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29 Oct 2019

Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das

How can what engineers learn from how barn owls pinpoint the location of the faintest sounds apply to their development of nanotechnologies capable of doing even better? In episode 61, we're joined by Saptarshi Das, a nano-engineer from Penn State University, who talks with us about his open-acces......
Listen to the episode..Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das
1 Oct 2019

Does Practice Make Perfect? – Brooke Macnamara

In striving to develop expertise, are 10,000 hours of deliberate practice really required, and must it be guided by a teacher or coach? In episode 59, we're joined by Brooke Macnamara from Case Western Reserve University. She'll discuss her attempted replication of the study which led to the mantr...
Listen to the episode..Does Practice Make Perfect? – Brooke Macnamara
17 Sep 2019

The Neuroscience of Terrorism – Nafees Hamid

What can brain scans of radicalized jihadists tell us about how they react to what they perceive as attacks on their sacred values? In episode 58, we're joined by Nafees Hamid from Artis International who talks with us about his article “Neuroimaging ‘will to fight’ for sacred values: an empiric...
Listen to the episode..The Neuroscience of Terrorism – Nafees Hamid
3 Sep 2019

Not-So Big Personality Traits? – Karen Macours

What changes when we attempt to measure personality outside of the contexts where the instruments were developed and validated? In episode 57, we're joined by Karen Macours from the Paris School of Economics about her research into practical issues with using a popular Big Five personality measure......
Listen to the episode..Not-So Big Personality Traits? – Karen Macours
6 Aug 2019

Fishing for Color – Zuzana Musilová

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 article ...
Listen to the episode..Fishing for Color – Zuzana Musilová
23 Jul 2019

Collective Memories – Ida Momennejad & Ajua Duker

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 discu......
Listen to the episode..Collective Memories – Ida Momennejad & Ajua Duker
25 Jun 2019

Bending the Laws of Physics – Andreas Schilling

"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 de......
Listen to the episode..Bending the Laws of Physics – Andreas Schilling
28 May 2019

Wisdom & Madness of Crowds – Wataru Toyokawa

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, "So...
Listen to the episode..Wisdom & Madness of Crowds – Wataru Toyokawa
16 Apr 2019

Forking Paths of Kids’ Screen Time – Amy Orben

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 ......
Listen to the episode..Forking Paths of Kids’ Screen Time – Amy Orben
19 Mar 2019

The Wonder of STEVE – Liz MacDonald

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-acce......
Listen to the episode..The Wonder of STEVE – Liz MacDonald
16 Oct 2018

Decoding Cancers’ Expression – Mike Feigin

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...
Listen to the episode..Decoding Cancers’ Expression – Mike Feigin
2 Oct 2018

Halting Cancers’ Spread – John Lewis

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 scree...
Listen to the episode..Halting Cancers’ Spread – John Lewis
4 Sep 2018

Nothing to a Bee – Adrian Dyer

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 ...
Listen to the episode..Nothing to a Bee – Adrian Dyer
24 Jul 2018

Debunking Pterosaurs Flight – Armita Manafzadeh

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, ...
Listen to the episode..Debunking Pterosaurs Flight – Armita Manafzadeh
5 Jul 2018

Retaining LGBQ Undergraduates in STEM – Bryce Hughes

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 p......
Listen to the episode..Retaining LGBQ Undergraduates in STEM – Bryce Hughes
11 Jun 2018

Multiple Work Identities – Brianna Caza, Sherry Moss & Heather Vough

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...
Listen to the episode..Multiple Work Identities – Brianna Caza, Sherry Moss & Heather Vough
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 the episode..Uncovering Uncertain Identities – David Kernot
1 May 2018

Linguistic Artifacts in Creole – Nicole Creanza

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 ...
Listen to the episode..Linguistic Artifacts in Creole – Nicole Creanza
17 Apr 2018

Defying Unjust Authorities – Phil Zimbardo

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 figur......
Listen to the episode..Defying Unjust Authorities – Phil Zimbardo
2 Apr 2018

How Misinformation Spreads Online – Soroush Vosoughi

By now, we're all familiar with the idea that social media can - and has - been used to spread untruths. But why does this work? Soroush Vosoughi from MIT's Laboratory for Social Machines and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center talks with us in episode 20 about his research into how false news dissemin...
Listen to the episode..How Misinformation Spreads Online – Soroush Vosoughi
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