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The Story Collider

Updated 3 days ago

Arts
Performing Arts
Science
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Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

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Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

iTunes Ratings

685 Ratings
Average Ratings
396
249
19
14
7

The Intellectual Dilettante approves!

By The Intellectual Dilettante - Jan 16 2019
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Smart, well-told stories from smart, well-spoken people.

Superb podcast

By fortysok - Oct 15 2018
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Erin Barker and team do a great job!

iTunes Ratings

685 Ratings
Average Ratings
396
249
19
14
7

The Intellectual Dilettante approves!

By The Intellectual Dilettante - Jan 16 2019
Read more
Smart, well-told stories from smart, well-spoken people.

Superb podcast

By fortysok - Oct 15 2018
Read more
Erin Barker and team do a great job!

Listen to:

Cover image of The Story Collider

The Story Collider

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

Esther Perel: Science & sexuality

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Esther Perel's career gets an unexpected boost from the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/ Or subscribe on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-story-collider/id396452781?mt=2 Psychologist Esther Perel is recognized as one of the world's most original and insightful voices on couples and sexuality across cultures. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native is a celebrated speaker sought around the globe for her expertise in emotional and erotic intelligence, work-life balance, cross-cultural relations, conflict resolution and identity of modern marriage and family. Her best-selling and award-winning book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic, has been translated into 24 languages.

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May 27 2013

11mins

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Rachel Yehuda: Cause and Effect

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To discover why some survivors of trauma experience PTSD and some don't, scientist Rachel Yehuda must convince a community of Holocaust survivors to let her study them. Rachel Yehuda is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Mental Health Patient Care Center at the James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital. Her research on PTSD has included both human populations and animal models, neuroendocrinology, and genomic and molecular biological studies of trauma.

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Sep 23 2016

18mins

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Aparna Nancherla: By Any Means Necessary

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When comedian Aparna Nancherla's science fair project goes awry, she and her fellow students make some unethical choices. Aparna Nancherla is a standup comedian and writer who has written for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and appeared on “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” among many other programs. Follow her @aparnapkin.

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Oct 07 2016

15mins

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Elana Lancaster: The Egg & the Equinox

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In grade school, Elana Lancaster gets into trouble when he questions his student teacher's science. Elana Lancaster is a health educator and storyteller who lives in Brooklyn. He's a Moth Slam winner, and co-hosts and co-produces the monthly show Take Two Storytelling. When he's not talking about himself onstage, he can often be found teaching and writing about LGBT health, working with medical providers to help them provide better care for transgender patients, and sharing random facts about sperm.

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Aug 19 2016

13mins

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Craig Lehocky: Do you always talk like that?

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While studying bioengineering, Craig Lehocky discovers he's different from the other students. Craig Lehocky's tinkering runs deep. He currently develops surgical robots as an M.D. / Ph.D. student at CMU and University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he worked on prosthetic limbs controlled by the brain at the University of Pittsburgh. And even before that, he restored cars, houses, and guitar amplifiers at the University of his Dad. He doesn't know what tinkering his future holds, but hopes it unfolds in Pittsburgh. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more and subscribe to our podcast at our website: http://storycollider.org/ Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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Nov 24 2013

14mins

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Andre Fenton: The twisting road from basic brain research to helping malaria patients

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André Fenton always wanted to do research at the most fundamental level -- to uncover basic truths about memory and how it works, never mind how useful. But a friend's accident unexpectedly leads to him inventing a spectacularly useful, and lifesaving, device.

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Mar 03 2013

14mins

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Challenges: Stories about overcoming obstacles

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This week, we’re presenting stories about overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers -- whether those barriers are institutional or written into our genetic code.

Part 1: Aletha Maybank's childhood experiences with institutional racism inspire her work to combat structural barriers as a physician.

Part 2: Joselin Linder shares a unique and deadly genetic mutation with just fourteen other people in the world -- and must make a difficult choice as a result.

Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH currently serves as a Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and is the Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity.  The Center’s mission is to bring an explicit focus to health equity in all of the Department’s work by tackling structural barriers, such as racism, ensuring meaningful community engagement, and fostering interagency coordination in neighborhoods with the highest disease burden. Prior to this role, she was an Assistant Commissioner in the NYC Health Department and served as the Director of the Brooklyn Office, a place-based approach.  Dr. Maybank also successfully launched the Office of Minority Health as its Founding Director in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in NY from 2006-2009. Dr. Maybank serves as Vice President of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association.  In the media and on the lecture circuit, she has appeared or been profiled on Disney Jr.’s highly successful Doc McStuffins Animated Series, ESSENCE Facebook live and their Festival’s Empowerment Stage, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, and various other outlets. She has also advised on the award-winning documentary Soul Food Junkies by Byron Hurt and Black Women in Medicine by Crystal Emery. For her accomplishments, she has won numerous awards.

Joselin Linder's work has appeared in The New York Post, as well as on Morning Edition, Joe's Pub, and Life of the Law. er book, The Family Gene, comes out in paperback on June 12, 2018.

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Apr 27 2018

32mins

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Late Diagnosis: Stories about being diagnosed as an adult

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This week we present two stories about people who discovered a diagnosis late in life.

Part 1: As a child, TC Waisman is told that she is on the autism spectrum, but her mother refuses to accept the diagnosis.

Part 2: Growing up, Craig Fay develops strategies to hide how terrible he is at math.


Since 1998, TC has worked with leaders in large organizations to enhance their personal leadership capacity and make transformational changes to their leadership practice. Coaching and training leaders and public speaking about adaptive leadership for over 20 years, TC has learned to support her clients’ development using organizational best practices and evidence-based research.

TC is an ICF certified coach, holds a Masters degree in Leadership & Training, and is currently undertaking her doctoral degree in leadership in a post-secondary context. Inspired by her late autism diagnosis at 48 years old, her research focuses on how higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher learning.

