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Might the chemicals we exhale while watching movies tell us about the emotional stress that we're experiencing? In episode 41, Jonathan Williams from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany discusses his research analyzing the gasses emitted in cinemas, as described in his article "Proof of concept study: Testing human ...
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How well can doctors and nurses really predict the outcomes of their ICU patients? In this episode, Scott Halpern from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, discusses how he and his colleagues explored the accuracy of ICU physicians and nurses in predicting the health outcomes of their patients. Their ...
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The rich archaeological records of human space exploration can tell us much about human behavior, geopolitics, and the history of science and technology. In this episode we are joined by Alice Gorman of Flinders University in South Australia. Alice tells us about her research that explores archaeological perspectives derived from ...
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Ordinary objects from the recent past often hold secrets about our cultural history. In episode 38, P.J. Capelotti from Penn State University Abington talks with us about the history, archaeology, and anthropology of exploration as he writes about it in his recent book Adventures in Archaeology: The Wreck of the Orca II ...
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While we often associate archaeology with the study of cultures whose eras have long-since come and gone, artifacts from the recent past can tell us about culture as well. Part one of our conversation with P.J. Capelotti from Penn State University Abington concerned terrestrial archaeology. In part two, we talk about his explorations of aeronautical and ...
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Photo of Laura Mauldin with baby outdoors.
To what extent could "coming out" be a useful analogy for the process of coming to identify as Deaf? In episode 44, Laura Mauldin from the University of Connecticut discusses her research into this question as detailed in her open-access article "'Coming out' rhetoric in disability studies: Exploring its fit ...
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Might we be better able to understand what's going on inside the "black box" of machine learning algorithms? In episode 53, Been Kim from Google Brain talks with us about her research into creating algorithms that can explain why they make the recommendations they do via concepts that are relatable ...
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"Nothing in life is certain," writes MIT mechanical engineer Seth Lloyd, "except death, taxes and the second law of thermodynamics." But is this necessarily so? In episode 52, we're joined by Andreas Schilling with the University of Zurich, who discusses his development of an amazingly simple device that allows heat ...
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As 2017 comes to a close, we revisit our first 12 interviews to highlight some of the themes and trends across our inaugural episodes. Clips highlight everything from planning and carrying out research studies to the trials and tribulations of academic publishing. We also hear from guests about the use ...
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In this episode we talk with Rafael Núñez from the University of California San Diego about his research into if human understanding of number has developed through biological evolution, or through the evolution of language and culture. His article, "Is There Really an Evolved Capacity for Number?," was published in ...
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Can stereotypes about Christians really limit who pursues science? In this episode, Kim Rios from Ohio University discusses how self-concepts and group identities may change how we look at the role of religion in science. Kim tells the stories behind her article "Negative Stereotypes Cause Christians to Underperform in and ...
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Can cognitive biases and heuristics regarding race influence U.S. Supreme Court decisions? In episode 40, Jonathan Feingold and Evelyn Carter from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) discuss the sometimes selective use of social science research by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist as analyzed in their article "Eyes Wide Open: ...
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Can communication across networks of people be optimized to share information, while at the same time lessening the likelihood of information bubbles and echo chambers? In Episode 54, we're joined by Ida Momennejad and Ajua Duker from Columbia University and Yale University, respectively, to discuss their open access article “Bridge ...
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Niki den Nieuwenboer from the University of Kansas' School of Business talks with us about her research on how middle-managers can manipulate organizational  structures to coerce their staff into unethical behaviors to inflate both of their apparent performance. She co-authored the article we discuss, "Middle Managers and Corruptive Routine Translation: ...
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Righting a 200 year old mistake: Armita Manafzadeh from Brown University talks with us about how her simulations of pterosaurs' range-of-motion demonstrate that the ancient reptiles almost certainly couldn't have flown like most paleontologists have long thought they did. Her open-access article, "ROM mapping of ligamentous constraints on avian hip mobility: ...
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Bill Clark from the University of California Los Angeles discusses his research applying the endowment effect of Prospect Theory to decisions of why people move from, or stay in, their homes. His open-access article, "Prospect theory and the decision to move or stay," co-authored with William Lisowski, was published in ...
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Because 98% of the human genome doesn't serve a direct role in gene expression, many biologists have long thought of them as nothing but "junk DNA." But might they hold the key to helping stem the formation of deadly cancers? In episode 34, Mike Feigin from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center talks with ...
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What leads people to stand up against authoritarianism? Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus from Stanford University and lead investigator on the Stanford Prison Experiment, talks with us about his new research into how social modeling influences the likelihood of disobeying unjust authority figures. His open-access article "On the dynamics of disobedience: ...
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No matter whether you think you can or can't, the saying goes, you're right. Neil Lewis, Jr. from Cornell University talks with us in episode 29 about about his research into what differentiates students who experience difficulty in college as signaling its importance from those that make it mean that completing college is ...
