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Podcast Profile: Science Talk

podcast imageTwitter: @sciam
Site: www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/science-talk
541 episodes
2006 to present
Average episode: 26 minutes
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Categories: Interview-Style • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: Science Talk is a podcast of longer-form audio experiments from Scientific American--from immersive sonic journeys into nature to deep dives into research with leading experts.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 541. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2024-Apr-10 • 34 minutes
Episode 2: Think Seeing is Believing? Think Again
We think that what we see represents stone-cold reality. Science has found out how wrong we can be.
2024-Apr-03 • 26 minutes
Episode 1: Uncertainty is Science's Super Power. Make It Yours, Too
Welcome to Uncertain, a five-part podcast miniseries from Scientific American. Here we will dive head first into the possibilities of the unknowing. Over the next five episodes, I’ll be talking with people like her: explorers who work in the realm of uncertainty. Through them, we’ll discover the ways that uncertainty can spark curiosity and scientific breakthroughs. But we’ll also find out how uncertainty can bite us in the butt and make science really hard. We’ll see how neglecting uncertainty can lead to ...
2024-Mar-27 • 4 minutes
Coming Soon: 'Uncertain' - A New Short Series on the Thrill of Not Knowing
Does the word "uncertainty" make you nervous? Does it rule your life? Would you say it kinda describes the state of the world these days? Enter Uncertain, a new limited podcast series from Scientific American. In this series, host Christie Aschwanden will help to demystify uncertainty. She's going to take away its scariness–or, rather, a cast of scientific dreamers that she talked to, will. As you’ll see, uncertainty drives scientific discovery. Throughout scientific history, uncertainty has spurred our c...
2023-Aug-10 • 46 minutes
Racism in Health: The Roots of the U.S. Black Maternal Mortality Crisis
What is behind the Black maternal mortality crisis, and what needs to change? In this podcast from Nature and Scientific American, leading academics unpack the racism at the heart of the system.
2022-Apr-26 • 6 minutes
Love Computers? Love History? Listen to This Podcast
In the newest season of Lost Women of Science, we enter a world of secrecy, computers and nuclear weapons—and see how Klára Dán von Neumann was a part of all of it.
2021-Dec-14 • 41 minutes
Top 10 Emerging Tech of 2021
The World Economic Forum and Scientific American team up to highlight technological advances that could change the world—including self-fertilizing crops, on-demand drug manufacturing, breath-sensing diagnostics and 3-D-printed houses.
2021-Nov-08 • 6 minutes
Listen to This New Podcast: The Lost Women of Science
A new podcast is on a mission to retrieve unsung female scientists from oblivion.
2021-Oct-21 • 21 minutes
An Unblinking History of the Conservation Movement
In her new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, science journalist Michelle Nijhuis looks into the past of the wildlife conservation field, warts and all, to try to chart its future.
2021-Sep-28 • 20 minutes
Inside the Nail-Biting Quest to Find the 'Loneliest Whale'
It is a tale of sound: the song of a solitary whale that vocalizes at a unique frequency of 52 hertz, which no other whale—as the story goes—can seemingly understand. It is also a tale about science and ocean life, laced with fantasy and mystery and mostly shrouded in darkness. The whale, who is of unknown species and nicknamed “52,” was originally discovered in 1989 and has been intermittently tracked by scientists ever since. Its solitary nature baffled marine researchers. And its very existence captu...
2021-Sep-08 • 5 minutes
Listen to This: 'Hope Lies in Dreams,' a New Podcast from Nature Biotechnology
This is a story of desperation, anger, poverty—and triumph over long odds to crack the code of a degenerative disease that had been stealing the lives of children since it was first discovered more than a century ago.
2021-Sep-03 • 22 minutes
Summer of Science Reading, Episode 4: Navigating Loss and Hope with Nature
In Science Book Talk, a new four-part podcast miniseries, host Deboki Chakravarti acts as literary guide to two science books that share a beautiful and sometimes deeply resonant entanglement. In this week’s show: World of Wonders, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald.
2021-Aug-27 • 27 minutes
Summer of Science Reading, Episode 3: Abandoned and Underground but Not Lost
In Science Book Talk, a new four-part podcast miniseries, host Deboki Chakravarti acts as literary guide to two science books that share a beautiful and sometimes deeply resonant entanglement. In this week’s show: Underland, by Robert MacFarlane, and Islands of Abandonment, by Cal Flyn.
2021-Aug-13 • 22 minutes
Summer of Science Reading, Episode 2: Life beneath Our Feet
In Science Book Talk, a new four-part podcast miniseries, host Deboki Chakravarti acts as literary guide to two science books that share a beautiful and sometimes deeply resonant entanglement. In this week’s show: Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake, and Gathering Moss, by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
2021-Aug-06 • 22 minutes
Summer of Science Reading, Episode 1: The Many Mysteries of Fish
In Science Book Talk, a new four-part podcast miniseries, host Deboki Chakravarti acts as literary guide to two science books that share a beautiful and sometimes deeply resonant entanglement. In this week’s show: Why Fish Don’t Exist, by Lulu Miller, and The Book of Eels, by Patrik Svensson.
2021-Jul-30 • 35 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 10: The Otherworldly Sounds of an Elk Rut
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience a the alien sounds o...
2021-Jul-16 • 29 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 9: Inside a Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience a humid, salty morni...
2021-Jul-02 • 31 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 8: The Blue Oaks of Sequoia
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience an evanescent like n...
2021-Jun-18 • 30 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 7: Into the Wilderness by Canoe
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience a thunderstorm—and a...
2021-Jun-04 • 37 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 6: Yellowstone Bison and Marsh Birds
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place, and prepare to experience sunrise on a Yellow...
2021-Apr-22 • 28 minutes
The Deepest Dive to Find the Secrets of the Whales
On Earth Day, Scientific American sits down with National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry to talk about free diving with whales and filming the giant mammals within five meters or less. “We have to get within a few meters of our subject to get good pictures,” Skerry says. “I can't use a 1,000-millimeter lens underwater. Also, the sun has to be out because I can’t light a whale underwater; they're too big.” Skerry has been tracking whales, their hidden lives, their feeding rituals and hun...
2021-Apr-16 • 37 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 5: A Northwoods Voyage
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place, and prepare to experience true solitude insid...
2021-Apr-12 • 25 minutes
First in Space: New Yuri Gagarin Biography Shares Hidden Side of Cosmonaut
It’s been 60 years, to the day, since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel to space in a tiny capsule attached to an R-7 ballistic missile, a powerful rocket originally designed to carry a three- to five-megaton nuclear warhead. In this new episode marking the 60th anniversary of this historic space flight—the first of its kind—Scientific American talks to Stephen Walker, an award-winning filmmaker, director and book author, about the daring launch that changed the course of human his...
2021-Apr-09 • 37 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 4: Beautiful Swamp
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience a riot of bird song ...
2021-Apr-02 • 26 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 3: Where Lewis and Clark Trod
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience the transcendence th...
2021-Mar-26 • 34 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 2: Sequoia Heights
Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience the what it feels li...
2021-Mar-19 • 37 minutes
National Park Nature Walks, Episode 1: Rocky Mountains
Today we launch a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a multitude of creatures, great and small, amid the sonic grandeur of nature. You may not be easily able to access these places amid the pandemic, but after you take this acoustic journey, you will be longing to get back outside. Strap on some headphones, find a quiet place and prepare to experience the west side of Rocky Mountain Nati...
2021-Mar-17 • 16 minutes
AI Can Now Debate with Humans and Sometimes Convince Them, Too
Today on the Science Talk podcast, Noam Slonim of IBM Research speaks to Scientific American about an impressive feat of computer engineering: an AI-powered autonomous system that can engage in complex debate with humans over issues ranging from subsidizing preschool and the merit of space exploration to the pros and cons of genetic engineering. In a new Nature paper, Slonim and his colleagues show that across 80 debate topics, Project Debater’s computational argument technology has performed very decent...
2021-Feb-12 • 15 minutes
Climate Change Could Shred Guitars Known for Shredding
It is the wood that the rock greats have sworn by—swamp ash, in the form of their Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars—for more than 70 years. If you have ever listened to rock, you have probably heard a solid-body swamp ash guitar. But now climate change is threatening the wood that helped build rock and roll. In today’s podcast, veteran guitarist Jim Campilongo takes us through the finer points of swamp ash and what it would mean to lose it. Bonus material: Here’s Campilongo showing the differe...
2021-Feb-04 • 16 minutes
On Finding Yourself in a Butterfly's Wings
Today on the Science Talk podcast, Alexis Gambis, a New York University biologist and independent filmmaker, speaks about making Son of Monarchs, which won the 2021 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is about a Mexican scientist who studies the evolution of monarch butterfly wings. It is a cultural piece about the politics of immigration, spirituality and shifting identities. Gambis talks about science beyond the lab bench, bringing CRISPR technology to the big sc...
2020-Dec-30 • 42 minutes
A Breakdown of Beavers
Environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb talks about his book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.
2020-Dec-14 • 41 minutes
America on Dialysis
Kidney disease affects millions of Americans, but corporate capture of dialysis, along with disparities in treatment and transplant access, mean that not everyone's journey is the same. On this Science Talk podcast, we speak with Carrie Arnold, lead reporter in an ambitious, year-long reporting project into the current state of chronic kidney disease treatment in the U.S., from diagnosis to dialysis, and from maintenance treatment to transplant (for those who are lucky). You can read the first part in t...
2020-Dec-11 • 31 minutes
What Science Has Learned about the Coronavirus One Year On
About a year ago, SARS-CoV-2 (which wasn’t called that yet) was just beginning to emerge in a cluster of cases inside China. We know what has happened since then, but it bears repeating: there have been 69 million cases and more than 1.5 million deaths globally as of December 10, 2020, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. And as the virus raced around the world, science has also raced to understand how it actually works, biologically. Today on the Science Talk podcast, a virologist ...
2020-Dec-09 • 48 minutes
2020's Top 10 Tech Innovations
Scientific American and the World Economic Forum sifted through more than 75 nominations for the most innovative and potentially game-changing technologies in 2020. The final top 10 span the fields of medicine, engineering, environmental sciences and chemistry. And to win the nod, the technologies must have the potential to spur progress in societies and economies by outperforming established ways of doing things. They also need to be novel (that is, not currently in wide use) yet likely to have a major imp...
2020-Dec-03 • 26 minutes
Inventing Us: How Inventions Shaped Humanity
Materials scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez talks about her latest book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another.
2020-Aug-29 • 33 minutes
175 Years of Scientific American: The Good, the Bad and the Debunking
We look back at some highlights, midlights and lowlights of the history of Scientific American, featuring former editor in chief John Rennie. Astrophysicist Alan Guth also appears in a sponsored segment.
2020-Aug-24 • 47 minutes
Bread Science: A Yeasty Conversation
“Baking is applied microbiology,” according to the book Modernist Bread. During pandemic lockdowns, many people started baking their own bread. Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs talks about Modernist Bread, for which he was a writer and editor.
2020-Aug-13 • 28 minutes
The Coming or Possibly Nearly Here Storm
Former Scientific American editor Mark Alpert talks about his latest sci-fi thriller The Coming Storm, which warns about the consequences of unethical scientific research and of ignoring the scientific findings you don’t like.
2020-Aug-06 • 26 minutes
COVID-19 Vaccine Ethics: Who Gets It First and Other Issues
Contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs spoke with Arthur Caplan, head of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s division of medical ethics, about some of the ethical issues that researchers have to consider in testing and distributing vaccines against COVID-19.
2020-Jul-30 • 36 minutes
How Your Homes and Buildings Affect You
Journalist and author Emily Anthes talks about her book The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness.
2020-Jul-21 • 31 minutes
African-Americans, Nature and Environmental Justice
Journalist Bob Hirshon reports from the Taking Nature Black conference, reporter Shahla Farzan talks about tracking copperhead snakes, and nanoscientist Ondrej Krivanek discusses microscopes with subangstrom resolution.
2020-Jun-27 • 31 minutes
How Nature Helps Body and Soul
Journalist and author Florence Williams talks about her book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative.
2020-Jun-25 • 38 minutes
The Messenger Is the Message
Behavioral scientist Stephen Martin and psychologist Joseph Marks talk about their book Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why.
2020-Jun-20 • 26 minutes
Air, Sea and Space: Ocean Health, Atmosphere Insights and Black Holes
Biological oceanography expert Miriam Goldstein talks about issues facing the oceans. Reporter Adam Levy discusses air pollution info available because of the pandemic. And astrophysicist Andrew Fabian chats about black holes.
2020-Jun-18 • 61 minutes
Science on the Hill: Calculating Climate
For the fourth Science on the Hill event, Future Climate: What We Know, What We Don’t, experts talked with Scientific American senior editor Mark Fischetti about what goes into modeling our climate—and how such models are used in addition to long-term climate prediction.
2020-May-29 • 43 minutes
Your Brain, Free Will and the Law
Stanford University neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky talks about human behavior, the penal system and the question of free will.
2020-May-19 • 44 minutes
No, No Nobel: How to Lose the Prize
Physicist Brian Keating talks about his book Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor.
2020-May-05 • 27 minutes
Galileo's Fight against Science Denial
Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio talks about his latest book, Galileo: And the Science Deniers, and how the legendary scientist’s battles are still relevant today.
2020-Apr-27 • 23 minutes
Where Is Everybody Else in the Universe?
Guest host W. Wayt Gibbs talks with Jason Wright, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, about what’s known as the Fermi paradox: In a universe of trillions of planets, where is everybody?
2020-Apr-24 • 32 minutes
Why Exercise Is So Good For You
Health journalist Judy Foreman talks about her new book Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging.
2020-Apr-23 • 17 minutes
COVID-19: What the Autopsies Reveal
Pathologists are starting to get a closer look at the damage that COVID-19 does to the body by carefully examining the internal organs of people who have died from the novel coronavirus.
2020-Apr-03 • 16 minutes
COVID-19: The Need for Secure Labs--and Their Risks
Coronavirus research requires high-containment labs. Journalist Elisabeth Eaves talks with Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs about her article “The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs,” a joint project of the New Yorker and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
2020-Mar-27 • 35 minutes
Flat Earthers: What They Believe and Why
Michael Marshall, project director of the Good Thinking Society in the U.K., talks about flat earth belief and its relationship to conspiracy theories and other antiscience activities.
2020-Mar-24 • 17 minutes
COVID-19: Predicting the Path and Analyzing Immunity
Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs continues to report on the coronavirus outbreak from his home in Kirkland, Wash., site of the first U.S. cases. In this installment, he talks with researchers about what their models show for the future of the pandemic and on research to create tests to see who has developed immunity.
2020-Mar-23 • 15 minutes
COVID-19: How and Why the Virus Spreads Quickly
Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs reports from the original U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak: Kirkland, Wash. In this installment of our ongoing series, he talks with researchers about the properties of the virus and why it spreads so quickly.
2020-Mar-19 • 13 minutes
COVID-19: The Wildlife Trade and Human Disease
Christian Walzer, executive director of global health at the Wildlife Conservation Society, talks about how the wildlife trade, especially for human consumption, can lead to disease outbreaks.
2020-Mar-18 • 36 minutes
David Quammen: How Animal Infections Spill Over to Humans
In this 2012 interview, David Quammen talks about his book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, which is highly relevant to the emergence of the coronavirus that has changed our lives.
2020-Mar-16 • 15 minutes
COVID-19: Dealing with Social Distancing
Judy Moskowitz, a professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University, talks about ways to cope during this time of missing out on our usual diet of social interactions.
2020-Mar-14 • 15 minutes
Coronavirus Hot Zone: Research and Responses in the U.S. Epicenter
Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs reports from the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak: Kirkland, Wash. In this installment of our ongoing series, he talks with researchers about the efforts to create vaccines and treatments and the challenges the outbreak poses to cancer patients and others who are immunocompromised.
2020-Mar-10 • 18 minutes
Coronavirus Hot Zone: The View from the U.S. Epicenter
Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs reports from the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak: Kirkland, Wash. In this first installment of an ongoing series, he looks at why children seem to weather this disease better than adults and the complicated issue of shuttering schools.
2020-Mar-08 • 35 minutes
The New Cosmos: A Conversation with Ann Druyan
Emmy and Peabody Award–winning science writer, producer and director Ann Druyan talks about Cosmos: Possible Worlds, the next installment of the Cosmos series.
2020-Feb-27 • 23 minutes
Advancing Efforts in Disease Interception
Ben Wiegand, global head of the World without Disease Accelerator at Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, talks about efforts to prevent a disease or to identify it in its earliest stages for more effective treatments.
2020-Feb-12 • 25 minutes
Kirk, Spock and Darwin
Duke University evolutionary biologist Mohamed A. F. Noor talks about his book Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds.
2020-Jan-30 • 41 minutes
How to Make a Mass Extinction
Journalist and author Peter Brannen talks about his book The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions.
2019-Nov-21 • 39 minutes
Air Pollution: An Unclear and Present Danger
Journalist and author Beth Gardiner talks about her new book Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution. And CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna talks about gene editing.
2019-Nov-11 • 35 minutes
150 Years of the Journal Nature
Nature is arguably the world’s most prestigious scientific journal. Editor in chief Magdalena Skipper spoke with Scientific American’s acting editor in chief Curtis Brainard about her journal as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.
2019-Oct-09 • 17 minutes
Lithium-Ion Battery Creators Win Chemistry Nobel Prize
John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino share the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of lithium-ion batteries” that have led to portable electronic devices that are rechargeable virtually anywhere on the planet.
2019-Oct-07 • 24 minutes
How Cells Sense Oxygen Levels: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
William Kaelin, Jr., Peter Ratcliffe and Gregg Semenza share the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.” New therapies for cancer and conditions such as anemia are in the pipeline, based on these discoveries.
2019-Oct-02 • 26 minutes
Talking Health and Energy at U.N. Climate Action Summit
Scientific American senior editor Jen Schwartz talks with WHO officials Maria Neira and Agnès Soucat about climate and health and with Rachel Kyte, special representative to the U.N. secretary-general for, and CEO of, Sustainable Energy for All.
2019-Sep-27 • 22 minutes
Kicking Climate Change: Wins for Health, the Economy and Security
Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy talks with Scientific American’s Andrea Thompson about the widespread benefits of taking action against climate change.
2019-Sep-24 • 36 minutes
The Mathematical Language of Nature
Physics historian Graham Farmelo talks about his latest book, The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Math Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets.
2019-Aug-10 • 41 minutes
Jacks-of-All-Trades Make the Grade
Journalist and author David Epstein talks about his new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.
2019-Jul-21 • 26 minutes
It's Melting: Science on Ice
Glaciologist Elizabeth Case of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University’s Earth Institute takes us out near Juneau, Alaska, to study and live on the shifting ice.
2019-Jul-17 • 49 minutes
Joseph Lange's Campaign against HIV
Seema Yasmin, director of research and education at the Stanford Health Communication Initiative, talks about her book The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man’s Fight to End the Global HIV Epidemic. Lange was killed five years ago today when flight MH17 was shot down.
2019-Jun-25 • 46 minutes
Bone Up on What's Inside You
Author and self-described fossil fanatic Brian Switek talks about his new book Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone.