Since beginning her research two years ago, TC has co-founded a not-for-profit society for neurodiverse individuals, spoken on autism related topics, published an academic literature review on 'autism and the implications for higher learning', and was recently appointed as an editorial board member of the new scientific journal Autism in Adulthood. TC is now a doctoral candidate and is in the midst of her research.

TC is of Indigenous Fijian and Nepalese origin and moved to Vancouver in 1976 where she lives with Dean her partner of 30 years. TC is a proud mother to her fiercely funny 23 year old daughter Sunshine and is the author of the book 75 Traits of Great Leaders. TC is on target to complete her doctoral degree in 2020.


Craig Fay is a Toronto based engineer turned stand up comedian with a “keen insight that allows him to take subjects familiar to everyone and turn them into something new and laughable” (Exclaim). He has appeared on CBC’s Laugh Out Loud, performed at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and is co-host of "The Villain Was Right" podcast, which recently won a Canadian Podcasting Award for Outstanding Debut For a Series. Craig’s debut comedy album “Helicopter Rich” was praised as “observational and self-reflective…worth playing multiple times over” (Exclaim) and is available now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify. You can follow Craig on Twitter For (@CraigFayComedy), like him on Facebook (/CraigFayComedy), or sign up for his email newsletter at CraigFay.com. Or just Google him. You’ll probably just Google him.

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Nov 08 2019

28mins

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Crushes: Stories about scientists in love

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This week we present two stories from scientists searching for that special someone.

Part 1: Zoology student Devon Kodzis's strategy of attracting boys with fun animal facts proves difficult.

Part 2: Away from her boyfriend for grad school, Meisa Salaita starts to fall for a chemistry classmate who's her complete opposite.

Devon Kodzis has a degree in biological sciences and professional experience in teaching, animal training, and education outreach, and science program design. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Biological Sciences. Her passions include reading about food, and shouting at the Antiques Roadshow with her cat.

Meisa Salaita is enamored with the beauty of science. Through her work founding and directing the Atlanta Science Festival and as a producer for the Story Collider, she spends her days trying to convince everyone else to fall in love with science as well. To that end, Meisa also writes, has produced radio stories, and hosted tv shows - all in the name of science. Meisa has a Ph.D. in chemistry, has birthed two humans, and has a bizarre level of enthusiasm for shoehorns. If she had the stamina and talent, she’d be dancing hip-hop 24/7.

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Nov 01 2019

35mins

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Sara Peters and Peter Aguero: Praying for a seizure

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Sara Peters has epilepsy, but no drugs seem to help. So she agrees to be hooked up to a machine at the hospital for days, in hopes of inducing the one thing she and her husband, Peter Aguero, dread the most: a seizure. Recorded at TEDMED 2013. Video: http://tedmed.com/talks/show?id=189377 Originally from New Jersey, Sara Peters now lives in Sunnyside, Queens with her charming, maddening husband. A tech writer whose work focuses on IT security, she is currently editor-in-chief of a Web publication for IT professionals. Sara is also a storyteller and actor. Onstage she's played a Texan housewife, an Oklahoman spinster, an Irish housekeeper, and an English android. She's been a rower, a ballerina, a track runner, a Hula Hoop instructor, and is an occasional and very poor surfer. Her favorite television show is Naruto, which is a Japanese cartoon about a teenage ninja. Peter Aguero was born and raised in the wilds of South Jersey. He is a Moth Grandslam Champion, host of Moth Storylams and an instructor for the Mothshop Community Program. He is also the lead singer of The BTK Band, NYC's Hardest-Drinking Improvised Storytelling Rock Band. Peter loves his Mom. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storycollider.org/. If you enjoy these stories, please consider donating, http://storycollider.org/donate

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Jul 16 2013

18mins

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Psychotropic Substances: Stories about altered states

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This week, we present two stories about psychotropic substances, from a study on the impacts of magic mushrooms on cancer surivors to a comedian's spiritual epiphany. Part 1: Actor Gail Thomas is invited to take part in a study testing mushrooms as treatment for depression in cancer survivors. Part 2: Comedian Myq Kaplan has a spiritual epiphany while experimenting with ayahuasca. Gail Thomas has several resumes: writer/actor/teacher/filmmaker/lawyer. She is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has performed with RISK!, Sideshow Goshko, the Liar Show. She teaches for the Story Studio. Voiceover credits include David Letterman, Beavis and Butthead and Angelo Rules. Her short comedy, My BFF, rated 95% funny on Funny or Die and audience favorite at New Filmmakers. As a speechwriter for the Tribeca Film Festival and the Gotham Awards, her words were uttered by Oscar winners and fancy people with great clothes. Gail is currently working on her fashion sense. Myq Kaplan is a comedian named Mike Kaplan. He has been seen on the Tonight Show, Conan, the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers,the Late Late Show with James Corden, in his own half-hour Comedy Central Presents special, and in his own one-hour special on Amazon, "Small, Dork, and Handsome." He has been a finalist on Last Comic Standing and recently appeared on America's Got Talent. His album "Vegan Mind Meld" was one of iTunes' top 10 comedy albums of the year, and his latest available now is called "No Kidding." And that's only the past! Even more to come in the future! Check out myqkaplan.com for more information, and/or live your life however you choose. Thanks!

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Dec 01 2017

30mins

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Dreams: Stories about ambition

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This week, we're presenting stories about scientific ambitions and dreams -- and the ways in which they meet reality.

Part 1: Planetary geologist Sara Mazrouei misses out on a dream opportunity -- because of where she was born.

Part 2: Working in conservation, marine ecologist Madhavi Colton faces down despair as the challenges feel overwhelming.

Sara Mazrouei is a PhD candidate in planetary geology at the University of Toronto. She’s also a science communicator with a passion for sharing the wonders of the universe with the public. Sara is a big advocate for women in STEM. One day she’ll go dancing on the Moon. 

