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The Story Collider

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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Esther Perel: Science & sexuality

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

11mins

27 May 2013

Rank #1

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Ed Yong: Questioning A Hero

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

19mins

16 Dec 2014

Rank #2

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Craig Lehocky: Do you always talk like that?

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

14mins

24 Nov 2013

Rank #3

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Epidemic: Stories about medical crises

This week, we present two stories of medical crises, from New York in the 1980s to the present-day opioid epidemic. Part 1: During his residency training, pediatrician Ken Haller comes across a disturbing X-ray. Part 2: Neuroscientist Maureen Boyle's relationship with her sister, who struggles with drug addiction, becomes even more complicated when she begins working on drug policy. Episode transcript at http://www.storycollider.org/2017/8/4/epidemic-stories-of-medical-crises _______________________________ Ken Haller is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. He is President of the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and serves on the boards of the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Gateway Media Literacy Project. He has also served as President of the St. Louis Pediatric Society; PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT civil rights organization’ and GLMA, the national organization of LGBT health care professionals. He is a frequent spokesperson in local and national media on the health care needs of children and adolescents. Ken is also an accomplished actor, produced playwright, and acclaimed cabaret performer. In 2015 he was named Best St. Louis Cabaret Performer by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and he has taken his one-person shows to New York, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco. His special interests include cultural competency, health literacy, the relationship of medicine to the arts, the effects of media on children, and the special health needs of LGBT youth. His personal mission is Healing. Ken is also a member of The Story Collider's board. Maureen Boyle is the Chief of the Science Policy Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA. She is a neuroscientist who has spent the last 7 years working on behavioral healthcare reform and drug policy. Prior to joining NIDA she was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. Before getting involved in policy she studied the biological basis of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. When she wants to get out of her brain she runs, does yoga, and tries to apply Pavlov's lessons to her bulldog puppy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

29mins

4 Aug 2017

Rank #4

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

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

14mins

3 Mar 2013

Rank #5

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Identity: Stories about figuring out who we are

This week, we’re presenting stories about identity, whether its an external sense of cultural identity or an internal sense of self. Part 1: Mathematician and comic book writer Jason Rodriguez feels torn between separate cultural and professional identities. Part 2: As a graduate student, Josh Silberg begins to question whether he's cut out for science. Jason Rodriguez is a writer, editor, educator, and applied mathematician. Jason spends the first half of his day developing physiological models of human injury. In the evenings, Jason creates educational comic books about American history, systemic racism, and physics. On the weekends, Jason tends to visit conventions, museums, libraries, and festivals in order to talk about the unparalleled joy of comic books, and how that joy can spark a desire to learn and create in kids. Jason lives in Arlington, VA on the rare occasion when he’s home.   Josh Silberg has researched everything from humpback whales to whale sharks to rockfish—he just couldn’t decide on one creature to study. After earning a Master’s of Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, he joined the British Columbia-based Hakai Institute as the Science Communications Coordinator. Now, he gets to share all sorts of coastal science stories through blogs, videos, and the occasional poem. In his free time, he can be found photographing wildlife, hiking, or searching for creatures in tide pools. You can follow him on twitter @joshsilberg. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

28mins

4 May 2018

Rank #6

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Brian Wecht: The Littlest Experiment

For physicist Brian Wecht, his new baby is the perfect opportunity--to do experiments. Brian Wecht studies theoretical particle physics and string theory and is the co-founder of The Story Collider. Additionally, he is half of the musical sketch duo Ninja Sex Party, in which he wears a ninja costume, remains silent, and plays the piano. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

16mins

13 Jul 2015

Rank #7

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Fight or Flight: Stories about confronting threats