2019-Jun-19 • 36 minutes
Solving Our Plastic Problem
At Scientific American's third Science on the Hill event, experts from academia and the private sector met at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to talk with Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina about solutions to our plethora-of-plastics problem.
2019-May-23 • 38 minutes
Secrets of the Universe Revealed!
Cornell University applied mathematics professor Steven Strogatz talks about his new book Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe.
2019-Apr-29 • 23 minutes
How the Black Hole Said Cheese
Scientific American's chief features editor Seth Fletcher talks about his book Einstein's Shadow, an account of the long effort to image a black hole that recently came to fruition.
2019-Apr-22 • 37 minutes
A Tree and Its People in a Warming Landscape
Conservation scientist Lauren Oakes discusses her book about Alaska ecology and sociology, In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World.
2019-Mar-13 • 36 minutes
Science Couple Phages Out Superbug
Medical researcher Steffanie Strathdee needed to save the life of her husband, researcher Tom Patterson, when he contracted one of the world's worst infections. She turned to phage therapy: using a virus to kill the bacteria.
2019-Feb-20 • 26 minutes
Vaccine Rejection: Truth and Consequences
Kent State epidemiologist Tara Smith talks about vaccines, recent preventable measles outbreaks and her 2017 journal article on vaccine rejection.
2019-Feb-12 • 16 minutes
On the Origin of Darwin
On this 210th anniversary of Darwin's birth we hear evolution writer and historian Richard Milner perform a brief monologue as Charles Darwin, and former Scientific American editor in chief John Rennie and Darwin's great-great-grandson Matthew Chapman read excerpts from The Origin of Species.
2019-Jan-31 • 17 minutes
Warming Arctic on Thin Ice
Scientific American collections editor Andrea Gawrylewski talks to managing editor Curtis Brainard about how warming in the Arctic affects us all. And glaciologist Elizabeth Case takes us out near Juneau to study and live on the shifting ice.
2019-Jan-14 • 30 minutes
Fake Whiskeys and Octo-Ecstasy
Scientific American assistant news editor, Tanya Lewis, and collections editor, Andrea Gawrylewski, take a deeper look at two short articles from the Advances news section of the December issue, on counterfeit whiskeys and the effect of real ecstasy...on octopuses.
2019-Jan-03 • 9 minutes
Ultima Thule and the Apes of Earth
As the New Horizons mission approached Ultima Thule, Rowan University paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara put our close-up study of the Kuiper Belt object into a deep-time perspective.
2018-Dec-18 • 40 minutes
Meet the Real Ravenmaster
Christopher Skaife talks about his new book The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London, in front of a live audience at Caveat, “the speakeasy bar for intelligent nightlife" in Lower Manhattan.
2018-Nov-22 • 22 minutes
The Crusade against Dangerous Food, Part 2
Pulitzer Priz​e–winning journalist Deborah Blum talks about her book The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the 20th Century, Part 2.
2018-Nov-21 • 31 minutes
The Crusade against Dangerous Food, Part 1
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Deborah Blum talks about her book The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the 20th Century, Part 1.
2018-Oct-31 • 34 minutes
Bones and Stones: Cemetery Geology
A tour of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, N.Y., focuses on the geology of the landscape and the mausoleums.
2018-Oct-17 • 27 minutes
Tinder for Cheetahs; and an Unusual Blindness
Scientific American assistant news editor, Tanya Lewis, and collections editor, Andrea Gawrylewski, host a new podcast that takes a deeper look at short articles from the Advances news section of the magazine.
2018-Oct-03 • 16 minutes
Better Living through Evolution: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for using evolutionary principles to create highly efficient enzymes and antibodies, with numerous practical applications.
2018-Oct-02 • 31 minutes
Laser Advances That Changed Our Lives: Nobel Prize in Physics
Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland shared the Nobel Prize for finding ways to control and enhance laser light, leading to numerous common applications.
2018-Oct-01 • 22 minutes
Unleashing Immunity against Cancer: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
James P. Allison and and Tasuku Honjo shared the Nobel Prize for their discovery of inhibition of negative immune regulation, the basis of new drugs against cancer.
2018-Sep-30 • 32 minutes
Where There's a Wills There's a Way to Explain the Home Run Rise
Astrophysicist and sports data scientist Meredith Wills talks about why a subtle change in Major League baseballs may be behind the jump in home runs after 2014.
2018-Sep-25 • 28 minutes
More People, but Less Hardship?
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann talks about the just-issued Goalkeepers Report, tracking progress against poverty and disease even as the population keeps rising.
2018-Sep-05 • 26 minutes
Here's Looking at Humanity, Kid
Senior Editor Gary Stix talks about the September special issue of Scientific American, devoted to the science of being human. And Brown University evolutionary biologist Ken Miller discusses human chromosome 2 and what it tells us about us.
2018-Aug-16 • 42 minutes
Life at the Improv: The Power of Imagination
Stephen Asma, professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, talks about his two latest books, The Evolution of Imagination and Why We Need Religion.
2018-Aug-02 • 39 minutes
Out with the Bad Science
NPR science journalist Richard Harris talks about his book, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope and Wastes Billions.
2018-Jun-18 • 33 minutes
AI, Robotics and Your Health
At the second Science on the Hill event, AI, Robotics and Your Health, experts from academia and the private sector talked with Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina about the future of AI and robotics in medicine.
2018-May-23 • 37 minutes
Dinosaurs: From Humble Beginnings to Global Dominance
Edinburgh University paleontologist Steve Brusatte talks about his May 2018 Scientific American article, "The Unlikely Triumph of the Dinosaurs," and his new book, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World.
2018-Apr-30 • 42 minutes
Humans Evolved but Are Still Special
Brown University biologist and author Ken Miller talks about his new book The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness and Free Will.
2018-Mar-30 • 31 minutes
A Brain Deprived of Memory
Michael Lemonick, opinion editor at Scientific American, talks about his most recent book, The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory and Love, about Lonni Sue Johnson, who suffered a specific kind of brain damage that robbed her of much of her memory and her ability to form new memories, and what she has revealed to neuroscientists about memory and the brain.
2018-Feb-28 • 13 minutes
Blockchain beyond Bitcoin: The Energy Sector
Freelance science journalist Kevin Begos reports from the U.S. Power and Renewable Summit in Austin, Texas, on the use of blockchain technology to make more efficient energy markets and distribution.
2018-Feb-19 • 41 minutes
Enrico Fermi: The Last Man Who Knew Everything
David N. Schwartz talks about his latest book, The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age.
2018-Jan-29 • 41 minutes
A Future for American Energy
At the first Science Meets Congress event, Energy Solutions for a Sustainable Future, energy and innovation experts from academia, government and the private sector talked with Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina about American's energy future.
2017-Dec-11 • 40 minutes
The Skinny on Fat
Biochemist Sylvia Tara talks about her book The Secret Life of Fat: The Science behind the Body's Least-Understood Organ and What It Means for You.
2017-Nov-27 • 33 minutes
Your Brain Is So Easily Fooled
Journalist Erik Vance talks about his first book, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform and Heal.
2017-Nov-11 • 31 minutes
Come On and Zoom (through the Universe)
Caleb Scharf, director of Columbia University’s Astrobiology Center talks about his latest book, The Zoomable Universe: An Epic Tour through Cosmic Scale, from Almost Everything to Almost Nothing, and the OSIRIS-REx space mission.
2017-Oct-25 • 40 minutes
Monsters: Not Just for Halloween
Stephen Asma, professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago and author of On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, talks about our enduring fascination with monsters.
2017-Oct-18 • 21 minutes
Maryn McKenna's Big Chicken, Part 2
Award-winning journalist Maryn McKenna talks about her latest book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. (Part 2 of 2)
2017-Oct-17 • 31 minutes
Maryn McKenna's Big Chicken, Part 1
Award-winning journalist Maryn McKenna talks about her latest book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. (Part 1 of 2)
2017-Oct-04 • 12 minutes
Nobel Prize Explainer: Catching Proteins in the Act
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy that can determine high-resolution structures of biomolecules in solution.
2017-Oct-03 • 19 minutes
Nobel Prize Explainer: Gravitational Waves and the LIGO Detector
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne for their contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.
2017-Oct-02 • 18 minutes
Nobel Prize Explainer: Circadian Rhythm's Oscillatory Control Mechanism
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded today to Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young for discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms.
2017-Sep-27 • 44 minutes
Does Evolution Repeat Itself?
Jonathan Losos, biology professor at Harvard and curator of herpetology at the university’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, talks about his latest book, Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance and the Future of Evolution.
2017-Aug-08 • 39 minutes
The Great American Eclipse
In advance of the big solar eclipse on August 21, author and journalist David Baron talks about his new book American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.
2017-Aug-01 • 26 minutes
Curiouser and Curiouser
Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio ventures deep into the human mind in his new book, Why? What Makes Us Curious.
2017-Jul-21 • 40 minutes
The Shark That Conquered the Whorl
Journalist and author Susan Ewing talks about her new book Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil. (And we'll discuss how Helicoprion is not technically a shark, but it's really close!)
2017-Jul-11 • 25 minutes
Undersea National Monument Could Be Left High and Dry
Scott Kraus, vice president and senior science advisor at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium in Boston, talks about the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, created last year and already under threat.
2017-Jun-19 • 33 minutes
Wacky Florida's Weird Science
Journalist Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times talks about his book, Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.
2017-Jun-01 • 40 minutes
The Gestation Equation: Testing Babies' Genes
Journalist Bonnie Rochman talks about her new Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux book, The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids—and the Kids We Have.
2017-May-30 • 19 minutes
5G Wiz: What's on the Horizon for Mobile
Verizon’s director of network planning, Sanyogita Shamsunder, talks with Scientific American's Larry Greenemeier about the coming 5G and EM-spectrum-based communications in general.
2017-May-03 • 32 minutes
Take the Tube: Underground as a Way of Life
Emory University paleontologist, geologist and ichnologist Anthony J. Martin talks about his new book, The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers and the Marvelous Subterranean World beneath Our Feet.
2017-Apr-24 • 25 minutes
Killer Cats Bash Biodiversity
Conservation biologist Peter Marra talks with journalist Rene Ebersole about the threat of outdoor cats to wild animals and to human health. Marra is the co-author, with writer Chris Santella, of the book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer.
2017-Apr-18 • 34 minutes
Dogging It: Turning Wild Foxes into Man's Second-Best Friend
Evolutionary biologist and science historian Lee Dugatkin talks about the legendary six-decade Siberian experiment in fox domestication run by Lyudmila Trut, his co-author of a new book and Scientific American article about the research.
2017-Mar-28 • 12 minutes
What's Driving the Self-Driving Cars Rush
Scientific American technology editor Larry Greenemeier talks with Ken Washington, vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford, about self-driving cars.
2017-Mar-21 • 22 minutes
Biology's Lessons for Business
Martin K. Reeves and Simon Levin talk about their Scientific American essay "Building a Resilient Business Inspired by Biology."
2017-Feb-15 • 13 minutes
Churchill's Extraterrestrials
Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio writes in the journal Nature and talks to Scientific American about the recently rediscovered essay by Winston Churchill that analyzed with impressive scientific accuracy the conditions under which extraterrestrial life might exist.
2017-Jan-30 • 15 minutes
Rapid-Response Vaccines for Epidemic Outbreaks
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Gates Foundation, talks to Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina about the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the efforts to create vaccine platforms for rapid responses to epidemics.
2017-Jan-19 • 34 minutes
Exit Interview: Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren
Scientific American executive editor Fred Guterl talks with Pres. Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren, about climate science, space travel, the issue of reproducibility in science, the brain initiative and more.
2017-Jan-17 • 39 minutes
We're Taking You to Bellevue
Pulitzer Prize–winning N.Y.U. historian David Oshinsky, director of the Division of Medical Humanities at the N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center, talks about his latest book, Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital.
2016-Dec-31 • 15 minutes
Best Science Books of 2016
Barbara Kiser, books and arts editor at Nature, talks about her favorite science books of 2016, especially three works about the little-known history of women mathematicians.
2016-Dec-21 • 20 minutes
Getting Robots to Say No
Gordon Briggs, a postdoc at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, talks about the article he and Matthias Scheutz, director of the Human Robot Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University, wrote in the January Scientific American titled "The Case for Robot Disobedience."
2016-Nov-15 • 15 minutes
How Myths Evolve over Time and Migrations
Julien d’Huy, of the Pantheon–Sorbonne University in Paris, talks about the use of evolutionary theory and computer modeling in the comparative analysis of myths and folktales, the subject of his article in the December 2016 Scientific American.
2016-Oct-26 • 20 minutes
Attack On the Internet: Weak-Link Nanny Cams
Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security and founder of Red Branch Consulting, PLLC, talks about the October 21 attack on internet service in the U.S. that left millions without connectivity for hours.
2016-Oct-17 • 20 minutes
Flint's Water and Environmental Justice
The University of Michigan's Paul Mohai, a leading researcher of issues related to environmental justice, talked about the Flint water crisis at a workshop sponsored by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources, attended by Scientific American contributing editor Robin Lloyd.
2016-Oct-05 • 21 minutes
Chemistry Nobel Prize: Machines Too Small to See
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded today to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.
2016-Oct-04 • 20 minutes
Physics Nobel Prize: Buns, Bagels and Pretzels Help Explain Exotic Matter
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
2016-Oct-03 • 10 minutes
Nobel Prize Explainer: Autophagy
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded today to Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan for his discoveries concerning autophagy. Following the announcement, journalist Lotta Fredholm spoke to Juleen Zierath, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, about the research.
2016-Sep-26 • 29 minutes
They Do What?!: The Wide Wild World of Animal Sex
Carin Bondar talks about her new book Wild Sex, which covers the strange, surreal and sometimes scary sex lives of our animal cousins.
2016-Aug-16 • 36 minutes
Big Bang of Body Types: Sports Science at the Olympics and beyond
David Epstein talks about his 2013 bestseller The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance and his recent Scientific American article "Magic Blood and Carbon-Fiber Legs at the Brave New Olympics."
2016-Aug-15 • 35 minutes
Grand Canyon Rapids Ride for Evolution Education
Each summer, the National Center for Science Education organizes a boat trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to bring visitors face to wall-face with striking examples of geologic and evolutionary processes.
2016-Aug-04 • 38 minutes
The Science of Soldiering: Mary Roach's Grunt
Best-selling science writer Mary Roach talks about her latest book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.
2016-Jun-27 • 16 minutes
Electric Eels versus Horses: Shocking but True
Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University talks to Cynthia Graber about electric eel research that led him to accept 19th-century naturalist Alexander von Humboldt's account of electric eels attacking horses.
2016-Jun-16 • 26 minutes
Tiger, Tiger, Being Tracked
Wildlife Conservation Society researcher Ullas Karanth talks about his July, 2016, Scientific American article on state-of-the-art techniques for tracking tigers and estimating their populations and habitat health.
2016-Jun-14 • 8 minutes
Gravitational Wave Scientists Astounded--by Your Interest
Caltech’s Kip Thorne and Ronald Drever and MIT’s Rainer Weiss were the founders of the LIGO experiment that detected gravitational waves. They were just awarded the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics and two of them spoke with Scientific American's Clara Moskowitz about LIGO and the public's reaction.
2016-May-12 • 32 minutes
Sean M. Carroll Looks at The Big Picture
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about his new book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. (Dutton, 2016)
2016-May-05 • 36 minutes
The Bowling Ball That Invaded Earth
Former Scientific American editor Mark Alpert talks about his latest science fiction thriller, The Orion Plan, featuring the method whereby aliens most likely really would colonize our planet.
2016-Apr-29 • 38 minutes
Different Minds: The Wide World of Animal Smarts
Primatologist Frans de Waal discusses his latest book, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (Norton, 2016).
2016-Apr-14 • 36 minutes
The Perfect Bet: Taking the Gambling out of Gambling
Mathematician and author Adam Kucharski talks about his new book The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling (Basic Books, 2016).
2016-Feb-29 • 6 minutes
Gorilla's Hum Is a Do-Not-Disturb Sign
If a socially prominent gorilla is in the midst of a meal, it may hum or sing to tell others nearby that it's busy at the moment and will get back to you later.
2016-Feb-25 • 37 minutes
Bill Gates Wants a Miracle
Scientific American's energy and environment editor, David Biello, met with Bill Gates on February 22 to discuss tackling carbon emissions while at the same time making necessary energy available to ever more of the globe’s growing population.
2016-Feb-16 • 19 minutes
From AI to Zika: AAAS Conference Highlights
Scientific American editors Mark Fischetti, Dina Maron and Seth Fletcher talk about the info they picked up at the just-concluded annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Subjects covered include gravitational waves, whether there's really a war on science, the growing concern over Zika virus, sea level rise and advances in artificial intelligence.
2016-Feb-11 • 17 minutes
Gravitational Waves Found: Kip Thorne Explains
Scientific American's Josh Fischman talks with renowned astrophysicist and general relativity expert Kip Thorne about the discovery of gravitational waves by the LIGO Project, co-founded by Thorne.
2016-Feb-10 • 31 minutes
The Big Gath Dig: Goliath's Hometown
Freelance journalist Kevin Begos talks with archaeologist Aren Maeir, from Bar Ilan University in Israel, at his dig site in Gath, thought to be Goliath's hometown and a major city of the Philistine civilization.
2016-Jan-12 • 9 minutes
Roman Sanitation Didn't Stop Roaming Parasites
The University of Cambridge's Piers Mitchell, author of the 2015 book Sanitation, Latrines and Intestinal Parasites in Past Populations, talks about the counterintuitive findings in his recent paper in the journal Parasitology titled "Human parasites in the Roman World: health consequences of conquering an empire."
2015-Dec-20 • 33 minutes
Evolution Still on Trial 10 Years after Dover
Evolutionary biologist Nicholas Matzke talks about the Kitzmiller v. Dover evolution trial on the 10th anniversary of the decision. He advised the plaintiffs while working for the National Center for Science Education. He also discusses the continuing post-Dover attempts to get creationist narratives taught in public school science classrooms.
