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15 Sep 2020

Adhering to Prohibitive Taboos – Manvir Singh

Why do religious leaders abstain from some pleasures? In episode 83, Manvir Singh from Harvard University's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology discusses his research into why shaman healers among the a group of people off the coast of Indonesia observe costly prohibitions, such abstinence or......
Listen to episode..Adhering to Prohibitive Taboos – Manvir Singh
18 Aug 2020

Picking Apart Conspiracy Theories – Tim Tangherlini

Is it an actual conspiracy, or just a theory about one? In episode 81, Tim Tangherlini from the University of California Berkeley’s Folklore Program discusses his research into how conspiracy theorists interpret and use what they believe is “hidden knowledge” to connect multiple human interactions...
Listen to episode..Picking Apart Conspiracy Theories – Tim Tangherlini
17 Mar 2020

The Minds of Single-celled Organisms – Jeremy Gunawardena

Can even a single-celled organism truly learn? In Episode 70, Jeremy Gunawardena with the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School talks with us about his replication of an experiment originally conducted over a century ago, which suggested that at least one single-cell organism - t......
Listen to episode..The Minds of Single-celled Organisms – Jeremy Gunawardena
12 Nov 2019

Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas

Sure, you might have a tongue piercing. But would you consider something far more extreme for a bump on the social ladder? In episode 62, we're joined by Dimitris Xygalatas from the University of Connecticut, who talks with us about how extravagant and painful rituals can foster greater subjective......
Listen to episode..Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas
30 Apr 2019

Sampling Music Networks – Mason Youngblood

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......
Listen to episode..Sampling Music Networks – Mason Youngblood
25 Dec 2018

Archaeology of the Recent Past (Part 2 of 2) – P.J. Capelotti

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 par...
Listen to episode..Archaeology of the Recent Past (Part 2 of 2) – P.J. Capelotti
11 Dec 2018

Archaeology of the Recent Past (Part 1 of 2) – P.J. Capelotti

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: T...
Listen to episode..Archaeology of the Recent Past (Part 1 of 2) – P.J. Capelotti
30 Oct 2018

Playing with Science History – Jean-François Gauvin

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 a...
Listen to episode..Playing with Science History – Jean-François Gauvin
18 Sep 2018

Speech-to-Song Illusion – Mike Vitevitch

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 open-access article "An account of the Spe...
Listen to episode..Speech-to-Song Illusion – Mike Vitevitch
15 May 2018

Uncovering Uncertain Identities – David Kernot

We set out talk with David Kernot from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group about William Shakespeare's true identity, but soon discovered his work has implications on national security and suicide prevention, as well as diagnosing Alzheimer's years before it can be otherwise identifie...
Listen to episode..Uncovering Uncertain Identities – David Kernot