TrueSciPhi logo

TrueSciPhi

 

Podcast Profile: The Disappearing Spoon: a science history podcast with Sam Kean

Show Image SiteRSSApple Podcasts
96 episodes
2019 to 2024
Median: 19 minutes
Collection: Science


Description (podcaster-provided):

A topsy-turvy science-y history podcast by Sam Kean. I examine overlooked stories from our past: the dental superiority of hunter-gatherers, the crooked Nazis who saved thousands of American lives, the American immigrants who developed the most successful cancer screening tool in history, the sex lives of dinosaurs, and much, much more. These are charming little tales that never made the history books, but these small moments can be surprisingly powerful. These are the cases where history gets inverted, where the footnote becomes the real story.


Themes and summary (AI-generated based on podcaster-provided show and episode descriptions):

➤ Historical mysteries • Scientific breakthroughs • Uncommon illnesses • Controversial figures in science • Remarkable discoveries • Unsolved scientific enigmas • Eccentric individuals • Historical scandals • Overlooked scientific stories • Bizarre scientific phenomena

The podcast "The Disappearing Spoon," hosted by Sam Kean, delves into a captivating blend of science and history, uncovering the lesser-known stories that have shaped our understanding of the world. This podcast frequently explores the intersections where science meets human drama, often revealing the unexpected consequences and profound impacts of scientific discoveries and historical events.

Listeners can expect to hear about the quirky, dark, and sometimes macabre aspects of science history. The episodes cover a wide range of topics, including controversial medical practices, mysterious deaths, and the ethical dilemmas faced by scientists. Themes of scientific breakthroughs and blunders recur, showcasing how errors and unconventional ideas have sometimes led to significant advancements. The episodes span various historical periods and geographical locations, highlighting the global influence of scientific endeavor.

The podcast often brings to light stories of individuals, both famous and obscure, whose lives and actions had far-reaching implications. These narratives include accounts of remarkable personal transformations, such as those experienced by figures involved in groundbreaking yet morally ambiguous experiments. Additionally, the podcast addresses the role of science in historical conflicts and societal issues, illustrating how scientific knowledge has been used both for great benefit and devastating harm.

Sam Kean's storytelling often tackles the bizarre and puzzling phenomena, from the biological roots of human behavior to the eerie and unexplained events that have baffled scientists for decades. Episodes delve into peculiar medical conditions, forensic mysteries, and the extraordinary lengths to which scientists have gone in their quest for knowledge.

Overall, "The Disappearing Spoon" offers a mix of entertaining and thought-provoking content, drawing connections between arcane scientific facts and the broader tapestry of human history. This podcast is particularly suited for those intrigued by the obscure, the odd, and the impactful tales that rarely make it into mainstream history books.


