Podcast

Science for the People

Science for the People is a weekly syndicated radio show and podcast. We are a long-format interview show that explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what's in the news and on the shelves. Every week, our hosts sit down with science researchers, writers, authors, journalists, and experts to discuss science from the past, the science that affects our lives today, and how science might ch...more

Episodes

  • #513 Dinosaur Tails

    Feb 15 2019

    This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".

  • #512 All Over The Map

    Feb 08 2019

    Today we're talking about maps: why we can spend hours pouring over them, the stories they tell, the information they visualize, and how they border between map and a work of art is a gloriously fuzzy one. We spend the hour with journalists Betsy Mason and Greg Miller, co-authors of a beautiful and fascinating new book "All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey". You can see some of the maps we discuss over at the All Over the Map section of National Geographic.

  • #511 Ok you worked out, now what?

    Feb 01 2019

    Ok, you got out the door and did a workout. Excellent work! Now you're sore. Rats. What do you do? Foam roll? Stretch? Stand butt naked in a tank pumping in liquid nitrogen? Put on specially branded pajamas? The recovery options are endless these days. But which of them work best? Heck, which even work at all? We're talking with Christie Aschwanden about her new book: "Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery". Related links: ‘Good to Go&rsqu...more

  • #510 Gene Drives (Rebroadcast)

    Jan 25 2019

    This week on Science for the People: who is driving this genetic bus? We'll talk with Kevin Esvelt about gene drives, what they are, where they come from what they can be used for, and why the science on gene drives should be done as openly as possible. Then, we'll speak with Laurie Zoloth about the ethical questions surrounding their use, why people are so afraid, and who should be making the decision to use this technology in the wild. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writ...more

  • #509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female

    Jan 18 2019

    This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, ab...more

  • #508 Freedom's Laboratory

    Jan 11 2019

    This week we're looking back at where some of our modern ideas about science being objective, independent, and apolitical come from. We journey back to the Cold War with historian and writer Audra Wolfe, talking about her newest book "Freedom's Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science".

  • #507 Poaching, and We Don't Mean Eggs

    Jan 04 2019

    We all know poaching elephants for their ivory and pangolins for their scales is wrong, right? Then why do people keep doing it? We speak with Rachel Nuwer, author of the book "Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking", to find out, and figure out what can be done to stop it. And we'll talk with Vincent Nijman about why, when scientists find a new or rare species, they might want to keep that exciting information to themselves. Related links: Secrecy considerations for conserving L...more

  • #506 Everybody Poops (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 28 2018

    This week on Science for the People, everybody poops! And everybody pees. But we probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how that works. Well, put down your lunch and listen up. We're talking with David Chu, a pediatric urological surgeon about urine. Then we'll hear from his brother, Daniel Chu, who's a colorectal surgeon, about poop. Finally, we'll hear from IgNobel prize winner Patricia Yang about her work studying the flow rate of mammal pee, and why all mammals pee and poo...more

  • #505 Top Science Stories of 2018

    Dec 21 2018

    We're looking back over 2018 and calling out our favourite science news stories from this past year: the ones we think you should remember -- or hear about for the first time if maybe you've been taking a break from the internet -- and we've brought in a team of reports from Science News to do it. Buckle up for a whistle stop tour of this year's most fascinating science news. Related links: Top 10 stories of 2018 on Science News News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm by Tina He...more

  • #504 The Art of Logic

    Dec 14 2018

    How can mathematics help us have better arguments? This week we spend the hour with "The Art of Logic in an Illogical World" author, mathematician Eugenia Cheng, as she makes her case that the logic of mathematics can combine with emotional resonance to allow us to have better debates and arguments. Along the way we learn a lot about rigorous logic using arguments you're probably having every day, while also learning a lot about our own underlying beliefs and assumptions.

  • #503 Postpartum Blues (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 07 2018

    When a woman gives birth, it seems like everyone wants to know how the baby is doing. What does it weigh? Is it breathing right? Did it cry? But it turns out that, in the United States, we're not doing to great at asking how the mom, who just pushed something the size of a pot roast out of something the size of a Cheerio, is doing. This week we talk to anthropologist Kate Clancy about her postpartum experience and how it is becoming distressingly common, and we speak with Julie Wiebe about prola...more

  • #502 Nerd Gift Extravaganza

    Nov 30 2018

    It's that time of year when nerds who care about each other buy each other nerdy presents. And because we know it can be so difficult to find that "just right" gift for the geek in your life, we're here to jump start the process with a boost of inspiration. We've brought back pop-science power-readers Joanne Manaster and John Dupuis to highlight their favourite books from the last year that you might not have heard of. And Bethany Brookshire and Rachelle Saunders prowl the internet for gift idea...more

  • #501 Hidden Technology

    Nov 23 2018

    This week we spend the hour with Kat Jungnickel to discuss her new book "Bikes & Bloomers: Victorian women inventors and their extraordinary cycle wear". New technology can change social expectations and sometimes requires other new inventions so everyone can participate. Those might sound like modern problems, but Victorian Britain in the 1890's had to answer the question: how can a woman use the latest must-have technology, the safety bicycle, while wearing a corset and long, multilayered ...more

  • #500 500th Episode

    Nov 16 2018

    This week we turn 500! To celebrate, we're taking the opportunity to go off format, talk about the journey through 500 episodes, and answer questions from our lovely listeners. Join hosts Bethany Brookshire and Rachelle Saunders as we talk through the show's history, how we've grown and changed, and what we love about the Science for the People. Here's to 500 more episodes!

  • #499 Technology, Work and The Future (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 09 2018

    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.

  • #498 The Poison Squad

    Nov 02 2018

    This week, let's go back in time. Back to the 1900s, when life was pure and clean, and your milk was preserved with formaldehyde, your meat with Borax and your canned peas with copper. On second thought, that trip back in time doesn't sound so great. This week, we're meeting the Poison Squad. We're spending the hour with Deborah Blum talking about the history of food regulation, or the lack thereof, and her new book "The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at t...more

  • #497 Built

    Oct 26 2018

    This week we're talking about towers, bridges, sinking cathedrals, and other feats of structural engineering. How do we build skyscrapers? How do engineers plan for disaster? What have we learned from structures that have failed about how to build things better? We speak with structural engineer Roma Agrawal about her book "Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures" and what the constructed world we live in looks like through an engineer's eyes.

  • #496 Anti-Intellectualism: Down With the Scientist!

    Oct 19 2018

    This week we get to the bottom of anti-intellectualism. We'll be speaking with David Robson, senior journalist at BBC Future, about misology -- the hatred of reason and argument -- and how it may be connected to distrust of intellectuals. Then we'll speak with Bruno Takahashi, associate professor of environmental journalism and communication at Michigan State University, about how the way we consume media affects our scientific knowledge and how we feel about scientists and the press.

  • #495 Earth Science in Space

    Oct 12 2018

    Some worlds are made of sand. Some are made of water. Some are even made of salt. In science fiction and fantasy, planet can be made of whatever you want. But what does that mean for how the planets themselves work? When in doubt, throw an asteroid at it. This is a live show recorded at the 2018 Dragon Con in Atlanta Georgia. Featuring Travor Valle, Mika McKinnon, David Moscato, Scott Harris, and moderated by our own Bethany Brookshire. Note: The sound isn't as good as we'd hoped but we love the...more

  • #494 The Tangled Taxonomic Tree

    Oct 05 2018

    The idea of the tree of life appears in many of the world's religions, and it appears, famously, in science, with Darwin's famous tree of life, where species evolve over millions of years from a common ancestor in the trunk to new species in the branches. But while Darwin's tree of life endures in textbooks, t-shirts and tattoos, science has moved on. And the tree of life has become more of a tangle. We will speak with David Quammen about his new book "The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of ...more

  • #493 Trowel Blazing (Rebroadcast)

    Sep 28 2018

    This week we look at some of the lesser known historical figures and current public perception of anthropology, archaeology, and other fields that end in "ology". Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an archaeologist, writer, and co-founder of the TrowelBlazers, tells us about the Raising Horizons project and how their team is trying to shine the spotlight on the forgotten historical women of archaeological, geological, and palaeontological science. And Kristina Killgrove, assistant professor of anthropology at...more

  • #492 Flint Water Crisis

    Sep 21 2018

    This week we dig into the Flint water crisis: what happened, how it got so bad, what turned the tide, what's still left to do, and the mix of science, politics, and activism that are still needed to finish pulling Flint out of the crisis. We spend the hour with Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, a physician, scientist, activist, the founder and director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, and author of the book "What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City".

  • #491 Frankenstein LIVES

    Sep 14 2018

    Two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley gave us a legendary monster, shaping science fiction for good. Thanks to her, the name of Frankenstein is now famous world-wide. But who was the real monster here? The creation? Or the scientist that put him together? Tune in to a live show from Dragon Con 2018 in Atlanta, as we breakdown the science of Frankenstein, complete with grave robbing and rivers of maggots. Featuring Tina Saey, Lucas Hernandez, Travor Valle, and Nancy Miorelli. Moderated by our own B...more

  • #490 Breaking Down Chemical Weapons

    Sep 07 2018

    It sounds like something out of a spy novel: an ex-spy is poisoned on a park bench, or a dictator's brother is sprayed in the face with a chemical weapon and dies. But these are real life events, and they are the result of chemical weapons. What are these chemicals, how do the work, and what on Earth do people do about them? We're talking with chemist Chris Cramer about his expertise, getting rid of chemical weapons. Related links: Nerge agent attack on spy used 'Novichok' poison, on c&en No...more

  • #489 Sand

    Aug 31 2018

    Did you know that, even though sand the most used building materials in world, the sand in the desert is more or less useless? Did you know there is a serious black market trade in sand in certain parts of the world, and that people are murdered to protect that black market trade? This week we learn just how much of our modern world is built with, on, and using sand. We spend the hour with award-winning journalist and author Vince Beiser, talking about his new book "The World in a Grain: The Sto...more

  • #488 Big Chicken (Rebroadcast)

    Aug 24 2018

    We eat a lot of chicken. But we didn't used to. What changed? In part, what changed was the discovery that antibiotics could build a bigger, better chicken. Now, the big chicken may be suffering the results of too much medicine. This week, we hear from science journalist Maryn McKenna about her new book "Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats." We'll also hear from zoonotic disease specialist Tara Smith about the challen...more

  • #486 Volcanoes

    Aug 10 2018

    This week we're talking volcanoes. Because there are few things that fascinate us more than the amazing, unstoppable power of an erupting volcano. First, Jessica Johnson takes us through the latest activity from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to help us understand what's happening with this headline-grabbing volcano. And Janine Krippner joins us to highlight some of the lesser-known volcanoes that can be found in the USA, the different kinds of eruptions we might one day see at them, and how dama...more

  • #485 Fine Times with Wine

    Aug 03 2018

    How do you pick your wine? By its history? By its grape? By the picture on the bottle? Well you're about to get your wine world turned upside down. We'll hear about the history of this fabulous fermentation from Kevin Begos, author of the book "Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor and the Search for the Origins of Wine". Then we'll talk with Erika Szymanski about the little microbes that make it all possible, yeast! On the way, we're going to have Science for the People's first ever wine tast...more

  • #484 Animal Weapons (Rebroadcast)

    Jul 27 2018

    This week, we're talking about weapons: both the ones that evolve in nature, and those created by humanity. We'll talk about the arms races that spur the development of horns and claws, warships and nuclear weapons, with Doug Emlen, Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, and author of "Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle."

  • #483 Wild Moms

    Jul 20 2018

    This week we're talking about what it takes to be a mother in the wild, and how how human moms compare to other moms in the animal kingdom. We're spending an hour with Dr. Carin Bondar, prolific science communicator and author. We'll be discussing a myriad of stories from her latest book, "Wild Moms: Motherhood in the Animal Kingdom", covering the exciting, stressful and even sinister sides of motherhood.

  • #481 23 and You

    Jul 06 2018

    These days, all you need to do is fill a tube with spit and mail it off to find out all about your ancestors, and even about your risks for certain diseases. Loads of DNA sequencing and typing companies exist to tell you all about yourself. But how accurate are they? And how safe is that information? We'll speak with science writer Tina Hesman Saey about her big project sending off her spit to more companies than she can count. For science, of course. Then, we'll take out ethical concerns to bio...more

  • #480 Cursing and Conversation

    Jun 29 2018

    Ever notice how the bits of language we use all the time are often the bits we study the least? Like 'ums' and 'uhs', the way conversations flow and of course curse words! Today we're taking a deeper look under the hood of the conversation machine, and inspecting it's sweary bits and bobs a little more closely than usual. First we'll take a closer look at the flow of a typical conversation with Nick Enfield, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney, about his book "How We Talk: The I...more

  • #479 Garden of Marvels (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 22 2018

    This week we're learning about botany and the colorful science of gardening. Author Ruth Kassinger joins us to discuss her book "A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of the Way Plants Work." And we'll speak to NASA researcher Gioia Massa about her work to solve the technical challenges of gardening in space. 

  • #478 She Has Her Mother's Laugh

    Jun 15 2018

    What does heredity really mean? Carl Zimmer would argue it's more than your genes along. In "She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity", Zimmer covers the history of genetics and what kinship and heredity really mean when we're discovering how to alter our own DNA, and, potentially, the DNA of our children.

  • #477 Cure for Catastrophe

    Jun 08 2018

    Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. These are the sorts of natural disasters movies are made from, because throughout history we've learned that natural disasters often become human disasters. But how much are we contributing to the scale of the human toll of natural disasters when they hit? How much do our decisions about where to build, what to build, and how to build impact that cost? We spend the hour with Robert Muir-Wood, author of "The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Nat...more

  • #476 Science in Fiction

    Jun 01 2018

    Nerds and geeks of all stripes love to dissect exactly how their favorite (or least favorite) sci-fi and fantasy tales got science so wrong. But many TV shows, movies and book actually manage to get science pretty right (except for those pesky time-travel impossibilities). How do they do that? A lot of times, they phone a scientist. We'll speak with one of those scientists, Mika McKinnon, about the work she does advising TV shows and movies on physics, space and more. And we'll talk with science...more

  • #SB1 2018 Science Birthday Bonus Short Minisode: Lloyd Quarterman

    May 31 2018

    Our very first Science Birthday spotlight shines on Lloyd Quarterman, born May 31, 1918. He died in 1982, but not before leaving his mark on science. Join Bethany and Rachelle in a little special birthay minisode celebrating Lloyd and his accomplishments. Thanks to everyone who joined our Patreon anew!

  • #475 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You (Rebroadcast)

    May 25 2018

    This week, we're learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We're joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada's Daily Planet, to talk about his book "Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World." And we'll talk to astronomer and author Phil Plait about Science Getaways, his company that offers educational vacation experiences for science lovers.

  • #474 Appearance Matters

    May 18 2018

    This week we talk about appearance, bodies, and body image. Why does what we look like affect our headspace so much? And how do we even begin to research a topic as personal and subjective as body image? To try and find out, we speak with some of the researchers at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Psychology Professor Phillippa Diedrichs walks us through body image research, what we know so far, and how we know what we know. Professor ...more

  • #473 Colour Me... Structurally?

    May 11 2018

    This week on Science for the People, we're looking at a different way of producing colour than you might be used to. Structural colour relies on nano-scale structures to reflect particular wavelengths of light. To start things off, we'll be discussing some of the science behind naturally occurring colours, and the engineering to produce manufactured ones with PhD student Victoria Hwang. After that, Dr. Maria McNamara joins us to discuss how colour information is preserved in the fossil record an...more

  • #472 A Good Bout of Plague

    May 04 2018

    Who doesn't love a good medical pandemic? This week we're diving into the bubonic plague. We'll talk with Boris Schmid about whether rats should really get the blame for the Black Death, and we'll talk with Loren Cassin Sackett about what happens today when plague strikes... prairie dog towns! Don't blame the rats for spreading the Black Death on Science News Human ectoparasites and the spread of plague in Europe during the Second Pandemic Do pathogens reduce genetic diversity of their hosts? Va...more

  • #471 Pigs and Fish: Personality in Animals

    Apr 27 2018

    This week we learn about how personality is studied in two of our favorite animals: pigs and fish. We'll be speaking with Rose O'Dea, PhD candidate at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre in Sydney, about using computer animation technology to stimulate behavioral responses in zebrafish. Then we'll speak with Kristina Horback, assistant professor at the University of California-Davis, about the connection between personality traits in domesticated pigs and their ability to cope with stressf...more

  • #470 Information Spookyhighway

    Apr 20 2018

    This week we take a closer look at a few of the downsides of the modern internet, and some of the security and privacy challenges that are becoming increasingly troublesome. Rachelle Saunders speaks with cyber security expert James Lyne about how modern hacking differs from the hacks of old, and how an internet without national boards makes it tricky to police online crime across jurisdictions. And Bethany Brookshire speaks with David Garcia, a computer scientist at the Complexity Science Hub an...more

  • #469 The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

    Apr 13 2018

    What happens when you take 5 enourmous freshwater lakes isolated in the middle of a continent and suddenly open them up to the Atlantic? The ecology of the North American Great Lakes is changing fast. We spend the hour with Dan Egan, an award-winning writer and reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences, to talk about his book "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes" and how invading species ...more

  • #468 Slicing into Surgery

    Apr 06 2018

    Surgery isn't generally a good time these days. There's pain and danger. But surgery today is nothing to the surgery of the past, when desperate patients had to sit, awake and with no painkillers, through the sawing-off of their own limbs. If they made it through that, they frequently died of infections from the dirty hands and instruments of their own doctors. What changed, and who changed it? This week we talk about the transformation of the butchering art with Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris, author o...more

  • #467 Pests in the City (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 30 2018

    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.

  • #466 Wildfire

    Mar 23 2018

    This week we're talking about fire: in particular, wildfires. How they spread and how we manage them, but also the deeper history of wildfires on our planet and how they've been shaping our world for a long, long time. We speak with Andrew Scott, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Royal Holloway, University of London, about his book "Burning Planet: The Story of Fire Through Time", learning about wildfire on our planet now and in deep history. And we catch up with Caroline Weinberg, interm executi...more

  • #465 How The Nose Knows

    Mar 16 2018

    We've all got a nose but how does it work? Why do we like some smells and not others, and why can we all agree that some smells are good and some smells are bad, while others are dependant on personal or cultural preferences? We speak with Asifa Majid, Professor of Language, Communication and Cultural Cognition at Radboud University, about the intersection of culture, language, and smell. And we level up on our olfactory neuroscience with University of Pennsylvania Professor Jay Gottfried.

  • #464 How We Endure

    Mar 09 2018

    Endurance athletes. How do they do it? How does someone push themselves to run an almost 2 hour marathon? How does someone else push themselves to finish a marathon at all? How did humans conquer Everest and free dive to the ocean floor? There's a new book for that. Just in time for the Winter Olympics, we'll hear from Alex Hutchinson, author of the new book Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. And we'll hear from neuropsychologist Lori Haase Alasantro about ...more

  • #463 Trench to Bedside (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 02 2018

    This week we're taking on maggots, wounds, and diarrhea in an episode about medical problems that plague the military, so make sure your last meal is a few hours behind you before you tuck in your ear buds. We speak with Captain Mark Riddle, the director of the United States Military Diarrheal Disease Vaccine Research Program at the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, about new ways to prevent and treat travelers' diarrhea. And we talk with George Peck, a medical entomologist, about u...more

  • #462 The Future of Energy

    Feb 23 2018

    This week, we have some very special guest hosts, sharing a recording of a panel they moderated about the future of energy and where we can draw inspiration from science fiction. This panel was recorded at the Generation Energy Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and moderated by Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel, the ladies that run the most excellent podcast Métis in Space.

  • #461 Adhesives

    Feb 16 2018

    This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.

