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Science for the People

Updated 5 days ago

Health & Fitness
Medicine
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Social Sciences
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Science for the People is a long-format interview podcast that explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what's in the news and on the shelves. Our hosts sit down with science researchers, writers, authors, journalists, and experts to discuss science from the past, the science that affects our lives today, and how science might change our future.

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Science for the People is a long-format interview podcast that explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what's in the news and on the shelves. Our hosts sit down with science researchers, writers, authors, journalists, and experts to discuss science from the past, the science that affects our lives today, and how science might change our future.

iTunes Ratings

141 Ratings
Average Ratings
110
16
7
5
3

Great!

By BozemanBoy - Jun 18 2014
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Don't miss an episode.

Just what I was looking for - thank you!

By YGlen - Apr 17 2014
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This podcast provides science content in a readily digestible format to keep me informed.

iTunes Ratings

141 Ratings
Average Ratings
110
16
7
5
3

Great!

By BozemanBoy - Jun 18 2014
Read more
Don't miss an episode.

Just what I was looking for - thank you!

By YGlen - Apr 17 2014
Read more
This podcast provides science content in a readily digestible format to keep me informed.
Cover image of Science for the People

Science for the People

Latest release on Feb 23, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: #403 Indigenous DNA

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This week we take a closer look at the intersection of genetics, politics, identity, and hundreds of years of colonization. We speak with Kim TallBear, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples Technoscience and Environment and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, about her book "Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science". And we speak with Keolu Fox, a post doctoral fellow in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, about IndiGenomics, an NGO aimed at helping create...

Jan 06 2017

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Rank #2: #438 Big Chicken

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We eat a lot of chicken. But we didn't used to. What changed? In part, what changed was the discovery that antibiotics could build a bigger, better chicken. Now, the big chicken may be suffering the results of too much medicine. This week, we hear from science journalist Maryn McKenna about her new book "Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats." We'll also hear from zoonotic disease specialist Tara Smith about the challenges scientists face trying to get out of the lab and into the pigpen. This episode is...

Sep 08 2017

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Rank #3: #400 What Doesn't Kill You...

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This week we're discussing public perception of entomologists and their study organisms of choice: insects. We speak with Justin Schmidt, author of the new book "The Sting of the Wild", and an example of an entomologist who goes above and beyond for his passion for stinging insects, having created a sting pain index based on his personal experiences with them. He has received a lot of media attention as a result, and so we delve into what the public and other scientists think of his research, where his passion for chemical defences in insects came from, and why he's chosen...

Dec 16 2016

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Rank #4: #340 Mandatory Vaccination

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This week, we're talking about disease prevention, public health, and whether or not some types of vaccinations should be mandatory. We'll spend the hour in a panel discussion with Barry Bloom, Harvard University's Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto public health ethicist Alison Thompson, pediatrician and University of Pennsylvania vaccinology professor Paul Offit, and Nicholas Little, Vice President and General Counsel at the Center for Inquiry.

Oct 23 2015

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Rank #5: #408 The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar

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This week, we look at the strange, curious, and sometimes amusing strategies creatures use to make it through the day. Guest host Jessie Yaros spends the hour with science writer and author Matt Simon talking about his new book "The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution's Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life's Biggest Problems".
The Science for the People team is excited to welcome Jessie Yaros, a new guest host, to our team. Jessie is a doctoral student in Neurobiology and Behavior in California.

Feb 10 2017

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Rank #6: #431 Memory and Emotion

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This week we look at how our brains process memory and emotion. We talk to Michael Yassa, Associate Professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Neurology at UC Irvine, about how our brains discriminate similar memories from each other and the conditions that compromise that ability. And we speak with James McGaugh, Research Fellow and Founding Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and Founding Director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California Irvine, about the pathways that allow emotional experience to strengthen memories and the potential ways we...

Jul 21 2017

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Rank #7: #342 Amazons (Rebroadcast)

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This week we're learning how science can shed light on the stories told by our ancestors. We're joined by folklorist and science historian Adrienne Mayor, author of "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World," to learn what archaeology can tell us about legendary warrior women in cultures from around the world. And we'll talk to anthropologist John Hawks to learn how researchers gain insights from ancient human remains.

Nov 06 2015

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Rank #8: #347 Where Do Camels Belong?

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This week, we're discussing ecosystems, biodiversity, and whether or not "invasive" outside species are really as bad as they're made out to be. We'll spend the hour speaking to Dr. Ken Thompson, lecturer in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, about his book "Where Do Camels Belong? Why Invasive Species Aren't All Bad."
Read the companion post on Skepchick.