2015-Dec-15 • 16 minutes
Lifting the Visor on Virtual Reality
Ken Perlin, a New York University computer science professor and virtual reality pioneer, talks with Scientific American tech editor Larry Greenemeier about the state of virtual reality, its history and where it's heading
2015-Dec-10 • 34 minutes
The Epic History of the Horse
Science journalist and equestrian Wendy Williams talks about her new book The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion
2015-Nov-20 • 32 minutes
Math Can Equal Fun
Harvey Mudd College math professor Arthur Benjamin talks about his new book The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why
2015-Nov-10 • 8 minutes
Teaching Machines to Learn on Their Own
Stephen Hoover, CEO of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, talks with Scientific American tech editor Larry Greenemeier about the revolution underway in machine learning, in which the machine eventually programs itself
2015-Oct-07 • 21 minutes
Chemistry Nobel: Keeping DNA in Good Repair
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for discoveries of the mechanisms by which cells maintain the integrity of their DNA sequences
2015-Oct-06 • 36 minutes
Physics Nobel: Neutrinos Do Have Mass
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass
2015-Oct-05 • 20 minutes
Medicine Nobel: Sifting Nature for Antiparasite Drugs
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for their discoveries of a medication against roundworm parasites and to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria. Some 3.4 billion people are at risk for the diseases these drugs treat
2015-Sep-16 • 34 minutes
The Hunt for the Fat Gene
Medical researcher Richard Johnson, of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, talks about his October Scientific American article "The Fat Gene," co-authored by anthropologist Peter Andrews of University College London and the Natural History Museum in London. Their piece is about how a genetic mutation in prehistoric apes may underlie today’s pandemic of obesity and diabetes
2015-Sep-02 • 22 minutes
The Errors of Albert
Physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, talks about his article "What Einstein Got Wrong," in Scientific American’s September issue, devoted to the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s publication of general relativity
2015-Aug-31 • 17 minutes
Public Health Hero Jimmy Carter; SA Turns 170
Jimmy Carter talks about his public health efforts to eradicate guinea worm and improve global mental health and women's health. Plus, magazine collector Steven Lomazow brings part of his collection to the Scientific American 170th birthday party
2015-Aug-06 • 36 minutes
Olympics Loser Boston Wins Big Economically
Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist talks about why the Olympics is almost always a big financial hardship for the host city, a subject he treats at length in his book Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup. Recorded at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in New York City
2015-Jul-21 • 37 minutes
Betting Lots of Quatloos on the Search for Alien Civilizations, Part 2
Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur and former physicist Yuri Milner announce a $100-million, 10-year initiative to look for signs of intelligent life in the cosmos
2015-Jul-20 • 35 minutes
Betting Lots of Quatloos on the Search for Alien Civilizations, Part 1
Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur and former physicist Yuri Milner announce a $100-million, 10-year initiative to look for signs of intelligent life in the cosmos
2015-Jul-15 • 6 minutes
Pluto Mission Finally Calls Home
At 8:52 P.M. Eastern time, July 14, 2015, an all's-well signal from the New Horizons spacecraft finished its 4.5-hour, three-billion-mile trip from near Pluto through the solar system to alert mission control on Earth that it was in working order and had succeeded in gathering data
2015-Jul-14 • 27 minutes
Pluto, Ready for Your Close-Up!
At just before 7:50 A.M. today, July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto. After a 9.5-year, three-billion-mile voyage, the ship got within about 7,750 miles from the surface
2015-Jun-23 • 31 minutes
Restore Research to Preserve the American Dream
Norman Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin and former undersecretary of the Army talks about the report he co-chaired for the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, "Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream"
2015-Jun-18 • 22 minutes
Migratory Birds: What a Long-Range Trip It's Been
Ornithologist Eduardo Inigo-Elias, senior research associate with the conservation science program at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, talks about the challenges of studying migratory birds and how improved relations between the U.S. and Cuba will help his field
2015-Jun-02 • 22 minutes
Take a Bite out of the Math of Math
Mathematician Eugenia Cheng, tenured in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. and currently Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago talks about her new book How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics
2015-May-16 • 30 minutes
Animals Don't Use Facebook but They Have Social Networks, Too
Lee Dugatkin, evolutionary biologist and behavioral ecologist at the University of Louisville, talks about his article in the June Scientific American called "The Networked Animal," about how social networks in disparate animals species affect the lives of the entire group and its individual members. His co-author is Matthew Hasenjager, a doctoral candidate in his lab
2015-May-06 • 24 minutes
Mississippi Mound Builders Meet the 33rd Legion
Astronomer Alan Smale spends his days at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center exploring celestial objects, but he's also the author of Clash of Eagles, an alternate-history novel in which a Roman Legion invades North America
2015-Mar-26 • 13 minutes
The Ebola Outbreak: Past, Present and Future
Scientific American’s Dina Maron talks with Keiji Fukuda, assistant director general for health security at the World Health Organization, about the current Ebola outbreak, the threat of sexual transmission and the hope for a vaccine. They were both at an Institute of Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats held at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C., concentrating on Ebola in west Africa
2015-Mar-20 • 19 minutes
Humans and the Amazon: A 13,000-Year Coexistence
University of Exeter archaeologist José Iriarte talks to freelance journalist Cynthia Graber about his efforts to understand human activity in and influence on the Amazon region for the last 13 millennia
2015-Mar-12 • 19 minutes
The Placement Excitation: Scientific American on The Big Bang Theory
In conjunction with this magazine's inclusion on the March 12 episode of The Big Bang Theory, here's an edited version of a talk by the sitcom's science advisor, U.C.L.A. physicist David Saltzberg, about his role and the show's reach
2015-Feb-20 • 10 minutes
Science Goes to the Movies: A New TV Program
Heather Berlin, assistant professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, is the co-host of the new CUNY TV program Science Goes to the Movies
2015-Jan-30 • 22 minutes
Every Life Has Equal Value, Part 2: Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talk about the foundation set forth in its recently released annual letter. Part 2 of 2
2015-Jan-30 • 33 minutes
Every Life Has Equal Value, Part 1: Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Scientific American Editor in-Chief Mariette DiChristina talk about the foundation set forth in its recently released annual letter. Part 1 of 2
2014-Nov-27 • 14 minutes
Best of Thanksgiving, Part 2: Let's Talk Stuffing—Your Face!
Cornell University's Brian Wansink talks about eating behavior and how mindless eating has us consuming way more calories than we suspect
2014-Nov-27 • 10 minutes
Best of Thanksgiving, Part 1: Let's Talk Turkey!
Turkey scientist Rich Buchholz of the University of Mississippi talks about the turkey on your plate and his own turkey research
2014-Nov-14 • 22 minutes
Doctors Without Borders Fight on Ebola's Front Lines
Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks with Armand Sprecher of Doctors Without Borders, who has fought Ebola in Guinea and Liberia. And Steve talks Ebola with Stanford's David Relman, chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine
2014-Nov-05 • 26 minutes
Ebola Expert Update
Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks about Ebola with tropical medicine and infectious disease expert Daniel Bausch of Tulane University at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2014-Oct-15 • 33 minutes
Let's Get Small: A Panel on Nanoscience
Scientific American senior editor Josh Fischman joins nanoscience researchers Shana Kelly, Yamuna Krishnan, Benjamin Bratton, along with moderator Bridget Kendall from the BBC World Service program The Forum
2014-Oct-08 • 24 minutes
Building a Better Microscope: 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. The winning work is explained by chemistry Nobel Committee members Sven Lidin and Måns Ehrenberg
2014-Oct-07 • 14 minutes
Blue Light Special: 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for the invention of efficient blue light–emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources. The winning work is explained by physics Nobel Committee members Per Delsing and Olle Inganäs
2014-Oct-06 • 20 minutes
The Map in Your Mind: 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain—an inner GPS. The winning work is explained by Karolinska Institute faculty and Nobel Committee members Göran Hansson, Ole Kiehn, Hans Forssberg and Juleen Zierath
2014-Sep-02 • 26 minutes
Kodiak Update: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 4
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 is in port in Kodiak, Alaska, on September 2nd. We talk about our last few stops and hear from passenger and Manhattan Project veteran Margaret Asprey
2014-Aug-31 • 16 minutes
The Juneau Tour: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 3
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Anchorage, Alaska, on August 31st, which allows us to post audio from a fascinating taxi trip through Juneau on August 28th.
2014-Aug-28 • 13 minutes
Juneau Where I Am: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 2
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Juneau, Alaska
2014-Aug-26 • 10 minutes
Catch Me If You Ketchikan: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 1
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Ketchikan, Alaska.
2014-Aug-19 • 46 minutes
Shakespeare and Science, Part 2
Dan Falk discusses his latest book, The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright's Universe
2014-Aug-19 • 34 minutes
Shakespeare and Science, Part 1
Dan Falk discusses his latest book, The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright's Universe
2014-Aug-03 • 25 minutes
Furious New Science Fiction from Mark Alpert
Scientific American editor–turned-sci-fi-writer Mark Alpert, author of Final Theory and Extinction, talks about his latest book, The Furies
2014-Jul-22 • 17 minutes
Under the Dome: Scientific American Editor in Chief Talks to the Senate
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about the value of scientific research and development. Also testifying is Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and Google’s vice president and "chief Internet evangelist." The hearings took place July 17, 2014
2014-Jul-15 • 32 minutes
Wild Sex: Beyond the Birds and the Bees
Joy Reidenberg, comparative anatomist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, talks about her new PBS series Sex in the Wild, about the sex lives of elephants, orangutans, kangaroos and dolphins. The series debuts July 16, 2014
2014-Jul-07 • 34 minutes
What's So Funny?: The Science of Humor
Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems talks about his book HA!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why
2014-May-23 • 23 minutes
Hunting the Wild Neutrino
Astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana, of the University of Toronto, talks about his new book Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
2014-Apr-30 • 34 minutes
Sometimes the Hoofprints Are from Zebras
David J. Hand, emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College London, talks about his new book The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day
2014-Apr-24 • 24 minutes
The First Nuclear Arms Race: Churchill's Bomb, Part 2
Graham Farmelo is the award-winning author of the Dirac biography The Strangest Man. His latest book is Churchill’s Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race
2014-Apr-24 • 30 minutes
The First Nuclear Arms Race: Churchill's Bomb, Part 1
Graham Farmelo is the award-winning author of the Dirac biography The Strangest Man. His latest book is Churchill’s Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race
2014-Mar-18 • 39 minutes
Take Me Out to the Run Expectancy Matrix Analysis
Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist talks about his latest book, The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball (co-authored with Benjamin Baumer), at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, with proprietor Jay Goldberg
2014-Feb-27 • 22 minutes
Found in Space, Part 2
Journalist Lee Billings Talks about his book Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search For Life Among the Stars, Part 2 of 2
2014-Feb-26 • 21 minutes
Found in Space, Part 1
Journalist Lee Billings Talks about his book Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search For Life Among the Stars, Part 1 of 2
2014-Feb-10 • 21 minutes
From Gadgets to Galaxies: Conference Reports
Scientific American technology editor Seth Fletcher talks about the recent Consumer Electronics Show and astronomy editor Clara Moskowitz discusses last month's American Astronomical Society conference
2014-Jan-27 • 28 minutes
Fighting Cancer with Physics
Rakesh K. Jain, director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology in the radiation oncology department of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, talks about his article in the February issue of Scientific American about interfering with extracellular matrix as a way to increase the efficacy of cancer therapy
2013-Nov-07 • 28 minutes
The Man Who Wasn't Darwin: Alfred Russel Wallace on the Centenary of His Death
Alfred Russel Wallace biographer Peter Raby of the University of Cambridge talks about the great naturalist and co-creator of the theory of evolution by natural selection on the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death
2013-Oct-29 • 41 minutes
Perv-View: Jesse Bering's New Book PERV
Psychologist Jesse Bering talks about his latest book PERV: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us.
2013-Oct-09 • 21 minutes
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Karplus, Levitt and Warshel
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel for applying both quantum and classical physics to develop computer models of chemical systems that show details of chemical reactions
2013-Oct-08 • 24 minutes
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics: Englert and Higgs
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to François Englert and Peter Higgs for the theory of how particles acquire mass, requiring the existence of the Higgs Boson, experimentally confirmed to exist in 2012
2013-Oct-07 • 20 minutes
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Rothman, Schekman and Südhof
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2013-Sep-30 • 35 minutes
Alan Alda Communicates Science
At the Learning in the Digital Age summit at Google's New York City offices, Scientific American editor in chief Mariette DiChristina talked with Alan Alda about communicating science to the general public.
2013-Sep-20 • 20 minutes
Ira Flatow and the Teachable Moment
At the Learning in the Digital Age summit at Google's New York City offices, Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talked with Science Friday host Ira Flatow about the "teachable moment in science and culture"
2013-Aug-29 • 26 minutes
Adam Rutherford's Creation Science (The Real Kind) Part 2
Science journalist, author and Nature editor Adam Rutherford talks about new book Creation: How Science Is Reinventing Life Itself, which looks at the science of the origin of life and at the emerging science of synthetic biology.
2013-Aug-07 • 32 minutes
Kids JUMP for Math [John Mighton's Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies]
Mathematician John Mighton talks with Scientific American MIND editor Ingrid Wickelgren about getting math-shy kids interested, via JUMP: Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies
2013-Jul-31 • 34 minutes
Adam Rutherford's Creation Science (the Real Kind), Part 1
Science journalist, author and Nature editor Adam Rutherford talks about new book Creation: How Science Is Reinventing Life Itself, which looks at the science of the origin of life and at the emerging science of synthetic biology
2013-Jul-25 • 19 minutes
Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto: The Threatened Enlightenment
Nobel laureate Harry Kroto, who shared the 1996 chemistry prize, talks with Scientific American Executive Editor Fred Guterl at the recent Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting, about the role of science in society
2013-Jun-27 • 36 minutes
Penis Enlightenment: Bering Straight Talk
Jesse Bering discusses his 2012 book Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? (And Other Reflections on Being Human)
2013-Jun-18 • 16 minutes
Close Shave for Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy ponders Superman's tonsorial travails, and science education
2013-Apr-29 • 15 minutes
Is There a Doctor in the Spaceship?
NASA astronaut and medical doctor Michael Barratt spoke to schoolkids at the Family Science Days event at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston
2013-Apr-16 • 32 minutes
Mary Roach Cruises the Alimentary Canal
Mary Roach talks about her new book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, which traces what she calls "the whole food chute"
2013-Apr-03 • 15 minutes
Start Talking: Synthetic Biology and Conservation Biology Meet, Part 2
Conservation biologist Kent Redford talks about the issues facing the intersection of synthetic biology and conservation biology and a conference that starts April 9th called "How will synthetic biology and conservation shape the future of nature?"
2013-Apr-02 • 25 minutes
Start Talking: Synthetic Biology and Conservation Biology Meet, Part 1
Conservation biologist Kent Redford talks about the issues facing the intersection of synthetic biology and conservation biology and a conference that starts April 9th called "How will synthetic biology and conservation shape the future of nature?"
2013-Mar-29 • 17 minutes
Imagine All the People Turning Blue and Green
Science writer Dennis Meredith talks about his new science fiction book The Rainbow Virus, in which a bioterror plot turns people all the colors of the rainbow
2013-Mar-27 • 18 minutes
Biotech's Brave New Beasts, Part 2
Journalist and author Emily Anthes talks about her new book, Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts
2013-Mar-26 • 22 minutes
Biotech's Brave New Beasts, Part 1
Journalist and author Emily Anthes talks about her new book, Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts
2013-Mar-15 • 33 minutes
CSI: 19th-Century France and the Birth of Forensic Science
Reporter and storyteller Steven Berkowitz talks to science journalist and author Douglas Starr about his book The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science
2013-Feb-28 • 23 minutes
John Rennie Hacks the Planet
Former Scientific American editor in chief John Rennie talks about his new six-episode Weather Channel TV Show, Hacking the Planet, which debuts February 28
2013-Feb-25 • 22 minutes
Inside Isaac: A Discussion of Newton, Part 2
A panel of physicists, science historians and playwright Lucas Hnath discuss Newton following a performance of Hnath's play about Newton, called Isaac's Eye, at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York City on February 20th. The play runs through March 10, 2013
2013-Feb-24 • 30 minutes
Inside Isaac: A Discussion of Newton, Part 1
A panel of physicists, science historians and playwright Lucas Hnath discuss Newton following a performance of Hnath's play about Newton, called Isaac's Eye, at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York City on February 20th. The play runs through March 10, 2013
2013-Feb-14 • 24 minutes
Extinction: New Sci-Fi from Mark Alpert
Mark Alpert is a former editor at Scientific American who has gone on to become a best-selling science fiction writer. We talk about his latest book, Extinction, an apocalyptic tale hinging on brain-machine interfaces.
2013-Feb-13 • 15 minutes
Science and Tech in President Obama's SOTU
In his 2013 State of the Union address, Pres. Obama talked about climate change, energy and manufacturing technology innovation, and STEM education—that is, science, technology, engineering and math
2013-Jan-24 • 29 minutes
Michael C. Hall Analyzes His Dexter's Mind, Part 2
Actor Michael C. Hall, TV's Dexter, talks with psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City
2013-Jan-23 • 38 minutes
Michael C. Hall Analyzes His Dexter's Mind, Part 1
Actor Michael C. Hall, TV's Dexter, talks with psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City
2012-Dec-29 • 17 minutes
Psychopathy's Bright Side: Kevin Dutton on the Benefits of Being a Bit Psychopathic, Part 2
Kevin Dutton is a psychologist at the University of Oxford. He talks about his latest book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us about Success
2012-Dec-28 • 27 minutes
Psychopathy's Bright Side: Kevin Dutton on the Benefits of Being a Bit Psychopathic, Part 1
Kevin Dutton is a psychologist at the University of Oxford. He talks about his latest book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us about Success
2012-Dec-25 • 33 minutes
Creativity's Dark Side: Dan Ariely on Creativity, Rationalization and Dishonesty
Dan Ariely is professor of behavioral economics at Duke University. He talks about the subject of his most recent book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves. Also see: Unveiling the Real Evil Genius
2012-Dec-18 • 18 minutes
Darwin in Space: How Multigenerational Missions Could Shape Human Evolution
Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith talks with Scientific American's John Matson about how multigenerational space exploration missions and colonization might change the human genome and thus shape human evolution
2012-Nov-18 • 34 minutes
David Quammen: The Spillover of Animal Infections to Humans
David Quammen talks about his latest book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. From his Web site: "The next big and murderous human pandemic, the one that kills us in millions, will be caused by a new disease--new to humans, anyway. The bug that's responsible will be strange, unfamiliar, but it won't come from outer space. Odds are that the killer pathogen--most likely a virus--will spill over into humans from a nonhuman animal"
2012-Oct-31 • 8 minutes
Scientific American after Sandy
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina brings us up to date on the state of our New York City-based operation after Sandy. Recorded October 31 at 2:30 P.M Eastern time
2012-Oct-10 • 21 minutes
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors, which are the portals by which information about the environment reaches the interior of cells and leads to their responses. About half of all drugs work by interacting with G-protein-coupled receptors
2012-Oct-09 • 4 minutes
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland for experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems
2012-Oct-08 • 12 minutes
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent
2012-Sep-28 • 27 minutes
The Climate of Climate Science
James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz professor of biological oceanography at Harvard, talks about climate science and testifying before Congress, and the collaborations between climate scientists and the national security community as well as with evangelicals. And the Union of Concerned Scientists releases a report about the misleading coverage of climate science at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal
2012-Aug-20 • 35 minutes
The Flynn Effect: Modernity Made Us Smarter
James Flynn studies intelligence at the University of Otago in New Zealand. And he features prominently in an article called “Can We Keep Getting Smarter?” in the September issue of Scientific American magazine. Back on July 10, Flynn visited the SA offices, where he chatted with a group of editors
2012-Aug-07 • 11 minutes
What's Next for Curiosity on Mars
Scientific American contributor David Appell talks with Mars Science Lab Project leader John Grotzinger, professor of geology at Caltech, about the plans for the rover on the Martian surface
2012-Aug-06 • 29 minutes
Curiosity Lands on Mars
Less than an hour after NASA received confirmation that the Curiosity rover was safely on the Martian surface, some principal members of the mission briefed the press. This is an edited presentation of that briefing, which started at about 11:20 P.M, Pacific time on August 5th.