  • #460 Brake For Menopause

    Feb 09 2018

    I don't know about you, but when I learned about the female reproductive cycle, I learned that hey, these are the hormone changes that happen. Then in menopause they stop. And you get hot flashes. But it turns out it is a lot more complicated than that. First, we'll speak with cognitive neuroscientist Lauren Drogos about the memory changes that happen during menopause. Then, where does this menopause thing even come from and why don't men suffer too? We'll take up the topic with biological anthr...more

  • #459 Postpartum Blues

    Feb 02 2018

    When a woman gives birth, it seems like everyone wants to know how the baby is doing. What does it weigh? Is it breathing right? Did it cry? But it turns out that, in the United States, we're not doing to great at asking how the mom, who just pushed something the size of a pot roast out of something the size of a Cheerio, is doing. This week we talk to anthropologist Kate Clancy about her postpartum experience and how it is becoming distressingly common, and we speak with Julie Wiebe about prola...more

  • #458 Circumcision (Rebroadcast)

    Jan 26 2018

    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 Fel...more

  • #457 Trowel Blazing

    Jan 19 2018

    This week we look at some of the lesser known historical figures and current public perception of anthropology, archaeology, and other fields that end in "ology". Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an archaeologist, writer, and co-founder of the TrowelBlazers, tells us about the Raising Horizons project and how their team is trying to shine the spotlight on the forgotten historical women of archaeological, geological, and palaeontological science. And Kristina Killgrove, assistant professor of anthropology at...more

  • #456 Inside a Conservation NGO

    Jan 12 2018

    This week we take a close look at conservation NGOS: what they do, how they work, and - most importantly - why we need them. We'll be speaking with Shyla Raghav, the Climate Change Lead at Conservation International, about using strategy and policy to tackle climate change. Then we'll speak with Rebecca Shaw, Lead Scientist at the World Wildlife Fund, about how and why you should get involved with conservation initiatives.

  • #455 New Year's Resolutions

    Jan 05 2018

    Happy New Year! Science for the People is ringing in the new year with a hard look at new year's resolutions. A lot of these involve long term goals, and forming new habits. But how do we stick with them? We'll speak with Charles DuHigg, author of the the book "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business", to find out. Then we'll talk with behavioral scientist Ayelet Fishbach about what she's learned from studying the stick-to-it-iveness of students. Related links: Immediate Re...more

  • #454 Sports Science (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 29 2017

    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.

  • #453 The Biggest Science Stories of 2017

    Dec 22 2017

    Should old science findings be forgot, and never brought to mind? No! For the year may be nearly over but we're going to see it out in style! This week, Bethany and Rachelle look back on some of the biggest science findings of the year with the writers of Science News Magazine. We've got colliding neutron stars, new planets, edited genes, splitting ice shelves and more! Related links: Top 10 Science Stories of 2017 on Science News This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries...more

  • #452 Face Recognition and Identity

    Dec 15 2017

    This week we deep dive into the science of how we recognize faces and why some of us are better -- or worse -- at this than others. We talk with Brad Duchaine, Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College, about both super recognizers and face blindness. And we speak with Matteo Martini, Psychology Lecturer at the University of East London, about a study looking at twins who have difficulty telling which one of them a photo was of. Charity Links: Union of Concerned Scientists Evidence For Democr...more

  • #451 Merry Science Giftmas

    Dec 08 2017

    You probably have shopping to do and plenty of gifts to buy, and -- as is our tradition -- we have put together a list of helpful suggestions for things the science lover in your life might appreciate receiving. This year we brought in Illinois’s School of Integrative Biology lecturer and science educator Joanne Manaster, and brought back our unofficial "Librarian in Residence" John Dupuis to talk about some of their favourite science books from 2017. And your regular hosts Rachelle Saunde...more

  • #450 Sing a Little Song

    Dec 01 2017

    How do we talk? And how do we sing? Most of us walk around making sound all day without any real idea of how we do it. We'll speak with vocologist Ingo Titze about how the human voice sings, the parts of a human singing voice, and more. We'll also speak with Tecumseh Fitch about why we talk... but monkeys don't. The reason? They've got the voice, but not the brains. We've even got some creepy recordings. Related links: Ingo's tips for tired voices: grab a straw! A reflex resonance model of vocal...more

  • #449 Arctic Energy

    Nov 24 2017

    This week we're looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable forms of energy. And the lessons they're learning along the way can help those of us further south.

  • #448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 17 2017

    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." 

  • #447 Stormy Weather

    Nov 10 2017

    This week on we take a closer look at weather forecasting, meteorology, and the science (and art) of predicting severe weather patterns, both locally and more broadly across the planet. We speak with Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma, about how local weather forecasting and severe storm warnings work. And we talk with Chris Huntingford, a climate modeller at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK, about how ...more

  • #446 Frogs From the Skin In

    Nov 03 2017

    Pictures of poison frogs are a popular form of home decor. Tiny size, bright colors, super deadly, they've got it all. But how exactly do poison frogs avoid poisoning themselves? This week we talk with Rebecca Tarvin and Cecilia Borghese, two scientists who studied how poison frogs survive their own toxins. And we speak with Sandra Goutte, a herpetologists who studies frog ears, how they work, and whether one tiny, adorable pumpkin toadlet can hear itself talk. This episode is hosted by Bethany...more

  • #445 AI: Ant Intelligence

    Oct 27 2017

    This week we look at why ants seem to act much smarter in groups than on their own, and how we can study their swarm intelligence using robots. We'll be speaking with Stephen Pratt, associate professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, about how ants in a colony work together to look for things they need, like nest sites and food. Then we'll speak with Simon Garnier, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, ...more

  • #444 The V-Word (Rebroadcast)

    Oct 20 2017

    This week, we're looking at the social and biological science of female sex organs. We'll talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine, about the creation and use of lab-grown vaginas. Biology professor Marie Herberstein exposes the bias against female genitalia in scientific studies. And science writer Emily Anthes tells us about the history and promising future of female condoms. 

  • #442 From Nobel to Ig Nobel

    Oct 06 2017

    The Nobel prizes are, well, the Nobel prize of prizes! One of the most elite prizes in the world. But where did they come from, why do they matter, and how do they influence the practice of science? This week we speak with medical historian Nils Hansson and sociologist of science Harriet Zuckerman about the origin and legacy of the Nobel Prizes, and what might help them be more representative of science in the future. And then we talk with Marc Abrahams about another prize, the Ig Nobel prizes, ...more

  • #441 Superhuman

    Sep 29 2017

    This week we take a closer look at people with brain abilities that appear superhuman. We speak with Craig Stark, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California Irvine, about hyperthymesia and people who possess an extremely detailed autobiographical memory. Then we talk with Jamie Ward, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, about synaesthesia, multi-sensory substitution, and people who see sounds, taste words, and hear colours.

  • #440 Weapons of Math Destruction (Rebroadcast)

    Sep 22 2017

    This week on Science for the People we look at the modern, inventive ways we try to use math and algorithms to make better decisions, and what happens when those solutions cause more problems than they solve. We speak with Cathy O'Neil about her book Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy and the increasingly opaque and unregulated algorithms that are creeping into our lives. We also talk with David Robinson, co-founder and principal of the think t...more

  • #439 Flooded

    Sep 15 2017

    This week on Science for the People, we take a closer look at what happens when water falls from the sky, how it moves once its on the ground, and what happens when people and water get in each other's way. We talk with Lucy Barker, Hydrological Analyst at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, to get us started with some quick Hydrology 101. And we speak with Anne Jefferson, Associate Professor at Kent State University, about the challenges of redirecting water through, under, and around our c...more

  • #438 Big Chicken

    Sep 08 2017

    We eat a lot of chicken. But we didn't used to. What changed? In part, what changed was the discovery that antibiotics could build a bigger, better chicken. Now, the big chicken may be suffering the results of too much medicine. This week, we hear from science journalist Maryn McKenna about her new book "Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats." We'll also hear from zoonotic disease specialist Tara Smith about the challen...more

  • #437 Tiny Bubbles, Big Impact

    Sep 01 2017

    This week, we're discussing an effect called cavitation: low pressure causes bubbles of vapour to form in a liquid, which can cause a lot of damage when those bubbles collapse. First up is Paul Brandner, Associate Professor and Research Leader of the Cavitation Research Laboratory at the Australian Maritime College, to discuss how these bubbles form and why they can be so destructive. And we talk with Suzanne Cox, artist, scientist, and engineer, to discuss her work with crustaceans who have evo...more

  • #436 Beauty is A Beast (Rebroadcast)

    Aug 25 2017

    This week we're exploring the science of beauty products and procedures. We'll talk to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, co-founder of thebeautybrains.com, about his book "It's OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick." And we'll speak to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay about plastic surgery tourism, and safety regulation in the industry.

  • #435 Total Eclipse of the Sun

    Aug 18 2017

    On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse is going to appear, visible to most of the continent of North America. Bethany is very, very excited. What's going to happen, and what are scientists doing to take advantage of the event? Bethany Brookshire starts with a primer on the upcoming eclipse with Lisa Grossman, astronomy writer at Science News, then discusses three eclipse-related citizen science projects that need data: Smithsonian Astrophysicist Trae Winter tells us about the Eclipse Soundscapes pr...more

  • #434 The Dictionary

    Aug 11 2017

    This week we look at the science, art, and craft of lexicography as we go backstage into the process of how dictionaries are made. We spend the hour with Kory Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and author of the book "Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries", to learn more about the history of dictionaries, what their purpose is, and how defining words isn't as straightforward as you might think.

  • #433 The State of Science Journalism

    Aug 04 2017

    This week we step into the world of science journalism from the perspectives of two unique and reputable popular science publications. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Katie Palmer, senior editor of the online science and health section at WIRED, about her direct route into science journalism through a master's in science reporting and her role as an editor of online content. And she talks with Michael Segal, founding editor and editor-in-chief of Nautlius magazine, about how he transitioned f...more

  • #432 A Sting In The Tail (Rebroadcast)

    Jul 28 2017

    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.

  • #431 Memory and Emotion

    Jul 21 2017

    This week we look at how our brains process memory and emotion. We talk to Michael Yassa, Associate Professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Neurology at UC Irvine, about how our brains discriminate similar memories from each other and the conditions that compromise that ability. And we speak with James McGaugh, Research Fellow and Founding Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and Founding Director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at...more

  • #430 Bacteria in Bodies and On The Farm

    Jul 14 2017

    This week we look at how new science and new challenges are pushing us to think differently about the role of bacteria in healthcare and pest control in agriculture. We speak to award-winning science writer Ed Yong about his book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" and how our understanding of how microscopic organisms affect our life and health has changed. And we talk with Emily Monosson, environmental toxicologist and author, about her book "Natural Defens...more

  • #429 Gene Drives

    Jul 07 2017

    This week on Science for the People: who is driving this genetic bus? We'll talk with Kevin Esvelt about gene drives, what they are, where they come from what they can be used for, and why the science on gene drives should be done as openly as possible. Then, we'll speak with Laurie Zoloth about the ethical questions surrounding their use, why people are so afraid, and who should be making the decision to use this technology in the wild. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writ...more

  • #428 Cities of the Future (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 30 2017

    This week, we're listening to "Cities of The Future," a panel discussion about the future of human living spaces recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Jamie Bernstein, Ryan Consell and Shawn Lawrence Otto discuss how cities can adapt to accommodate the changing demographics, economics, and environment of a warming planet.

  • #427 The Life Project

    Jun 23 2017

    This week we're diving deep into the history and current state of some of the largest and longest running studies in the world. We speak with science journalist, Chief Magazine Editor for Nature, and author Helen Pearson about her book "The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives" and the history of the long-running series of British longitudinal cohort studies. And we'll talk with Professor Parminder Raina about the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging an what it's like t...more

  • #426 Everybody Poops

    Jun 16 2017

    This week on Science for the People, everybody poops! And everybody pees. But we probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how that works. Well, put down your lunch and listen up. We're talking with David Chu, a pediatric urological surgeon about urine. Then we'll hear from his brother, Daniel Chu, who's a colorectal surgeon, about poop. Finally, we'll hear from IgNobel prize winner Patricia Yang about her work studying the flow rate of mammal pee, and why all mammals pee and poo...more

  • #425 Cooperative Microbes

    Jun 09 2017

    This week, we're looking at some of the ways bacteria cooperate with other organisms to break down plants. First we speak with Dr. Lisa Karr, Associate Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and get into the details of how rabbits and cows ferment their food. And Mark Stumpf-Allen, Compost Programs Coordinator for the City of Edmonton, has some practical tips to help you keep your compost pile and soil alive and happy.

  • #424 Biohacking (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 02 2017

    This week we're talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We'll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito Jankowski, co-founder of Silicon Valley's BioCurious. And we'll talk to transdisciplinary artist and educator Heather Dewey-Hagborg about her art projects exploring our relationship with genetics and privacy.

  • #423 Built On Bones

    May 26 2017

    This week we dig into the world of bioarchaeology to discover what a bunch of dead people's bones can tell us about our past. We spend the hour with Brenna Hassett, bioarchaeologist and author of the new book Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death", learning about the surprising information stashed away in teeth, bones, and mass graves.

  • #422 Is Our Children Learning

    May 19 2017

    This week on science for the people, we're taking on the educational system. We'll be talking with Ulrich Boser about what people think they know about education. It turns out that education is a lot like driving: everyone thinks they're well above average in their knowledge, which means half of us are probably wrong. Then, we'll speak with education researcher Luis Leyva about how math education privileges some at the expense of others. We may not think about it, but the way we have always taug...more

  • #421 Hopeful Monsters

    May 12 2017

    This week on Science for the People, we are talking about a controversial theory in evolutionary biology that has led to research on the role of single mutations that drastically alter the body plan of organisms. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Olivier Rieppel, curator of Evolutionary Biology at the Field Museum, about the history of this theory and where it stands within modern science. And she talks with Nipam Patel, professor of Molecular Cell Biology and Intergrative Biology at UC Berkely...more

  • #420 Medical Marijuana (Rebroadcast)

    May 05 2017

    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...more

  • #419 The Death and Life of the Single-Family House

    Apr 28 2017

    This week on Science for the People we take a closer look at North America's housing culture: how it got the way it is today, and how it's changing. We speak with Nathanael Lauster, an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of British Columbia, about his book "The Death and Life of the Single-Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable City".

  • #418 Animal Research Revisited

    Apr 21 2017

    This week we’re revisiting animal research. There's no denying animal research has done amazing things for both humanity and the animals we live and work with. But there are also good reasons why it makes people uncomfortable. We'll talk with philosopher John Hadley about the different philosophical perspectives on animal research, and how scientists might be more open about their practices. We'll also speak with philosopher Janet Stemwedel about current practices regulating research in th...more

  • #417 Lab-Cultured Beef

    Apr 14 2017

    This week we go into a lab that's working to make our kitchens more sustainable. Guest host Jessie Yaros speaks with Professor Mark Post about lab cultured beef, including how a hamburger is grown from scratch in the lab, the advantages of cultured beef over traditional factory farming processes, and the currently public perception of eating lab-made meat products. And Bethany Brookshire chats with astronomy writer Chris Crockett about the approaching Grand Finale of the Cassini mission and how ...more

  • #416 Bodies Everywhere (Rebroadcast)

    Apr 07 2017

    This week we're looking at the morbid and fascinating history of our attempts to grapple with disease and death. We're joined by medical historian Richard Barnett to talk about his book "The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration." And we'll speak to mortician and blogger Caitlin Doughty about her book "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory", and her ongoing YouTube series "Ask a Mortician", about the history, science and cultural attitudes attached t...more

  • #415 Weapons of Math Destruction

    Mar 31 2017

    This week on Science for the People we look at the modern, inventive ways we try to use math and algorithms to make better decisions, and what happens when those solutions cause more problems than they solve. We speak with Cathy O'Neil about her book Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy and the increasingly opaque and unregulated algorithms that are creeping into our lives. We also talk with David Robinson, co-founder and principal of the think t...more

  • #414 Perpetual Now

    Mar 24 2017

    Most of us probably think about memories as being about the past. But when memories are gone, it becomes clear just how much they are also about the future. This week we are in search of lost memories. We'll speak with Michael McCloskey about how memories are formed and how you test for memory in people with amnesia. We'll also talk with Michael Lemonick about his new book, The Perpetual Now: A Story of Memory, Amnesia and Love", and the story of Lonnie Sue Johnson and her memory loss. This epis...more

  • #413 Concrete

    Mar 17 2017

    This week is all about that most ubiquitous of building materials: concrete. Historian Robert Courland joins us to talk about his book "Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material", our long history using concrete, and what modern engineers could learn from the Romans. We'll speak with Cristina Zanotti, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia, about building better -- and more sustainable --...more

  • #412 PTSD

    Mar 10 2017

    This week on Science for the People, we’re talking about our changing understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how we define the trauma that can trigger it. We speak with Alexei Morozov, an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, about his work studying the social signals of distress in mouse models, and about how animal models are helping us better understand PTSD in humans. And we talk with Dr. Monnica Williams, Associate Professor at the Universi...more

  • #411 Coal Wars (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 03 2017

    This week we're learning more about the fossil fuel that powered humanity's first industrial age, and helped set us on a course for a looming climate crisis. We'll speak to Richard Martin, energy editor at the MIT Technology Review, about his book "Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet." And we'll explore the environmental impact of coal with Jeff Deyette, assistant director of energy research in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • #410 The Big Sleep

    Feb 24 2017

    This week we take a closer look at hibernation and how it works. We speak with Kelly Drew, a neuroscientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who studies the Arctic ground squirrel, the "Usain Bolt" of hibernators. And we talk with Frank van Breukelen, a biologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who studies an animal who isn't very good at hibernating: the tenrec. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.

  • #409 Trump War On Science

    Feb 17 2017

    This week we look at what's happening to science in the first days of the Donald Trump presidency, and what might happen if we don't take action in a world where science is growing increasingly political — whether or not we want it to. Librarian John Dupuis returns to talk about what's happened so far, why he's started a chronology of this administration's affects on science, and the similarities and differences to the Canadian War on Science he tracked previously. And we speak with Katie ...more

  • #408 The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar

    Feb 10 2017

    This week, we look at the strange, curious, and sometimes amusing strategies creatures use to make it through the day. Guest host Jessie Yaros spends the hour with science writer and author Matt Simon talking about his new book "The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution's Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life's Biggest Problems". The Science for the People team is excited to welcome Jessie Yaros, a new guest host, to our team. Jessie is a doctoral student in Neurobiology and Behavior i...more

  • #407 Voices Within

    Feb 03 2017

    This week we're thinking about how we think: the ways we talk to -- and with -- ourselves, why we do it at all, and what happens when some of us hear voices that aren't our own. We spend the hour with Charles Fernyhough, Professor of Psychology at Durham University, about his book "The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk To Ourselves". More links of interest: Hearing The Voice, an interdisciplinary study of voice hearing. You can find their FAQ here. Intervoice: The Intern...more

  • #406 Running Low (Rebroadcast)

    Jan 27 2017

    This week, we're going back to a previous episode and looking across the Periodic Table and assessing the scarcity of modern society's essential elements. We're joined by Dr. Thomas Graedel, Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale University, to talk about the rare metals that play a role in our electronic devices. We'll speak to physics Professor Dr. Moses Hung-Wai Chan about our dwindling supply of helium. And we'll talk about the phosphorous that plays a critical role in mo...more

  • #405 STEM Pipeline

    Jan 20 2017

    This week we look at the current state of the STEM pipeline and what happens when people drip out. We speak with Paula Stephan, Professor of Economics at Georgia State University, about practicing "PhD contraception" in order to better match supply with realistic demand. We talk with Gary McDowell, Executive Director of Future of Research, about ways we might try to change the STEM process from the inside. And we speak with Melissa Vaught, a biochemist turned editor, about the realities of going...more

  • #404 Sex In The Sea

    Jan 13 2017

    This week we talk about sex... in the sea! Anika Hazra speaks with marine biologist Marah Hardt about her new book "Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep". We discuss the multitude of bizarre strategies marine organisms use to get it on, the obstacles they face as humans become increasingly intrusive on their sex lives, and how we can protect the integrity of marine reproduction.

  • #403 Indigenous DNA

    Jan 06 2017

    This week we take a closer look at the intersection of genetics, politics, identity, and hundreds of years of colonization. We speak with Kim TallBear, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples Technoscience and Environment and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, about her book "Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science". And we speak with Keolu Fox, a post doctoral fellow in the Division of Endocrinology and M...more

  • #402 Boozy Science (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 30 2016

    This week, we're looking back at a previous episode an discussing some science surrounding our favorite adult beverages. We'll revisit our interview with Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, about the chemistry of the brewing process. And we'll speak to researcher and winery owner Robert Hodgson, about his study exposing the shaky science of wine tasting.

  • #401 The Serengeti Rules

    Dec 23 2016

    This week we're exploring how life is regulated at very small scales -- down to the molecular level -- and how those rules and regulations also seem to apply when we zoom back out to look at environments and ecosystems across the planet. We spend the hour with author and Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin Sean Carroll talking about his new book "The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters".