Madhavi Colton is the Program Director at the Coral Reef Alliance. She oversees an international portfolio of community-driven conservation programs that are addressing local threats to reefs, including over-fishing, poor water quality, sedimentation, and habitat destruction. Madhavi is also spearheading new scientific research into how ecosystems adapt to the effects of climate change and is applying this knowledge to develop innovative approaches to coral conservation. Her expertise lies in building partnerships between academic researchers, non-profit organizations, governments and local communities to implement durable conservation solutions. She has worked in California, Hawai‘i, the Mesoamerican region, Indonesia, Fiji and Australia. Madhavi has a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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Apr 20 2018

27mins

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Baseline: Stories about starting points

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Part 1: Bioethicist Elizabeth Yuko tries to use her science training while reporting her sexual assault. Part 2: Engineering student Selam Gano returns to her father’s home country of Ethiopia with the hopes of providing clean water to the village where he grew up. Elizabeth Yuko is a bioethicist and writer, specializing in the intersection of popular culture and ethics. She is an experienced communications strategist both for political campaigns and academic research, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the UN-affiliated NGO the Global Bioethics Initiative, and as an external expert for the European Research Council. She has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Ms. Magazine, The Establishment, Playboy, Racked and The Advocate, among others. Yuko also hosts a comedy lecture show called Let's Get Ethical! at Q.E.D. in Queens, New York. Selam Gano is an MIT undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering with Robotics. She also blogs professionally for MIT Admissions and around the internet. When not in class, she is an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and the principal researcher for the Muti Water Project. Born in the United States to an immigrant family, she has her heritage in China and Ethiopia and speaks four languages. She has a passion for robots, international projects, and writing.

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Jan 20 2017

28mins

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Ocean Adventures: Stories about the swashbuckling high seas

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This week, we are presenting two stories from people who took to the open ocean.

Part 1: As an irresponsible 17-year-old, Brian D. Bradley volunteers to spend two days living at the bottom of the ocean for a research study.

Part 2: As an undergrad, Beryl Kahn takes a semester at sea after a bad breakup and gets rocked by the swells of the sea -- and her emotions.

Brian Bradley started writing because he couldn’t draw.  At first he wanted to be a poet, but he quickly discovered that poems  are pretty difficult. Next, he tried dramatic stage plays, but the  results were kind of embarrassing.  Finally, he gave up and started  writing television for shows like MadTV, Scrubs and Happy Endings. He  co-created for television Uncle Buck for ABC and is the writer/producer  of a number of TV pilots he’s very proud to have been paid for, but that  you will probably never see. He’s very pleased to have a chance to  share a story for Story Collider and he still can’t draw. 

Beryl Kahn is finishing up her second year as a Masters' student at  Columbia University's department of Ecology, Evolution, and  Environmental Biology, or E3B, where she's been studying the genetics of  pollution resilience in oysters. Prior to starting grad school, she  worked as an educator and restoration tech at Randall's Island Park in  New York City, which cemented her niche as an urban marine ecologist. 

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Mar 22 2019

31mins

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Robin & Samantha Henig: The rules of writing with your daughter

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Robin Marantz Henig and her daughter, Samantha, decided to write a book together about life as a twentysomthing. There was just one problem -- how to handle the bits you don't want to talk about with your mother?

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Feb 24 2013

15mins

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Saad Sarwana: A muslim, a physicist, and a comedian...

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Pakistan-born physicist Saad Sarwana gets a visit from the FBI. Saad Sarwana grew up in Pakistan, and moved first to Canada and then eventually to the US to attend graduate school in Physics. He's a professional physicist by day and an amateur standup comedian by night! As a Physicist, Saad has over 30 peer reviewed publications and two US patents. As a comedian Saad has performed at every major comedy club in the NYC area, and has been featured on an ABC 20/20 story about Muslim Standup Comedians. This winter you can see him in the US on the Discovery Science Channel show "You Have Been Warned." Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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Dec 23 2013

10mins

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Cursed: Stories about superstitions

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This week we present two stories from people who let science lead them down a rabbit hole of curses.

Part 1: Science journalist Erik Vance decides to get cursed by a witch doctor for science.

Part 2: After taking a rock from Mauna Loa, volcanologist Jess Phoenix starts to worry that her offering to the volcano goddess Pele was not enough.

Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Baltimore. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consultant, and an environmental educator. He graduated in 2006 from UC Santa Cruz science writing program and became a freelancer as soon as possible. His work focuses on the human element of science — the people who do it, those who benefit from it, and those who do not. He has written for The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Harper’s, National Geographic, and a number of other local and national outlets. His first book, Suggestible You, is about how the mind and body continually twist and shape our realities. While researching the book he was poked, prodded, burned, electrocuted, hypnotized and even cursed by a witchdoctor, all in the name of science.

Jess Phoenix is Executive Director and co-founder of environmental scientific research organization Blueprint Earth. She is a volcanologist, an extreme explorer, and former candidate for United States Congress. She has been chased by narco-traffickers in Mexico, dodged armed thieves in remote Peru, raced horses across Mongolia, worked on the world’s largest volcano in Hawaii, piloted the Jason2 submersible on an undersea volcano, and explored deep in the Australian Outback. Jess believes science should be accessible to everyone, and that creative possibility is limitless. Jess is a Fellow in The Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society, a featured scientist on the Discovery and Science Channels, an invited TEDx speaker, and she has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, in Wired, Fast Company, on National Public Radio, on CNN, NBC, and has written for the BBC. She is the host of the podcast Catstrophe! (catastropheshow.com) and has a book coming out in Spring 2020 with Timber Press called Miss Adventure: My Life as a Geologist, Explorer, and Professional Risk-Taker.

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Oct 25 2019

37mins

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Tara Clancy: Adventures In Babymaking

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The joys and dangers of getting pregnant for Tara Clancy and her wife. Tara Clancy is a writer and performer. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review and The Rumpus. She is also a winner of The Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition and was recently featured on their podcast. Originally from Queens, Tara now lives in Manhattan with her wife and two sons. More at www.taraclancy.com

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Jan 29 2015

18mins

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Special Episode - Outtakes! (And a request for help)

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The Story Collider needs your help! Our initial funding is coming to an end, and we need your help to keep going. It doesn't take a lot, $1/podcast will go a long way. As a thanks if you donate, we'll give you a special podcast with some of the storylets we tell in the live shows between the main stories. Here's a sample of those. If you'd like to contribute or for more info, head to http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider. Thanks!

