Episodes Archive

Secure Communications #317

May 15, 2015

This week, we're looking at technology for keeping secrets safe from prying eyes and ears. We're joined by Dan Younger, professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Waterloo, to discuss the remarkable work of his colleague Bill Tutte, who broke the German Lorenz Code during World War II And we'll discuss the cutting edge of quantum security with Physics and Computer Science Professor Shohini Ghose. Read More

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Sports Science #316

May 08, 2015

This week we're exploring the ways that science and technology are changing sports, on and off the playing field. We'll speak to journalist Mark McClusky about his book "Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes – and What We Can Learn from Them." And we'll get the scientific perspective on sports supplements with Dr. Bryan Chung, founder of Evidence Based Fitness. Read More

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Pests in the City #315

May 01, 2015

This week, we're exploring the ways human-made environments support - and shape - the lives of many species we think of as vermin. We'll talk to Geography and Environmental Studies Professor Dawn Day Biehler about her book "Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats." And we'll speak to postdoctoral researcher Clint Penick about his research on the junk food diets of urban ants. Read More

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Severed #314

April 24, 2015

This week we're 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

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Heavy Metal Birds #313

April 17, 2015

This week we're learning about the impact that the byproducts of our industrial societies have on avian populations. We'll speak to filmmaker Matthew Podolsky about his documentary "Scavenger Hunt," that looks at the effects of lead on the California Condor. And we'll talk to conservation scientist Alexander Bond about his research on mercury poisoning in the endangered Arctic Ivory Gull. Read More

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Impossible Space #312

April 10, 2015

This week we're exploring the limits of science exploration in both fictional and fact. We're joined by "lifelong space nerd" Andy Weir, to talk about his debut novel "The Martian," that pits human inventiveness and ingenuity against the unforgiving environment of the red planet. And astrophysicist and science blogger Ethan Siegel returns to explore so-called "impossible space engines," and what news stories about them can teach us about journalism and science literacy. Read More

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On Intelligence #311

April 03, 2015

This week we're learning about how scientists and society measure intelligence, and the relationship between smartness and success. We're joined by cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, to talk about his book "Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined." And we'll talk to Nathaniel Barr, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo, about research into the relationship between smartphone use and cognitive skills. Read More

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Circumcision #310

March 27, 2015

This week we’re looking at the contentious medical and ethical history of circumcision. We're joined by Sarah B. Rodriguez, medical historian and lecturer in global health and bioethics at Northwestern University, to talk about about her book “Female Circumcision and Clitoridectomy in the United States: A History of a Medical Treatment." And we'll discuss the medical and ethical implications of infant male circumcision with Brian Earp, University of Oxford Research Fellow in Science and Ethics. Read More

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Celebrity and Science #309

March 20, 2015

This week we're looking at how famous personalities influence public opinion about science and pseudoscience. Health law professor Timothy Caulfield returns to talk about his new book "Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash." And we'll speak to Conservation and Development professor Daniel Brockington about his research on celebrities and charitable advocacy. Read More

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Women in STEM #308

March 13, 2015

This week, we're celebrating Women in Science by looking at the victories and challenges of women working in science and tech. Join us for a panel discussion with postdoctoral research associate and science communicator Raychelle "Dr. Rubidium" Burks, Colgate University Professor of Psychology Jessica Cundiff, Ph.D., Physics Professor Dr. Shohini Ghose, Director of the Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Women in Science, and Catherine Hill, Ph.D, vice president for research at the American Association of University Women. And we'll speak to Brianna Wu, Head of Development at videogame company Giant Spacekat, about feminism, gaming industry culture, and her experience as an outspoken critic of #GamerGate. Read More

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Pavlov #307

March 06, 2015

This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."  Read More

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Superstorm #306

February 27, 2015

This week, we're 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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Struck By Genius #305

February 20, 2015

This week we're looking at brain injuries, and the ways they change the lives of patients. We'll talk to Jason Padgett and Maureen Seaberg, authors of "Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel." And we'll speak to neuroscientist Dr. Adrian Owen about his brain imaging research detecting awareness in vegetative patients. Note: The article Accidental Genius by Darold A. Treffert can be found on page 52 of the August 2014 issue of Scientific American. Read More

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Alan Turing #304

February 13, 2015

This week, we're learning more about the groundbreaking work and too-short life of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician, codebreaker and philosopher who laid the groundwork for the modern age of computing. We'll spend the hour with Oxford University Senior Research Fellow Andrew Hodges, talking about his book "Alan Turing: The Enigma." Read More

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Shocked #303

February 06, 2015

This week we're looking at medical advances that are blurring the lines between life and death. We're joined by physician and researcher Dr. David Casarett, to talk about his book "Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead." And we'll talk to Michael Kruse, founder of Bad Science Watch, about the history and application of CPR. Read More

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A Sting in the Tale #302

January 30, 2015

This week we're learning about the fascinating lives of bees, and the important role they play in our global ecosystem. We'll speak to University of Sussex biology professor Dave Goulson about his book "A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees." And we'll talk to Jocelyn Crocker, founding member of YEG Bees, about the rewards and challenges of urban beekeeping. Update: A listener of ours sent in some information about the "science says bees can't fly" myth, which he let us post on our news feed. Go have a look! Read More

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The Birth of The Pill #301

January 23, 2015

This week we're exploring the intersection of science, society and sex, and the origin story of the birth control pill. We'll speak to author Jonathan Eig about his book "The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution." And writer Rose Eveleth returns to talk about the history and design of the vaginal speculum. Read More

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Private Sector Space #300

January 16, 2015

This week we're learning how private enterprise has jumped in to fill the gap left by shrinking government budgets for space exploration. We're joined by journalist Elmo Keep, to talk about her article on Mars One, a nonprofit planning to make a reality show out of a one-way trip to colonize the red planet.  And we'll get an update on the state of the for-profit space industry with Space News Senior Editor Jeff Foust. Read More

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Falling Into The Fire #299

January 09, 2015

This week, we 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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Technocreep #298

January 02, 2015

This week, we're learning about the ever-expanding streams of our personal information being collected by businesses and governments. We'll talk to author and futurist Tom Keenan about his book "Technocreep: the Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization of Intimacy." And security expert Bruce Schneier returns to talk about the use and misuse of passwords to safeguard our most important data. Read More

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