  • #400 What Doesn't Kill You...

    Dec 16 2016

    This week we're discussing public perception of entomologists and their study organisms of choice: insects. We speak with Justin Schmidt, author of the new book "The Sting of the Wild", and an example of an entomologist who goes above and beyond for his passion for stinging insects, having created a sting pain index based on his personal experiences with them. He has received a lot of media attention as a result, and so we delve into what the public and other scientists think of his research, wh...more

  • #399 The Sugar Pill

    Dec 09 2016

    This week, we're taking on the science of the sugar pill. We're talking about the placebo effect, its potential benefits and its pitfalls. We speak with Erik Vance about his new book "Suggestible You: The Curious Science of your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform and Heal". And we'll talk with Kathryn Hall, a genetic epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, about why we experience the placebo effect, why some people are more open to suggestion than others, an...more

  • #398 Gifts For Nerds

    Dec 02 2016

    Once again, we're here to help you with all your nerd-specific holiday shopping with our annual gift guide for science lovers. We brought back Skepchick writer Mary Brock and science librarian John Dupuis to give us their top picks from their 2016 science reads. And we invited back Mad Art Lab's Courtney Caldwell and GeekWrapped's Simon Saval to recommend some science and geek themed gifts you won't find in a library. Visit our news section for the full book list with links and the full non-boo...more

  • #397 Risk Management

    Nov 25 2016

    This week we’re talking about risks and resources. We speak with Dr. Lianne Lefsrud, Assistant Professor of Engineering Safety and Risk Management in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta, about how engineers think about and evaluate risks, and her research into how language and conversations about resource development have changed over time. Then we'll talk with Dr. David Sauchyn, Research Professor at the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative at the University of Re...more

  • #396 Trench to Bedside

    Nov 18 2016

    This week we're taking on maggots, wounds, and diarrhea in an episode about medical problems that plague the military, so make sure your last meal is a few hours behind you before you tuck in your ear buds. We speak with Captain Mark Riddle, the director of the United States Military Diarrheal Disease Vaccine Research Program at the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, about new ways to prevent and treat travelers' diarrhea. And we talk with George Peck, a medical entomologist, about u...more

  • #395 Happy People (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 11 2016

    This week we're exploring what science can tell us about happiness. We'll speak to John Helliwell, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity, and Well-Being, about the World Happiness Report, a global project that uses tools from economics, psychology, health statistics and more to study the happiness of people and nations. And we'll speak to journalist  Michael Booth about his book "The Almost Nearly Perfect Peo...more

  • #394 On the Origin of Bad Science

    Nov 04 2016

    This week we're talking about what bad science looks like, why good scientists with good intentions often use techniques of bad science in their work, and how we may be unintentionally selecting for bad science over good science in our culture. We speak with Michael Inzlicht, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, about the replication crisis currently underway in the field of social psychology. And we talk with Paul Smaldino, Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Information Scien...more

  • #393 Check Your Facts

    Oct 28 2016

    This week we're sitting down with three experienced fact-checkers to better understand what the process of fact-checking looks like from the inside, and what the challenges are when news and politics collide. We speak with Brooke Borel, a contributing editor to Popular Science and author of the book "The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking"; Michelle Ciarrocca, a researcher, reporter, and writer; and Dave Levitan, a science journalist and author of the upcoming new book "Not a Scientist: How Politici...more

  • #392 Venomous

    Oct 21 2016

    This week we're looking at some of the animals, insects, and creatures we fear the most and the venom that makes them so powerful. Biologist and science blogger Christie Wilcox returns to talk about her first book "Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry". And Jim Olson, a physician scientist and Director of Project Violet, tells us about "Tumor Paint", a fluorescent molecule that binds to solid tumors to help guide surgeons during surgeries, which was partially derived f...more

  • #391 Effective Altruism (Rebroadcast)

    Oct 14 2016

    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."

  • #390 Decolonizing Colonization

    Oct 07 2016

    This week we're trying to wrap our head around our colonial history and the ideas of decolonization. We speak with Ryan McMahon, creator of the Indian & Cowboy podcast network, about what reconciliation and decolonization mean today and why they are necessary work still in front of us. And in a panel discussion from Skepchickcon at CONvergence 2016, panelists Emily Finke, Celia Yost, and Cassandra Phoenix think about how we can learn lessons from our colonial past so we don't repeat the same...more

  • #389 The Jazz of Physics

    Sep 30 2016

    This week we look at what science, music and art can learn from each other. Theoretical physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander, author of the new book "The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe" talks about how science and art have frequently merged in his work and life. And Pamela Romero, a neuroscience major and Honduran painter at Emory University, talks about her "Elementally Latino" sculpture project and asks you to fill out her survey as pa...more

  • #388 Fish

    Sep 23 2016

    This week on Science for the People we have a trio of fishy experts helping us look at how fish are adapted to their — sometimes extreme — environments, and what their behaviour can tell us about their intelligence and experience. We speak to Kristin O'Brien, a zoologist at the University of Alaska, about how fish manage to survive the extreme cold of Arctic waters. We talk with Heidi Golden, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Connecticut, about the Arctic grayling. And...more

  • #387 The Melting World (Rebroadcast)

    Sep 16 2016

    This week, we look back at a previous episode about how climate change is altering the face of the planet, and affecting the lives of the people who live here. Desiree Schell speaks to science writer and naturalist Christoper White, about his book "The Melting World: A Journey Across America's Vanishing Glaciers." And she's joined by sociology researcher Stephen Castles, to discuss the factors driving human migration, and how it could be affected by the shifting climate. Download "Foresight: Mig...more

  • #386 Humans Vs Robots

    Sep 09 2016

    This week we're airing a recorded panel, moderated by Desiree Schell, from the recent Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Human spaceflight captures the imagination like nothing else, but robotic probes have explored the Solar System with relative ease. We'll weigh the costs and benefits of sending humans to other planets versus sending our robotic proxies. Panelists include Amy Shira Teitel, space flight historian and author; blogger and podcaster Jim Tigwell; astr...more

  • #385 Sociolinguistics

    Sep 02 2016

    This week we're learning about the field of sociolinguistics: what it is, why it's important, and what it can tell us about our culture and our society. University of Toronto Professor Sali Tagliamonte helps us better understand the field, how her research is done, and how language changes over time in cultural and regional groups. And Dr. LeAnn Brown talks about how language cues reveal -- or more often fail to reveal -- gender and sexual preference.

  • #384 Grunt

    Aug 26 2016

    This week we're tackling the science of the soldier and how to keep them fighting when difficult conditions -- and our own human bodies and brains -- get in the way. We spend the hour with best selling science author Mary Roach, talking about her latest book "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.

  • #383 The Atomic Era (Rebroadcast)

    Aug 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."

  • #382 Risk of Going Nowhere

    Aug 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, creat...more

  • #381 The Triumph of Seeds

    Aug 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".

  • #380 Yer A Wizard Harry

    Jul 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 h...more

  • #379 A Special Hell (Rebroadcast)

    Jul 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.

  • #378 Paris Climate Agreement

    Jul 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 mod...more

  • #377 Hearing From The Humanities

    Jul 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 "...more

  • #376 Technology, Work and The Future

    Jul 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.

  • #375 Severed (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 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&nb...more

  • #374 The Ninth Planet

    Jun 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 ...more

  • #373 The Confidence Game

    Jun 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.

  • #372 The Planet Remade

    Jun 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.

  • #371 Meningitis

    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 D...more

  • #370 Me, Myself, and Why (Rebroadcast)

    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.

  • #369 Fraud and Forgery

    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, a...more

  • #368 Beyond the Galaxy

    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 ...more

  • #367 Neurodiversity

    Apr 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."

  • #366 Self-Driving Cars

    Apr 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 worl...more

  • #365 Evolutionary Psychology

    Apr 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;...more

  • #364 Combat-Ready Kitchen

    Apr 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.

  • #363 Falling Into The Fire (Rebroadcast)

    Apr 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."

  • #362 Roadkill

    Mar 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 Bro...more

  • #361 Too Hot To Handle

    Mar 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 includ...more

  • #360 Medical Marijuana

    Mar 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...more

  • #359 In The Courtroom

    Mar 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.

  • #358 Zika

    Feb 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 ...more

  • #357 The Brain Electric

    Feb 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.

  • #356 Insects En Masse

    Feb 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".

  • #355 Superstorm (Rebroadcast)

    Feb 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 Ce...more

  • #354 HIV and AIDS: Updated and Revisited

    Jan 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...more

  • #353 Scream

    Jan 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".

  • #352 Good Thinking

    Jan 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.

  • #351 Contraception

    Jan 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, ab...more

  • #350 Science In Wonderland

    Jan 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...more

  • #349 Getting Away With Murder (REBROADCAST)

    Dec 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.

  • #348 Artificial Intelligence

    Dec 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 H...more

  • #347 Where Do Camels Belong?

    Dec 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.

  • #346 Gift Giving For Nerds

    Dec 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 g...more

  • #344 Effective Altruism

    Nov 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."

  • #343 Conversations About Death

    Nov 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.

  • #342 Amazons (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 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.

  • #341 Psychedelic Treatments

    Oct 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.

  • #340 Mandatory Vaccination

    Oct 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, ...more

  • #339 Citizen Science

    Oct 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...more

  • #338 Science and the Canadian Federal Election

    Oct 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.

  • #337 Martians (REBROADCAST)

    Oct 02 2015

    This week we're celebrating exciting science and entertainment focused on Mars, by listening back to two interviews about the fascinating red planet. We're joined by "lifelong space nerd" Andy Weir, to talk about "The Martian," his gripping debut novel that was recently adapted into a big-budget movie. And we're joined by journalist Elmo Keep, to talk about her article on Mars One, a nonprofit that claims to be planning a reality show about a one-way trip to establish a Martian colony.

  • #336 Lovelace and Babbage

    Sep 25 2015

    This week we're learning about a pair of 19th-century geniuses, and the friendship that gave rise to the era of modern computers. We'll speak to artist and animator Sydney Padua about her graphic novel "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer." And we'll talk to Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math.

  • #335 Fact Checking Elections

    Sep 18 2015

    This week we're back at the intersection of science and politics, comparing economic data to partisan talking points and polling predictions to election results. We'll talk to Jim Stanford, economist at Unifor, about his report "Rhetoric & Reality: Evaluating Canada’s Economic Record Under the Harper Government." And we'll speak to pollster and consultant Donna Dasko about the science and art of polling in Canadian federal elections.

  • #334 Eye of the Beholder

    Sep 11 2015

    This week, we're learning about the history of optics, and how our perception of the world and how we see it underwent a radical transformation in 17th-century Holland. We'll spend the hour with historian, philosopher, and science writer Laura J. Snyder, talking about her book "Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek and the Reinvention of Seeing." Science for the People is now on Patreon, and is accepting your support and donations! Visit the Patreon page to get more ...more

  • #333 How to Clone a Mammoth

    Sep 04 2015

    This week we're learning about genetics research that could help preserve existing species, and might let us bring back others that have gone extinct. We'll talk to Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz about her book "How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction." And we'll speak to biologist Richard Frankham about the use of "genetic rescue" to keep isolated animal populations from becoming dangerously inb...more

  • #332 Coffee Table Science

    Aug 28 2015

    This week, we'll meet the authors of three big books that use stunning images to tell intriguing stories about the history of science. We'll discuss evolution and the building of the fossil record with invertebrate palaeontologist Paul Taylor, author of "A History of Life in 100 Fossils". Archivist Julie Halls shares stories of unheralded ingenuity from her book "Inventions that Didn't Change the World." And we'll learn about attempts to map the world in three dimensions from independe...more

  • #331 The Birth of The Pill (REBROADCAST)

    Aug 21 2015

    This week we're listening back to an episode 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.

  • #330 Animal Weapons

    Aug 14 2015

    This week, we're talking about weapons: both the ones that evolve in nature, and those created by humanity. We'll talk about the arms races that spur the development of horns and claws, warships and nuclear weapons, with Doug Emlen, Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, and author of "Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle." Don't forget to fill out our Listener Feedback Survey!

  • #329 Coal Wars

    Aug 07 2015

    This week we're learning more about the fossil fuel that powered humanity's first industrial age, and helped set us on a course for a looming climate crisis. We'll speak to Richard Martin, energy editor at the MIT Technology Review, about his book "Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet." And we'll explore the environmental impact of coal with Jeff Deyette, assistant director of energy research in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • #328 Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll

    Jul 31 2015

    This week we're looking at the science - and surprising sophistication - of the instincts we serve in the pursuit of pleasure. We're joined by science writer and journalist Zoe Cormier to talk about her book "Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science." And we'll indulge our passion for nerdy gift giving with Simon Saval, co-founder of GeekWrapped.

  • #327 Research, Regulation, and Ethics

    Jul 24 2015

    This week we're learning about the regulatory frameworks that try to balance scientific progress with the safety of research subjects. We'll speak to Holly Fernandez Lynch and I. Glenn Cohen of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School about their book "Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future." And we'll speak to health journalist and editor Hilda Bastian about research, journalism, ethics and "The Chocolate Hoax....more

  • #326 Bruno Pontecorvo

    Jul 17 2015

    This week, we're digging into a tale of intrigue that may have changed the course of physics research in the 20th century. We'll spend the hour with Frank Close, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, talking about his book "Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy." We'll learn about Pontecorvo's groundbreaking career in particle physics, his defection to the Soviet Union, and the accusations that he tr...more

  • #325 Happy People

    Jul 10 2015

    This week we're exploring what science can tell us about happiness. We'll speak to John Helliwell, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity, and Well-Being, about the World Happiness Report, a global project that uses tools from economics, psychology, health statistics and more to study the happiness of people and nations. And we'll speak to journalist  Michael Booth about his book "The Almost Nearly Perfect Peo...more

  • #324 High Price (REBROADCAST)

    Jul 03 2015

    This week we're revisiting an episode about the science and policy of treating drug addiction. We're joined by psychology professor and researcher Carl Hart to talk about his book "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society." And we'll speak to Donald MacPherson, Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, about harm reduction strategies to reduce the negative consequences of drug use.

  • #323 Alzheimer's

    Jun 26 2015

    This week we're learning more about Alzheimer's disease, from the perspective of a researcher and a patient. We'll discuss Alzheimer's and brain degeneration with Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati, neurobiologist and researcher at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto. And we'll get a first hand account of living with the disease from journalist Greg O'Brien, author of "On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's."

  • #322 Biohacking

    Jun 19 2015

    This week we're talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We'll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito Jankowski, co-founder of Silicon Valley's BioCurious. And we'll talk to transdisciplinary artist and educator Heather Dewey-Hagborg about her art projects exploring our relationship with genetics and privacy.

  • #321 Galileo's Middle Finger

    Jun 12 2015

    This week, we're talking about justice, truth and social activism, and how they influence scientists and their research. We'll spend the hour with Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. We'll discuss her experience as a scientist and activist, and her book "Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science." 

  • #320 Dataclysm

    Jun 05 2015

    This week we're looking at how powerful computers and massive data sets are changing the we study each other, scientifically and socially. We're joined by machine learning researcher Hanna Wallach, to talk about the definition of "big data," and social science research techniques that use data about individual people to model patterns in human behavior. And we'll speak to Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid and author of the OkTrends blog, about his book "Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think...more

  • #319 A Special Hell

    May 29 2015

    This week we're 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.

  • #318 Come As You Are

    May 22 2015

    This week we're looking at the intersection of human sexuality, research and education. We're joined by sexuality educator and blogger Emily Nagoski, to talk about her book "Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life." And we'll speak to medical humanities and bioethics professor Alice Dreger, about her experience live-tweeting her son's abstinence-focused sex-ed class.

  • #317 Secure Communications

    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.

  • #316 Sports Science

    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.

  • #315 Pests in the City

    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.

  • #314 Severed

    Apr 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.

  • #313 Heavy Metal Birds

    Apr 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.

  • #312 Impossible Space

    Apr 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.

  • #311 On Intelligence

    Apr 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.

  • #310 Circumcision

    Mar 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 Fel...more

  • #309 Celebrity and Science

    Mar 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.

  • #308 Women in STEM

    Mar 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,&n...more

  • #307 Pavlov

    Mar 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." 

  • #306 Superstorm

    Feb 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.

  • #305 Struck By Genius

    Feb 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.

  • #304 Alan Turing

    Feb 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."

  • #303 Shocked

    Feb 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.

  • #302 A Sting in the Tale

    Jan 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 p...more

  • #301 The Birth of The Pill

    Jan 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.

  • #300 Private Sector Space

    Jan 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.

  • #299 Falling Into The Fire

    Jan 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."

  • #298 Technocreep

    Jan 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.

  • #297 Falling Upwards REBROADCAST

    Dec 26 2014

    This week, we're revisiting an epsiode about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We'll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his book "Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air." We'll talk about the technology of 19th century ballooning, and the pioneering men and women who took to the skies and changed our view of the world. And we'll share a list of science-based charities to help you spread evidence-based holiday cheer.

  • #296 Amazons

    Dec 19 2014

    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.

  • #295 Science Up Your Holidays 2014

    Dec 12 2014

    This week, we're observing our annual holiday tradition, helping you find gifts for the science lovers on your list. We'll hear from some of our favorite past guests as they share their most-treasured science books from 2014, as well as classics to help fill out anyone’s science library. And we'll speak to writer/illustrator James Lu Dunbar about "The Universe Verse," a scientifically-accurate rhyming comic book about the origins of the universe. Visit our blog for more information a...more

  • #294 Survival Doc

    Dec 05 2014

    This week, we’re learning about the limits of the human body, and the essential science of survival. We'll talk to Dr. James Hubbard, creator of TheSurvivalDoctor.com, about emergency measures to take when a disaster has cut off your access to medical care. And Dr. Rob Tarzwell of One Minute Medical School returns to explain what to do - and not do - when you're stranded in the wilderness.

  • #293 The Edge of the Sky

    Nov 28 2014

    This week we're talking about the mindbending science trying to understand the inner workings of the Universe. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel returns to discuss the BICEP2 experiment, and its search for the fingerprints of cosmic inflation. And we'll talk to theoretical cosmologist Roberto Trotta about his book "The Edge of the Sky: All You Need to Know about the All-There-Is," which explains the history and concepts of cosmology using the 1,000 most common words in the English language.

  • #292 The Psychopath Whisperer

    Nov 21 2014

    This week on Science for the People, we’re looking at the science of psychopathy. We’ll spend the hour learning about social science research, neuroimaging and behavioral therapies with Kent Kiehl, neuroscience researcher, lecturer and author of "The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience." For more information on screenings of the "Silence of the Labs" documentary, visit Evidence for Democracy.

  • #291 The One About Ebola

    Nov 14 2014

    This week, we're talking about Ebola: how it works, how it spreads, and how we're trying to stop it. We'll talk to infectious disease epidemiologist, professor and blogger Tara C. Smith about how Ebola is being handled here in North America, and perceptions surrounding the Ebola outbreak. We'll also speak with physician Dr. Tim Jagatic from Doctors Without Borders Canada and discuss the situation on the ground in Africa, and we'll speak to immunology professor Vincent Racaniello about the race t...more

  • #290 Understanding Neuroscience

    Nov 07 2014

    This week we're looking at the ways we try to understand the inner workings of the brain. We'll talk to University College London researcher Cliodhna O'Connor about patterns in the way the public interprets neuroscience news. And we'll ask Duncan Astle, Program Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, about "neuromyths," popular misconceptions about the way the brain functions, and the strengths and weaknesses of modern brain imaging techniques.

  • #289 Bodies Everywhere

    Oct 31 2014

    This week we're looking at the morbid and fascinating history of our attempts to grapple with disease and death. We're joined by medical historian Richard Barnett to talk about his book "The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration." And we'll speak to mortician and blogger Caitlin Doughty about her new book "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory", and her ongoing YouTube series "Ask a Mortician", about the history, science and cultural attitudes attach...more

  • #288 Science and Shakespeare

    Oct 24 2014

    This week we're looking at the way science influenced the work of the greatest author in English, and what modern scholars think about its origins. We're joined by journalist and author Dan Falk, to talk about his book "The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright's Universe." And we'll speak to Shakespeare scholar and blogger Stanley Wells, for his perspective on the question of who actually wrote Shakespeare's works.