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Nov 22 2013

9mins

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Rebecca Brachman: Deadly Mistake

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Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working late one night alone in the lab when she accidentally sticks herself with a needle full of deadly toxin. Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist, playwright, and screenwriter. She obtained her PhD at Columbia University, where she recently discovered the first drug that might prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Prior to that, she was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she did pioneering work on how the immune system influences cognition by showing that white blood cells can act as antidepressants. She has also served as the director of NeuWrite, a national network of science-writing groups that fosters ongoing collaboration between scientists, writers, and artists.

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Dec 16 2016

18mins

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A Scientist is Born: Stories that cross generations

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This week we present two stories that give us insight into the birth and life of a scientist.

Part 1: As a 16-year-old, Lily Be gets an unexpected education on the reproductive system.

Part 2: Xavier Jordan discovers the party side of science at his first scientific conference.

Lily Be started sharing stories in Chicago by accident in 2010. She never had a want to express herself artistically. This is not something she ever planned on doing. Lily is from the westside of Chicago, born and raised where she's spent most of her days raising her son. Storytelling fell into her lap one day and she's gone on to do crazy amazing wonderful things with it. From winning story competitions that would inspire and oftentimes usher more Latinos and marginalized people to tell their stories, to teaching people from all walks of life to share theirs, Lily has not stopped giving back to the artform that changed and saved her life. Lily produces The Stoop and Story Collider, is an editorial assistant for Story News magazine, and account manager for GoLucky Studios. She teaches storytelling all over the city both in person and online, is writing a book, and hosting a myriad of community and storytelling events. She's half magic, half amazing, and 100% real.

Xavier Jordan is a University of Illinois graduate in chemistry and molecular and cellular biology. He is currently applying for microbiology research positions in Chicago. He's been telling stories for a long time and is glad to be part of the scene again.

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Dec 13 2019

34mins

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Justice: Stories about righteous determination

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This week we present two stories from people who stood up against a system eager to tear them down.

Part 1: After a car crash alters Emily Winn's life forever, she must relive the trauma when she testifies in a deposition.

Part 2: Black geneticist C. Brandon Ogbunu contemplates the role race has played in his academic career after he gets confronted by the police.

Emily Winn is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and PhD candidate in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. Before Brown, Emily completed an AB in Mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross and spent a year in the Visiting Students Programme at St. Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford. Her research interests lie at the intersection of statistics, topological data analysis, and information theory; her current work applies theory from those fields to genomic data. Outside of school, you'll find her erging in the gym, screaming at the Red Sox game on TV, or binging the latest Netflix comedy specials. Follow her on Twitter, @EmilyTWinn13

C. Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor at Brown University. His research focuses on evolutionary genetics and the ecology of disease. A New York City native, Brandon enjoys film, hip-hop, jazz and science fiction. He's an ex-very mediocre light heavy weight boxer, and slightly less mediocre experimental virologist. He has higher hopes for humanity than he does the New York Knicks. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @big_data_kane.

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Dec 06 2019

35mins

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BONUS: Behind the Scenes, Episode 1: Stage Fright

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A sneak peek at our new BONUS podcast for Patreon supporters! Today's episode is the first of our Behind the Scenes series. Liz and Erin are joined by Dr. Ali Mattu to discuss the TERROR of stage fright -- and how to overcome it. For more bonus episodes like this one, join our Patreon community: https://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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Dec 03 2019

36mins

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Thankful: Stories about gratitude

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This week we present two stories from people who owe a debt of gratitude to somebody for their entrance into the science community.

Part 1: A chance meeting with a stranger on an airplane has a huge impact on Melanie Knight's life.

Part 2: Joshua Adams-Miller has never seen college in his future, until he receives encouragement from an unexpected source.

Melanie Knight is CEO and Co-Founder of Ocean to Eye Level Consulting which supports coastal communities around the world open public marine education centres. Melanie is also the founder and past Executive Director of the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, a non-profit education centre in Newfoundland. Melanie had the opportunity to share her story of ‘bringing the ocean to eye level on the TEDx stage in Vancouver, November 2014. Melanie graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a BSc. in Biology and a minor in Business. For the past 10 years, Melanie has been working with the largest and the smallest aquariums in Canada fostering curiosity for the underwater world. Melanie worked at the Vancouver Aquarium as a marine educator and manager of volunteers. Melanie has since been recognized for her work environmental work with the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium becoming a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, receiving the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Award, TechGirls Portraits of Strength and the Canadian Network of Environmental Educators Award in 2014. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and K9.

Joshua Adams-Miller was born in 1989, in Sun Valley Idaho, to a family that has been in Idaho since 1873. He grew up in SE Boise under the care of his mother, who provided him more opportunities than anyone could ask for. However, he developed a sense of independence very early. Whether he was riding the city bus alone at 10 years old to get home from summer school programs or organizing large groups of friend to sneak out in the middle of the night, he’s always had a curious mind, and it wasn't beyond him to break the rules if it meant he got to learn something. He has always loved music and learned the viola and saxophone in school and self taught himself the piano and guitar. In his teens, he was sent to a jazz camp on a scholarship to hone his skills on the piano. Over his life, his curiosities have drawn him to the sciences repeatedly but by no means was it a clear path that brought him to his studies at Boise State as a Material Science Engineering Major. Like a sunrise, slowly illuminating the horizon, he realized that the best way for him to contribute to the future he wants to see was to bring to the world the materials that will make it possible.

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Nov 29 2019

37mins

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Outsiders: Stories about seeing things from the outside

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This week we present stories from two scientists who were confronted with their status as an “outsider.”

