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Podcast Profile: The Story Collider

podcast imageTwitter: @storycollider
610 episodes
2012 to present
Average episode: 26 minutes
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Categories: Science-Adjacent • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 610. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-12 • 36 minutes
Full Circle: Stories about going back to the start
Featuring Gregor Posadas and Nandhu Balakrishnan
2024-Apr-05 • 33 minutes
This Is Why We Play: Stories about motivation
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers give us behind the scenes glimpses into why they do what they do. Part 1: While constantly staring at Mercury’s craters for NASA's MESSENGER mission, a picture of the Galapagos Islands captures Paul Byrne’s attention. Part 2: While serving in the navy to get his engineering degree, David Estrada is struck by the level of poverty he witnesses on the tiny island of East Timor. Paul Byrne received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in geology from Trinity Co...
2024-Mar-29 • 33 minutes
Disgust: Stories about feeling revulsion
Disgust, often seen as a primal and universal emotion, can reveal a lot about our values, boundaries, and cultural norms. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are confronted with something that grosses them out. Part 1: While on a school trip in Russia, Cassandra Hartblay’s vegetarian dietary restrictions keep getting tested. Part 2: As a meat lover, Jenny Kleeman has high hopes for the world’s first lab-grown chicken nugget. Dr. Cassandra Hartblay is an Assistant Professor at the University of ...
2024-Mar-22 • 26 minutes
Taking You With Me: Stories about precious memories
Memories are the threads that weave together the tapestry of our lives, each one a cherished treasure that shapes who we are and where we've been. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about memories that altered their lives. Part 1: After constantly living in the shadow of her older sister, RJ Millena isn’t sure how to carve her own path. Part 2: When Jasmine Anenberg finds out her high school friend overdoses while she’s working in the field, she starts to see the world differentl...
2024-Mar-15 • 30 minutes
Checking On You: Stories about concern for others
There are many ways you can ask someone “Are you okay?” In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers navigate the complexities of human connection and how we show concern for those we love. Part 1: Dave Kalema keeps lying to his sick mother about how bad his knee injury is. Part 2: Dionne C. Monsanto doesn’t know how to help her daughter with her mental illness. Dave Kalema is a Ugandan-American documentary filmmaker who tells stories of belonging, identity, and personal transformation. He got his start...
2024-Mar-08 • 31 minutes
Pi vs. Pie: Stories about Pi Day
Happy Pi Day! In honor of upcoming Pi Day on March 14, this week’s episode features two stories about the nerdy celebration. Both of our storytellers will whisk you away on a journey filled with equal parts math and pastry, proving that whether you're calculating circumference or slicing into a sweet treat, there's always a story to be savored. Part 1: After her colleagues make fun of the pie she brings on Pi Day, Desiré Whitmore decides she will never again celebrate Pi Day. Part 2: Math teacher Theodore C...
2024-Mar-01 • 25 minutes
Temperature Rising: Stories about forest fires
Wildfires can impact so many things, from ecosystems to the air quality, to even the economy. But in this week’s episode, both of our storytellers take a look at the more personal impacts of forest fires. Part 1: In college, Nick Link almost burns down the entire neighborhood when he and his friends set some Christmas trees on fire. Part 2: After moving to America from Mumbai, Urvi Talaty feels like she has finally escaped the heavily polluted air that choked her as a kid. Nick Link is a second year PhD stu...
2024-Feb-23 • 30 minutes
Am I The Problem?: Stories from CZI's Rare As One Project
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)'s Rare As One Network brings together rare disease patients and advocates in their quest for cures. Both of this week’s stories are from Rare As One grantees who are sharing their stories and experiences navigating diagnoses and organizing their communities to accelerate research, identify treatments, and change the course of their diseases. Part 1: When Riley Blevins’ son gets diagnosed with a rare disease, it changes his life. Part 2: Heidi Wallis becomes completely ob...
2024-Feb-16 • 25 minutes
Love Story: Stories with a happily ever after
In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s episode features two stories where love finds a way. Part 1: Scientist Bruce Hungate yearns to find someone who cares about the tiny details as much as he does. Part 2: Science reporter Ari Daniel and his wife are at odds when it comes to moving their family to Lebanon, but the pandemic changes things. Bruce Hungate conducts research on microbial ecology of global change from the cell to the planet. His research examines the imprint of the diversity of life on the cy...
2024-Feb-09 • 26 minutes
Peer Review: Stories about other people's opinions
In science, peer review plays a critical role in figuring out if research is good enough, robust enough. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers find themselves looking for outside feedback on if they’re good enough. Part 1: At her NASA summer internship, Kirsten Siebach feels completely out of place among the Mars mission scientists. Part 2: Alison Spodek’s need to be seen as smart takes over her life. Kirsten Siebach is an Assistant Professor in the Rice University Department of Earth, Environmen...
2024-Feb-02 • 30 minutes
Postpartum: Stories about postpartum depression
CDC research shows about 1 in 8 women with a recent live birth experience symptoms of postpartum depression. In this week’s episode, our storytellers share their experience with postpartum depression. Part 1: With a new kid and her husband moving to Iowa for a job, Angie Chatman’s mental health begins to suffer. Part 2: Anna Agniel’s romantic notions of married life with a child are broken when her husband relapses and her son is born with a cleft palate. Angie Chatman is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer, ...
2024-Jan-26 • 40 minutes
Faith: Stories about religion and science
Throughout history, the relationship between faith and science has been complex – a delicate interplay between the spiritual and the empirical, where questions of existence, purpose, and the unknown have often intersected. In this week’s episode, our storytellers examine the delicate balance between religious convictions and the pursuit of empirical truths. Part 1: Comedian John Fugelsang doesn’t want to get married just to appease his Catholic parents. Part 2: When Chris Mustafa Gray’s daughter is born, hi...
2024-Jan-19 • 28 minutes
Failure: Stories about failing in science
In science, failure is as important as success. In this week’s episode, our storytellers share times when they failed at science or science failed them. Part 1: Samuel Scarpino is convinced that the paper he wrote about how hard it is to predict infectious diseases should win a Nobel Prize. Part 2: It’s grad student Moronke Harris’ turn with the deep-sea robot that no one can find, and she needs to conduct her research.. Samuel V. Scarpino, PhD, is the Director of AI + Life Sciences at Northeastern Universi...
2024-Jan-12 • 30 minutes
Hallucinogenics: Stories about tripping
In this week’s episode, our storytellers delve into their personal encounters with psychedelics—moments where reality became a blur, perceptions began to shift, and the boundaries of consciousness expanded. Part 1: While tripping on acid, Michael Czajkowski goes into anaphylaxis. Part 2: Dust Cwaine sees their body differently while experimenting with magical mushrooms. Michael Czajkowski is an origami physicist, fashion redesigner, experimental science communicator and amateur bicycle pilot. Their research...
2024-Jan-05 • 35 minutes
Life and Death: Stories about our relationship with death
Happy New Year! In this week’s episode, our storytellers ponder the big questions about life and death. Part 1: When Shannon Turner’s high school friend passes away from a rare virus from a monkey, she contemplates her sense of purpose. Part 2: After a traumatizing experience with a dead body leaves journalist Erica Buist agoraphobic, she embarks on a journey to understand how other cultures handle death in hopes of healing. Shannon M. Turner is a professional storyteller and story coach, as well as a write...
2023-Dec-29 • 35 minutes
Fresh Start: Stories about new beginnings
As we say goodbye to 2023 and ring in the New Year, this week’s classic episode is all about the novel. Part 1: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab, Cindy Joe finds comfort in the friendship of her unconventional pet. This story originally aired on July 27, 2018 in an episode titled “Loneliness: Stories about finding friends”. Part 2: Actor Gail Thomas is invited to take part in a study testing mushrooms as treatment for depression in cancer survivors. This story o...
2023-Dec-22 • 34 minutes
A Child Is Born: Stories about labor and delivery
Happy Holidays! In this week’s classic episode, both stories explore the miracle of life. Part 1: An expert in oxytocin, the hormone released during birth, Bianca Jones Marlin is determined to have a natural birth — even as the hours of labor add up… This story originally aired on Nov. 9, 2018, in an episode titled “Pregnancy”. Part 2: Ed Pritchard inadvertently becomes a leatherback turtle midwife during his first field job. This story originally aired on Mar. 4, 2022, in an episode titled “Miracle of Life...
2023-Dec-15 • 28 minutes
DIY: Stories about doing science oneself
Science doesn’t always have to be in fancy labs with million dollar equipment and shiny beakers. Sometimes, science can be a bit more DIY. In this week’s episode, our storytellers take a hands-on approach to scientific discovery. Part 1: Brittany Ross gets inspired when her high school physics teacher assigns a physics video project where she has to demonstrate a law of physics out in the real world. Part 2: Nothing will get in the way of Greg Pandelis’s dreams to be a zoologist, except maybe a giant cliff....
2023-Dec-08 • 27 minutes
Bringing My Whole Self: Stories about being yourself in science
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers strive to be their authentic selves in academia. Part 1: Raul Fernandez dreamed of going to university to study engineering. When he gets to Boston University, he feels unwelcome. Part 2: Cynthia Chapple was continually underestimated by her teachers and struggled with minimizing aspects of herself to be accepted. Dr. Raul Fernandez is a scholar-activist. As a Senior Lecturer at Boston University, he studies, writes, and teaches about inequities in education...
2023-Dec-01 • 27 minutes
Active Participant: Stories about being a research subject
Research participants are sometimes the most important part of science. Without participants there is no data, and without data there are no findings. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers become an active part of scientific research. Part 1: Therapist Susan Fee signs up herself and her daughter for a stress management research study. Part 2: While suffering from a panic attack, comedian Kenice Mobley reflects on a psychology experiment about the impact of race on comfort that she took part in. S...
2023-Nov-24 • 31 minutes
Reality: Stories about one's perception of real life
Everyone thinks they know the difference between fantasy and reality. But do we? In this week’s episode, our storytellers struggle to keep a firm grasp on the real world. Part 1: Shawn Musgrave's seizures make him feel like he's experiencing deja vu. Part 2: Shane Mauss’ bipolar disorder causes him to lose his sense of reality. Shawn Musgrave is a lawyer, journalist, lawyer-who-represents-journalists, and recent transplant to New York. His work has appeared in POLITICO, The Verge, VICE, The Intercept, and t...
2023-Nov-17 • 25 minutes
Career Path: Stories about career journeys
While some people have straight forward career paths, in this week’s episode, both of our storyteller’s career paths are a little more complex. Part 1: Witnessing mistakes health care professionals made after her dad has a stroke, Jenn Kamara vows never to work in medicine. Part 2: For Theresa Ball, it seems like everything in life is keeping her from her dream of becoming a nurse. Originally hailing from Long Island, Jenn Kamara struggles with pronouncing words like “coffee” and “water.” Jenn has told sto...
2023-Nov-10 • 40 minutes
Shame: Stories about things we hide
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers confront their secret shames and learn to accept themselves, warts and all. Part 1: Comedian Amy Veltman doesn’t want to acknowledge her embarrassing gastrointestinal issues. Part 2: Mike Lambert seeks a friend’s help to pick out new glasses, but his secret body dysmorphia threatens to undo him. Amy Veltman is a New York City comic who’s performed across the country. She was the producer and co-host of podcast, 2 Moms on The Couch, which, like her comedy, fea...
2023-Nov-03 • 32 minutes
Politics: Stories about the political side of science
While many people believe science and politics should be kept separate, politics is deeply ingrained in science. Be it through funding agendas, cultural lobbies or personal bias – politics can shape the science in many ways. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales about when politics and science meet. Part 1: Scientist Gretchen Goldman struggles to protect the data and integrity of science under the new Trump administration. Part 2: Journalist Liz Landau feels the wrath of the internet ...
2023-Oct-27 • 34 minutes
Paradoxical: Stories about thoughts we shouldn't have
We all have thoughts that can be seemingly absurd or self-contradictory. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers reckon with their conflicting thoughts. Part 1: After surviving breast cancer, comedian Ophira Eisenberg hates the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon. Part 2: After the sudden death of his mom, Richard Kemeny feels numb to the world and his feelings. Ophira Eisenberg is a standup comic and host of NPR’s nationally syndicated comedy, trivia show Ask Me Another where she interviews and pl...
2023-Oct-20 • 34 minutes
Anxious Mind: Stories about troublesome worries
Anyone can feel anxious, but when anxiety starts impacting your life, it can be problematic. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers confront their worries. Part 1: Devon Kodzis thought they had their anxiety under control until a routine doctor appointment. Part 2: Naturally anxious neuroscientist Tammy Spence becomes preoccupied with her dog’s health. Devon Kodzis has been called a joyful bumblebee. They have had job titles including animal trainer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, educator, and curr...