2012-Jun-29 • 33 minutes
Plants Know Stuff
Daniel Chamovitz, director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University, talks about his new book What a Plant Knows.
2012-Jun-21 • 38 minutes
Super-Earths: Bigger, and Maybe Better
Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and the founder and director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, talks about his new book The Life of Super-Earths: How the Hunt for Alien Worlds and Artificial Cells Will Revolutionize Life on Our Planet
2012-May-31 • 14 minutes
The Transit of Venus, Part 2
Mark Anderson, author of the book The Day The World Discovered the Sun, talks about the transit of Venus coming up on June 5th or 6th in different parts of the world and how it will be of use to astronomers searching for exoplanets
2012-May-30 • 29 minutes
The Transit of Venus, Part 1
With a transit of Venus coming up on June 5th or 6th in different parts of the world, Mark Anderson, author of the book The Day The World Discovered the Sun, talks about the great efforts to track the transits of Venus in the 1760s and the science they would produce
2012-May-29 • 39 minutes
Virus Victors: People Who Control HIV
Bruce Walker, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, M.I.T. and Harvard, talks about his article in the July issue of Scientific American magazine called "Controlling HIV," about rare individuals who never develop AIDS after being infected by the virus
2012-May-15 • 33 minutes
The Football Concussion Crisis
NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson joins former NBC anchor Stone Phillips and pathologist Bennet Omalu for a discussion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among football players. Recorded May 12th at the Ensemblestudiotheatre.org, site of the new play Headstrong about the brain injury issue
2012-Apr-27 • 15 minutes
Killer Chimps and Funny Feet: Report from the AAPA Conference
Scientific American editor Kate Wong talks about the recent conference of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Portland, Ore., where subjects included killer chimps, unprecedented fossil sharing among researchers and divergent hominid foot forms
2012-Apr-26 • 18 minutes
Getting Guinea Worm Gone: Report from the AHCJ Conference
Scientific American editor Christine Gorman talks about the recent conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, including Jimmy Carter's efforts against guinea worm and trachoma, and Rosalynn Carter's mental health initiatives
2012-Apr-04 • 21 minutes
Food Poisoning's Lasting Legacy
Scientific American Science of Health columnist Maryn McKenna talks about the new understanding that food poisoning can have long-lasting negative health effects
2012-Mar-11 • 12 minutes
Fukushima Anniversary: We Listen Back
Scientific American editor David Biello takes us through newly released audio from the first week of the nuclear meltdown crisis at Fukushima Daiichi
2012-Mar-07 • 16 minutes
AAAS Report: Fracking, Whale Rights, Higgs Evidence and Twitter Truthiness
Scientific American editors Mark Fischetti and Michael Moyer discuss some of the sessions they attended at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Subjects covered include fracking, cetacean rights, the Higgs boson and Twitter's truthiness
2012-Feb-22 • 10 minutes
If You're Happy, How You Know It
Social scientist Roly Russell, of the Sandhill Institute in British Columbia, talked with Scientific American's Mark Fischetti at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science about potentially better measures than GDP of a nation's well-being
2012-Feb-15 • 37 minutes
The Coming Entanglement: Bill Joy and Danny Hillis
Digital innovators Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Danny Hillis, co-founder of the Long Now Foundation, talk with Scientific American Executive Editor Fred Guterl about the technological "Entanglement" and the attempts to build the other, hardier Internet
2012-Feb-02 • 30 minutes
More with Maryn: McKenna on Antibiotic Resistance
In part 2 of our conversation with journalist and author Maryn McKenna, she talks about antibiotic resistance in agriculture and human health, MRSA, and offers a brief coda on the subject of fecal transplants
2012-Jan-31 • 20 minutes
Fecal Transplants: The Straight Poop
Journalist and author Maryn McKenna talks about fecal transplants, which have proved to be exceptionally effective at restoring a healthy intestinal microbiome and curing C. diff infections, yet remain in regulatory limbo
2012-Jan-25 • 9 minutes
State of the Union: Research, Technology and Energy
About six minutes of President Obama's State of the Union address dealt with research, technology and energy
2012-Jan-16 • 19 minutes
A Second Science Front: Evolution Champions Rise to Climate Science Defense
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, long the nation's leading defender of evolution education, discusses the NCSE's new initiative to help climate science education
2012-Jan-14 • 37 minutes
Anna Deavere Smith: Let Me Down Easy
Actor, playwright and journalist Anna Deavere Smith talks about the health care crisis and her play about people dealing with illness, health and the health care system, Let Me Down Easy
2012-Jan-05 • 32 minutes
Man from Mars: Health and Nutrition Research at Mars, Inc., and Beyond
Hagen Schroeter, the director of fundamental health and nutrition research at Mars, Inc., talks about research on bio-active food compounds and the search for why a healthful diet is good for you
2011-Dec-12 • 5 minutes
The YouTube SpaceLab Competition
If you're 14 to 18 years old, you still have until December 14th to prepare a two-minute video of a suggestion for an experiment to be performed at the International Space Station and upload it to youtube.com/spacelab. Winners will see their experiment performed in space
2011-Dec-11 • 23 minutes
Large Hadron Collider Backgrounder
Thomas LeCompte of Argonne National Lab was the physics coordinator for the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He talks about the instrument and its future, as we await the December 13th announcement as to whether the LHC has found the Higgs particle
2011-Dec-08 • 11 minutes
Out of Our Depth: Sea Level on the Rise
Ocean and climate scientist Eelco Rohling talks with Scientific American senior editor Mark Fischetti about updated calculations of sea-level rise as a function of climate change
2011-Nov-23 • 6 minutes
Brian Greene Talks Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos
Physicist Brian Greene, host of the NOVA series The Fabric of the Cosmos, addresses the question of faster-than-light neutrinos at a Q&A session after the debut of the PBS series
2011-Nov-22 • 30 minutes
The Mind's Hidden Switches
Eric J. Nestler, director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, talks about his article in the December issue of Scientific American magazine on epigenetics and human behavior, called "Hidden Switches in the Mind"
2011-Oct-05 • 20 minutes
The Discovery of Quasicrystals: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Listen to the announcement of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, to Daniel Shechtman of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Then hear comments from the president of the American Chemical Society, Nancy Jackson, of Sandia National Laboratories
2011-Oct-04 • 24 minutes
An Accelerating Universe: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics
Listen to the announcement of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, to Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Following the formal announcement comes an explanation of the research, which tracked type Ia supernovae to discover that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, and a phone conversation with new Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt
2011-Sep-30 • 26 minutes
Cancer Vaccines
Eric von Hofe, cancer researcher and president of the biotech company Antigen Express talks about his article in the October issue of Scientific American called "A New Ally against Cancer," about cancer vaccines
2011-Sep-09 • 23 minutes
Science Legend Christian de Duve
Christian de Duve, 1974 Nobel laureate for physiology or medicine, talks about going from a cell biologist to a theorist on evolution and the origin of life
2011-Aug-26 • 18 minutes
Carl Zimmer on Rats, Cats, Viruses and Tattoos
In part 2 of our interview, award-winning author Carl Zimmer talks about his latest books, and a new study that shows how Toxoplasma influences the behavior of rats--and maybe of us
2011-Aug-24 • 25 minutes
Carl Zimmer on Evolution in the Big City
The annual Scientific American September single-topic issue is all about cities. And award-winning author Carl Zimmer recently penned a piece on evolution research in the urban environment for The New York Times. In part 1 of this interview, he talks about urban evolution
2011-Aug-09 • 29 minutes
The City That Became Safe: What New York Teaches about Urban Crime and Its Control
U.C. Berkeley School of Law professor Franklin Zimring talks about his article, "How New York Beat Crime," in the August issue of Scientific American
2011-Jul-27 • 27 minutes
Nobel Laureate Avram Hershko: The Orchestra in the Cell
Nobel laureate Avram Hershko, who determined cellular mechanisms for breaking down proteins, talks about his research in a conversation recorded at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. And Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina discusses the recent inaugural Google Science Fair
2011-Jul-20 • 36 minutes
Nobel Laureate Peter Agre: From Aquaporins to Lutefisk
Peter Agre, 2003 Chemistry Nobel laureate for his work on aquaporins, the proteins that allow water into and out of cells, talks about his research, his upbringing and why he almost ran for the Senate, in a conversation recorded at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany
2011-Jun-25 • 15 minutes
Let's Make a Probabilistic Deal: A Fresh Look at the Monty Hall Problem
Scientific American math and physics editor Davide Castelvecchi revisits the Monty Hall problem, so you can know whether you're better off holding on to your original pick or switching when new information presents itself
2011-Jun-17 • 27 minutes
How Physics Limits Intelligence
Award-winning author Douglas Fox talks about his cover story in the July issue of Scientific American on The Limits of Intelligence, placed there by the laws of physics
2011-May-26 • 24 minutes
Dying for Science: The 100th Anniversary of the Doomed Scott Antarctic Expedition
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Larson talks about his article "Greater Glory" in the June issue of Scientific American on the forgotten science of the doomed Scott expedition a hundred years ago
2011-May-17 • 22 minutes
Skirting Steak: The Case for Artificial Meat
Journalist Jeffrey Bartholet talks about his June Scientific American magazine article on the attempts to grow meat in the lab, and Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks about the cover piece in the May issue on radical energy solutions
2011-Apr-28 • 17 minutes
Astronaut Love: An Interview with Spacewalker Stanley Love
On the eve of the launch of the penultimate space shuttle mission, STS-134, Scientific American astronomy editor George Musser talks to veteran astronaut Stanley Love about being in space and the future of spaceflight
2011-Apr-21 • 37 minutes
Editors' Roundtable: Science Conference Reports
Scientific American editors Christine Gorman, Robin Lloyd, Michael Moyer and Kate Wong talk about their recent trips to different science conferences: the meetings of the Association for Health Care Journalists, the Paleoanthropology Society, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and an M.I.T. 150th-anniversary conference called Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything
2011-Apr-06 • 26 minutes
Can It Be Bad to Be Too Clean?: The Hygiene Hypothesis
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researcher Kathleen Barnes talks about the hygiene hypothesis, which raises the possibility that our modern sterile environment may contribute to conditions such as asthma and eczema
2011-Mar-02 • 16 minutes
Self-Aware Robots?
Journalist Charles Choi talks about work being done to make robots self-aware. Plus, we test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2011-Feb-24 • 35 minutes
The Cornucopia Conference: Roundtable on the AAAS Meeting
Podcast host Steve Mirsky talks with Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina, news editor Anna Kuchment, feature editor Mark Fischetti and online news editor Robin Lloyd about various sessions at the recently completed annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC.
2011-Feb-17 • 21 minutes
The Spirit of Innovation: From High School to the Moon
Nancy Conrad, chair of the Conrad Foundation, talks about the Spirit of Innovation competition for high school students, and about her late husband, Pete Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon
2011-Feb-16 • 34 minutes
What's New with Science News
Former Scientific American editor in chief and current Gleaming Retort blogger John Rennie, blogger and Scientific American blogs network director Bora Zivkovic, and Scientific American online news editor Robin Lloyd talk about the future of science news
2011-Jan-26 • 29 minutes
Jefferson's Moose: Thomas's Fauna Fight against European Naturalists
Biologist and author Lee Dugatkin talks about his article "Jefferson's Moose" in the February issue of Scientific American, the story of Jefferson's battle against the European theory of American biological degeneracy. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2011-Jan-14 • 21 minutes
What Is the Watson Jeopardy-Playing Supercomputer, Alex?
Scientific American editor Michael Moyer talks about the sneak preview he caught of IBM's Watson Jeopardy!-playing computer. And ScientificAmerican.com's Larry Greenemeier spoke with Ford's Brad Probert about the new all-electric Focus at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas
2010-Dec-23 • 26 minutes
Vinod Khosla: Searching for the Radical Solution
Clean technology investor Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, talks with Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti about the energy payoffs to be had by reinventing mainstream technologies
2010-Dec-22 • 19 minutes
How You Gonna Keep Flu Down on the Farm?: Pig Farms and Public Health
Journalist Helen Branswell discusses her January Scientific American article, "Flu Factories," about the attempts to monitor new strains of flu that can originate on pig farms and the difficulties of balancing economic and public health constituencies
2010-Dec-20 • 37 minutes
Anna Deavere Smith: Let Me Down Easy
Actor, playwright and journalist Anna Deavere Smith talks about the health care crisis and her play about people dealing with illness, health and the health care system, Let Me Down Easy
2010-Dec-16 • 18 minutes
The Spewings of Titan (and More from the AGU Meeting)
Scientific American editor Davide Castelvecchi joins us from San Francisco to talk about some of the highlights of the meeting of the American Geophysical Union, including volcanoes on Titan, x-rays from lightning, the biota of the Sulawesi Sea, and the connection between light pollution and air pollution. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2010-Nov-25 • 14 minutes
Let's Talk Stuffing--Your Face
Cornell University's Brian Wansink talks about eating behavior and how mindless eating has us consuming way more calories than we suspect
2010-Nov-24 • 10 minutes
Let's Talk Turkey!
Turkey scientist Rich Buchholz talks about the turkey on your plate and his own turkey research
2010-Nov-19 • 25 minutes
Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and podcast host Steve Mirsky talk about longevity differences in the sexes, the importance of music education, the pros and cons of the Kindle, and other content from the November issue. Plus, we test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2010-Nov-15 • 18 minutes
Physics Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg
Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg spoke to an audience of science journalists, and then to podcast host Steve Mirsky
2010-Nov-05 • 38 minutes
Photograph 51: Rosalind Franklin and the Race For The Double Helix of DNA (Part 2 of 2)
Photograph 51 is a new play about Rosalind Franklin, Watson and Crick, and the race to determine the structure of DNA, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City, running through November 21st. A panel discussion about the play on November 2nd featured crystallography expert Helen Berman, biologist and Franklin scholar Lynne Osman Elkin, science journalist Nicholas Wade, playwright Anna Ziegler and moderator Stuart Firestein
2010-Nov-03 • 42 minutes
Photograph 51: Rosalind Franklin and the Race for the Double Helix of DNA, Part 1 of 2
Photograph 51 is a new play about Rosalind Franklin, Watson and Crick, and the race to determine the structure of DNA, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City, running through November 21st. This November 2nd, a panel discussion about the play and the issues it raises featured crystallography expert Helen Berman; biologist and Franklin scholar Lynne Osman Elkin; science journalist Nicholas Wade; playwright Anna Ziegler; and moderator Stuart Firestein
2010-Oct-29 • 22 minutes
The Quest for the Giant Pumpkin
Susan Warren, author of the book Backyard Giants, talks about "the passionate, heartbreaking and glorious quest to grow the biggest pumpkin ever." Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2010-Oct-20 • 26 minutes
Not Your Grandfather's Scientific American
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks about the new look and new outlook of Scientific American magazine and of ScientificAmerican.com Plus, we discuss the results of a poll of the readers of Scientific American and Nature
2010-Oct-15 • 30 minutes
The Harlem Science Renaissance
Molecular geneticist Sat Bhattacharya talks about his creation, the Harlem Children Society, which gets underprivileged kids involved in scientific research. And 13-year-olds Mitchell Haverty and Angus Fung talk about their research on algae as alternative fuel. Plus, we test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2010-Oct-08 • 4 minutes
Totally Bogus: The Science Talk Quiz
In this special stand-alone edition, see if you know which of four science news stories is Totally Bogus.
2010-Sep-23 • 25 minutes
Exactly When Is a Person Dead?
Award-winning science journalist Robin Marantz Henig and podcast host Steve Mirsky discuss Robin's article in the September issue about organ donation and definitions of death. Plus, we test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include http://bit.ly/ctIDsx; http://bit.ly/9Us1lE
2010-Sep-21 • 37 minutes
Could Time End?
Scientific American staff editor George Musser joins podcast host Steve Mirsky to discuss his article in the September issue about the possibility of time itself coming to an end
2010-Sep-14 • 37 minutes
The End: Death, Endings and Things That Should End
Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and issue editor Michael Moyer talk with podcast host Steve Mirsky about the September single-topic issue of Scientific American--endings in science. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2010-Sep-03 • 26 minutes
Cooking for Geeks: Jeff Potter on Experimenting in the Kitchen
Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food, talks with daily podcast correspondent Cynthia Graber, and podcast host Steve Mirsky tests your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.cookingforgeeks.com
2010-Aug-21 • 19 minutes
Mary Roach Is Packing for Mars, Part 2
Podcast host Steve Mirsky talks with author Mary Roach about her new book "Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void." Part 2 of 2. (Part 1 is at http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=mary-roach-is-packing-f... Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.maryroach.net.
2010-Aug-20 • 33 minutes
Mary Roach Is Packing for Mars, Part 1
Podcast host Steve Mirsky recently attended a talk by author Mary Roach about her new book Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. In part 1 of this two-part episode, we'll hear that talk. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.maryroach.net
2010-Aug-12 • 33 minutes
When Humans Almost Died Out; Earthy Exoplanets; And Scientific American's 165th Birthday
Podcast host Steve Mirsky talks with human evolution expert Kate Wong about the small group of humans who survived tough times beginning about 195,000 years ago and gave rise to all of us, a story told in the cover article of the August issue of Scientific American, our 165th anniversary edition. And Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks about the rest of the contents of the issue, including our coverage of the search for rocky exoplanets. Plus, we test your knowledge about some recent science in the n...
2010-Jul-28 • 21 minutes
Arguing with Non-Skeptics, Part 2 of 2
A panel discussion on arguing with non-skeptics at the recent Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism in New York City featured James Randi, George Hrab, D. J. Grothe and podcast host Steve Mirsky. Julia Galef moderated. Part 2 of 2. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.necsscon.org
2010-Jul-27 • 34 minutes
Arguing with Non-Skeptics, Part 1 of 2
A panel discussion on arguing with non-skeptics at the recent Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism in New York City featured James Randi, George Hrab, D. J. Grothe and podcast host Steve Mirsky. Julia Galef moderated. Part 1 of 2. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.nature.com/nature/podcast and www.necsscon.org
2010-Jul-19 • 34 minutes
Whiz Kids: Intel Science Talent Search Documentary
The new documentary film Whiz Kids follows three high school student-scientists as they attempt to get their projects accepted into the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search. Scientific American podcast host Steve Mirsky talks with the film's writer and editor, Jane Wagner, and with two of the stars of the documentary, Ana Cisneros and Hermain Khan. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.nature.com/nature/podcast and ...