  • #287 Troublesome Inheritance

    Oct 17 2014

    This week, we're looking at the intersection of race, history and genetics in science writer Nicholas Wade's 2014 book "A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History." DNA researcher Jennifer Raff and science journalist David Dobbs share their critiques of the claim that differences between genetically distinct "races" are responsible for global divergence in cultural and political structures. And blogger Scicurious walks us through the (delicious) basics of the sc...more

  • #286 An Epidemic of Rumors (REBROADCAST)

    Oct 10 2014

    This week, we're revisiting an episode about the power of stories and innuendo to shape the public perception of science. We'll speak to author Jon Lee about his book "An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease." And we're joined by Dr. Paul A. Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to get the scientific perspective of the safety and effectivenes...more

  • #285 High Price

    Oct 03 2014

    This week we're looking at the science and policy of treating drug addiction. We're joined by psychology professor and researcher Carl Hart to talk about his book "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society." And we'll speak to Donald MacPherson, Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, about harm reduction strategies to reduce the negative consequences of drug use.

  • #284 Edible

    Sep 26 2014

    This week, we're looking at the environmental impact of foods we eat, and others that we should. We'll speak to Daniella Martin, host of the insect cooking/travel show "Girl Meets Bug," about her book "Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet." And we'll talk about the environmental effects of salmon farming with Peter Bridson, Aquaculture Research Manager for the Seafood Watch program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

  • #283 Mental Illness Myths

    Sep 19 2014

    This week, we're listening to "Mental Illness Myths," a panel discussion about public perceptions of mental health  at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Megan Press, Miri Mogilevsky, Julia Burke and Olivia James discuss misconceptions about diagnosis, treatment and symptoms, and the harm that stigma does to individuals affected by mental illness.

  • #282 Cities of the Future

    Sep 12 2014

    This week, we're listening to "Cities of The Future," a panel discussion about the future of human living spaces recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Jamie Bernstein, Ryan Consell and Shawn Lawrence Otto discuss how cities can adapt to accommodate the changing demographics, economics, and environment of a warming planet.

  • #281 Getting Away With Murder

    Sep 05 2014

    This week, we're listening to "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.

  • #280 Hypatia and Women in STEM (REBROADCAST)

    Aug 29 2014

    This week, we're revisiting an episode looking back in history and to the modern day, to discuss women who defend and advance science and learning. We speak to author Faith Justice, about her book "Hypatia: Her Life and Times," which examines the literary myths and primary sources on the life of the famous philosopher. And we're joined by Professor Zahra Hazari, to discuss her work on gender issues in science education.

  • #279 Starlight Detectives

    Aug 22 2014

    This week, we're exploring the night sky and the history of astronomy. Physics professor Alan Hirshfeld joins us to talk about his book "Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe." And we'll speak to stargazer Chris Beckett about amateur astronomy, and his work with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

  • #278 Garden of Marvels

    Aug 15 2014

    This week we're learning about botany and the colorful science of gardening. Author Ruth Kassinger joins us to discuss her book "A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of the Way Plants Work." And we'll speak to NASA researcher Gioia Massa about her work to solve the technical challenges of gardening in space. 

  • #277 Science and Politics

    Aug 08 2014

    This week we're talking about science and evidence in the political process. We'll talk to Dan Kahan, Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, about the Cultural Cognition Project, which studies group values and perceptions of risk in science communication. We'll speak to Shane Trimmer, Executive Director of Franklin's List, about their work to elect pro-science candidates. And biologist Katie Gibbs returns with an update on Evidence for Democracy, which ad...more

  • #276 Game Change

    Aug 01 2014

    This week we're looking at the math and science of business decisions. We'll speak to David McAdams, Duke University Professor of Business Administration and Economics, about his book "Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations." And we'll talk to Vassar College Economics Professor Benjamin Ho about his economic analysis of apologies.

  • #275 Perv (REBROADCAST)

    Jul 25 2014

    This week, we're listening back to a discussion of taboo sexual practices, and whether they're really as unusual as we think. Psychologist and author Jesse Bering talks about his book, "Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us." And we'll speak to Nicole Prause, Principal Investigator at UCLA's Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience (SPAN) Laboratory, on her neurological perspective that raises doubts about self-reported sex addiction.

  • #274 Coffee and Cigarettes

    Jul 18 2014

    This week we're learning about some of the legal chemicals that regulate the moods of millions of people every day. Journalist Murray Carpenter joins us to talk about his book "Caffeinated - How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us." And science blogger Dr. David Gorski explains the state of research on the effects of e-cigarettes.

  • #273 The V-Word

    Jul 11 2014

    This week, we're looking at the social and biological science of female sex organs. We'll talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine, about the creation and use of lab-grown vaginas. Biology professor Marie Herberstein exposes the bias against female genitalia in scientific studies. And science writer Emily Anthes tells us about the history and promising future of female condoms. 

  • #272 Science and the Death Penalty

    Jul 04 2014

    This week, we're looking at the science of the ultimate criminal punishment. Pharmacologist and science writer David Kroll joins us to discuss the chemistry of the drugs used in lethal injections. We'll talk to law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, about the rates of false convictions in death penalty cases. And we'll speak to Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Dr. James Harris about the complex issues at the intersection of capital punishment and i...more

  • #271 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You

    Jun 27 2014

    This week, we're learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We're joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada's Daily Planet, to talk about his book "Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World." And we'll talk to astronomer and author Phil Plait about Science Getaways, his company that offers educational vacation experiences for science lovers.

  • #270 Environmental Debt

    Jun 20 2014

    This week, we're looking at how worldwide environmental challenges interact with our increasingly global economy. We'll speak to Amy Larkin, founder of Nature Means Business, about her book "Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy." Journalist Ken Silverstein joins us to explain the way climate change is dividing the insurance and energy industries. And we'll talk to Arjen Hoekstra, professor of Water Management at the University of Twente, about the effects o...more

  • #269 Sonic Wonderland

    Jun 13 2014

    This week, we're exploring the science of sound and hearing. We'll talk to Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford, about his book "Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound." And we'll speak to Andrew Wise, Senior Research Fellow at Bionics Institute, about a gene therapy technique to enhance the function of cochlear implants.

  • #268 Extreme Medicine

    Jun 06 2014

    This week, we're on the frontiers of medicine, from the fabulous to the foolhardy. We'll talk to Dr. Kevin Fong, co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at University College London, about his book "Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century." And we're joined by Dr. Sydnee and Justin McElroy, hosts of the podcast "Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine."

  • #267 Ephemeral Particles

    May 30 2014

    This week we're learning about some of the many invisible particles that surround us. We'll speak to astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana about his book "Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe." And we'll talk to ecology professor Donald Canfield about his book "Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History."

  • #266 Always More Health Controversies

    May 23 2014

    This week, we're tackling more controversial topics in the realm of healthcare. We'll speak to Edward Archer, post-doctoral fellow in the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, about the tendency toward psuedoscience in nutrition data gathering. And Dr. Keith Norris, editor-in-chief of the journal Ethnicity & Disease, joins us to talk about the intersection of race and medicine.

  • #265 An Epidemic of Rumors

    May 16 2014

    This week, we're looking at the power of stories and innuendo to shape the public perception of science. We'll speak to author Jon Lee about his book "An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease." And we're joined by Dr. Paul A. Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to get the scientific perspective of the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations.

  • #264 The Infested Mind

    May 09 2014

    This week, we're looking at the relationship between insects and humans, both mental and physical. We'll speak to entomologist and essayist Jeffrey Lockwood about his book "The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects." And we'll talk to entomologist Eric Benbow about the use of insects as a tool for forensic investigation.

  • #263 Internet Things

    May 02 2014

    This week, we're looking at controversies over connectivity, both online and in the physical world. University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist walks us through the arguments over net neutrality. And we'll speak to researcher Rob van Kranenburg about his book "The Internet of Things. A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID."

  • #262 Me, Myself, and Why

    Apr 25 2014

    This week, we're 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.

  • #261 Accidents and Eccentricity

    Apr 18 2014

    This week, we're learning about some of the most fortunate accidents and fascinating personalities in the history of science. We'll talk to astrophysicist and author Mario Livio about his book "Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe." And we'll talk to historian W. Bernard Carlson about his book "Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age."

  • #260 Running Low

    Apr 11 2014

    This week, we're looking across the Periodic Table and assessing the scarcity of modern society's essential elements. We're joined by Dr. Thomas Graedel, Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale University, to talk about the rare metals that play a role in our electronic devices. We'll speak to physics Professor Dr. Moses Hung-Wai Chan about our dwindling supply of helium. And we'll talk about the phosphorous that plays a critical role in modern agriculture, with ecology p...more

  • #259 News From The Dark

    Apr 04 2014

    This week, we're peering out into the black to learn about deepest space, and our own night sky. We'll talk to Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, about recent measurements of gravity waves, and what they tell us about the birth of the Universe. We'll speak to journalist and essayist Paul Bogard about his book "The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light." And Noisy Astronomer Nicole Gugliucci tells us about a project using citizen science to map the surface of the moon...more

  • #258 Emerging Infections

    Mar 28 2014

    This week, we're discussing invading organisms large and small. We'll talk to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to learn why (and how) researchers are creating new strains of flu virus. We're joined by marine invertebrate researcher Dr. Benjamin Miner, to talk about the wasting disease killing starfish on the west coast of North America. And we'll talk to physicist Ross ...more

  • #257 Falling Upwards

    Mar 21 2014

    This week, we're learning about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We'll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his newest book, "Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air." We'll talk about the technology of 19th century ballooning, and the pioneering men and women who took to the skies and changed our view of the world. (For more information on the Strathcona Freethought Society, check out their Facebook and Meetup pa...more

  • #256 Beauty is A Beast

    Mar 14 2014

    This week we're exploring the science of beauty products and procedures. We'll talk to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, co-founder of thebeautybrains.com, about his book "It's OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick." And we'll speak to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay about plastic surgery tourism, and safety regulation in the industry.

  • #255 Impossible Computing

    Mar 07 2014

    This week we're learning about the science and math on the cutting edge of computing research. We'll talk to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Scott Aaronson about the hype and the hope for the field of quantum computing. And we'll discuss one of the most intriguing open problems in mathematics with Lance Fortnow, Chair of the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, and author of "The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible." ...more

  • #254 On Genius

    Feb 28 2014

    This week we're thinking about thinking, and the capacity of the not-so-humble human brain. We'll speak to science writer Fritjof Capra about his book "Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius." We'll take a look at IQ testing with author and psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman. And we'll talk to Chelsea Du Fresne and Andrew Tripp about this year's Skeptech conference.

  • #253 The Philosophical Breakfast Club

    Feb 21 2014

    This week, we're looking back at four remarkable minds whose weekly meetings set the stage for a revolution in science and technology. We're joined by science historian Laura J. Snyder, to talk about her book "The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends who Transformed Science and Changed the World." And we'll speak to "Surly" Amy Davis Roth and Skepchick contributor Melanie Mallon, about the science track at CONvergence 2014.

  • #252 Everyday Science and Math

    Feb 14 2014

    This week we're looking at some ordinary life experiences that harbor extraordinary science and math secrets. Filmmaker and author Simon Singh joins us to talk about his book "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets". Mathematician Christopher McKinlay shares his experience using statistics to hack online dating. And we'll talk to culinary columnist J. Kenji Lopez-Alt about the science of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

  • #251 Countdown

    Feb 07 2014

    This week, we're looking at population and politics, and what we can do to make human life on Earth more sustainable. We'll speak to journalist and author Alan Weisman, about his book "Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth."And we're joined by Dr. Chris Tyler, Director of the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, to talk about the 20 top things scientists need to know about policy-making.

  • #250 For Frack's Sake

    Jan 31 2014

    This week, it's another foray into the realm of science and politics, and the messy way they influence each other. We're joined by Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy, to discuss the evidence and the arguments about the controversial oil extraction technique known as "fracking." And we'll talk to science librarian and blogger John Dupuis, about the Canadian government and its closure of Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries.

  • #249 Health Controversies Again

    Jan 24 2014

    This week, we're looking at controversial topics at the intersection of healthcare and ethics. Law professor and author Timothy Caulfield returns to discuss the rise of stem cell tourism at clinics worldwide. And science writer David Dobbs joins us to explain the showdown between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and personal genomics company 23andMe.

  • #248 Perv

    Jan 17 2014

    This week, we're discussing taboo sexual practices, and whether they're really as unusual as we think. Psychologist and author Jesse Bering returns to the show to talk about his newest book, "Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us." And we'll speak to Nicole Prause, Principal Investigator at UCLA's Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience (SPAN) Laboratory, on her neurological perspective that raises doubts about self-reported sex addiction.

  • #247 The Atomic Era

    Jan 10 2014

    This week, we're 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."

  • #246 Last Ape Standing

    Jan 03 2014

    This week, we're learning about the past and the future of the human race on the planet we've come to dominate. Rachelle Saunders talks to Chip Walter, founder of AllThingsHuman.net, about his book "Last Ape Standing:The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived." And she speaks to University of Cincinnati paleoecologist Brooke Crowley about the evidence that human activity is the primary driver of change in our ecosystem.

  • #245 Boozy Science

    Dec 27 2013

    This week, we're discussing some science surrounding our favorite adult beverages. We'll revisit our interview with Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, about the chemistry of the brewing process. And we'll speak to researcher and winery owner Robert Hodgson, about his study exposing the shaky science of wine tasting.

  • #244 Science Has A People Problem

    Dec 20 2013

    This week, we're talking about the people, passions and personalities that shape the pursuit of science. Desiree Schell sits down with Dr. Morton Meyers, Distinguished Professor of Radiology and Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, to talk about his 2012 book "Prize Fight: The Race and the Rivalry to be the First in Science." And she'll speak with linguists James Winters and Sean Roberts, about their study on the strange and sometimes spurious correlations between linguis...more

  • #243 Science Up Your Holidays

    Dec 13 2013

    This week, we're helping add some science to your holiday season. We'll hear from some of our favorite past guests, and members of the Science for the People team, as they share their most-treasured science books from 2013, as well as classics to help fill out anyone’s science library. Physicist and author Aaron Santos joins us to run some fascinating Christmas-themed Fermi Equations. We'll speak to Rose Eveleth and Ben Lillie, creators of Science Studio, who'll help us stay...more

  • #242 Time Warped

    Dec 06 2013

    This week, we're learning more about the fourth dimension, with a look at the brain science and the physics of time. Desiree Schell speaks to BBC journalist Claudia Hammond about her book "Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception." And astrophysicist and blogger Ethan Siegel returns to talk to Rachelle Saunders about the physics of time travel.

  • #241 Against Their Will

    Nov 29 2013

    This week, we're looking at what happens when medical research clashes with basic ethics. Desiree Schell speaks to author Allen Hornblum about his book "Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America." And she'll talk to science journalist Erika Check Hayden about the controversy over genetic tests for social traits.

  • #240 Humorology

    Nov 22 2013

    This week, we'll speak to a trio of online experts for a look at the lighter side of science. Desiree Schell welcomes favorite guest Scicurious, to talk about the 2013 IgNobel Prizes. Rachelle Saunders speaks to researcher and blogger Derek Lowe, about the chemicals that he refuses to work with.  And we're joined by online video veteran Ze Frank to talk about his "True Facts" series.

  • #239 Science and The Shutdown

    Nov 15 2013

    When the United States Congress forced a 16-day government shutdown, nearly all government research funding was put on hold. Now that the latest budget impasse is over, we'll discuss the lingering effects of that funding gap. We're joined by Andrew Rosenberg, Director of the Center for Science and Democracy, John Sonntag, Instrument Team Lead for NASA's Operation IceBridge,  J. Marshall Shepherd, Director for the Program in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, a...more

  • #236 Fukushima

    Oct 25 2013

    This week, Rachelle Saunders spends the hour discussing the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor. She'll examine the impacts on the environment,  public health and the reputation of nuclear power, with Dr. Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, and former project director of the Independent Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Rob Tarzwell, specialist in nuclear medicine and psychiatry, and creator of ...more

  • #235 Food Sustainability

    Oct 18 2013

    This week, we're exploring the technological, environmental and economic challenges of feeding the human race. Desiree Schell spends the hour with Valentine Cadieux, professor of Sociology and Geology at the University of Minnesota, and graduate researcher Emily Cassidy. They'll discuss the sustainability of current global food production, and look forward to how those systems can adapt to keep up with an expanding human population. And we'll speak to researcher and blogger D...more

  • #234 Science For The People

    Oct 11 2013

    This week, Skeptically Speaking becomes Science For The People. Hosts Desiree Schell, Rachelle Saunders and Marie-Claire Shanahan discuss the new name, the motivation for the change, and how it conveys their vision for the show. We'll speak to researcher Alice Bell about the history and politics of the radical science movement of the 1970's. And researcher and blogger Scicurious gives us a preview of GirlGeekCon 2013.

  • #233 Poop

    Oct 04 2013

    This week, we’re skipping to the tail end of the digestive tract, to learn some fascinating facts about feces. Rachelle Saunders welcomes science journalist Maryn McKenna back to the show to discuss human gut bacteria, and the biome-boosting power of fecal transplants. Desiree Schell speaks to anthropologist Cecil Lewis about what studying ancient poo can tell us about the evolution of the human microbiome. And Rachelle speaks to zoologist Eric Warrant about how some sp...more

  • #232 Food Science

    Sep 27 2013

    This week, we’re exploring the everyday experiments that take place in our very own kitchens. Desiree Schell speaks to Guy Crosby, Science Editor for America’s Test Kitchen, about his book “The Science of Good Cooking.” And geneticist and science writer Torah Kachur returns to the show, to take a scientifically informed look at the future of food.

  • #231 Thinking About Thinking

    Sep 20 2013

    This week, we’re diving back into neuroscience, to learn how common conceptions of the brain stand up to real research. Desiree Schell speaks to neurologist and author Robert Burton, about his book A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves. She’s joined by neuroradiologist Jeff Anderson, to get the scientific perspective on the differences between the brain’s right and left hemispheres. And she’ll speak to...more

  • #230 Bug Music

    Sep 13 2013

    This week, we’re jamming to the rhythm of the insect world. Desiree speaks to musician and philosopher David Rothenberg, author of the book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise, about the possible insect inspirations for human music. And she’s joined by entomologist Gwen Pearson, A.K.A. Bug Girl, to talk about the interesting ways that insects make sounds with their bodies.

  • #229 The Way of Science

    Sep 06 2013

    This week, we’re taking science out of the lab and into everyday life. Rachelle Saunders speaks to Dennis R. Trumble, Senior Biomedical Engineer and Instructor of Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital, about his book The Way of Science: Finding Truth and Meaning in a Scientific Worldview. Desiree Schell talks to Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, about the top 10 mistakes the British public make about statistics. And Desiree speaks to...more

  • #228 Monster Mash

    Aug 30 2013

    This week, we’re telling spooky stories about monsters both real and imagined. We’ll speak to science writer and blogger Frank Swain about his book How to Make a Zombie: The Real Life (and Death) Science of Reanimation and Mind Control. And we’re joined by science writer Matt Kaplan to discuss his book The Science of Monsters, about the possible real-world inspiration for some of fiction's most enduring creatures.

  • #227 Math on Trial

    Aug 22 2013

    This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders explores the ways that math can help (and hinder) the pursuit of justice. She speaks to mathematician and University of Paris Professor Leila Schneps, co-author of the book Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom. And she’s joined by Patrick Ball, to talk about his work as Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

  • #226 Robots!

    Aug 16 2013

    This week, it’s an hour on robots! We’ll speak to John Long, Director of the Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory at Vassar College, about his book Darwin’s Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology. And guest host Rachelle Saunders speaks to Engineering Professor Steven Waslander about the autonomous vehicles of the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge.