2023-Oct-13 • 23 minutes
Helping Hand: Stories about the kindness of strangers
Whether it’s a completing a lab, writing up a grant proposal, or just getting through everyday life, everyone needs a little help. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share moments where they lent or received support. Part 1: One moment Keith Mellnick is cycling home, the next he’s in the emergency room of the hospital with no idea what happened to him. Part 2: Medical student Fabiola Plaza feels compelled to help a woman on the New York subway get a doctor’s appointment. Keith Mellnick is a fr...
2023-Oct-06 • 31 minutes
New Normal: Stories about finding a new way of being
In science, we’re constantly learning, adapting and evolving. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers need to reckon with a new normal. Part 1: After a neurological disorder leaves Tracey Starin visually impaired, she struggles to fill the void of her love for reading. Part 2: At first comedian Ayanna Dookie doesn’t take her Lupus diagnosis seriously. Tracey Starin is a writer and storyteller from Queens, NY. She has performed on actual and virtual stages in Boston, San Diego, Chicago, Toronto, and...
2023-Sep-29 • 31 minutes
Reclamation: Stories about setting something right
We all know life isn’t perfect, but sometimes we get a do-over. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers get a chance to redeem a part of their past. Part 1: When Barbara Todd isn’t with her dad when he passes, she searches for forgiveness. Part 2: Grad student Nina Christie’s preconceived notions of the Skid Row needle exchange get turned on their head when she begins volunteering there. Barbara Todd started her American journey after relocating from British Columbia, Canada to California as a youn...
2023-Sep-22 • 31 minutes
Mortified: Stories about embarrassing situations
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers experience the most humbling of human experiences: being embarrassed. Part 1: Emma Yarbrough feels in control of her future after undergoing an egg retrieval operation until a burning sensation sends her for a loop. Part 2: When the doctor finds blood in Carlos Kotkin’s urine, he ends up having to undergo some deeply humiliating procedures. Emma Yarbrough is a storyteller, actor, playwright, arts administrator and silly billy from beautiful (and tiny) Eufaula...
2023-Sep-15 • 34 minutes
Searching: Stories about trying to find something
If you think about it, science is one big act of searching. There's always something to look for, whether it's the answer to a hypothesis or the next Goldilocks planet. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers find themselves looking high and low. Part 1: Comedian Sam Lyons is determined to not get involved with his partner’s feral cats, until one goes missing. Part 2: In an act of desperation, Bhaskar Sompalli goes on a hunt to find free lab equipment to make his graduate school experiment work. Sa...
2023-Sep-08 • 29 minutes
Food Science: Stories about things we eat
As famed Iron Chef Alton Brown once said: “Everything in food is science”. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers discover something about themselves through the science of food. Part 1: Corn researcher Katie Murphy is scared becoming a TikToker will ruin her credibility as a serious scientist. Part 2: As a kid, Scottie Rowell gets an unpleasant surprise when they don’t wait to eat their grandmother’s pickles. Katie Murphy is a plant biologist who loves studying the inner workings of corn. She is ...
2023-Sep-01 • 33 minutes
Break Ups: Stories about the end of a relationship
Matters of the heart aren’t usually associated with science, but in this week’s episode, both of our storytellers turn to science to cope with heartbreak. Part 1: When Anna Peterson gets dumped she takes a job with two national wildlife refuges in remote Alaska to prove to her ex he made a mistake. Part 2: When Moiya McTier’s fiancé breaks up with her weeks before their wedding, she turns to the Milky Way to heal. Anna Peterson is originally from Colorado, but has called Atlanta home for nearly 2.5 years. S...
2023-Aug-25 • 30 minutes
Uncharted: Stories about disability in STEM
People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM fields, and all too often, they face isolation and ableism in academia. In this week’s episode, two stories from the recently published book Uncharted: How Scientists Navigate Their Own Health, Research, and Experiences of Bias, have been adapted for the podcast. Both of our storytellers showcase how they, as scientists with disabilities, navigate their careers. Part 1: When Skylar Bayer’s heart condition sidelines her from doing her dive research, she s...
2023-Aug-18 • 34 minutes
Job Search: Stories about finding employment
Searching for a job in science or in another field is often a daunting task with plenty of challenges, both expected and unexpected. In this week’s episode, each of our storytellers embark on a job hunt that is anything but straightforward. Part 1: To get funding for grad school, Hakim Walker needs to pass a lie detector test. Part 2: In order to keep up the facade of living the American Dream, Xavier Bettencourt applies for a job as a science educator. Hakim Walker was born in Brooklyn, New York to a large...
2023-Aug-11 • 30 minutes
Burn Out: Stories about mental exhaustion
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, burnout is defined as “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others.” This is what our storytellers are experiencing in this week's episode. Part 1: During her pediatric residency, Erica Martinez finds herself struggling to feel empathy for some of her patients. Part 2: While working as a doctor in South Bronx, Karinn Glover feels overwhelmed and powerless wh...
2023-Aug-04 • 33 minutes
Overthinking: Stories about repetitive thoughts
If you’ve ever found yourself thinking about a problem or a situation over and over again, you might be an over-thinker like our storytellers. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers think about something too much and for too long. Part 1: Clinical psychologist Saren Seeley can’t stop obsessing about her research. Part 2: In therapy, comedian Nat Towsen realizes he’s always thinking too much. Saren H. Seeley is a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychiatry Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mo...
2023-Jul-28 • 29 minutes
Fish Out of Water: Stories about feeling out of one's element
When life throws you into unusual or unfamiliar situations, it’s hard to feel comfortable or confident in your skills. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers grapple with feeling like a fish out of water. Part 1: When Neeti Jain dissects her first fish in the lab, she feels like she’s not cut out to be a scientist in marine ecology. Part 2: As the new chief public health officer, Harold Cox feels out of his depth when their office receives a package with what appears to be anthrax. Neeti Jain is a...
2023-Jul-21 • 32 minutes
Standing Your Ground: Stories about sticking up for yourself
Confrontation can be scary and speaking up for yourself takes courage. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers find their confidence to fight for themselves. Part 1: When Luis Melo doesn’t see his name on a report that he spent nine months working on, he decides to confront his boss. Part 2: When another professor at a conference makes an inappropriate comment toward Sara Maloni, she decides to speak up. Luis Melo has been providing professional Data Science consulting services in various industrie...
2023-Jul-14 • 32 minutes
POV: Stories about others' point of view
July is Disability Pride month, which is all about empowerment and visibility for those with disabilities. In honor of Disability Pride month, this week’s episode features two stories from the point of view of people with disabilities. Part 1: When Julie Baker is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and told her vision might get worse, she struggles to accept she’s going blind. Part 2: Javier Torres becomes frustrated with others' responses to his neurosensorial hearing loss. Julie Baker is a Boston-based writ...
2023-Jul-07 • 30 minutes
Resurfacing: Stories about coming back to oneself
Whether you’re in the lab or the field, not feeling like yourself sucks. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers find a way to feel like themselves again. Part 1: Some harsh words from Sarah Kucenas’ high school swim coach shake her confidence and she gives up her dream of being a pediatric neurosurgeon. Part 2: When Michael Herrera’s COVID turns into long COVID, he struggles to feel like himself until he starts birding. Sarah Kucenas is fascinated by the developing brain. Specifically, she and her...
2023-Jun-30 • 31 minutes
Extracurricular Activities: Stories about life outside of science
Extracurricular activities aren’t just to look good on college applications. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers explore their passions outside of science. Part 1: When Kaze Wong chooses the path of physics over high jumping, he feels like he betrayed a part of himself. Part 2: Even though Micaela Martinez spent most of her life working towards becoming a professor, she still doesn’t feel comfortable in the academic world, so she secretly starts rapping. Kaze Wong is a postdoctoral research fel...
2023-Jun-23 • 33 minutes
Rich Tackenberg: A psychic in West Hollywood
In this week’s episode, we take a look at the mysterious and deceptive world of psychics. Part 1: Rich Tackenberg is skeptical when a psychic tells him there’s something wrong with his car. Part 2: Science journalist Katherine J. Wu interviews neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik to get a better idea of how psychics, like the one from Rich Tackenberg’s story, operate. Rich Tackenberg is: a happily married gadget geek, a new homeowner, an SNL apologist, an Apple fanboy, a recent convert ...
2023-Jun-16 • 30 minutes
Fatherhood: Stories about dads
In honor of Father’s Day, this week’s episode is an ode to all the dads out there who are doing their best. Part 1: Pediatrician Ken Haller goes off script when a father comes into the exam room with his young son. Part 2: After years of Mikala Jamison’s dad helping her with her mental health struggles, the roles are reversed when her father is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. Ken is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. H...
2023-Jun-09 • 29 minutes
Unpleasant Sensations: Stories about being uncomfortable
Science and the natural world offer us opportunities to experience a range of sensations -- some of them deeply unpleasant. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about some less than pleasant moments. Part 1: While staying with host family in an unfamiliar city for a conference, Andrew Spink wakes up to find he can’t swallow. Part 2: Distracted by thoughts of his career, entomologist Ralph Washington, Jr. gets swarmed by mosquitos. Andrew Spink is a storyteller. Through his work as ...
2023-Jun-02 • 32 minutes
Systematic Errors: Stories about failed experiments
Many factors can lead to a failed experiment -- human errors, errors in measurement, and sometimes just random errors. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales of when their experiments didn’t go as planned. Part 1: As a new science teacher, Zeke Kossover is determined to capture the attention of his students. Part 2: While on a field expedition in Kenya, Evan Wilson is tasked with the seemingly impossible job of figuring out the role of dust in wearing down herbivore teeth. Marc “Zeke” ...
2023-May-26 • 34 minutes
Initiations: Stories about proving oneself
Whether it’s a new school or new job, there’s often some sort of “try out” to see if you cut the mustard. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about their own inductions. Part 1: When Colleen McDermott signs up to be a forestry conservationist for the summer, they soon notice that none of their colleagues look like them. Part 2: On Pete McCorvey’s first deployment in the United States Navy, he is dreading the part of training where he gets pepper sprayed. Colleen McDermott, origina...
2023-May-19 • 33 minutes
Learning: Stories from our workshops
In this week’s episode, we are highlighting two storytellers from The Story Collider's Education Program and the stories they crafted as a result of the lessons they learned throughout their workshops. Part 1: As a teenager growing up in Iran Yasamin Jodat hears about a robotics competition at the local boys' school, and she is determined to do whatever it takes to be part of it. Part 2: A third cancer diagnosis threatens to ruin JulieAnn Villa's love of running. Yasamin Jodat is currently a Senior Automati...
2023-May-12 • 32 minutes
Motherhood: Stories about becoming a mom
In honor of Mother’s Day, this week we’re sharing stories about the journey to becoming a mom. Part 1: Discouraged by the medical approach to pregnancy, Julia Whitehouse decides to have a home birth. Part 2: When Nessa Goldman splits with her husband, her dream of having children by age 35 is in jeopardy. Julia Whitehouse is a writer and comedian and mother and daughter. She has written for New Yorker Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s, Splitsider, Mutha Magazine, and POPSUGAR. She hosts Manhattan’s longest running ...
2023-May-05 • 33 minutes
Expertise: Stories about knowledge
Experts are a dime a dozen, but true expertise is hard to come by. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers – who shared their stories at our annual Proton Prom fundraiser this week – struggle with finding the knowledge they seek. We’re especially grateful to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for supporting the event and making this all possible. Part 1: When Zach Weinersmith agrees to create a trivia game, he doesn’t realize how hard it is to come up with facts that are both interesting and actually true...
2023-Apr-28 • 32 minutes
Skin Deep: Stories about racial disparities
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about the problems of finding representation of diverse skin tones in science and medicine. Part 1: While preparing for a lecture, Stacy Vasquez finds a racist term on a skin slide. Part 2: While learning about Lyme disease in medical school, LaShyra Nolen isn’t satisfied when the professor can’t tell her what the rash would look like on dark skin. As a first-generation Chicano in STEM, Stacy Vasquez recognizes the importance of addressing the S...
2023-Apr-21 • 35 minutes
Against the Odds: Stories from CZI's Rare As One Project
In this week’s episode, both of our stories are from CZI's Rare As One Project. CZI’s Rare As One Project brings together rare disease patients and advocates in their quest for cures. Both of this week’s stories are from Rare As One grantees who are sharing their stories and experiences navigating diagnosis and organizing their communities to accelerate research, identify treatments, and change the course of their diseases. Part 1: After ending up in the ER for the third time, Rachel Alvarez struggles to un...
2023-Apr-14 • 34 minutes
Fear in the Lab: Stories about confronting danger
You can tell a lot about a person by how they react in the face of danger. In this week’s classic episode, both of our storytellers must find the courage to brave the perils of life and the lab. Part 1: Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working late one night alone in the lab when she accidentally sticks herself with a needle full of deadly toxin. This story originally aired on December 16, 2016 in an episode titled “Deadly Mistake.” Part 2: Ali Mustafa finds that the scars of war stay with him even at his...