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Just how rampant is scientific misconduct? In episode 51, Elisabeth Bik talks with us about her research suggesting that as many as 35,000 papers in biomedicine journals may be candidates for retraction due to inappropriate image duplication. Her open-access article, “Analysis and Correction of Inappropriate Image Duplication: the Molecular and ...
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In this episode we talk with Laura Stephenson from the University of Western Ontario about her research into how the structures of electoral systems can shape support for female political candidates. She co-authored the open-access article "Votes for Women: Electoral Systems and Support for Female Candidates" with Sona N. Golder, Karine ...
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Sometimes our emotions and the power of illusions can put our sense of reality to the test. In this special Halloween episode, Beatrice de Gelder from Maastricht University in The Netherlands shares stories behind her study "Affective vocalizations influence body ownership as measured in the rubber hand illusion," which she coauthored ...
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Michael Kraus from Yale University's School of Management talks with us about his research examining the role of the voice in our capacity to accurately estimate the emotions of others. His open-access article, "Voice-Only Communication Enhances Empathic Accuracy",  was published in the American Psychologist in October of 2017. Websites Supplemental materials for ...
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How do some fish see color in the black-and-white world of the ocean's depths? In episode 55, Zuzana Musilová, an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague, discusses her research into the unique way that some fish in the deep ocean’s darkness may be able to see in color. Her ...
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Are adolescents' technology use really related to depression, suicide and ADHD, or might it be no worse for kids than eating potatoes? In episode 47, Amy Orben from the University of Oxford discusses her explorations into how researchers' biases can influence their analysis of large datasets. Her article "The association ...
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Can we put the brakes on cancers' ability to metastasize? In episode 33, John Lewis from the University of Alberta talks with us about his research into inhibiting cancer cell movement and metastasis through genomic targets. His open-access article "Quantitative in vivo whole genome motility screen reveals novel therapeutic targets to block cancer ...
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Might early hearing impairment lead to cognitive challenges later in life? Yune Lee from the Ohio State University talks with us in episode 30 about his research into how even minor hearing loss can increase the cognitive load required to distinguish spoken language. His open-access article  "Differences in hearing acuity among 'normal-hearing' ...
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Soroush Vosoughi from MIT's Laboratory for Social Machines and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center talks with us about his research into how false spreads differently than true news in Twitter. His open-access article "The spread of true and false news online", co-authored with Deb Roy and Sinan Aral, was published in the journal Science on March ...
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What can the chance discovery of an illusion tell us about how our eyes and brains work together? Ben Balas from North Dakota State University talks with us in episode 37 about his research into the Flashed Face Distortion Effect, an illusion in which normal faces – when rapidly presented in people’s peripheral vision ...
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Many people hear voices that aren't really there. It drives some to seek psychiatric treatment, but others are able to make use of it in healthy ways. In this episode, Al Powers and Phil Corlett from Yale University talk about their research into the similarities and differences between these two ...
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What might migration patterns tell us about how modern languages came about? Vanderbilt University's Nicole Creanza talks with us about her research into how migration during the colonial era contributed to the development of the creole language, Sranan. Her open-access article "Using features of a Creole language to reconstruct population history and ...
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Why are less-than-college-educated White men in the US so much less happy and more desperate than their international counterparts? In episode 49, Carol Graham from the Brookings Institution and the University of Maryland talks with us about her research into why younger out-of-work men in the United States are so ...
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Do people who willingly hold down multiple careers at the same time struggle like the rest of us to find authenticity in their work? Brianna Caza, Sherry Moss & Heather Vough (of the University of Manitoba, Wake Forest University, and the University of Cincinnati) talk with us about what their research ...
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While various vertebrates have been taught to learn humans' concept of "zero," might too honey bees, even though their brains have thousands of times fewer neurons? In episode 31 Adrian Dyer from RMIT and Monash University in Australia talks with us about his work first teaching bees to count and then extrapolate ...
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Open access to both the scientific process and results should be the default, not the exception. In the first of this two-part episode, Brian Nosek and Tim Errington from the Center for Open Science talk about the important role of open science in accelerating scientific progress, as discussed in their ...
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Reproducing research results can help accelerate the scientific progress. In the second half of this two-part episode, Tim Errington and Brian Nosek from the Center for Open Science share insights from their the Center's replication of a high-profile anti-cancer treatment study. In the episode Tim also discusses how the preregistration of ...
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Whether intentionally or unintentionally, might the manipulation of statistics in marketing research be costing companies millions? In episode 43, Ron Berman from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business discusses in his open-access article "p-Hacking and False Discovery in A/B Testing," co-authored with Leonid Pekelis, Aisling Scott, and Christophe Van ...
