Episodes Archive

Science and Culture #106

April 03, 2011

This week, we examine the ways that society and science inform and influence each other. We're joined by Marie-Claire Shanahan, Professor of Science Education at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Science Education Research Group, to discuss how science fits into the broader framework of our common culture. And we'll talk to science writer Mike McRae, author of the new book "Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs and Bad Ideas," that looks at how brains that evolved to maintain social connections can manage to make objective observations. Read More

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Making Science Funny #105

March 25, 2011

This week, it’s a panel discussion on the plusses and pitfalls of using humor to promote science. We’re joined by Science Comedian Brian Malow, blogger Scicurious, and Brian Thompson, host of The Amateur Scientist Podcast. They’ll look at how engaging the funny bone can help the brain absorb the science that powers our world. We also speak to Rachelle Saunders, one of the organizers of the upcoming LogiCON, an event celebrating critical thinking for everyone. Read More

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Blood Work #104

March 18, 2011

It's an hour on the blood that runs through your veins, and how modern medicine can supplement your supply. We'll talk to Holly Tucker about Blood Work, her book exploring the pioneering science and the political intrigue behind the world's first blood transfusions. Skepticality co-host Robynn "Swoopy" McCarthy shares her experience training as a phlebotomist. And we're joined by William Rutherford, of Telus World of Science, to tell us about Edmonton's first ever "Yuri's Night" celebration. Read More

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Sewer Science #103

March 18, 2011

This week, we take another look at water, and what happens to it after it goes down the drain. Researcher Liz Borkowski joins us for a look at the connection between sewage and civilization, and the struggle to introduce modern sanitation in the developing world. And we’ll talk to Dr. Alistair Boxall, about the sources and effects of pharmaceutical contaminants in the environment. Unfortunately, we had some issues with Dr. Boxall's recording that we couldn't overcome in post-production. As a result, his interview is not up to our usual technical standards. We apologize for the inconvenience. Read More

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Fluoride and Water Tech #102

March 11, 2011

From the Roman aqueducts to the latest research on what happens when you turn the tap, it's an hour on water. Dr. William James joins us for a lesson on the history and technology of municipal water systems. And we’ll talk to University of Toronto researcher Dr. Marc Grynpas about the science and safety of water fluoridation. Read the Canadian Dental Association's statement on the safety and effectiveness of fluoride. Use the following links for more information regarding home water filters and fluoride: Brita Filter FAQ Carbon Water Filters Reverse Osmosis Filters Water Distillation Activated Alumina Filters Read More

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Brain Games #101

March 04, 2011

It's an hour on the brain, the senses, and how you can fool them both. We're joined by neuroscientist Tom Stafford, co-author of the book Mind Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain. We'll talk about how your brain processes information, and all of the fascinating ways you can make it mess up. And researcher Dr. Sarah Brosnan explains her study of game theory, and how humans compare to other primates when it comes to cooperative play. If you'd like to help the victim of the Christchurch earthquake, please visit the New Zealand Red Cross. Read More

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Semen Science #100

February 25, 2011

Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon returns to explain the amazing diversity of sperm design, and its connection with mating behaviour. And Scientopia blogger Scicurious joins us to discuss some of our favorites from her Friday Weird Science archives. We'll talk about everything from the antidepressant properties of semen, to smelly semen, to testicle receptacles, and so very much more. Here are links to all the Friday Weird Science posts that we discussed with Scicurious. Do your balls hang low? Your balls can't take the heat from your laptop. A tote for your scrote, a recepticle for your testicle. Rats in pants.... Read More

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Quacks and Scams #99

February 18, 2011

It's an hour on scams and charlatans, with Dr. Stephen Barrett. He's the creator of QuackWatch, a family of websites that tracks dubious healthcare claims, and the people and practitioners who make them. James "The Amazing" Randi joins us for a history of scams, and Jamie Williams of the Centre for Inquiry Vancouver discusses the fact and fiction of ear candling. Read More

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An Optimist's Tour of The Future #98

February 11, 2011

We’re joined by science writer Jessica Wapner, to examine the intersection between ethics, economics, and drug development, and what it means for the future of pharmaceutical research. And we sit down with author, comedian and futurist Mark Stevenson, to discuss his new book, An Optimist’s Tour Of The Future, about the cutting edge science that’s going to sustain and entertain the human species. Read More