2023-Apr-07 • 40 minutes
Observations: Stories about noticing the details
Making insightful observations is a key component of being a good scientist, or journalist, or filmmaker. Come to think of it, many careers rely on the ability to notice the details. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are keen observers of human and animal nature. Part 1: Documentary filmmaker Caitlin Starowicz is so focused on making her movie about endangered Mountain Gorillas a success that she fails to see what’s in front of her. Part 2: For a story on escape rooms, journalist Danny Wicent...
2023-Mar-31 • 30 minutes
Mariah Wilson: Anything To See A Forest Elephant
In this week’s episode, we get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to film a wildlife conservation documentary. Part 1: Documentary producer Mariah Wilson is days into making her film about the endangered Forest Elephant and still hasn’t seen one. Part 2: Science Journalist Katherine J. Wu interviews Mariah Wilson to learn more about the stars of her documentary Silent Forests. Mariah Wilson is a documentary producer and director with a focus on wildlife conservation whose work has taken her to six co...
2023-Mar-24 • 30 minutes
Road Not Taken: Stories about what could have been
In science it’s completely normal to wonder what would happen if you altered one variable or another – that’s what you do when you test a hypothesis – but when it comes to the choices we make in our lives, there will always be unanswered questions. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about their lives' fork-in-the-road moments. Part 1: As a child who loves biology and has Caribbean immigrant parents, Calvin Cato feels pressure to become a doctor. Part 2: Shane Hanlon can’t help but c...
2023-Mar-17 • 35 minutes
Lies: Stories about playing along
There’s a ton of reasons to lie, but experts have found that lies are most beneficial when they’re not selfish. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers do their best to play along for the sake of others. Part 1: While working as a camp counsellor at a camp for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, Gabe Mollica is determined to keep his promise to one of the campers. Part 2: Collette Micks finds herself going along with her mom’s absurd plan to act like her father isn’t dying of cancer....
2023-Mar-10 • 27 minutes
Community: Stories about finding a place to belong
Finding community within science can be a challenge. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers struggle with feeling out of place in science. Part 1: After his mentor and chemistry teacher uncle is murdered, André Isaacs feels adrift. Part 2: Engineer Joey Jefferson doesn’t feel like he belongs in science as a black bisexual man. A native of Jamaica, André Isaacs moved to the US to attend the College of the Holy Cross where he received his B.A. in Chemistry in 2005. He received his PhD from the Unive...
2023-Mar-03 • 35 minutes
Dogs: Stories about our furry friends
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales of man’s best friend, more scientifically known as canines. Part 1: Dog trainer Chris Brown needs to up his skills when he adopts a former bait dog named Terror. Part 2: David Crabb has to make some tough decisions when his dog, Charlie, starts having seizures. Chris Brown was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He's always had an affinity for animals, but especially for dogs. Chris spent most of his early childhood sneaking into neighbors' yard to pl...
2023-Feb-24 • 30 minutes
Katie Moriarty: The Mystical Wolverine
In this week’s episode, we learn all about the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae, the wolverine, and why they’re so special. Part 1: During her first research project in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Katie Moriarty thinks she might have spotted the impossible: a wolverine. Part 2: Science Journalist Katherine J. Wu interviews wildlife ecologist Katie Moriarty to find out more about these mystical wolverines. Dr. Katie Moriarty is a forest wildlife ecologist. Throughout her career, Katie ...
2023-Feb-17 • 32 minutes
Discovery: Stories about uncovering something new
In this week’s classic Story Collider episode, both our stories are about the thrill of exploration and discovering something new. Part 1: Ecologist Cylita Guy finds unexpected adventure when she studies bats in the field. Part 2: Maija Niemisto is a director of education on the Clearwater, America’s environmental flagship. But when a stranger comes to the side of the ship, it heralds a discovery about her city and herself. Cylita Guy is a PhD candidate and ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science Fe...
2023-Feb-10 • 28 minutes
In the Name of Love: Stories about the romantic side of science
While it might not have been until the 1940s that social scientists came up with tools to measure love, it is a lot more scientific than you might think. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers look at their relationships through a scientific lens. Part 1: Lauren Silverman finds herself drawing parallels between her relationship and steelhead trout. Part 2: During the pandemic, Grant Bowen is torn between his ailing grandmother and his immunocompromised girlfriend. Lauren Silverman is Head of Programm...
2023-Feb-03 • 36 minutes
Extra Mile: Stories about going over and above
If you've thought that you've ever gone above what is expected in your life, you haven't heard this week's stories. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers give new meaning to going the extra mile. Part 1: Jack Walsh exaggerates the severity of his brain tumor to get out of buying a timeshare. Part 2: Laura Fukumoto goes above and beyond trying to make a special mushroom dish from her grandmother’s childhood. Jack Walsh is an award-winning educational television producer as well as a writer, performer...
2023-Jan-27 • 27 minutes
Volunteered: Stories about unwanted jobs
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share times where they got stuck with jobs they never signed up for. Part 1: Ted Olds finds himself an unwilling participant in his son’s school assignment to look after an electronic baby doll. Part 2: Cadré Francis is less than thrilled when finds out he’s been volunteered to do demonstrations at a STEM camp. Ted Olds is a mechanical engineer and patent lawyer. He has worked on protecting technologies as wide ranging as Pratt and Whitney's geared aircraft e...
2023-Jan-20 • 24 minutes
Evolution: Stories about our changing relationship with science
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers explore their ever changing relationships with science over the course of their lives. Part 1: All throughout his life, Chris Wade has a love-hate relationship with science, with very little love. Part 2: After Caroline Hu’s parents make her choose between art and science at age 17, she struggles with her choice. Chris Wade is a native Washingtonian and a retired police officer. He is married to his best friend and adores his children. Chris enjoys storytelli...
2023-Jan-13 • 27 minutes
Misinterpretation: Stories about misreading the situation
To err is human, even if you’re a scientist. In this week’s episode, both storytellers share moments about a time when they got things a bit wrong. Part 1: As a newly minted postdoc, Eric Jankowski has the perfect solution for helping his mentees. Part 2: Science journalist Eric Boodman gets in a little too deep on an assignment about a senior care home. Eric Jankowski is an associate professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University, where he helps students use c...
2023-Jan-06 • 30 minutes
Trial and Error: Stories about problem solving
The new year is the time to try something new and in this week’s episode, both our storytellers approach their scientific problems in the most science-y way possible – through trial and error. It’s also how Story Collider is going to approach this year as we make a few small changes to the podcast. We can only hope to be as successful as our storytellers in our experiments. Happy New Year! Part 1: Computational biologist Francis Windram is determined to figure out how to make spider webs glow in the dark. P...
2022-Dec-30 • 35 minutes
Sport Science: Stories about the athletic side of science
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about the science-y side of sports and physical recreation. Part 1: Daniel Engber risks derailing his PhD by constant daydreaming, until his neuroscience research gives him an idea that will revolutionize the NBA. Part 2: Doomed to be the waterboy after tearing his ACL, engineering student Baratunde Cola is determined to make it back to his college's football team. Daniel Engber is a columnist for and Popular Science, and a regular contri...
2022-Dec-23 • 38 minutes
The Road to Science: Stories about winding paths to science
The journey to science is rarely straightforward and clear cut. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share their tales of how they came to science. Part 1: With her truck stuck in the mud in the Serengeti, Aerin Jacob learns three important lessons. Part 2: At four years old, Daniel Miller became one of the youngest people in the state of Texas ever to testify in court -- against his own mother, for sexual assault. As an adult, he struggles for stability, but finds hope in physics. (Warning: this s...
2022-Dec-16 • 33 minutes
Flora: Stories from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Without plants, we wouldn’t have air to breathe, and we also wouldn’t have these great stories inspired by the leafy green vegetation. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, features two stories from scientists of the cutting-edge research institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who had plants impact their life and science. Part 1: While everyone around Anthony Digrado is impressed with his plant PhD research, he isn’t sure if he a...
2022-Dec-09 • 32 minutes
Body Image: Stories about physical appearance
In this week’s episode, both our stories are about how we see our bodies and the often complex relationship we have with them. Part 1: With the looming possibility of a double mastectomy, Connie Henderson considers her options for reconstruction. Part 2: Growing up Dhruti Shah struggles to accept her dark body hair. Connie Henderson lives in Vancouver, Washington where she practices law with her husband Paul and son Jordan. Her practice focuses on representing people who have been injured as a result of med...
2022-Dec-02 • 39 minutes
All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers
In the lead up to our special Story Collider All-Star Slam on December 6, 2022, we’re featuring two past stories from our challengers on this week’s episode. If their old stories are this good, we can only imagine how awesome they’re gonna be competing for the title of Ultimate Science Storyteller. You won’t want to miss this online event! Register for free here. Part 1: A college course forces John Rennie to confront a furious rat, and himself. Part 2: As a kid, comedian Gastor Almonte seeks answers about ...
2022-Nov-25 • 27 minutes
Unlikely Paths: Stories from the Institute for Genomic Biology
There’s rarely an expected path in science. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, features two stories from scientists of their cutting-edge research institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who took unexpected journeys to get where they are today. Part 1: After a troubling personal experience with the health care system, Heng Ji decides to try to fix it. Part 2: When Brendan Harley is diagnosed with leukaemia in high school, it ch...
2022-Nov-18 • 32 minutes
Borders: Stories about divisions
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the divisions and limits that influence how we understand and operate in the world and in science. Part 1: César Nufio's childhood experience as a Guatamalan immigrant shapes his life in science. Part 2: Seeking acceptance as a child of Kurdish immigrants in Denmark, Cansu Karabiyik decides to become a scientist. César Nufio is a scientist and educator who is passionate about understanding the natural world and working to increase diversity and inclusion...
2022-Nov-11 • 31 minutes
Pain: Stories about unpleasant physical sensations
Pain is really weird, scientifically speaking. It’s not just a message from injured tissues to be accepted at face value, but a complex experience that can be influenced by your brain. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the aches, pains, and discomfort that come with life. Part 1: While Renee Joshua-Porter is in labor, she starts feeling a horrible stabbing pain in her back. Part 2: Despite being in excruciating pain, Gretchen Douma worries getting a knee replacement will ruin her blossom...
2022-Nov-04 • 29 minutes
Gross Science: Stories about the yucky parts of science
Science isn’t always pretty. In fact, more often than not it’s kinda disgusting. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories of the less glamorous side of science. Part 1: In order to score extra credit in her high school anatomy class, Amy Segal embarks on a journey to build a cat skeleton. Part 2: Dave Coyle goes on a smelly mission to find the endangered American burying beetle for his undergraduate project. Amy Segal works in finance by day but by night finds herself drawn to storytellin...
2022-Oct-28 • 29 minutes
Expect the Unexpected: Stories about unforeseen circumstances
Often, the hypotheses scientists make at the start of an experiment turn out to be correct. But sometimes, the results end up as something completely unpredictable. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about a time where they didn’t see it coming. Part 1: While shooting a TV show about the brain, producer Esther Stone gets the opportunity to interview a notorious serial killer. Part 2: As someone who’s seen every single episode of Mayday, Sara Mazrouei considers herself an expert in a...
2022-Oct-21 • 36 minutes
Childhood Dreams: Stories about youthful aspirations
When you’re a kid, anything seems possible, whether it’s becoming an astronaut or a princess, or even convincing your parents to get you that puppy. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers set themselves some lofty goals when they were young. Part 1: On the top bunk in her childhood bedroom, Kayla Hernandez makes plans to escape her home life and become a scientist. Part 2: As a teenager, Marc Abbott dreams of finding a wife and having kids, but a case of testicular torsion could ruin it all. Kayla He...
2022-Oct-14 • 35 minutes
Calling: Stories about one's vocation
Sometimes a job is just a way to make a living, but for our storytellers it is much more than that. In this week’s episode, our stories are about the undeniable draw to a career. Part 1: When pediatric oncologist Sam Blackman gets called for a consult by the obstetrics department, he’s convinced they have the wrong number. Part 2: After 25 years of teaching, Matthew Dicks questions whether or not he should still be a teacher. Sam Blackman is a physician-scientist and pediatric oncologist. He's the founder a...
2022-Oct-07 • 30 minutes
Blending In: Stories about trying to belong
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are scientists struggling to feel like they belong -- in and out of science. Part 1: Neuroscientist Pardeep Singh feels more than out of place when he ends up as a contestant on The Bachelorette. Part 2: When Thiago Arzua comes to the United States from Brazil to study science he doesn’t know how to fit in. Pardeep Singh is a neuroscientist, podcaster, Brooklynite and the first Indian-American to ever get a rose on The Bachelorette. Born and raised in Curitib...