This week, we present two stories about confronting threats -- whether it’s actual physical danger or a threat to your career. Part 1: Climate scientist Kim Cobb is exploring a cave in Borneo when rocks begin to fall. Part 2: Neurobiologist Lyl Tomlinson is startled when he's accused of stealing cocaine from his lab. Kim Cobb is a researcher who uses corals and cave stalagmites to probe the mechanisms of past, present, and future climate change. Kim has sailed on multiple oceanographic cruises to the deep tropics and led caving expeditions to the rainforests of Borneo in support of her research. Kim has received numerous awards for her research, most notably a NSF CAREER Award in 2007, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2008. She is an Editor for Geophysical Research Letters, sits on the international CLIVAR Pacific Panel, and serves on the Advisory Council for the AAAS Leshner Institute for Public Engagement. As a mother to four, Kim is a strong advocate for women in science, and champions diversity and inclusion in all that she does. She is also devoted to the clear and frequent communication of climate change to the public through speaking engagements and social media. Lyl Tomlinson is a Brooklyn native and a neuroscience graduate student at Stony Brook University. He is also a science communication fanatic who often asks: “Would my grandma understand this?” Using this question as a guiding principle, he won the 2014 NASA FameLab science communication competition and became the International final runner-up. In addition to making complex information understandable, he has a growing interest in science policy. Lyl meets with government representatives to advocate for science related issues and regularly develops programs to tackle problems ranging from scientific workforce issues to the Opioid Epidemic. Outside of his work and career passions, he seems to harbor an odd obsession with sprinkles and is a (not so) comic book and anime nerd. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

30mins

13 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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Margaret Geller: Mapping The Universe

As a grad student, Margaret Geller is invited to a private island off the coast of Maine by legendary physicist John Wheeler and his wife, for a trip she'll never forget. Margaret Geller is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1975. Geller is best known for her pioneering 3D maps of the distribution of galaxies in the nearby universe. These maps revealed surprising large patterns in the universe marked by galaxies like the Milky Way. Geller is an internationally renowned public speaker. Her prize-winning films include the first computer-animated voyages through the universe based on scientific measurements. Geller is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and many other prestigious awards. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www.patreon.com/thestorycollider Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

17mins

22 May 2014

Rank #9

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Sara Peters and Peter Aguero: Praying for a seizure

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

18mins

16 Jul 2013

Rank #10

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

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! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

9mins

22 Nov 2013

Rank #11

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Expectations: Stories about surprising discoveries

This week, we're presenting stories about what happens when our expectations don't match up with reality.Part 1: Married neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are surprised by what they learn when they investigate deception at a psychic convention.Part 2: While working in the South Sudan, OB-GYN Africa Stewart must wait for an elder's permission before treating a pregnant woman gored by a bull.Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are award-winning neuroscientists and professors at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. They are best known for their studies on perception, illusions, and attentional misdirection in stage magic. They produce the annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest, now in its 13th edition, and are the authors of the international bestseller Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions. Their new book, Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles, comes out October 24th.    Dr. Africa Stewart graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1995 with a BA in psychology and mathematical science. She then attended Drexel University Medical School in Philadelphia. In 1999 she completed a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Strategic Planning from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business. She then returned to Philadelphia to finish her medical training at Drexel. In 2000 she received a Doctorate in Medicine and began Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Hahnemann University Hospital. Her career with MSF began in Sudan in June 2011. Dr. Stewart has completed 4 surgical field missions and served as a guide for the Forced From Home exhibit in 2016. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders and continues to support women’s health care locally and abroad with and emphasis on education and prevention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

39mins

7 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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David Putrino: Medical Records

While working at a hospital, David Putrino finds a surprise in his own medical records. David is a Physical Therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He has worked as a clinician in the US, UK and Australia, studied computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and designed prostheses for Brain Machine Interface devices at New York University. He is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and the Director of Telemedicine and Virtual Rehabilitation at Burke Medical Research Institute. He works to develop low-cost patient monitoring and treatment systems, designed to decrease healthcare costs whilst improving the standard of patient care. David is a co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of GesTherapy, a telerehabilitation software company that works to improve the standard of care patients who require rehabilitation. He is also a volunteer for Not Impossible Labs, a company that develops technological solutions for large-scale humanitarian problems globally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

14mins

20 Feb 2016

Rank #13

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Amy Cuddy: Passing As Myself

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

23mins

2 Apr 2014

Rank #14

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Science Communication: Stories about spreading the word