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Might our brains have greater plasticity than commonly thought? In episode 36, Marlene Behrmann from Carnegie Mellon University, discusses her 3-year longitudinal investigation of a young boy who had the region of his brain which recognizes faces removed, but regained this ability through neural plasticity. Her open-access article "Successful Reorganization ...
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Almost lost to history, these toys quite literally put quantum mechanics at one’s fingertips. In episode 35, Jean-François Gauvin from Université Laval in Canada discusses how he came to understand the purpose and value of unique toy blocks that ended up on his desk at Harvard University in 2014 as the ...
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What can prehistory tell us about the origins of modern birds? Bhart-Anjan Bhullar from Yale University talks with us about how the discovery of a 95 million year old Ichthyornis fossil in 2014 revealed some unexpected insights into the minds — and mouths — of today's birds. His article, "Complete Ichthyornis skull illuminates mosaic ...
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In this episode we talk with Folarin Kolawole from the University of Oklahoma about his research into how the reactivation of faults can lead to earthquakes in places where they've never before occurred in recorded history. He co-authored the article "Aeromagnetic, gravity, and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar analyses reveal the ...
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In celebration of LGBTSTEMDay, we talk with Bryce Hughes of Montana State University about his research into the factors that influence the retention of LGBQ students in STEM programs. His open-access article, "Coming out in STEM: Factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students" was published on March 14, 2018 ...
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Adam Morris from Harvard University's Department of Psychology talks with us about his game theory research into why people engage in retribution with little regard for its effectiveness, yet they respond to punishment from others with flexibility based on costs and benefits. He co-authored the open-access article "Evolution of Flexibility ...
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Can the sharing of drum break samples among musicians help us better understand how networks of artists collaborate? In episode 48, Mason Youngblood from the City University of New York discusses his research into the cultural transmission of digital music samples through collaborative networks of musicians. His article, "Cultural transmission ...
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What matters more in getting cited — what you say or how you say it? In our first episode we're visited by Ryan Kelly from the University of Washington's School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Ryan is both an ecologist and a lawyer; and his research concerns the interplay between geography, ...
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A picture may be worth 1000 words, but can we also teach computers to create stories from the stories that lie inside our images? In this episode, Devi Parikh of Georgia Tech’s school of interactive computing discusses her work training computers to determine the semantic meaning within images. Devi talks ...
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Can auditory errors and illusions better help us understand how the brain works? In episode 32 Mike Vitevitch from the University of Kansas talks with us about his research into the cognitive mechanisms underlying the Speech-to-Song auditory illusion. His article "An account of the Speech-to-Song Illusion using Node Structure Theory" was published ...
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Anna-Sophia Wahl — a neuroscientist with the Brain Research Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, as well as a physician with the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany — talks with us about her open-access article "Optogenetically stimulating intact rat corticospinal tract post-stroke restores motor control ...
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Might police shootings of unarmed African Americans have anything to do with state-level structural racism? Anita Knopov from Boston University joins us to talk about her study "The Relationship Between Structural Racism and Black-White Disparities in Fatal Police Shootings at the State Level," published in The Journal of the National Medical ...
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How can a satellite the size of a loaf of bread take the heat of operating in the extreme conditions existing in space without overheating? In Episode 56, we're joined by Naia Butler-Craig from the Georgia Institute of Technology to discuss her open access article “An investigation of the system ...
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In episode 45, Liz MacDonald from the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses in her research into STEVE, a previously unrecorded atmospheric phenomenon discovered by citizen scientists in late 2016 that appears as a ribbon of flickering purple and green light in the night sky. Her open-access article "New science ...
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Might enabling computational aids to "self-correct" when they’re out of sync with people be a path toward their exhibition of recognizably intelligent behavior? In episode 46, Neera Jain from Purdue University discusses in her experiments into monitoring our trust in AI's abilities so as to drive us more safely, care ...
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We thought this study was ultimately about William Shakespeare, but discovered it's implications are much broader. David Kernot from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group, currently studying at the Australian National University, talks with us about the many applications of his research into training algorithms to uncover authors' identities and personalities ...
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Sam Mehr and Manvir Singh from Harvard's Music Lab talk with us about their research suggesting that people across the world can detect the social purpose of other cultures' songs based only on how they sound. Their open-access article, "Form and function in human song"  was published in Current Biology on February 5th 2018 ...
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Could birds' courting behaviors change when they're being watched? In episode 42, Masayo Soma from Hokkaido University discusses her research into monogamous songbirds which intensify their singing and dancing during courtship rituals – but only while in the presence of an audience of other birds. Her open-access article "Couples showing off: ...
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When in Rome, should you really do as the Romans do? In episode 50, Wataru Toyokawa from the University of Konstanz in Germany discusses how observing and imitating others in crowds can at times enhance collective ‘wisdom’ ... while other times it can lead to collective ‘madness.’ His article, "Social ...
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