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Rank #154 in Science category

Arts
Performing Arts
Science

The Story Collider

Updated 9 days ago

Rank #154 in Science category

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

694 Ratings
Average Ratings
395
253
23
16
7

Are we in a social science experiment?

By JelloJello - Jan 11 2020
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As a femaleI I appreciate hearing female hosts (think Terry Gross). But, the new format of “school girls giggling” has me wondering what is going on. Love the stories, hate the new format.

The Intellectual Dilettante approves!

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

iTunes Ratings

694 Ratings
Average Ratings
395
253
23
16
7

Are we in a social science experiment?

By JelloJello - Jan 11 2020
Read more
As a femaleI I appreciate hearing female hosts (think Terry Gross). But, the new format of “school girls giggling” has me wondering what is going on. Love the stories, hate the new format.

The Intellectual Dilettante approves!

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

The Story Collider

Latest release on Jan 24, 2020

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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!

Rank #1: 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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Rank #2: 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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Rank #3: 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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Rank #4: 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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Rank #5: Amy Cuddy: Passing As Myself

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After a terrible head injury, Amy Cuddy wakes up in the hospital to find she's a different person. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and Harvard Business School Associate Professor who studies how snap judgments and nonverbal behavior affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. Amy Cuddy's fascinating work on "power posing" reveals how your physical posture affects not only how others see you, but also how you see yourself, your own hormone levels, and your performance and important life outcomes. Researching stereotypes, emotions, nonverbal behaviors, and hormone levels, Amy explains to audiences the role these variables play in shaping our emotions, intentions and behaviors in business and society. Amy's work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Scientific American Mind, The Wall Street Journal, and even as the theme of a Dilbert comic strip. Business Insider just named Amy as one of 2013's "50 Women Who are Changing the World." Her TED Talk is now the second most viewed of all time. She is also a classically trained (and still practicing) ballet dancer, which informs her research on nonverbal communication. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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Apr 02 2014

23mins

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Rank #6: 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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Rank #7: Jana Watson-Capps: Shark-Infested Waters

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Biologist Jana Watson-Capps struggles with feeling in over her head in her scientific career. Jana Watson-Capps is an Associate Director of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute, where she serves as chief-of-staff and head of strategy. Jana works with administrators, faculty, and students from across the CU system and external partners to develop and implement the institute's interdisciplinary programs and industrial partnerships. Before joining BioFrontiers, she taught in the Biology Department at Metro State College of Denver and studied the mating strategies of bottlenose dolphins. Jana is interested in bringing diverse groups of people together in new ways to advance bioscience research, education and applications to help society. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Georgetown University and her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

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Oct 28 2016

16mins

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Rank #8: Ed Yong: Questioning A Hero

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Ed Yong is ecstatic to get an interview with his hero, Sir David Attenborough, but he's not prepared for a lesson in what having a science hero really means. Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer. His blog Not Exactly Rocket Science is hosted by National Geographic, and his work has also appeared in Wired, Nature, the BBC, New Scientist and more. His first book I CONTAIN MULTITUDES--about how microbes influence the lives of every animal, from humans to squid to wasps--will be published in 2016.

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Dec 16 2014

19mins

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Rank #9: 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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Rank #10: 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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Rank #11: Baratunde Cola: The Comeback

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Doomed to be the waterboy after tearing his ACL, engineering student Baratunde Cola is determined to make it back to his college's football team. Bara Cola is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Georgia Tech, and founder and president of Carbice Nanotechnologies, Inc. He researches thermal transport and energy conversion in nanostructured materials, and is actively involved in the commercialization of his work, currently to cool electronics better. His work in nanotechnology, energy, and outreach to high school art and science teachers and students has been recognized with awards from President Obama and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He played college football when he was younger. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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Apr 16 2014

14mins

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Rank #12: Carl Zimmer: Safety Carl Versus Gamera

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Science writer Carl Zimmer grew up loving monster movies, but he never guessed a real monster would show up in his own backyard. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times. He's the author of a dozen books, including Parasite Rex and Evolution: Making Sense of Life. He has won prizes for his writing from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. Zimmer has appeared on radio shows such as This American Life and Radio Lab. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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May 14 2014

24mins

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Rank #13: Marjorie Winther: Lighting A Fire

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As a science teacher, Marjorie Winther has both entertaining and troubling times with her students, but when she brings them to the South she discovers a whole new side of them. Marjorie Winther has been performing stories and comedy for over ten years. She is the winner of the 2012 First Person Arts Grand Slam. Marjorie has been voted audience favorite at numerous First Person Arts story slams. She recently performed at the WHYY Connections Festival, The Women in Comedy Festival at Plays and Players and at the Risk! Show in the Free Library Author’s Event. She also performs stand-up comedy in clubs and at fund-raisers and corporate and community events. She was a finalist in Laff-A-Lot productions Philly’s Funniest contest. Veteran comic Paul Lyons calls here “warm, real and disarmingly astute.” When not performing, Marjorie designs and delivers corporate training programs and leads professional workshops. Before moving into the corporate world she taught middle and high school science in the Chicago Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Beloit College and a Master’s Degree in English from Southern Illinois University. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider

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May 29 2014

11mins

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Rank #14: 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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Rank #15: Paula Croxson: When your grandmother forgets who you are

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When Paula Croxson began to study memory as a neuroscientist, she also learned a new way of thinking about her grandmother's failing memory.