Episodes:
Episode Image The Mysterious Mote
2024-Jun-26
18 minutes
Episode Image The Science of D-Day
2024-May-14
19 minutes
Episode Image Can Plastic Surgery Keep You out of Prison?
2024-May-07
20 minutes
Episode Image The Russian Roswell
2024-Apr-30
21 minutes
Episode Image When Tenure Means Life and Death
2024-Apr-23
20 minutes
Episode Image A Deadly Soup for Babies
2024-Apr-16
20 minutes
Episode Image How the “Worst Serial Killer in Holland’s History” Went Free
2024-Apr-09
20 minutes
Episode Image The Eclipse that Killed a King
2024-Apr-02
19 minutes
Episode Image When Generosity Turns Pathological
2024-Mar-26
18 minutes
Episode Image The Sex-Cult “Antichrist” Who Rocketed Us to Space (part 2)
2024-Mar-19
21 minutes
Episode Image The Sex-Cult “Antichrist” Who Rocketed Us to Space (part 1)
2024-Mar-12
19 minutes
Episode Image Don't Drink the Milk bonus episode - Milk: From mutations to mustaches
2024-Jan-16
42 minutes
Was Darwin a Murderer?
2023-Nov-14
20 minutes
Mass Psychosis in Food Science
2023-Nov-07
19 minutes
Accounting for Taste
2023-Oct-31
18 minutes
If Indiana Jones Were a Swindler
2023-Oct-24
19 minutes
Episode Image The British Tobacco Empire
2023-Oct-17
19 minutes
Episode Image "Moldy Mary," The Forgotten Mother of Penicillin
2023-Oct-10
21 minutes
Episode Image The Most Exclusive Club in the World
2023-Oct-03
19 minutes
Death-Defying Science at 75,000 Feet
2023-Sep-26
20 minutes
Episode Image Proving Einstein Right
2023-Sep-20
19 minutes
Episode Image Einstein's Golden Moment
2023-Sep-12
20 minutes
Episode Image Everything You Know About Phineas Gage Is Wrong
2023-Jul-11
19 minutes
Why Do We Obsess Over Charles Darwin’s Health?
2023-Jun-27
20 minutes
The Seeds of Starvation
2023-Jun-20
21 minutes
When Scientific Brilliance Isn’t Enough
2023-Jun-13
19 minutes
The Curse of Knowing Too Much
2023-Jun-06
19 minutes
The Enigmas of Foreign Accent Syndrome
2023-May-30
18 minutes
Episode Image The World’s Only Natural Nuclear Reactor
2023-May-23
21 minutes
Episode Image How New DNA Sleuthing Can Expose Dangerous Killers—and You
2023-May-16
20 minutes
Episode Image The Real Tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer
2023-May-09
20 minutes
Episode Image The Brilliant, Groundbreaking, and Wildly Overrated Leonardo da Vinci
2023-May-02
20 minutes
Spring update and "Innate" trailer
2023-Feb-06
4 minutes
Death Squared
2022-Nov-29
20 minutes
Episode Image Death by Nutrition
2022-Nov-22
20 minutes
Episode Image The Roadside Apocalypse
2022-Nov-15
20 minutes
Episode Image The Blind Visionary
2022-Nov-08
21 minutes
Episode Image The Scariest Paradise on Earth
2022-Nov-01
18 minutes
Episode Image The Naked Shibboleth
2022-Oct-25
20 minutes
Episode Image The Debaucherous Legacy of Johnny Appleseed
2022-Oct-18
21 minutes
Episode Image The Most Evil Molecule
2022-Oct-11
18 minutes
Episode Image The Life-Saving Rat Poison
2022-Oct-04
21 minutes
Episode Image The Making of a Lobotomist
2022-Sep-27
18 minutes
Episode Image Icepick Surgeon bonus excerpt on the making of the Unabomber
2022-Jul-12
20 minutes
Episode Image The Murderer Who Made Movies Possible
2022-May-10
21 minutes
Episode Image Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and the Irish Giant
2022-May-03
18 minutes
Episode Image The Screwiest—and Perhaps Most Original—Idea of the 20th Century
2022-Apr-26
20 minutes
Episode Image The Bird with Four Sexes
2022-Apr-19
19 minutes
Episode Image When the Brain Deceives Itself
2022-Apr-12
18 minutes
Episode Image Stephen Hawking and the Black Hole Mistake that Made His Career
2022-Apr-05
20 minutes
Episode Image Albert Einstein and the Worst Prediction in the History of Science
2022-Mar-29
18 minutes
Episode Image How to Be Smarter than Isaac Newton
2022-Mar-22
17 minutes
Episode Image Claude Monet and Bee Purple
2022-Mar-15
19 minutes
Episode Image The Unsung Heroes of Darwin’s Evolution
2022-Mar-08
20 minutes
The Sinister Angel Singers of Rome
2021-Dec-07
18 minutes
The Murderous Origins of the American Medical Association
2021-Nov-30
20 minutes
Episode Image The Big ‘What If’ of Cancer
2021-Nov-23
20 minutes
The Harvard Medical School Janitor Who Solved a Murder
2021-Nov-16
21 minutes
Episode Image Burn After Watching
2021-Nov-09
20 minutes
History’s First Car Crash Victim
2021-Nov-02
14 minutes
Real Life Zombies
2021-Oct-26
17 minutes
How Climate Change Will Remake the Human Body
2021-Oct-19
19 minutes
The ‘Mary Poppins’ Cancer
2021-Oct-12
18 minutes
Kangaroo (and Pig and Monkey and Dog and Donkey) Courts
2021-Oct-05
19 minutes
Episode Image Icepick Surgeon audiobook excerpt
2021-Jul-13
18 minutes
The Anatomy Riots
2021-Jun-01
17 minutes
When a Hole in the Head Is Good for You
2021-May-25
16 minutes
When Mosquitos Cured Insanity
2021-May-18
17 minutes
The Death of the Lord God Bird
2021-May-11
19 minutes
Chewing it Over—and Over and Over and Over
2021-May-04
17 minutes
What's the Longest Word in the English Language?
2021-Apr-27
18 minutes
Why Don't We Have a Male Birth Control Pill Yet?
2021-Apr-20
17 minutes
Bonus interview with WNYC's Science Diction
2021-Apr-16
26 minutes
Marie Curie's (Nearly Disastrous) Trip to America
2021-Apr-13
17 minutes
The Most Important Lost Fossils in History
2021-Apr-06
19 minutes
Episode Image The World’s First Global Vaccine Supply Chain Was Orphan Children
2021-Mar-30
20 minutes
Episode Image The Joys, and Pains, of Operating on Yourself
2020-Nov-30
17 minutes
Episode Image A School Shooting for Science
2020-Nov-13
18 minutes
Episode Image Star Wars, Death Rays, and Donald Trump
2020-Oct-15
19 minutes
Episode Image Vitamin G
2020-Oct-01
19 minutes
Episode Image The CIA’s Drug-Fueled Orgies and You
2020-Sep-15
18 minutes
Episode Image From Siberia with (Manipulative) Love
2020-Sep-01
19 minutes
Episode Image The Man Who Couldn’t Read Numbers
2020-Aug-17
14 minutes
Episode Image The Teflon Bomb
2020-Aug-06
19 minutes
Episode Image Chocolate Cake & Atomic Bombs
2020-Aug-01
19 minutes
Episode Image The Ice Island Murder
2020-Jul-14
19 minutes
Episode Image Our Slimy Nazi Saviors
2020-Jul-07
16 minutes
Episode Image Are Braces a Health Disaster?
2020-Jun-23
19 minutes
Episode Image The Science Immigrants Who Saved Millions
2020-Jun-09
19 minutes
Episode Image Tyrannosaurus sex
2020-Jun-02
18 minutes
Episode Image The Lost Dinosaurs of Central Park
2020-May-22
18 minutes
Episode Image Exposing Nazi Medical Atrocities
2020-May-11
19 minutes
Episode Image Glove at First Sight
2020-Apr-27
18 minutes
Episode Image Galileo and Art, part 2
2020-Apr-20
17 minutes
Episode Image Galileo and Art, part 1
2020-Apr-20
19 minutes
Episode Image Tea Test Tempest
2019-Oct-26
13 minutes