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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 the episode..The Minds of Single-celled Organisms – Jeremy Gunawardena
3 Mar 2020

Cuttlefish in 3D Glasses – Trevor Wardill

Why Velcro 3D glasses onto cuttlefish? In Episode 69, Trevor Wardill from the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota discusses his research into the previously unknown ability of the cephalopod to see in stereo vision. His article, “Cuttlefish use stereopsis t...
Listen to the episode..Cuttlefish in 3D Glasses – Trevor Wardill
18 Feb 2020

Undergraduates Formerly in Foster Care – Royel Johnson

What factors best predict success at college among youth formerly in foster care? In Episode 68, Royel Johnson from Pennsylvania State University's Department of Education Policy Studies discusses systematic literature review of research on the college success of this historically underserved popu...
Listen to the episode..Undergraduates Formerly in Foster Care – Royel Johnson
7 Jan 2020

Transmitting Placebo Effects – Luke Chang

Can your doctor's beliefs about the efficacy of a treatment affect how you experience pain? In episode 65, we’re joined by Luke Chang from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College. He talks with us about his research into socially transmitted placebo effects, throu...
Listen to the episode..Transmitting Placebo Effects – Luke Chang
10 Dec 2019

Global Decline of Homicide – Mateus Rennó Santos

The global decline of births from 1990 and 2015 has to a reduction in the proportion of people aged 15-29. So might this explain why the world’s homicide rate has dropped by nearly 20%? In episode 64, we’re joined by Mateus Rennó Santos from the University of South Florida. He talks with us about ...
Listen to the episode..Global Decline of Homicide – Mateus Rennó Santos
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 the episode..Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas
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
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
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
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 the episode..Sampling Music Networks – Mason Youngblood
19 Feb 2019

p-Hacking Business – Ron Berman

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 ......
Listen to the episode..p-Hacking Business – Ron Berman
22 Jan 2019

A Sniff Test of Stress – Jonathan Williams

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...
Listen to the episode..A Sniff Test of Stress – Jonathan Williams
9 Jan 2019

Cognitive Biases on the Supreme Court – Jonathan Feingold & Evelyn Carter

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 Wil...
Listen to the episode..Cognitive Biases on the Supreme Court – Jonathan Feingold & Evelyn Carter
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 the 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 the episode..Archaeology of the Recent Past (Part 1 of 2) – P.J. Capelotti
27 Nov 2018

Illusions in the Periphery – Ben Balas

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 peopl...
Listen to the episode..Illusions in the Periphery – Ben Balas
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 the episode..Playing with Science History – Jean-François Gauvin
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
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 the episode..Speech-to-Song Illusion – Mike Vitevitch
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
21 Aug 2018

Hearing Loss and Cognition – Yune Lee

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  "Diff...
Listen to the episode..Hearing Loss and Cognition – Yune Lee
7 Aug 2018

Differing Interpretations of Difficulty – Neil Lewis, Jr.

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 ...
Listen to the episode..Differing Interpretations of Difficulty – Neil Lewis, Jr.
10 Jul 2018

Prehistoric Origins of Birds – Bhart-Anjan Bhullar

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...
Listen to the episode..Prehistoric Origins of Birds – Bhart-Anjan Bhullar
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
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
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
6 Mar 2018

Empathic Accuracy – Michael Kraus

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 P...
Listen to the episode..Empathic Accuracy – Michael Kraus
20 Feb 2018

Universals in Song – Sam Mehr & Manvir Singh

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 B...
Listen to the episode..Universals in Song – Sam Mehr & Manvir Singh
23 Jan 2018

Deciding to Move – Bill Clark

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 Liso......
Listen to the episode..Deciding to Move – Bill Clark
9 Jan 2018

Capacity for Number – Rafael Núñez

In episode 14 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?,"...
Listen to the episode..Capacity for Number – Rafael Núñez
12 Dec 2017

Reactivation of Earthquakes – Folarin Kolawole

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. His open-access article "Aeromagnetic, gravity, and Differential Interfe......
Listen to the episode..Reactivation of Earthquakes – Folarin Kolawole
28 Nov 2017

Retaliatory Punishment – Adam Morris

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. His open-access art......
Listen to the episode..Retaliatory Punishment – Adam Morris
24 Oct 2017

Open Science and Replications (Part 2 of 2) – Tim Errington & Brian Nosek

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 T...
Listen to the episode..Open Science and Replications (Part 2 of 2) – Tim Errington & Brian Nosek
17 Oct 2017

Open Science and Replications (Part 1 of 2) – Brian Nosek & Tim Errington

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 i......
Listen to the episode..Open Science and Replications (Part 1 of 2) – Brian Nosek & Tim Errington
19 Sep 2017

Induced Auditory Hallucinations – Al Powers & Phil Corlett

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 ......
Listen to the episode..Induced Auditory Hallucinations – Al Powers & Phil Corlett
9 Aug 2017

Accuracy of Health Outcome Predictions – Scott Halpern

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 th......
Listen to the episode..Accuracy of Health Outcome Predictions – Scott Halpern
25 Jul 2017

Science Writing as Storytelling – Ryan Kelly

What matters more in getting cited — what you say or how you say it? In our first episode of the show we're visited by Ryan Kelly from the University of Washington's School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. He talks with us about his article "Narrative Style Influences Citation Frequency in Cli...
Listen to the episode..Science Writing as Storytelling – Ryan Kelly
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