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Science for the People
62 minutes | a month ago
#584 Time for the Gory Details
There are lots of things about the natural world many people like to avoid, or even pretend don't exist. Like the mites that are the same size and shape as the pores on our faces, or how likely it is that your dog will eat you when you die. Luckily, some people don't want to avoid those topics, and this week we're here with one of them. Host Bethany Brookshire talks with Erika Engelhaupt about her new book "Gory Details: Adventures in the Dark Side of Science".
81 minutes | a month ago
#583 The Unavoidable Complexities of Food
We can definitely agree there is a lot about our current food systems that isn't sustainable. But what's harder to agree on is what we need to do to fix it for the better, while still ensuring everyone on the planet has enough to eat. Everyone has an opinion about what food we should eat and what food we shouldn't, what food systems are harmful and which are sustainable... but those opinions are often at odds. Why are we so passionate about what we eat and how that food gets to our plates? Host Rachelle Saunders talks with development chef and author Anthony Warner about the complexities of food and his new book "Ending Hunger: The Quest to Feed the World Without Destroying It".
68 minutes | 2 months ago
#582 Cities Lost and Found
What do ancient cities have to tell us about ourselves and our future? Annalee Newitz talks about their latest book, "Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age", and what ancient ruins can tell us about our modern selves. From Catalhoyuk to Cahokia, join us on a tour of cities past.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
#581 The Art and Science of Play
For humans and creatures of all sorts, play goes beyond having fun. Cognitive scientist Junyi Chu shares about the motives behind play, from showing off one's fitness to practicing skills, and she shares about her research studying children, play and cognition. Game designer Holly Gramazio comes at play from the perspective of an artist. She talks about how games, such as Pokemon Go or others that originated during the pandemic, can change how players perceive a place and connect to other people. Related link: Play, Curiosity, and Cognition by Junyi Chu and Laura E. Schulz
76 minutes | 4 months ago
#580 So Long 2020, We Won't Miss You
2020 is over, and honestly? Good riddance. But before we go, let's take a look back. Because 2020 was tough, but it was also a year that science played a bigger role in people's lives than ever before. Hosts Bethany Brookshire and Rachelle Saunders talk with Tina Saey, Deja Perkins, and Carolyn Gramling about three big science stories that definitely made an impact on 2020. Related links: The science stories that defined 2020: coronavirus, diveristy movements and more As 202 comes to an end, here's what we still don't know about COVID-19 This COVID-19 pandemic timeline shows how fast the coronavirus took over our lives What will life be like after the coronavirus pandemic ends? Health care workers and long-term care residents should get COVID-19 vaccines first Meet 5 Black researchers fighting for diversity and equity in science A #BlackBirdersWeek cofounder aims to amplify black nature enthusiasts Daily global CO2 emissions dropped dramatically as COVID-19 kept people at home COVID-19 lockdowns dramatically reduced seismic noise from humans What's behind August 2020's extreme weather? Climate change and bad luck Climate change made Siberia's heat wave at least 600 times more likely 4 ways to put the 100-degree Arctic heat record in context Wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes broke all kinds of records in 2020 By 2100, Greenland will be losing ice at its fastest rate in 12,000 years Global warming may lead to practically irreversible Antarctic melting New maps show how warm water may reach Thwaites Glacier's icy underbelly
68 minutes | 5 months ago
#579 It's a Pandemic, Why Are We So Bored?!
It's the holidays and it's 2020. For many of us, it's the first time we won't be able to be together, doing the traditional things we always do. It seems like it might be okay, I mean, people are always telling us to make our own traditions. So why does it hurt so much? Why does the loss of our rituals leave us so adrift? And why, with all the pressure of the pandemic and joblessness and politics are any of us bored? Bethany Brookshire speaks with Science News social sciences writer Sujata Gupta about the importance of rituals, and with Gimlet's "How to Save A Planet" senior reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis about the ups and downs of boredom. Related links: Why do we miss the rituals put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic? on Science News by Sujata Gupta Boredom Is Spreading the Coronavirus on Elemental by Kendra Pierre-Louis This Pandemic Is Perilously Boring on Wired by Michael Waters
87 minutes | 5 months ago
#578 Science Books for Science Nerds
Once again we've brought back Joanne Manaster and John Dupuis to reflect on their 2020 reading lists, and to highlight their favourite reads. So grab a coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or other cosy beverage of your choice, pull up our companion blog post with the full book list with links, and settle in for our annual episode that is sure to add new books to your reading list. Charities mentioned in this episode: National Low Income Housing Coalition (USA) American Indian Science and Engineering Society (USA) Equal Justice Initiative (USA) Charity Navigator (USA) Food Banks Canada Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Indspire (Canada) CanadaHelps.org MacLean's list of Canada's best charities 2020 The Trussell Trust (UK) Shelter (UK) Crisis (UK) Stand Against Racism and Inequality (UK) Charity Commission for England and Wales Scottish Charity Regulator The Charity Commission for Nothern Ireland
69 minutes | 6 months ago
#577 Vaccine Moonshot
We're still in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, and one of the things many of us are hoping for every day is more good news about a vaccine. What does the Coronavirus vaccine effort look like? How does that compare to the usual way vaccines are pursued and developed? How many are in process, what stage are they at, what approach do they take, and which ones look promising? What's "good enough" for a Cornoavirus vaccine when it comes to efficacy and safety? How quickly can we roll one out when we decide one works well enough to start using in earnest? And what are the ethical implications and impacts on the wider vaccine effort of fast-tracking the first vaccine to hit the magic "ready" mark? We deep dive these questions and the vaccine effort with chemist Derek Lowe, who has been following the vaccine effort closely and blogging about it since it began on his blog In The Pipeline. Related links: Coronavirus Vaccine Roundup, Early September Cold Chain (And Colder Chain) Distribution The Vaccine Tightrope Vaccine Efficacy Data an update on 9 Nov of controlled efficacy data for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, not discussed in the interview which was recorded earlier in the week
1 minutes | 6 months ago
#ANN1 Programming Announcement: Slowing Down for a Bit
Just a quick message abour our somewhat erratic programming schedule of late. For a variety of reasons, our team needs to slow down a bit to give ourselves time and energy to focus on other things going on in our lives and this crazy year, so we'll be going to a monthly schedule for a while to give us here at Science for the People some room to breath. Don't worry, we aren't going anywhere; we're just going a little slower for a while.