Part 1: After getting hit by a car, Ph.D. student Reyhaneh Maktoufi must navigate the recovery and paperwork as an immigrant from Iran.

Part 2: When scientist Danielle Lee travels to Tanzania to study pouched rats, she finds she's more of an outsider than she'd expected.

Reyhaneh is a Ph.D. candidate in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. Her main fields of interest are science communication, curiosity, and public engagement with scientists. She is a visiting researcher at the Adler Planetarium, where she studies science communication and facilitates workshops on communication skills. Before starting a Ph.D., Rey has been working as a health communication facilitator and campaign manager in Tehran, Iran. She also produces comics and videos about science and the science of science communication. In her free time, Rey enjoys staring at a wall and making up stories in her head or play bad ukulele and scare off birds while singing high pitch.

Danielle N. Lee is an outreach scientist who studies animal behavior and behavioral ecology. She studies the behaviors of mice and rats in the Metro St. Louis area and the natural history of African giant pouched rats. Lee was selected as a 2015 TED Fellow and was named as one of EBONY Magazine’s Power 100 and a White House Champion of Change in STEM Diversity and Access. Her current science outreach efforts emphasize engagement with broader audiences via science communication. In 2013, Lee helped found the National Science & Technology News Service, a media literacy initiative to bring more science news to African-American audiences and promote science news source diversity in mainstream media.

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Nov 22 2019

41mins

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Wild: Stories about humans and animals coexisting

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This week we present stories from two people finding their boundaries with the wild world of animals.

Part 1: Adam Selbst competes with tigers for the attention of his mother.

Part 2: Weighed down by the burden of leadership as she supervises the construction of a telescope, Erika Hamden finds comfort in an unlikely spot.

Adam Selbst is a writer and graphic designer from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He hosts the monthly Big Irv’s Storytelling Roadshow and has been performing around NYC for the last 8 years. Adam lives in a bodega art collective with 64 other people and in his spare time he enjoys being slowly poisoned by an ancient, weird mold in his shower and throwing elaborate dinner parties.

Erika Hamden is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Arizona. She develops UV detector technology, builds telescopes, and observes galaxies and hydrogen all over the universe. Her last project was a UV telescope that flew on a high altitude balloon. She is currently leading a team working on a proposal for a UV space telescope. When she isn't building or thinking about telescopes, she has a serious yoga practice, is learning to fly a plane, and loves hiking in the desert around Tucson. Before she went to grad school, Erika worked as a chef for a year. She is still really into eating. Erika is interested in sharing stories about how hardware gets built and the very human personalities that are behind scientific discoveries.

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Nov 15 2019

32mins

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Late Diagnosis: Stories about being diagnosed as an adult

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This week we present two stories about people who discovered a diagnosis late in life.

Part 1: As a child, TC Waisman is told that she is on the autism spectrum, but her mother refuses to accept the diagnosis.

Part 2: Growing up, Craig Fay develops strategies to hide how terrible he is at math.


Since 1998, TC has worked with leaders in large organizations to enhance their personal leadership capacity and make transformational changes to their leadership practice. Coaching and training leaders and public speaking about adaptive leadership for over 20 years, TC has learned to support her clients’ development using organizational best practices and evidence-based research.

TC is an ICF certified coach, holds a Masters degree in Leadership & Training, and is currently undertaking her doctoral degree in leadership in a post-secondary context. Inspired by her late autism diagnosis at 48 years old, her research focuses on how higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher learning.

Since beginning her research two years ago, TC has co-founded a not-for-profit society for neurodiverse individuals, spoken on autism related topics, published an academic literature review on 'autism and the implications for higher learning', and was recently appointed as an editorial board member of the new scientific journal Autism in Adulthood. TC is now a doctoral candidate and is in the midst of her research.

TC is of Indigenous Fijian and Nepalese origin and moved to Vancouver in 1976 where she lives with Dean her partner of 30 years. TC is a proud mother to her fiercely funny 23 year old daughter Sunshine and is the author of the book 75 Traits of Great Leaders. TC is on target to complete her doctoral degree in 2020.


Craig Fay is a Toronto based engineer turned stand up comedian with a “keen insight that allows him to take subjects familiar to everyone and turn them into something new and laughable” (Exclaim). He has appeared on CBC’s Laugh Out Loud, performed at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and is co-host of "The Villain Was Right" podcast, which recently won a Canadian Podcasting Award for Outstanding Debut For a Series. Craig’s debut comedy album “Helicopter Rich” was praised as “observational and self-reflective…worth playing multiple times over” (Exclaim) and is available now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify. You can follow Craig on Twitter For (@CraigFayComedy), like him on Facebook (/CraigFayComedy), or sign up for his email newsletter at CraigFay.com. Or just Google him. You’ll probably just Google him.

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Nov 08 2019

28mins

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Crushes: Stories about scientists in love

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This week we present two stories from scientists searching for that special someone.

Part 1: Zoology student Devon Kodzis's strategy of attracting boys with fun animal facts proves difficult.

Part 2: Away from her boyfriend for grad school, Meisa Salaita starts to fall for a chemistry classmate who's her complete opposite.

Devon Kodzis has a degree in biological sciences and professional experience in teaching, animal training, and education outreach, and science program design. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Biological Sciences. Her passions include reading about food, and shouting at the Antiques Roadshow with her cat.

Meisa Salaita is enamored with the beauty of science. Through her work founding and directing the Atlanta Science Festival and as a producer for the Story Collider, she spends her days trying to convince everyone else to fall in love with science as well. To that end, Meisa also writes, has produced radio stories, and hosted tv shows - all in the name of science. Meisa has a Ph.D. in chemistry, has birthed two humans, and has a bizarre level of enthusiasm for shoehorns. If she had the stamina and talent, she’d be dancing hip-hop 24/7.

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Nov 01 2019

35mins

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Cursed: Stories about superstitions

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This week we present two stories from people who let science lead them down a rabbit hole of curses.

Part 1: Science journalist Erik Vance decides to get cursed by a witch doctor for science.

