Episodes Archive

Falling Into The Fire (Rebroadcast) #363

April 01, 2016

This week, we're looking back at a previous episode to get a gripping first person account of the challenges involved in mental health diagnosis and treatment. We'll spend the hour with Dr. Christine Montross, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and the Director of Counseling Resources at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, to talk about her book "Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis." Read More

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Roadkill #362

March 25, 2016

This week we're looking at the surprisingly robust science research that can be done with animals that have died along our highways. We'll speak with Sarah Perkins, an ecologist at Cardiff University in Wales, about the Project Splatter, a citizen science project tracking roadkill on UK roads. And we'll speak with Kyle Elliott, an ecologist at McGill University in Montréal about his work studying the toxicology of birds of prey in urban environments. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. You can also read her article on roadkill at Student Science. Read More

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Too Hot To Handle #361

March 18, 2016

This week we're talking about sex education: why we started teaching it in schools in the first place, how it's changed over the years, and what it might – or should – look like in the future. We'll speak with Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of education and history at New York University, about his new book "Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sex Education". And we'll speak with sex advice columnist, activist, and author Dan Savage about what sex education in schools should include and how advice columns, websites, youtube channels, podcasts, and other online sex education resources try... Read More

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Medical Marijuana #360

March 11, 2016

This week, we're taking a closer look at the medical marijuana controversy. How effective is medical marijuana and for what conditions is it a suitable treatment? In our attempt to separate evidence from anecdote we're joined by a panel of three: Dr. David Casarett, a palliative care physician and author of the book "Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana"; Dr. Robert Wolff, a systematic reviewer for Kleijnen Systematic Reviews and coauthor of a recent systematic review to assess benefits and harms of cannabis for medical use; and Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the... Read More

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In The Courtroom #359

March 04, 2016

This week, we're going inside the courtroom to try and understand how evidence and witness testimony is presented, and how courtroom strategy can affect a trial's outcome. We spend the hour with Colin Miller, a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law, creator of the EvidenceProf Blog, and a co-host of the Undisclosed Podcast. Read More

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Zika #358

February 26, 2016

This week we're focusing in on the Zika virus and the current outbreak to better understand what we know about how its spreading and what the risks are. Meghan Rosen, a staff writer from Science News who has been following the outbreak, talks about where the virus came from, what we know about why it's spreading, and its connections with microcephaly. Epidemiologist and microbiologist Tara Smith returns to talk us through the current collection of conspiracy theories that have arisen, and about what it will take to develop a new vaccine against a virus like Zika. And we'll also speak... Read More

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The Brain Electric #357

February 19, 2016

This week, we're looking at the progress we've made toward connecting our minds with machines. We talk with journalist Malcolm Gay about the challenge of creating prosthetics, how close we are to controlling them with our thoughts alone, and his new book "The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines". We also speak to artist and blogger Amy Davis Roth about Mad Art Cast, a podcast about the intersection of art and science. Read the companion post on Skepchick. Read More

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Insects En Masse #356

February 12, 2016

This week we're looking at two types of insects that have made their homes among us in our cities, and are almost always found in large groups and colonies. We'll speak with Dr. Corrie Moreau, an Associate Professor/Curate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, about the colony behaviors of ants. And we'll talk with Richard Schweid, a journalist and documentary reporter, about his book The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore". Read More

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Superstorm (Rebroadcast) #355

February 05, 2016

This week, we're revisiting a previous episode, exploring the evolving frontier of extreme weather, and how it's influenced by our warming planet. We'll talk about the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded with writer Kathryn Miles, author of "Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy." And we'll talk about the relationship between climate change and hurricane strength and frequency with Christopher Landsea, Ph.D, Science and Operations Officer at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. Read More

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HIV and AIDS: Updated and Revisited #354

January 29, 2016

This week, we've brought together a panel of experts to talk about the history of HIV/AIDS, and get an update on the current science, ongoing research, and medical treatments. Joining us on the panel are Salim Abdool Karim, clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist, Jonathan Engel, author of "The Epidemic: A History of AIDS", Dázon Dixon Diallo, founder of SisterLove, Inc, the first women’s HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Justice organization in the southeastern United States, and Terry McGovern, founder of the HIV Law Project. Read More