2010-Jul-08 • 29 minutes
Will Your Plug-In Car Actually Be Coal-Powered? And Other July Stories
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and staff editor Michael Moyer join podcast host Steve Mirsky to talk about articles in the July issue, including: "The Dirty Truth about Plug-In Hybrids"; "How Babies Think"; and "Birds That Lived with Dinosaurs". Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to content of this podcast include www.scientificamerican.com/sciammag; http://bit.ly/cwcTtR
2010-Jun-25 • 24 minutes
Paul Dirac: "The Strangest Man" of Science, Part 2
Award-winning writer and physicist Graham Farmelo talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about The Strangest Man, Farmelo's biography of Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. Part 2 of 2. Web sites related to this episode include www.thestrangestman.com and http://bit.ly/dirac1963
2010-Jun-24 • 36 minutes
"The Strangest Man" of Science, Part 1
Award-winning writer and physicist Graham Farmelo talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about The Strangest Man, Farmelo's biography of Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. Part 1 of 2. Web sites related to this episode include www.thestrangestman.com and http://bit.ly/dirac1963
2010-Jun-15 • 27 minutes
Physics Now and Then: From Neutrinos to Galileo
Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University, talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about neutrinos and gravity waves. And Cynthia Graber talks with Paolo Galluzzi, director of the newly reopened Museo Galileo, the science museum in Florence, Italy. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to content of this podcast include http://www.museogalileo.it
2010-Jun-02 • 28 minutes
The Big Dozen: 12 Events That Will Change Everything
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and news editor Philip Yam join podcast host Steve Mirsky to talk about the cover story of the June issue of the magazine, "12 Events That Will Change Everything". How things like the first human clone, an asteroid impact or the discovery of extra dimensions will change the world and our view of our place in the universe
2010-May-24 • 28 minutes
Remembering Martin Gardner, with Douglas Hofstadter
Martin Gardner died May 22nd at 95. He wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American magazine for 25 years and published more than 70 books. Podcast host Steve Mirsky talks with Gardner's friend Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, about Martin Gardner
2010-May-19 • 37 minutes
More from MacMania: Kindle v. iPad, Mac v. PC and App Development
MacWorld editorial director Jason Snell and app developer Peter Watling talk with podcast host Steve Mirsky about the iPad, computer culture and apps, aboard a cruise ship in the Atlantic during MacMania, produced by insightcruises.com
2010-May-10 • 28 minutes
David Pogue on Tech, Twitter and Transgenic Goats
The ubiquitous David Pogue, author of the Missing Manual series and tech columnist for The New York Times, talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky aboard a cruise ship in the Atlantic during MacMania, produced by insightcruises.com. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2010-May-01 • 31 minutes
Your Inner Healers: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and More
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about the contents of the May issue, including articles on induced pluripotent stem cells, high-speed and maglev trains, and blindsight. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2010-Apr-22 • 28 minutes
Bill McKibben's Eaarth, Part 2
Writer and activist Bill McKibben talks to Scientific American's Mark Fischetti about his new book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Part 2 of 2. Edited and produced by podcast host Steve Mirsky
2010-Apr-21 • 39 minutes
Bill McKibben's Eaarth, Part 1
Writer and activist Bill McKibben talks to Scientific American's Mark Fischetti about his new book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet Part 1 of 2. Edited and produced by podcast host Steve Mirsky
2010-Apr-20 • 26 minutes
Invisible Ink and More: The Science of Spying in the Revolutionary War
John Nagy, author of Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution, discusses the codes, ciphers, chemistry and psychology of spying in the American Revolution, in a talk recorded by podcast host Steve Mirsky at the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include http://snipurl.com/vnhy8
2010-Apr-07 • 25 minutes
The Science of Staying in Love; and Scientists as Communicators--and Heroes
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and psychology researcher Robert Epstein, a contributing editor to Scientific American MIND magazine, talk about falling in love and staying that way. And science communicator Dennis Meredith discusses his book Explaining Research, and the importance for scientists of reaching the public. Web sites related to this episode include www.explainingresearch.com
2010-Mar-30 • 33 minutes
From Eternity to Here: Sean M. Carroll's Quest to Understand Time
Sean M. Carroll, theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about his new book From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include preposterousuniverse.com
2010-Mar-19 • 26 minutes
Are We Pushing Earth's Environmental Tipping Points?
Jon Foley, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about his article in the April issue of Scientific American, "Boundaries for a Healthy Planet". Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include snipurl.com/foleyplanet
2010-Mar-18 • 4 minutes
The Science Talk Quiz: "Totally Bogus"
Here are four science stories, but only three are true. See if you know which story is TOTALLY BOGUS
2010-Mar-17 • 38 minutes
Where's My Fusion Reactor?
Scientific American staff editor Michael Moyer talks about his article "Fusion's False Dawn" in the March issue, and Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina discusses the rest of the issue. Web sites related to this episode include www.sciamdigital.com; www.snipurl.com/mikefusion
2010-Feb-27 • 31 minutes
Algae, Art and Attitudes: A Roundtable about the AAAS Conference
Scientific American staffers Mark Fischetti and Robin Lloyd talk with podcast host Steve Mirsky about sessions they attended--including those about algae for energy, dissecting the astronomy in art, and attitudes about climate change--at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.aaas.org, www.aven.com
2010-Feb-25 • 32 minutes
The Poisoner's Handbook: The Sinister Side of Chemistry
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum talks about her new work, The Poisoner's Handbook, a look at how easy it used to be to kill someone with poison and the researchers who made poisoning much harder to get away with. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include blog.deborahblum.com
2010-Feb-18 • 29 minutes
Ice, Ice, Baby: The Physics of Curling
Mark Shegelski of the University of Northern British Columbia talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about the physics of curling, currently taking its turn on the world stage at the Vancouver Olympics. (Shegelski is also the author of the new sci-fi collection "Remembering the Future.") Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2010-Feb-10 • 27 minutes
Whaddaya Do with a Dead Whale?
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about some of the articles in the February issue, including one on the ecosystems that arise around the carcasses of whales that die and fall to the ocean floor; the warfare between our cells, our allied microbes and disease-causing organisms; and ways to improve the internal combustion engine
2010-Jan-31 • 30 minutes
Cleopatra's Alexandria Treasures
Renowned archaeologist Franck Goddio talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about his efforts to recover artifacts from the ancient cities of Alexandria, Heracleion and Canopus, with special attention to discoveries related to Cleopatra and her reign. The exhibit Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt opens at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on June 5th. Web sites related to this episode include www.underwaterdiscovery.org
2010-Jan-25 • 5 minutes
The Science Talk Quiz: "Totally Bogus"
Here are four science stories, but only three are true. See if you know which story is TOTALLY BOGUS
2010-Jan-23 • 22 minutes
Creating Darwin's Biopic; and Consumer Electronics
Science Talk correspondent John Pavlus talks with Jon Amiel, director of the new Darwin biography movie Creation, and with Randal Keynes, Darwin's great-great-grandson and one of the film's scriptwriters. Then we'll hear from a few of the exhibitors who spoke to ScientificAmerican.com's Larry Greenemeier at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
2010-Jan-18 • 5 minutes
The Science Talk Quiz: "Totally Bogus"
Here are four science stories, but only three are true. See if you know which story is TOTALLY BOGUS.
2010-Jan-15 • 25 minutes
Mining for Online Game Gold and Other Amazing Stories
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina talks about the January issue, including articles on the chances of conditions conducive to life elsewhere in the multiverse and the growing practice of virtual gold farming, in which legions of online game players in developing countries acquire currency in the game that they sell to other players for real money. Web sites related to this episode include www.snipurl.com/nobelfrank; www.redcross.org; www.pih.org
2010-Jan-08 • 24 minutes
Alan Alda's Human Spark, Part 2
Alan Alda, host of the new PBS science series The Human Spark, talks to podcast host Steve Mirsky about his experiences as a fictional physican, a real patient and an amateur scientist. Web sites related to this episode include www.pbs.org/humanspark
2010-Jan-07 • 36 minutes
Alan Alda's Human Spark
Alan Alda, star of stage, screen and science, talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky about his new PBS science series The Human Spark as well as his strong interest in science and long association with Scientific American
2009-Dec-29 • 5 minutes
The Science Talk Quiz: "Totally Bogus"
Here are four science stories, but only three are true. See if you know which story is TOTALLY BOGUS.
2009-Dec-23 • 17 minutes
Christmas Season Science
Scientific American daily podcast contributor Karen Hopkin talks about a few recent studies related to the science of the Christmas season
2009-Dec-20 • 5 minutes
Bonus Bogus Brainteaser
The Totally Bogus Quiz for this week
2009-Dec-18 • 38 minutes
Copenhagen and Everywhere Else
ScientificAmerican.com's David Biello is in Copenhagen at the climate conference, and he'll tell us what's going on there. And the Wildlife Conservation Society's Steven Sanderson discusses his Foreign Affairs article, "Where the Wild Things Were," worldwide conservation and the Everglades. Web sites related to this episode include www.snipurl.com/sanderson; www.twitter.com/dbiello
2009-Dec-11 • 27 minutes
World Changing Ideas: December's Scientific American
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and editor Michael Moyer talk about the "World Changing Ideas" feature as well as other contents of the December issue. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2009-Dec-04 • 5 minutes
Bogus Brainteaser
The Totally Bogus Quiz for this week
2009-Nov-24 • 16 minutes
Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought
On the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, we review Darwin's influence on the the modern world, as analyzed by Ernst Mayr, one of the 20th century's most prolific evolutionary theorists. We review Mayr's July 2000 Scientific American article, "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought". The original, complete essay is temporarily available free of charge at http://snipurl.com/darwinsciam
2009-Nov-18 • 25 minutes
Tree Ring Science and Tomorrow's Water
Tree ring expert Kevin Anchukaitis, of the tree ring lab at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University's Earth Institute, talks about the information available in tree rings. And Colin Chartres, the director general of the International Water Management Institute, talks to Lynne Peeples about water issues. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news, specifically the November issue of Scientific American magazine. Web sites related to this episode include http://sn...
2009-Nov-03 • 36 minutes
Human Evolution II: Recent Evolution; and "Becoming Human" NOVA Preview
Anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin - Madison talks about recent human evolution, especially of our ability to digest lactose. And producer Graham Townsley discusses his three-part PBS NOVA premiering on November 3rd called "Becoming Human". Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.snipurl.com/t1ivr
2009-Oct-23 • 36 minutes
Human Evolution: Lucy and Neandertals
Anthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London talks about Neandertals. And Scientific American's Kate Wong, co-author with Donald Johanson of Lucy's Legacy, talks about the discovery and impact of the famous Lucy fossil. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.snipurl.com/lucyfinder; http://bit.ly/bntu0
2009-Oct-14 • 27 minutes
Brain Enhancement: October Issue of Scientific American
In this episode Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina discusses the contents of the October issue of Scientific American, including articles on brain enhancement, lost cities of the Amazon and a century-old plan to make subway rides more entertaining
2009-Oct-05 • 24 minutes
New Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak and Surrogates Film Director Jonathan Mostow
Jack Szostak, who just shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, talks about his latest research on the origin of life. And Scientific American editor George Musser talks to Jonathan Mostow, director of the new Bruce Willis sci-fi thriller Surrogates. Web sites related to this episode include www.snipurl.com/surrogates; www.snipurl.com/telomere; www.snipurl.com/origin
2009-Sep-28 • 29 minutes
Clean Energy Contest; and Counting Crickets and Katydids
Scientific American podcast correspondent Cynthia Graber talks about the M.I.T. Clean Energy Prize Competition. And we take part in the recent Cricket Crawl, an effort to take a census of crickets and katydids in the New York metropolitan area. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.amnh.org and www.discoverlife.org/cricket
2009-Sep-08 • 23 minutes
Where There Was Smoke, There's Science
Wake Forest University School of Medicine neuroscientist Dwayne Godwin talks about the the Winston-Salem area's adoption of biomedical research as well as meetings with Congress about science funding and his comic strip contributions to Scientific American Mind. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Aug-31 • 28 minutes
Origins of Everything: The September Scientific American Magazine
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina discusses the September special single-topic issue of Scientific American magazine, which covers origins, from the universe to the horse stirrup. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.thelongtail.com
2009-Aug-25 • 19 minutes
Colony Collapse and Ruptured Ribosomes; Minding Darwin's Beeswax
John Williams, the beekeeper at Down House in England, talks about Darwin's bees. And May Berenbaum, entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, talks about the latest publication related to colony collapse disorder and ribosome damage in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Web sites related to this episode include www.bee-craft.com
2009-Aug-21 • 25 minutes
To Bee or Not to Bee
In part 2 of our bee podcast, we talk with May Berenbaum, entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and inspiration for the X Files fictional entomologist Bambi Berenbaum, about bees, other insects and how life history analysis can make us rest easy during scary sci-fi invasion movies. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2009-Aug-14 • 23 minutes
Bee Afraid, Bee Very Afraid
May Berenbaum, entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and inspiration for the X Files fictional entomologist Bambi Berenbaum, talks about colony collapse disorder and disappearing bees as well as the importance of honeybees in agriculture
2009-Jul-31 • 32 minutes
Swimming In Spacetime and Other Stories
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and staff editor Kate Wong talk about the contents of the August issue, including articles on some of the odd consequences of general relativity, life as a Neandertal, and the latest research on celiac disease. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Jul-23 • 30 minutes
Nuts, Bolts, Photons and Electrons of Solar Energy
Jeff Wolfe, the CEO and co-founder of groSolar, talks about solar energy's present and future. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.grosolar.com
2009-Jul-14 • 31 minutes
Movie Magic (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), Part 3
In this series of episodes, we talk to many of the scientists at Blue Sky Studios, which created the Ice Age series of animated features, including the recently released Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In episode 3, we hear from co-director Mike Thurmeier, art director Mike Knapp and head of lighting Andew Beddini. Special thanks to Hugo Ayala. Web sites related to this episode include www.blueskystudios.com and www.iceagemovie.com
2009-Jul-11 • 22 minutes
Movie Magic (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), Part 2
In this series of episodes, we talk to many of the scientists at Blue Sky Studios, which created the Ice Age series of animated features, including the recently released Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In episode 2, we hear from the research and development team about their backgrounds, the kinds of technical challenges they face and the ways they use math and computers to solve those problems. Web sites related to this episode include www.blueskystudios.com; www.iceagemovie.com; www.scientificamerican.com/...
2009-Jul-10 • 23 minutes
Movie Magic (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), Part 1
In this series of episodes, we talk to many of the scientists at Blue Sky Studios, which created the Ice Age series of animated features, including the recently released Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In episode 1, we hear from company founders Carl Ludwig and Eugene Troubetzkoy and senior research associate Hugo Ayala. Web sites related to this episode include www.blueskystudios.com and www.iceagemovie.com
2009-Jul-01 • 27 minutes
Atul Gawande Redux
While Steve's at the conference of the World Federation of Science Journalists in London, we look ahead to some of the programming coming your way in the coming weeks, and we replay our 2007 interview with surgeon Atul Gawande, whose recent research in The New England Journal of Medicine and writing in The New Yorker have caused a big stir in the medical and health care reform communities. Web sites related to this episode include http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?yrail... ...
2009-Jun-26 • 31 minutes
Hello Moon, Good-Bye Rennie
We look at the contents of the July issue of Scientific American magazine, the last under outgoing Editor in Chief John Rennie, including an article by moon explorer Harrison Schmitt, a piece on the fight against superbugs, a report on the potential of biofuels such as grassoline, and a recollection of the pernicious effects of chess! Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Jun-17 • 29 minutes
Panamania!: A Visit to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
We take a walking tour of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, with the STRI's Beth King and Harilaos Lessios. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web Sites related to this episode include www.stri.org
2009-May-29 • 28 minutes
The Truth about Cats and Dogs
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief John Rennie talks about the contents of the June issue, including articles on the evolution of cats and the physiology of sled dogs. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-May-19 • 29 minutes
High Achievement High Schoolers
High school scientists Sruti Swaminathan, Maia ten Brink, Alyssa Bailey, Moyukh Chatterjee and Fedja Kadribasic, all winners of state competitions sponsored by the American Junior Academy of Sciences, talk about their research. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-May-11 • 22 minutes
Beauty Is Truth (and Science)
Procter & Gamble scientists Greg Hillebrand and Jay Tiesman talk about scientific research related to beauty products and cosmetics. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.pg.com/science
2009-May-01 • 31 minutes
People, Pan Troglodytes (Chimps) and Pigs
Scientific American editor Christine Soares discusses the swine flu situation and Editor in Chief John Rennie talks about the May issue--topics include the specific genetic differences between humans and chimps, side-channel hacking, food shortages, and our leaky atmosphere. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Apr-23 • 31 minutes
Sherwin Nuland's Tales from the Bedside
Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland talks about his new book The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside, a Chaucerian take on doctors and their relationships with patients and each other. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Apr-17 • 29 minutes
Life Goes on within You and without You: Health and the Environment
In this episode, we'll hear parts of three talks from the recent symposium, Exploring the Dynamic Relationship Between Health and the Environment, organized by the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Speakers include Penn State's Peter Hudson, who talks about disease transmission; Oxford's Oliver Pybus, on how genome analysis exonerated health care workers accused of infecting children with HIV; and N.Y.U.'s Martin Blaser on our disappearing stomach flora. Plus, we...
2009-Apr-10 • 26 minutes
Why People Believe What They Do
University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Tania Lombrozo talks about why people believe what they do, especially regarding evolution or creationism. Author Steve Miller discusses his new book The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Science of Everything. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include psychology.berkeley.edu/faculty/profiles...
2009-Apr-02 • 30 minutes
From Dark Energy to Lone Star Lunacy
Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief John Rennie talks about articles in the April issue, covering dark energy, bee colony collapse and post-traumatic stress. And Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, discusses anti-evolution-education efforts by the Texas School Board. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.ncseweb.org; www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd
2009-Mar-26 • 24 minutes
What Shape Is Your Galaxy?
Yale astrophysicist Kevin Schawinski talks about Galaxy Zoo, a distributed computing project in which laypeople can help researchers characterize galaxies. And we tour Kroon Hall, the new green home of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.galaxyzoo.org; www.environment.yale.edu/kroon
2009-Mar-13 • 22 minutes
Phrasing a Coyne: Jerry Coyne on Why Evolution Is True
During a Scientific American cruise in the Caribbean, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne talks about his new book Why Evolution Is True. And we hear a brief example of what it's like to attend science lectures at sea. Plus, we'll test your knowlege of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.insightcruises.com; www.whyevolutionistrue.com
2009-Mar-04 • 29 minutes
From Spooky Action to Tiny Radios
Scientific American Editor in Chief John Rennie talks about the contents of the March issue of the magazine, including articles on quantum entanglement, nano radios, fresh brain cells and more. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2009-Feb-25 • 23 minutes
Remarkable Creatures (and Getting Them Fixed)
University of Wisconsin evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll talks about his new book, Remarkable Creatures, which chronicles the derring-do of some of natural history's brightest stars. And FoundAnimals.org's Katy Palfrey discusses the Michelson Prize, for the development of a nonsurgical pet-neutering technique. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include foundanimals.org; seanbcarroll.com
2009-Feb-19 • 35 minutes
Stars of Cosmology, Part 2
In part 2 of this podcast, cosmologists Alan Guth from M.I.T., Arizona State University's Lawrence Krauss, John Carlstrom from the University of Chicago, and Fermilab's Scott Dodelson take reporters' questions at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on February 16th
2009-Feb-18 • 18 minutes
Stars of Cosmology, Part 1
In part 1 of this podcast, cosmologists Alan Guth from M.I.T., Arizona State University's Lawrence Krauss, John Carlstrom from the University of Chicago, and Fermilab's Scott Dodelson discuss the state of cosmology--and the universe's possible dismal future--at a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on February 16th
2009-Feb-13 • 29 minutes
Darwin Day Special, Part 3: Origins of Paleontology and the Impact of Religion on the Development of Evolutionary Theory
In part 3 of this special Darwin Day podcast, the Reverend Thomas Goodhue, executive director of the Long Island Council of Churches and author of the book Curious Bones: Mary Anning and the Birth of Paleontology, talks about Anning and how religion informed Darwin and the scientists who led to him.
