
This week we present two stories from people who learned something about their childhood later in life. Part 1: Growing up in the fifties and sixties, Jenice Matias senses there’s more to her mother’s occupation than she understands. Part 2: D.B. Firstman…
Emergency: Stories about urgent situations
Apr 3 • 36 min
This week we present two stories from people who deal with emergencies. Part 1: As a first-generation pre-med student with no financial aid, Brooke Dolecheck takes a job as a 911 operator to support herself. Part 2: Flight paramedic Marc Doll must…
Asking for Help: Stories about needing assistance
Mar 27 • 31 min
This week we present two stories from people who didn’t ask for help until it was too late. Part 1: Determined to fit in as a PhD student, Aparna Agarwal decides she’ll never ask for help — even if it means fitting in to much smaller gloves. Part 2: On a…
Desperate Times: Stories about resorting to desperate measures
Mar 20 • 41 min
This week we present two stories from people who were at the end of their rope. Part 1: After donating her kidney to a friend, Leah Waters struggles to get back to normal. Part 2: When the coral colonies of her childhood experience a bleaching event,…
Math Class: Stories about adventures in math education
Mar 13 • 32 min
This week we present two stories from the math classroom. Part 1: High school math whiz Tori Ball has always hoped a boy would fall in love with her mind, but when it finally happens, she’s not sure how she feels. Part 2: High achieving, but superstitious…
Barriers: Stories about what stood in our way
Mar 6 • 38 min
This week we present two stories from people who were faced with barriers to their education. Part 1: Eager to succeed in her Physical Chemistry class, Shaniece Mosley is thrown off by a professor’s attempt at a compliment. Part 2: Lelemia Irvine…
Leap of Faith: Stories about finding and losing faith
Feb 28 • 35 min
This week we share two stories from people who were confronted with their faith. Part 1: Feeling like a loser after he fails to graduate on time with his degree in materials science, Len Kruger accepts a dinner invitation from a cult. Part 2: After young…
A Whole New World: Stories about having to take on the challenge of a whole new existence
Feb 21 • 44 min
This week we present two stories of people having to navigate a new world. Part 1: Sean Bearden has never been interested in education, but when he’s incarcerated at the age of 19, he finds a passion for physics. Part 2: When Victoria Manning decides to…
Sex Ed: Stories about the education of sexuality
Feb 14 • 32 min
Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: https://airtable.com/shreBxfsM5XYktIT5 This week we present two stories from people who navigated the joys of sex in surprising ways. Part 1: When Eva Bloom struggles to have an orgasm, she…
Love and Technology: Stories about the technology that alters our lives
Feb 7 • 35 min
Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: https://airtable.com/shreBxfsM5XYktIT5 This week we present stories from people who navigated our changing relationship to technology. Part 1: As a kid, Samy Kamkar discovers his superpower —…
Mothers and Sons: Stories about the love between mothers and sons
Jan 31 • 38 min
This week we present two stories from mothers who learned valuable lessons from the sons they birthed. Part 1: Avi Caspe and his mother, Ariel Detzer, reckon with what the label of “autism” means for their family. Part 2: When Paulette Steeves’ son is…
Code of Ethics: Stories about doing the right thing
Jan 24 • 30 min
This week we present two stories of people struggling with what the “right” thing to do is. Part 1: Catherine Macdonald always wanted to study sharks, but her first time tagging them in the field doesn’t go as planned. Part 2: When Michelle Tong visits…
Identity Crisis: Stories about what makes us who we are
Jan 17 • 30 min
This week we present two stories about people struggling with their identity. Part 1: When science journalist Katherine Wu interviews a scientist about a new facial recognition algorithm, the conversation turns more personal than she expected. Part 2:…
Hypothesis: Stories about having a question that needs answering
Jan 10 • 36 min
This week we present two stories from people who had hypotheses. Part 1: Teaching sixth grade science becomes much more difficult when Xochitl Garcia’s students start hypothesizing that fire is alive. Part 2: When journalist John Rennie is assigned to…
Leaving Home: Stories about having to leave in order to find home
Jan 3 • 36 min
This week we present two stories of people who had to leave home to find a new home. Part 1: When Ph.D student Ali Mattu’s girlfriend tells him she is moving to New York City, he has to make some tough decisions about where home is. Part 2: Arlo Pérez…
Shoot for the Stars: Stories about people who look to the night sky for inspiration
Dec 27, 2019 • 36 min
This week we share two stories of people who were inspired by heroes of space. Part 1: After watching a documentary about the moon landing, Kate Downey comes away with a love of all things Buzz Aldrin. Part 2: Richard French gets the call to work for…
Dating by the Numbers: Stories about the romantic side of numbers
Dec 20, 2019 • 34 min
This week we present two stories from people who found an intersection between numbers and their sex life. Part 1: When online dating isn’t working out for him, Tristan Attwood decides to analyze the data himself. Part 2: In search of a deal, Gastor…
A Scientist is Born: Stories that cross generations
Dec 13, 2019 • 34 min
This week we present two stories that give us insight into the birth and life of a scientist. Part 1: As a 16-year-old, Lily Be gets an unexpected education on the reproductive system. Part 2: Xavier Jordan discovers the party side of science at his first…
Justice: Stories about righteous determination
Dec 6, 2019 • 35 min
This week we present two stories from people who stood up against a system eager to tear them down. Part 1: After a car crash alters Emily Winn’s life forever, she must relive the trauma when she testifies in a deposition. Part 2: Black geneticist C.…
BONUS: Behind the Scenes, Episode 1: Stage Fright
Dec 3, 2019 • 36 min
A sneak peek at our new BONUS podcast for Patreon supporters! Today’s episode is the first of our Behind the Scenes series. Liz and Erin are joined by Dr. Ali Mattu to discuss the TERROR of stage fright — and how to overcome it. For more bonus episodes…
Thankful: Stories about gratitude
Nov 29, 2019 • 37 min
This week we present two stories from people who owe a debt of gratitude to somebody for their entrance into the science community. Part 1: A chance meeting with a stranger on an airplane has a huge impact on Melanie Knight’s life. Part 2: Joshua…
Outsiders: Stories about seeing things from the outside
Nov 22, 2019 • 43 min
This week we present stories from two scientists who were confronted with their status as an “outsider.” Part 1: After getting hit by a car, Ph.D. student Reyhaneh Maktoufi must navigate the recovery and paperwork as an immigrant from Iran. Part 2: When…
Wild: Stories about humans and animals coexisting
Nov 15, 2019 • 32 min
This week we present stories from two people finding their boundaries with the wild world of animals. Part 1: Adam Selbst competes with tigers for the attention of his mother. Part 2: Weighed down by the burden of leadership as she supervises the…
Late Diagnosis: Stories about being diagnosed as an adult
Nov 8, 2019 • 28 min
This week we present two stories about people who discovered a diagnosis late in life. Part 1: As a child, TC Waisman is told that she is on the autism spectrum, but her mother refuses to accept the diagnosis. Part 2: Growing up, Craig Fay develops…
Crushes: Stories about scientists in love
Nov 1, 2019 • 35 min
This week we present two stories from scientists searching for that special someone. Part 1: Zoology student Devon Kodzis’s strategy of attracting boys with fun animal facts proves difficult. Part 2: Away from her boyfriend for grad school, Meisa Salaita…
Cursed: Stories about superstitions
Oct 25, 2019 • 37 min
This week we present two stories from people who let science lead them down a rabbit hole of curses. Part 1: Science journalist Erik Vance decides to get cursed by a witch doctor for science. Part 2: After taking a rock from Mauna Loa, volcanologist Jess…
Leadership: Stories about responsibility
Oct 18, 2019 • 37 min
This week we present two stories from people who had to become leaders whether they liked it or not. Part 1: Eager to show off their new job testing water quality, Prof.Ound takes their friends out on a boat for the first time. Part 2: Neuroscientist…
Silence: Stories about finding our voices
Oct 11, 2019 • 34 min
This week we present two stories about the sounds that silence can take on. Part 1: Kambri Crews attempts to smuggle a gift into prison for her father, who is deaf. Part 2: As Kristine Lycke enters kindergarten, her mother starts treatment for a…
My First Science: Stories about early experiences with science
Oct 4, 2019 • 41 min
This week we present two stories from people telling the first time they crossed paths with science. Part 1: In the third grade, Lylianna Allala finds out that her partner on the class solar system project isn’t allowed to come over to her house. Part 2:…
On the Scene: Stories about showing up when disaster strikes
Sep 27, 2019 • 36 min
This week we present two stories about being the one who is there when it happens. Part 1: Journalist Sarah Kaplan normally covers the science beat, but when tragedy strikes in Las Vegas, she takes on an assignment unlike any she’s had before. Part 2:…
BONUS: Before and After: Stories that evolve over time
Sep 24, 2019 • 46 min
In this special BONUS episode, we unveil a brand-new addition to our podcast! To celebrate, we present new versions of classic stories from Story Collider’s directors and discuss how they have evolved since their original telling. Part 1: As a marine…
Miseducation: Stories about what happens in the classroom
Sep 20, 2019 • 27 min
This week we present two stories from teachers dealing with wild experiences in the classroom. Part 1: When his students keep having “accidents” during nap time, kindergarten teacher Alvin Irby investigates Part 2: In Aida Rosenbaum’s first month as a…
Secrets: Stories about the things we keep to ourselves
Sep 13, 2019 • 36 min
This week we present two stories about the the parts of ourselves that we keep under wraps. Part 1: At 22 years old, Jenn Montooth is accepted to graduate school just as she discovers she’s pregnant. Part 2: Studying addiction as a neuroscientist gives…
Proving Myself: Stories about fighting distrust
Sep 6, 2019 • 28 min
This week we present two stories from people who have to prove themselves in science acedemia. Part 1: When there’s an explosion in the chemistry lab, graduate student Chanté Summers springs into action. Part 2: When Adriana Briscoe’s professor accuses…
Labor Day: Stories about trying to make a baby
Aug 30, 2019 • 24 min
This week we’re presenting two stories about people trying to become parents. Part 1: After finally getting together in their forties, Chris Wade and his wife are determined to have a baby — even if it means following some unconventional advice. Part 2:…
Surgery: Stories about operations
Aug 23, 2019 • 43 min
This week we present two stories from surgeons who had complications with the knife. Part 1: A routine procedure with one of the primates in her lab becomes much more complicated when neuroscientist Paula Croxson cuts herself with the scalpel. Part 2:…
BONUS: Power of Patients: Stories about taking back the narrative
Aug 21, 2019 • 47 min
The Story Collider is delighted to bring you an extra BONUS episode this week — thanks to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Both of the stories…
The College Years: Stories about leaving home for university
Aug 16, 2019 • 30 min
This week we present two stories from people who left home for university and discovered something unexpected. Part 1: After Kenny Kinds begins lying to his parents about his grades, he has to question why he is in engineering school in the first place.…
My Parent’s Child: Stories about taking care of those who took care of us
Aug 9, 2019 • 29 min
This week we share two stories from scientists who had to take on a new role with their parents. Part 1: As the scientist in the family, Steve Scott takes on a new role when his dad must undergo heart surgery. Part 2: Tajana Schneiderman struggles to live…
Saving the World: Stories about trying to be the savior
Aug 2, 2019 • 28 min
This week we present two stories from people who ran into roadblocks trying to save the world. Part 1: When pharmacy professor Lindsay Acree volunteers at a local needle exchange, her beliefs about addiction are challenged. Part 2: Engineering PhD student…
Dream Deferred: Stories about hitting roadblocks
Jul 26, 2019 • 31 min
This week we present two stories about people who had to accept a delay in their personal journeys. Part 1: Veterinarian Rodrigo Solis thinks he’s found the perfect job — taking care of horses in the Mexican Army — until a new commander takes over. Part…
Private Parts: Stories about the science of intimate areas
Jul 19, 2019 • 31 min
This week we present two stories from people who had disastrous moments with their own genitals. Part 1: Lonely after her move to New York City, Adrien Behn finds a friend in her copper IUD. Part 2: While recovering from prostate cancer surgery, Dana…
Concern: Stories about being worried
Jul 12, 2019 • 31 min
This week we present two stories from people gripped with concern for others. Part 1: When biologist Andrew Holding’s new baby stops feeding, his scientific instincts are put to the test. Part 2: After finding out her mother has breast cancer, high school…
Marriage: Stories about making it work
Jul 5, 2019 • 35 min
Part 1: After turning down a tenure position, Sarah Brady struggles to adapt to her new life as the spouse of a physician. Part 2: As he grows up, Ed Greco’s two great loves — his high school sweetheart, and physics — come into conflict. Sarah Brady is a…
Youthful Indiscretions: Stories about being Young and Dumb
Jun 28, 2019 • 26 min
This week we present two stories about people making choices informed by the naïvety of youth. Part 1: On a dull night in Orlando, young Josh Flaum decides to experiment with drugs he can buy over the counter. Part 2: After Will Tran accidentally cheats…
Strength: Stories about searching for what makes us strong
Jun 21, 2019 • 32 min
This week we present two stories of scientists having to find a strength within themselves. Part 1: BiologistH eather Hamlin leaves the safety of the lab for her first field assignment: tagging alligators. Part 2: As an unconsenting “face of diversity,”…
Adventures with Dads: Stories about chasing down our fathers
Jun 14, 2019 • 34 min
This week we share two stories from people who have go on wild goose chases to find their dads. Part 1: In his last year of medical school in Colombia, Gabriel Duran Rehbein finds out his father has been kidnapped. Part 2: After seeing her dad lose…
Underwater: Stories about swimming deeper
Jun 7, 2019 • 35 min
This week we present two stories from people who were underwater both literally and metaphorically. Part 1: Barbara Abernathy has always felt at home in the ocean, but when she undergoes a bone marrow transplant, her doctor tells her she can’t go into the…
Plan B: Stories about people needing a backup plan
May 31, 2019 • 33 min
This week we bring you two stories of people who had to reckon with the fact that their first choice wasn’t available. Part 1: When the local science museum looks to hire performers, David Nett believes he’s the perfect man for the job. Part 2: After…
Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind - Part 2
May 24, 2019 • 33 min
This week we present two more stories about people who need help to deal with mental health. Part 1: Comedian Zack Stovall reevaluates his past battles with his mother in light of a new diagnosis. Part 2: Audrey Kearns’ big opportunity to appear as a…
Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind - Part 1
May 17, 2019 • 30 min
This week we present two stories about people’s struggles with their own mental health. Part 1: After passing out on the NYC subway, comedian Mike Brown is forced to take a deeper look at his mental health. Part 2: Emily Yarrison survives her suicide…
Moms of Science: Stories about being mothers and scientists
May 10, 2019 • 35 min
his week we present two stories of scientists becoming mothers. Part 1: Heather Williams trades in her physicist labcoat for motherhood, and wonders if she can return. Part 2: Mary Garcia-Cazarin discovers she’s pregnant just as she is offered a…
Confidence: Stories about finding your voice
May 3, 2019 • 25 min
This week we present two stories about people finding strength in their own voice. Part 1: A parent-teacher conference leads Eugenia Duodu to question whether she can be a scientist. Part 2: At 13 years old Misha Gajewski has to undergo a jaw surgery to…
The Joy of Cats: Stories about our feline friends
Apr 26, 2019 • 30 min
This week, for National Pet Parents day, we bring you two stories of our relationships with our cats. Part 1: In a battle over her apartment’s air quality, cat foster mom Tracy Rowland discovers how to use her kitten’s parasite as a weapon. Part 2:…
Older and Wiser: Stories about growing up
Apr 19, 2019 • 24 min
This week we present two stories of the children we used to be and how they grew up. Part 1: As a sixth grader, Anna Neu decides she’s going to fall in love at science camp. Part 2: At age nine, Anicca Harriot plans to study both the heart and space, but…
Limelight: Stories about being the voice of science
Apr 12, 2019 • 31 min
This week we present two stories about scientists who became the face of the scientific community. Part 1: When conservation scientist Laura Kehoe writes about a surprising chimp behavior, the media takes it wildly out of context and the situation spirals…
Peace: Stories about searching for solace
Apr 5, 2019 • 35 min
The week we present two stories of people being confronted with chaos and looking for peace. Part 1: Overwhelmed by setbacks as she pursues her academic ambitions, Tricia Hersey discovers an unexpected solution to her stress. Part 2: Cell biologist Sarah…
New Places: Stories about being somewhere new
Mar 29, 2019 • 32 min
This week we present two stories about being the new one in a new place. Part 1: After moving to a brand-new school in the seventh grade, Edith Gonzalez struggles to maintain her straight-A status with a new, scary biology teacher. Part 2: When social…
Ocean Adventures: Stories about the swashbuckling high seas
Mar 22, 2019 • 31 min
This week, we are presenting two stories from people who took to the open ocean. Part 1: As an irresponsible 17-year-old, Brian D. Bradley volunteers to spend two days living at the bottom of the ocean for a research study. Part 2: As an undergrad, Beryl…
Teamwork: Stories about working together
Mar 15, 2019 • 26 min
Part 1: A power outage on campus leads physics student Zoya Vallari to take a stand against her university’s female-only curfew. Part 2: Firefighter Nick Baskerville is eager to prove himself when he arrives on the scene of his first fire. Zoya Vallari is…
Circles: Stories about coming back around
Mar 8, 2019 • 28 min
This week we present two stories about times in which everything came full circle. Part 1: In the middle of a school day, science teacher Brittany Beck passes out in her classroom, leading her to reflect on what got her here. Part 2: Inspired by her…
Mentors: Stories about who helps us find our way
Mar 1, 2019 • 35 min
Part 1: As a brand-new professor of physiology, John Redden is eager to help students, but soon realizes it’s more complicated than he thought. Part 2: Biologist, Sarah Fankhauser’s relationship with her adviser changes when she joins her lab as a grad…
Inspiration: Stories about what inspires us
Feb 22, 2019 • 31 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories from scientists about the people and places that inspired them. Part 1: Just before she leaves for her dream opportunity to teach marine science on the Red Sea, Latasha Wright gets a call that puts her plans in…
Heredity: Stories about where we come from
Feb 15, 2019 • 25 min
This week, we present two stories about people understanding their links to their past. Part 1: A question that Laura Spink asked her parents as a kid comes up again when her own child begins to ask similar questions. Part 2: After Denise Coberley brings…
In Love with Science: Stories about Loving Science
Feb 8, 2019 • 33 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories from people who made science their one and only.. Part 1: Parmvir Bahia struggles to appease her parents’ desires for an Indian son-in-law while also satisfying her own desires to be a scientist. Part 2: Monica…
Danger: Stories about life-threatening situations
Feb 1, 2019 • 29 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories from scientists who found themselves in potentially life-threatening situations. Part 1: Ralph Bouquet goes off script during a psychology research study with uncomfortable and revealing consequences. Part 2: Ali…
Courage: Stories about standing up for yourself
Jan 25, 2019 • 38 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about the courage to be the person you were meant to be. Part 1: The lessons that Margaret Rubega learns from her dad about fighting back are put to the test when he becomes the one she must stand up to. Part 2: In…
Acceptance: Stories about belonging
Jan 18, 2019 • 36 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about the struggle to find acceptance — whether it’s at Space Camp or in the United States of America. Part 1: Computer scientist LaShana Lewis’s childhood dream of attending Space Camp starts to feel far away — until…
Stress: Stories about being under pressure
Jan 11, 2019 • 30 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about stressful situations in science. Part 1: Due to stress in her personal life, TV writer Joey Slamon develops a cyst in an unfortunate place. Part 2: As a biochemistry PhD student, Kellie Vinal has worked hard…
Just a Number: Stories about age and science
Jan 4, 2019 • 31 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about age, and what it means to feel either too old or too young to become a scientist. Part 1: Miserable at her corporate job, Michelle McCrackin begins to dream of a career in wildlife biology. Part 2:…
Carpe Diem: Stories about seizing the day
Dec 28, 2018 • 28 min
In our last episode of 2018, we’re presenting two stories about facing challenges head-on and seizing the day. Part 1: .On the eve of his first big talk at a major international conference, ecologist Kevin Burgio discovers there’s something seriously…
New Friends: Stories about unexpected connections
Dec 21, 2018 • 38 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about unexpected friendships in science, whether they’re formed in the field or at Burning Man. Part 1: Looking to connect with new people, mathematician Seth Cottrell sets up an ‘Ask a Mathematician’ booth at Burning…
Science vs. Love: Stories about the battle between head and heart
Dec 14, 2018 • 34 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when science gets in the way of love — or vice versa. Part 1: Jacqueline Trumbull is preparing for a career in research psychology when she gets a call from a casting agent for The Bachelor. Part 2:…
Science Gets Personal: Stories about science getting real
Dec 7, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about times when science got personal and research started to hit home. Part 1: After years of suffering, Phillip Comella discovers the cause of his “excessive bathroom breaks” while working on his thesis in…
Moments of Truth: Stories about pivotal moments
Nov 30, 2018 • 25 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about pivotal moments in science when everything suddenly becomes clear. Part 1: When puppeteer Raymond Carr gets the opportunity of a lifetime, to work on a big-budget show about the evolution of dinosaurs, he…
Parents: Stories about moms and dads
Nov 23, 2018 • 32 min
This week, in honor of the start of the holiday season, we’re presenting stories about parents — and the ways our relationships with them intersect with science. Part 1: As a kid, Dan Souza finds it hard to appreciate his mother’s nursing expertise until…
Getting In: Stories about making the grade
Nov 16, 2018 • 26 min
It’s that time of year — application season. So this week, we’re presenting two stories about the (literal and figurative) struggle to be accepted. Part 1: The only thing standing in the way of Jennifer Landa’s dreams of studying art in college is her…
Pregnancy: Stories about the science of having a baby
Nov 9, 2018 • 34 min
In this week’s episode, we’re presenting two stories about the science of pregnancy. Part 1: An expert in oxytocin, the hormone released during birth, Bianca Jones Marlin is determined to have a natural birth — even as the hours of labor add up… Part 2:…
Bodies: Stories About the Skin We’re In
Nov 2, 2018 • 29 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about our relationships with our bodies, in all their shapes and sizes. Part 1: Born without a right pectoral muscle due to Poland syndrome, John Trumbo has always felt defective, but then he discovers a possible…
Fear: Stories of daring adventures in science
Oct 26, 2018 • 32 min
This week, in honor of Halloween, we’re presenting two stories about facing fears for science. Part 1: As a newly minted PhD student in geology, Erik Klemetti starts to question his decisions when Aucanquilcha, a 20,000-foot volcano in Chile, proves…
Rescue: Stories about taking care of others
Oct 19, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when science comes to the rescue — or not, as the case may be. Part 1: When science writer Kate Sheridan falls in love with a man who suffers from paralyzing headaches, her background in neuroscience helps…
Cancer Sucks: Stories from cancer survivors
Oct 12, 2018 • 31 min
This week, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re presenting two stories from cancer survivors. Part 1: Gail Thomas clashes with her oncologist while deciding how to fight her cancer. Part 2: As a marathon runner, Pierce McManus prides himself…
Sense of Touch: Stories about the power of contact
Oct 6, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about the power of touch. Part 1: While working on a book about the sense of touch, science journalist Sushma Subramanian experiments with haptic technology to connect with her long-distance fiance. Part 2: Nick…
Overwhelmed: Stories about being in over our heads
Sep 28, 2018 • 25 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when science is just too much. Part 1: Fiona Calvert is a crier — but when she starts her PhD, she promises herself she’ll never cry in front of her colleagues. Part 2: After graduating with his PhD, Shane…
Science Saved My Life: Stories about life-saving passion
Sep 21, 2018 • 31 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about passion for science that keeps us going, even in the face of overwhelming struggle. Part 1: When Cailin Gallinger struggles with her gender identity in college, her volunteer position in a plant lab becomes a…
Following Directions: Stories about improvising
Sep 14, 2018 • 31 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about the difficulties of following instructions — whether it’s medical advice or a recipe. Part 1: Science writer Cassandra WIllyard is frustrated by the restrictions put on her during her pregnancy. Part 2: Comedian…
Expectations: Stories about surprising discoveries
Sep 7, 2018 • 39 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about what happens when our expectations don’t match up with reality. Part 1: Married neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are surprised by what they learn when they investigate deception at a…
Trials by Fire: Stories about difficult paths to science
Aug 31, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we’re presenting stories from scientists who faced unusually difficult paths to science. We all know it’s hard work to become a scientist. But for some folks, even getting to that point where you can pursue your science education can seem like…
Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients - Part 2
Aug 29, 2018 • 35 min
This week, we’re presenting a special two-part bonus episode featuring the stories from our June 2018 show at Caveat in New York City, as part of the Underground Science Festival. Rather than the speeches we typically hear on this topic, our storytellers…
Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients - Part 1
Aug 28, 2018 • 50 min
This week, we’re presenting a special two-part bonus episode featuring the stories from our June 2018 show in New York City, “Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients,” which was part of Caveat’s first annual Underground Science Festival. Rather than…
Leaving Home: Stories about the places we’re from
Aug 24, 2018 • 33 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about leaving home in pursuit of science. Part 1: After being raised as a creationist, Jennifer Colbourne falls in love with evolutionary science. Jennifer Colbourne is a graduate student at York University where she is…
Help: Stories about desperate situations
Aug 17, 2018 • 33 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when we’re overwhelmed and feeling alone. Sometimes, in science, we need help. Sometimes that help is hard to find. And sometimes it comes from an unexpected place. Part 1: As a first-year teacher, Matt…
Bright Ideas: Stories about inspiration
Aug 8, 2018 • 28 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about unconventional solutions and things that seemed like a great idea at the time! Part 1: Author Kate Greathead sets off on a cross-country drive to escape her anxiety. Part 2: After years of studying worms, Tracy…
Me vs. My Brain: Stories about losing your self
Aug 3, 2018 • 38 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about what happens when our own brains keep us from being fully ourselves. Part 1: When storyteller Sandi Marx begins to develop cognitive symptoms of lupus, she worries she’ll lose the aspects of her personality that…
Loneliness: Stories about finding friends
Jul 26, 2018 • 34 min
his week, we’re presenting stories about the struggle to find friends. Science can be a lonely job — but it can also connect us to others in ways we’d never imagine. Part 1: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab,…
Surprises: Stories about the unexpected
Jul 20, 2018 • 34 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about surprising revelations or events in science. Part 1: When he receives a call from the vet, writer Matthew Dicks is startled to learn that his dog is in surgery — and that he agreed to it the night before. Part 2:…
Mortality: Stories about confronting death
Jul 13, 2018 • 33 min
This week at The Story Collider, we’re presenting two stories about confronting death. Part 1: Science communicator Anthony Morgan receives an invitation to be vacuum-sealed to the bottom of a helicopter — for science! Part 2: As a medical student, Elorm…
