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Episodes List

Accidents and Eccentricity #261

April 18, 2014

This week, we're learning about some of the most fortunate accidents and fascinating personalities in the history of science. We'll talk to astrophysicist and author Mario Livio about his book "Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe." And we'll talk to historian W. Bernard Carlson about his book "Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age." Read More
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Running Low #260

April 11, 2014

This week, we're looking across the Periodic Table and assessing the scarcity of modern society's essential elements. We're joined by Dr. Thomas Graedel, Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale University, to talk about the rare metals that play a role in our electronic devices. We'll speak to physics Professor Dr. Moses Hung-Wai Chan about our dwindling supply of helium. And we'll talk about the phosphorous that plays a critical role in modern agriculture, with ecology professor Dr. James Elser, co-organizer... Read More
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News From The Dark #259

April 04, 2014

This week, we're peering out into the black to learn about deepest space, and our own night sky. We'll talk to Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, about recent measurements of gravity waves, and what they tell us about the birth of the Universe. We'll speak to journalist and essayist Paul Bogard about his book "The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light." And Noisy Astronomer Nicole Gugliucci tells us about a project using citizen science... Read More
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Emerging Infections #258

March 28, 2014

This week, we're discussing invading organisms large and small. We'll talk to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to learn why (and how) researchers are creating new strains of flu virus. We're joined by marine invertebrate researcher Dr. Benjamin Miner, to talk about the wasting disease killing starfish on the west coast of North America. And we'll talk to physicist Ross Lockwood about the HI-SEAS project, exploring the psychological conditions facing a human crew on a mission to... Read More
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Falling Upwards #257

March 21, 2014

This week, we're learning about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We'll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his newest book, "Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air." We'll talk about the technology of 19th century ballooning, and the pioneering men and women who took to the skies and changed our view of the world. (For more information on the Strathcona Freethought Society, check out their Facebook and Meetup pages.) Read More
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Beauty is A Beast #256

March 14, 2014

This week we're exploring the science of beauty products and procedures. We'll talk to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, co-founder of thebeautybrains.com, about his book "It's OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick." And we'll speak to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay about plastic surgery tourism, and safety regulation in the industry. Read More
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Impossible Computing #255

March 07, 2014

This week we're learning about the science and math on the cutting edge of computing research. We'll talk to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Scott Aaronson about the hype and the hope for the field of quantum computing. And we'll discuss one of the most intriguing open problems in mathematics with Lance Fortnow, Chair of the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, and author of "The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible." Read More
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On Genius #254

February 28, 2014

This week we're thinking about thinking, and the capacity of the not-so-humble human brain. We'll speak to science writer Fritjof Capra about his book "Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius." We'll take a look at IQ testing with author and psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman. And we'll talk to Chelsea Du Fresne and Andrew Tripp about this year's Skeptech conference.  Read More
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The Philosophical Breakfast Club #253

February 21, 2014

This week, we're looking back at four remarkable minds whose weekly meetings set the stage for a revolution in science and technology. We're joined by science historian Laura J. Snyder, to talk about her book "The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends who Transformed Science and Changed the World." And we'll speak to "Surly" Amy Davis Roth and Skepchick contributor Melanie Mallon, about the science track at CONvergence 2014. Read More
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Everyday Science and Math #252

February 14, 2014

This week we're looking at some ordinary life experiences that harbor extraordinary science and math secrets. Filmmaker and author Simon Singh joins us to talk about his book "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets". Mathematician Christopher McKinlay shares his experience using statistics to hack online dating. And we'll talk to culinary columnist J. Kenji Lopez-Alt about the science of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Read More
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