Dec 11 2015

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Rank #9: #413 Concrete

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This week is all about that most ubiquitous of building materials: concrete. Historian Robert Courland joins us to talk about his book "Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material", our long history using concrete, and what modern engineers could learn from the Romans. We'll speak with Cristina Zanotti, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia, about building better -- and more sustainable -- modern concrete structures. And we'll talk with organizers Andrew Tefs and Dave Barchyn about the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Mar 17 2017

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Rank #10: #520 A Closer Look at Objectivism

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Update: the previous file had overlapping tracks during the second interview. This has now been fixed. This week we broach the topic of Objectivism. We'll be speaking with Keith Lockitch, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, about the philosophy of Objectivism as it's taught through Ayn Rand's writings. Then we'll speak with Denise Cummins, cognitive scientist, author and fellow at the Association for Psychological Science, about the impact of Objectivist ideology on society. Related links: Introduction to Objectivism at the Ayn Rand Institute This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously by Denise Cummins on PBS News...

Apr 12 2019

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Rank #11: #272 Science and the Death Penalty

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This week, we're looking at the science of the ultimate criminal punishment. Pharmacologist and science writer David Kroll joins us to discuss the chemistry of the drugs used in lethal injections. We'll talk to law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, about the rates of false convictions in death penalty cases. And we'll speak to Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Dr. James Harris about the complex issues at the intersection of capital punishment and intellectual disability.

Jul 04 2014

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Rank #12: #412 PTSD

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This week on Science for the People, we’re talking about our changing understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how we define the trauma that can trigger it. We speak with Alexei Morozov, an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, about his work studying the social signals of distress in mouse models, and about how animal models are helping us better understand PTSD in humans. And we talk with Dr. Monnica Williams, Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut and licensed psychologist, about our changing understanding of what trauma is and how it can be caused.

Mar 10 2017

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Rank #13: #422 Is Our Children Learning

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This week on science for the people, we're taking on the educational system. We'll be talking with Ulrich Boser about what people think they know about education. It turns out that education is a lot like driving: everyone thinks they're well above average in their knowledge, which means half of us are probably wrong. Then, we'll speak with education researcher Luis Leyva about how math education privileges some at the expense of others. We may not think about it, but the way we have always taught math leaves many people of color behind. Finally, we'll speak with cognitive neuroscientist Suzanne...

May 19 2017

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Rank #14: #268 Extreme Medicine

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This week, we're on the frontiers of medicine, from the fabulous to the foolhardy. We'll talk to Dr. Kevin Fong, co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at University College London, about his book "Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century." And we're joined by Dr. Sydnee and Justin McElroy, hosts of the podcast "Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine."

Jun 06 2014

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Rank #15: #430 Bacteria in Bodies and On The Farm

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This week we look at how new science and new challenges are pushing us to think differently about the role of bacteria in healthcare and pest control in agriculture. We speak to award-winning science writer Ed Yong about his book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" and how our understanding of how microscopic organisms affect our life and health has changed. And we talk with Emily Monosson, environmental toxicologist and author, about her book "Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health" about the parallels between healthcare and agriculture...

Jul 14 2017

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Rank #16: #415 Weapons of Math Destruction

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This week on Science for the People we look at the modern, inventive ways we try to use math and algorithms to make better decisions, and what happens when those solutions cause more problems than they solve. We speak with Cathy O'Neil about her book Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy and the increasingly opaque and unregulated algorithms that are creeping into our lives. We also talk with David Robinson, co-founder and principal of the think tank Upturn, about their report on the current use of and evidence behind Predictive Policing.

Mar 31 2017

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Rank #17: #471 Pigs and Fish: Personality in Animals

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This week we learn about how personality is studied in two of our favorite animals: pigs and fish. We'll be speaking with Rose O'Dea, PhD candidate at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre in Sydney, about using computer animation technology to stimulate behavioral responses in zebrafish. Then we'll speak with Kristina Horback, assistant professor at the University of California-Davis, about the connection between personality traits in domesticated pigs and their ability to cope with stressful farm conditions.
Related links:

Computer Animation Technology in Behavioral Sciences: A Sequential, Automatic, and High-Throughput Approach to Quantifying Personality in Zebrafish

Apr 27 2018

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Rank #18: #344 Effective Altruism

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This week, we're learning how science can boost the effectiveness of philanthropy. We'll talk to philosophy professor William MacAskill about his book "Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference." And we'll speak to education researcher Brendan Rigby about the ethics and impact of "voluntourism."

Nov 20 2015

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Rank #19: #469 The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

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What happens when you take 5 enourmous freshwater lakes isolated in the middle of a continent and suddenly open them up to the Atlantic? The ecology of the North American Great Lakes is changing fast. We spend the hour with Dan Egan, an award-winning writer and reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences, to talk about his book "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes" and how invading species have caused havoc in the Lakes, from sea lampreys making their way up canals to zebra...

Apr 13 2018

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Rank #20: #511 Ok you worked out, now what?

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Ok, you got out the door and did a workout. Excellent work! Now you're sore. Rats. What do you do? Foam roll? Stretch? Stand butt naked in a tank pumping in liquid nitrogen? Put on specially branded pajamas? The recovery options are endless these days. But which of them work best? Heck, which even work at all? We're talking with Christie Aschwanden about her new book: "Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery". Related links: ‘Good to Go’ tackles the real science of sports recovery - Review from Bethany...

Feb 01 2019

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