The Science of Dating: Stories about sex and romance
Jul 6, 2018 • 33 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about the science behind dating, ranging from a neuroscientist’s attempts to use brain scans and personality tests to determine her compatibility with a rapper to a comedian’s mishaps with a “penis-numbing spray”!…
Responsibility: Stories about leadership
Jun 29, 2018 • 35 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about responsibility in science. Whether we’re working in a classroom or the White House, we all have some level of responsibility for others. And sometimes we have to ask ourselves — are we doing enough to live up…
Pride: Stories about coming out in science
Jun 27, 2018 • 29 min
To close out Pride Month this week, we’re sharing a special bonus episode featuring stories about coming out in science! Part 1: Science educator Charlie Cook experiments with coming out to students. Charlie Cook is a non-binary stand up comedian by night…
Unfamiliar Territory: Stories about journeys to new places
Jun 22, 2018 • 29 min
In this week’s episode, we’re presenting stories about venturing into unfamiliar territory, whether it’s an isolated community in Alaska or the Costa Rican island of Chira. Part 1: Journalist Arielle Duhaime-Ross finds common ground with an Alaskan…
In Honor of Father’s Day: Stories about complicated dads
Jun 15, 2018 • 35 min
This week, we’re celebrating Father’s Day by sharing stories about complicated relationships with dads. Part 1: After her father, a well-known intellectual, passes away, neurobiology PhD student Eva Higginbotham tries to live up to his academic standards.…
Forever: Stories about unbreakable bonds
Jun 8, 2018 • 30 min
This week we’re sharing stories about love that stands the test of time, transcending illness, differences, and even death. In other words — break out that box of tissues, y’all. Part 1: Writer Alison Smith reconnects with her estranged father after he…
Coming of Age: Stories about growing up
Jun 1, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about coming of age. Bildungsroman, if you will. (Thank you, eleventh-grade Honors English!) These storytellers will share stories about growing up and finding their identities — whether it’s within their family, or…
Science Fiction: Stories about aliens and zombies
May 25, 2018 • 29 min
This week, we take a journey into science-fiction to find out if aliens can master the science of empathy and zombies can bring a couple closer together. Part 1: Chase Masterson’s role on Star Trek Deep Space 9 inspires her to think about how she can help…
Different: Stories about standing out in a crowd
May 18, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we present two stories about being different, and the ways our differences can become our strengths. Part 1: Growing up, Amanda Gorman is determined to eliminate her speech impediment. Part 2: An aspiring scientist brought up in a family of…
In Honor of Mother’s Day: Stories about moms
May 11, 2018 • 27 min
This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, we present two stories about science and moms! Part 1: Marine biologist Jessica Hoey tries to keep her daughter’s belief in mermaids alive. Part 2: Jamie Brickhouse begins to notice some startling changes in his…
Identity: Stories about figuring out who we are
May 4, 2018 • 28 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about identity, whether its an external sense of cultural identity or an internal sense of self. Part 1: Mathematician and comic book writer Jason Rodriguez feels torn between separate cultural and professional…
Challenges: Stories about overcoming obstacles
Apr 27, 2018 • 32 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers — whether those barriers are institutional or written into our genetic code. Part 1: Aletha Maybank’s childhood experiences with institutional racism inspire her…
Dreams: Stories about ambition
Apr 20, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we’re presenting stories about scientific ambitions and dreams — and the ways in which they meet reality. Part 1: Planetary geologist Sara Mazrouei misses out on a dream opportunity — because of where she was born. Part 2: Working in…
Fight or Flight: Stories about confronting threats
Apr 12, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we present two stories about confronting threats — whether it’s actual physical danger or a threat to your career. Part 1: Climate scientist Kim Cobb is exploring a cave in Borneo when rocks begin to fall. Part 2: Neurobiologist Lyl Tomlinson…
Science Communication: Stories about spreading the word
Apr 6, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we present two stories about communicating science, whether it’s through journalism or over a fragile Skype connection. Part 1: Science journalist Judith Stone worries about causing conflict when she writes about cultural differences aboard the…
New Beginnings: Stories about starting over
Mar 30, 2018 • 25 min
This week, we present two stories about fresh starts and new beginnings in science. Part 1: Mari Provencher’s family is rocked by changes — starting with her mother’s decision to become an entomologist. Part 2: Three years into a great faculty position,…
Women in Science: Stories about defying expectations
Mar 23, 2018 • 30 min
This week, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re presenting two stories about women in science and the unique challenges they face. Follow us on Twitter @story_collider this week as we feature highlights of other stories from women in science from our…
Generations: Stories about passing science down
Mar 16, 2018 • 29 min
This week, we present two stories about science and wisdom passed down through generations. Part 1: Ted Olds fears he’ll fail to graduate after his parents sacrificed to send him to engineering school. Part 2: Kayla Glynn’s challenging relationship with…
In Honor of Pi Day: Stories about math
Mar 9, 2018 • 29 min
This week, in honor of Pi Day on March 14, we’re presenting two stories from mathematicians. Part 1: After a reluctant start, mathematician Ken Ono makes an unexpected discovery. Part 2: Mathematician Piper Harron deals with harassment after standing up…
Innovation: Stories about creative ideas
Mar 1, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we present two stories about original ideas and creative solutions in science — from a Rube Goldberg machine to using hookworms to treat an illness. Part 1: In the ninth grade, Adam Ruben and his friends create a Rube Goldberg machine for a…
Double Lives: Stories about loving both science and art
Feb 22, 2018 • 26 min
This week, we present two stories about being torn between love of science and a love of art. Part 1: Saad Sarwana tries to juggle careers in physics and comedy. Part 2: Jean Zarate is torn between science and music until a tragic event brings both into…
Black Holes: Stories about dark times
Feb 16, 2018 • 28 min
This week, we present two stories about dark moments in science. Part 1: Astrophysicist Jesse Shanahan tries to uncover the mysteries behind both the black holes she studies and her own chronic pain. Part 2: Comedian Sarah Pearl checks into a psychiatric…
Heartbreak: Stories about times science breaks our hearts
Feb 9, 2018 • 26 min
This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re presenting two stories about heartbreak in science. Part 1: Rattled by a recent heartbreak, neuroscientist Prabarna Ganguly makes a mistake in the lab. Part 2: Marine ecologist Kirsten Grorud-Colvert bonds…
Recovery: Stories about responding to crises
Feb 2, 2018 • 33 min
This week, we’re p​resenting stories about the ways we respond and recover to dire situations in science, whether it’s cancer or sexual assault.​​​​​​ Part 1: Biochemist Melanie McConnell encounters unexpected resistance when she tests an experimental…
Good and Evil: Stories about the science of gray areas
Jan 26, 2018 • 30 min
This week, we bring you two stories about the science of morality. Or morality in science. Either way you want to look at it. Part 1: Political scientist Ethan Hollander interviews a Nazi war criminal. Part 2: As a graduate student, Cather Simpson was…
Bad Days in the Field: Stories about fieldwork frustrations
Jan 19, 2018 • 24 min
This week, we bring you two stories about frustrations in the field, whether it’s a failure to find dinosaur fossils or a struggle with a painful medical condition. Part 1: Paleontologist David Evans and his team start to feel defeated after three days of…
Origin Stories: Stories about paths to becoming a scientist
Jan 12, 2018 • 31 min
This week we present two stories about the inspiration behind scientists’ careers. Part 1: Kate Marvel’s dream of being a genius takes her to Cambridge to study astrophysics. Part 2: When Joe Normandin begins to question his sexuality as a teenager, he…
Math Problems: Stories about struggles with math
Jan 5, 2018 • 27 min
This week, we present two stories about the struggles “math people” face. Part 1: Lew Lefton tries to succeed as both a math professor and a math comedian. Part 2: Vanessa Vakharia faces her first day as student teacher of a math class. Lew Lefton is a…
Home: Stories about science and community
Dec 8, 2017 • 32 min
This week, we present two stories about finding community with science. Part 1: Keoni Mahelona leaves his home in Hawaii in pursuit of science. Part 2: After growing up wealthy, Chuck Collins’ thinking is transformed by his work with mobile home park…
The Science of Growing Up: Stories about coming of age
Dec 8, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we present two science stories about becoming the people we’re meant to be. Part 1: Research technician Jean Ansolabehere finds herself falling in love with a woman in her lab. Part 2: As a child, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman is told by a…
Life and Death: Stories of loss and resilience
Dec 8, 2017 • 34 min
This week, we’re presenting two stories about loss and resilience in science. Please note: Our first story this week contains graphic depictions of violence. Part 1: Anthropologist Andrew Oberle barely survives an attack by the chimpanzees he was…
Doubt: Stories about moments of uncertainty in science
Dec 8, 2017 • 24 min
This week, we present two stories of doubt in science, from a mysterious illness to imposter syndrome. Part 1: A sudden illness casts doubt on whether Maia Pujara will be able to finish her neuroscience PhD. Maia Pujara received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience…
Psychotropic Substances: Stories about altered states
Dec 1, 2017 • 30 min
This week, we present two stories about psychotropic substances, from a study on the impacts of magic mushrooms on cancer surivors to a comedian’s spiritual epiphany. Part 1: Actor Gail Thomas is invited to take part in a study testing mushrooms as…
The Bats and the Bees: Stories about winged wildlife
Nov 24, 2017 • 25 min
This week, we present two stories about the challenges of studying winged wildlife, from bats to honey bees. Part 1: Cylita Guy finds unexpected adventure when she studies bats in the field. Part 2: Rachael Bonoan discovers she may be dangerously allergic…
Reflection: Stories about our sense of self
Nov 17, 2017 • 30 min
This week, we present two stories about the things that make up our sense of self, from our appearance to our memories. Part 1: On the verge of losing her teeth, Jean Le Bec travels abroad to find a solution. Part 2: Science writer Michael Lemonick…
DNA: Stories about family
Nov 10, 2017 • 31 min
This week, we bring you two stories about science and family, from a biochemist and a neuroscientist. Part 1: Biochemist Katie Wu is lactose intolerant, but her mother won’t believe her. Part 2: Neuroscientist Oliver Vikbladh and his family look for…
Maternal Bond: Stories about moms and their kids
Nov 3, 2017 • 30 min
This week, we present two stories about the mother-child relationship intersecting with science, from a daughter and a mother. Part 1: Actor and writer Erica Silberman tries to find a place for her mother with Alzheimer’s. Part 2: When Pat Furlong’s sons…
Pressure: Stories about stressful situations
Oct 27, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we present two stories of scientists under professional and academic pressure, both in the field and in the lab. Part 1: In China, ornithologist Sam Snow and his colleague gather as much data about a species of bird as possible — but it comes…
Adaptation: Stories about survival
Oct 20, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we present two stories of adapting to survive, from a cancer survivor’s creative solution to the after-effects of his treatment to an Iraqi who becomes a computer scientist to survive the war. Part 1: Ben Rubenstein survived cancer, but now…
Invisibility: Stories about hiding in plain sight
Oct 13, 2017 • 29 min
This week, we bring you two stories of invisibility, from a man looking to escape his identity to a marine biologist who feels invisible to her colleagues. Part 1: Richard Cardillo escapes his problems by joining a Catholic mission in Peru, where he…
Perception: Stories about tricks of the mind
Oct 5, 2017 • 24 min
This week, we present two stories from science journalists about the ways the ways we perceive — or misperceive — the world around us. Part 1: When science journalist Eli Chen begins to have doubts in her relationship, she tries to control her feelings…
Migration: Stories about journeys home
Sep 28, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we bring you two stories about long journeys home, from an Iranian-American biologist and a psychologist who survived Chernobyl. Part 1: Biologist Maryam Zaringhalam is visiting her family’s home country of Iran when the travel ban goes into…
Attachment: Stories of powerful bonds
Sep 22, 2017 • 28 min
In this week’s podcast, two chemists try to balance their love and their science, and a mother must choose her newborn daughter’s surgeon. Part 1: Heather Abbott-Lyon falls in love with another physical chemist, but can they solve the two-body problem?…
Identification: Stories about who we are
Sep 15, 2017 • 41 min
This week, we present two stories about identity, from a neuroscientist’s encounters with racism to an OB-GYN’s struggle with her feelings about motherhood. Part 1: After a thoughtless remark from a colleague, neuroscientist Devon Collins reflects on the…
Chemistry: Stories about falling in love
Sep 8, 2017 • 38 min
This week, we present two stories about science intersecting with love — in both fortunate and unfortunate ways. Part 1: Nothing can come between Lindzi Wessel and her new boyfriend, David — except maybe herpes. Part 2: Marine biologist Skylar Bayer and…
Metamorphosis: Stories of radical change
Sep 1, 2017 • 31 min
In this week’s episode, we bring you two stories of scientists experiencing radical change, whether at home or in 1980s Berlin. Part 1: Nadia Singh decides she doesn’t want children, believing it will detract from her scientific career, but then her…
Exploration: Stories about facing new challenges
Aug 25, 2017 • 27 min
This week, we present two stories of exploring new territory, from communicating with chimpanzees to swimming in the Red Sea. Part 1: While working as a schoolteacher, Jeff Braden gets a phone call out of the blue from a renowned chimpanzee expert. Part…
Boiling Point: Stories of reaching points of crisis
Aug 18, 2017 • 27 min
This week, we bring you two stories of scientists reaching points of crisis. Part 1: Rashawn Ray’s trajectory as a sociologist is forever changed by the murder of Philando Castile. Part 2: Ecologist Marcelo Ardón Sayao turns to both science and religion…