Part 2: After taking a rock from Mauna Loa, volcanologist Jess Phoenix starts to worry that her offering to the volcano goddess Pele was not enough.

Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Baltimore. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consultant, and an environmental educator. He graduated in 2006 from UC Santa Cruz science writing program and became a freelancer as soon as possible. His work focuses on the human element of science — the people who do it, those who benefit from it, and those who do not. He has written for The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Harper’s, National Geographic, and a number of other local and national outlets. His first book, Suggestible You, is about how the mind and body continually twist and shape our realities. While researching the book he was poked, prodded, burned, electrocuted, hypnotized and even cursed by a witchdoctor, all in the name of science.

Jess Phoenix is Executive Director and co-founder of environmental scientific research organization Blueprint Earth. She is a volcanologist, an extreme explorer, and former candidate for United States Congress. She has been chased by narco-traffickers in Mexico, dodged armed thieves in remote Peru, raced horses across Mongolia, worked on the world’s largest volcano in Hawaii, piloted the Jason2 submersible on an undersea volcano, and explored deep in the Australian Outback. Jess believes science should be accessible to everyone, and that creative possibility is limitless. Jess is a Fellow in The Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society, a featured scientist on the Discovery and Science Channels, an invited TEDx speaker, and she has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, in Wired, Fast Company, on National Public Radio, on CNN, NBC, and has written for the BBC. She is the host of the podcast Catstrophe! (catastropheshow.com) and has a book coming out in Spring 2020 with Timber Press called Miss Adventure: My Life as a Geologist, Explorer, and Professional Risk-Taker.

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Oct 25 2019

37mins

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Leadership: Stories about responsibility

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This week we present two stories from people who had to become leaders whether they liked it or not.

Part 1: Eager to show off their new job testing water quality, Prof.Ound takes their friends out on a boat for the first time.

Part 2: Neuroscientist BethAnn McLaughlin reckons with her past failures to adequately address the sexual harassment she witnesses in science.

Prof.Ound is a Bronx-born and raised spoken word artist, actor, writer, educator and environmentalist. Prof.Ound’s creative work is notable for its Afrocentric emphasis on audience participation and conveying moral/ethical lessons. Merging these aesthetic values into their ecological restoration work and background, Prof.Ound has been developing and workshopping a culturally responsive arts-based outdoor education pedagogy. Prof.Ound strives to ensure the full participation and autonomous leadership of marginalized communities in environmental movements.

Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin is an assistant professor in the departments of Neurology and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt specializing in mitochondrial and redox stress signaling in neurological injury and disease. She has received major research funding from the NIH, the DoD, the Dan Marino Foundation, the AHA and IARPA. Her career was sidetracked in 2014 when she experienced retaliation after being a witness in a Title IX investigation. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences gold ribbon panel revealed that her experience was all too common for women in science and medicine. The majority of women in these fields are sexually harassed, very few report, and the consequence of reporting is almost always retaliation. The rates of assault and harassment of those we seek to include most including people of color, LGBTQI and individuals with disabilities are far higher and even more devastating.

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Oct 18 2019

37mins

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Silence: Stories about finding our voices

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This week we present two stories about the sounds that silence can take on.

Part 1: Kambri Crews attempts to smuggle a gift into prison for her father, who is deaf.

Part 2: As Kristine Lycke enters kindergarten, her mother starts treatment for a mysterious illness.

Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now owns and operates the performance venue Q.E.D. in Astoria, Queens. Kambri is also a renowned storyteller and the author of the critically acclaimed and New York Times best selling memoir Burn Down the Ground (Random House). She has performed on The Moth (MainStage & radio), Women of Letters, Risk! and Mortified. In 2014, Kambri opened QED, a performance venue meets community and learning center. With over 100 events per month ranging from comedy, storytelling and music to classes like embroidery, cartooning and writing, there is something for everyone. Since its opening, QED has been featured on The Jim Gaffigan Show, NY1, The New York and LA Times and countless other media outlets. Performers have included the super famous like Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Janeane Garofalo, to the first-time performer and everyone in between. Also a public speaker, Kambri has given speeches for Girls, Inc., University of Texas, Texas Book Festival, University of Oregon, SXSW (South by Southwest), DeafHope, and many other schools, colleges, book festivals, and events.

Kristine Lycke is a Daughter, Mother, Survivor, Warrior. She holds an Honors B.S. Degree in Applied Psychology from Farmingdale State College, which she received – along with the 2017 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence- just 3 years after completing treatment for Stage III Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (breast cancer). Cancer has always been a part of Kristine’s life, having lost her mother to the disease when she was only 8 years old. Wanting to give back to the facility that saved her life, Kristine works as a Patient Care Coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When she is not working, Kristine enjoys spending time with her wife and learning far more about My Little Pony than she ever thought possible from their 6 year old daughter.

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Oct 11 2019

34mins

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My First Science: Stories about early experiences with science

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This week we present two stories from people telling the first time they crossed paths with science.

Part 1: In the third grade, Lylianna Allala finds out that her partner on the class solar system project isn't allowed to come over to her house.

Part 2: After surviving leukemia in her childhood and becoming a cancer research scientist, Vicky Forster finds herself working alongside the same doctor who saved her life.

Lylianna Allala is the City of Seattle’s Equity and Environment Program Manager at the Office of Sustainability & Environment, and has led environment and climate policy outreach for U.S Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. She is dedicated to working across difference to co-develop solutions that will lead us to a more equitable and just world. Lylianna's professional background includes monitoring the endangered Mitchell's Satyr butterfly, prescribed burning for habitat restoration, trail building in the Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness and restoring the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Seattle's largest contiguous forest. Lylianna has a B.A in English from Winona State University, a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Georgetown University and a certificate in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington. She is a current leadership fellow with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. Lylianna is the board chair of Got Green, co-chair of the Open Space Equity Cabinet and board member of Short Run Comix and Arts Festival. A lifelong learner, Lylianna enjoys story telling as a way to develop deeper insights about self and the world around her.