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Mar 24 2013

13mins

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Rank #16: Erin Barker: Plants And People

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Erin Barker's attempt to save a college relationship leads her to a plant biology class where the professor brought an ax to class. Erin Barker is senior producer of The Story Collider and a host of its live show in New York. She is the first woman to win The Moth's GrandSLAM storytelling competition twice and has appeared in its Mainstage and shows in cities across the country, as well as on its Peabody Award-winning show on PRX, The Moth Radio Hour. One of her stories was included in The Moth's New York Times-bestselling book, The Moth: 50 True Stories. She considers herself a Gryffindor.

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Feb 27 2015

14mins

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Rank #17: Wes Hazard: Everything Is Wrong

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Standup comedian Wes Hazard's dangerous chronic illness rears its head while he's on stage one night. Wes Hazard is a Boston-based comic & storyteller who was named 1 of '5 Boston Comics to Watch' by the Boston Globe. His first book 'Questions for Terrible People' has been selected as a Barnes & Noble featured humor title. Follow him @weshazard.

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Nov 11 2016

14mins

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Rank #18: Moran Cerf: Finding Fear

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When he misses the opportunity to work with one of the most famous patients in neuroscience, Moran Cerf takes an unorthodox approach. Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at NYU and Northwestern University. Prior to his career in opening and studying brains, Moran used to work as a hacker in various security companies, breaking into banks and financial institutes to make a living. Moran is involved in the story-telling community, and is also the Alfred P. Sloan faculty at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, where he teaches screenwriting.

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Jun 13 2014

15mins

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Rank #19: 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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Rank #20: Dawn Fraser: The Mission

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While working as a census taker in 2010, Dawn Fraser is taken by surprise when her partner asks her for a favor. Dawn J. Fraser is a storyteller, educator and and nationally acclaimed speaker based out of New York City. She is the Host of the live show and upcoming podcast ‘Barbershop Stories’, which features storytellers performing true tales in barbershops and salons. Dawn has created programs for college students, educators and entrepreneurs to develop leadership potential through storytelling, and is an Instructor with The Moth and The Story Studio. She was featured amongst some of the nation’s top innovators and change makers as a speaker at TED@NYC and has performed in shows including The Moth Mainstage, Story Collider, RISK and The Unchained Tour. She loves being a twin, a Trinidadian, and tweetable @dawnjfraser.

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May 06 2016

13mins

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Code of Ethics: Stories about doing the right thing

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This week we present two stories of people struggling with what the “right” thing to do is.

Part 1: Catherine Macdonald always wanted to study sharks, but her first time tagging them in the field doesn't go as planned.

Part 2: When Michelle Tong visits home after her first semester of medical school, a stranger presents an ethical dilemma.

Dr. Catherine Macdonald is co-founder and Director of Field School (www.getintothefield.com), a marine science training and education company dedicated to constantly improving field research practices while teaching students to perform hands-on research with sharks. She is also a part-time Lecturer in Marine Conservation Biology at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Company website: www.getintothefield.com

Personal website: www.drcatherinemacdonald.com


Michelle Tong is a second-year medical student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has been published in the Margins and Glass, among other literary journals, and reads for the Bellevue Literary Review. This past summer, she won first prize in the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards and received a fellowship from Brooklyn Poets. She teaches poetry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and lives in East Harlem.

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Jan 24 2020

30mins

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Identity Crisis: Stories about what makes us who we are

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This week we present two stories about people struggling with their identity.

Part 1: When science journalist Katherine Wu interviews a scientist about a new facial recognition algorithm, the conversation turns more personal than she expected.

Part 2: Hurricane Katrina gives Mary Annaise Heglar a new perspective on both her grandfather and home state.

Katherine J. Wu is a Boston-based science journalist and storyteller whose writing has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, Scientific American, NOVA Next, and more. She's also a senior producer for The Story Collider. In 2018, she earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunobiology from Harvard University, where she studied how bacteria deal with stress so she could one day learn to do the same. She can spell "tacocat" backwards.

Mary Annaise Heglar is a climate justice essayist and communications professional based in New York City. Her writing has been published in Vox, Dame Magazine, Zora, and Inverse. She writes regularly on Medium and rants almost daily on Twitter.

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Jan 17 2020

30mins

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Hypothesis: Stories about having a question that needs answering

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This week we present two stories from people who had hypotheses.

Part 1: Teaching sixth grade science becomes much more difficult when Xochitl Garcia's students start hypothesizing that fire is alive.

Part 2: When journalist John Rennie is assigned to cover an entomological society event where insects are served as food, he sees an opportunity to face his fear of bugs.

Xochitl Garcia is the K-12 education program manager at Science Friday, where she focuses on supporting the inspiring efforts of educators (of all types) to engage students in science, engineering, math, and the arts. She is a former NYC school teacher, who specializes in sifting through random piles of junk that she insists are "treasures," to figure out cool ways for learners to explore scientific phenomena. You can find her making a mess in the name of science education at the Science Friday office, her house, with other educators...you get the picture.