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Scream #353

January 22, 2016

This week we're talking about fear: how it works, what it does to our bodies and brains, and why we sometimes seek it out. We'll spend the hour with Margee Kerr – a sociologist, fear researcher, and diehard haunted house fan – talking about her new book "Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear". Read More

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Good Thinking #352

January 15, 2016

This week, we're trying to better understand our human brain, it's quirky ways and unexpected processes, so we can use it better in daily life. We'll speak with Guy Harrison, author of "Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser", about how to cope with our brain's built-in pitfalls. And we'll speak to Ben Lillie about The Story Collider, a podcast that blends science and storytelling to show how science touches everyone, scientist and layperson alike. Read More

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Contraception #351

January 08, 2016

This week we're taking a closer look at our current – and potential future – contraceptive methods. We'll speak with Beth Sundstrom and Andrea DeMaria, Co-Directors of the Women's Health Research Team at the College of Charleston, about why the pill is still our go-to birth control choice when we have long acting reversible contraception methods like the IUD and the implant available for women. And we'll talk with Elaine Lissner, Executive Director of the Parsemus Foundation, about their continuing work to bring Vasalgel, a long acting, reversible, non-hormonal male contraceptive, to market. Read the companion blog post on Skepchick. Read More

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Science In Wonderland #350

January 01, 2016

This week, we're learning about imaginative ways to teach science to children, and how to use science as a tool for parenting. We'll hear about fanciful tales written to explain scientific concepts, with Cambridge University science historian Melanie Keene, author of "Science in Wonderland: The Scientific Fairy Tales of Victorian Britain." And we'll talk to author/illustrator Lynn Brunelle about her book "Mama Gone Geek: Calling On My Inner Science Nerd to Help Navigate the Ups and Downs of Parenthood." Read the companion piece on Skepchick. Read More

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Getting Away With Murder (REBROADCAST) #349

December 25, 2015

This week, we're looking back to a fan favourite, "Getting Away With Murder," a panel discussion about forensic science and pop culture recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Amanda Leinbaugh, Emily Finke, Bug Girl Gwen Pearson, and Raychelle "Dr. Rubidium" Burks discuss the Hollywood treatment of forensic investigations, and the way crime scene security, DNA analysis, and pattern evidence work in the real world. Read More

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Artificial Intelligence #348

December 18, 2015

This week, we're talking about artificial intelligence, and how thinking machines are fitting into – and changing – our lives and cultures. Should we be concerned or excited about the future of artificial intelligence? To try and find out, we're joined by a panel of four: Kerstin Dautenhahn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Hertfordshire; Raymond Mooney, Director of the University of Texas Artificial Intelligence Lab; Despina Kakoudaki, Director of the Humanities Lab at American University; and Rose Eveleth, science writer and host of Gizmodo's "Meanwhile In The Future" podcast. Read the companion post on Skepchick. Read More

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Where Do Camels Belong? #347

December 11, 2015

This week, we're discussing ecosystems, biodiversity, and whether or not "invasive" outside species are really as bad as they're made out to be. We'll spend the hour speaking to Dr. Ken Thompson, lecturer in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, about his book "Where Do Camels Belong? Why Invasive Species Aren't All Bad." Read the companion post on Skepchick. Read More

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Gift Giving For Nerds #346

December 04, 2015

Once again, we're here to help you with all your nerdy holiday shopping with our annual gift guide for science lovers. We brought in science librarian John Dupuis and Skepchick book club columnist Mary Brock who give us their top picks from 2015 that will make great additions to any nerd's library. And -- just to shake things up this year -- we spend the second half of the show with GeekWrapped's Simon Saval and Mad Art Lab's Courtney Caldwell, who give their recommendations for science-themed gifts you won't find in a library. And we'll speak to Skepchick founder Rebecca... Read More

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Neurotribes #345

November 27, 2015

This week we're exploring the hidden history of autism. We'll spend the hour with award winning science writer Steve Silberman, talking about his book "Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity." Read More

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Effective Altruism #344

November 20, 2015

This week, we're learning how science can boost the effectiveness of philanthropy. We'll talk to philosophy professor William MacAskill about his book "Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference." And we'll speak to education researcher Brendan Rigby about the ethics and impact of "voluntourism." Read More

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