Vicky Forster is a pediatric cancer research scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and survivor of childhood leukemia. She loves communicating her science, having done two TED talks and she currently writes as a contributor for Forbes. She is particularly passionate about advocating for better research into the side effects of cancer treatment and involving survivors in decision-making about what to research.

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Oct 04 2019

41mins

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On the Scene: Stories about showing up when disaster strikes

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This week we present two stories about being the one who is there when it happens.

Part 1: Journalist Sarah Kaplan normally covers the science beat, but when tragedy strikes in Las Vegas, she takes on an assignment unlike any she's had before.

Part 2: While covering the devastating impact of an earthquake in Thailand, journalist Maryn McKenna reflects on tragedy in her own life.

Sarah Kaplan is a reporter at the Washington Post covering news from around the nation and across the universe.

Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist who writes about public health, global health and food policy. She is a columnist for WIRED’s Ideas section and a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University. She is the author of the 2017 bestseller BIG CHICKEN (tiled PLUCKED outside North America), SUPERBUG, and BEATING BACK THE DEVIL; her TED talk, “What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?”, is closing in on 1.8 million views. She lives in Atlanta.

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Sep 27 2019

36mins

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BONUS: Before and After: Stories that evolve over time

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In this special BONUS episode, we unveil a brand-new addition to our podcast! To celebrate, we present new versions of classic stories from Story Collider’s directors and discuss how they have evolved since their original telling.

Part 1: As a marine biology student, Liz Neeley loves the order of science, but when a research expedition takes an unexpected turn, she must deal with the messy reality.

You can find the original version of Liz’s story here: https://www.storycollider.org/stories/2017/3/10/in-the-field-liz-neeley-heith-copes

Part 2: When Erin Barker is diagnosed with two chronic illnesses, she has to say goodbye to four of her favorite things.

You can find the original version of Erin’s story here: https://www.storycollider.org/stories/2016/1/6/erin-barker-oh-just-those-four-things

Liz Neeley is the executive director of Story Collider and new cohost of our podcast! She started her career studying the color patterns of tropical fish. (It was in fact even better than her childhood dream of working in a crayon factory.) She surprised herself more than anyone when she left the research path and went into ocean conservation and policy. For the past decade, she has been helping scientists around the world tell more compelling stories about their work. Most recently, she helped commission and edit the 2018 series "Stories from the Front Lines" at PLOS Biology. She is a lecturer at Yale in conjunction with the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative. Follow her on Twitter @LizNeeley.

Erin Barker is the artistic director of Story Collider and cohost of its weekly podcast. As a storyteller, she is the first woman to win The Moth's GrandSLAM storytelling competition twice. She has appeared on PRX's The Moth Radio Hour, and one of her stories was included in The New York Times-bestselling book The Moth: 50 True Stories. Though she hasn’t been officially sorted, she identifies as a Gryffindor. Follow her on Twitter @ErinHBarker.

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Sep 24 2019

46mins

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Miseducation: Stories about what happens in the classroom

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This week we present two stories from teachers dealing with wild experiences in the classroom.

Part 1:  When his students keep having “accidents" during nap time, kindergarten teacher Alvin Irby investigates

Part 2:  In Aida Rosenbaum’s first month as a high-school science teacher, a fight breaks out between her students.

Alvin Irby received his M.S. in Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education and his MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University. He is a former kindergarten teacher turned award-winning social entrepreneur, comedian, and author. As Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books, Irby was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize. His TED Talk "How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader" has been viewed over 1 million times. Irby's clever social commentary and humorous observations earned him a coveted spot in the StandUp NBC national showcase. His fresh perspective and smart brand of humor shine through in his 2018 comedy album "Really Dense." Irby’s debut children’s book, Gross Greg, combines his passion for early literacy and humor while capturing the hilariously gross behavior of kids everywhere.

Aida Rosenbaum is a high school Earth and Environmental Science teacher at the Bronx Latin School. She is also the science department team leader, a facilitator of the Youth Court, the Gardening Club teacher, a coach of new-teacher mentors, the school EDTech specialist, and a member of the Learning Partners Program working to share best practices between schools. Aida is a native New Yorker who earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College and her M.P.A. in Earth System Science, Policy, and Management from Columbia University. She has been teaching for 16 years at four different high schools and is currently in her second fellowship as an MƒA Master Teacher. She comes from an entire family of teachers including her grandmother, mother, sister, and husband. In addition to teaching, Aida is a mother of two, a wife, an avid listener of NPR, a bee-keeper, and an outdoor sports enthusiast.

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Sep 20 2019

27mins

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Secrets: Stories about the things we keep to ourselves

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This week we present two stories about the the parts of ourselves that we keep under wraps.

Part 1: At 22 years old, Jenn Montooth is accepted to graduate school just as she discovers she's pregnant.

Part 2: Studying addiction as a neuroscientist gives Anna Miller a new perspective on her past.

Jenn Montooth is a public historian for the National Human Genome Research Institute where she helps with the public’s understanding of genomics and captures the history of the Human Genome Project. She received her master’s in public history from UMBC where she focused on the Black Power movement. Her articles on the Black Power movement and the history of abortion rights have been featured in the Washington Post. Most importantly, Jenn loves storytelling and is thrilled to be part of the Story Collider family. She is the executive producer of the live storytelling show Health’s Angels: Personal Stories about Women’s Health, where women can share their mental, physical, and emotional health stories. You can find more at healthsangelsdc.com. Say hi to her on Twitter @jenn_montooth.

Anna Miller is a graduate in neuroscience and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. When she’s not being an academic scholar, Miller is a trilingual artist the Milwaukee music scene she better known as Mwgli. Born in Bogota, Colombia and raised in a Greek-American family her music combines Latin soul and new age hip hop with moody, ethereal, and exotic soundscapes. During her time as a student at Marquette, Miller was published in the journal of neuroscience, she’s now researching how we fight stress and the effects of drug addiction.