2022-Sep-30 • 26 minutes
Healing Power of Nature: Stories about finding peace outside
Being in nature can have a powerful effect on our body and mind. It’s like a tonic for our well-being. Research has found that it reduces blood pressure, stabilizes our heart rate, and decreases the production of stress hormones. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers discover just how therapeutic nature can be. Part 1: Geography and Environmental Sciences Professor John Aubert is having a hard time connecting to his now teenage daughter. Part 2: Sarah Luchini may be in over her head, literally, as s...
2022-Sep-23 • 35 minutes
Overachieving: Stories about going above and beyond
This week we’re being the opposite of overachievers and re-running some classic Story Collider stories. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are dedicated to going the extra mile for science. Part 1: As a new, super competitive, graduate student Aditi Nadkarni thinks she has the perfect way to impress her advisor and labmates ... until one night it spirals a tiny bit out of control. This story originally aired on July 28, 2013. Part 2: While completing a community service requirement in high schoo...
2022-Sep-16 • 34 minutes
Unconventional Friendships: Stories about unlikely pairs
Science is filled with weird and wonderful bonds, like Bubbles the African Elephant and Bella the Black Labrador or potassium and argon. In this week’s classic episode, both our storytellers share stories of times when they made an unexpected connection. Part 1: Journalist Jon Ronson is excited when he hears about some 'sentient' robots, but when he goes to interview them he finds both less and more than he ever expected. This story originally aired on March 10, 2013. Part 2: When The Colbert Report calls a...
2022-Sep-09 • 40 minutes
Strength in Numbers: Stories from Latasha Wright
In this week’s episode, we have not one, but two stories from Story Collider’s board member Latasha Wright. This is her fourth story featured on our podcast and her fifth story she’s told for The Story Collider! Part 1: Biologist Latasha Wright is at work one day when she suddenly begins to experience intense pain. Part 2: Just before she leaves for her dream opportunity to teach marine science on the Red Sea, Latasha Wright gets a call that puts her plans in jeopardy. This story originally aired on Februar...
2022-Sep-02 • 22 minutes
Phobias: Stories about fears
If someone tells you they’re not afraid of anything, they’re a liar. As the wise Nelson Mandela once said: "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." In this week’s episode, both our storytellers face their fears, no matter how irrational. Part 1: Steve Whyte decides to try exposure therapy to overcome his fear of germs. Steve Whyte thought he had it all figured out until he left the womb. He was Elf #2 in the Old Greenwich Elementary School production of Twas The Nig...
2022-Aug-26 • 33 minutes
Out of Place: Stories about feeling like an outsider
Not to get too emo and Simple Plan lyrics on you, but have you ever felt out of place? Like somehow you just don't belong and no one understands you? Well, you’re not alone. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories of a time when they felt like the odd person out in science and in life. Part 1: Kevin Allison’s ADHD diagnosis sheds new light on why he always feels like he’s left out of the loop. Part 2: Diana Li feels isolated while studying squid in Mexico. For photos, transcripts, and mo...
2022-Aug-19 • 30 minutes
Anomaly: Stories about rare diseases
It's almost unbelievable that a change in something as small as a cell or a gene can lead to such big consequences. In this week’s episode, our stories are about rare childhood illnesses from different perspectives. Part 1: As a kid, Lauren Soares can’t understand why her parents are making such a big deal out her brain tumour. Part 2: Gerry Downes sees his research in a new light when his daughter is diagnosed with a rare genetic disease. Lauren Soares is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, New York....
2022-Aug-12 • 33 minutes
Taken Seriously: Stories about wanting respect
While some people can fake it 'til they make it, others find that being taken seriously is a challenge, no matter what they do. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about trying to get the respect they deserve. Part 1: Adam Ruben desperately wants to be seen as more than a junior scientist in his lab. Part 2: When Larissa Zhou says she wants to make better food for outer space, no one takes her seriously. Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He has appeared on th...
2022-Aug-05 • 35 minutes
Story Collider En Español: Historias científicas en español
En el episodio de esta semana, nuestros dos narradores comparten historias reales y personales sobre la ciencia en español. Parte 1: Ro Moran nos cuenta de un tiempo cuando él se hizo cargo de la vida de un animal y los corazones de sus compañeros de clase. Parte 2: En su primer semestre de ser profesora, Ana Maria Porras les enseña has sus estudiantes que es ser realmente poderosa y humilde. Ro is an award-winning chicken wing eater with a penchant for storytelling. His credits include Prose of Pie, Tiny T...
2022-Jul-29 • 27 minutes
Anxiety: Stories about feelings of worry
As the great Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”. It’s comforting to know that even in ancient Greece anxiety was a thing. In this week’s episode, both storytellers share stories of a time where their fears got the better of them. Part 1: When biologist Melina Giakoumis can’t find a single sea star she starts to worry she’s not cut out to be a scientist. Part 2: One question from a conference attendee sends math tea...
2022-Jul-22 • 27 minutes
Good Intentions: Stories about meaning well
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers set out to do the right thing, but you know what they say about good intentions. Part 1: During the pandemic, science journalist Maddie Bender signs up to be a contact tracer. Part 2: Veterinarian Leslie Brooks decides to make an exception to the rules for one pet owner. Maddie Bender is an innovation reporter at The Daily Beast and a science journalist whose work has appeared in STAT, Scientific American, VICE, Smithsonian Magazine, and other outlets. She holds...
2022-Jul-15 • 36 minutes
Anticipation: Stories about expectations
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers will have you on the edge of your seat, shivering with anti…….ci……….PATION as they share stories of high stakes scientific events. Part 1: Science journalist Nicholas St. Fleur spends two years preparing for what is to be an epic solar eclipse. Part 2: Chemical engineer Jason Raines finds himself leading the underdog team in a high school underwater robotics competition. Nicholas St. Fleur is a science reporter at STAT covering racial health disparities and hos...
2022-Jul-08 • 39 minutes
Healing: Stories about getting better
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share tales of getting back on their feet, both literally and figuratively. Part 1: After Natalia Reagan gives up on her dreams of being a scientist, a devastating accident changes everything. Part 2: As Jaclyn Siegel researches eating disorders she struggles with her own. Natalia Reagan is an anthropologist, primatologist, comedian, science communicator, host, actress, producer, podcaster, professor, writer, and monkey chasing weirdo. She was a comedy writer a...
2022-Jul-01 • 33 minutes
Bodies: Stories about anatomy
The human body is fascinating and sometimes kinda gross. In this week’s episode both our storytellers are sharing tales of their blood, flesh, and bones. Part 1: When Rachel Gross winds up with a chronic vaginal infection she refuses to believe her new favorite IUD is the culprit. Part 2: Bryan Berlin discovers a mysterious bump on his butt but is too self-conscious to get it checked out. Rachel E. Gross is a science and health reporter who writes for The New York Times, Scientific American, and the BBC. S...
2022-Jun-24 • 38 minutes
Tenacity: Stories about perseverance
As the great Rocky Balboa once said about life: “it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” But in this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories of their strength of will and persistence to keep going despite the scientific challenges. Part 1: Coral reef conservationist Emily Darling is at loss when a journalist asks her if she still has hope for coral reefs. Part 2: James Gordon readies himself for another one of his daughter’s heart surgeries. Dr Emily Darling...
2022-Jun-17 • 31 minutes
Father's Day: Stories about dads
In honor of Father’s Day, this week’s episode features stories about dads. Also in honor of Father’s Day, here’s one of our favorite science Dad jokes : What did the biologist wear to impress his date? Designer genes. Part 1: While Nadia Osman is growing up, her father is determined to get her to pursue a career in STEM. Part 2: Josh Silberg finds a new appreciation for his dad’s embarrassing antics when he’s forced to be an aquarium mascot. Nadia Osman is a comedy writer, performer, and daughter of an Egyp...
2022-Jun-10 • 48 minutes
Prom Night: Stories from Proton Prom
In this week’s episode we’re sharing some of the stories from our second annual fundraiser Proton Prom. Part 1: Comedian Josh Gondelman is terrified when he gets a call that his father doesn’t remember there’s an ongoing pandemic. Part 2: Growing up Ken Ono dreams of being anything but a mathematician. Part 3: As a teenager, Eric Jankowski is inspired when he meets his science heroes. Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City, where he currently lives and...
2022-Jun-03 • 29 minutes
Mysteries: Stories about enigmas
Usually mysteries are reserved for true crime podcasts and cop shows, but in this week’s episode, both our storytellers delve deep into a scientific puzzle in search of answers. Part 1: Sabrina Imbler encounters strange blobs in the ocean and becomes obsessed with figuring out what they are. Part 2: While visiting a new eye doctor, Derek Traub wonders if his Duane Syndrome and uneven vision are somehow connected. Sabrina Imbler is a writer based in Brooklyn. They are currently a staff writer at Defector Med...
2022-May-27 • 31 minutes
Becoming: Stories about growing into yourself
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers strive to realize their full, authentic selves in science. Part 1: After being bullied for his sexuality as a kid, Scott Taylor hesitates to bring his full self to his identity as a scientist. Part 2: Kamryn Parker’s high school history teacher unwittingly influences her scientific journey. Scott Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder where he leads the Taylor Lab on hybridizat...
2022-May-20 • 31 minutes
Obsession: Stories about scientific fixations
Science has a way of inspiring obsession. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers spiral deep into a personal all-consuming preoccupation. Part 1: Curtis Chou becomes dogmatic in his quest to correct a person’s incorrect fact on the internet. Part 2: Richard Cardillo is determined to uncover a priest’s secret to keeping a thriving cactus collection. Curtis Chou is a science communicator, puzzle enthusiast, and all-around adventure seeker. Curtis’s preferred bubble tea order is half-sweet strawberry m...
2022-May-13 • 36 minutes
Proton Prom: Stories from our Proton Prom storytellers
In anticipation of our upcoming Proton Prom, this week we’re re-airing the first Story Collider stories from two of the storytellers who will be performing at the event. Part 1: When Aparna Nancherla's science fair project goes awry, she and her fellow students make some unethical choices. Part 2: After a reluctant start, mathematician Ken Ono makes an unexpected discovery. Aparna Nancherla is a comedian and general silly billy. Her sense of humor is dry, existential, and absurd, with notes of uncalled-for ...
2022-May-06 • 30 minutes
DNA: Stories about genetics
It’s almost magical how a combination of just A, C, T, and G entirely determine who we are. In this week’s episode both our storytellers look at how their genes impact their lives. Part 1: Kristen Williams unexpectedly finds herself attending a family reunion after taking a DNA test. Part 2: After several miscarriages, Joanne O’Meara turns to genetic testing for answers. Kristen Williams is a Navy veteran and a Senior Business Manager. She loves storytelling because it allows her to relive the most impactfu...
2022-Apr-29 • 30 minutes
Fitting In: Stories about belonging
In this week’s episode both our storytellers struggle to find their place. Part 1: Heather Galindo studies her lab mates in hopes of understanding what it means to be a scientist. Part 2: When Rob Ulrich leaves their small town to study science, they keep waiting to feel like they belong somewhere. Heather Galindo has long combined her loves for marine science and storytelling by earning college degrees in both Oceanography and English Literature, plus working at a science communication non-profit organizat...
2022-Apr-22 • 37 minutes
Near Death Experiences: Stories about close calls
It’s not often people have a brush with death, but in this week’s episode both our storytellers are sharing stories about their near misses. Part 1: When Abraham Norfleet’s dad asks him to clean an underwater pump on their family farm, he tries to do it one breath. Part 2: Hana Schank wakes up in a hospital and has no idea how she got there. Abraham Norfleet is a writer, multi-disciplinary artist, and comedian. Back when he was still trying to be respectable he worked as a commercial artist in advertising, ...
2022-Apr-15 • 29 minutes
Passing the Test: Stories about making the grade
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are assessed and evaluated in ways they never expected. Part 1: During a visit to her doctor, comedian Angel Yau finds herself answering “always” to every question on the mental health evaluation. Part 2: Scientist Valerie Bentivegna doesn’t know what to do when her PhD supervisors tell her that her thesis isn’t good enough. Angel Yau is a comedian, storyteller, actor, and filmmaker from Queens, New York. She started her comedy career (unintentionally) in high s...
2022-Apr-08 • 42 minutes
Grief: Stories about dealing with loss
In this week's episode, our storytellers' lives and careers in science are shaped by a great loss in their lives. Part 1: When neuroscientist Macayla Donegan's partner is diagnosed with brain cancer, she's forced to make some tough decisions. Part 2: When Anant Paravatsu struggles in school, his mother comes to his rescue. Macayla Donegan is a recovering academic neuroscientist who just lost their spouse to brain cancer, and lost a career she had worked a long time for at the same time. She has a really cut...