  • #225 Extra Sensory

    Aug 09 2013

    This week, we’re examining the scientific perspective on “psychic powers” like telepathy, telekinesis and remote viewing. We’ll speak to science author Brian Clegg about his new book Extra Sensory: The Science and Pseudoscience of Telepathy and Other Powers of the Mind. And we’ll speak to Ricardo Chavarriaga Lozano, researcher in non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, about experiments working on connecting different animals directly through the...more

  • #224 The Half-Life of Facts

    Aug 02 2013

    This week, guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends an hour exploring knowledge and certainty, and how they change over time. She’ll speak to Samuel Arbesman, applied mathematician and fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, about his book The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Khow Has an Expiration Date. And we’re joined by computer science and biology professor Mark Daley, to discuss the value of using computational thinking to be...more

  • #223 Weird Life

    Jul 26 2013

    This week, we’re learning about the search for strange and exotic lifeforms, in outer space, in overlooked corners on Earth, and even deep within our own tissues. We’ll speak to David Toomey, Director of the Program for Professional Writing and Technical Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, about his book Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own. And ethicist and futurist George Dvorsky returns to the show to discus...more

  • #222 The Evolution of Language

    Jul 19 2013

    This week, it’s an hour on the evolution of language. Linguist, philosopher, author and activist Noam Chomsky joins us to discuss the concept of universal grammar, and the possibility of a human genetic capacity to create and use language. Terrence Deacon, Chair of Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, talks about the structure of language, and how some common features might be required to make language useful. And we’ll speak to biologist Con Slobodch...more

  • #221 War on Science

    Jul 12 2013

    This week we’re looking at threats to science and critical thinking, and how you can sort fact from fiction. York University science librarian John Dupuis joins us to discuss what he calls the Canadian government’s War on Science. And Chris MacDonald director of the Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Program at Ryerson University, joins us to talk about his textbook The Power of Critical Thinking, which can help you navigate the hyperbole and misinformation...more

  • #220 Community Specific Science

    Jul 05 2013

    This week, we’re looking at the ways that science and medicine impact specific communities. We’ll speak to biologist and science educator Danielle N. Lee about the state of science journalism at media sources that serve minority audiences. Microbiologist and public health researcher Rebecca Kreston explains why (and how) some diseases target specific groups. And Dr. Joe Henrich, Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution at the...more

  • #219 Kingdom of Rarities

    Jun 28 2013

    This week, we’re learning about ecology and biodiversity, and the preservation of endangered (and even extinct) species. We’re joined by Eric Dinerstein, Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund, to discuss his new book The Kingdom of Rarities, about the challenges involved in studying rare and exotic animals. And we speak to Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at Duke University, about his arguments against pla...more

  • #218 Historic Discoveries

    Jun 21 2013

    This week we’re looking at science history, with two books about the passion and perseverance that drive the pursuit of scientific discovery. We’re joined by science writer Mark Anderson, to talk about his book The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus. And science writer Jessica Wapner returns to discuss her new book The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at th...more

  • #217 Money Matters

    Jun 14 2013

    This week, we’re looking at some of the less savory effects of global trade and market economies. We’ll speak to Mark Harrison, Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine and Professor of the History of Medicine at Oxford University, about his book Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease. And we speak to Nora Szech, Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Bamberg, about her research into the ways that markets influence moral deci...more

  • #216 The Evolution of Aging

    Jun 07 2013

    This week, we’re looking at the aging process, and how science and medicine are treating it as a problem to be solved. We’ll talk to Michael Rose, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine about the evolution of aging   And we’ll speak to Alex Zhavoronkov, creator of the Aging Research Portfolio, and author of The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Bi...more

  • #215 Breasts

    May 31 2013

    This week, we’re discussing the function, evolution and complicated social norms attached to the human female breast. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to freelance health and science journalist Florence Williams, about her New York Times notable book  Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History. And researcher and blogger Scicurious returns to discuss the work of a French researcher who claims that wearing a bra can harm, rather than help, attempts to ward of the effects of gravit...more

  • #214 Coding Life

    May 24 2013

    This week, we’re taking a closer look at the code that runs our computers, and permeates so much of our lives. Desiree Schell talks to Stephen Gold, Vice President of Watson Solutions at IBM Software Group, about new healthcare applications for cognitive computing technology. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to Sergei Maslov, a researcher in computational biology at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, to learn about the similarities between computer code and gene...more

  • #213 Bird Brains

    May 17 2013

    This week, we’re looking at birds, and what the study of their behavior and anatomy can tell us about ourselves. We’ll talk to Dr. John Marzluff, professor of Avian social ecology and demography at the University of Washington, about his book Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans. And we’ll speak to artist and illustrator Katrina van Grouw about The Unfeathered Bird, her book that looks at bird anatomy below th...more

  • #212 Star Stuff

    May 10 2013

    This week, Skeptically Speaking looks to the stars that light up the night sky, and fuse hydrogen and helium into the elements that make life possible. Science writer Jennifer Ouellette examines the possible evidence of ancient supernovae in bacterial fossils. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel explains the controversy surrounding the so-called black hole firewall paradox. And astronomer Pamela Gay of CosmoQuest discusses the impact of U.S. sequester budget cuts on he...more

  • #211 The Year Without Summer

    May 03 2013

    This week, we’re looking at the explosive geology of volcanoes, and how they shape our world both physically and politically. We’ll speak to climate researcher Nicholas Klingaman, about his book The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History. And we’re joined by geologist Jacob Lowenstern, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, about the massive volcano that drives the geologic activity of the Yellowstone...more

  • #210 Spillover

    Apr 26 2013

    This week, we take a sobering look at infectious diseases in animals, and the scary things that happen when those infections spread to humans. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan talk to journalist David Quammen about his book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. And science journalist Maryn McKenna returns to give as an update on the H7N9 bird flu, and how it’s being reported by the media.

  • #209 Drinking Water

    Apr 19 2013

    This week, we're looking at the science and the history of the water that makes life and society possible. We'll speak to law and environment professor James Salzman, about his book Drinking Water: A History. And we're joined by Juewen Liu, chemistry professor at the University of Waterloo, to talk about his work using DNA to detect water-borne impurities that could make water unsafe.

  • #208 Brain on Fire

    Apr 12 2013

    This week, we’re learning about the brain, and the fascinating – and devastating – things that can happen when its functions are disrupted. We’ll speak with journalist Susannah Cahalan, about her bestselling memoir Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness. And we’re joined by Dr. Rob Tarzwell, to talk about neurological disorders that mimic psychiatric conditions.

  • #207 Paleofantasy

    Apr 05 2013

    This week, we’re taking a look at the past, present and future of food, and what science has to say about some popular health trends. We’re joined by biology professor Marlene Zuk, to talk about her new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live. And guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to Koert Van Mensvoort, director of the Next Nature Network, about the cultural implications of lab-grown meat products.

  • #206 Frankenstein's Cat

    Mar 29 2013

    This week, we’re looking at how biotechnology is super-charging the toolkit for customizing our pets, affecting the use of animals in medicine and livestock, and changing our relationship with the animal world. We’re joined by science writer Emily Anthes, to talk about her book Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts. And guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to futurist George Dvorsky, Director of the Rights of Non-Human Persons program ...more

  • #205 Rat Island

    Mar 22 2013

    This week, we’re looking at invasive predators, changing ecosystems, and the ethical questions raised by killing one species to save another. We’ll speak to science journalist Will Stolzenburg, about his book Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World’s Greatest Wildlife Rescue. And researcher and blogger Bug Girl returns to educate us about insect conservation.

  • #204 Mars Rocks!

    Mar 15 2013

    This week, we’re looking one orbit outward, at the little red planet that’s inspired so much science and science fiction. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan talks to University of Tennessee geologist Linda Kah, about her work as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, analyzing the images sent back by the Curiosity rover. And she’ll speak to geologist Chris Herd, curator of the University of Alberta’s meteorite collection, about&n...more

  • #203 The Genius of Dogs

    Mar 08 2013

    This week, we’re taking a look at man’s best friend through the lens of current research.  We’ll talk to Brian Hare, director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center and co-founder of Dognition, about his book The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think. Science writer Virginia Hughes breaks down the genetic history separating dogs from wolves. And author Deborah Blum explains why chocolate is so dangerous for our canine companions.

  • #202 The Altruism Equation

    Mar 01 2013

    This week. we’re looking at what science has to say about the origins of selfless – and even self-sacrificing – behavior. We’ll speak to biology professor Lee Alan Dugatkin, about his book The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness. And we’ll discuss altruism from a neurological perspective, with Duke University Neuroscientist Steve Chang, whose research in monkeys looks at how their brains process and record helpful inclinations...more

  • #201 Bad Pharma

    Feb 22 2013

    This week, we’re taking a look at the questionable practices and suspect science employed by the companies that make our most widely used prescription drugs. We’ll speak to Dr. Ben Goldacre, about his book Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients. And we’re joined by Dr. Steven Novella, to talk about the practical pitfalls of using animals to test drugs and procedures meant for humans.

  • #200 The Science of Beer

    Feb 15 2013

    This week, we’re pouring over the science of that most beloved beverage, beer! Guest host Rachelle Saunders is joined by Dr. Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis. We’ll take an in-depth look at the chemistry of the brewing process, and everything from flavor to foam. And Dr. Rob Tarzwell explains why an effective hangover cure continues to elude us.

  • #199 Fate of the Species

    Feb 08 2013

    This week, we’re looking at the ways that people are changing the planet, and the consequences for all of us if we don’t start doing it responsibly. We’re joined by Fred Guterl, Executive Editor at Scientific American, to discuss his book The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It. From climate change to superbugs, we’ll talk about the ways humanity could take itself out, and how (or if) we can stop it before ...more

  • #198 Nature's Compass

    Feb 01 2013

    This week, we’re looking at some of the amazing abilities exhibited by our animal cousins. We’ll speak to James Gould, co-author of Nature’s Compass: The Mystery of Animal Navigation, about the varying strategies animals use to find their way across all kinds of distances. And biological anthropologist Greg Laden discusses new research on the surprising reasoning abilities of some extremely intelligent crows.

  • #197 Future Bioethics

    Jan 18 2013

    This week, we’re looking at the debates over the ethics of medicine and medical research, and the future of new medical technology. We’ll talk bioethics and public policy with Center for Inquiry CEO Ronald Lindsay. And we’re joined by Dr. Rob Tarzwell, to discuss Nootropics, the so-called “smart drugs” that might make designer brains a reality.

  • #196 World Changing Ideas 2012

    Jan 11 2013

    This week, we team up with Scientific American, to learn more about the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We talk to Sci-Am editors and writers about cutting edge research. From artificial life forms to new ways to measure sustainability, these technologies just might shape our collective future.

  • #195 The Penis Panel

    Jan 04 2013

    This week, we’re taking a closer look at the variety of organs that evolved to deliver reproductive cells. Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon, biologist and YouTube sensation Carin Bondar and blogger and researcher Scicurious return to the show to talk about penises (and penis-like organs) of every shape, size and species.

  • #146 Spider Silk (REBROADCAST)

    Dec 28 2012

    This week, we’ll listen back to an episode featuring some of nature’s most accomplished materials scientists, and the amazing substance they produce. We’re joined by Leslie Brunetta, co-author of Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating. We’ll discuss the form, function and uses of the sticky wonder material, and the ways that its study can help us understand evolution. And science writer Ed...more

  • #194 Year In Science 2012

    Dec 21 2012

    This week, we’re looking back at some of the most important science news of 2012. Writers Maryn McKenna and David Dobbs, BoingBoing Science Editor Maggie-Koerth Baker, and paleontology blogger Brian Switek join us to share the stories that made headlines, and others that made an impact, without receiving as much attention.

  • #193 Science Books for Your Gift List

    Dec 14 2012

    Whether you’re dropping a last-minute hint to a relative, or buying science books for the people you love, Skeptically Speaking has you covered. We’ve enlisted two dozen scientists, science writers and bloggers, including some of our favorite past guests. They’ll bring you their favorites from 2012, and some classics to help fill out anyone’s science library. Happy holidays! 2012 Science Book Suggestions Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova Rec...more

  • #192 The Particle at the End of the Universe

    Dec 07 2012

    This week, we’re looking at one of the biggest science stories of 2012, and one of the largest instruments in the history of science. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, author of the new book The Particle at The End of The Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. They’ll discuss the search for the particle that gives all the others their mass, the story of the Large Hadron Col...more

  • #191 More Current Controversies

    Nov 30 2012

    This week, we’re looking at science stories driving headlines and causing conversation. We’ll speak to particle physicist James Pinfold about recent experiments that cast doubt on a possible explanation for dark matter, and new research that he’s conducting at the world’s largest experimental facility, the Large Hadron Collider. On the podcast, molecular pharmacologist David Kroll returns to explain the connection between high-caffeine energy drinks and health complicatio...more

  • #190 Rabid

    Nov 23 2012

    This week, we’re talking about a viral menace that’s one of the scariest – and deadliest – known to science. We’ll talk to WIRED editor Bill Wasik  and veterinarian Monica Murphy about their book Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus. And on the podcast, we’ll speak to post-doctoral researcher Elisabeth Whyte, about a crowd-funded project to use computer games to help adolescents with autism improve social skills a...more

  • #106 Science and Culture (REBROADCAST)

    Nov 18 2012

    This week, we’re listening back to an episode which examines the ways that society and science inform and influence each other. Frequent guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan, Professor of Science Education at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Science Education Research Group, discusses how science fits into the broader framework of our common culture. And we talk to science writer Mike McRae, author of the book Tribal Science: ...more

  • #189 Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why

    Nov 11 2012

    This week, we’re looking at the science of sexual orientation, where debates over nature vs. nurture have influenced law, policy and equal rights. We’re joined by neuroscientist and writer Simon LeVay, to talk about his research on the topic, and his book Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. And on the podcast, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel returns to the show, to tell us about a new project using the information aggregation service ...more

  • #188 Why Should I Care About Space?

    Nov 04 2012

    In almost any discussion of space exploration and observation, one question always arises. Why should we spend the money, when there are problems here on Earth? This week, we’re going to tackle this question, with a panel of people who know just how important the science of space actually is. Penny4NASA‘s John Zeller and Noisy Astronomer Nicole Gugliucci return to the show, along with Scientific American Associate Editor John Matson, and Cynthia Phillips, Senior Research Sc...more

  • #187 Funny Science

    Oct 26 2012

    We’re taking a break from live recording this week. On the podcast, we’re looking at the lighter side of science, both real and imagined. We’re joined by Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the father of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and author of the new book This Is Improbable. Researcher and blogger Scicurious returns to share more of her favorite Friday Weird Science posts. And we...more

  • #186 The C Word

    Oct 19 2012

    No, not that C word. This week, we’re talking about Cancer; its myriad forms, many causes, and most promising treatments. We’re joined by engineering professor Brendan Harley, who works on making cancer research more effective, and Dr. David Gorski, surgical oncologist and prominent science blogger. And on the podcast, author Kayt Sukel returns to the show, to discuss the efficacy and application of screening for breast cancer, and what effect pink-saturated awareness ...more

  • #185 Genetically Modified Foods Revisited

    Oct 12 2012

    This week, we’ll spend the hour talking about genetically modified foods, that are causing conversation among scientists, lawmakers and the public. Horticulture professor Kevin Folta returns to the show, along with Karl Haro von Mogel and Anastasia Bodnar, co-editors of Biofortified.org. They’ll give us the scientific perspective on the benefits, and possible dangers, in manipulating the genes of  common food crops.

  • #184 Your Baby’s Best Shot

    Oct 05 2012

    This week, we’re looking at the science – and pseudoscience – that affects the healthcare decisions parents make for their children, and women make for themselves. We’re joined by Allison Hagood and Stacy Herlihy, to talk about their book Your Baby’s Best Shot: Why Vaccines are Safe and Save Lives. And we’re joined by Skepchick.org founder Rebecca Watson, to talk about pseudoscience that’s targeted and marketed specifically at women.

  • #183 Current Controversies

    Sep 28 2012

    This week, we’re looking at two science stories making headlines and stirring debate. Science writer David Dobbs returns to the show, to discuss the controversial neuroscience in Naomi Wolf’s new book Vagina: a Biography. And genetics researcher Michael White joins us to sort out the science from the hype in the results of the ENCODE genomics project.

  • #182 Science Cinema

    Sep 21 2012

    This week, we’re looking at film and video as an exciting, engaging way to communicate science to the public. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with independent film-maker and former BBC video journalist Brady Haran, and artist and filmmaker Henry Reich, creator of the Minute Physics YouTube series. They’ll discuss the promise and pitfalls of telling science stories in moving pictures.

  • #181 Science Reporting 2012

    Sep 14 2012

    This week, we’re looking at new and evolving ways of bringing important science news to the public. Journalist and author Maryn McKenna returns to the show, to talk about her recent report for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, about evidence for a link between a common human infection and the overuse of antibiotics in chicken production. And science writer Jennifer Ouellette gives us the scoop on The Best Science Writing Online 2012, a collection of last year&rsq...more

  • #180 Measure for Measure

    Sep 07 2012

    This week, we’re thinking about science as an instrument, and the parallels between an understanding of music and the history of science. Thomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing at MIT and author of Newton and the Counterfeiter, returns to talk about his 1994 book Measure for Measure: A Musical History of Science. And on the podcast, we’re joined by Vaughan Macefield, Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Western Sydney, to talk about...more

  • #100 Semen Science (REBROADCAST)

    Sep 01 2012

    This week, we’re listening back to one of our all-time most popular episodes. Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon explains the amazing diversity of sperm design, and its connection with mating behaviour. And Scientopia blogger Scicurious discusses some of our favorites from her Friday Weird Science archives, covering everything from the antidepressant properties of semen, to smelly semen, to testicle receptacles, and much, much more.

  • #179 Waterworld

    Aug 24 2012

    This week, we’re discussing some fascinating science focused on the liquid portions of our big blue planet. We’re joined by graduate researcher Andrew David Thaler, founder of Southern Fried Science, to talk about the weird and wonderful networks of life that exist in the Deep Sea. And University of Alberta researcher David Schindler joins us to talk about the work, and the uncertain future, of Ontario’s Experimental Lakes Area and its freshwater ecosystem research.

  • #178 World Wide Mind

    Aug 18 2012

    This week, we’re looking at a possible future where integrated technology makes exchanging digital information as natural as using the senses we’re born with. We’ll talk to technology writer Michael Chorost, about his book World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet. And anthropologist Greg Laden gives us a primer on the origins and evolution of human communication.

  • #177 Climate Change at CONvergence

    Aug 11 2012

    This week, we’re taking a break from live recording. We’ll listen back to highlights from “The Chilling Effects of Denialism,” and “Who Will Save the Polar Bears,” two panels on climate change recorded live as part of the Skepchickcon track at CONvergence 2012, and moderated by our host, Desiree Schell. Science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker, engineering professor John Abraham, science advocate and writer Shawn Otto, and biological anthropologist Greg Laden d...more

  • #176 The Violinist's Thumb

    Aug 03 2012

    This week, it’s part two of our two week focus on evolution and genetics. Science writer Sam Kean, author of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, returns to the show to talk about his new book The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code.

  • #175 Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n’ Roll

    Jul 27 2012

    This week, it’s part one of a two-week focus on evolution and genetics. For our first installment, we’re looking at the ways that evolution might influence our modern lives, from obesity to overpopulation to heavy metal music. We spend the hour with Rob Brooks, Professor of Evolution and Director of the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. He’ll join us to talk about his book Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n’ Roll: ...more

  • #174 Ignorance

    Jul 20 2012

    This week, we’re looking at how the basic condition of not knowing things provides the motivation to keep science moving. We’re joined by Stuart Firestein, Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences, to talk about his book Ignorance: How It Drives Science. And we’re joined by Toronto attorney Adam Wygodny, to talk about using the law to protect consumers from ineffective and untested alternative medicine products.

  • #173 Seeking Sickness

    Jul 13 2012

    This week, we’re looking at some common assumptions about healthcare, including the well-known benefits – and less discussed costs – of popular screening technologies. We’re joined by drug policy researcher Alan Cassels, to talk about his book Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease. And we’ll speak to paramedic and skeptical blogger Michael Kruse about Bad Science Watch, a new non-profit watchdog organization dedicated to im...more

  • #172 A Brief History of Infinity

    Jul 06 2012

    This week, we’re diving back into the fascinating world of numbers, from the toughest theoretical concepts, to the numbers that describe our favorite pastimes. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to science writer Brian Clegg, about his book A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable, which describes the surprisingly human endeavor to understand and describe the unimaginably large concepts that define the universe. And Desiree Schell talks to physicist Aaron Santos...more

  • #171 Ask a Pharmacist

    Jun 29 2012

    We’re back live this week, and we’re giving you the chance to Ask a Pharmacist. Ontario pharmacist Scott Gavura is the founder and editor of Science-Based Pharmacy, and a contributor to Science-Based Medicine. He’ll be answering audience questions for the full hour.