Update: Xochitl welcomed her baby (not fire) into the world on 1/1/2020.


John has worked as a science editor, writer and lecturer for more than 30 years. Currently, he is deputy editor at Quanta Magazine. During his time as editor in chief at Scientific American, between 1994 and 2009, the magazine received two National Magazine Awards. He co-created and hosted the 2013 series Hacking the Planet on The Weather Channel. Since 2009, he has been on the faculty of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program in New York University’s graduate journalism school. John is @tvjrennie and john@johnrennie.net.

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Jan 10 2020

36mins

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Leaving Home: Stories about having to leave in order to find home

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This week we present two stories of people who had to leave home to find a new home.

Part 1: When Ph.D student Ali Mattu's girlfriend tells him she is moving to New York City, he has to make some tough decisions about where home is.

Part 2: Arlo Pérez Esquivel struggles to define his boundaries with his father while he is pursuing his education in another country.

Ali Mattu is a cognitive behavioral therapist who helps kids and adults with anxiety disorders. Through YouTube, Dr. Mattu teaches a global audience how to use psychological science to achieve their goals. He’s created over 100 videos for his YouTube channel, The Psych Show, which have been seen over 1,400,00 million times. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, appeared on Buzzfeed, MTV, CBS, NBC, PBS, and has the honor of being referenced, and not made fun of, on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Dr. Mattu is a licensed clinical psychologist and was an assistant professor at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of The Story Collider and creates curriculum for the Pop Culture Hero Coalition. He has served in a variety of leadership roles within the American Psychological Association.

Arlo Pérez Esquivel was raised in Mexico until the age of 16, when he left for the United States. There, he moved across multiple states, and lived in the homes of different friends and relatives in order to finish his education. During this constant movement, Arlo developed a passion for street photography. His work attempts to investigate the “sense of place” by capturing people, their environment, and the relationship between the two. He is now a Digital Associate Producer for NOVA on PBS, currently working on a ten-part digital series on how life and science are done in Antarctica.

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Jan 03 2020

36mins

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Shoot for the Stars: Stories about people who look to the night sky for inspiration

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This week we share two stories of people who were inspired by heroes of space.

Part 1: After watching a documentary about the moon landing, Kate Downey comes away with a love of all things Buzz Aldrin.

Part 2: Richard French gets the call to work for NASA, fulfilling a dream that started with his professor Carl Sagan.

Kate makes you fall in love with things you thought were boring. As the co-founder and Creative Director of Caveat, she heads up a team creating live shows that make you a little bit smarter and a little bit drunker. Previously, she directed Shakespeare and opera with the Public Theater and New York City Opera, and helped build Museum Hack, a renegade tour company at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you've seen any scientifically inaccurate whale illustrations from the 17th century, please alert her @wrongwhale on IG and TW.

Richard French is former Chair of the Astronomy Department at Wellesley College and is a founding science team member of NASA's Cassini Mission to Saturn. He uses the Hubble Space Telescope and telescopes around the world to observe the rings and atmospheres of planets, and particularly enjoys introducing self-proclaimed “non-scientists” to the wonders of the Universe. He chose the life of an astronomer over that of an opera singer, but still loves music and the allied arts. Dick enjoys mountaineering, paddling, bicycling, photographing his travels around the world, and encouraging others to read “Moby Dick.”

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Dec 27 2019

36mins

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Dating by the Numbers: Stories about the romantic side of numbers

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This week we present two stories from people who found an intersection between numbers and their sex life.

Part 1: When online dating isn't working out for him, Tristan Attwood decides to analyze the data himself.

Part 2: In search of a deal, Gastor Almonte ends up with an unmanageable number of condoms.

Tristan Attwood works as a business analyst for the airline industry. Originally from the Portland, Oregon, area, Tristan relocated to DC more than a decade ago after serving as a field organizer for a Senate campaign. Having been "unschooled" as a child, Tristan attended Linfield College in Oregon in the early 2000s but did not technically receive a high school diploma until getting his GED from the District of Columbia in 2015. He spends his free time renovating his DC townhouse, playing dungeons and dragons, and apologizing for the airline industry. He resides in DC with his wife, Jessica, and newborn baby Roland Tiberius.

Gastor Almonte is a stand-up comedian and storyteller from Brooklyn, NY. He's appeared on Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening, Risk! podcast and the Story Collider Podcast. Timeout magazine named him one of your "New Comedy Obsessions." He's been featured on the New York Comedy Festival, The People's Impov Theater's SoloCom and Cinderblock Comedy Festival. His new album, Immigrant Made, was released in March 2019.

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Dec 20 2019

34mins

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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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iTunes Ratings

694 Ratings
Average Ratings
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253
23
16
7

Are we in a social science experiment?

By JelloJello - Jan 11 2020
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As a femaleI I appreciate hearing female hosts (think Terry Gross). But, the new format of “school girls giggling” has me wondering what is going on. Love the stories, hate the new format.

The Intellectual Dilettante approves!

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