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The Science of Kissing #97

February 04, 2011

We’re joined by researcher and science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum, to talk about her book The Science Of Kissing. We’ll learn about the surprisingly complex chemistry that’s going on during a passing peck or a passionate liplock. And Greg Laden returns for another edition of Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong. This time, Greg asks, are there really universal traits that appear across all human cultures? Read More

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Human Factors Engineering #96

January 28, 2011

Researcher and blogger Ash Donaldson joins us for a pre-recorded discussion on the fascinating field of Human Factors Engineering. This multi-disciplinary science draws on anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology and communications research, as it tries to improve the ways that humans interact with technology, and use technology to interact with each other. And health science journalist Paul Ingraham returns with a primer on the causes and treatment of repetitive strain injuries. Read More

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The Science of Allergies #95

January 21, 2011

Dr. Gary Stadtmauer returns for a pre-recorded discussion on the science behind the causes, symptoms and treatment of allergies. And we start the hour with paramedic Michael Kruse to talk about 10:23, a campaign to raise awareness about the scientific perspective on homeopathy. Read More

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Art and Science #94

January 14, 2011

This week, it's an hour on the intersection between science and the creative arts. We’ll speak to Lauren Redniss, author and illustrator of Radioactive, a visual narrative about the work, life and love of Marie and Pierre Curie. Art historian Jenna Marie Griffith explains the historical influence of science on the visual arts. And we’re joined by Glendon Mellow, painter, illustrator, and author of the blog The Flying Trilobite, to discuss the tension between creativity and scientific accuracy. Read More

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The Paradox of Choice (REBROADCAST) #93

January 07, 2011

This week, we revisit our interview with Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author. He contends that, although you may think you want more options, having myriad alternatives is actually making you miserable. And we start the hour with Daniel Loxton, author and illustrator of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be, and editor of Junior Skeptic magazine. He'll share his take on what being a skeptic really means. Read More

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The Introvert Advantage #92

December 31, 2010

We ring in the New Year with an interview for those of us who prefer a good book, a quiet chat, or an interesting hour of radio over a night of wild partying. We’re joined by Dr. Marti Laney, family therapist and author of The Introvert Advantage. We’ll learn why some people are wired to prefer solitude, and how they can learn to navigate in a world that rewards people who love to socialize. Cognitive psychologist Barbara Drescher on the fact and fiction of personality tests. Read More

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Religious Artifacts #91

December 24, 2010

We sit down with Joe Nickell, scholar, author and veteran paranormal investigator, to talk about his experiences examining religious relics. We’ll discuss his investigations of artifacts from all over the world, including weeping statutes, saintly reliquaries, and the infamous Shroud Of Turin. Read More

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Holiday Book Shopping Guide #90

December 17, 2010

We help you plan your holiday gift-giving with an hour on the best books about science. We’re joined by a panel of former guests, including astronomer Nicole Gugliucci, psychotherapist Dana Blumrosen, and writer/performer Kennedy Goodkey. They’ll share their favorite science books, and help you fill out your holiday shopping list - even if you’re buying for yourself. Here's a full list of books mentioned in this episode, arranged by the mentioner: (For links to buy all the available books on the list, see this handy page, thoughtfully compiled by Tim Farley of What's The Harm?) Dana Blumrosen: The Immortal Life... Read More

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Health Controversies #89

December 10, 2010

We’ll talk to medical physicist Dr. Marc MacKenzie about the new scanning equipment that’s causing a stir at U.S. airports. How do the machines actually work, and is their radiation dangerous? And Dr. Brian Goldman, the host of CBC's "White Coat, Black Art" shares his expert opinion on Dr. Paolo Zamboni’s Liberation Therapy, a treatment that claims to drastically reduce the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. We also spoke briefly to Kim Hebert about the 2010 Skeptic North Awards. Read More

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Written in Stone #88

December 03, 2010

Science writer Brian Switek joins us to talk about his new book Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. We’ll take a detailed look at the fossil evidence, to learn about the evolution of life on Earth, and our evolving understanding of how the process works. And paleozoologist Darren Naish discusses the Science of Godzilla, his look at the hypothetical biology, anatomy and physics of the famous movie monster. Read More

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The Calculus Diaries #87

November 26, 2010

We talk to Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. We’ll find out how much advanced math figures into our daily lives, and how even the mathematically challenged can learn to love the language of numbers. And hip-hop science advocate Baba Brinkman returns to discuss his new project, The Rap Guide to Human Nature. Find out more about Baba's crowdfunding drive for the Rap Guide to Evolution DVD! Read More

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