Zoology: Stories about wild animals
Aug 11, 2017 • 36 min
This week, we present two stories of encounters with wild animals, from a seal named Crystal in Antarctica to a flatulent rhino in South Africa. Part 1: Science writer Ed Yong is confronted by a flatulent rhino while on safari. Part 2: In Antarctica,…
Epidemic: Stories about medical crises
Aug 4, 2017 • 29 min
This week, we present two stories of medical crises, from New York in the 1980s to the present-day opioid epidemic. Part 1: During his residency training, pediatrician Ken Haller comes across a disturbing X-ray. Part 2: Neuroscientist Maureen Boyle’s…
Magnetism: Stories about attraction
Jul 28, 2017 • 32 min
In today’s episode, we bring you two stories about attraction, from the neuroscience of prairie voles to a physics love story. Part 1: Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki is surprised when an acting exercise challenges her beliefs about love and attaction. Part…
Death: Stories about untimely ends
Jul 21, 2017 • 26 min
This week, we present two stories about death in science, from a university lab to a crime lab. Part 1: To make ends meet as a student, Cris Gray takes a high-paying job in a lab… and finds out why it’s so high-paying. Part 2: Chemist Raychelle Burks…
Evolution: Stories about evolving as people
Jul 14, 2017 • 26 min
Part 1: Adam Andis was raised as a creationist, but grows up to become an evolutionary biologist. Part 2: In grade school, Angel Yau excels at science — because her mom does all her work. Adam Andis is a PhD student at Yale University School of Forestry…
Friction: Stories of difficult relationships in science
Jul 7, 2017 • 31 min
This week, we bring you two stories of difficult professional relationships in science, whether in the field or in the lab. Part 1: As a young biology student, Margot Wohl is excited to spend a summer in the field, but her male colleague expects her to do…
Independent Research: Stories of setting off on our own
Jun 30, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we present two stories about young scientists setting off on their own. Part 1: As an undergrad, Frank Stabile lands an exciting summer research position in D.C., but soon he starts to notice something’s not right. Part 2: As a teenager, Deena…
Oil: Stories from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Jun 23, 2017 • 29 min
This week, we bring you two stories from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, one from a native Louisianian scientist and the other from a fourth-generation Louisiana fisherman. Part 1: Louisianan scientist Estelle Robichaux struggles to deal with the…
Paternal Bonds: Stories about dads
Jun 16, 2017 • 32 min
This week, we present stories of science and fatherhood. Part 1: As a teenager, comedian Gastor Almonte seeks answers about some of the scientific terms he hears around school. Part 2: Medical student Usman Hameedi struggles to live up to his father’s…
Symbiosis: Stories about teamwork
Jun 9, 2017 • 28 min
This week, we present two stories about working together, whether it’s to accomplish a scientific mission or save a life. Part 1: Yael Fitzpatrick and her theater technician friends attempt to save a sea turtle. Part 2: As the only black woman on a…
Early Childhood Development: Stories about growth
Jun 2, 2017 • 27 min
This week, we present two stories of learning experiences connected to early childhood, from an expert in maternal and infant health discovering the reality behind her research to a first-grader striving to be one of the “smart kids.” Part 1: Psychologist…
Working Memory: Stories about how memory shapes us
May 26, 2017 • 40 min
This week, we present two stories of how memory impacts our lives, our families, and the way we see ourselves. Part 1: When Jirard Khalil is twelve years old, his mother suddenly starts to change. Part 2: A teacher’s social experiment lands fifth-grade…
Standard Deviation: Stories about unusual encounters
May 19, 2017 • 25 min
Part 1: Late one night in the ER, doctor Bess Stillman treats a patient with an interesting dilemma. Part 2: As a teenager, science writer Brendan Bane becomes obsessed with collecting poisonous pets. Bess Stillman is an emergency physician and writer…
Maternal Instinct: Stories about moms
May 12, 2017 • 33 min
In this week’s episode, we present two stories of science and motherhood, just in time for Mother’s Day. Part 1: Developmental biologist Pam Feliciano tries to understand her autistic son. Part 2: Science writer Katharine Gammon thinks she’s gone into…
Hard Science: Stories about journeys into physics
May 5, 2017 • 22 min
Part 1: When Sarah Demers gets a work-study job working on a particle detector, she has no idea what she’s in for. Part 2: After being discouraged from pursuing science, Katy Rodriguez Wimberly searches for her place in the military and as an actor. Sarah…
Syzygy: Stories of celestial alignment
Apr 28, 2017 • 23 min
Part 1: Bryony Tilsley and her husband are planning a local astronomy event when their family undergoes a big change. Part 2: Eclipse chaser David Baron discovers the real magic behind a total solar eclipse. Bryony Tilsley, along with her husband Rob, is…
Resistance: Stories about fighting oppression
Apr 21, 2017 • 26 min
Part 1: Environmental engineer Siddhartha Roy is baffled when the state of Michigan insists the water in Flint is safe to drink despite his scientific evidence. Part 2: Sociologist Ada Cheng learns a surprising lesson about resistance while studying human…
Transformation: Stories about changing states
Apr 14, 2017 • 28 min
Part 1: Geneticist Sebastian Alvarado reconnects with his love of comic books by attempting to shrink ants. Part 2: Inspired by his favorite novel, third-grade Danny Artese attempts to turn himself into a plant. Sebastian Gaston Alvarado went into science…
Technological Advancements: Stories about the ways technology impacts our lives
Apr 7, 2017 • 29 min
Part 1: Blind athlete Simon Wheatcroft finds a way to run marathons by himself. Part 2: Worried she won’t ever be able to commit to one field of study, Dale Markowitz decides to go all in on a neuroscience project. Simon Wheatcroft’s utilization of…
Observational Error: Stories about the overlooked
Mar 31, 2017 • 31 min
Part 1: Neuroscientist Qi Lin struggles to connect with friends and colleagues when she can’t escape her scientific mindset. Part 2: When defense attorney Michael Perlin interviews individuals who were not competent to stand trial, he makes a startling…
Isolation: Stories about loneliness
Mar 24, 2017 • 39 min
Part 1: On an expedition to Antarctica, journalist Alok Jha ends up trapped on the ice for days. Part 2: Neuroscientist Rita Tavares attempts to analyze her romantic problems with science. Alok Jha is a journalist, author and broadcaster, focusing on…
Habitat Loss: Stories of changing environments
Mar 17, 2017 • 41 min
Part 1: Ecologist Evon Hekkala travels to Madagascar to help protect a village from a man-eating croc. Part 2: Criminologist Stan Stojkovic receives a letter from an incarcerated man who killed two people when he was a teenager. Evon Hekkala was born just…
In the Field: Stories about venturing into the wild
Mar 10, 2017 • 31 min
Part 1: As a grad student, Liz Neeley falls in love with the order of science, but when she heads into the field, she’s forced to confront messy reality. Part 2: Criminologist Heith Copes gets close to his subjects when he studies meth users in rural…
Natural Habitats: Stories of finding where we belong
Mar 3, 2017 • 28 min
Part 1: Born and raised in Brooklyn, naturalist Helen Cheng leaves the comfort of the city to venture out into the field. Part 2: Ecologist Thom Young-Bayer makes the tough decision to leave science after his life changes course. Helen Cheng is once a…
Predators: Stories about confronting danger
Feb 24, 2017 • 30 min
Part 1: Drew Prochaska decides to confront his fear of sharks — by going swimming with them. Part 2: Attorney Heather Cucolo must navigate the complicated psychology surrounding her sex-offender clients. Drew Prochaska is a two-time Moth StorySlam winner,…
Fear Response: Stories about conquering fear
Feb 17, 2017 • 34 min
Part 1: Mark Pagán combats his phobia of flying in an unusual way. Part 2: Military surgeon Rob Lim must perform surgery in the middle of a sandstorm in Iraq. Mark Pagán is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, multimedia artist, and writer best known…
Oxytocin: Stories of love gone wrong
Feb 10, 2017 • 28 min
Part 1: MIT Museum education coordinator Faith Dukes wonders if there’s something wrong with her when she fails to couple up. Part 2: Cara Gael O’Regan is startled when she tests positive for syphilis. Faith Dukes is the Education Coordinator at the MIT…
Research: Stories about the places studies take us
Feb 3, 2017 • 29 min
Part 1: As a teenager, Bri Riggio struggles to understand her eating disorder and connect with her psychologist father. Part 2: Seth Baum, an expert in global catastrophic risk, makes waves when he suggests a solution to the threat of nuclear winter. Bri…
Outliers: Stories of unusual outcomes
Jan 27, 2017 • 31 min
Part 1: A series of unfortunate events reveals something off about molecular biologist Maryam Zaringhalam’s sense of smell. Part 2: Hillary Savoie’s daughter is born with a rare genetic mutation. Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist who just…
Baseline: Stories about starting points
Jan 20, 2017 • 28 min
Part 1: Bioethicist Elizabeth Yuko tries to use her science training while reporting her sexual assault. Part 2: Engineering student Selam Gano returns to her father’s home country of Ethiopia with the hopes of providing clean water to the village where…
Excited State: Stories about exhilerating experiences
Jan 14, 2017 • 23 min
Brian Mackenwells tries to smuggle something onto the vomit comet, and Jess Thom learns the best way to explain her Tourette’s to someone new. Brian Mackenwells currently works at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics as the Public Engagement…
Exposure: Stories about new experiences
Jan 6, 2017 • 28 min
Part 1: Journalist Erika Check Hayden travels to Sierra Leone and sees ebola up close and personal for the first time. Part 2: As a child, psychologist Ali Mattu suffers from paralyzing social anxiety. Erika Check Hayden is an award-winning San…
Adam Becker: The Solar System
Dec 30, 2016 • 16 min
Though Adam Becker loved science as a kid, he struggled in school — until he met first-grade teacher Mrs. Brown. Adam Becker is a writer, astrophysicist, and science publishing troublemaker. He is currently writing a book about the sordid untold history…
Mary Ann Allen: My Friend Lovey
Dec 23, 2016 • 15 min
When biologist Mary Ann Allen gets a chance to study Down syndrome, the disorder her dear childhood friend had, she jumps at the chance, but the results aren’t what she expected. Mary Ann Allen is a Sie post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado…
Rebecca Brachman: Deadly Mistake
Dec 16, 2016 • 18 min
Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working late one night alone in the lab when she accidentally sticks herself with a needle full of deadly toxin. Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist, playwright, and screenwriter. She obtained her PhD at Columbia…
Emily Grossman: Crying in Science
Dec 9, 2016 • 15 min
When geneticist and science communicator Emily Grossman is invited to discuss women in science on TV, she doesn’t know she’ll be debating a legendary Internet bully. Emily Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and genetics, with a Double First in…
Amanda Buch: My Father’s Brain
Dec 2, 2016 • 13 min
When Amanda Buch’s beloved father is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it sparks a passion in her for neuroscience. Amanda Buch is a budding neuroscientist and visual artist who draws inspiration from the intersection of brain biology and creativity in…
Matt Hartings: My Bacon Number
Nov 25, 2016 • 16 min
Chemist Matt Hartings is excited — and a little frantic — when he receives an unexpected invitation to talk about the science of bacon on The Today Show. Matt Hartings is a chemist who works at American University. When he’s not being bossed around by…
Chiara Mariottini: Lost in Translation
Nov 18, 2016 • 14 min
Italian neuroscientist Chiara Mariottini struggles to fit in when she moves to New York City. Chiara Mariottini has a PhD in Neurophysiology from the University of Florence, Italy. She graduated at the end of 2007 and moved to NYC in January 2008. She is…
Wes Hazard: Everything Is Wrong
Nov 11, 2016 • 14 min
Standup comedian Wes Hazard’s dangerous chronic illness rears its head while he’s on stage one night. Wes Hazard is a Boston-based comic & storyteller who was named 1 of ‘5 Boston Comics to Watch’ by the Boston Globe. His first book ‘Questions for…
Amy Oestreicher: Life Without a Stomach
Nov 4, 2016 • 19 min
Amy Oestreicher is a normal teenage theater nerd… until the day her stomach explodes. Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning…
Jana Watson-Capps: Shark-Infested Waters
Oct 28, 2016 • 16 min
Biologist Jana Watson-Capps struggles with feeling in over her head in her scientific career. Jana Watson-Capps is an Associate Director of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute, where she serves as chief-of-staff and head of strategy. Jana…
Herman Pontzer: Burning Calories
Oct 21, 2016 • 16 min
Anthropologist Herman Pontzer spends time living among a Hadza hunter-gatherer tribe in order to see if they burn more calories than a typical Westerner. Herman Pontzer, professor of anthropology at Hunter College in New York, investigates the human and…
Layne Jackson Hubbard: Still Myself
Oct 14, 2016 • 13 min
Layne Jackson Hubbard wakes up in a hospital room with a head wound and no memory of how she got there. Layne Jackson Hubbard is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder and is the founder of MindScribe, a startup company…
Aparna Nancherla: By Any Means Necessary
Oct 7, 2016 • 15 min
When comedian Aparna Nancherla’s science fair project goes awry, she and her fellow students make some unethical choices. Aparna Nancherla is a standup comedian and writer who has written for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and appeared on “Totally Biased…
Patrick Freeman: Elephant Time
Sep 30, 2016 • 14 min
Patrick Freeman is studying elephants in Namibia when he receives terrible news. Patrick Freeman is a Research Assistant at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology. He specializes in sub-Saharan wildlife ecology and is…
Rachel Yehuda: Cause and Effect
Sep 23, 2016 • 18 min
To discover why some survivors of trauma experience PTSD and some don’t, scientist Rachel Yehuda must convince a community of Holocaust survivors to let her study them. Rachel Yehuda is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of…
Ira Flatow: The Sound of the Falls
Sep 16, 2016 • 23 min
As a young science reporter at NPR, Science Friday’s Ira Flatow accepts a challenge to record what it sounds like to go over Niagara Falls. Award winning science correspondent and TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Science Friday, heard weekly on…
Wyatt Cenac: Driving Drunk for Science
Sep 9, 2016 • 16 min
While completing a community service requirement in high school, comedian Wyatt Cenac puts a drunk driving simulation to the test. Wyatt Cenac is a comedian and a former correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has also released multiple…
Paula Croxson: How Cold Is Too Cold?