This week, we present two stories about communicating science, whether it's through journalism or over a fragile Skype connection. Part 1: Science journalist Judith Stone worries about causing conflict when she writes about cultural differences aboard the International Space Station. Part 2: Nurse Anna Freeman is frustrated by the limits of technology when she attempts to advise a Syrian hospital over a shaky Skype connection. Judith Stone is the author of Light Elements: Essays on Science from Gravity to Levity, a collection of her award-winning columns from Discover magazine. Her book When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided by Race was named one of the Washington Post’s annual top 100 books. Her work has appeared in the anthologies Mysteries of Life and the Universe: New Essays from America’s Finest Writers on Science and Life’s a Stitch: The Best of Contemporary Women’s Humor, as well as in The New York Times Magazine; Smithsonian; O, The Oprah Magazine and many other publications. She was on the founding board of The Moth, and is currently an instructor in The Moth’s community outreach program. During the Late Cretaceous Epoch, she was a member of The Second City touring company. Anna Freeman is a nurse and quality improvement specialist at Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. She has worked in humanitarian response in ten countries over the past ten years, focusing on refugee health, infectious disease, and quality of care.  Anna is an excellent dancer, an enthusiastic fumbler in any foreign language, and one of the world’s worst surfers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27mins

6 Apr 2018

Rank #15

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Coming of Age: Stories about growing up

This week, we're presenting stories about coming of age. Bildungsroman, if you will. (Thank you, eleventh-grade Honors English!) These storytellers will share stories about growing up and finding their identities -- whether it's within their family, or within their own bodies.Part 1: Growing up, Moni Avello struggles to understand her younger sister, who has Asperger's syndrome.Part 2: For Morgan Givens, the onset of puberty feels like an alien invasion. Moni (Monika) Avello transplanted herself from Miami, FL to Cambridge, MA 7+ years ago in the pursuit of science, and has yet to regret her northward relocation. Moni prefers her hair a quarter shaved for temperature control and generously dyed to honor the rainbow. She is willingly addicted to strong espresso, a habit she picked up in the 3rd grade. Moni loves to social dance blues, salsa, and bachata. In her free time, she experiments with her favorite bacteria Bacillus subtilis, trying to figure out how it blocks unwanted sex, because science is wonderful fun and the Ph.D. degree in Biology from MIT is a nifty bonus.Morgan Givens is a storyteller and performer based in Washington, DC. He has performed at Story District's Top Shelf, Creative Mornings DC, Little Salon and a host of other storytelling events throughout the city and along the East Coast. He has been featured in the Washington Post, Upworthy, Buzzfeed and participated in a panel at the 2017 AFI Documentary Film Festival Forum, titled Hear Me Now: The Art of Nonfiction Podcasting. Morgan is the creator and host of the podcast Dispatches, and uses his podcast to explore the intricacies of identity, culture, and the complicated nature of human interaction.Please note: This June, The Story Collider will be celebrating Pride Month by highlighting stories about the intersection of science and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues. Each of our five episodes this month will include one of these stories, and you can follow us @story_collider on Twitter and @storycollider on Instagram this month as we share highlights from our back catalog as well. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27mins

1 Jun 2018

Rank #16

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

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? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

15mins

24 Feb 2013

Rank #17

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

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

10mins

23 Dec 2013

Rank #18

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Different: Stories about standing out in a crowd

This week, we present two stories about being different, and the ways our differences can become our strengths. Part 1: Growing up, Amanda Gorman is determined to eliminate her speech impediment. Part 2: An aspiring scientist brought up in a family of artists, Elisa Schaum feels like a black sheep. Called the "next great figure of poetry in the US," 19-year-old Amanda Gorman is the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America and a Moth GrandSLAM champion. Her first poetry book, "The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough," was published in 2015. A Harvard sophomore, she has worked as a U.N. Youth Delegate in New York City, a HERlead Fellow with girl leaders in D.C. and London, and an Ambassador for the feminist platform School of Doodle. She has been featured in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Teen Vogue. At 16, she founded the community project One Pen One Page, which promotes storytelling and youth activism. An oceanographer turned evolutionary biologist, Elisa Schaum investigates what makes some phytoplankton populations better at evolving under climate change than others. She does this because phytoplankton are breathtakingly beautiful, and because they pretty much rule the world: they produce half of the oxygen that we breathe, fuel food-webs and their activities determine whether the oceans can take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. She is just now coming to the end of a position as an associate research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Satellite Campus for Strange People (more formally known as Penryn Campus), and is about to start a junior professorship at the University of Hamburg. Her life pre-science involved a lot of music and dancing. She also likes to write fairly horrific poetry (or, preferably, read splendid poetry) in her free time. Originally from Belgium, she has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Germany, France, South Africa, Italy, New Zealand and the UK. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27mins

18 May 2018

Rank #19

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Carl Zimmer: Safety Carl Versus Gamera

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

24mins

14 May 2014

Rank #20