Science for the People

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Science for the People is a long-format interview podcast 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. 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 change our future.

570 épisodes

27 juillet 2020 - 01:00:00
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
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20 juillet 2020 - 01:00:00
This week we dig into the grammar, idiosyncracies, and patterns of mondern writing the internet has made not just possible, but necessary: the writing you and I do all the time via email, text and Tweet. Join host Rachelle Saunders and guest Gretchen McCulloch, blogger, Wired columnist, podcaster, and author of the book "Because Internet: Understand the New Rules of Language", as they pick apart the language of the internet era from the history and use of emojis to the ethics of using Twitter as a data resource to better understand language. Related links: Children Are Using Emoji for Digital-Age...
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12 juillet 2020 - 01:00:00
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
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28 juin 2020 - 01:00:00
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
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21 juin 2020 - 01:00:00
Around the end of the second world war, a set of tiny miniature dioramas depicting a variety of deaths were created to help teach investigators how to approach a crime scene. You may have heard of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death and their maker, Frances Glessner Lee... but you probably didn't know how Lee became interested in forensics, that she used her inheritance to establish a department of legal medicine at Harvard Medical School to accellerate the field, or that she used her political savvy to push the adoption of the medical examiner system in more jurisdictions. We talk...
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14 juin 2020 - 01:00:00
Yes, bumble bees are important pollinators. But they're also fascinating, cute and colorful. This week's episode can trace its origins to a flowery Sierra Nevada meadow where host Carolyn Wilke reported on guest Michelle Duennes' project of catching bumble bees to study their health. Three years and hundreds of bees later, we check in on the project. Hear all about the adventures of working with bumble bees, from flash freezing bees in the field to baking pollen cookies for lab colonies. We also talk bee conservation, bumble bee colors, and a bit of roller derby. Related links: Duennes Lab Michelle...
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7 juin 2020 - 01:00:00
We're taking a step back from our scheduled episode this week to ensure the important discussions around Black Lives Matter continue to stay in focus. Black voices are leading conversations about deep-rooted racism they have experienced and witnessed. These conversations aren't hard to find. We've included a few resources below to get you started if you aren't sure where or how to get started, but don't let these be the only things you engage with. General Black Lives Matter website Ways You Can Help Books How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi Between the World and Me by...
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24 mai 2020 - 01:00:00
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
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17 mai 2020 - 01:00:00
This week on Science for the People, we're diving into the world of DNA barcoding. We speak with Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, about the International Barcode of Life. And we discuss how you can contribute to the field of DNA barcoding with Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Associate Director of Informatics and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph. This episode is hosted by Anika Hazra. Related links: Hajibabaei Lab Centre for Biodiversity Genomics International Barcode of Life Sujeevan Ratnasingham and his Twitter...
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10 mai 2020 - 01:00:00
Like many people these days, you might be spending your time at home making bread. Maybe you couldn't find instant yeast and decided that sourdough didn't sound that hard. But the colony of wild yeast you've nurtured is more marvelous than you probably expect. Today host Marion Kilgour discusses a small corner of the wonderful world of yeast with Sudeep Agarwala from Ginkgo Bioworks. Related links: A Twitter thread on sourdough advice from Sudeep Agarwala A Twitter thread on lentil-based sourdough from Sudeep Agarwala
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26 avril 2020 - 01:00:00
One of the most amazing things modern medicine does is organ transplants: literally taking organs like the lungs or the heart from recently dead people and using them to replace the failing organs in living, critically ill people, giving them a second shot at living a fuller life. How and when did we first figure out how to do this? What does a modern transplant look like? And what is it like to be the doctor who takes from death to give life? This week host Rachelle Saunders talks with Dr Joshua Mezrich, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division...
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19 avril 2020 - 01:00:00
Medicines. We all need to take them. And it seems like the prices are just getting higher and higher. Luckily, generics offer a cheaper alternative. And we are told that they are both the same drug and do the same thing, we assume in the same way. But it turns out that's not really quite true. This week, we're talking with Katherine Eban about her book "Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom". Related links: After a scandal, a one-sided warning against generic drugs by Jeremy Greene in The Washington Post Ranbaxy's empty promises by Katherine...
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12 avril 2020 - 01:00:00
With many schools closed and parents looking for resources to help keep children stuck at home engaged and still learning, the hosts of Science for the People stuck on our curation caps and did some digging to create a list of STEM themed online resources for students of all ages and interests. This week we take a break from our usual format so that hosts Bethany Brookshire and Rachelle Saunders can showcase these great resources and hopefully help you find a few that your at-home student is keen to explore. Find a link to every learning resource we talk about...
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29 mars 2020 - 01:00:00
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
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22 mars 2020 - 01:00:00
It's everywhere, and it felt disingenuous for us here at Science for the People to avoid it, so here is our episode on Coronavirus. It's ok to give this one a skip if this isn't what you want to listen to right now. Check out the links below for other great podcasts mentioned in the intro. Host Rachelle Saunders gets us up to date on what the Coronavirus is, how it spreads, and what we know and don't know with Dr Jason Kindrachuk, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. And...
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15 mars 2020 - 01:00:00
Tech, computers, code, security vulnerabilities, hacking elections... We hear about the technical change, but what about the subculture of tech and coders that brought it about? Who are these people who -- in the words of our guest today - "are among the most quietly influential people on the planet"? Rachelle Saunders digs into this topic with writer Clive Thompson, author of the new book "Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World".
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8 mars 2020 - 01:00:00
This week is all about fish. All about ALL the fish, actually. Biomechanicist Adam Summers shares about his adventures in studying fish and CT scanning them. Adam and a community of researchers are working to take 3D scans of all known fish on Earth: some 34,000 species and counting. New host Carolyn Wilke and Adam discuss the project, the diversity of fish — fish that fight, float upstream, cling to rocks and more - and advising animators on the films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
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23 février 2020 - 01:00:00
This week we take a closer look at what cancer is, how it works, and what makes it so hard to treat without shying away or ignoring the human experience of cancer for patients and their families. We talk with Dr Azra Raza, oncologist, Professor of Medicine, Director of the MDS Center at Columbia University, and author of the new book "The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last".
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16 février 2020 - 01:00:00
This week on Science for the People, we're discussing how Siksika become one of the official translation languages for press releases from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The area of the world that is now known as Canada has an abundance of distinct languages; according to the 2016 Census, over 70 are still spoken. But the British government, and then the Canadian government, spent generations trying to prevent children from learning these languages. One of the languages spoken in the prairies is Siksika, also called Blackfoot (the English translation). Host Marion Kilgour speaks to Sharon Yellowfly and Corey Gray...
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9 février 2020 - 01:00:00
This week, we're discussing the opportunities and challenges of using Zulu, a language that has traditionally been excluded from science journalism, to share discoveries with a new audience. Host Marion Kilgour speaks with Sibusiso Biyela, science communicator at ScienceLink and a contributor at South African science news website SciBraai. Related links: Decolonizing Science Writing in South Africa on The Open Notebook by Sibusiso Biyela
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