2022-Apr-01 • 28 minutes
On the Spectrum: Stories about being neurodivergent
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share their experience with the autism spectrum. This episode is in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, which hopes to further people’s understanding and acceptance of autistic people. Part 1: Neuroscientist B. Blair Braden is confused as to why her neighbour doesn’t pick up on any of her social cues. Part 2: For her entire life Behavioral Neuroscientist Susan Rapley doesn’t understand why she can’t fit in. B. Blair Braden received her doctorate in Beh...
2022-Mar-25 • 33 minutes
Science of Gender: Stories outside the binary
In honor of International Transgender Visibility Day on March 31 this week’s episode celebrates storytellers who are transgender and gender nonconforming. Part 1: Comedian Riley Silverman attempts to use science to change the course of puberty. Part 2: Comedian Ang Buxton explores the differences in gender expectations from the football field to the middle school cafeteria. Riley Silverman is a writer, comedian, and professional geek. An author of Star Wars books, Riley is also a contributing writer for Ner...
2022-Mar-18 • 34 minutes
Diabetes Awareness: Stories about dealing with diabetes
In this week’s episode both our storytellers are sharing their experience with diabetes. More than 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, however, many people don’t know about the disease or that they even have it. This episode is to raise awareness for American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is on March 22 this year. Part 1: Diabetes runs in Michele Carlo’s family and she’s determined not wind up like them. Part 2: Comedian Gastor Almonte comes to terms with his new diabetes diagnosis. Michele Carlo...
2022-Mar-11 • 26 minutes
Pi Day: Stories about a very specific number
In honor of Pi Day on March 14, this week’s episode features two stories about how a particular number has impacted the live’s of the storytellers. Part 1: Math teacher Theodore Chao goes all out for Pi Day at his school. Part 2: Debbie Char learns what a flash point is while cooking a meal for her date. Theodore Chao is an associate professor of mathematics education at The Ohio State University. He who loves using video and storytelling to get kids to share about how they really do math, not what someone ...
2022-Mar-04 • 32 minutes
The Miracle of Life: Stories about birth
In this week’s episode both our storytellers share their experience of that beautiful and magical moment when new life is brought into this world. Part 1: Ed Pritchard inadvertently becomes a leatherback turtle midwife during his first field job. Part 2: Science reporter Ari Daniel's life is influenced by his remarkable grandmother. A native of South Florida, Ed Pritchard has fostered a love for the marine environment since an early age. Ed holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the Univers...
2022-Feb-25 • 34 minutes
Work: Stories about science as a job
In this week’s episode both our storytellers give us a glimpse into how they make a living in science. Part 1: After a gruelling residency shift, Natalia Khosla starts questioning how medical students are trained. Part 2: Mateus F. Carneiro doesn’t know what to do when his paycheck still hasn’t show up three months into his new research job. Natalia Khosla, who also goes by Neha, is an artist, dancer, medical student, and radical intersectional feminist whose activism, research, and art is focused on the le...
2022-Feb-18 • 30 minutes
Unconventional Methods: Stories about finding a different way
Wasn’t it Einstein who said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? In this week’s episode both our storytellers aren’t in danger of falling prey to Einstein’s version of insanity; they definitely try something new. Part 1: A neurological condition makes Adam Selbst a prime target for muggers but things get weird when he tries to stop one. Part 2: Cassandra Quave learns there’s more than one way into medicine. Adam Selbst is a writer and graphic d...
2022-Feb-11 • 31 minutes
In & Out of Love With Science: Stories about relationships with STEM
When you’re in love with science, it can be as messy and complex as any type of romantic relationship. In this week’s episode both our storytellers grapple with their complicated feelings for their discipline. Oh also, Happy Valentine’s Day! Part 1: Gregory Gedman wonders if he made the right choice in pursuing a career in research. Part 2: After selling all of her old math books, Gioia De Cari vows to never look back. Gregory Gedman studies the genetics of vocal imitation in songbirds and humans to provid...
2022-Feb-04 • 47 minutes
Representation: Stories about diversity in STEM
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers examine the importance of diversity and representation in science – and not just in their research sample. Part 1: While serving on diversity panel, biologist Latasha Wright is asked if representation in STEM matters, prompting her to reflect on her experiences. Part 2: Leah Clyburn's childhood experiences with nature – and with bigotry – come together to inform her career in environmentalism. Latasha Wright, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, received her Ph.D. ...
2022-Jan-28 • 30 minutes
Validity: Stories about finding validation
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are seeking what all scientists are looking for: validity. If you want to check the reliability of this episode though, we suggest listening to it more than once. Part 1: Adrian Demeritte struggles to find a reason to stay in science after he loses his biggest inspiration. Part 2: After years of a chronic disorder make Becky Feldman feel like she’ll be single forever, she finds acceptance from an unusual source. Adrian Demeritte is a fourth year PhD gr...
2022-Jan-21 • 35 minutes
Paradigm Shift: Stories about the moment when everything changes
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers experience something that irrevocably alters their lives. Part 1: Carl Zimmer learns he has a lot in common with bats hibernating in an abandoned mine. Part 2: In the midst of a big move, a global pandemic, and social unrest, neuroscientist Aya Osman finds her purpose. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times, where he has been covering Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. He is also the author of 14 books about science, including Life's Edge: T...
2022-Jan-14 • 29 minutes
BUGS: Stories about creepy crawlies
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers had to deal with some minibeasts, AKA insects, and surprisingly neither of them moved or burned the whole house down to vanquish them. (Sorry, spoilers!) Part 1: While doing field work in the Belize jungle, Rachel Mann Smith learns how to handle an Alien-style bug. Part 2: A case of lice makes Rachel Mans McKenny question her competence as a mother. Rachel Mann Smith is a doctor, epidemiologist, poet and parent trying to make it all work in the middle of the ...
2022-Jan-07 • 35 minutes
Going Out: Stories about what makes the world scary
This week, both of our storytellers are sharing stories about something that is pretty relatable at the moment — the challenges of leaving the house. Part 1: As she goes blind due to a progressive eye disease, M. Leona Godin must learn how to navigate the world with a cane. Part 2: A frightening encounter with police that leaves teenage Roque Rodriguez traumatized. M. Leona Godin is a writer, performer, educator, and the author of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural history of Blindness (Pantheon, 202...
2021-Dec-31 • 34 minutes
A Magical Night: Stories about moments when science was magic
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers experience a magical night that changes everything. Here’s hoping that we all have a similarly magical night tonight, on New Year’s Eve! Part 1: Growing up in Pakistan, Salman Hameed falls in love with the mysteries of the universe when he stumbles upon Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Part 2: As Zuri Sullivan pursues her dream of becoming an immunologist at Harvard, she begins to worry that she’s being “weeded out.” Salman Hameed is Charles Taylor Chair and Associate Pr...
2021-Dec-24 • 28 minutes
A Little Help: Stories about needing support
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are looking for a little help. Part 1: Jitesh Jaggi keeps his struggle with trichotillomania a secret, until one day his wife catches him in the act. Part 2: When Devan Sandiford finally decides to seek therapy, he finds it more difficult than expected. Jitesh Jaggi is a recent immigrant from India, currently living in Chicago. He ended his career in Finance one day when he lost all his data that he forgot to save on an Excel sheet, and realized that he just ...
2021-Dec-17 • 31 minutes
Respect: Stories about demanding to be seen
This week, we present two stories about respect in science — how we get it and how we keep it. Part 1: Meisa Salaita’s brand-new PhD in chemistry isn’t much help as she prepares to teach ninth-grade physics. Part 2: Early in her career, astronomer Jackie Faherty’s work is stunned when a senior researcher eviscerates her work at a conference. Meisa Salaita has made it her mission to help others see and appreciate the beauty of science by making it a part of everyday cultural experiences. Through her work fou...
2021-Dec-10 • 30 minutes
Human Reproduction: Stories about how we learn about sex
In this week’s episode, we share two stories about adventures in sex education. Part 1: Kate Willet is frustrated by the gaps of information in her abstinence-based sex ed class. Part 2: Sex ed instructor Charlie Blake fields an unexpected question from a student. Kate Willett is a comedian, actress, and writer whose raunchy feminist storytelling is both smart and relatable. Her 15 minute special premiered on Netflix’s “Comedy Lineup” in August 2018. She was recently a correspondent for the JIM JEFFERIES SH...
2021-Dec-03 • 39 minutes
Looking the Part: Stories about what a scientist looks like
This week we present two stories of people who struggled fitting in. Part 1: After switching majors to anthropology, Edith Gonzalez struggles to dress like an archaeologist. Part 2: At seven years old, Brianna A. Baker gets confronted with some uncomfortable realities of being the only Black girl in her class. Edith Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology at University of Buffalo, studying bio-prospecting and experimental agriculture in the 18th-century, English-speaking Caribbean. She, like many ...
2021-Nov-26 • 29 minutes
Becoming a Scientist: Stories about what it means to be a scientist
This week, we present two stories about the path to becoming a scientist and what makes a scientist a scientist. Part 1: Andrea Jones-Rooy quits her job as a scientist in order to become a scientist. Part 2: While studying flying foxes in Indonesia, Susan Tsang gets caught in a rainstorm that changes her relationship to field work. Andrea Jones-Rooy is a scientist, comedian, and circus performer. She's a professor of data science at NYU, where she also directs their undergraduate program in data science. Wh...
2021-Nov-19 • 37 minutes
Not Alone: Stories from CZI's Rare As One Project
This week, both of our storytellers are navigating rare disease diagnoses and the feelings of fear, uncertainty, and loneliness that can often come along with them. This episode was produced in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare As One Project, which brings together rare disease patient advocates from all over the world, uniting them in their quest for cures and working to lift up their efforts by offering new tools, grants programs, and capacity-building support and training. (For more ...
2021-Nov-12 • 35 minutes
Inspiring: Stories about telling #MyScienceStory
Please note: this episode’s stories contain discussion of suicide and mental illness. This week, we present two stories about the people in our lives who inspired us not only to love science, but to find our place and reach our full potential within it. With this episode, we also kick off our end-of-year fundraising campaign! Find out more here. If there’s someone who inspired your science story, you can honor them with a donation to The Story Collider in their name. Part 1: On her first day as a music ther...
2021-Nov-05 • 30 minutes
Apprentices: Stories about mentors who shaped us
In this week's stories, both of our storytellers are apprentices to mentors who have profound impacts on how they see the world, though in very different ways. Part 1: Fresh out of college, Stephanie Keep is hired to be the assistant to legendary evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould. Part 2: At age fourteen, Fabrizzio Subia begins assisting a local dentist in treating undocumented patients. Stephanie Keep was trained as a paleobiologist at Wellesley College and Harvard University. Opting to leave resear...
2021-Oct-29 • 42 minutes
What Now?: Stories about coping after loss
This week we present two stories of people who had to figure out how to continue life after loss. Part 1: Lawrence Green wakes up in a hospital room to find that he’s sustained devastating injuries in a motorcycle accident. Part 2: After tragedy strikes her family, Camille Adams Jones must find a way to confront her own trauma. Lawrence Green joined the United States Army as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in 2008. During his time served, he was stationed in South Korea, then Fort Hood, TX and eventually deploye...
2021-Oct-22 • 28 minutes
Hazards: Stories about encountering danger in the field
Part 1: In his early twenties, Jonathan Feakins goes above and beyond for his job as a West Nile virus mosquito technician Part 2: While working as a coral reef biologist in Panama in 1989, Nancy Knowlton and her young daughter are taken into the custody of the Panamanian military when the U.S. invades. Jonathan Feakins is just some nerd who has tried to spend his life wandering strange places, reading obscure books, doing weird science, petting adorable animals, fighting the good fight, and having wonderfu...
2021-Oct-15 • 29 minutes
Beauty of Science: Stories from Grow by Ginkgo
Beauty is often considered a superficial quality, but it has tremendous power over us. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with Grow by Ginkgo, features two stories adapted from Grow's 2020 print issue on Beauty. To read more, head over to Part 1: When Sudeep Agarwala becomes a synthetic biologist, he rediscovers a tradition from his childhood. Part 2: Jasmina Aganovic’s passion for science leads her to an unexpected place. Sudeep Agarwala is a yeast geneticist and synthetic biolo...
2021-Oct-08 • 31 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Uncertain Future
This week, we conclude our final Stories of COVID-19 series with two stories about the lasting impacts of the pandemic. Both of these stories ask: Where do we go from here? Part 1: Months after Howard Lieberman contracts COVID-19 on a business trip in March 2020, he continues to suffer from symptoms of the virus. Part 2: When Monica Hickson drops off her fiancé, who has been suffering from shortness of breath, at the hospital, she doesn’t know it’s the last time she’ll see him alive. Nationally known storyt...
2021-Oct-01 • 33 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Balance
This week, we bring you two stories about the struggle to find balance during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it’s as a scientist, a mother, or all of the above. Part 1: Psychiatrist Xiaosi Gu studies COVID-19’s impact on mental health, just as her own begins to deteriorate. Part 2: Stacey Bader Curry’s family and career are thriving — until the pandemic throws it all into chaos. Dr. Xiaosi Gu is one of the foremost researchers in the area of computational psychiatry. Her research examines the neural and com...