Sep 2, 2016 • 16 min
Neuroscientist Paula Croxson is determined to finish her first open-water swimming race — despite the dangers. Paula Croxson is a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she researches the brain mechanisms and chemicals that are…
Ben Lillie: The Truth About My Grandfather
Aug 26, 2016 • 18 min
After his grandfather passes away, Ben Lillie learns the surprising truth about his life — from Wikipedia. Ben is a high-energy particle physicist who left the ivory tower for the wilds of New York’s theater district. He is co-founder and artistic…
Elana Lancaster: The Egg & the Equinox
Aug 19, 2016 • 13 min
In grade school, Elana Lancaster gets into trouble when he questions his student teacher’s science. Elana Lancaster is a health educator and storyteller who lives in Brooklyn. He’s a Moth Slam winner, and co-hosts and co-produces the monthly show Take Two…
Skylar Bayer: The Hummingbird of Doom
Aug 12, 2016 • 16 min
Skylar Bayer’s dreams of a career in scientific scuba diving are put in jeopardy when her heart begins acting strangely. Skylar Bayer is a PhD candidate studying the secret sex lives of scallops in the great state of Maine. Due to a mishap involving a…
Aaron Wolfe: The Inseminator
Aug 6, 2016 • 13 min
Aaron Wolfe seeks meaning through labor at a kibbutz dairy farm — and finds himself tackling some rather unexpected tasks. Aaron Wolfe is a moth grandslam winning storyteller, writer, filmmaker, and obsessive fan of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. He is…
Jo Firestone: A Sex Education
Jul 29, 2016 • 10 min
When comedian Jo Firestone goes to college, she starts to worry she has an STD — even though she’s never had sex. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MaryAnn Wilbur: Two Pregnancies
Jul 22, 2016 • 11 min
While she’s 26 weeks pregnant, OB-GYN MaryAnn Wilbur treats a woman who is also 26 weeks pregnant — and about to go into labor. MaryAnn Wilbur is currently an editorial fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine and a practicing OB/Gyn at the Dimock…
Henry Duffy: 97 Days On Pitcairn Island
Jul 15, 2016 • 12 min
As a student, Henry Duffy jumps at a chance to do research…on the second most remote island in the world. Henry Duffy is a conservationist with a particular interest in the marine environment and a background in tropical marine ecology and fisheries…
Nathan Boll: What Else Is Out There?
Jul 8, 2016 • 12 min
Nathan Boll was an excellent physics student — up until the day he suddenly dropped out. Nathan Boll is a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences and a Space Policy Graduate Fellow in the Elliot School…
Nitin Ron: Babies and Mountains
Jul 1, 2016 • 12 min
Newborn and premature baby specialist Nitin Ron learns a surprising lesson from one of his young patients. Nitin Ron is a neonatologist (baby doctor) and loves high altitude trekking and mountaineering. He is an associate professor of pediatrics at New…
Emily Mullin: Losing My Voice
Jun 24, 2016 • 15 min
In high school, Emily Mullin dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist — until her voice mysteriously begins to disappear. Emily Mullin is a freelance science writer interested in telling stories that explore the intersection of health and humanity. She…
Jeff Sparr: Obsession
Jun 17, 2016 • 13 min
Jeff Sparr finds an unexpected purpose after his life is torn apart… by a case of jock itch. PeaceLove co-founder Jeff Sparr is a man on an audacious mission — a mission to make mental illness cool. Not cool to have, but cool to support. A family man,…
Amanda Duffy: A Picture of My Brain
Jun 10, 2016 • 12 min
Neuroscientist Amanda Duffy gets some surprising news about her brain when she volunteers to be a control in an MRI study. Amanda Marie Duffy is a graduate student at Brown University pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Her research is focused on…
David Russell: In The Name Of Love
Jun 3, 2016 • 18 min
In high school, David Russell joins a hospital apprentice program in order to get close to his crush. David Russell is a librarian, bookseller and storyteller who is thankful to live in Georgia after spending 28 years in the Buffalo area. He hosts Stories…
Rochelle Williams: Potential
May 29, 2016 • 16 min
As a PhD student, Rochelle Williams faces barriers to a career in engineering. Rochelle Williams is a Louisiana girl, Spelman woman, and lover of all things football. No stranger to implicit and institutional biases, she is an advocate for women of color…
Steve Crabtree: Painting A Nuclear Submarine
May 20, 2016 • 18 min
Steve Crabtree gets an unusual start to his career: watching paint dry. Steve Crabtree left school aged 15 in 1985 and started work as a painter & decorator in Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited in Barrow in Furness, where he painted nuclear…
Brion Randolph: Curiosity Saves The Cats
May 14, 2016 • 12 min
Brion Randolph’s journey to becoming a doctor begins with a box full of kittens. Dr. Brion Randolph is currently the Chief of Medical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Newnan, Georgia. He joined CTCA as a medical oncologist and…
Dawn Fraser: The Mission
May 6, 2016 • 13 min
While working as a census taker in 2010, Dawn Fraser is taken by surprise when her partner asks her for a favor. Dawn J. Fraser is a storyteller, educator and and nationally acclaimed speaker based out of New York City. She is the Host of the live show…
Bill Harwood: How A Chemist Becomes A Cop
Apr 29, 2016 • 13 min
As a young chemist working for the state crime lab, Bill Harwood is unexpectedly called to a crime scene. Lt. Bill Harwood is the director of the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory. He has over 26 years of experience in forensics and law enforcement. Lt.…
Nneze Akwiwu: The First Female President Of Nigeria
Apr 22, 2016 • 17 min
A chance conversation gives Nneze Akwiwu a chance to study in the United States. Nneze Akwiwu is currently a senior Biology major at Spelman College. She thinks of herself as a bubbly, outgoing and very family oriented individual. She has plans of…
Chris Duffy: A Comedian Walks Into Some Neuroscience
Apr 15, 2016 • 11 min
After reading about scientific theories of humor, comedian Chris Duffy decides to see if those principles can make his act better. Chris Duffy is a NYC-based comedian who performs across the country. His shows have been featured in The New York Times,…
Kia Salehi: Control
Apr 8, 2016 • 10 min
A young neuroscientist seeks control through an eating disorder. Kia Salehi is a recent graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in neuroscience and mathematics. For two years after graduation she worked as the lab manager for a neuroscience lab…
Amanda Stockton: The Girl With The Big Nose
Apr 1, 2016 • 12 min
Growing up on a cattle ranch, Amanda Stockton dreams of searching for life elsewhere in the universe. Dr. Amanda Stockton is an assistant professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her work walks the…
Dan Daneshvar: Making The Death Call
Mar 26, 2016 • 11 min
To study a dangerous disease, Dan Daneshvar asks families to consider donating their loved one’s brains. Dan Daneshvar received an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Brain and Cognitive Sciences with Concentrations in Cognitive…
Joe Palca: 175 Riverside Drive
Mar 18, 2016 • 14 min
A series of incidents propels Joe Palca to a career in sleep research. Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. He comes to journalism from a science background, having received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz…
Erika Engelhaupt: Fear Of Flying
Mar 12, 2016 • 12 min
Erika Engelhaupt gets a dream reporting assignment. There’s just one problem—she has to take a small prop plane just like the one that she almost crashed in years ago. Erika Engelhaupt is a science writer and editor. At the time of this show, she is about…
Maryam Zaringhalam: Cheating My Way To Smart
Mar 5, 2016 • 12 min
Maryam Zaringhalam’s scheme to cheat her way into the smart class makes clear a huge flaw in the education system. Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist and graduate student at The Rockefeller University. In the lab, Maryam tinkers with parasites…
Jonaki Bhattacharyya: Losing Control
Feb 26, 2016 • 18 min
Jonaki Bhattacharyya ventures out into rugged Canadian wilderness to research wild horses — but can does she have what it takes to survive? This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at…
David Putrino: Medical Records
Feb 20, 2016 • 14 min
While working at a hospital, David Putrino finds a surprise in his own medical records. David is a Physical Therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He has worked as a clinician in the US, UK and Australia, studied computational neuroscience at Harvard…
Saad Sarwana: The Math Test
Feb 12, 2016 • 10 min
Saad Sarwana is finally about to win a high school award, but in his way is a math problem even the teacher got wrong. Saad Sarwana grew up in Pakistan, and moved first to Canada and then eventually to the US to attend graduate school in Physics. He’s a…
Rachel Fairbank: Scientist Or Subject?
Feb 5, 2016 • 13 min
While being treated after an accident, Rachel Fairbank struggles with not being the researcher. Rachel Fairbank received her bachelor’s in biology from Cornell University, did some graduate work in the developmental biology program at Baylor College of…
Abhishek Shah: Waste Disposal
Jan 29, 2016 • 10 min
Abhishek Shah takes a simple job to pay for school—toxic waste disposal. Being a biomedical engineer, Abhishek Shah knows everything about physics, chemistry and biology. He applies the same fundamentals to his stand up comedy and storytelling to improve…
Brian Kennedy: The Back-Up Plan
Jan 22, 2016 • 12 min
Brian Kennedy is forced to take a job in his local pharmacy to finance his theater dreams. Brian Kennedy is a writer/storyteller living in NYC. He’s written for The Huffington Post and performed improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. He…
Kaća Bradonjić: The Nature Of Space And Time
Jan 17, 2016 • 13 min
Physicist Kaća Bradonjić’s view of time is shaped by her experience as a war refugee. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Kaća Bradonjić is a theoretical physicist living and working in Massachusetts. Her research on the nature of space, time, and…
Ali Mattu: My Brother The Trekkie
Jan 8, 2016 • 17 min
Psychologist Ali Mattu didn’t know what he wanted to be as a kid, but his older brother helped him find inspiration in Star Trek. Ali is a clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders where he specializes in…
Anna Nicanarova: Playing Sick
Jan 1, 2016 • 9 min
Anna Nicanarova pretends to be sick to get out of a test, but how far will she take the ruse? Anna Nicanorova is Director of Annalect Labs — space for experimentation and rapid prototyping within Annalect. Anna is Co–Founder of Books+Whiskey meetup and…
Tom Levenson: Henry
Dec 25, 2015 • 18 min
Used to the controlled uncertainties of his work, science writer Tom Levenson is forced to confront the dramatic uncertainty of whether he’ll be able to adopt a son. Tom Levenson writes books (most recently The Hunt for Vulcan) and makes films, about…
Adam Foote: The Sea Urchin Massacre
Dec 18, 2015 • 22 min
Adam Foote confronts the problem of obtaining sea urchins in land-locked Pittsburgh…during a polar vortex. Adam recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University, and he is very grateful to his sea urchin friends for…
Neer Asherie: The Milk Heist
Dec 11, 2015 • 11 min
When he discovers his milk has been stolen from the dorm fridge, Neer Asherie has to resort to extreme science measures to find the culprit. Neer Asherie is a professor of physics and biology at Yeshiva University. He received a B.A. and M.A. in natural…
Rachel Pendergrass: A Bad Day At The Aquarium
Dec 4, 2015 • 11 min
Rachel Pendergrass gets her dream job: talking to visitors in an aquarium, but dealing with the questions are not what she expected. Rachel Pendergrass is a storyteller, writer, actor, and science communicator native to the Atlanta area. She is a…
Alan Guth: Stumbling To Inflation
Nov 27, 2015 • 18 min
Alan Guth is working on a fairly typical research paper, when he accidentally makes a huge discovery about the origin of the universe. Alan H. Guth is the Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics and a MacVicar Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts…
Adam Rogers: Separating Cells
Nov 22, 2015 • 14 min
Adam Rogers gets an exciting opportunity to work in a marine biology lab, and see if he really wants to be a biologist. Adam Rogers is articles editor at WIRED, where he edits features about miscellaneous geekery and runs the science desk. His features…
April Salazar: The Heart Adapts
Nov 13, 2015 • 14 min
Facing an incredibly important decision, April Salazar is infuriated by way scientific information about reproduction is distorted. April Salazar is a writer and storyteller. She’s written for The New York Times and has shared stories on The Moth podcast…
Jimmy Wohl: Calmfidence
Nov 6, 2015 • 16 min
As a musician and writer Jimmy Wohl thought he was the ultimate creative, then he encounters a pharmaceutical marketing campaign. Jimmy Wohl is a writer and musician from New York City. He performs in many shows throughout the region, is the host of a…
Erik Vance: Is This Biology?
Oct 31, 2015 • 13 min
Erik Vance searches for the real meaning of biology while chasing porcupines. Erik Vance is a native Bay Area writer replanted in Mexico as a non-native species. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an…
Aerin Jacob: Lessons From The Man With A Machine Gun
Oct 23, 2015 • 18 min
With her truck stuck in the mud in the Serengeti, Aerin Jacob learns three important lessons. This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at www.beforetheabstract.com/ Aerin Jacob is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the…
Nicole Ferraro: The Summer Of West Nile
Oct 16, 2015 • 11 min
A remote disease comes very close to home for Queens resident Nicole Ferraro. Nicole Ferraro is a writer, editor, and storyteller living in NYC. Her personal essays have been published in The New York Times, Story Collider Magazine, The Frisky, Mr.…
Teppei Katori: Becoming American
Oct 9, 2015 • 17 min
A Japanese particle physicist struggles to find his place (and learn English) in the American midwest. Teppei Katori is an experimental particle physicist and a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. His major interest is neutrino physics,…
John Rennie: The Downside Of Being The Boss
Oct 2, 2015 • 19 min
John Rennie finds it’s great to be editor in chief of Scientific American, but not when all the ingredients of sarin gas are in his office. John Rennie is a science writer, editor, and lecturer based in New York. Viewers of The Weather Channel know him as…
Adriana Salerno: A Different Kind Of Problem
Sep 25, 2015 • 15 min
As a mathematician, Adriana Salerno is used to solving problems, but depression is something else entirely. Adriana Salerno is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Universidad Simon…
Brittany Bushnell: A Neuroscientist With A Brain Tumor
Sep 18, 2015 • 12 min
Just after beginning a graduate program in neuroscience, Brittany Bushnell gets an unexpected look at her own brain. Brittany Bushnell has a BS in psychology from the University of Washington, and is currently working on her PhD in neuroscience at New…
Nate Charles Troisi: Family Chemistry
Sep 11, 2015 • 13 min
A chemistry set is the perfect opportunity for Nate Charles Troisi to connect with his engineer father. Nate Charles Troisi is an award winning storyteller and solo performer originally based in Melbourne, Australia and now based in NYC. He’s written and…
David Moinina Sengeh: Whose Story Is It?