2009-Feb-12 • 24 minutes
Darwin Day Special, Part 2: Evolutionary Psychology and Religion
In part 2 of this special Darwin Day podcast, Hofstra University religion professor John Teehan discusses the study of religion from an evolutionary psychology perspective
2009-Feb-11 • 37 minutes
Darwin Day Special: Bicentennial of the Birth of Charles Darwin
In part 1 of this special Darwin Day podcast, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin on February 12th, Richard Milner performs part of his one-man show about Darwin; Scientific American Editor in Chief John Rennie and Darwin descendant Matthew Chapman read from The Origin of Species; and Chapman talks about his book 40 Days and 40 Nights, about the Dover intelligent design trial as well as about his efforts to get presidential candidates to discuss science--a project called ScienceDebate
2009-Feb-04 • 32 minutes
The Naked Singularity Meets Social Media
Scientific American Editor in Chief John Rennie talks about the content of the February issue, including naked singularities and the greenhouse hamburger. N.Y.U. journalism professor Jay Rosen discusses social media. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.SciAm.com/sciammag; journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/press...
2009-Jan-28 • 35 minutes
CO2 Rising: Follow the Bouncing Carbon Atom
Scientist and author Tyler Volk talks about his new book CO2 Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include http://pages.nyu.edu/~tv1/Volk.htm
2009-Jan-22 • 28 minutes
Darwin: Ghostbuster, Muse and Magistrate
Darwin historian Richard Milner shares some of the lesser known aspects of Darwin's life. And Scientific American columnist Michael Shermer talks about the stock market, religion and other belief systems. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.darwinlive.com; www.michaelshermer.com
2009-Jan-14 • 35 minutes
From Astronomy to Zune
Scientific American astronomy expert George Musser discusses the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society and SciAm.com's Larry Greenemeier reports on the Consumer Electronics Show. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2009-Jan-07 • 23 minutes
The Evolution of Evolution
Scientific American Editor in Chief John Rennie discusses the special January issue of the magazine, which focuses on evolution--2009 being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. Subjects in the issue include the importance of natural selection, the sources of genetic variability, human evolution's past and future, pop evolutionary psychology, everyday applications of evolutionary theory, the science of the game Spore, and the ongo...
2008-Dec-31 • 48 minutes
The Manhattan Project and the Met
The Metropolitan Opera's production of the new opera Doctor Atomic aired on PBS on December 29th. We'll hear from Manhattan Project veterans Roy Glauber (Nobel laureate), Murray Peshkin, Leonard Jossem, Al Bartlett, Hans Courant, Harold Agnew, Benjamin Bederson, who spoke at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. And we talk to the Metropolitan Opera's Patricia Steiner. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include tinyurl....
2008-Dec-24 • 30 minutes
Christmas at the Moon; and Instant Egghead Guide: The Mind
Scientific American editor Michael Battaglia discusses the online In-Depth-Report on Apollo 8, which orbited the moon 40 years ago this week. And author Emily Anthes talks about her new book, Instant Egghead Guide: The Mind. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.SciAm.com/report.cfm?id=apollo8; www.SciAm.com/report.cfm?id=science-movies; www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/tag/doctor-at...
2008-Dec-19 • 26 minutes
From Carbon to the Cretaceous: Report from the American Geophysical Union Meeting
Scientific American editor Davide Castelvecchi reports from the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. Subjects include the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. And CNET Senior Associate Editor Michelle Thatcher gives us the lowdown on netbooks and tablet PCs. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.agu.org; crave.cnet.com
2008-Dec-10 • 25 minutes
Klaatu's Back and He's Not Happy
Scott Derrickson, director of the new version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, talks about his take on the iconic sci-fi movie. And Nobel laureate Richard Roberts discusses the importance of open-access science publishing. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news
2008-Dec-03 • 33 minutes
The Science of Pain
Stanford University pain expert Sean Mackey talks about the modern take on pain, how to treat it, why treatment is so important, and the relationship between pain and empathy. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include sciencegeekgirl.wordpress.com/2008/10; paincenter.stanford.edu
2008-Nov-26 • 26 minutes
Viruses against Disease; Going Batty for Bats
Scientific American editor in chief, John Rennie, talks about the contents of the December issue, including bat evolution and how magicians are helping neuroscience. And Boro Dropulic of Lentigen talks about converting viruses into disease fighters. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include http://www.sciam.com/report.cfm?id=bat-guide;... http://www.sciam.com/report.cfm?id=thanksgiving...
2008-Nov-19 • 29 minutes
Approval of Seals: Wildlife Docs and Their Exotic Patients
Some veterinarians treat animals much more exotic than the family pet. Jeffrey Boehm, executive director of the Marine Mammal Center, talks about the challenges of caring for sick sea mammals. And Alisa "Harley" Newton, a pathologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, discusses how vets figured out that a pathogen attacking humans was in fact West Nile Virus. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.tmmc.org; www.wcs.org
2008-Nov-12 • 29 minutes
Kayaking Antarctica with Jon Bowermaster
How a warming climate leads to freezing penguins, with journalist and author Jon Bowermaster, who has kayaked the world's seas, most recently in Antarctica. And Cynthia Graber takes us on a tour with a new M.I.T. underwater autonomous vehicle. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites related to this episode include www.jonbowermaster.com
2008-Nov-05 • 24 minutes
The Day After: Science in the Obama Administration
Stanford University biologist Sharon Long, a science advisor to the Barack Obama campaign, talks about science in the upcoming administration. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.SciAm.com/report.cfm?id=election2008
2008-Oct-30 • 38 minutes
Cemetery Science: The Geology of Mausoleums
For Halloween, we take a tour of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, N.Y., with geologist Sidney Horenstein and Woodlawn expert Susan Olsen, concentrating on the geology of the rock used in the memorials. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include www.bigpumpkins.com; www.thewoodlawncemetery.org
2008-Oct-22 • 30 minutes
Today's Alternative Energy; and November Issue Topics, Including Computer-Brain Interfaces and DNA Computing
Scientific American magazine editor in chief, John Rennie, talks about the November issue's contents, including computer-brain interfaces, DNA computing, the ongoing attempts to find an HIV vaccine and getting closer to the Star Trek tricorder with portable NMR. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include snipurl.com/4LJ71; SciAm.com/sciammag
2008-Oct-15 • 22 minutes
More Than Pickles and Ice Cream: The Link Between Diet and Fertility
Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist Walter Willett talks to SciAm correspondent Cynthia Graber about his latest book, The Fertility Diet as well as about the links between nutrition and health generally. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2008-Oct-09 • 23 minutes
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about E. Coli, Part 2
Carl Zimmer continues his discussion of E. coli, the bacteria that are the subject of his new book Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about the Nobel Prizes awarded this week. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.carlzimmer.com; improbable.com; nobelprize.org
2008-Oct-08 • 28 minutes
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about E. Coli, Part 1
Author and journalist Carl Zimmer talks about E. coli, the bacteria that are the subject of his new book Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.carlzimmer.com
2008-Oct-01 • 29 minutes
Searching for Intelligence
Author and journalist Carl Zimmer talks about the search for the physiological and biological basis of intelligence, the subject of his article in the October issue of Scientific American magazine. And Editor in Chief John Rennie discusses other articles in the issue, including the cover story on the possibility of a big bounce instead of the big bang and the science of the World Wide Web. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www....
2008-Sep-24 • 30 minutes
Earth 3.0
Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti talks about Earth 3.0, a new SciAm publication concerning energy, sustainability and the environment. And ScientificAmerican.com writer Larry Greenemeier discusses the interface between nanotech and biology. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.sciamearth3.com
2008-Sep-11 • 32 minutes
The Large Hadron Collider Goes to Work
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek and Scientific American editor George Musser talk about the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator ever built, which went online this week. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.frankwilczek.com; www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM; http://www.sciam.com/report.cfm?id=lhc-countdown...
2008-Sep-09 • 30 minutes
Tom Friedman's New Book--Hot, Flat, and Crowded
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Tom Friedman discusses his new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--And How It Can Renew America. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.thomaslfriedman.com
2008-Sep-03 • 29 minutes
Who's Watching You: The Future of Privacy
Scientific American editor in chief, John Rennie, discusses the future of privacy and security, the subject of the September single-topic issue of Scientific American magazine. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.SciAm.com/sciammag; www.snipurl.com/sciamfootball
2008-Aug-27 • 30 minutes
Return of a Killer: Tuberculosis in Russia
Veteran journalist Merrill Goozner, director of the Integrity in Science project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, discusses his series of articles for SciAm.com on the rise of tuberculosis in Russia. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.gooznews.com; www.snipurl.com/goozner
2008-Aug-20 • 21 minutes
What's the Buzz: A Conversation with Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, talks about solar energy, buses between the planets, the Constellation program, his time on the moon and his new animated movie, Fly Me to the Moon. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.snipurl.com/aldrin; www.sciamdigital.com; www.flymetothemoonthemovie.com
2008-Aug-13 • 21 minutes
Superdove!: The Straight Poop on Pigeons
Courtney Humphries talks about her new book, Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan...And the World. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.birds.cornell.edu/pigeonwatch; chumphries.org
2008-Aug-08 • 15 minutes
Inside SciAm: The August Issue
In this special edition of Science Talk, Scientific American editor in chief, John Rennie, talks to Steve about the August issue of the magazine, which features articles on migraine, solar superstorms and self-cleaning materials
2008-Aug-06 • 30 minutes
Inside China: Science, Technology, Energy and the Environment
Former Washington Post Beijing bureau chief, Philip Pan, author of Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China, discusses the science, technology, environment and culture of China with Scientific American's David Biello, who recently spent almost a month reporting from the country. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2008-Jul-30 • 29 minutes
Outsmarting Bombers; and A Warless Future?
IEEE Spectrum editor in chief, Glenn Zorpette, talks about high-tech attempts to battle improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq as well as the state of reconstruction of Iraq's electricity grid. And journalist John Horgan talks about the possibility of eliminating war. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include: www.saferoadmaps.org, www.thomaslfriedman.com; www.spectrum.ieee.org
2008-Jul-23 • 19 minutes
Visit to the Fair: Inside a Tech Expo
In this episode we feature five interviews conducted at the Digital Experience! computer and electronics expo that took place in New York City in June. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include: www.eye.fi; www.skype.net; www.synaptics.com; www.jakkspacific.com; www.m-audio.com
2008-Jul-16 • 31 minutes
The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory
George Musser talks about his new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
2008-Jul-07 • 31 minutes
The Long and Winding Road: DNA Evidence for Human Migration; Plus July Issue Highlights
Gary Stix discusses his July Scientific American cover article on DNA evidence for the history of human migration. And editor in chief, John Rennie, talks about the neuroscience of dance, the quantum cosmos and Rubik's Cubes. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/sciammag
2008-Jun-25 • 24 minutes
Gott Ya: Astrophysicist J. Richard Gott on Time Travel and Presidential Polling
Princeton astrophysicist J. Richard Gott discusses some of the realities and speculations of time travel (one human holds the record for time travel--1/48 of a second) as well as how best to evaluate presidential election polling data. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.colleyrankings.com, snipurl.com/2oorv
2008-Jun-18 • 24 minutes
One Singular Sensation: Will We Upload Our Brains, and Other Questions Related to "The Coming Singularity"
Glenn Zorpette, executive editor of IEEE Spectrum magazine, and journalist John Horgan discuss various ideas related to what some call "the coming singularity," a point where computers will allegedly attain consciousness and superintelligence. Or not. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.spectrum.ieee.org/singularity
2008-Jun-12 • 25 minutes
The Happening: A Conversation with Director M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan's new film, The Happening, involves an environmental backlash, the limits of reason and the beauty of math. SciAm editor George Musser discusses the film with the director. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/daily
2008-Jun-04 • 25 minutes
Fact and Fiction: James Randi's "Amaz!ng Meeting" and Mark Alpert's Physics Novel, Final Theory
James Randi, famous debunker of frauds, talks about the "Amaz!ng Meeting" coming up in Las Vegas, and SciAm editor Mark Alpert discusses his new physics novel, Final Theory. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/daily, www.badscience.net, www.randi.org, www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4vgsZmleoE
2008-May-28 • 28 minutes
The Feral Biologist: A Talk with George Schaller; A Look in the June SciAm
The Wildlife Conservation Society's George Schaller talks about his new book, "A Naturalist and Other Beasts," which covers his 50 years of documenting important large animal species in the field. And Scientific American editor in chief, John Rennie, offers a look at some articles in the June issue. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.SciAm.com/daily, www.wcs.org
2008-May-21 • 24 minutes
Little Brains, Big Brains: Latest Flores Hobbit News and the Intel Science Fair
Kate Wong brings us up to date on the ongoing research into fossils of the tiny human, called the Hobbit, found on the island of Flores. And Ivan Oransky reports from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Plus, Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman illustrates problems with reductionism and refrigerators. And we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.SciAm.com/daily, www.nybg.org/darwin/symposium.php, www.intel.com/education/ISEF
2008-May-14 • 24 minutes
China Quake Update; Fictional Scientists; What's New at SciAm.com
David Biello reports from China on the aftermath of the major earthquake that struck this week. Mark Alpert talks about the portrayal of scientists in fiction. And new online managing editor Ivan Oransky discusses what's up on the Web site. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/daily, www.snipurl.com/madsci, www.snipurl.com/hotpepper
2008-May-07 • 30 minutes
Evolution Enclaves: Darwin the Botanist and Origins of Life Research
David Kohn, curator of the Darwin's Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden, discusses Darwin's botanical studies. And Harvard Medical School's Jack Szostak talks about research into the origins of life. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.nybg.org/darwin; www.hhmi.org; www.sciam.com/daily
2008-Apr-30 • 23 minutes
Plasma Physics: From Black Holes to Radio Reception
Plasma plays a big role from the ionosphere to black holes. Stanford physicist Roger Blandford explains plasma and its connection to black holes in a conversation with Scientific American's JR Minkel. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.snipurl.com/26dun-sciam1; www.snipurl.com/26dv2-sciam2; www.nybg.org/darwin
2008-Apr-23 • 26 minutes
Can Science Save the Banana?
The banana is the world's most important fruit. But it's under threat from a disease spreading around the world. We'll hear from Dan Koeppel, author of the book "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World." And we'll visit a Guatemala banana plantation with guide Julio Cordova. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.bananabook.org
2008-Apr-16 • 28 minutes
On The Shoulders of Giants: John Wheeler and Salome Waelsch
Physicist John Wheeler and geneticist Salome Waelsch both had incredibly long and fruitful careers, providing numerous fundamental insights in their respective fields. We'll hear from Kenneth Ford, former director of the American Institute of Physics, about Wheeler, who died April 13th at 96. And Princeton's Lee Silver talks about Waelsch, who died last fall at 100 and who was memorialized on April 14th at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recen...
2008-Apr-09 • 30 minutes
Expelled Explained
A new movie, Expelled, claims that intelligent design is good science that is being censored by adherents to evolution, which is nothing but Darwinian dogma. Scientific American's editor-in-chief, John Rennie, and podcast host Steve Mirsky discuss the movie. And Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, talks about being interviewed for the film as well as her organization's efforts to provide correct information about the claims in Expelled. Plus we'll test your knowledge of som...
2008-Apr-02 • 29 minutes
A Scientists' Bill of Rights?
Francesca Grifo from the Union of Concerned Scientists talks about the need for legislation to protect federal scientists. We'll also hear from the UCS's Kurt Gottfried and Anthony Robbins, who spoke at a press conference in Boston in February. And Scientific American's editor-in-chief, John Rennie, previews the April issue of the magazine. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.ucsusa.org
2008-Mar-26 • 25 minutes
Baseball Science
Dan Gordon, editor of the new book "Your Brain On Cubs" from the Dana Foundation, talks about the neuroscience of baseball players and their fans. And statistician Shane Jensen of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School discusses attempts to get a statistical handle on defense in baseball. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.dana.org, www.snakejazz.com
2008-Mar-19 • 27 minutes
For the Birds: A look at birds, habitat conservation and environmental economics
Ornithologist and conservation biologist Jeffrey Wells talks about birds and their roles as markers for environmental health. He also discusses the Boreal Forest, the Boreal Birdsong Initiative, the eBird research project (that you can assist) and his new book, The Birder's Conservation Handbook. We also have a brief tribute to the late Arthur C. Clarke. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.ebird.org; www.borealbirds.org
2008-Mar-12 • 30 minutes
Science and America's Future
Argonne National Laboratory director Robert Rosner talks about the role of science in keeping America an economic leader. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.anl.gov
2008-Mar-05 • 19 minutes
A Mars Rovers Once-Over
We look at the state of the rovers currently on Mars, the big accidental discovery by the Spirit rover, and the next-generation device slated to join them in 2010, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. Interviews with Cornell's Melissa Rice, the payload downlink lead for the rover cameras, and the Jet Propulsion Lab's Michelle Viotti, about the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. Also press conference clips featuring Cornell's Steve Squyres, principal investigator for the science instruments on the Mars Exploration...
2008-Feb-27 • 25 minutes
Arachnophilia! And War...What Was It Good for (in Human Evolution)?
Spider expert Greta Binford, from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and her student MG Weber talk about the fascinating world of spiders. And economist Samuel Bowles, from the Santa Fe Institute, discusses the co-evolution of war and altruism. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include www.santafe.edu/~bowles
2008-Feb-22 • 25 minutes
Science, Science Everywhere: AAAS Conference Highlights
In this episode, we'll hear about the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which took place last week in Boston. Nobel Laureate and AAAS President David Baltimore talks about the ongoing challenges of HIV vaccine research; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Charles Elachi discusses the lab's next batch of missions; and Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti summarizes a few sessions he went to covering the environment. Plus we'll test your knowledge of...
2008-Feb-13 • 28 minutes
Fat Chance: Do Dietary Guidelines Actually Contribute to Obesity?
In this episode Albert Einstein College of Medicine public health researcher Paul Marantz questions whether dietary guidelines are counterproductive, and talks about the philosophy of recommendations based on population studies. We'll hear a Valentine's Day poem. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned on this episode include sciammind.com, sciamdigital.com, snipurl.com/sing-sciam, snipurl.com/paul-sciam, snipurl.com/paul2-sciam, snipurl.com/paul3-sciam.