2021-Sep-24 • 31 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Pandemic Love Stories
In our fourth installment of this series, love conquers all, even the obstacles presented by COVID-19. Part 1: Having planned to tie the knot in April 2020, Jared Waters finds himself separated from his fiancée by COVID lockdown instead. Part 2: The pandemic prompts Jamie Brickhouse and his partner of thirty years to consider getting married for the first time. Jared Waters is Stand-up Comedian residing in New York City. He hails from Brunssum, The Netherlands. Jared gained his stand up legs in Tampa, Flori...
2021-Sep-17 • 30 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Under the Same Roof
This week, we bring you two stories about negotiating life under the same roof during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 1: When Gail Thomas moves in with her family during the pandemic, tensions brew between sisters. Part 2: The pandemic brings Wendy Bredhold and her ex-husband back together under the same roof for Thanksgiving. Gail is a writer/actor/storytelling coach and lawyer living in NYC. Her voiceover credits include John Cameron Mitchell’s Anthem: Homunculus, Angelo Rules, David Letterman, and Beavis an...
2021-Sep-10 • 28 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Fear
This week, in our final Stories of COVID-19 series, we bring you stories about managing the fear the pandemic introduced into our lives. Part 1: A disagreement about COVID-19 precautions drives a wedge between Archy Jamjun and his partner. Part 2: Julie Grace Immink tries to hide her fear from her young son when her husband is hospitalized for COVID-19. Archy Jamjun is the curator of Outspoken LGBTQ Stories at Sidetrack. He is a two time winner of The Moth Grand Slam, a guncle, and has been published by Bar...
2021-Sep-03 • 34 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Before and After
This week, we introduce our third and final Stories of COVID-19 series, which will be airing for six weeks. We’ve decided to begin this series in the same way that we started our original Stories of COVID-19 series back in November 2020 — with New York City nurse Harvey Katz. Part 1: Harvey, a brand-new nurse, is thrust into the hectic environment of a Brooklyn ICU at the onset of the pandemic. Part 2: In spring 2021, New York City nurse Harvey Katz begins to reckon with the trauma he’s experienced in the p...
2021-Aug-27 • 31 minutes
Human Nature: Roots
For the final episode of our Human Nature series, we, appropriately, go back to our roots. Part 1: After a dangerous incident, Kalā Holiday begins to question his work as a tour guide in his ancestral land of Hawai’i. Part 2: Jeremy Richardson must reconcile his roots in coal country with his identity as a climate scientist. Kalā Holiday is a lineal descendant of the original native inhabitants and caretakers of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, a temple that was (and still is) a place of refuge. He actively participat...
2021-Aug-20 • 31 minutes
Human Nature: Stories about Humility
In this week’s installment of Human Nature, our storytellers find humility in the natural world. Part 1: After working in the Everglades, ecologist Stephen Smith expects his new gig in Cape Cod to be a piece of cake until one winter day in the sand dunes. Part 2: Henrique Bravo plans to travel the world in search of 30 endangered species, but after he departs on his journey, he begins to wonder if he has bit off more than he can chew. Stephen Smith is a Plant Ecologist at the Cape Cod National Seashore, wit...
2021-Aug-13 • 36 minutes
Human Nature: Stories of Resilience
In this week’s installment of our Human Nature series, two storytellers find resilience on the high seas. Part 1: Tragedy strikes suddenly while Lindsay Cooper is in the field studying right whales. Part 2: Rachel Cassandra dreams of a life on the sea, but her captain makes unwelcome advances. Lindsay Cooper is an operations professional who started out as a whale biologist. She spent years following endangered North Atlantic right whales up and down the U.S. east coast. Now she takes her three kids to visi...
2021-Aug-06 • 33 minutes
Human Nature: Stories about Hope
This week, our Human Nature series continues with stories of hope — something that can sometimes be hard to find when it comes to our relationship with the planet. Part 1: A U.S. customs agent asks Canadian climate scientist Simon Donner an unexpected question. Part 2: As a child, Victoria Gee becomes determined to rescue the wildlife in her neighborhood. Simon Donner is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, where he teache...
2021-Jul-30 • 32 minutes
Human Nature: Stories about Perspective
This week, as our Human Nature series continues, we’re sharing two stories from scientists whose experiences in the field changed their perspectives. Part 1: As a young ecologist in Brazil's Mata Atlantica rainforest, Lauren Eckert struggles to find the monkeys she’s looking for. Part 2: As a marine biologist, Dyhia Belhabib was trained to view fishers as predators, but then she makes an unexpected connection at the port of Bejaia. Lauren Eckert is a settler and Conservation Scientist currently based in Pow...
2021-Jul-23 • 29 minutes
Human Nature: Courage
In this week’s installation of our Human Nature series, we’re sharing stories about times the natural world forces us to draw on our courage. Part 1: Dorothy Tovar faces her fear of nature when she embarks on a month-long safari trip in Botswana's Okavango Delta. Part 2: Caving with her research team in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind, Nompumelelo Hlophe finds herself in a tight spot. Dorothy Tovar is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. Her research investigates...
2021-Jul-16 • 34 minutes
Human Nature: Stories About Confidence
This week, we present two more stories in our Human Nature series, this time about the nature of earning our stripes. Part 1: An opportunity to chase a snake in Borneo gives Kasia Majewski a chance to find one in the most unexpected place. Part 2: Burying bones in her backyard for her archeology studies puts Edith Gonzalez becomes an eccentric neighbor. Kasia Majewski is a science communicator, environmental biologist, herpetologist, entomologist and general lover of "ologies". Originally from Saskatoon, sh...
2021-Jul-09 • 28 minutes
Human Nature: Coming of Age Stories
Our new series, “Human Nature,” begins today! Over the next seven weeks, we’ll share stories centered around our relationship with the natural world. In today’s episode, we’ll explore how our storytellers’ experiences with nature — for good or for bad — helped them grow into the adults they are now. Part 1: Longing to explore nature, a tumultuous trip to her grandparents’ farm sets Johana Goyes Vallejos on a path looking for the biologist inside her. Part 2: Under pressure to fit in at summer camp, Misha G...
2021-Jul-02 • 35 minutes
Incarceration: Stories about science and prison
This week, we’re presenting two stories about incarceration, and its intersections with science. Part 1: Looking to make an impact with science, Beverly Naigles and her fellow graduate students decide to teach a science class for incarcerated men at a nearby jail. Part 2: Incarcerated for robbery at the age of 21, Khalil Cumberbatch learns about the neuroscience of brain development after his release and begins to question how the system handles younger offenders. Beverly Naigles is a PhD student in quantit...
2021-Jun-25 • 34 minutes
Women in Science: Stories from women's scientific careers
This week, we’re sharing two stories that were recorded before the pandemic, but that we’ve actually never shared on the podcast before. Both are from women in science, as our title suggests, and each one will bring us in to a different career journey in science. Part 1: While working at a whale research station in northern Maine, Brenna Sowder receives an unexpected visit from a celebrity. Part 2: Raised in a very traditional Cuban family with very little money, Catalina Martinez has to fight for her place...
2021-Jun-18 • 26 minutes
Trapped: Stories about being stuck
Today, we’re bring you two stories about feeling trapped -- whether it’s at the border, or in the aftermath of an acid spill. Both of these stories were recorded live at our recent Proton Prom event on June 3. Part 1: When Kimberly Chao begins her internship, she doesn’t expect to end up covered in acid! Part 2: When Saad Sarwana is detained at the airport after Sept. 11, he tries to prove that he’s a physicist. Kimberly Chao is a walrus. Or rather, she is known to play with her food and make a walrus fa...
2021-Jun-04 • 51 minutes
Celebrating 11 Years: Our Founder's Favorites
Story Collider co-founder Ben Lillie joins us on the podcast today to discuss some of his favorite stories from the past 11 years, and also share one of his own. Part 1: Immunologist Sarah Schlesinger must try to save her mentor's life with his own work in cellular immunity. Other stories that Ben highlighted in this episode: Saad Sarwana, Anna Rothschild, Rachel Yehuda. Part 2: A teacher’s social experiment lands fifth-grade Ben Lillie in an ethical dilemma. Find out more about Caveat, Ben's theater in New...
2021-May-28 • 28 minutes
Celebrating 11 Years: The Proton Prom
This week, in anticipation of our first annual Proton Prom on Thursday, June 3, we’re sharing stories from two of our featured storytellers! Champion storyteller Steve Zimmer and physicist and comedian Saad Sarwana have both appeared on our podcast in years past. Part 1: Against the odds, animal-loving kid Steve Zimmer attempts to rescue tadpoles in jeopardy. Steve Zimmer is a member of The Story Collider board. He has a PhD in Economics/Applied Math, is ABD in Biochemistry, spent 6 years working in an im...
2021-May-21 • 33 minutes
Celebrating 11 Years: Highlights from Our Online Shows
This week, our host, Erin Barker, is joined on the podcast by the hosts of our online live shows, Gastor Almonte and Paula Croxson, to introduce two fan-favorite stories from the past year of Story Collider’s online live shows. Part 1: Just as she’s doubting her identity as a scientist, Johana Goyes Vallejos is asked to give a presentation about her work to high school students. Part 2: Growing up, Sam loves learning about biology from his scientist mother until one day, when he asks her, “Can you change if...
2021-May-14 • 38 minutes
Celebrating 11 Years: Our Favorite Stories from Years Past
In celebration of The Story Collider's 11th birthday, we’re sharing two of our most loved stories from years past. Next week, tune in for two more stories that were highlights from this past year of online shows! Part 1: Lou Serico’s childhood dream of being a scientist is tested by working in a herpes lab for his PhD. Lou’s story originally aired in 2011. Part 2: When Guizella Rocabado leaves her home in Bolivia to pursue her education in the United States, her plan hits an unexpected snag. Guizella’s ...
2021-May-07 • 31 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Neighbors
In the final installment of this new five-part series of Stories of COVID-19, we present two stories that explore what it means to be a neighbor, or part of a community, during the pandemic. Part 1: Feeling more and more isolated as the pandemic continues, Brooklynite Adam Selbst finds purpose in a mutual aid project. Part 2: Separated from her own beloved Persian grandmother during the pandemic, Sarvin Esmaelli stumbles on an opportunity to help someone else’s. Adam Selbst is a writer and graphic designer ...
2021-Apr-30 • 27 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Masks
This week’s episode is all about masks -- the many varied reasons we have for wearing them, the uncertainty many of us felt around them in the early days of the pandemic, and most of all, the very real and intense emotion that often surrounds them. Part 1: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Wellington is reluctant to wear a mask at first — until he discovers an unconventional reason to. Part 2: Dealing with mask-resistant patients prompts pediatrician Ken Haller to reflect on his experience w...
2021-Apr-23 • 29 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Separation
During the past year, we’ve all been separated from our normal lives, from our workplaces and colleagues, and worst of all, from the people we love. In this week’s episode, we’re sharing two stories on the theme of separation. Part 1: When Nestor Gomez is separated from his mother during the pandemic, it brings back painful memories of a different kind of separation. Part 2: Sharon Chandar feels helpless when she find out there’s been a COVID-19 outbreak at her elderly mother’s nursing home. Nestor “the Bos...
2021-Apr-16 • 36 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Teachers
Few professions outside of medicine and research have played as pivotal of a role in the events of the past year as teachers have. In today’s episode, we’ll hear two stories — one from a Chicago Public Schools teacher and another from a New York Public Schools teacher — about how the challenges and triumphs they’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 1: Jenny DeLessio-Parson has always prided herself on being a super teacher — until the challenges of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic b...
2021-Apr-09 • 36 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: On the Job
This week, we begin sharing Stories of COVID-19 once again, starting with stories about the ways COVID-19 has impacted our working lives. Part 1: When a bug gets stuck in her ear while she’s in the field tagging alligators, Laura Kojima isn’t sure how to get it out without putting herself and her work at risk due to COVID-19. Part 2: When she finds herself unemployed at the start of the pandemic, Shashi Mostafa takes a job working in a factory that produces medical equipment. Laura Kojima is a graduate stud...
2021-Mar-26 • 26 minutes
Two Sides Mini-Series, Part 3: On Time
In this last installment of our “Two Sides” series, we’ll hear stories from a brother and sister, Susan Kay Maller and Dan Boyd. Despite being born 18 years apart, Susan and Dan have similar memories of growing up with their mother — though how they dealt with these situations couldn’t be more different. Part 1: Looking back on her childhood, Susan Kay Maller tries to understand her mother’s behavior. Part 2: Forced to walk home from school after his mother forgets to pick him up again, Dan Boyd struggles w...