  • #170 Infrastructure and You

    Jun 22 2012

    This week, we’re taking a break from live recording. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour looking at the infrastructure that makes our modern, increasingly urbanized lives possible. She’s joined by journalist Scott Huler, author of the book On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make our World Work. And she’ll speak to environmental journalist and urban design critic Tim De Chant, about his population density blog Per Square Mile....more

  • #169 Play Reality

    Jun 15 2012

    This week, we’re looking at the intersection between science and play time. Guest host Julieta Delos Santos talks to Dr. Jayne Gackenbach and Teace Snyder, about their book Play Reality: How Videogames are Changing Everything. And we’ll listen back to “The Petri Dish,” a panel discussion by kids for kids (and parents), about getting kids interested in science, recorded live at LogiCON 2012.

  • #168 Sex, Bombs and Burgers

    Jun 08 2012

    This week, we’re talking about the basic, biological impulses that drive our technological advancement. We’re joined by author and journalist Peter Nowak, to discuss his book Sex, Bombs and Burgers: How War, Porn and Fast Food Shaped Modern Technology. And we’ll talk to John Zeller, founder of Penny4Nasa, a petition project to increase funding for space exploration in the U.S.

  • #167 Liars and Outliers

    Jun 01 2012

    This week, we’re talking about trust and cooperation, and the implications these social values have for security in the era of global networking. We’re joined by security technologist and author Bruce Schneier, to talk about his book Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive. And anthropologist/blogger Greg Laden returns to discuss speculation about cognitive limits on the use of social networks. For more on the debate between Bruce Schneier and Sam H...more

  • #166 The Cure for Everything

    May 25 2012

    This week, we’re looking at what the evidence has to say about common claims about diet, exercise, weight loss and other hot health topics. We’re joined by health law professor Timothy Caulfield, to talk about his book The Cure for Everything! Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness. And researcher and science blogger Scicurious looks at a new study of coffee consumption, and the effect it may – or may not – have on life expectancy.

  • #165 Dark Matter

    May 18 2012

    What do you get when all the stuff in the universe can’t account for the mass we observe? You get Dark Matter, that mysterious source of gravity that might be the only thing keeping galaxies from flying apart. This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders talk to Carsten Krauss, assistant professor at the physics department of the University of Alberta, about what Dark Matter is, how we discovered it, and how we know it’s there if we can’t actually observe it. And...more

  • #164 Babies, Brains and Boobs

    May 11 2012

    This week, we’re looking at some of the ways motherhood changes the brain and the body.  Kayt Sukel, author of Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships, returns to explain the neurological effects of pregnancy and motherhood. And we’re joined by Dr. Katie Hinde, Director of Harvard’s Comparative Lactation Laboratory, to discuss the biology of lactation and breastfeeding.

  • #163 Newton and The Counterfeiter

    May 04 2012

    This week, we’re digging into a fascinating and little known chapter in the life of one of the giants of modern science. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with Tom Levenson, Professor of Science Writing at MIT, to talk about his book Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist.

  • #162 The Science of Belief

    Apr 27 2012

    This week, we’re talking about the perspective of science on the mechanisms of belief. We’re joined by science writer Jesse Bering, to discuss his book The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life. And we dive into the neurology of religious faith with Dr. Andrew Newberg, author of How God Changes Your Brain.

  • #161 False Profits

    Apr 20 2012

    This week, we’re joined by Robert FitzPatrick, founder of Pyramid Scheme Alert, and co-author of False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes. He’ll discuss the promises and pitfalls of schemes, and how to tell legitimate direct selling from multi-level marketing scams. And we speak to Paul Piff, researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, about his ...more

  • #160 Before the Lights Go Out

    Apr 13 2012

    This week, we’re  joined by Maggie-Koerth Baker, Science Editor at Boing-Boing, to talk about her new book Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us. Maggie will discuss the economics and social incentives that spurred the growth of our existing energy system, and what we can do to prepare for a new energy future.

  • #159 Too Big To Know

    Apr 06 2012

    This week we’re talking about how global connectivity and the rise of big data are transforming the way we look at knowledge. We’re joined by David Weinberger, co-director of Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab, to talk about his book Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room. And we’ll speak to Lindsey Pinto, Communications Manager of OpenMedia.ca, a...more

  • #158 Reef Madness

    Mar 30 2012

    This week, guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan spends the hour with science writer David Dobbs, to talk about his book Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral. The 2005 book, which was recently adapted into a set of serialized blog posts, recounts the century-long controversy over the origins of coral reefs, and its relationship to the history of evolutionary theory. They’ll discuss the challenges of writing the stories of scienc...more

  • #157 Predators and Prey

    Mar 23 2012

    This week, we’re looking into the many strategies that animals employ in the struggle to eat other animals. We’re joined by freelance science writer Matt Soniak, to discuss the often complex relationship between hunter and hunted. And biological anthropologist Greg Laden returns for another edition of Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong. He’ll tell us about humanity’s history as hunters, and how it may – or may not – affect our behavior today.

  • #156 Beyond 42

    Mar 16 2012

    This week, we’re experiencing the power of stories to communicate science. Join us for Beyond 42: How Science Can Use Stories to Explain Life, the Universe and Everything. This event, recorded live in Edmonton, features Scientific American Blog Editor Bora Zivkovic, and a fantastic cast of scientists telling moving stories that communicate the wonder of science and discovery. Our storytellers this week were Sol Delos Santos, Greg Henkelman, Monica Chahal, Courtney...more

  • #155 Dirty Minds

    Mar 09 2012

    This week, we’re looking into what happens in our brains when we’re experiencing some of the most powerful feelings we feel. We’ll spend the hour with science writer Kayt Sukel, to talk about her book Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships. From pheromones to fMRI, it’s an entertaining and informative look at the neuroscience of affection.

  • #154 Mathtastic! Part Two

    Mar 02 2012

    This week, guest host Rachelle Saunders is back for part two of our two-part series on the fun and fascinating world of math. Rachelle spends the whole hour with Ian Stewart, mathematician, professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, and author of over two dozen books, on topics from chaos theory to symmetry, and the history of math itself.

  • #153 Mathtastic! Part One

    Feb 24 2012

    This week, we’re diving into the fascinating math that describes the world around us. Guest host Rachelle Saunders speaks to Malcolm Roberts, PhD Applied Mathematician at the University of Alberta, about fluid dynamics, the math that models motion in fluids, gasses, plasmas, and reveals the secret to pouring the perfect beer. And Desiree Schell talks to theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, about building a reliable science and health news aggregator.

  • #152 The Poisoner's Handbook

    Feb 17 2012

    This week, we’re talking science and storytelling. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan speaks to science journalist and author Deborah Blum about her national bestseller The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. The book tells the fascinating story of the way that chemical detectives started a revolution in the investigation of crime. And Desiree Schell talks to Bora Zivkovic, blog editor at Scientific American, about a new e...more

  • #151 Everyday Superpowers

    Feb 10 2012

    This week, we’re looking at the amazing abilities and potential of the human body. Evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi joins us to talk about his book The Vision Revolution, which looks at the evolution of vision from a novel new direction. And Dr. Torah Kachur discusses practical ways that science and technology can get us closer to the extraordinary abilities we see in science fiction.

  • #150 Fungi and Fossils

    Feb 03 2012

    This week, we’re talking about strange lifeforms that stretch our assumptions about the natural world. Molecular pharmacologist David Kroll, Science Communications Director of the Nature Research Center at North Carolina’s state Museum of Natural Sciences, returns to tell us about fungi and their amazing uses, from necessities like bread and beer, to medical and environmental breakthroughs. And on the podcast, we’re joined by Sarah Mathews, principal investi...more

  • #149 There Will Be Blood: The Evolution and Function of Menstruation

    Jan 27 2012

    This week, we’re talking about what may be the most stigmatized facet of human reproduction. We’re joined by Dr. Kate Clancy, anthropology professor and science blogger, to learn about the physiology and function of menstruation, and the history of how it’s been considered in medicine and myth. And on the podcast, biologist P.Z. Myers looks at menstruation from an evolutionary perspective.

  • #148 Brain Bits

    Jan 20 2012

    This week, we take a look at some of the most interesting things we’ve learned about the brain. We’ll revisit some of our favorite episodes on the brain and its fascinating functions, from interpreting music, to justifying cruel behavior, and its role in gender identity. And we’re joined by Ingrid Wickelgren, editor at Scientific American Mind, for a new segment on how our brains are wired to believe weird things.

  • #147 Science and Politics

    Jan 13 2012

    This week, it’s a panel discussion about what happens when science intersects with politics. We’re joined by Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-author of Unscientific America, anthropologist/blogger Greg Laden, and Shawn Lawrence Otto, co-founder of ScienceDebate.org and author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America. We’ll explore the tension between evidence and rhetoric, and what happens when public policy ignores solid science. And National Cent...more

  • #146 Spider Silk

    Jan 06 2012

    This week, we’re looking at some of nature’s most accomplished materials scientists, and the amazing substance they produce. We’re joined by Leslie Brunetta, co-author of Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating. We’ll discuss the form, function and uses of the sticky wonder material, and the ways that its study can help us understand evolution. And science writer Ed Yong tells us about silkworms with spider ge...more

  • #145 World Changing Ideas: Part Two

    Dec 30 2011

    This week, it’s Part Two of our series with Scientific American, on the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We’ll talk to Sci-Am editors and writers, and researchers who are developing cutting edge tech that just might shape the future of our society, our planet, and our survival as a species.  In Part Two, cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol discusses the use of smartphones to monitor your vital signs in real time.&nbs...more

  • #144 World Changing Ideas: Part One

    Dec 23 2011

    This week, it’s Part One of our series with Scientific American, on the technologies profiled in their World Changing Ideas feature article. We talk to Sci-Am editors and writers, and researchers who are developing cutting edge tech that just might shape the future of our society, our planet, and our survival as a species. In Part One, we speak with Senior Technology Editor Michael Moyer, about a possible nanotech solution to drug-resistant bacteria. Sustainability and ...more

  • #143 Here is a Human Being

    Dec 16 2011

    This week, we’re digging into the genome, the molecular blueprint that our bodies use to build themselves. We’ll discuss DNA, genetics, and personal genomics with Dr. Misha Angrist, Assistant Professor at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences Policy, and author of  Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics.  And we’ll speak to Dr. Thomas Perls, Director of the New England Centenarian Study, about his work on the Archon Genomics X Prize.

  • #142 Science is a Hell of a Drug

    Dec 09 2011

    …and drugs are a hell of a science. Researcher and blogger Scicurious returns to examine the various substances that we use to alter consciousness. How do they affect us, how do we study them, and do they have any uses beyond their recreational properties? And we’ll speak to Dr. David Kroll, Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Carolina Central University, about cannabimimetics, synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of marijuana.

  • #141 The Common Cold

    Dec 02 2011

    This week we’re discussing the viral menace that makes our lives miserable, and has stymied attempts at a cure from the earliest days of medicine. Pharmacist Scott Gavura returns to the show, to tell us how colds infect us, what causes their symptoms, and why we just can’t seem to keep them from coming back. Find out how – or if – your favorite folk remedy works. Check out our Guide To Science Based Holiday Giving, for links to the organizations mentioned at the end of th...more

  • #140 Speedy Neutrinos

    Nov 25 2011

    This week, we dig into the story behind the experiment which might have discovered neutrinos moving faster than the speed of light. Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks with theoretical astrophysicist Dr. Ethan Siegel, to discuss the nuts and bolts of the experiment, the supposedly unbreakable speed limit that these particles may be flaunting, and the implications for physics if the results are genuine. And Desiree Schell speaks to Dr. Bradley Voytek, p...more

  • #139 Culture and Tradition

    Nov 18 2011

    This week, we’re featuring a panel discussion on the origins and influence of tradition, with biological anthropologist Greg Laden, science education researcher Marie-Claire Shanahan, and primatologist Eric Michael Johnson. We’ll discuss where traditions come from, why some endure and some fade, and whether they appear in non-human populations. (Ethnomusicologist Kyra Gaunt-Palmer was unable to join us.)

  • #138 Evolution and Politics

    Nov 11 2011

    This week, we’re looking at what happens when a bedrock scientific theory goes up for debate in the contentious realm of politics. We’ll speak to Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director, and Steven Newton, Programs and Policy Director, at the National Center for Science Education, about evolution as a political issue. And anthropologist and blogger Greg Laden analyzes the fallout from the so-called “climategate” emails.

  • #137 Memory Science

    Nov 04 2011

    This week, we’re featuring a pre-recorded interview on the work of Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, author, university professor, and pioneering researcher into the way our brains make and modify memories. And we’re joined by Iowa State University researcher Gary Wells, to discuss his new study on the ways that the administration of photo lineups can effect the memories of witnesses.

  • #136 Quantum Mechanics

    Oct 28 2011

    This week, we’re looking at the mindbending physics that happens on the smallest imaginable scales. We’re joined by physics professor James Kakalios, to talk about his book The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World. And we’ll speak to physicist and philosopher Victor Stenger, about the ways that quantum physics buzzwords are misused to support some not so scientific claims.

  • #135 Microorganisms

    Oct 21 2011

    This week we’re looking at some of the microscopic organisms that share our planet and, occasionally, our bodies. We’re joined by science writer and blogger Carl Zimmer, to talk about his new book A Planet of Viruses. And we’ll speak to ScientificAmerican.com managing editor Phillip Yam, about the mysterious and (nearly) indestructible prion.

  • #134 Mad Like Tesla

    Oct 14 2011

    This week, we’re talking about the unorthodox thinkers who might help us innovate our way to new energy solutions. We’re joined by journalist Tyler Hamilton, to discuss his book Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Bold Pursuit of Clean Energy. And law professor and blogger Jason Rantanen joins us to explain the role of patents in developing technology.

  • #133 Science As Fiction

    Oct 07 2011

    This week, we’re speaking to authors whose fiction appeals to the science lover. We’ll speak to astronomer Stuart Clark, about his novel The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth, the first of a trilogy examining pivotal moments in astronomy history. And we’re joined by biologist Jennifer Rohn, author of the novel The Honest Look, a thriller about integrity, passion and betrayal in pharmaceutical research.

  • #132 Changing Planet

    Sep 30 2011

    This week, we’re looking at the medical effects of global climate change. We’re joined by Dan Ferber, to talk about his book Changing Planet, Changing Health: How The Climate Crisis Threatens our Health, and What We Can Do About It. And Josh Rosenau, of the National Center for Science Education, joins us to compare the denial tactics of advocates against climate change and evolution.

  • #131 Neurology Past and Present

    Sep 23 2011

    We’re taking a break from live recording this week. We’ll listen in on an interview recorded live at Dragon*Con 2011. We’ll discuss the history and practice of neurology, with academic clinical neurologist Dr. Steven Novella, and Dr. Jason Schneiderman, post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical. And we’re joined by researcher Dr. Thomas Naselaris, of Berkeley’s Gallant Lab, to discuss their new study&nb...more

  • #130 The Earth That Was

    Sep 16 2011

    This week we’ll look back into prehistory, for a glimpse of what life was like before humanity spread across the globe. We’re joined by anthropologist and author Brian Fagan, to discuss his book Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans. We’ll learn how a combination of intellect and technological achievement turned our ancestors into the sole hominid species on the planet. And Junior Skeptic editor Daniel Loxton returns to discuss his new chil...more

  • #129 The Prince of Evolution

    Sep 09 2011

    This week, we’re discussing evolution, and a less well known, but just as fabulously bearded, scientist who helped to expand the theory. We’ll talk to Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin, about his book The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics. And science history blogger Michael D. Barton joins us to examine the ways that evolution deniers misuse the words of Charles Darwin to make their case. Looking for information about Randi’s cross-Canad...more

  • #128 Elemental Intrigue

    Sep 02 2011

    Guest host Rachelle Saunders talks to science writer Sam Kean, about his book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. And we’ll learn about cutting edge research into light-bending metamaterials, with Dr. Peter Palffy-Muhoray, Professor, of Chemical Physics and Associate Director of the Liquid Crystal Institute & Chemical Physics Program at Kent State University

  • #127 Random Things That Can Kill You

    Aug 26 2011

    Hurricane Irene interfered with our plans to interview science writer and blogger Carl Zimmer about his new book A Planet of Viruses. Instead, we talked hurricanes with Shaun Tanner, head of Meteorological Operations at the weather science resource site, Weather Underground. We also spoke to journalist Maryn McKenna about her book Superbug: The Fatal Menance of MRSA, to find out what makes antibiotic-resistant staph so scary, and what researchers are trying to ...more

  • #126 Bug Girl's Favorite Insects

    Aug 19 2011

    From ants to aphids, mosquitoes to mantises, entomology blogger Bug Girl has covered all kinds of things that creep, crawl and fly. This week, she joins us to talk about her favorite bugs, and why she finds them all so fascinating. And anthropologist and blogger Greg Laden joins us to discuss the cultural taboos surrounding eating insects. Here are links to Bug Girl’s posts about some of the topics from this episode: Shellac: It’s a bug AND a feature! Cochineal: It’s a bug AND ...more

  • #125 Global Population

    Aug 12 2011

    The human population of planet Earth is rapidly approaching 7 billion. This week, we’ll look at how fast our numbers are growing, what they mean for things like resources and the environment, and what we can do about it. Maybe. We’re joined by William Ryerson, President and Founder of Population Media Center and President of Population Institute. And on the podcast, we’ll get a lesson in how population projections are created, and how reliable they are, with Dr. Ronald Lee...more

  • #124 The Theory That Would Not Die

    Aug 05 2011

    This week, show favorite Sharon Bertsch McGrayne returns to tell us about her new book, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy. We’ll learn how this once overlooked branch of probability theory has played a central role in some of the biggest turning points in human history. And on the podcast, we’re joined by computer network researcher Dr.&n...more

  • #123 Data Analysis

    Jul 29 2011

    This week, data analyst Keith Schon returns to the show. We’ll ask him about his work as an information archaeologist, and how state-of-the-art software can piece together huge datasets of your online interactions, and build a picture of your personality. And on the podcast, science writer Jessica Wapner is back, to explain why pharmaceutical companies are mining prescribing data.

  • #122 HIV and AIDS

    Jul 22 2011

    This week, we’re joined by graduate student and Scienceblogs writer Abbie Smith, to learn about the latest research on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. How does HIV cause AIDS? What are the latest treatments? How close are we to a cure? What strategies are most effective at stopping the spread of infection? And what are the arguments that denialists make for alternate causes of the disease? And on the podcast, we’ll discuss another viral pathogen, the Human papillomavirus, with Dr. ...more

  • #121 The Nature of Human Nature

    Jul 15 2011

    This week, we’re joined by Dr. Carin Bondar, biologist and author, to talk about her book The Nature of Human Nature: Reflections On Our Position As “Natural” Entities In The Animal Kingdom. The book takes a critical look at some of the things that we think make human beings unique in the animal kingdom. Does our ability to use contraception, or our tendency to eat junk food just for the pleasure, set us apart from our animal cousins? And we’ll be featuring the music of s...more

  • #120 Tracking the Chupacabra

    Jul 08 2011

    This week, Skeptical Inquirer Managing Editor Benjamin Radford returns to the show, to discuss his newest book, Tracking The Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast In Fact, Fiction and Folklore. He’ll explain his investigation of the legendary monster, and his startling conclusion about the real story behind its origins. And writer/producer Kennedy Goodkey joins us to celebrate the DVD release of his film, The Beast of Bottomless Lake, about the Canadian lake monster Ogopogo.

  • #119 Mistakes Were Made

    Jul 01 2011

    This week, we’re learning about the ways our brains are hard wired to fail at reality. Guest host Rachelle Saunders will speak with Dr. Carol Tavris, co-author of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by ME): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts. The bestselling book investigates cognitive dissonance, and the fascinating ways that it affects not just our memories, but politics, business and society. And for the podcast, we’re joined by University of Toronto statistic...more

  • #118 The Reasonableness of Weird Things

    Jun 24 2011

    This week, it’s an hour with Daniel Loxton. The editor of Junior Skeptic and author of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be returns to the show to share “The Reasonableness Of Weird Things,” his keynote address from LogiCON 2011. Join us for the complete presentation, and an exclusive interview about the science communicators who inspired it. Watch the Pale Blue Dot video on YouTube.