75 minutes | 7 months ago
#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of the lab and on to Instagram, @passion4pathology, complete with dissections. And we'll hear from Vaughan James, a graduate student at the University of Florida, who decided to find out if hearing about science at a science fiction convention actually, well, made people like science any more. Related Links: March Mammal Madness March Mammal Madness - How to Play @passion4pathology on Instagram Dragon Con Science Track Science Communication Efforts and Identity at Popular Culture Conventions on Sage Journals by Vaughan James
76 minutes | 7 months ago
#575 Tasting Qualities
Do you like tea? If you, like many of us, do, then you probably have an idea (or perhaps very strong opinions) of what a "good cup of tea" tastes like. But what does "quality tea" really mean? This week host Rachelle Saunders speaks with Sarah Besky, Associate Professor in the IRL School at Cornell and author of the book "Tasting Qualities: The Past and Future of Tea", about the unique history of tea production and valuation to try and understand what we mean when we say "quality tea".
53 minutes | 8 months ago
#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
64 minutes | 8 months ago
#573 Penis. That's It. That's the title.
This episode is about penises. That was your content warning. Penises. Where they came from. Why they're useful. And the many, many wild things that animals do with them. Come for the world's oldest penis, stay for the creature that ejaculates 80 percent of its bodyweight. Host Bethany Brookshire talks with Emily Willingham about her new book, "Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis".
63 minutes | 8 months ago
#572 The Alchemy of Us
We live in a material world. Each piece of that stuff has a story behind it – from the inconspicuous glass and steel that fashions our built environments to the transistors in the tech that siphons up all our attention. In this week's conversation, host Carolyn Wilke speaks with scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez, author of "The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another", to pull back the curtain on the materials that have shaped society and the seemingly unlikely people behind them.
58 minutes | 9 months ago
#571 The Address Book
We don't really notice street addresses, but they're integral to how modern society works. They've become integral to our identity in ways we don't really notice... until we don't have one. But where did street addresses come from? Who decides what names or words can be addresses? And how does a government's approach to addresses impact its people? This week host Rachelle Saunders speaks with lawyer and writer Deirdre Mask about her new book "The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power".
66 minutes | 9 months ago
#570 Sea Ice
This week, host Marion Kilgour discusses the effects of climate change on Arctic sea ice, and the Inuit communities that rely on the ice for wood, food, and roads. SmartICE is a social enterprise developing a near real-time sea-ice monitoring and information sharing system that blends Inuit traditional knowledge with state-of-the-art technology. Rex Holwell explains how climate change has affected sea ice in his lifetime, and how SmartICE sensors are used to keep communities safe. And Dr. Trevor Bell joins us to discuss how SmartICE formed and why it's so important to ensure that the communities out on the sea ice are the ones deciding where to collect data. Related links: SmartICE reports are available through SIKU
63 minutes | 9 months ago
#569 Facing Fear
What do you fear? I mean really fear? Well, ok, maybe right now that's tough. We're living in a new age and definition of fear. But what do we do about it? Eva Holland has faced her fears, including trauma and phobia. She lived to tell the tale and write a book: "Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear".
63 minutes | 10 months ago
#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
70 minutes | 10 months ago
#567 Because Internet
This week we dig into the grammar, idiosyncracies, and patterns of mondern writing the internet has made not just possible, but necessary: the writing you and I do all the time via email, text and Tweet. Join host Rachelle Saunders and guest Gretchen McCulloch, blogger, Wired columnist, podcaster, and author of the book "Because Internet: Understand the New Rules of Language", as they pick apart the language of the internet era from the history and use of emojis to the ethics of using Twitter as a data resource to better understand language. Related links: Children Are Using Emoji for Digital-Age Language Learning Emoji Are Gesture episode of the Lingthusiasm podcast We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs by Lauren Michele Jackson on TeenVogue
44 minutes | 10 months ago
#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website their YouTube channel, their Facebook page, and their Twitter feed.
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