Episodes Archive

The Atomic Era (Rebroadcast) #383

August 19, 2016

This week, we're looking back at a previous episode and learning about the power and peril of the atom, with two books about women who were instrumental in helping us unlock its secrets. We're joined by Huffington Post editor Shelley Emling, to discuss her book "Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family." And we'll speak to author Denise Kiernan about her book, "The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II." Read More


Risk of Going Nowhere #382

August 12, 2016

This week we're airing a recorded panel, moderated by Desiree Schell, from the recent Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. As a safety and headline driven culture, how will we explore dangerous, distant places that are inherently unsafe without losing the public will or disrespecting the lives of those who go? Panelists include Abra Staffin-Wiebe, speculative fiction author; blogger and podcaster Jim Tigwell; trivia show host Sarah Prentice; and Rebecca Watson, creator of Skepchick. Special thanks to Kevin Eldridge and The Flopcast, who helped us record panels when our equipment failed! We're looking for Guest Hosts to join... Read More


The Triumph of Seeds #381

August 05, 2016

This week we're exploring the world of seeds: how they've become so successful, how they work, how humans depend on them, and what we still don't understand about them. We spend the hour with Thor Hanson, conservation biologist and award-winning author, about his book "The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History". Read More


Yer A Wizard Harry #380

July 29, 2016

Today we mashup the science of genetics with the world of Harry Potter to get a better handle on how genetics works, and to find out what the odds are when it comes to getting a Hogwarts invite. (We can dream, right?) Dr. Tina Saey, who covers the molecular biology beat at Science News, helps us understand how to make a wizard with a little genetics 101. And Dr. Julian Knight, Professor of genomic medicine at the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, talks about his paper that looks to genetics for the origins of... Read More


A Special Hell (Rebroadcast) #379

July 22, 2016

This week we're going back to a previous episode talking about the use - and appalling misuse - of genetics in pursuit of human perfection. We'll speak to Claudia Malacrida, sociology professor and eugenics researcher, about her book "A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta's Eugenic Years." And we'll talk to Hannah Brown, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Adelaide, about the ethical issues raised by the creation of a genetically modified human embryo. Read More


Paris Climate Agreement #378

July 15, 2016

This week we're reviewing the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris and trying to better understand what happened at the conference and what the agreement means for the future. We speak to Tamsin Edwards, Lecturer in Environmental Sciences and writer of the "All Models Are Wrong" blog, and to Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate and Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds, about the climate science and climate models that prompted the Paris Climate Conference, and what the final agreement means with regards to the science. We also speak... Read More


Hearing From The Humanities #377

July 08, 2016

This week we're taking a tentative step into the humanities. We spoke with Jimena Canales, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at the University of Illinois-UC, about her newest book "The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time" to learn what happened when philosophy was pitted against physics in a historic intellectual battle. And we talked to Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman, the scholarly hosts of the podcast "Witch, Please", about literary analysis and what critical thinking looks like in the world of literature. Read More


Technology, Work and The Future #376

July 01, 2016

This week, we're thinking about how rapidly advancing technology will change our future, our work, and our well-being. We speak to Richard and Daniel Susskind about their book "The Future of Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts" about the impacts technology may have on professional work. And Nicholas Agar comes on to talk about his book "The Sceptical Optimist" and the ways new technologies will affect our perceptions and well-being. Read More


Severed (Rebroadcast) #375

June 24, 2016

This week we're going back at a previous episode, looking at our scientific curiosity - and morbid fascination - about the human body and its amazing anatomy. We'll speak to anthropologist and author Frances Larson about her book "Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found." And we'll discuss the experience of learning anatomy through human dissection, with Laboratory Supervisor Haley Linklater, and masters student Noah Mintz, from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University. Read More


The Ninth Planet #374

June 17, 2016

This week on we're turning our attention to Pluto – what we used to think of as our ninth planet – and also to the mysterious new Planet 9 that might be orbiting on the outskirts of our solar system. We speak to Jeffery Moore, a research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, about what we've learned so far about Pluto from the New Horizons Mission. And we speak with Mike Brown, Professor of Planetary Astronomy at Caltech, about the search for Planet 9, and why we think there's another large planet out there revolving around our sun. Read More