  • #117 Rural Medicine

    Jun 17 2011

    This week, we’ll look at how society and geography affect people’s access to healthcare, and the quality of care they receive. We’re joined by Dr. Sasha Mullally, professor at the University of New Brunswick, to discuss her research into the social history of rural medicine and medical practices. And for the podcast, we’ll speak to Aaron Acharya, Project Manager at HealthRight International, and Dr. Gary Stadtmauer, about their work on healthcare and h...more

  • #116 What is Mental Illness?

    Jun 10 2011

    This week, it’s an hour on the brain, and the diseases and conditions unique to this amazing organ. We’re joined by Dr. Richard J. McNally, researcher in the psychology department at Harvard University, and author of What Is Mental Illness? And we’re joined by Maia Szalavitz, author and editor at Time.com’s Healthland blog, to discuss the chemistry and controversy of antidepressant medications.

  • #115 Cell Phone Science

    Jun 03 2011

    Researcher and Scientopia blogger Scicurious returns to discuss the fact and fiction of mobile phones. What effect do they have on brain cells? What about sperm cells? And do they have anything to do with declining populations of bees? And we’re joined by medical physicist Dr. Marc MacKenzie, to discuss the science of microwave radiation.

  • #114 Practical Wisdom

    May 27 2011

    What exactly is “wisdom,” and how can we apply it in our daily lives? We’re joined by Barry Schwartz,  Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, and Kenneth Sharpe, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College. They’ll discuss their new book Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do The Right Thing. And we’re joined by Brendan O’Brien, to learn about :60 Second...more

  • #113 Science-Based Medicine and the Media

    May 20 2011

    What is science-based medicine, and how does the media (perhaps unwittingly) distort it? Our guest this week is Dr. Steven Novella, academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, Executive Editor of the website Science-Based Medicine, and a senior fellow and Director of Science-Based Medicine at the James Randi Educational Foundation. And we’re joined by Maria Walters, to talk about the Grassroots Skepticism Workshop at SkepchickCon.

  • #112 Strange New Worlds

    May 13 2011

    We look at the cutting edge science and old-fashioned wonder of the hunt for planets circling other stars. We’ll talk to Ray Jayawardhana, Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and author of Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System. And we’re joined by Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, to discuss the current progress, and the uncertain future, of the search for extrater...more

  • #111 Animal Testing

    May 06 2011

    We’ll look at the practical advantages, and the ethical pitfalls, of using animals in scientific and medical research. We’re joined by Janet Stemwedel, Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Jose State University, and author of the blog Adventures in Ethics and Science. And we’ll talk to Bill Barry, Chief Historian at NASA, about the history of animals and spaceflight. The study mentioned in tonight’s episode is available here: Differences between chimpanzees...more

  • #110 A History of Childbirth

    Apr 29 2011

    We explore the changing ways that medicine and culture have treated pregnancy and childbirth. We’ll talk with doctor and medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein, about her book Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth From the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank. And on another edition of Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong, Greg Laden looks at common misconceptions about life expectancy.

  • #109 A Lifetime of Data

    Apr 22 2011

    We'll get the scientific perspective on the causes and effects of aging, and how they change over a lifetime. We'll speak with Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, about the biology and genetics of aging. And we're joined by Professor Diana Kuh, to discuss her work as the head of the UK's National Survey for Health and Development.

  • #108 Magical Thinking

    Apr 15 2011

    We ask professional magicians how the study and practice of magic can help teach critical thinking skills. We'll talk to sleight-of-hand master Jamy Ian Swiss, and Scam School creator Brian Brushwood, about the ways that magic can demonstrate - and help us overcome - our cognitive limitations. And we're joined by Michael Goudeau, to talk about his career as a performer, and his work on Penn & Teller's television projects.

  • #107 Zombie Attack!

    Apr 08 2011

    We dig into the fascinating ways these movie monsters overlap with real-world science. We talk to entomologist David P. Hughes, about his work studying parasites that use mind control to direct the behavior of their hosts. And mathematician Robert Smith? shares the results of his paper that models the best ways to control the spread of a zombie infestation.

  • #106 Science and Culture

    Apr 03 2011

    This week, we examine the ways that society and science inform and influence each other. We're joined by Marie-Claire Shanahan, Professor of Science Education at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Science Education Research Group, to discuss how science fits into the broader framework of our common culture. And we'll talk to science writer Mike McRae, author of the new book "Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs and Bad Ideas," that looks at how brains that evolved...more

  • #105 Making Science Funny

    Mar 25 2011

    This week, it’s a panel discussion on the plusses and pitfalls of using humor to promote science. We’re joined by Science Comedian Brian Malow, blogger Scicurious, and Brian Thompson, host of The Amateur Scientist Podcast. They’ll look at how engaging the funny bone can help the brain absorb the science that powers our world. We also speak to Rachelle Saunders, one of the organizers of the upcoming LogiCON, an event celebrating critical thinking for everyone.

  • #104 Blood Work

    Mar 18 2011

    It's an hour on the blood that runs through your veins, and how modern medicine can supplement your supply. We'll talk to Holly Tucker about Blood Work, her book exploring the pioneering science and the political intrigue behind the world's first blood transfusions. Skepticality co-host Robynn "Swoopy" McCarthy shares her experience training as a phlebotomist. And we're joined by William Rutherford, of Telus World of Science, to tell us about Edmonton's first ever "Yuri's Night" celebration.

  • #103 Sewer Science

    Mar 18 2011

    This week, we take another look at water, and what happens to it after it goes down the drain. Researcher Liz Borkowski joins us for a look at the connection between sewage and civilization, and the struggle to introduce modern sanitation in the developing world. And we’ll talk to Dr. Alistair Boxall, about the sources and effects of pharmaceutical contaminants in the environment. Unfortunately, we had some issues with Dr. Boxall's recording that we couldn't overcome in post-production. A...more

  • #102 Fluoride and Water Tech

    Mar 11 2011

    From the Roman aqueducts to the latest research on what happens when you turn the tap, it's an hour on water. Dr. William James joins us for a lesson on the history and technology of municipal water systems. And we’ll talk to University of Toronto researcher Dr. Marc Grynpas about the science and safety of water fluoridation. Read the Canadian Dental Association's statement on the safety and effectiveness of fluoride. Use the following links for more information regarding home water filt...more

  • #101 Brain Games

    Mar 04 2011

    It's an hour on the brain, the senses, and how you can fool them both. We're joined by neuroscientist Tom Stafford, co-author of the book Mind Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain. We'll talk about how your brain processes information, and all of the fascinating ways you can make it mess up. And researcher Dr. Sarah Brosnan explains her study of game theory, and how humans compare to other primates when it comes to cooperative play. If you'd like to help the victim of the Christchurch ea...more

  • #100 Semen Science

    Feb 25 2011

    Evolutionary biologist John Logsdon returns to explain the amazing diversity of sperm design, and its connection with mating behaviour. And Scientopia blogger Scicurious joins us to discuss some of our favorites from her Friday Weird Science archives. We'll talk about everything from the antidepressant properties of semen, to smelly semen, to testicle receptacles, and so very much more. Here are links to all the Friday Weird Science posts that we discussed with Scicurious. Do your balls hang low...more

  • #99 Quacks and Scams

    Feb 18 2011

    It's an hour on scams and charlatans, with Dr. Stephen Barrett. He's the creator of QuackWatch, a family of websites that tracks dubious healthcare claims, and the people and practitioners who make them. James "The Amazing" Randi joins us for a history of scams, and Jamie Williams of the Centre for Inquiry Vancouver discusses the fact and fiction of ear candling.

  • #98 An Optimist's Tour of The Future

    Feb 11 2011

    We’re joined by science writer Jessica Wapner, to examine the intersection between ethics, economics, and drug development, and what it means for the future of pharmaceutical research. And we sit down with author, comedian and futurist Mark Stevenson, to discuss his new book, An Optimist’s Tour Of The Future, about the cutting edge science that’s going to sustain and entertain the human species.

  • #97 The Science of Kissing

    Feb 04 2011

    We’re joined by researcher and science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum, to talk about her book The Science Of Kissing. We’ll learn about the surprisingly complex chemistry that’s going on during a passing peck or a passionate liplock. And Greg Laden returns for another edition of Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong. This time, Greg asks, are there really universal traits that appear across all human cultures?

  • #96 Human Factors Engineering

    Jan 28 2011

    Researcher and blogger Ash Donaldson joins us for a pre-recorded discussion on the fascinating field of Human Factors Engineering. This multi-disciplinary science draws on anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology and communications research, as it tries to improve the ways that humans interact with technology, and use technology to interact with each other. And health science journalist Paul Ingraham returns with a primer on the causes and treatment of repetitive strain injuries.

  • #95 The Science of Allergies

    Jan 21 2011

    Dr. Gary Stadtmauer returns for a pre-recorded discussion on the science behind the causes, symptoms and treatment of allergies. And we start the hour with paramedic Michael Kruse to talk about 10:23, a campaign to raise awareness about the scientific perspective on homeopathy.

  • #94 Art and Science

    Jan 14 2011

    This week, it's an hour on the intersection between science and the creative arts. We’ll speak to Lauren Redniss, author and illustrator of Radioactive, a visual narrative about the work, life and love of Marie and Pierre Curie. Art historian Jenna Marie Griffith explains the historical influence of science on the visual arts. And we’re joined by Glendon Mellow, painter, illustrator, and author of the blog The Flying Trilobite, to discuss the tension between creativity and scientific...more

  • #93 The Paradox of Choice (REBROADCAST)

    Jan 07 2011

    This week, we revisit our interview with Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author. He contends that, although you may think you want more options, having myriad alternatives is actually making you miserable. And we start the hour with Daniel Loxton, author and illustrator of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be, and editor of Junior Skeptic magazine. He'll share his take on what being a skeptic really means.

  • #92 The Introvert Advantage

    Dec 31 2010

    We ring in the New Year with an interview for those of us who prefer a good book, a quiet chat, or an interesting hour of radio over a night of wild partying. We’re joined by Dr. Marti Laney, family therapist and author of The Introvert Advantage. We’ll learn why some people are wired to prefer solitude, and how they can learn to navigate in a world that rewards people who love to socialize. Cognitive psychologist Barbara Drescher on the fact and fiction of personality tests.

  • #91 Religious Artifacts

    Dec 24 2010

    We sit down with Joe Nickell, scholar, author and veteran paranormal investigator, to talk about his experiences examining religious relics. We’ll discuss his investigations of artifacts from all over the world, including weeping statutes, saintly reliquaries, and the infamous Shroud Of Turin.

  • #90 Holiday Book Shopping Guide

    Dec 17 2010

    We help you plan your holiday gift-giving with an hour on the best books about science. We’re joined by a panel of former guests, including astronomer Nicole Gugliucci, psychotherapist Dana Blumrosen, and writer/performer Kennedy Goodkey. They’ll share their favorite science books, and help you fill out your holiday shopping list - even if you’re buying for yourself. Here's a full list of books mentioned in this episode, arranged by the mentioner: (For links to buy all the avai...more

  • #89 Health Controversies

    Dec 10 2010

    We’ll talk to medical physicist Dr. Marc MacKenzie about the new scanning equipment that’s causing a stir at U.S. airports. How do the machines actually work, and is their radiation dangerous? And Dr. Brian Goldman, the host of CBC's "White Coat, Black Art" shares his expert opinion on Dr. Paolo Zamboni’s Liberation Therapy, a treatment that claims to drastically reduce the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. We also spoke briefly to Kim Hebert about the 2010 Skeptic North Awards.

  • #88 Written in Stone

    Dec 03 2010

    Science writer Brian Switek joins us to talk about his new book Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. We’ll take a detailed look at the fossil evidence, to learn about the evolution of life on Earth, and our evolving understanding of how the process works. And paleozoologist Darren Naish discusses the Science of Godzilla, his look at the hypothetical biology, anatomy and physics of the famous movie monster.

  • #87 The Calculus Diaries

    Nov 26 2010

    We talk to Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. We’ll find out how much advanced math figures into our daily lives, and how even the mathematically challenged can learn to love the language of numbers. And hip-hop science advocate Baba Brinkman returns to discuss his new project, The Rap Guide to Human Nature. Find out more about Baba's crowdfunding drive for the Rap Guide to Evolution DVD!

  • #86 Consensus Science

    Nov 19 2010

    We look at scientific consensus through the eyes of non-scientists. Skeptic North bloggers Erik Davis and Steve Thoms explain how non-professional researchers can understand the state of modern science on questions from climate change to the effects of electromagnetic fields. Skeptic Bros Tom and Nick Croucher talk about the Placebo Band, a project targeting the claims of applied kinesiology. The Power Balance bracelet decision we mentioned on-air is posted at Vic Skeptics.

  • #85 Cooking for Geeks

    Nov 12 2010

    We set the table for Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food. From overclocking your kitchen appliances to recipes right out of a chemistry lab manual, we’ll explore how delicious cooking can be when you add a dash of nerd. Immunologist Dr. Gary Stadtmauer joins us to explain the science behind food allergies. Dr. Stadmauer mentioned two allergy resources on this episode: www.foodallergy.org and the Food Allergy Initiative. Desiree mentioned a news...more

  • #84 A Retrospective

    Nov 05 2010

    In honour of CJSR's FunDrive, we took a look back at some of our favourite moments from the show, and offered our (insightful and witty) commentary. Please note: Although FunDrive is over, it's never too late to donate. If you do decide to contribute online, please email us and let us know, so we can make sure you receive a tasteful and iconic Skeptically Speaking button! If you have already donated, we think you're great. The clips that we played on this show came from these past episodes: Astr...more

  • #83 Race and Reality

    Oct 29 2010

    The first show of our host station’s CJSR’s annual FunDrive campaign features a look at the science of race, with Guy P. Harrison, author of Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity. Is there any real biological basis to race? And how does it compare with our cultural understanding? We talk to Noah Nez, author of Diary of a Native Skeptic, a blog that looks at critical thinking from a Native American perspective.

  • #82 Vaccines

    Oct 22 2010

    We talk to Dr. David Gorski, surgical oncologist and Managing Editor of Science-Based Medicine, about the science and the suspicion of vaccinations. How do vaccines actually work? Why do so many parents fear them? And how has vaccine anxiety contributed to the resurgence of childhood diseases? Leart Shaka talks about The Vaccine Times, his project targeting pediatrician’s waiting rooms in the fight against vaccine misinformation.

  • #81 Delusions of Gender

    Oct 15 2010

    We speak with academic psychologist Dr. Cordelia Fine. Her new book, Delusions Of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, challenges the assumption that gender roles are wired into our brains, and shows us how ubiquitous cultural stereotypes are mistaken for actual fact. On Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong, Greg Laden asks if modern hobbies are an evolutionary consequence of prehistoric gender roles. You can find more information about the Waterloo,...more

  • #80 Science Journalism

    Oct 08 2010

    We’ll speak to Bora Zivkovic, Blog and Community Editor at Scientific American and one of the ScienceOnline organizers, about how online science reporting and the explosion of science blogging are affecting the way science news is brought to the public. And science journalist Stephen Strauss will tell us how the decline of the newspaper industry has affected his profession. Looking for the Science Blog Aggregator mentioned on the show? Click here.

  • #79 Your Brain on Music

    Oct 01 2010

    We’re joined by neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, to discuss his book This Is Your Brain on Music. We’ll look at the neuroscience of music appreciation, and explore the fascinating ways that listening to music affects our brains. And on Speaking Up, Raven Hanna and Logan Daniel share a look at the Science Tarot, a project that uses eye-catching art and the mythical structure of the tarot to illuminate scientific concepts, and Richard Murray on the inaugural&n...more

  • #78 Improbable Research

    Sep 24 2010

    We look at the stranger side of science with Marc Abrahams, the editor of Annals of Improbable Research and creator of the the Ig Nobel Prize. Is science that makes us laugh better at making us think? And neurobiologist Dr. Richard Wassersug explains his research into the relative tastiness of Costa Rican tadpoles.

  • #77 Bad Research

    Sep 17 2010

    Cognitive psychologist Barbara Drescher joins us to discuss the common mistakes scientists make, and what happens to the science when their research goes wrong. And on Speaking Up, journalist David Dobbs explains the case against Marc Hauser, a prominent Harvard evolutionary biologist who was recently found guilty of scientific misconduct.

  • #76 The Women Of Skepticism

    Sep 10 2010

    Live from Skeptrack at Dragon*Con, we talk to the women of skepticism about the contributions they're making to science and critical thinking. We start with a panel including Kylie Sturgess of The Token Skeptic, Robynn "Swoopy" McCarthy of Skepticality, and Heidi Anderson and Jenna Marie Griffith of SheThought. Field recordings: Donna Mugavero, Laurie Tarr, Dr. Pamela Gay, Dr. Rachie Dunlop, Jennifer Ouellette, Maria Walters, A Kovacs, Barbara Drescher

  • #75 Nobel Prize Women in Science - Part 2

    Sep 03 2010

    Author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne returns to tell us about more about the most influential women in the history of modern science. Part 1 of the episode is here. And on Speaking up, we talk to our own Ryan Bromsgrove explains everything you need to know about Quantum Misappropriations, and to Nicole Gugliucci with an update on Dark Skies, Bright Kids.

  • #74 The Conspiracy Skeptic

    Aug 27 2010

    We talk to Karl Mamer, host of The Conspiracy Skeptic, a podcast that examines the breathless claims and the actual evidence behind today’s most tenacious conspiracy theories. On Speaking Up, we speak with geneticist Josh Witten on what irrational beliefs can teach us about evolutionary theory, and Skeptic North Blogger Kim Hebert examines 21 studies claimed to support homeopathy. You can read the blog post that inspired Josh Witten’s Speaking Up on The Finch & Pea. You can...more

  • #73 Transhumanism - Part 2

    Aug 20 2010

    Back by popular demand: George Dvorsky, of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and science blogger Greg Fish. It's time for another look at Transhumanism, this time to debate Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity. On Speaking Up, we talk with Joey Haban of newly-nerfed.net on the myths and misunderstandings about Deaf culture. Transhumanism - Part 1 can be found here.

  • #72 Sex at Dawn

    Aug 13 2010

    We talk to author Christopher Ryan about his new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. We’ll discuss the most recent science and theories, and how social norms compare to our biological impulses. On Speaking Up, we have Derek Colanduno and Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy with a look at the skeptical events happening at this year’s Dragon*Con!

  • #71 Genetically Modified Foods

    Aug 06 2010

    University of Florida researcher Kevin Folta discusses what an expert in plant genomics thinks about the claims and controversy surrounding genetically modified foods. On Speaking Up, we talk with Monty Harper and the "Songs From the Science Frontier" project.

  • #70 The Culture Of Fear

    Jul 30 2010

    We're joined by sociologist and author Barry Glassner. For ten years, his book The Culture Of Fear has shed light on the way that cultural anxiety is manufactured to drive media ratings and win votes for politicians. The book has recently been updated to cover the trends of the last decade, and Glassner will explain why we're still afraid of all the wrong things. And Greg Laden is back with Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong. This time, is it true that poor people have more babies than the wea...more

  • #69 The Science of Sleep

    Jul 23 2010

    Dr. Kimberly A. Cote, Director of the Brock University Sleep Laboratory, discusses the research into the relationship between sleep, cognition and performance. On Speaking Up, we talk with Josh Hunt from the Cleveland Skeptics, on Critical Thinking 101.

  • #68 Adventures Among Ants

    Jul 16 2010

    We're joined by explorer and wildlife photographer Mark W. Moffet, to discuss his new book Adventures Among Ants. We'll journey around the world to learn about these fascinating insects, and discover the parallels between their societies and our own. On Speaking Up, we talk with blogger Mike McCarron on making skepticism a family affair.

  • #67 Cruelty

    Jul 09 2010

    We talk to researcher Dr. Kathleen Taylor, the author of Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain. Has the human brain evolved the capacity for evil? We'll examine cruelty as a scientific phenomenon, using the latest research from psychology and neuroscience. On Speaking Up we talk with Marc-Julien Objois of the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society on their upcoming Skepticamp.

  • #66 Scientific Paranormal Investigation

    Jul 02 2010

    Our guest is Ben Radford, columnist and managing editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Ben is a veteran investigator of paranormal incidents, and the author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. He'll share stories about his favourite investigations, and the techniques he uses to bring real science to bear on paranormal claims. On Speaking Up we talk to Markus Volter with Omega Tau Podcast.

