Episodes Archive

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conversations About Death #343

November 13, 2015

This week we're exploring the science that informs our understanding of death and dying. We'll talk to Simon Davis about Post Mortem, his VICE column that explores death and other morbid topics. And analytical chemist Raychelle Burks returns to share strategies and techniques employed by forensic scientists. Read More


Amazons (Rebroadcast) #342

November 06, 2015

This week we're learning how science can shed light on the stories told by our ancestors. We're joined by folklorist and science historian Adrienne Mayor, author of "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World," to learn what archaeology can tell us about legendary warrior women in cultures from around the world. And we'll talk to anthropologist John Hawks to learn how researchers gain insights from ancient human remains. Read More


Psychedelic Treatments #341

October 30, 2015

This week, we're talking about powerful mind-altering substances, and their potential to help treat serious mental and physical illness. We'll spend the hour with Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), talking about their research and advocacy around the medical, legal, and cultural context of the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Read More


Mandatory Vaccination #340

October 23, 2015

This week, we're talking about disease prevention, public health, and whether or not some types of vaccinations should be mandatory. We'll spend the hour in a panel discussion with Barry Bloom, Harvard University's Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto public health ethicist Alison Thompson, pediatrician and University of Pennsylvania vaccinology professor Paul Offit, and Nicholas Little, Vice President and General Counsel at the Center for Inquiry. Read More


Citizen Science #339

October 16, 2015

This week we're learning about distributed science projects that get the public involved in testing hypotheses and crunching data. We're joined by physicist Eric Donovan to talk about the Auroral Zone, a website that crowdsources the classification of auroras in Earth's atmosphere. We'll talk to molecular biologist Gabriel Licina of Science for the Masses about testing eyedrops to enhance night vision. Geography and environmental studies professor Robert McLeman introduces us to NatureWatch and RinkWatch, two projects that recruit people across Canada to report their observations of climate and the environment. And we'll speak to Anna Goldstein and Macon Lowman of Letters... Read More


Science and the Canadian Federal Election #338

October 09, 2015

This week, we're talking about politics, and the prospects for pro-science politicians, parties and voters in Canada. We'll spend the hour with panelists Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy, science librarian John Dupuis, journalist Mike De Souza, and former Canadian government scientist Steven Campana, for an in-depth discussion about the treatment of science by the current Canadian government, and what's at stake for science in the upcoming federal election. Read More