The Confidence Game #373

June 10, 2016

This week we're looking at the science -- and art -- of the con, from huge Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds. We speak to Maria Konnikova about her new book The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It... Every Time" on the psychology of the con and why we keep falling for the same old tricks. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. Read More


The Planet Remade #372

June 03, 2016

This week we're taking a look at the controversial strategies and science of geoengineering. We'll speak to Oliver Morton, author of the new book "The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World", about how geoengineering might work, and the political and ethical questions surrounding it. We also chatted with Ryan Consell, builder of costumes and writer at Mad Art Lab, about the upcoming Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2016. Read More


Meningitis #371

May 27, 2016

This week we're talking about meningitis and legal issues surrounding parents and standards of care. We speak with three members of The Maiden Lab, a multidisciplinary group working on understanding the biology of bacterial pathogens, including meningitis. From their team we were joined by Martin Maiden, Professor of Molecular Epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford; Charlene Rodrigues, Wellcome Trust Clinical Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford; and Kanny Diallo, a Wellcome Trust Training Fellow working on her PhD at the University of Oxford, who studies ecology and molecular epidemiology in the African Meningitis Belt.... Read More


Me, Myself, and Why (Rebroadcast) #370

May 20, 2016

This week, we're revisiting a previous episode and exploring genetics, neuroscience, and psychology, to find out what makes every person - and personality - unique. We'll talk to science writer Jennifer Ouelette about her newest book "Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self." And science writer Ed Yong takes a critical look at the hype surrounding the hormone oxytocin. Read More


Fraud and Forgery #369

May 13, 2016

This week we're taking a look at two very different types of white collar crime -- financial fraud and painting forgery -- and how we use investigation and science to detect them. We'll speak to Jennifer Fiddian-Green, a partner at Grant Thornton and lead of their National Forensic and Dispute Resolution Advisory practice, about forensic accounting and the ways we try to discover fraud. And we'll talk with Dr. Jehane Ragai, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry with the American University in Cairo, about her book "The Scientist and the Forger: Insights into the Scientific Detection of Forgery in Paintings". Read More


Beyond the Galaxy #368

May 06, 2016

This week we're looking at astrophysics, zooming out to get a better idea of how universe works and what it might look like. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel returns to talk about his new -- and first -- book "Beyond the Galaxy: How Humanity Looked Beyond Our Milky Way and Discovered the Entire Universe". And we'll speak with astrophysicist Katie Mack about the discovery of gravity waves, first predicted by Einstein. This episode is partially hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. If you're looking for more on gravity waves, check out this great explainer article and video on Science... Read More


Neurodiversity #367

April 29, 2016

This week we're exploring our evolving understanding of neurodiversity and the different ways people think. We've invited award winning science writer Steve Silberman back to continue the conversation about autism, neurodiversity, and his book "Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity." Read More


Self-Driving Cars #366

April 22, 2016

This week on Science for the People, we’re talking with three guests about the technology challenges, possible repercussions, and ethical quandaries of self-driving cars. We'll speak with University of Waterloo Professor and Director of the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory Steven Waslander about the technological hurdles involved in creating autonomous road vehicles, and how these problems might be solved. Author and technologist Martin Ford will help us better understand how a world of driverless cars will impact job markets, and what automation means for the future of work. Chief Ethics Analyst of the Open Roboethics Initiative and University of Ottawa Postdoctoral... Read More


Evolutionary Psychology #365

April 15, 2016

This week, we're looking at the field of Evolutionary Psychology: what is it, how the research is done, what types of questions it might be good at answering, and times its ideas may have led us astray. We are joined by a panel of four: Maeve O'Donovan, Associate Professor and chair of Philosophy at Notre Dame of Maryland University; Kirk Honda, Chair of the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Antioch University Seattle, practicing psychotherapist, and host of the Psychology in Seattle podcast; Catherine Salmon, Professor of Psychology at the University of Redlands in Southern California and co-editor of the... Read More


Combat-Ready Kitchen #364

April 08, 2016

This week, we're looking at how food -- and the containers it comes in -- have changed over time, and some of the factors that have influenced these changes. We'll speak with Anastacia Marx de Salcedo about her new book "Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes The Way You Eat" about the ways military needs have influenced the food we all eat. And we'll speak with statistician Patrick McKnight about the BPA controversy, and how statistics can be used and misused in scientific studies. Read More