Note: This episode was originally titled “Secret Shame.” We meant this as a critique of what society deems shameful. However, it came to our attention that this could be interpreted in a way that could be hurtful or stigmatizing. This was not our intention, and we apologize for the oversight.

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Sep 13 2019

36mins

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Proving Myself: Stories about fighting distrust

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This week we present two stories from people who have to prove themselves in science acedemia.

Part 1: When there's an explosion in the chemistry lab, graduate student Chanté Summers springs into action.

Part 2: When Adriana Briscoe's professor accuses her of cheating, she scrambles to save her reputation and her spot on the biology lab's field trip.

Chanté Summers is a research chemist at Pfizer Inc where she supports the development of conjugate vaccines. Chanté first became interested in science during high school. Pursuing that dream, she completed a MS in Chemistry from SIUe where her thesis focused on the synthesis of potential biologically active compounds. Outside of the lab, Chanté is proud to engage the community through volunteer work, promote diversity within the sciences, and inspiring local youth to explore STEM fields. With all that extra time, Chanté enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and unwinding with her dog.

Adriana Darielle Mejía Briscoe is an evolutionary biologist and lepidopterist. Her research has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, U.S. News and World Report, National Geographic, Scientific American, and on public radio. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Sciences, and was recently honored with the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, the first woman and third person overall to have been given all three of these awards. She is working on her first book, a memoir about butterflies.

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Sep 06 2019

28mins

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Labor Day: Stories about trying to make a baby

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This week we’re presenting two stories about people trying to become parents.

Part 1: After finally getting together in their forties, Chris Wade and his wife are determined to have a baby -- even if it means following some unconventional advice.

Part 2: Struggling to conceive, Sara Sweet makes her third attempt at intrauterine insemination just before her family's Christmas gathering.

Chris Wade is a native Washingtonian and a retired member of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC. He is a Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator and currently works in healthcare security. Chris is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Police Executive Leadership Program, is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and a certified CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention instructor. He is married to his best friend and simply adores his children. His life is filled with countless adventures which he is willing to share through storytelling.

Sara Sweet is a writer and storyteller from Boston. She is a Moth Grand Slam champion and has been a featured teller with Fugitive Stories, Now Hear This, Listen Up Storytelling, Life Is Good and the Moth MainStage.Sara and her husband are aunt and uncle to 8 nieces and nephews.

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Aug 30 2019

24mins

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Surgery: Stories about operations

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This week we present two stories from surgeons who had complications with the knife.

Part 1: A routine procedure with one of the primates in her lab becomes much more complicated when neuroscientist Paula Croxson cuts herself with the scalpel.

Part 2: When surgeon Bhuvanesh Singh sees his patient back in the hospital months after what he thought was a successful surgery, he grapples with feelings of failure.

Paula is a neuroscientist, science communicator, musician and open water swimmer. She received an M.A. from the University of Cambridge and a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford before moving to New York to run a neuroscience lab. She is now Associate Director for Public Programs at Columbia University's Zuckerman Institute. She is also the flautist in alternative rock band Marlowe Grey and nerdy rock band Pavlov’s Dogz. The swimming is apparently for “fun.” She is @paulacroxson and paulacroxson@storycollider.org.

Bhuvanesh is an Attending Surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has cared for over 5000 patients with cancer in his over 20-year career at the center. He is recognized as a leader in his field, having delivered over 500 lectures worldwide. He has helped to refine surgical techniques, contributed to the improvements in cancer staging, and has been involved in research that has dramatically changed the management of cancers of the head and neck region and lung. Not satisfied with available treatment options, Dr. Singh completed a PhD in Medical Molecular Biology to pursue laboratory research. His laboratory work has led to the development of novel anticancer compounds that are currently being optimized for use in the treatment of many different types of cancers. The story Dr. Singh is shared today occurred almost 20 years ago and was a defining moment in his career and life.

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Aug 23 2019

43mins

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BONUS: Power of Patients: Stories about taking back the narrative

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The Story Collider is delighted to bring you an extra BONUS episode this week -- thanks to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Both of the stories featured in this episode were recorded a very special show we produced in collaboration with CZI last June in Aspen, about rare medical conditions and the importance of leveraging the power of patients to accelerate research and drive progress.

Part 1: Luke Rosen signs his daughter up for a research study to find out what's causing her seizures and ends up having to fight to find the answers.

Part 2: After stay-at-home mom Tracy Dixon-Salazar's daughter is diagnosed with epilepsy, she enrolls in school in order to decipher what is happening.

Luke Rosen and Sally Jackson founded KIF1A.ORG in 2016 following their daughter Susannah’s KIF1A diagnosis. Luke has extensive experience in rare disease stakeholder engagement, advocacy and research initiatives. Recognized by Global Genes as a 2018 RARE Champion of Hope Honoree, Luke often speaks at international events about innovation in therapeutic development, and about his family’s rare disease journey. Luke’s mission is to accelerate biotech innovation and forge efficient collaborations within the scientific and patient communities, resulting in discovery of treatment for children like Susannah. He relentlessly works to empower families affected by rare genetic diseases to play an active role in discovery, from pre-clinical research through clinical trial readiness and regulatory approval.

Dr. Tracy Dixon-Salazar is a neuroscientist, geneticist, and, patient advocate. Her desire to get her Ph.D. was inspired by her daughter who developed Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) at the age of 2. She did her Ph.D. and post-doctoral work at UC, San Diego where she studied the mechanisms of brain development and synaptic plasticity, identified genetic causes of rare disorders in children, and researched precision therapeutics in stem cell and animal models of pediatric disease. During her research tenure, and after 16 years of watching daily, unrelenting seizures in her child, she uncovered the driver of her daughter’s illness and identified a novel precision therapy that improved her child's life. Dr. Dixon-Salazar is an accomplished scientist, proven thought leader, highly sought-after speaker, and staunch advocate for genomic medicine, patient-centric research, and patient engagement. 

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Aug 21 2019

47mins

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