2021-Mar-19 • 28 minutes
Two Sides Mini-Series, Part 2: My Heroes
This week's episode is part two of a special three-part mini-series centered around stories about mental health, told from two different perspectives. This mini-series is guest hosted and produced by Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. In this episode, both stories are from the same storyteller, EMT and special service teacher Jenice Matias, and they show just how life altering one diagnosis can be. Part 1: Jenice Matias wakes up in a psychiatric ward with no recollection of how she got there. P...
2021-Mar-12 • 27 minutes
Two Sides Mini-Series, Part 1: Two Apartments
This week is the start of a very special three-part mini-series centered around stories about mental health, told from two different perspectives. This mini-series is guest hosted and produced by Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. The first episode of this series features a story told by a couple, chemist Xavier Jordan Retana and editor Brittany Lundberg. After moving into separate apartments during the pandemic, Xavier and Brittany each find themselves navigating their mental health and coping...
2021-Feb-26 • 21 minutes
BONUS: Migration
In today’s bonus episode, we bring you two stories on the theme of migration. Part 1: Ornithologist Dai Shizuka finds himself relating to an unusual bird that sings in more than one dialect. Part 2: When Nestor Gomez takes his child to be vaccinated, it brings up fearful memories from his own childhood. As always, find transcripts, photos, and more information about our storytellers at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2021-Feb-12 • 21 minutes
BONUS: Champions
This week, we’re sharing a very special bonus episode while we’re between series! This episode is titled “Champions,” because our storytellers today are just that. Our first storyteller, Kimberly Chao, was the winner of our Super Collider science story slam in December, and our second storyteller, marine biologist Catherine Macdonald, told our most popular story of 2020. Part 1: Kimberly Chao’s blind date suddenly and inexplicably loses his vision. Part 2: As a 21-year-old, Catherine Macdonald is hired ...
2021-Feb-01 • 22 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Love, Part 2
In Part 2 of this episode, we’re sharing two more stories about the powerful love that has sustained us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, find transcripts and photos from these stories on our website. First, we’ll hear from journalist and Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. In her story, Misha takes her father to his chemo appointment early in the pandemic, and reckons with their shifting roles. And then, the final story of this Stories of COVID-19 series, from infectious disease resea...
2021-Jan-29 • 37 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Love, Part 1
Throughout the tragic events of the past few months -- and despite the tragic events still to come -- love still perseveres and flourishes. From an unlikely pandemic wedding to the bond formed between researcher and patient, this episode will examine the powerful love that sustains us during this time. Our first story is from Melanie Hamlett, a Moth-slam-winning storyteller and writer currently based in France. After a life of proud singlehood, Melanie considers settling down during the pandemic. (Just a wa...
2021-Jan-25 • 31 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Clarity, Part 2
In part 2 of Clarity, we’re sharing two more stories about the ways the pandemic has brought our lives into sharper focus. In our first story, comedian Freddy G realizes just how much he relies on his wife’s support when she gets stuck in another state due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our second story is from Trey Kay, host and producer of the Us & Them podcast. In his story, Trey navigates the contrasting pandemic responses in his home of New York and his home state of West Virginia. As always, find photos an...
2021-Jan-22 • 39 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Clarity, Part 1
The starkness and suddenness of the pandemic has forced many of us to stop and reconsider our lifestyles. In this episode, our storytellers will share tales of how their priorities and values have come into focus since lockdown began. Our first story is from award-winning standup comedian and Story Collider senior producer Gastor Almonte. In his story, Gastor is forced to confront his health issues when he almost dies from undiagnosed diabetes at the start of the pandemic. Find photos and transcripts from a...
2021-Jan-18 • 36 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Community, Part 2
In Part 2 of this episode, we have THREE more stories about how our storytellers are finding community during the pandemic. Don't forget, you can find transcripts and photos from all of our stories on our website. Our first story is from Adam Wade, author of the bestselling Audible Original You Ought to Know Adam Wade. In his story, Adam prepares to celebrate his birthday alone during the pandemic. Our second story comes to us from one of our online story slams! In this story, Amy Segal forms an attachment ...
2021-Jan-15 • 41 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Community, Part 1
Right now, while we can’t safely gather together, it can be difficult to feel part of a community. When most of our interactions are through a computer screen, it’s tough to support and inspire each other, celebrate special occasions, and discover new experiences together. But our stories in this episode will explore the ways in which our storytellers managed to do just that. Our first story is from Emily Levesque, an award-winning astrophysicist and a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. A...
2021-Jan-11 • 24 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Home, Part 2
In Part 2 of “Home,” we’ll share two more stories about how storytellers are adapting their home lives during social distancing. Our first story is from Chicago-based storyteller and Story Collider producer Lily Be. In her story, Lily Be decides she needs company during the pandemic -- in the form of a bearded dragon. In our second story, Tazmin Uddin develops a new appreciation for having her big family all under one roof during the pandemic. As always, find photos and transcripts on our website: https://w...
2021-Jan-08 • 35 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Home, Part 1
Over the past few months, our homes have become workplaces, schools, and the backdrop for the majority of our lives. In this episode, our storytellers consider how to adjust to being stuck at home. Our first story is from psychologist (and Story Collider board member!) Ali Mattu. Cooped up with his young outdoor-kid daughter, indoor-kid Ali decides they should venture out into the wild together. Find transcripts and photos from all of our stories on our website. After Ali’s story, our host speaks with Yi-Li...
2020-Dec-28 • 14 minutes
BONUS: "Except Me" by Sam Long
We’re taking a break from our Stories of COVID-19 series until Jan. 8. But in the meantime, we have a fan-favorite story from one of our online live shows to share with you! Today’s story is from Sam Long, a high school science teacher in Colorado and the co-founder of and the Colorado Transgender/Nonbinary Educators Network. Growing up, Sam loves learning about biology from his scientist mother. But their relationship starts to change after he asks her, “Can you change if you're...
2020-Dec-21 • 30 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Generations, Part 2
In Part 2 of this episode, we’ll share two more stories about the impact of COVID-19 across generations. Our first story is from two storytellers — science communicator Ian Haydon and his mother, retired writer and editor Judy Stokes. Their story begins when Ian calls his mother in March and reveals that he will be participating in a Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine trial. Our second story is from Krishna Pakala, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boise State Universit...
2020-Dec-18 • 34 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Generations, Part 1
Each generation is experiencing the pandemic differently. For some, the trauma of the 1918 pandemic still echoes. Others worry about how to balance their own health and responsibilities with concerns about the health of their parents or children. In this episode, we’ll share stories about the impact of COVID-19 across generations. Our first story is from Mary Sue Kitchen, who was director of the Fairfax County Health Department Laboratory in Virginia for seventeen years from 1995-2012. In Mary Sue’s story, ...
2020-Dec-14 • 28 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Connection, Part 2
In Part 2 of Connections, we share two more stories about finding new ways to connect during the pandemic. Our first story is from psychologist Shreya Varma, who is based in New Delhi, India. In her story, Shreya struggles to connect with her patients in the same way when she's treating them over web video. Our second story is from storyteller and comedian Ivy Eisenberg. When Ivy's father enters hospice during the pandemic, her family must find a new way to come together to say goodbye. Transcripts and phot...
2020-Dec-12 • 35 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Connections, Part 1
Note: Apologies for the glitch yesterday! This is an updated version. By necessity, the pandemic is changing the way that we communicate with each other, and the way we care for each other. In these stories, our storytellers find unexpected ways to connect, despite social distancing. Our first story is from computational biologist and Story Collider board member C. Brandon Ogbunu. In his story, Brandon begins to see his friends in a new light after communicating with them through a screen. Find transcripts...
2020-Dec-07 • 32 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Decisions, Part 2
In Part 2 of Decisions, we’re sharing two more stories of difficult choices, one from a physician and another from the director of a public health laboratory. In our first story, medical doctor Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis must make a difficult decision about whether to work home while pregnant during the pandemic. In our final story of this episode, Myra Kunas takes on the significant task of directing the Minnesota Public Health Lab in May -- a task that becomes even more complicated after the tragic murder...
2020-Dec-04 • 34 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Decisions, Part 1
In the midst of a pandemic, almost every decision feels high stakes, and impossibly complicated. This episode will explore the difficult decisions our storytellers have made, to care for each other and themselves. Our first story is from labor and delivery nurse Amelia Reeves. When tragedy strikes in the maternity ward, Amelia has to decide whether or not to bend the rules. (Find transcripts and photos on our website.) After Amelia’s story, our host interviews University of Pennsylvania Professor of Law and...
2020-Nov-30 • 26 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Adaptation, Part 2
In part two of this episode, we’ll hear two more stories about adapting to a new normal. Our first story is from bestselling author and champion storyteller Matthew Dicks. When life becomes monotonous during quarantine, Matthew searches for a new experience. In our second story, veterinarian Lauren Adelman struggles to connect with her patients' families due to her clinic’s COVID-19 restrictions. Find transcripts and photos at Learn... more about your ad choi...
2020-Nov-27 • 33 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Adaptation, Part 1
The pandemic has forced us all to adapt in various ways, for the sake of our physical or mental health. The stories in this week’s episode will focus on the ways in which our storytellers have forged new lives and routines for themselves. Our first story is from Fiona Calvert, Story Collider UK producer and science communication officer at Alzheimer's Research UK. Fiona has worked hard to manage her obsessive compulsive disorder, but when the pandemic begins, suddenly triggers are everywhere. After Fiona’s ...
2020-Nov-23 • 32 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Cooperation, Part 2
In part 2 of this episode, we’ll explore the theme of cooperation further with two more stories, from a volunteer and an organizer. Our first story is from neuroscientist (and Story Collider senior producer!) Paula Croxson. Longing for connection, Paula decides to volunteer at a local hospital, despite her anxiety about the risks. In our second story, organizer Kiani Conley-Wilson struggles to figure out how she can effect change during the pandemic. Find transcripts and photos on our website. Learn more ab...
2020-Nov-20 • 31 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Cooperation, Part 1
In this episode, we explore the ways in which we’re working together to help one another and get things done, despite the significant obstacles and social-distancing restrictions presented by COVID-19. Today, in part one of this episode, we’ll hear a story from Brazilian biologist Diana Bertuol Garcia. In this story, Diana and her research group are alone in the Patagonian fjords when they receive word of the pandemic and must find their way home. After Diana’s story, our host interviews Athena Aktipis, pro...
2020-Nov-16 • 33 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Contact, Part 2
In part 2 of our first episode, we share two more stories on the theme of Contact. In our first story, Tracey Segarra is laid off from her corporate job during the pandemic, but finds a new calling as a contact tracer. In our second story, writer and performer Jennifer Joy begins developing symptoms of COVID-19 in early March. See for transcripts and photos! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2020-Nov-13 • 32 minutes
Stories of COVID-19: Contact, Part 1
Our series begins in New York City, the center of the early days of the pandemic, with a story from Harvey Katz, one of the hosts and creators of Take Two Storytelling. In this story, Harvey, a brand-new nurse, is thrust into the hectic environment of a Brooklyn ICU at the onset of the pandemic. (Find a transcript and photos at Harvey’s story is followed by an interview with social scientist Kasley Killam, on the impact of the loss of physical contact due to the pandemic. Stay tuned for ...
2020-Nov-06 • 3 minutes
TRAILER: Stories of COVID-19
Introducing our brand-new upcoming series, Stories of COVID-19! Stay tuned for our first episode on Nov. 13, and find out more here: Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2020-Oct-30 • 6 minutes
A Special Announcement
A quick announcement from the Story Collider team about changes coming to our podcast! On Friday, November 13th, we will launch our new series, The Stories of COVID-19, featuring stories from doctors, nurses, researchers, volunteers, activists, comedians, journalists, and more! Find out more: Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2020-Oct-23 • 30 minutes
Epidemic Response Part 2: Stories about past epidemics
This week we present two more stories from our back catalog about people who experienced epidemics of the past. Part 1: Journalist Erika Check Hayden travels to Sierra Leone and sees Ebola up close and personal for the first time. Part 2: Richard Cardillo escapes his problems by joining a Catholic mission in Peru, where he becomes a community health organizer. Erika Check Hayden is an award-winning San Francisco-based science, health, and technology reporter. She writes for the science journal Nature, and o...
2020-Oct-16 • 38 minutes
Epidemic Response Part 1: Stories about past epidemics
This week we present two stories from our back catalog of people having to handle previous epidemics. Part 1: As a pediatrician in the 1980s, Ken Haller comes across a disturbing X-ray. Part 2: On her first day working in the White House under President Obama, microbiologist Jo Handelsman receives some bad news. Ken is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. He serves on the boards of the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Lou...
2020-Oct-09 • 31 minutes
Spiraling: Stories of losing control
This week we present two stories of people who spiraled out of control in their minds. Part 1: Computer vision researcher Virginie Uhlmann struggles to send an important email. Part 2: After a panic attack, Shane Saunderson questions the role of technology in his life. Virginie Uhlmann is fascinated by life sciences but feels more comfortable surrounded by equations and code than by pipettes. With her research group at the EMBL-EBI, she thus develops mathematical tools and algorithms to analyse biological i...