Sep 4, 2015 • 12 min
When reporters call to cover David Moinina Sengeh’s work, that should be a good thing, but it depends on what story they want to tell. David Moinina Sengeh, born and raised in Sierra Leone, is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Media Lab. His research…
Tara Lagu: Quitting The Lab To Save The World
Aug 28, 2015 • 14 min
Tara Lagu’s passion for beating her high school rival in the science fair turns into an unusual medical career. Tara Lagu, M.D., M.P.H, is an Academic Hospitalist in the Center for Quality of Care Research and Department of Medicine at Baystate Medical…
Karen James: I Could Be an Astronaut
Aug 21, 2015 • 15 min
A surprise email leads a biologist to NASA. Dr Karen James (@kejames on Twitter) is a biologist at the MDI Biological Laboratory, where she combines DNA-based species identification (‘DNA barcoding’), with public participation in scientific research…
Erica Ferencik: My Dad & His Mice
Aug 15, 2015 • 13 min
Erica Ferencik’s father left his family to pursue his obsession with finding monogamy in the animal kingdom. Award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and essayist Erica Ferencik is the author of the comic novel, Cracks in the Foundation and the best-selling…
George Church: Playing With Fire
Aug 7, 2015 • 11 min
George Church learns a lesson on the power of nature the hard way. George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Studies, and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world’s…
John Dimandja: The First Day Of Class
Jul 31, 2015 • 14 min
Professor John Dimandja is confused when his class begins snickering on the first day — until he realizes it’s because they weren’t expecting him to be black. John Dimandja is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Spelman College. A native of Oxford,…
Diana Reiss: Who is training who?
Jul 27, 2015 • 10 min
Early in her career researching dolphin intelligence Diana Reiss began wondering, “Who is training who?” Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist and a marine mammal scientist, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate…
Uzma Rizvi: Being an Archaeologist
Jul 19, 2015 • 15 min
At a checkpoint in Iraq, not knowing if she’ll get through, Uzma Rizvi reflects on what it means to be an archaeologist. This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at www.beforetheabstract.com Uzma Z. Rizvi…
Brian Wecht: The Littlest Experiment
Jul 13, 2015 • 16 min
For physicist Brian Wecht, his new baby is the perfect opportunity—to do experiments. Brian Wecht studies theoretical particle physics and string theory and is the co-founder of The Story Collider. Additionally, he is half of the musical sketch duo Ninja…
Jessica Henkel: Stuck
Jul 6, 2015 • 17 min
Ecologist Jessica Henkel finds the keys to her research truck missing, as it’s parked on a remote beach with one of the biggest tides of the season about to come in. Jessica is a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the National…
Carter Edwards: Brontosaurus Claus
Jun 27, 2015 • 17 min
Not even the truth about Santa Claus and George Washington could prepare Carter Edwards for what happened to Brontosaurus. Carter Edwards’ work has appeared in Mathematics Magazine, Hobart, The New York Times, and others. His debut collection of fiction,…
Rose Eveleth: Looking For Help
Jun 19, 2015 • 12 min
Rose Eveleth always wanted to be fiercely independent. But sometimes being too independent has its downsides. Rose Eveleth is a writer, producer, and designer based in Brooklyn. She’s dabbled in everything from research on krill to animations about beer…
Virendra Singh: Farm To School
Jun 12, 2015 • 16 min
Virendra Singh is responsible for carrying on his family’s farm, but he begs his parents to be allowed to go to school. Virendra was born in a farmer’s family in northern India. He experienced and learned engineering challenges while growing up on the…
Sean Carroll: What Would Stephen Hawking Do?
Jun 4, 2015 • 13 min
Sean Carroll gets a fabulous job offer—to work with Stephen Hawking—twice. Sean Carroll is a Research Professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses…
Carl Hart: My Cousin’s Meds
May 27, 2015 • 14 min
When neuroscientist Carl Hart meets with his cousin he wonders about what he now knows about psychiatric medication and society, and whether his own life is a success. Carl Hart is a member of the faculty at Columbia University, jointly-appointed in the…
David Kipping: Falling To Other Worlds
May 19, 2015 • 12 min
A near-fatal accident on a mountain leads exoplanet hunter David Kipping to a new goal. David Kipping is an astronomer based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where he researches extrasolar planets and moons. He is currently…
Chris Gunter: My Prosthetic
May 11, 2015 • 13 min
Geneticist Chris Gunter worries about passing on a rare condition to her son. Chris Gunter is a human geneticist by training, and a science communicator by choice. She earned her Ph.D. at Emory University and then moved up and down the east coast, ending…
Bradford Jordan: The Brain In The Trunk
May 1, 2015 • 12 min
Bradford Jordan finds there’s more to the brain his dad brings to show his class than just how cool it is. Bradford Jordan is an actor, improviser, storyteller and facilitator. He is a lead teacher at the Peoples Improv Theatre in New York, where he has…
Renee Hlozek: Who Looks Like A Scientist?
Apr 23, 2015 • 10 min
An offhand sexist comment enrages Renee Hlozek, and leads her to dig into how her colleagues really view people who aren’t the stereotypical scientist. Dr. Renee Hlozek is the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics in at…
Elin Roberts: The Bacon Sandwich
Apr 17, 2015 • 16 min
A simple interview about a bacon sandwich turns into a national, then international nightmare. Elin Roberts is Head of Public Engagement at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. She is a passionate science communicator producing activities and programs for…
Jon Ronson: Jon Ronson Vs Jon_Ronson
Apr 11, 2015 • 17 min
When Jon Ronson discovers a twitter account pretending to be him, he sets off to find it’s creators. Jon Ronson is a British nonfiction author, documentary maker and screenwriter. His books, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats,…
Molly Payne Wynne: An Accomplice To Fish Murder
Apr 3, 2015 • 12 min
A summer job in Yellowstone National Park isn’t quite what Molly Payne Wynne had been expecting. Molly is the Monitoring Coordinator for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, an unprecedented collaborative effort to restore 11 species of sea-run fish in…
Bianca Jones Marlin: It’s Because She’s Black
Mar 26, 2015 • 11 min
On the first day of grad school for her PhD, a fellow student tells Bianca Jones Marlin that she doesn’t really belong there. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and doctoral candidate at New York University, School of Medicine. She received dual…
Hillary Rea: A Standard Pregnancy
Mar 16, 2015 • 12 min
Hillary Rea enjoys her job as a “standard patient” helping to train medical students, until she’s asked to sub in on a birth gone quite wrong. Hillary Rea is a Philadelphia dwelling comedian and storyteller, and the host of the storytelling shows Tell Me…
Adam Becker: How To Save Your PhD Supervisor
Mar 6, 2015 • 18 min
When Adam Becker realizes a visiting film crew is made up of geocentrists, he has to prevent them from exploiting his adviser’s work. Adam Becker is a cosmologist, a journalist, a programmer, and a science publishing troublemaker. He hails from a tiny…
Erin Barker: Plants And People
Feb 27, 2015 • 14 min
Erin Barker’s attempt to save a college relationship leads her to a plant biology class where the professor brought an ax to class. Erin Barker is senior producer of The Story Collider and a host of its live show in New York. She is the first woman to win…
Obehi Janice: Gather And Murmur
Feb 20, 2015 • 11 min
Obehi Janice’s family struggles to understand a death their doctors can’t explain. Obehi Janice is a writer, actress, and comedian. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has trained with Shakespeare & Company and ImprovBoston. Her essays include…
Indre Viskontas: The Man Chart
Feb 12, 2015 • 13 min
Neuroscientist Indre Viskontas and her friends turn to science to find the right way to date. Indre Viskontas is a neuroscientist and opera singer. She is also the host of Inquiring Minds, an in-depth exploration of the place where science, politics, and…
David Epstein: Holographic Supplements
Feb 4, 2015 • 12 min
Sports writer David Epstein tracks down some surprising health claims circulating in the football world. David Epstein is author of the recent New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, an exploration of the genetic basis of athleticism. He is currently…
Tara Clancy: Adventures In Babymaking
Jan 28, 2015 • 18 min
The joys and dangers of getting pregnant for Tara Clancy and her wife. Tara Clancy is a writer and performer. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review and The Rumpus. She is also a winner of The Moth GrandSlam storytelling…
Suze Kundu: A New Pair Of Shoes
Jan 22, 2015 • 12 min
Suze Kundu is forced to abandon dancing for materials science, until materials science comes to the rescue. Suze Kundu is a Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, where she shares her love of Materials Science and Engineering with anyone that will…
Bethany Brookshire: A Perfect Mentor
Jan 12, 2015 • 12 min
Lost after arriving at grad school, Bethany Brookshire is happy to finally find a perfect mentor. Bethany Brookshire has a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Philosophy from The College of William and Mary, a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake…
Justin Cameron: A Dangerous Trick
Jan 3, 2015 • 22 min
Sword swallower Justin Cameron gets an unexpected lesson in anatomy and medicine. Justin is a product manager and mobile app designer who works on search engines and secure email products. Before that, he was an itinerant technical writer, hacker, and,…
Alex Bellos: Your Favorite Number
Dec 26, 2014 • 17 min
Alex Bellos is surprised that people ask him what his favorite number is, so he decides to ask everyone what theirs is. Alex Bellos is the author of the popular science bestsellers The Grapes of Math and Here’s Looking at Euclid. In a previous life he was…
Ed Yong: Questioning A Hero
Dec 15, 2014 • 19 min
Ed Yong is ecstatic to get an interview with his hero, Sir David Attenborough, but he’s not prepared for a lesson in what having a science hero really means. Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer. His blog Not Exactly Rocket Science is hosted by…
Annalee Newitz: Honoring The Dead
Dec 10, 2014 • 13 min
Annalee Newitz comes to terms with grief while exploring the remains of a mysterious ancient city. Annalee Newitz is the editor of io9, and author most recently of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction Learn more about…
Steve Zimmer: Less Than One Percent
Dec 2, 2014 • 11 min
Against the odds, animal-loving kid Steve Zimmer attempts to rescue tadpoles in jeopardy. An aging yuppie from the midwest, Steve Zimmer was originally an academic economist and is currently a programmer, but not before working 5 years in an NYU…
Shayle Matsuda: My First Expedition As A Man
Nov 25, 2014 • 13 min
Marine biologist Shayle Matsuda adapts to his new identity as a transgender man while on assignment in the Philippines. Shayle Matsuda researches sea slugs as an MSc candidate at the California Academy of Sciences and San Francisco State University. When…
Brian Fisher: Living With The Pygmies
Nov 16, 2014 • 12 min
Alone in the African rainforest and on the brink of death, entomologist Brian Fisher finds help from an unexpected source. Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the…
Matineh Eybpoosh: Being Good
Nov 4, 2014 • 16 min
Married young and used to giving up her own dreams, Iranian student Matineh Eybpoosh moves to the U.S. to study civil engineering—and a whole new world opens up. Matineh Eybpoosh was born in Oroumieh, a town that carries the scent of apples and the…
Jeffrey Schell: Caught In The Rip Current
Oct 27, 2014 • 18 min
Oceanographer Jeffrey Schell finds himself in a race against time when he encounters swimmers stuck in a dangerous rip current. Jeffrey M. Schell is an associate professor of oceanography with Sea Education Association, a renowned study abroad…
Nisse Greenberg: What’s In A Name
Oct 19, 2014 • 12 min
While teaching a math class, Nisse Greenberg is troubled by his student’s name, and his own. Nisse Greenberg is an educator and storyteller who eats mostly vegetarian. Sometimes he eats wings because wings are really good. When he applied for a visa to go…
Karen Hopkin: Who’s The Donor?