2008-Feb-06 • 25 minutes
You Say Potato, I Say Cassava: Language, Culture and Perception
In this episode, University of California, Berkeley, linguist Alice Gaby talks about the relationships among language, culture, cognition and perception. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include geekcruises.com
2008-Jan-30 • 27 minutes
Knock, Knock, Hal's There: Teaching Computers Humor; and the 50th Anniversary of America's First Satellite
In this episode, University of Cincinnati researchers Lawrence Mazlack and Julia Taylor discuss their efforts to improve human-computer communications by teaching computers about contextual humor. And Carl Raggio, formerly of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, talks about the efforts to launch Explorer 1, the first US satellite, which went into orbit on January 31st, 1958, exactly 50 years ago this week. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2008-Jan-23 • 28 minutes
What's The Matter?: Cold Dark Matter and the Milky Way's Missing Satellites
In this episode, Scientific American editor George Musser talks with Caltech Astronomer Josh Simon about dark matter, and about the efforts to try to locate the so-called missing satellites of the Milky Way--small galaxies that have yet to be found in the numbers that the cold dark matter theory predicts. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: tinyurl.com/27g9op; www.astro.caltech.edu/~jsimon
2008-Jan-16 • 24 minutes
Mindful Motion: Miguel Nicolelis and Mind-Powered Robots; and Creating Science Cities in Brazil and Beyond
In this episode, Scientific American editor Christine Soares talks with Duke University neuroengineer Miguel Nicolelis about his groundbreaking work in controlling robot movement using only thoughts, as well as efforts to create science cities in Brazil and national development through education, especially in science and technology. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: www.weforum.org
2008-Jan-09 • 25 minutes
Whose Phone Is It, Anyway: Did Bell Steal The Invention?
In this episode, journalist and author Seth Shulman talks about his new book, The Telephone Gambit, in which he produces compelling evidence that Alexander Graham Bell plagiarized a key element of the telephone. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: sethshulman.com
2008-Jan-02 • 24 minutes
Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain: Sci Am's History of Debunking
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie talks about the magazine's history of involvement with efforts to debunk medical quakery and paranormal fakery, which included a fistfight between a Sci Am editor and Harry Houdini. And we'll hear an 1883 Sci Am editorial on the relative merits of the telephone and telegraph. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: gutenberg.org; ssrn.com/abstract=970413
2007-Dec-26 • 28 minutes
What's In A Latin Name: The Legacy of Linnaeus
In this episode, Harvard naturalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author EO Wilson talks about Linnaeus and the continuing effort to classify life on earth. From a talk given at the New York Botanical Garden on November 8th. Websites mentioned on this episode include: www.nybg.org; tinyurl.com/2botqy; eol.org
2007-Dec-19 • 26 minutes
Here Comes the Sun--A Grand Plan for Solar Energy; and Sci Am's New Body
In this episode, Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti talks about an audacious new plan, featured in the January issue of Scientific American, for turning the US into a solar-powered country. And editor-in-chief John Rennie talks about a new Sci Am health publication, Scientific American Body. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.sciam.com/sciambody; tinyurl.com/2vygvs; tinyurl.com/39spft; bccp.lbl.gov
2007-Dec-12 • 28 minutes
Are There (Microbial) Aliens On Earth?
In this episode, theoretical physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist Paul Davies ponders the question of whether life originated more than once on earth, and how to find examples of a second origin if it did. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.sciam.com/sciammag or tinyurl.com/3b8voo; www.beyond.asu.edu; www.sciam.com/sciambody; www.mayoclinic.com
2007-Dec-05 • 27 minutes
Three Whiz Kids, Two Winning Projects And A Nobel Laureate
In this episode, Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology solo winner Isha Himani Jain and team titlist Janelle Schlossberger (who shared the win with Amanda Marinoff) discuss their projects. And lead judge Joseph Taylor, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, talks about the competition and his life and work. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.siemens-foundation.org
2007-Nov-28 • 25 minutes
Neuroscience and the Law
In this episode, neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga talks about neuroscience's impact on legal practice, and The Law and Neuroscience Project, a new MacArthur Foundation effort, which he directs, to delineate the issues surrounding neuroscience and the law. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.lawandneuroscienceproject.org; www.tinyurl.com/292rq3
2007-Nov-21 • 28 minutes
The Science of Cheese; and Scientific American's New Community
In this episode, University of Wisconsin-Madison cheese researcher Carol Chen explains the physics, chemistry and biology of cheese. And Scientific American's Christie Nicholson talks about our new web community. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.cdr.wisc.edu; www.cheese.com
2007-Nov-07 • 30 minutes
The Ethics of Climate Change; and NOVA Does Dover
In this episode, University of Wisconsin-Madison public health expert Jonathan Patz talks about the ethical issues raised by climate change--who's causing it and who suffers most from it. Also, writer and producer Joseph McMaster talks about the upcoming episode of the PBS science program NOVA devoted to the 2005 Dover intelligent design trial. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.pbs.org/nova/id
2007-Oct-24 • 27 minutes
Good Germs, Bad Germs
In this episode, journalist Jessica Snyder Sachs, author of the new book Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World, talks about the complex relationships between you and the numerous single-celled critters that live on and in you. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: jessicasachs.com
2007-Oct-17 • 27 minutes
Chickens and Pigs and Yeast, Oh My!: The Public Health Threat of Animal Diseases; and Gene Duplication in Evolution
In this episode, Scientific American news editor Phil Yam discusses how veterinarians, physicians and multinational food companies need to work together in the global fight against animal-borne infectious diseases; and University of Wisconsin evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll talks about recent research tracking the evolution of yeast genes with specific functions descended from a single, duplicated gene with multiple functions. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites m...
2007-Oct-10 • 26 minutes
When Worlds Collide: The Ig Nobel and Nobel Prizes
In this episode, Ig Nobel Prize maven Marc Abrahams discusses this year's crop of "winners." And we'll review the recipients of the 2007 real Nobel Prizes in science. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include: www.improbable.com; tinyurl.com/3bblmt; www.amnh.org; tinyurl.com/26z8wv
2007-Oct-03 • 24 minutes
The Final Frontier: Our Future in Space
In this episode, Scientific American editors George Musser and Steven Ashley discuss the special section of the October issue devoted to the future of space exploration. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2007-Sep-26 • 31 minutes
Who Do You Think You Are: Chatting With Bots, and the Sexuality Spectrum
In this episode, pyschologist Robert Epstein talks about his articles in the upcoming issue of Scientific American Mind, on being fooled by a chatterbot--a computer program designed to make you think you're communicating with a human--and on the spectrum of human sexuality. And he has some comments about the CBS TV program "Kid Nation." Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites related to this episode include www.audible.com/sciencetalk; www.drepstein.com; www.sciammind.com...
2007-Sep-19 • 25 minutes
What's In A Rose: Ethnobotany and the Search for Useful Plants
In this episode, ethnobotanist Nat Bletter talks about his field and his recent article about the new plant family Simulacraceae--the phony plants. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites related to this episode include www.audible.com/sciencetalk; www.simulacraceae.org; www.tinyurl.com/2gqgnb; www.tinyurl.com/2obv6k
2007-Sep-12 • 25 minutes
Can Fat Be Fit?
In this episode, award-winning journalist Paul Raeburn talks about his article in the September issue of Scientific American, called "Can Fat Be Fit?" as well as another piece he wrote as a sidebar to a feature, about losing weight and keeping it off. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites related to this episode include www.audible.com/sciencetalk; www.paulraeburn.com
2007-Aug-29 • 23 minutes
Another Look at The World Without Us; and What's New At Scientific American
In this episode, journalist Alan Weisman continues his discussion (started on the June 27th podcast) about his bestselling book "The World Without Us," a massive thought experiment about the aftermath of humanity's sudden disappearance. And Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie discusses what's up at the magazine. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2007-Aug-22 • 23 minutes
The World Is Fat: Obesity Now Outweighs Hunger WorldWide
In this episode University of North Carolina Chapel Hill nutrition epidemiologist Barry Popkin discusses the growing problem of obesity, even in developing countries that only recently faced hunger as their primary diet challenge. Popkin is the author of the article The World Is Fat in the September Scientific American. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: www.nutrans.org; wwwtheskepticsguide.org
2007-Aug-15 • 23 minutes
Is Your Food Contaminated; New Orleans Now; And the Science of Dogs
In this episode Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti talks about the challenges of keeping the food supply safe and about the state of New Orleans hurricane preparedness. And journalist Jackie Mow discusses her new TV show about the science of dogs. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include: channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/e... www.theskepticsguide.org
2007-Aug-08 • 30 minutes
Better Brains: The Revolution in Brain Science
In this episode Scientific American correspondent Christie Nicholson talks to journalist Sharon Begley about the changing landscape of brain science. Begley is the author of the book "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain." Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2007-Aug-01 • 25 minutes
Is Privacy Dead? Technological Approaches to the Technological Threat
In this episode Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Latanya Sweeney talks about the changes in privacy due to data collection and approaches to protect privacy in the future, with Scientific American contributor Chip Walter. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned in this episode include privacy.cs.cmu.edu; www.chipwalter.com
2007-Jul-25 • 29 minutes
Saddle Up That Stegosaurus--A Visit to the Creation Museum
In this episode Columbia College Chicago's Stephen Asma discusses the new antievolution Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., as well as his books on natural history museums and monsters, both mythological and teratological. Plus, we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Web sites mentioned in this episode include www.skeptic.com, www.stephenasma.com
2007-Jul-18 • 26 minutes
Space For Both?--Human Vs. Robotic Space Missions
In this episode Cornell University astronomer Jim Bell talks about future space missions and why people need to be part of them. Bell is the leader of the team operating the color cameras on the Mars rovers, and the author of the book Postcards From Mars and of an opinion piece in the August issue of Scientific American on humans in space. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned in this episode include www.itswild.org; http://marsrovers.nasa.gov
2007-Jul-11 • 21 minutes
Systems Biology: The Future of Biomedical Science?
In this episode eminent biologist Leroy Hood, founder of the Institute for Systems Biology, talks about systems biology, an approach to understanding complex biological systems in their entirety, with major implications for the future of medicine. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned in this episode include www.systemsbiology.org
2007-Jul-04 • 20 minutes
Benjamin Franklin the Scientist
In this Fourth of July episode, historian Joyce Chaplin discusses Benjamin Franklin the scientist, and how his science paved the way for his future career as a diplomat and elder statesman of the Revolution. She is the author of the book "The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius." Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news.
2007-Jun-27 • 28 minutes
The World Without Us: Suppose Humans Just Vanished--Then What?
In this episode, journalist Alan Weisman, Laureate Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona, discusses his new book "The World Without Us," a massive thought experiment about the aftermath of humanity's sudden disappearance. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. For info on and articles by Alan Weisman, go to www.homelands.org/producers/weisman.html
2007-Jun-13 • 24 minutes
Jared Diamond on the State of the World Environment
In this episode, biologist, ecologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jared Diamond discusses the environmental state of the world and the relationship between the environment and economics and politics in remarks at a recent benefit for the organization Conservation International. We'll also hear from CI's president, Russell Mittermeier. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.conservation.org
2007-May-30 • 24 minutes
How Cargo Containers Shrank the World and Transformed Trade; and Smart Skylights
In this episode, Maritime History Professor Arthur Donovan talks about cargo containerization and how it transformed world markets. And architect Paul Topogna discusses skylights that change shape for more effective heating, cooling and UV control. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.joc.com; www.fxfowle.com
2007-May-16 • 29 minutes
The Encyclopedia of Life; and the End of John Horgan's Pessimism
In this episode, Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and writer E.O. Wilson talks to award-winning journalist John Horgan about the Encyclopedia of Life project and finding common ground between science and religion. And Horgan, the Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, talks about his research into whether war might someday become a thing of the past. Plus we'll test your knowedge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this epi...
2007-May-09 • 28 minutes
Beer Science; And A Cancer Research Report
In this episode, University of California, Davis, professor Charles Bamforth talks about beer science. And journalist Kevin Begos discusses the centennial meeting of the American Association For Cancer Research. Plus we'll test your knowedge of some recent science in the news. Website mentioned on this episode include www.aacr.org.
2007-May-02 • 26 minutes
Small Matters: Microbes In Us And The Environment
In this episode, Stanford's David Relman talks about the microbial life that lives on and in humans. Princeton's Andrew Dobson discusses the importance of parasites to an ecosystem. And former National Science Foundation director Rita Colwell mentions a low-tech practice with big public health implications. All from a conference on microbes and the environment at the American Museum of Natural History. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode...
2007-Apr-25 • 26 minutes
Peer Review of Peer Review; and the Franklin Institute Awards
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie discusses peer review of scientific literature, the subject of a panel he recently served on at the World Conference of Science Journalists. He also talks about some out-of-the-box thinking about burial rites. And physicist Bo Hammer talks about the awards being presented this week at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Plus we'll test your knowledge about recent science in the news. Website mentioned on this episode include www.fi.edu....
2007-Apr-18 • 30 minutes
Atul Gawande, Author of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
In this episode, surgeon, writer and MacArthur grantee Atul Gawandee talks about his new book Better, which focuses on performance as a science. Plus we'll test your knowledge about recent science in the news. Website mentioned on this episode include http://www.fi.edu/tfi/exhibits/bower/07/schedule.html... and www.hbo.com/realsports. To vote for the Scientific American podcast in the podcast category of the Webby Awards, go to www.webbyawards.com.
2007-Apr-11 • 25 minutes
Catching Corrupted Photos; and Big Bird Brains
In this episode, animal behavior expert Bernd Heinrich discusses his article in the April issue of Scientific American on animal intelligence, and Adobe Systems scientists David Story and Martin Newell talk about methods in development to enable investigators to spot phonied-up digital images. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2007-Apr-04 • 27 minutes
Baseball Science
In this episode, former big league pitcher Dr. Dave Baldwin talks about his run-in with Ted Williams, his life in science, the physics of the gyroball versus the slider, and how he finally made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some baseball science. Websites mentioned on this episode include http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/chance_news/recent_news/chance_news_13.04.html;... http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3486;... http://www.americanscientist.org...
2007-Mar-28 • 28 minutes
Alcoholism and Genetics; and Why Aren't the Pioneer Spacecraft Where They Should Be?
In this episode, psychiatric geneticist Laura Jean Bierut talks about her article in the April Scientific American about the influence of genes on alcoholism. And Scientific American editor George Musser discusses the March 26th Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History that dealt with the discrepency between the calculated and actual positions of the Pioneer spacecraft. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2007-Mar-21 • 25 minutes
Naturally Speaking: Finding Nature's Treasure Trove with the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition; and Natural Products Chemistry
In this episode, the J. Craig Venter Institute's senior computational biologist Douglas Rusch talks about the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition's genomic treasure hunt and the first batch of research results that just came out. We'll also talk about an analysis of pharmaceutical agents in the Journal of Natural Products that showed that the majority of approved agents in the last quarter century are still derived from natural products. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. ...
2007-Mar-14 • 25 minutes
Made To Stick: Crafting Memorable Messages; and Cycling For Days On A Gallon Of Gas
In this episode, Stanford University's Chip Heath talks about his book Made To Stick, which discusses the secrets behind crafting messages and ideas that capture the imagination; and Nick Goddard discusses the experiment he did to find out how far he could bike on the energy equivalent to that in a gallon of gasoline. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned include www.madetostick.com; /www.transalt.org; www.betterworldclub.com
2007-Mar-07 • 23 minutes
Leave It To Beaver (To Return To New York City); and AccesScience '07, Communicating Science To Everyone
In this episode, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Stephen Sautner and John Delaney talk about the appearance of a beaver in New York City for the first time in 200 years and journalist and author Alan Weisman talks about our reaction to the event and other similar stories. Elaine McSherry, winner of the AccesScience '07 competition, explains why it's good to be explain science. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2007-Feb-28 • 25 minutes
Who Speaks For Science?
In this episode, Scientific American contributing editor Wayt Gibbs talks about a session at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science devoted to the question of scientific authority: who has it, how they got it and what the public should know about it. Plus we'll read listener mail, talk about the movie Something The Lord Made (which depicts the first heart surgeries) and test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode incl...
2007-Feb-21 • 29 minutes
No Laughing Matter: Mo Rocca On Humor Theory; Report From the AAAS Conference
In this episode, TV essayist and radio host Mo Rocca talks about the science of comedy and vice versa; and journalist Corinna Wu reports on the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sirius.com; www.aaas.org; www.tinyurl.com/33x2ww
2007-Feb-14 • 28 minutes
My Unfunny Valentine: The Truth About Online Dating; and The Myelin Repair Foundation--A New Model For Outcome-Oriented Biomedical Research
In this episode, Scientific American Mind contributing editor Robert Epstein talks about the pitfalls and potential of online dating. And Myelin Repair Foundation founder Scott Johnson talks about how the foundation is accelerating the search for multiple sclerosis therapies, as well as serving as a model for a new kind of biomedical research approach. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com; www.sciammind.com; www.mye...
2007-Feb-07 • 28 minutes
The Heat IS On: International Global Warming Consensus; and Academy Award Winning Audio Science
In this episode, SciAm.com associate editor David Biello discusses the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released last week in Paris; Academy Award Winner and Dolby Laboratories Senior VP Ioan Allen talks about the cyan dye audio track innovation that will be honored Saturday at the Scientific And Technical Academy Awards ceremony. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com; blog.sciam.com; www.scia...
2007-Jan-31 • 26 minutes
TV Of Tomorrow; Battle Of The Science Journals; US Budget Crunch Threatens National Lab
In this episode, journalist Michael Antonoff, author of the article Digital TV At Last? in the February issue of Scientific American, talks about the upcoming switch to all digital television broadcasting, scheduled to take place February 17, 2009; SciAm.com associate editor David Biello discusses the war being waged between open access science journals and those that charge readers; and Scientific American magazine editor Mark Alpert gives us the lowdown on how the last Congress's failure to pass a budget ...
2007-Jan-24 • 24 minutes
Good News About Coffee And Amazing Skeptic Conference
In this episode, food ingredient expert Roger A. Clemens discusses research suggesting that coffee drinking has numerous beneficial health effects. Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie talks about pseudoscience and paranormal debunker The Amazing Randi's skeptic conference last weekend in Las Vegas. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.ift.org; blog.sciam.com; www.sciam.com/news
2007-Jan-17 • 25 minutes
Better Ways To Cut A Cake and To Pick A Champion
In this episode, mathematician Michael Jones talks about improved methodologies for cake cutting. (It involves the equitability of the division, not the sharpness of the knife.) Los Alamos National Laboratory theoretician Eli Ben-Naim talks about relative competitiveness of professional team sports and devising more efficient schedules. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/podcast; http://cnls.lanl.gov/~ebn; http:/...
2007-Jan-10 • 24 minutes
The Inevitability Of Cancer's Commonality; and High School Math Whiz
In this episode, author and journalist Carl Zimmer talks about his Scientific American article Evolved For Cancer?, which looks at how natural selection has led to what appears to be an inevitable tendency for human beings to develop the disease. Dmitry Vaintrob, winner of the 2006-07 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology for high school students, talks about his project in string topology. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this epis...
2007-Jan-03 • 24 minutes
Tears And Other Traits That Make Us Human; What Color Is Your Placebo Parachute
In this episode, journalist Chip Walter, author of Thumbs, Toes and Tears, takes us on a tour of the physical traits that are unique to humans, with special attention to crying, the subject of his article in the current issue of Scientific American MIND. The University of Cambridge's Gordon Smith discusses the alarming lack of any randomized, controlled trials to determine the efficacy of parachutes. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode ...