  • #65 Transhumanism

    Jun 25 2010

    We explore the predictions and the problems in the quest to "enhance" human beings. We're joined by George Dvorsky of Sentient Developments and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and blogger Greg Fish. How will advancing technology affect our bodies, our lives, and our society? And it's time for another installment of Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong with Greg Laden. This week: Did Humans Evolve from Apes?

  • #64 The Cosmetics Cop

    Jun 18 2010

    Paula Begoun is the bestselling author of "The Beauty Bible" and "Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me." We'll examine the science behind some popular beauty products, and find out what real research says about makeup myths. On Speaking Up we talk about The Amazing Meeting with Austin Luton, Jeff Wagg and K.O. Myers.

  • #63 Vitamins

    Jun 11 2010

    Pharmacist and blogger Scott Gavura returns to give us the evidence-based perspective on vitamins and the claims that are made about them. Which ones are beneficial, which ones are bunk, and how is this billion-dollar industry regulated? And on Speaking Up we talk with Steve Wereley on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Please note, due to technical issues during the recording, the sound quality of this week's episode is not up to our usual standard. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • #62 The Evidence for Climate Change

    Jun 04 2010

    We're joined by John Cook, author of Skeptical Science, a website that examines climate change denial. What are the most common arguments used to create doubt about global warming? Are they supported by scientific evidence? On Speaking Up we talk to Meg Askey, Director of the Flagstaff Film Festival.

  • #61 Bonobo Handshake

    May 28 2010

    Journalist and author Vanessa Woods joins us to discuss her new book Bonobo Handshake.  The memoir takes us inside Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary, a refuge for orphaned baby bonobos in the Congo. What can studying these highly social primates tell us about ourselves? And science blogger Greg Laden joins us for Everything You Know Is Sort of Wrong, a new regular feature exposing the truth behind some commonly held beliefs. Our first segment: Primitive Cultures.

  • #60 Massimo Pigliucci

    May 21 2010

    Philosophy professor and author Dr. Massimo Pigliucci joins us to discuss his new book Nonsense On Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk. We'll discuss why people embrace pseudoscientific beliefs, and how it affects our culture. And on Speaking Up we talk to Noisy Astronomer Nicole Gugliucci with Dark Skies, Bright Kids.

  • #59 Young Skeptics

    May 14 2010

    We're joined by three members of the Young Australian Skeptics: Jack Scanlan, Elliot Birch and Jason Ball. We'll find out what's it like to discover reason before you're eligible to vote, how they communicate with their more credulous peers, and where they think we should go from here. On Speaking Up we talk to Alex Swan from WooFighters.org.

  • #58 Cryptozoology 101

    May 07 2010

    Blake Smith and Dr. Karen Stollznow, two of the hosts of MonsterTalk, join us to share some of their favorite stories of fictional fauna. On Speaking Up, we talk with Myron Getman of themadskeptic.com on The Dangers of Cryptozoology.

  • #57 The Survival Guide for Outsiders

    Apr 30 2010

    We talk to Sherman K. Stein, mathematician and author of Survival Guide for Outsiders: How To Protect Yourself From Politicians, Experts, and Other Insiders. What makes us so susceptible to social influence, and how can we guard against being manipulated? And on Speaking Up we talk to Matthew Linsdell on Personal Training.

  • #56 Baba Brinkman

    Apr 23 2010

    We sit down with Vancouver rapper Baba Brinkman, the artist behind The Rap Guide to Evolution, and the new rationalist anthem Off That. And on Speaking Up, we talk with Jason Brown with skepticator.com.

  • #55 Science Education

    Apr 16 2010

    How are today's teachers sharing the wonders of science and critical thinking with the next generation of students? With cognitive psychologist and university lecturer Barbara Drescher, and Mike McRae, former science teacher and current science writer for the education division of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Taylor Proctor with SkeptiBOOTcamp.

  • #54 The Genius in All of Us

    Apr 09 2010

    We'll be joined by journalist and bestselling author David Shenk, to discuss his new book, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong. We'll dig into the relationship between intelligence, talent and genetics. When it comes to the brain, does DNA always equal destiny, or can hard work mean more than heredity? On Speaking Up we talk to Steve Thoms of Skeptic North on Homeopathy Awareness Week.

  • #53 Obesity

    Apr 02 2010

    Researcher and writer Peter Janiszewski joins us to discuss the science of obesity, and the latest research on weight loss and human health. And on Speaking Up we talk with Carrie Iwan of Skepchick on Skepchicon.

  • #52 The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    Mar 26 2010

    We speak to Miriam Goldstein, doctoral student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography about her research expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Greg Fish from worldofweirdthings.com on Transhumanism. While we were on air, some wonderful listeners decided to post a "Happy First Radioversary" fan page. If you'd like to see for yourself what almost made Desiree speechless on live radio, visit here.

  • #51 Nobel Prize Women in Science

    Mar 19 2010

    In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne joined us to discuss the lives, careers and Nobel Prize-winning research of women scientists. And on Speaking Up we talk to Heidi Anderson previews She Thought.

  • #50 Investigating Technology

    Mar 12 2010

    We spoke to Jonathan Strickland, senior writer and "TechStuff" for howstuffworks.com, about the importance of critical thinking when examining new technology, and when determining whether the tech we use now does what it claims. And on Speaking Up we talk to Tyson Wozniak on skeparent.com.

  • #49 Sex, Genes and Evolution

    Mar 05 2010

    Biologist John Logsdon joins us to discuss the genetic and evolutionary aspects of sexual reproduction. Why do we have sex, anyway? Why do some creatures reproduce sexually, while others don't? And beyond the simple act of making other humans, what role does sex play in the survival of our species? And on Speaking Up, we talk to Don Riefler about the Gen Con Guerilla Skeptical Symposium.

  • #48 The Interactive Conference

    Feb 26 2010

    We looked at the increasing focus on interactivity at science and skeptical conferences. Science Online 2010 organizer Bora Zivkovic discusses the evolution of that conference model, and his experience putting together a massive multi-day, participant-driven gathering of scientists and science enthusiasts. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Skepticamp founder Reed Esau talks about the creation of the Skepticamp interactive conference.

  • #47 The Wakefield Study

    Feb 19 2010

    We take an in depth look at the recent Lancet retraction of Andrew Wakefield's research into a correlation between Autism and the MMR vaccine. Pharmacist Scott Gavura, research ethicist Nancy Walton and author and philosopher Chris MacDonald explore the shoddy science, questionable ethics and the repercussions of more than a decade of misinformation. And on Speaking Up we talk to Rodrigo de la Jara of the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society on the value of basic research.

  • #46 The Independent Investigations Group

    Feb 12 2010

    We spoke to three members of the Independent Investigations Group, to discuss their organization and their $50,000 Paranormal Challenge. Steve Muscarella, Jim Newman and Spencer Marks explained how they investigate extraordinary claims, and put them to the (scientific) test. And on Speaking Up, we talk superstitions with Joey Haban of Newly Nerfed.

  • #45 Skeptical Scientist Dr. Rachel Dunlop

    Feb 05 2010

    We spoke to Rachel "Dr. Rachie" Dunlop, Australian scientist and Skeptic Zone podcaster. We discussed her work as a scientist, researcher and blogger, as well as her efforts to promote reason and critical thinking to her fellow Australians. And on Speaking Up, we talk about Skeptic North, the Pan-Canadian Skeptical Blog Collective.

  • #44 Evolution Education

    Jan 29 2010

    We sat down with Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, to talk about the state of evolution education. How is the science being presented in schools? What new tactics are anti-science advocates using to challenge the teaching of evolution? And how can skeptics and friends of science best communicate the information? Plus, we discussed the new children's book Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be by Junior Skeptic author and illustrator D...more

  • #43 Skepticism and Race

    Jan 22 2010

    Is the face of modern skepticism really as monochrome as it appears? How do we make our message appeal to a broader, more diverse audience? And how do racial demographics influence belief in pseudoscience and the paranormal? Our panel includes LaVerne Knight-West, Stephanie Zvan, and Girl 6. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Rhys Chouinard with the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics and K.O. Myers from Grassroots Skeptics on their new Skeptical Speakers Bureau.

  • #42 Climate Change

    Jan 15 2010

    Guest host Mike Harrison spoke to Dr. John Gamon, professor and researcher at the University of Alberta, researcher for the TROPI-DRY Collaborative Research Network, and cofounder of SpecNet, about climate science and research. And on Speaking Up, we talk about dinosaur vocalization with Della Drury.

  • #41 How Many Licks?

    Jan 08 2010

    We spoke to author and physicist Aaron Santos about his new book, How Many Licks. Have you ever wondered how many calories are in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? How many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How long it would take to dig your way to China using a spoon? Aaron knows. Approximately. And on Speaking Up we discuss the merits of paper vs. plastic with Naomi Baker.

  • #40 Alcohol

    Jan 01 2010

    In honor of your possible New Year's over-indulgence, we discussed alcohol with Dr. Rob Tarzwell and Dr. Ken Mukamal. How does intoxication work? When is alcohol actually good for you, and how much is too much? And of course... how to get rid of a hangover.

  • #39 The Paradox of Choice

    Dec 25 2009

    Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author, contends that although you may think you want more options, and that having those myriad alternatives will make you happier and more satisfied... you're wrong. It's actually making you miserable.

  • #38 Microbiology

    Dec 18 2009

    Lisa Hammett talks to us about pathogens, viruses, probiotics, antibiotics... if it's too small to be seen without a microscope, it's up for discussion. And on Speaking Up, we talk to Mike Meraz with Actually Speaking: Exploring the Human Side of Skepticism.

  • #37 Radiation and Health

    Dec 11 2009

    Dr. Marc MacKenzie, medical physicist, discusses radiation: why a little can be good, why a lot can be bad, and why radiation is more important than you think. And on Speaking Up, we discuss The James Randi Educational Foundation with Bart G. Farkas.

  • #36 Belief and Education

    Dec 04 2009

    We spoke to Martin Bridgstock and Kylie Sturgess, who recently completed one of the largest surveys of paranormal, pseudoscientific, superstitious and conspiracy theory beliefs in Australia. They've studied how age, gender, religion, and voting preference relate to belief in the paranormal, and whether there's a single underlying tendency to be "a believer". Some of their conclusions are quite different than what we've seen in other studies. What does this mean mean for skeptical education and o...more

  • #35 Punk Rock Skepticism

    Nov 27 2009

    We spoke with Nicky Garratt, guitarist for the legendary punk band, the UK Subs, who also happens to be an outspoken skeptic. Does speaking out against pseudoscience, magical thinking and unexamined beliefs get in the way of damning the man? And, by popular demand, we introduced our new semi-regular segment "Ask a Pharmacist" with Scott Gavura. Answering all the questions you'd ask your own pharmacist, if the line wasn't so long.

  • #34 Health Fraud

    Nov 20 2009

    We spoke with Brent Homan from the Canadian Competition Bureau, about their attempts to combat health fraud. Questionable cancer cures, fake vaccines, miracle machines, creams and treatments. What's the government doing to educate consumers and smack down the bad guys? And is it working?

  • #33 Human Research Ethics

    Nov 13 2009

    Nancy Walton helps us explore the intricacies of human research ethics. The Millgram Experiment. The Stanford Prison Experiment. Randomized trials on orphaned and abandoned children. Stem cell research. Studying the effects of torture. Does "ethics" mean what you think it means? And on Speaking Up, we talk about chronic illness and alternative health with Joey Haban.

  • #32 The Skeptical Alt-Heath Practitioner

    Nov 06 2009

    Paul Ingraham is a Vancouver Registered Massage Therapist and science writer who criticizes questionable practices in alternative health care -- and his professional regulator calls it offensively unprofessional and wants to censor his website with tens of thousands of dollars in legal defense expenses at stake. Science-based alternative health? Rebellion within the alt-health ranks? And on Speaking Up, we about Science Online 2010 with Bora Zivkovic.

  • #31 Science Fiction and Skepticism

    Oct 30 2009

    Discussing the intersection of science fiction and skepticism with Derek Colanduno, co-host of the podcast Skepticality. Saying that "both involve science" is only scratching the surface. And on Speaking Up we talk about horror movie superstitions with Jill Powell.

  • #30 Digital Footprints

    Oct 23 2009

    Keith Schon of Cataphora discusses how computers can track behavior, and find out all your dirty little secrets. What are the limits on what your company is allowed to find out about you, and how are they doing it? How do we figure out, after the fact, whether "Yeah, go do that" means "Yes, grab me some lunch" or "Yes, perpetrate that multi-million dollar fraud scheme." And what do your online behavior patterns say about you? And on Speaking Up we discuss sports superstitions with Colin McIntyre...more

  • #29 Getting Noticed

    Oct 16 2009

    From comedy and music, to scientific studies and how we respond to them, to blogging vs. mainstream media, to attention-grabbing stunts... is all publicity good publicity, or do our own efforts sometimes work against us? With Greg Laden, biological anthropologist and author of Greg Laden's Blog and Omar Mouallem, rapper and journalist. And on Speaking Up: Made With Molecules with Raven Hanna.

  • #28 Canadian Skepticism

    Oct 09 2009

    We discuss the challenges and successes of the Canadian evidence-based community with contributors to the new Canadian skeptical blog, Skeptic North. Guests include Steve Thoms from Ontario's Niagara Region, Jonathan Abrams from Ottawa, and Jesse Brydle from Vancouver.

  • #27 Randall Munroe of xkcd

    Oct 02 2009

    Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd, discusses stick men, math, science, relationships and what it's like to be an internet meme. And on Speaking Up, Omar Mouallem with a Skeptical Ghost Story.

  • #26 Science Comedian

    Sep 25 2009

    Brian Malow, earth's premier science comedian, discusses using humour as outreach, why people are scared of science, and what's so funny about the second law of thermodynamics. And on Speaking Up we disucss H1N1 anti-vaccination paranoia with Scott Gavura.

  • #25 Surprise Guest Adam Savage!

    Sep 18 2009

    Adam Savage, co-host of the Discovery Channel's MythBusters will be on the show this week, to discuss skepticism, celebrity advocacy, and of course, the wildly popular TV show and its role in skepticism. And Derek Bartholomaus, creator of The Jenny McCarthy Body Count will discuss anti-vaccination advocates and the recent rise in treatable illnesses.

  • #24 Richard Saunders

    Sep 11 2009

    Richard Saunders, paranormal investigator and host of the Skeptic Zone podcast, will explain how we can properly use the scientific method to test psychic and supernatural claims, how to become a credible resource for mainstream news, and how to keep a straight face, even, and especially, when it's difficult. And on Speaking Up, Michael Kruse with the Darwin Lecture Series.

  • #23 The Skeptical Actor

    Sep 04 2009

    Kennedy Goodkey, writer of/actor in the new independent movie The Beast of Bottomless Lake will discuss Ogopogo, being a skeptic in the not-so-skeptical acting community,and what it's like to shoot a movie in a town where the tourism industry is built on the perpetuation of a myth. And on Speaking Up, we talk to K.O. Myers with Grassroots Skeptics.

  • #22 Genomics

    Aug 28 2009

    Fintan Steele discusses genetic information and research, and its implications for medicine, law and ethics. And on Speaking Up, The Skeptographers with Marion Kilgour.

  • #21 Skeptical Education

    Aug 21 2009

    Daniel Loxton, the editor of Junior Skeptic magazine, discusses how we can help to ensure that the next generation is thoroughly prepared for all the irrationality, pseudoscience and disinformation that the world will throw at them. And on Speaking Up: Notes from the Skepdad with Brad Salomons.

  • #20 Ask A Pharmacist

    Aug 14 2009

    Scott Gavura discusses naturopaths prescribing medicine, the right to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral grounds, and how not every remedy in your local pharmacy is evidence-based. And on Speaking Up: Brownian Motion and the Ants.

  • #19 Gender and The Skeptical Community

    Aug 07 2009

    So where are we with gender and sexism within the skeptical community? The facts and opinions may surprise you. With guests Dana Blumrosen, Marion Kilgour and Jill Powell.

  • #18 Astrobiology

    Jul 31 2009

    Dr. Maggie Turnbull, consulting scientist for NASA's New World Observer, a space telescope mission to discover and study Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and for the MIT Exoplanet-SAT, a mission to search for transits of habitable exoplanets, offers us a glimpse into the possibility of life on other planets. And on Speaking Up: skepticism and weight loss with Jill Powell.

  • #17 Cyber Security

    Jul 24 2009

    Nullsession explains just how totally dependent we are on our computers, and the myriad ways in which we are vulnerable. I for one, welcome our robot overlords. And on Speaking Up: IQ denialism with Rodrigo de la Jara.

  • #16 TAM Forever

    Jul 17 2009

    The cast discusses their trip to TAM7, with the goal of making you ridiculously jealous. With surprise calls from Tim Farley, Jeff Wagg and Richard Saunders!

  • #15 Stormchasing

    Jul 03 2009

    Jeff Richardson talks with us about tornadoes and other extreme weather conditions, and what drives someone to choose such a potentially hazardous hobby. And on Speaking Up: Amy Davis Roth of surlyramics.com. Beautiful jewelry for the fashionable skeptic.

  • #14 Math

    Jun 26 2009

    The episode in which Simon Rose attempts to assist Des in her ongoing struggle with numbers. Spoiler: numbers win. And on Speaking Up: science-inspired clothing line thephage.com with Sibina.

  • #13 Astronomy

    Jun 19 2009

    Astronomer, popular author and super-blogger Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy joins us to talk about all things astronomy. Why is Pluto now not a planet? What’s NASA up to lately? And what’s the deal with the Hubble Telescope?

  • #12 Biotechnology Ethics

    Jun 12 2009

    Author, philosopher and ethicist Chris MacDonald discusses the ethics involved in this broad and sometimes morally ambiguous field. On Speaking Up: Skepticamp with Nathan Hinman.

  • #11 Nuclear Power

    Jun 05 2009

    Fascinating discussion on nuclear power with Dr. Jeremy Whitlock, reactor physicist and author of the website The Canadian Nuclear FAQ, and Elena Schacherl, founder and Co-chair of Citizens Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy (CAUSE), which is a member of the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta.

  • #10 Geology

    May 29 2009

    Dr. Hans Machel discusses flood theory, crystals, the concept of a hollow earth, and why all these things can be explained using his Square of Irrational Thought. And on Speaking Up: celebrities and your health with Jill Powell.

  • #9 Quitting Smoking

    May 22 2009

    The cast decides to quit smoking and provides their research on the most (and least) evidence-based ways to go about it. Special appearances by MC Frontalot and Catherine Nissen.

  • #8 Censorship

    May 15 2009

    Dennis Young, leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada, and Matthew Johnston, publisher of the Western Standard, discuss censorship and free speech. And on Speaking Up: the epigenome with Mike Harrison.

  • #7 Skeptical Activism and Bill 44

    May 08 2009

    Brian Mason, leader of the Alberta NDP, discusses Bill 44, the Alberta Government's proposal to allow parents to opt-out of classes that conflict with religious belief. Tim Farley, creator of What's the Harm (pictured), explains how to most effectively use the Internet for skeptical activism.

  • #6 Neuroeconomics

    May 01 2009

    Dr. Ming Hsu discusses the way your brain deals with decisions about efficiency, versus how it deals with issues of fairness. And on Speaking Up: skepticism in movies with Jill Powell.

  • #5 UFOs

    Apr 24 2009

    Jim Moroney of the Alberta UFO Study Group discusses his experiences with and research into aliens. And on Speaking Up: new exoplanet Gliese 581 E with Brownian Motion.

  • #4 Science of Love

    Apr 17 2009

    Helen Fisher was slated to be on the show to talk about the biological roots of romantic love, but was unable to appear. Mike Harrison substituted. And on Speaking Up: supermarket science with Marion Kilgour.

  • #3 The Gerson Diet

    Apr 10 2009

    Howard Straus of the Gerson Institute, who is featured in the movie A Beautiful Truth: The World's Simplest Cure for Cancer, discusses this controversial treatment. And on Speaking Up: "Our visit to the Body Soul and Spirit Expo" with Nathan Hinman and Ryan Bromsgrove.

  • #2 Science of Cults

    Mar 27 2009

    Dr. Stephen Kent discusses brainwashing, ritual abuse and the difference between cults and religions. And on Speaking Up: potty training with Brad Salomons.

  • #1 Secularism in Alberta

    Mar 20 2009

    Cliff Erasmus, Chair of Centre for Inquiry Calgary, discusses Alberta's secular landscape. And on Speaking Up: the psychology of gender with Mike Harrison.