Oct 9, 2014 • 14 min
A panicked day leads Karen Hopkin to wonder if her sperm donor really is the father of her child. Karen Hopkin is a freelance writer and the creator of the Studmuffins of Science calendar. Karen received a PhD in biochemistry in 1992, and then traded in…
John Rennie: Crazy Mail
Sep 27, 2014 • 20 min
As an editor at Scientific American John Rennie delighted in the weird correspondence they received, but then one letter crossed a line. John Rennie is a science writer, editor, and lecturer based in New York. Viewers of The Weather Channel know him as…
Edward Frenkel: The Test
Sep 21, 2014 • 20 min
When Edward Frenkel is told he won’t be accepted to a Russian university because his father is Jewish, he decides to take the admissions exam anyway. Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, which he joined…
Meredith White: How To Write A Testimony
Sep 13, 2014 • 13 min
Marine scientist Meredith has to navigate a whole new world when she’s called upon to testify in front of the Maine legislature in support of a crucial bill. Meredith White is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East…
Nelson Lugo: A Simple Magic Trick
Sep 5, 2014 • 12 min
Nelson Lugo has a brilliant idea for his grade school talent show — use chemistry to do a simple magic trick. It did not go over well. Nelson Lugo is a Magician, Sideshow Artist, and Batman enthusiast. He was featured by TimeOut NY as a New York…
Emily Caudill: Fading Notes
Aug 29, 2014 • 17 min
Musician Emily Caudill’s life-saving chemotherapy treatment causes her to lose her hearing. Emily Caudill is a songwriter and musician from Louisville, Kentucky. In 2011, while she was working in special education, and as a music therapy intern, Emily was…
Erika Engelhaupt: The Science Of Speeding
Aug 22, 2014 • 17 min
Erika Engelhaupt is on a road trip out to DC when suddenly they’re pulled over and her boyfriend is arrested. She’ll need science to vindicate her man. Erika Engelhaupt is a science writer and editor. At the time of this show, she is about to start a new…
Stephon Alexander: Physics Dreams
Aug 15, 2014 • 13 min
Physicist Stephon Alexander feels overwhelmed until the father of quantum gravity himself helps him find inspiration in his subconscious. Stephon Alexander is the Ernest Everett Just 1907 Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. Stephon…
Daniel Miller: Black Holes
Aug 8, 2014 • 17 min
At four years old, Daniel Miller became one of the youngest people in the state of Texas ever to testify in court — against his own mother, for sexual assault. As an adult, he struggles for stability, but finds hope in physics. (Warning: this story…
Daniel Engber: Distracting Mark Cuban
Aug 1, 2014 • 17 min
Daniel Engber risks derailing his PhD by constant daydreaming, until his neuroscience research gives him a idea that will revolutionize the NBA. Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate.com and Popular Science, and a regular contributor to the New York…
Eugene Lim: Colliding Universes
Jul 25, 2014 • 19 min
Cosmologist Eugene Lim is pulled into another world when he goes to help teach after the earthquake in Haiti. One day, Eugene Lim decided to dump his Mech Eng. degree to do physics for a living. So he went and obtained a PhD in astronomy at the University…
Ainissa Ramirez: Science Vs Football
Jul 18, 2014 • 15 min
Materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez never connected with her brothers’ love of football until she unexpectedly ends up writing a book about it. Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist, who is passionate about getting the general public excited…
Annalise Kaylor: A Room Full Of Odds
Jul 11, 2014 • 14 min
A cancer diagnosis is only the start of the collapse for Annalise Kaylor, but she finds support in an unexpected community. Hailing from the northwoods of Wisconsin, Annalise Kaylor planned to live in an RV and travel around the country when she made a…
Allison Hartshorn: Common Ground
Jul 4, 2014 • 12 min
A relationship bridging the divide between scientists and artists is reflected in a fight over where to store tomatoes. Alison graduated with a BSc in Astrophysics from Newcastle University. Leaving for London to seek her fortune, she worked for several…
Jodi Beggs: Kindergarten tycoon
Jun 27, 2014 • 20 min
Jodi Beggs’s mother greatly underestimates how well her kindergartener understands economics. Jodi Beggs is an economist and writer whose focus is on making economics accessible and interesting to both students and a general audience. Jodi is currently a…
Kathleen Raven: Hearing
Jun 20, 2014 • 13 min
Science writer Kathleen Raven’s unexpected loss of hearing takes her on a journey with modern technology. Kathleen Raven writes for Reuters Health and blogs about sustainable agriculture for Scientific American. As an independent writer based in Atlanta,…
Moran Cerf: Finding Fear
Jun 13, 2014 • 15 min
When he misses the opportunity to work with one of the most famous patients in neuroscience, Moran Cerf takes an unorthodox approach. Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at NYU and Northwestern University. Prior to his career in opening and studying brains,…
Sarah Schlesinger: Experimental Treatments
Jun 5, 2014 • 20 min
Immunologist Sarah Schlesinger must try to save her mentor’s life with his own work in cellular immunity. Sarah J. Schlesinger MD is a clinical investigator and immunologist at The Rockefeller University who has spent more than 20 years working in the…
Marjorie Winther: Lighting A Fire
May 29, 2014 • 11 min
As a science teacher, Marjorie Winther has both entertaining and troubling times with her students, but when she brings them to the South she discovers a whole new side of them. Marjorie Winther has been performing stories and comedy for over ten years.…
Margaret Geller: Mapping The Universe
May 22, 2014 • 17 min
As a grad student, Margaret Geller is invited to a private island off the coast of Maine by legendary physicist John Wheeler and his wife, for a trip she’ll never forget. Margaret Geller is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for…
Carl Zimmer: Safety Carl Versus Gamera
May 14, 2014 • 24 min
Science writer Carl Zimmer grew up loving monster movies, but he never guessed a real monster would show up in his own backyard. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times. He’s the author of a dozen books, including Parasite Rex and Evolution:…
Abby Rabinowitz: Surrogate storytelling
May 7, 2014 • 18 min
Journalist Abby Rabinowitz embarks on a journey through India’s burgeoning surrogacy industry in search of a missing baby. Abby Rabinowitz teaches writing at Columbia University, where she earned her MFA in nonfiction writing. Her work has appeared in the…
Sara Seager: A New Search For Life
Apr 30, 2014 • 16 min
In the midst of her search for life on other planets, astrophysicist Sara Seager’s own world is shattered when her husband is told he has stage three cancer. Professor Sara Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist. She has been a pioneer in the…
Jack El-Hai: Too Close To The Subject
Apr 23, 2014 • 17 min
Writer Jack El-Hai worries about his own state of mind when he spends time in the files of the psychiatrist who examined Nazi leaders. Jack El-Hai is the author of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting…
Baratunde Cola: The Comeback
Apr 16, 2014 • 14 min
Doomed to be the waterboy after tearing his ACL, engineering student Baratunde Cola is determined to make it back to his college’s football team. Bara Cola is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Georgia Tech, and…
Nick Hud: The Origin Of Life
Apr 8, 2014 • 13 min
For years, chemist Nick Hud struggles to share his work with his Catholic mother, until he finds help from a surprising source. Nicholas Hud was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his B.S. from Loyola Marymount University, his Ph.D. from UC…
Amy Cuddy: Passing As Myself
Apr 2, 2014 • 23 min
After a terrible head injury, Amy Cuddy wakes up in the hospital to find she’s a different person. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and Harvard Business School Associate Professor who studies how snap judgments and nonverbal behavior affect people from…
Shannon Cason: The perfect solution
Mar 25, 2014 • 12 min
Shannon Cason turns to science to save his tumultuous marriage. Shannon Cason is a writer and storyteller. He has shared his stories on large stages, in dive bars, and in small living rooms all around the country. Shannon is a Moth GrandSlam winner; a…
Deena Walker: Just Like My Sister
Mar 18, 2014 • 14 min
When anxiety begins to overtake her, biology student Deena Walker begins to worry she’ll end up just like her mentally ill sister. Deena Walker is a postdoctoral fellow at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine where she studies the molecular mechanisms of…
Charles van Rees: Suffering For Science
Mar 12, 2014 • 14 min
Charles Van Rees desperately pursues a bird through the desert for the sake of data. Charles van Rees is a conservation biologist and PhD student at Tufts University. His research in biology focuses on how ecological research can be used to integrate…
Amy Dixon: The Caretaker Look
Mar 4, 2014 • 15 min
Amy Dixon is passionate about becoming a hospice nurse, but finds she can’t fully understand what the families she works with are going through—until one day. Amy Dixon is a registered nurse with over sixteen years of experience in critical care, home…
Rabiah Mayas: Identical Twins
Feb 25, 2014 • 12 min
An accidental revelation causes Rabiah Mayas to question her identity. Rabiah Mayas, PhD, is madly in love with science and driven by life’s questions, large and small. As Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and…
Jesse Dunietz: Star of the science team
Feb 18, 2014 • 15 min
Jesse Dunietz wasn’t thrilled to be the one assigned to the music portion of his high school science team — the one part of the team that was definitely going to lose. Jesse Dunietz is a Ph.D. student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.…
Skylar Bayer: Phoning Home From Alvin
Feb 10, 2014 • 15 min
Marine biologist Skylar Bayer faces her fears to go on a deep-ocean dive aboard the Alvin submersible, and ends up getting more than she expected. Skylar Bayer is a native to the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been pursuing a career in marine…
Tonia Pinheiro: Double dose
Feb 4, 2014 • 13 min
Tonia Pinheiro is conflicted when her doctor’s instructions seem dangerous. Tonia (tone-ya) Pinheiro is a Wake Up! Artist (sm) and founder of Wake Up! Works and ISEEU Theater. She’s a diverse and dynamic improvisational actor, singer, and sound healer.…
Brad Lawrence: The end of the world
Jan 29, 2014 • 13 min
For a young Brad Lawrence, fears of a nuclear apocalypse are put into perspective by his mother, at first intentionally. Brad Lawrence is a host of And I Am Not Lying, Best In Show, and has also hosted for The Moth. He has performed to sold-out houses…
Rowena Fletcher-Wood: Diffraction
Jan 20, 2014 • 18 min
As a chemistry student, Rowena Fletcher-Wood has to reconstruct the structure of chemicals, and a relationship with a friend, by interpreting complex data. Rowena Fletcher-Wood is a keen science communicator and doctoral researcher in materials chemistry…
Kishore Hari: We will rock the Earth
Jan 13, 2014 • 15 min
When Kishore Hari is hired to run a new science festival he thinks he has the perfect plan, but the reality was much more than he expected. Kishore Hari is the Director of the Bay Area Science Festival, an annual celebration of science in San Francisco.…
Julian Parker: A plane nerd
Jan 6, 2014 • 12 min
After abandoning a love of flying, a former military officer gets behind the controls of a plane for the first time. Growing up in an army family, Julian failed to resist the urge to follow in his father’s footsteps, but after a short but brilliant…
Anna Wexler: A crucial choice
Dec 30, 2013 • 14 min
There is one rule more important than any other in an fMRI experiment: no metal. But a stuck piercing makes aspiring neuroscientist Anna Wexler make a crucial choice — end her career, or face possible serious injury? Anna Wexler is a documentary filmmaker…
Saad Sarwana: A muslim, a physicist, and a comedian…
Dec 22, 2013 • 10 min
Pakistan-born physicist Saad Sarwana gets a visit from the FBI. Saad Sarwana grew up in Pakistan, and moved first to Canada and then eventually to the US to attend graduate school in Physics. He’s a professional physicist by day and an amateur standup…
David Epstein: A turn on the track
Dec 15, 2013 • 12 min
When tragedy strikes his high school friend, David Epstein vows to find out what happened. David Epstein is author of the recent New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, an exploration of the genetic basis of athleticism. He is currently an…
Danielle N. Lee: Working twice as hard
Dec 9, 2013 • 15 min
As a woman of color working in science, Danielle N. Lee has always encountered challenges. But she doesn’t expect the email she receives one morning, or the events it sets in motion. Dr. Danielle N. Lee is a biologist and outreach scientist. Her research…
Pete Etchells: The next level
Dec 1, 2013 • 15 min
Psychologist Pete Etchells’ father inspired him — to hate neurons. Pete Etchells is a lecturer in biological psychology at Bath Spa University, UK, and a science blogger for the Guardian’s psychology blog, Head Quarters. When he was growing up though, he…
Craig Lehocky: Do you always talk like that?