2006-Dec-27 • 28 minutes
Rampaging Robots and Killer Komodos
In this episode, robotics writer Daniel Wilson talks about his book How To Survive A Robot Uprising: Tips On Defending Yourself Against The Coming Rebellion. Naturalist Kurt Auffenberg from the University of Florida talks about wrangling Komodo Dragons. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/podcast; www.sciam.com/news; www.danielhwilson.com; www.robotuprising.com; www.sciamdigital.com; http://www.sciam.com/article.cf...
2006-Dec-20 • 18 minutes
Radioactive Spy Dust and the Litvinenko Case; Ode To Grad Students
In this episode, Michigan State University historian of science Kristie Macrakis discusses the use of radioactive isotopes in the cloak and dagger world of cold war espionage, and what it tells us about the polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. We'll also hear a Christmas poem dedicated to the graduate students and postdocs who burn the midnight oil even on Christmas Eve. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include blog.sciam.com;...
2006-Dec-13 • 29 minutes
Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus and Rocky the Flying Mesozoic Mammal
In this episode, Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus talks about the challenges facing the U.S. in science and technology competitiveness and some possible plans of action, related to the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project. And the American Museum of Natural History's Jin Meng discusses a major new fossil find, a flying mammal some 130 million years old. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/podcast; www.sciam.com...
2006-Dec-06 • 22 minutes
Singing New Songs: Urban Birds Vocalize Differently; Insurance Industry Worries About Warming
In this episode, Leiden University bird song expert Hans Slabbekorrn notes the changes in bird vocalizations when they move from the forest to the city. And we wrap up our series on Scientific American magazine's "SA 50" citations with Ivo Menzinger, managing director of sustainability and emerging risk management for the reinsurance company Swiss Re. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/podcast; www.sciam.com/news
2006-Nov-29 • 20 minutes
Tomorrow's Newspapers and Next Week's Cars
In this episode, MIT Communications Forum Director David Thorburn discusses the future of newspapers and news in light of new technology. Scientific American editor Steve Ashley talks about the magazine's "SA 50" picks in the areas of automobile and fuel technology advances. And we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com/podcast; web.mit.edu/comm-forum; web.mit.edu/comm-forum/forums.html
2006-Nov-22 • 22 minutes
Tiny Technology and Talking Turkey
In this episode, Scientific American's "SA 50" research leader of the year, MIT's Angela Belcher, discusses her work using viruses and other organisms to help create nanoelectronics. Animal behaviorist and turkey expert Richard Buchholz brings us up to date on some turkey science. And we'll test your knowledge of some recent turkey science in the news and outer boroughs. Websites mentioned on this episode include http://home.olemiss.edu/~byrb; www.sciam.com/podcast
2006-Nov-15 • 19 minutes
Looking Into the Future At The World Science Forum; Poetry And Science with Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie talks about the World Science Forum, held in New York City last week. Forum speaker Mike Roco, nanotechnology advisor to the National Science Foundation, shares some thoughts about our tiny tomorrow. Chemist Roald Hoffmann reads his own poetry and discusses the importance of fuzzy thinking in science. And we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include blog.sciam.com; www.sciam.com/p...
2006-Nov-08 • 23 minutes
Hide and Seen: Gestures and Facial Expressions Help Communication; Government Attempts to Keep Science Information Hidden
In this episode, Scientific American Mind executive editor Mariette Dichristina talks about a special section of the magazine devoted to the roles of gestures and facial expressions in communications. A panel discussion of government secrecy at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists featured climate researcher James Hansen; we'll play some highlights from his comments regarding secrecy and science. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mention...
2006-Nov-01 • 21 minutes
Shocking Research: Electroshock Therapy and Stem Cells
In this episode, journalist Larry Tye talks about his new book, SHOCK, written with electroshock patient Kitty Dukakis, wife of former governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. Following Tye, Charles Welch, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital electroconvulsive therapy program, discusses the treatments knowns and unknowns. Then Scientific American editor Christine Soares shares some insights about an unusual stem cell research conference held last week in New York City. Plus we'll te...
2006-Oct-25 • 22 minutes
The Making of the Fittest: A Conversation with Evolutionary Biologist Sean Carroll
In this episode, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll talks about his new book, "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution." Even without fossils or comparative anatomy, vast amounts of evidence for evolution and its mechanisms exist in the genomes of the organisms alive today. Carroll discusses immortal genes, fossil genes and repetition in evolution, as well as environmental issues in light of evolutionary understanding. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent sc...
2006-Oct-18 • 21 minutes
Test Tube Babies; Old Time Radio; What's In A Name
In this episode, journalist Robin Marantz Henig discusses a TV program airing on October 23 based in part on Pandora's Baby, the title of her book and Scientific American article about the early days of In Vitro Fertilization. JJ Mirsky talks about the technology of early radios. And we'll look at what happens when a company's name or url becomes detrimental overnight because of some coincidental association with another name. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites m...
2006-Oct-11 • 22 minutes
Virus-State Electronics; Baseball Oddsmaking; Star Trek Memorabilia Auction
In this episode, journalist Philip Ross discusses his article in the October Scientific American, called "Viral Nanoelectronics," about wires, batteries and microchips constructed out of viruses. New Jersey Institute of Technology mathematics professor Bruce Bukiet talks about his probability estimates for the first round of major league baseball's playoffs and how he managed to miss all four series winners while still being correct in his calculations. Scientific American magazine news editor Philip Yam ...
2006-Oct-04 • 22 minutes
Judging Science: Making Judges Scientifically Literate; Eating Like An Animal; Listener Mail
Court cases increasingly deal with complex science and technical issues. And the last time some judges were in a science classroom was before Watson and Crick published the structure of DNA (or at least before the beginning of the Human Genome Project). We'll talk about bringing judges up to science speed with Franklin Zweig and Robert Bell, the chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Zweig is the president and Bell is chairman of the board of directors of the Advanced Science and Technology Adj...
2006-Sep-27 • 22 minutes
Six Big Science Debates; Missions to Map Planets; Breaking Down Barriers: Women in Science
Last week, the National Academy of Sciences and other institutions released a report titled Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Maria Zuber, head of the department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of the members of the committee that prepared that report. We talk to her about the findings and recommendations of the committee. She also discusses her research mapping Mars, Mercur...
2006-Sep-20 • 22 minutes
Human Evolution Fossil Find and Oil Company Conservation Comments
A major paleoanthropological fossil find was announced on September 20th. Donald Johanson is the director of the Institute of Human Origins and professor of human origins at Arizona State University, and is the discoverer of the famous Lucy fossil more than three decades ago. In this episode, he talks about the new finding and what it means for our understanding of human evolution. We also hear recent comments by John Hofmeister, the president of the Shell Oil Company, that might sound surprising coming ...
2006-Sep-13 • 22 minutes
Nuclear Energy's Future, the Mouse-Cheese Relationship
In this episode, MIT physicist Ernest Moniz discusses the future of nuclear energy and the article he co-authored in the September issue of Scientific American called The Nuclear Option. David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University talks about the reality of mouse food preferences and whether or not cheese is included. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com; http://web.mit.edu/nuclearpower; www.cheese.com; http...
2006-Sep-06 • 24 minutes
Dark Matter; New Daily Scientific American Podcast, 60-Second Science; Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter"
In this episode, MIT astrophysicist Paul Schechter offers some perspective on recent research about the universe's mysterious "dark matter." Journalist Karen Hopkin and host Steve Mirsky talk about the new daily Scientific American podcast, called "60-Second Science." And Scientific American magazine contributing editor Sarah Simpson shares some thoughts about the late Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter." Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this ep...
2006-Aug-30 • 21 minutes
The Teen Brain; Flipping Magnetic Poles; What's Pluto?
In this episode, journalist Leslie Sabbagh discusses the teen brain, the subject of her cover story in the August/September issue of Scientific American Mind. Geologist Kip Hodges, the director of the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration, answers a listener's question about the earth's fickle magnetic poles. Plus we'll test your knowledge about the status of Pluto and other science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include www.sciam.com and www.sciammind.com.
2006-Aug-23 • 22 minutes
Scientific American Magazine single topic issue--Energy's Future: Beyond Carbon; and Well-Read Doctors.
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie talks about the September, single-topic issue of the magazine, the focus of which is Energy's Future: Beyond Carbon. He also explains the Emmy Award in his home. And University of East Anglia School of Medicine professor Christopher Cowley discusses his proposal of new requirements for medical school candidates. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include, www.sciam.com;...
2006-Aug-16 • 21 minutes
Is the Universe Bigger and Older; and the Status of Pluto.
In this episode, Scientific American editor George Musser explains recent research that could mean that the entire universe is 15 percent bigger and about two billion years older than previously thought. Plus, Pluto expert and MIT professor Richard Binzel, a member of the Planet Definition Committee of the International Astronomical Union, discusses the status of Pluto. And amateur astronomer and Plutophile Ari Mirsky shares his thoughts. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the n...
2006-Aug-09 • 22 minutes
EPA Pesticide Controversy and Impact Astronomy
In this episode, journalist Paul Raeburn talks about how the Environmental Protection Agency has been taking a long time, decades in fact, to figure out how to handle some potentially dangerous chemicals. And astronomer and geologist Peter Schultz talks about his chosen method of learning about the universe--smashing stuff. Websites mentioned on this podcast include www.paulraeburn.com.
2006-Aug-02 • 21 minutes
The Expert Mind and the Interplanetary Bicycle Ride
In this episode, Phil Ross talks about what scientists have learned is necessary to achieve expertise in virtually any field. Ross's article on the subject, The Expert Mind, is in the August issue of Scientific American. And Sheldon Schafer, who sports the title of Curator of the Solar System (a huge model of the solar system centered in Peoria, Illinois) discusses the Interplanetary Bicycle Ride, coming up on August 12 and 13. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Website...
2006-Jul-26 • 21 minutes
The Mountain/Climate Relation and Patient Safety
In this episode, geologist Kip Hodges discusses how climate and mountain evolution influence each other in the Himalayas, the subject of his article in the August issue of Scientific American. And former astronaut Dr. James Bagian, currently the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety, talks about patient safety. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this podcast include the Arizona State University School of ...
2006-Jul-19 • 22 minutes
Space Shuttle and Fingerprints
In this episode, former astronaut Dr. James Bagian, currently the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety, talks about being in space and safety issues related to the shuttle. And Max Houck, director of the Forensic Science Initiative at West Virginia University and author of the July Scientific American article "CSI: Reality," talks about court challenges to fingerprint evidence. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Websites ment...
2006-Jul-12 • 24 minutes
CSI Reality and Coke/Pepsi Espionage
In this episode, Max Houck, director of the Forensic Science Initiative at West Virginia University and author of the July Scientific American article "CSI: Reality," talks about the effect the CSI shows have had in the real world and about real crime scene investigation versus what's portrayed on TV. And John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, talks about the recent Coke/Pepsi espionage case and the realities of secret soda formulas in the age of high-tech chemistry labs. Plus we'll test yo...
2006-Jul-05 • 24 minutes
Ice Cream Science
In this episode, we go to the research and development facility of Ben and Jerry's in Vermont, to talk about the science of ice cream. We'll talk to Derek Spors, ice cream scientician (a.k.a. "senior product developer-food technology") and Eric Fredette, group leader of flavor development. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and websites mentioned on this podcast include http://www.benjerry.com; the Scientific American Digital Archive, www.sciamdigital.com...
2006-Jun-28 • 23 minutes
Bering Sea, radiation, historic tortoise.
In this episode, science writer Karen de Seve shares her adventures in the Bering Sea; journalist Dr. John Miller talks about a radiation health conference; and taxonomist and paleontologist Scott Thomson discusses the late Harriet the tortoise. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and websites mentioned on this podcast include the Liberty Science Center, www.lsc.org; Karen de Seve's blog, http://beringsea.blogspot.com; the American Statistical Association, w...
2006-Jun-21 • 25 minutes
Pulitzer Prize-winning naturalist Edward O. Wilson
In this episode, the special guest is renowned biologist and author Edward O. Wilson. First we'll hear clips from a talk he gave last week at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, in conjunction with the publication of his new book, Nature Revealed: Selected Writings 1949-2006. Then Scientific American podcast host Steve Mirsky talks to Wilson about a few specifics in biology and conservation. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and web...
2006-Jun-14 • 24 minutes
Evolution Update
In this episode, freelance reporter Beth Baldwin talks about some of the goings-on at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, entitled "Genomes, Evolution, and Bioinformatics." And Kate Wong, Scientific American's paleontology and anthropology expert, talks about recent findings in human evolution as well as a new, unusual dinosaur discovery. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and websites mentioned on this podcast in...
2006-Jun-07 • 23 minutes
A Walk in the Park: Central Park and the Spring Bird Migration.
In this episode, Liz Johnson and Felicity Arengo from the American Museum of Natural History take Scientific American podcast host Steve Mirsky for a walk in the park--Central Park--to talk about the spring bird migration and the role that Central Park and other green spaces plays in the lives of birds and other animals. Author Marie Winn also talks about the park and the wildlife it supports. Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and websites mentioned on t...
2006-May-24 • 29 minutes
In Search of Memory: An Interview with Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel
In this episode, the guest is Eric Kandel, recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Kandel discusses his research, his personal background and their intersection. He talks about what kinds of scientific investigation he finds most interesting and worthwhile and where he would concentrate if he were beginning his research career today. These and other subjects are also themes of his new book, In Search of Memory, and his article in the current issue (April/May) of Scientific American M...
2006-May-17 • 32 minutes
Inside the Tevatron; the Human-Computer Interface; DNA Computing.
In this episode, Scientific American editor Mark Alpert talks about his trip inside the Tevatron, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the future of the Tevatron, specifically for neutrino research. Scientific American senior writer Wayt Gibbs reports on the recent CHI2006 conference. CHI is for computer human interface, and the conference is the largest annual meeting of computer scientists who study and invent the ways that humans and computer...
2006-May-10 • 29 minutes
The Environment: birds; strategic conservation; big cats.
In this episode, Cambridge conservation scientist Andrew Balmford discusses the state of the world's birds; the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Rex Johnson talks about a new, strategic approach to conservation (both men were presenters at the recent conference "Conserving Birds in Human-Dominated Landscapes" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City); and the Wildlife Conservation Society's Alan Rabinowitz describes his efforts to save the world's big cats. Plus, test your knowledge about s...
2006-May-03 • 33 minutes
Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek and Betsy Devine.
In this episode, Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek talks about his new book, Fantastic Realities, as well as his research and the current and future state of physics. His wife, Betsy Devine, talks about taking the phone call from Stockholm informing Professor Wilczek that he had been awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics. Plus, test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2006-Apr-26 • 31 minutes
Early Universe, Benjamin Franklin Science, Evolution Education.
In this episode, physicist William Zajc talks about how the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory is giving scientists a glimpse into what the universe was like in its first microseconds of existence; historian Joyce Chaplin discusses Benjamin Franklin the scientist and her book The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius; and Steve Mirsky talks about the recent "Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science" conference in New York City, where he...
2006-Apr-12 • 27 minutes
Animal intelligence, Mars Rovers, Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health.
In this episode, the conclusion of a two-part interview with anthropologist Carel Van Schaik about intelligence in animals; astronomer Steven Squyres talks about the current state of the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity; and cardiologist Arthur Klatsky rebuts a recent meta-study that claims that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption confers no cardiovascular health benefits. Plus, test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2006-Apr-05 • 25 minutes
Animal intelligence, Einstein, Szilard and the bomb, sustainable development.
In this episode, the first of a two-part interview with anthropologist Carel Van Schaik about the role of culture in boosting intelligence in animals; historian and writer William Lanouette discusses an upcoming History Channel program about the roles of Einstein and Leo Szilard in the beginning of the nuclear age; and Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie reports on a recent sustainable development conference. Plus, test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.
2006-Mar-29 • 24 minutes
Attacking antibiotic resistance; William Shockley biography; flu data policy.
In this episode, Scientific American writer Gary Stix talks about the ingenious way researcher Floyd Romesberg is attacking the problem of antibiotic resistance; award-winning journalist Joel Shurkin discusses his new biography of controversial physics Nobel Laureate William Shockley; and genomics researcher Steven Salzberg raises questions about the way flu data is currently shared and disseminated among scientists and the effects on public health. Also, test your knowledge about current events in science...
2006-Mar-22 • 23 minutes
Combat stress, Intel high school science competition, GLOBE At Night astronomy project
In this episode, clinical psychologist and U.S. Army Captain Bret Moore discusses combat stress in Iraq and his article on combat stress in the February/March issue of Scientific American Mind; Intel Science Talent Search winner Shannon Babb talks about her winning project; and astronomer Stephen Pompea speaks about the GLOBE At Night worldwide science project taking place the week of March 22. Also, beer with us while you listen to our current events quiz.
2006-Mar-15 • 22 minutes
Flores hobbit update, chemistry in art, environmental impostors.
In this episode, Scientific American.com editorial director Kate Wong talks about the anthropology community's latest take on the remains of tiny humans from Flores; chemist Jennifer Mass discusses how she uses her science background artistically; and journalist Paul D. Thacker reveals how what appear to be environmental groups may be wolves in sheep's clothing. Also, test your science knowledge with our current events quiz.
2006-Mar-08 • 22 minutes
Genetics of longevity, diaper-free movement, possible plane problems from personal electronics
In this episode, biologist Lenny Guarente talks about his Scientific American article on the genetics of aging; anthropologist Meredith Small discusses the "diaper-free movement"; and computer engineer M. Granger Morgan talks about the possible dangers to aircraft navigation posed by electronic devices used by passengers. Also: see if you can spot the fake science story in the batch we'll throw your way.
2006-Mar-01 • 23 minutes
Cosmic ray threat, sasquatch DNA, geochemist cook
In this episode, astrophysicist Eugene Parker talks about his Scientific American article on the threat that cosmic rays pose to astronauts; geneticist Dave Coltman discusses testing the DNA of an alleged sasquatch; and geochemist Don Siegel discusses how he became the author of a Chinese cookbook. Also: test your science smarts with our quiz.
2006-Feb-22 • 27 minutes
Computer security, curling, AAAS meeting
In this episode, Scientific American senior writer Wayt Gibbs talks about what he learned at a major computer security conference, the RSA Conference 2006; physicist Mark Shegelski reveals some of the science secrets about the Olympic sport of curling; and frequent Scientific American contributor JR Minkel discusses a number of stories he picked up at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Also: test your knowledge with our science-in-the-news quiz
2006-Feb-15 • 21 minutes
Avian flu, marijuana policy, new tyrannosaur
In this episode, Scientific American staff editor Christine Soares talks about avian flu; Bruce Mirken discusses marijuana policy in the U.S. and England; and paleontologist Gregory Erickson describes the newfound long-lost cousin of T. rex. Also: test your science smarts with our quiz and hear how yesterday's comics might have handled today's news.
2006-Feb-08 • 18 minutes
Evolution, stem cells and the National Inventors Hall of Fame
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie reflects on the Korean stem cell debacle; the National Inventors Hall of Fame announces this year's inductees; and evolution defender Eugenie Scott discusses the importance of the decision in the recent Dover evolution trial. Also: hear outtakes from the CSI show you're never going to see on TV.