Nov 24, 2013 • 14 min
While studying bioengineering, Craig Lehocky discovers he’s different from the other students. Craig Lehocky’s tinkering runs deep. He currently develops surgical robots as an M.D. / Ph.D. student at CMU and University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he…
Special Episode - Outtakes! (And a request for help)
Nov 22, 2013 • 9 min
The Story Collider needs your help! Our initial funding is coming to an end, and we need your help to keep going. It doesn’t take a lot, $1/podcast will go a long way. As a thanks if you donate, we’ll give you a special podcast with some of the storylets…
Saswato R. Das: Wrong number
Nov 17, 2013 • 16 min
A wrong number to a friend in Sri Lanka leads Saswato Das to the final interview with a famous science fiction writer. Saswato R. Das has written about science and technology for more than two decades for publications that include the Economist,…
Deborah Blum: A taste of nature
Nov 3, 2013 • 14 min
At age 7, Deborah Blum starts a mystery when she interrupts her parent’s dinner party. So their guest, famed biologist E.O. Wilson, investigates. Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist, author and blogger, is the Helen Firstbrook…
Victor Hwang: Spacecraft are never late
Oct 27, 2013 • 13 min
What’s the worst that can happen when you let a recent college grad command a $330 million spacecraft? Victor Hwang is a New England born nerd. After graduating from Tufts, he helped build ground telescopes, fly spacecrafts, and chased a dream to become a…
Eliza Strickland: Lost in the deep
Oct 20, 2013 • 16 min
Science writer Eliza Strickland discovers that in the race to the bottom of the Mariana Trench the most important thing is what they leave behind. Eliza Strickland is an editor for the magazine IEEE Spectrum, where she was assigned the daunting beat of…
Emily Graslie: From landscapes to taxidermy
Oct 14, 2013 • 12 min
How does a landscape artist become the host of a popular science show on YouTube? For Emily Graslie it started with pictures of a wolf head on Facebook. Emily Graslie graduated from The University of Montana with a BFA in painting in 2011. Her…
Alan Lightman: More than just the equations
Oct 6, 2013 • 14 min
From a (mostly) successful model rocket launch to a missed opportunity by Richard Feynman, Alan Lightman learns that the equations aren’t the whole story. Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist, and essayist. He has served on the faculties of Harvard and…
Robin Dessel: Sex and the nursing home
Sep 29, 2013 • 15 min
When two residents of her nursing home fell in love, sexual rights advocate Robin Dessel had to decide how the staff would handle their rendezvous. Robin has over 25 years of experience at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, and oversees vision care, memory…
Stephanie Nothelle: A last cup of coffee
Sep 22, 2013 • 14 min
Stephanie Nothelle loves volunteering at her local nursing home, but she doesn’t know what to do when one of the residents says, “I die today” and asks for a last cup of coffee — against doctor’s orders. Stephanie Nothelle is an Internal Medicine resident…
Aviva Hope Rutkin: Sensory substitution
Sep 15, 2013 • 14 min
For her masters thesis in science writing, Aviva Hope Rutkin starts writing about sensory substitution — a way of swapping in one sense for another. But her work leads to a mysterious Dr. Bach-y-Rita and a whole new way of knowing someone. Aviva Hope…
Richard Pollack: The wobbly table
Sep 8, 2013 • 16 min
Richard Pollack finds himself moderating an uneasy negotiation between Israelis and Jordanians, as part of an international effort to stem a scourge of houseflies. Richard Pollack is a public health entomologist serving academia (Harvard School of Public…
Darcy Burke: The mountain lion book
Aug 24, 2013 • 13 min
Darcy Burke’s mother gave her a book on mountain lions, and it had the effect that every science writer wishes their book will have. Kind of. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more and subscribe to our…
Aditi Nadkarni: How to impress your graduate advisor
Jul 28, 2013 • 16 min
As a new, super competitive, graduate student Aditi Nadkarni thinks she has the perfect way to impress her advisor and labmates … until one night it spirals a tiny bit out of control. Aditi Nadkarni is a New York-based cancer researcher and a freelance…
Kimberly Rae Miller: Let’s fix dad
Jul 21, 2013 • 12 min
Kimberly Rae Miller’s family had a secret: her dad was a hoarder. But when she begins digging into the research on hoarding, she finds it’s not nearly as simple to fix as she’d hoped. Kimberly Rae Miller is a writer living in New York City. She haswritten…
Sara Peters and Peter Aguero: Praying for a seizure
Jul 16, 2013 • 18 min
Sara Peters has epilepsy, but no drugs seem to help. So she agrees to be hooked up to a machine at the hospital for days, in hopes of inducing the one thing she and her husband, Peter Aguero, dread the most: a seizure. Recorded at TEDMED 2013. Video:…
Ben Moskowitz: Cheating the snake
Jul 15, 2013 • 12 min
When Ben Moskowitz gets to take special classes in elementary school, he’s excited at first, but then he starts to realize there might be something different about him. Ben Moskowitz is from Glen St. Mary, Florida. He works as an audiovisual…
Alex Brown: The nature of time and meningitis
Jul 7, 2013 • 13 min
Science writer Alex Brown’s philosophical education becomes very practical when he is diagnosed with meningitis. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Alex Brown has a BSc…
Susannah Cahalan: Patient #217
Jun 30, 2013 • 13 min
Three years after a mysterious illness nearly drove her insane and took her life, Susannah Cahalan visits a patient with the same rare, dangerous condition. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here:…
Elna Baker: Nerd day
Jun 24, 2013 • 14 min
Elna Baker’s grade school reputation faces it’s greatest threat: her engineer father’s enthusiasm for homework. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Elna Baker is a writer…
Justin Werfel: Robotics lessons from termites
Jun 16, 2013 • 13 min
A physicist decides that the best way to make progress on his robotics project is to go to Namibia to study termites. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Justin Werfel is…
Seth Mnookin: Science vs. feelings in the fight over vaccines
Jun 10, 2013 • 16 min
Science writer Seth Mnookin set out to write a book on whether vaccines were dangerous, but discovered the issue was more complex than he’d thought. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here:…
Mike Nitabach: I was supposed to be a lawyer
Jun 3, 2013 • 12 min
As grad school for neuroscience wears on, Michael Nitabach feels the pull of law school, and goes. But he had another surprise coming. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: storycollider.org/ Mike…
Esther Perel: Science & sexuality
May 26, 2013 • 11 min
Esther Perel’s career gets an unexpected boost from the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Or subscribe on iTunes:…
Mara Wilson: A love affair of a lifetime (with science)
May 19, 2013 • 16 min
As a kid, Mara Wilson is decidedly uninterested in science, but as she grows up she starts to look for answers in new places. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Learn…
Meehan Crist: My mother’s brain
May 12, 2013 • 21 min
When Meehan Crist was a child, her mother hit her head. It was only as an adult that she discovered that her mother was covering up something far more serious: something called rather ironically a “mild traumatic brain injury.” Find more from The Story…
Daniela Schiller: A new last memory
May 5, 2013 • 14 min
Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller studies the emotional components of memory. In her previous story her research helped her begin to understand her father, a holocaust survivor. But that story led to a whole new chapter in their relationship, and her…
Moran Cerf: Being dead while being alive
Apr 20, 2013 • 15 min
Moran Cerf’s life is spun around when a computer glitch declares him dead — but that’s nothing compared to what happens when a real funeral comes around. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Andrew Revkin: My lucky stroke
Apr 14, 2013 • 16 min
When he begins showing strange symptoms on a jog though the mountains, science writer Andrew Revkin discovers just how close to death he is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah Everts: Bitten in a foreign country
Apr 6, 2013 • 13 min
While visiting Guatemala Sarah Everts is bitten by a dog, so she goes looking for a rabies shot. But coming home to Canada is when the real problem started. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Stuart Firestein: A mentor with a nose for science
Mar 30, 2013 • 16 min
After a career as a theater manager, Stuart Firestein takes a biology class, which leads him to a completely new life, and a lot of salamander noses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Paula Croxson: When your grandmother forgets who you are
Mar 23, 2013 • 13 min
When Paula Croxson began to study memory as a neuroscientist, she also learned a new way of thinking about her grandmother’s failing memory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jess Zimmerman: The Gorilla In the Room
Mar 15, 2013 • 12 min
Writer Jess Zimmerman discovers the dangers of dating a philosopher of neuroscience who thinks he knows what’s really happening in her head. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jon Ronson: A journalist interviews a robot
Mar 9, 2013 • 15 min
Journalist Jon Ronson is excited when he hears about some ‘sentient’ robots, but when he goes to interview them he finds both less and more than he ever expected. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Andre Fenton: The twisting road from basic brain research to helping malaria patients
Mar 2, 2013 • 14 min
André Fenton always wanted to do research at the most fundamental level — to uncover basic truths about memory and how it works, never mind how useful. But a friend’s accident unexpectedly leads to him inventing a spectacularly useful, and lifesaving,…
Robin & Samantha Henig: The rules of writing with your daughter
Feb 23, 2013 • 15 min
Robin Marantz Henig and her daughter, Samantha, decided to write a book together about life as a twentysomthing. There was just one problem — how to handle the bits you don’t want to talk about with your mother? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Colin Jerolmack: How a sociologist became The Pigeon Guy
Feb 16, 2013 • 17 min
Colin Jerolmack was floundering in grad school until he found deep insights into human nature… from pigeons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kelly & Zach Weinersmith: Two nerds fall in love
Feb 9, 2013 • 16 min
Biologist Kelly Smith and comic artist Zach Weiner were having trouble dating, until they met online and realized what they each needed was another nerd. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anica Rissi: Confessions of a fourth-grade science fraud
Feb 2, 2013 • 11 min
Anica Rissi realizes the true purpose of her science project: to increase her popularity. But how far is she willing to go? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tara Clancy: A bartender from Queens learns theoretical physics
Jan 26, 2013 • 10 min
Tara Clancy’s worry over making bad life choices leads her to think about all the things she doesn’t know — and from there, obviously, to theoretical physics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Heather Berlin: Can a scientist believe in life after death?
Jan 19, 2013 • 12 min
Her grandmother’s death forces neuroscientist Heather Berlin to think hard about what she believes, and why. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anna Rothschild: Feeling love in your gut
Jan 5, 2013 • 11 min
Anna Rothschild tells the most adorably gross love story you’ll ever hear. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robin Abrahams: A rabbit’s personality
Dec 15, 2012 • 9 min
A neighbor’s gift of two baby rabbits leads Robin Abrahams to a new view of, and fascination with, personality. “Do you not understand that I am a nine year old girl? … Of course I want the bunnies!” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Lawrence David: An extreme self-study
Dec 9, 2012 • 14 min
Having lost his ambition to be a scientist, Lawrence David embarks on one more research project — to collect and study his poop. Every day. For a year. “I wake up, I dread pooping. I’m gagging, and I hear my wife screaming from the bedroom, ‘Serves you…
Abby Pond: A quiet moment
Dec 1, 2012 • 16 min
When her dad is diagnosed with cancer, Abby Pond is sent on a journey home, across the world, and into a new science. “He said, ‘Why are you sitting here waiting for me to die. This is dumb.’ So he kicked me out.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Arran Frood: A therapeutic trip
Nov 24, 2012 • 13 min
Arran Frood is a science writer who specializes in writing about studies of psychedelic drugs, but a routine story turns personal when he finds himself in a study of MDMA and therapy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam Wade: Volcanic chemistry
Nov 17, 2012 • 14 min
In high school, Adam Wade falls for his lab partner, but is led astray by dreams of golf team greatness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Heather Swain: The last hours of a rabid woman
Nov 10, 2012 • 13 min
When Heather Swain is told she has rabies, that turns out to be the least strange part of her experience. “Who wants to grow up saying their mother died of rabies, like I was a raccoon?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Steve Mirsky: Why would you have a masters in chemistry?
Nov 5, 2012 • 15 min
Questions arise when Steve Mirsky is introduced to his friend’s new girlfriend, and he relies on his past experience to help — specifically his degree in chemistry. “It’s almost like you’re army buddies…. It’s midnight, it’s just the two of you, and…
Ari Daniel Shapiro: Narwhal tagging in the arctic
Oct 27, 2012 • 15 min
As a grad student, Ari Daniel Shapiro has to tag some narwhals to collect data. The problem: it’s in the arctic, the devices have never been tested, and if he fails he’ll never be able to do research again. “The thing is, you have to get the tag back to…
Brooke Borel: My dog’s heart
Oct 20, 2012 • 12 min
A science writer is challenged when her dog comes down with a case of heartworm — and then the medication goes wrong. “As I’m leaving, the vet says, ‘Oh, by the way: Don’t go on the internet. It’ll only freak you out.’” Learn more about your ad choices.…
Rory Scholl: What I want is to smile again
Oct 13, 2012 • 12 min
Rory Scholl has to show up on day one to a new job — with a severe case of Bell’s Palsy. “When I said this to one of my co-workers I slurred my words, which was nothing new: I had a lot of three martini lunches.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Christine Gentry: Four lessons from my dad
Oct 6, 2012 • 17 min
Christine Gentry’s rural, Vietnam vet father rarely talked about important issues, but a series of remarkable moments with animals and nature teach her four lessons she’ll never forget. “Lesson number 2: Aint no use crying about things you can’t do…
Diane Kelly: Confronting death on the road
Sep 29, 2012 • 20 min
After turning to a unique field of study — erections — Diane Kelly turns to an even more unique source for her research material — roadkill. “When you open up an animal, there is all kinds of awesome in there.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Caroline Howe: A life in trash
Sep 22, 2012 • 14 min
A trip to India to work for an environmental program leads Caroline Howe to a new passion: trash. “I was the first to arrive, so obviously I was the one to set up our waste management system.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Greg Walloch: A walk in the park
Sep 15, 2012 • 14 min
A late-night excursion to a party turns absurd and then terrifying as Greg Walloch, who has cerebral palsy, can’t jump the fence around Tompkins Square Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sara Peters: Waiting for a seizure
Sep 8, 2012 • 15 min
With her epilepsy medication failing, Sara Peters checks into a hospital with one goal: make the scariest thing in her life happen again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tim Manley: A superhero goes to the hospital
Sep 1, 2012 • 12 min
As a six-year old, Tim Manley has to go to the hospital with a mysterious illness. Fortunately, he has his superpowers and his trusty sidekick — his mom. “We get to the hospital and I have my own room… like a King!” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Love in a biophysics lab — in memory of Michelle Dobrawsky
Aug 30, 2012 • 12 min
We just heard the terrible news that Michelle Dobrawsky passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. Michelle was one of our first storytellers and a great friend of the show and we’re devastated by the loss. Michelle described herself as a…
Margot Leitman: The last thing I heard
Aug 13, 2012 • 11 min
Margot Leitman faces down doctors, friends and uncertainty when she suddenly loses hearing in one ear. “If I’ve gone deaf, for real, that means the last thing I’ve heard to its full extent was James Cameron’s Avatar, and [that is so] disappointing for…
George Lombardi: Don’t go in the water
Jul 28, 2012 • 17 min
In the Indian Ocean, doctor George Lombardi makes use of the most important lesson his mother ever taught him: floating. “Let me give you one of the morals early on: No bonding experiences with somebody you’re about to fire.” Learn more about your ad…
Madeline Huberth: The turtle and the fish
Jul 21, 2012 • 10 min
Madeline Huberth confronts the imminent death of a classroom goldfish while navigating the dangerous social waters of junior high. “Why could someone, if they could control a situation and make a happy ending, choose not to do so?” Learn more about your…
Christopher Roussi: Sufficiently advanced magic
Jul 14, 2012 • 12 min
After becoming ill during a trip to Ecuador, DARPA researcher Chris Roussi seeks medical advice from a local expert: a shaman. “Here I am, an engineer-scientist, and here’s this educated man spouting the worst kind of fuzzy thinking, superstitious…