2020-Oct-02 • 27 minutes
Ocean Discovery: Stories about what we discover at sea
This week we present two stories from people who had encounters with ocean animals. Part 1: Stuck in the lab with buckets of jellyfish, Shreya Yadav must rethink why she's studying what she's studying in the first place. Part 2: Underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen comes face to face with an animal he wasn't expecting. Shreya Yadav is a PhD candidate at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, at the University of Hawaii. She studies how corals recover from major climatic disturbances. She is also inter...
2020-Sep-25 • 27 minutes
Strangers: Stories about the people we don't know
This week we present two stories from people who had experiences with strangers. Part 1: Even though he's an excellent student, and later a doctor, Dale Okorodudu finds that strangers perceive him differently. Part 2: Laura Bulk, who has been partially blind since she was a baby, struggles with strangers' attempts to "help." Dr. Dale Okorodudu was raised in League City, Texas just outside of Houston. He completed both his undergraduate and medical training at the University of Missouri then relocated to Dur...
2020-Sep-18 • 25 minutes
A Little Luck: Stories about needing luck to get by
This week we present two stories from people who needed a little luck to get by. Part 1: Studying Marine Biology in Florida, Philadelphian Kory Evans feels like a fish out of water... while fishing. Part 2: Carla Katz finds out she has a brain aneurysm while getting screened for a kidney transplant. Kory Evans is an evolutionary biologist broadly interested in the development, evolution and ecology of phenotypic diversity. His research integrates developmental biology, biomechanics, phylogenetic comparative...
2020-Sep-11 • 30 minutes
Childhood Experiments: Stories about being scientists before we were ready
This week we present two stories from people who decided to experiment with science when they were still teenagers. Part 1: In high school, Saad Sarwana decides to go from nerd to bad boy with a prank that he learned in chemistry class. Part 2: As a college student, Andrew Akira Hansen loves chemistry so much that he takes his experiments out of the lab and into the parking lot... and the shower... and anywhere else he could. Saad Sarwana is a Physicist and Stand-up Comedian. As a physicist he works in supe...
2020-Sep-04 • 29 minutes
Family: Stories about the people we hold dearest
This week we present two stories from people who were confronted with what it means to lose family. Part 1: After leaving class early, Sonia Zárate gets a startling phone call about her daughter. Part 2: An indoor kid at heart, Sam Dingman goes on a hike anyways and ends up making a shocking discovery. Sonia Zárate is a proud Chicanx from SoCal. She is a mother and grandmother, Dodger-fan, trained plant molecular biologist and champion for diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM. As President for the Societ...
2020-Aug-28 • 29 minutes
Research: Stories about becoming a part of the process
This week we present stories from people who found themselves in sticky situations in the midst of doing research. Part 1: Erik Vance's first job reporting on scientific research doesn't smell as much like success as it smells like manure. Part 2: Liz Neeley observes hypnosis from the inside when she becomes the subject of the experiment. Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Boulder, CO who works as an editor for the NY Times. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a ...
2020-Aug-21 • 28 minutes
Coincidences: Stories about looking for a chance encounter
This week we present two stories from people who found the improbable. Part 1: Part 2: As a national park ranger, native South Floridian Gary Bremen has spent the past 33 years telling the stories of the places and people that have shaped this nation. He has visited 254 of the 419 national parks, and now recognizes how much his encounters with lightning storms, bears, drag queens and grieving parents in these magnificent places have helped shape the person he is. He lives in an urban oasis filled with nativ...
2020-Aug-14 • 34 minutes
Animal Rescue: Stories about animals who need our help
This week we present two stories from people who got called into action to save an animal they didn’t know they’d be called to save. Part 1: While running an errand, Andrea Azarian happens upon a lost horse that needs her help. Part 2: Left in charge of the farm for the first time, Gwynne Hogan panics when a goat goes into labor. Andrea Azarian has an undergraduate degree in Public Administration and Political Science from UW-LaCrosse. She completed her teacher certification and Master’s degree in Educatio...
2020-Aug-07 • 35 minutes
Challenges: Stories about challenges we didn't know we needed to face
This week we present two stories from people who experienced challenges in their travels. Part 1: Transporting virginal fruit flies from Houston to Honolulu proves to be no easy task for Patricia Savant. Part 2: When a storm rocks the cruise ship where he works, Mike Funergy worries about how the elderly passengers will handle it. Dr. Patricia Shaw Savant has a Ph.D. In Counseling Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from North Texas State University (1986) and a Masters of Arts in psychophysiology from Trini...
2020-Jul-31 • 34 minutes
Scientists in Love: Stories about the fantasies
This week we present two stories from people for whom science and love were interconnected. Part 1: When Saurin Choksi starts dating a neuroscientist, it challenges his assumptions about gender roles. Part 2: Wendy Suzuki's trajectory as a neuroscientist is forever altered by a passionate love affair in Paris. A proud member of the Writers Guild of America, he wrote on staff for the Facebook / Refinery 29 talk show, “After After Party.” He’s also worked with the good people at Comedy Central on a number of ...
2020-Jul-24 • 30 minutes
Shame: Stories about the judgment of others
This week we present two stories from people who felt shamed by a diagnosis. Part 1: Jamie Brickhouse's HIV-positive status becomes a point of tension at the dentist's office. Part 2: Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as a child, Anders Lee struggles with this identity as an adult preparing to donate sperm. Called “a natural raconteur” by the Washington Post, Jamie Brickhouse is the New York Times published author of Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother, and he’s appeared on PBS...
2020-Jul-17 • 34 minutes
Help from Family Part 2: Stories about taking care of relatives
This week we present two stories from people for whom science and their family crossed paths. Part 1: After her mom's version of the sex talk confuses her, Khadija Aweis is determined to make sure her little brother has clarity. Part 2: When Leesha Maliakal takes on an ambitious research project designing an app for marathon spectators, her supportive dad tries to help. Khadija Aweis is a Health Administration graduate student at the University of Washington. Indecisive by nature, Khadija has had the pleas...
2020-Jul-10 • 33 minutes
Help from Family Part 1: Stories about complicated relationships
This week we present stories about two people who had to navigate the complicated process of helping their family when they were needed most. Part 1: When his mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Ian Anthony has to take care of her, even though she didn't always do the best job of taking care of him. Ian Anthony works as a public defender in Howard county, Maryland where he represents indigent defendants. With a background in theater and a passion for storytelling, he fights to make sure the truth of hi...
2020-Jul-03 • 36 minutes
Out on my Own: Stories about going away from home
This week we present two stories from people who found adventure when on their own. Part 1: Shawn Hercules is a successful gospel radio deejay in Barbados, but he dreams of a different kind of life in science. Part 2: Emma Young feels ready for her first real job in science, surveying northern spotted owls, until she encounters some unexpected fears. Shawn Hercules is currently a Biology Ph.D. candidate at McMaster University. He investigates the epidemiology and genetics of an aggressive form of breast can...
2020-Jun-26 • 31 minutes
Navigating Whiteness: Stories from Black educators
This week we present two stories from Black people who were dealing with the ramifications of our racist systems. Part 1: As a science teacher, Mamoudou N'Diaye was supposed to have all the answers, but he struggles to explain being Black in the USA. Part 2: Rhonda Key fights to be taken seriously by her white co-workers and students when she gets a job at a middle school. Mamoudou N'Diaye is a Mauritanian American comic, writer, filmmaker, activist, DJ, and former teacher. N'Diaye has been a correspondent ...
2020-Jun-19 • 33 minutes
Saving Dad: Stories about fathers who needed a helping hand
This week we present two stories about people who sprung to action to help a dad. Part 1: To cheer up her ailing father, Victoria Ruiz decides to smuggle a turtle into his hospital room. Part 2: Stacey Bader Curry finally meets a nice guy -- the only catch is, he needs a liver. Dr. Victoria Ruiz is an Assistant Professor in Biology at St. Francis College and Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Langone medical center. She obtained her PhD in Pathobiology from Brown University, and she completed her postdoctor...
2020-Jun-12 • 32 minutes
Rebirth: Stories about recovering from pain
This week we present two stories from people who lost loved ones and had to rebuild themselves. Part 1: Massih Moayedi survives cancer, but the recovery throws his life off track. Part 2: After his 20-year-old daughter dies suddenly, Paul Battista has to relearn what his role in life is. Neuroscientist Massih Moayedi studies pain, a job that raises eyebrows at parties and sometimes prompts the confused response: "What kind of paint?" His research actually focuses on understanding how pain is processed in h...
2020-Jun-11 • 14 minutes
BONUS EPISODE: Bias: A story about institutional racism
This week we present a story from our back-catalogue that speaks to this current moment in time. As a medical school student Roger Mitchell Jr. sees a patient that makes him reflect on violence and police in the Black community. Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr. is the Chief Medical Examiner of Washington, DC and is uniquely positioned to understand the social determinants that lead to the violence affecting our most vulnerable communities. He has a great interest in Violence as a public health issue. He is board cert...
2020-May-29 • 26 minutes
Memories: Stories about memories left unformed
This week we share two stories from people whose understanding of the use of memory was challenged. Part 1: Padraic Stanley gets a fresh start when his abusive father gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. Part 2: After meeting a man with a rare memory disorder, Paul Aflalo reconsiders his own memories. Padraic Stanley is a social worker living in Chicago, IL. He currently works as a program coordinator for health promotion programs in the Rush University Medical Center Department of Social Work & Commun...
2020-May-22 • 27 minutes
Impressions: Stories about our relationships to data
This week we present two stories from people who used technology to understand their relationships. Part 1: Digital consultant Phong Tran navigates his relationship through various digital platforms. Part 2: Fed up with feeling lonely, Sufian Zhemukhov embarks on a data driven analysis of his own unlikability. Phong Tran is a Creative Technologist at a digital consultancy. He works on websites and applications in both roles as a designer and a developer. As someone with a preference to dabble and a short at...
2020-May-15 • 67 minutes
Celebrating 10 Years: Our favorite stories
This week we present four of our favorite stories of all time. Part 1: Neuroscientist David Carmel tests his own understanding of the brain when his own father suffers a stroke. Part 2: Ralph Bouquet goes off script during a psychology research study with uncomfortable and revealing consequences. Part 3: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab, Cindy Joe finds comfort in the friendship of her unconventional pet. Part 4: To discover why some survivors of trauma experien...
2020-May-08 • 32 minutes
Becoming Mom: Stories about wanting to mother
This week we present two stories from two women who struggled to adopt. Part 1: Inspired by her work as a parental behavior researcher, Bianca Jones Marlin and her husband decide to become foster parents. Part 2: Raised by white adoptive parents, Kim Evey seeks out motherhood as a way to connect with her Asian identity. Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Axel, where she investigates transgenerational...
2020-May-01 • 40 minutes
Something's Not Right: Stories about needing to figure things out
This week we present two stories from people who needed to decipher themselves. Part 1: After some unfortunate night-time incidents, Keith Mellnick realizes he needs to better understand his sleepwalking before it starts causing even more problems. Part 2: Avneet Johal is excited to start his first year at university, but strange thoughts and behaviors keep getting in the way. Keith Mellnick is a freelance photographer whose past work in the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Africa has been highlighted by...
2020-Apr-24 • 30 minutes
When I Was a Scientist: Stories about an earlier life
This week we present two stories from people who used to be scientists. Part 1: Despite loving science, Ivan Decker's first exposure to field work doesn't go as planned. Part 2: Nathan Min tries to pursue a 'respectable' scientific career, but finds himself relating to the mice he studies. Originally from Vancouver, Ivan Decker is a stand-up comedian that now makes his home in Los Angeles California. He has been featured on CBC, CTV, TBS and many other media outlets as part of shows such as: The Debaters...
2020-Apr-17 • 43 minutes
Unprepared: Stories about unprepared parents
This week we present two stories from people who found themselves without the tools they needed. Part 1: When Jack Walsh finds out his first child will be born in just a few days, he panics. Part 2: After experiencing hearing loss, Jeannie Gaffigan receives the startling news that she has a brain tumor. Jack Walsh is an Emmy-winning television producer, a generally engaging storyteller, a halfway-decent writer, and the world’s worst guitar player. He has performed at the Moth, the Atlanta Science Festival, ...
2020-Apr-10 • 42 minutes
Revelations: Stories about big reveals
This week we present two stories from people who learned something about their childhood later in life. Part 1: Growing up in the fifties and sixties, Jenice Matias senses there's more to her mother's occupation than she understands. Part 2: D.B. Firstman has always known their body is different, but at the age of thirty, they make a discovery that changes everything. Jenice Matias is a dancer, singer, actress, comedy writer, and storyteller. Her story on the Guys We Fucked podcast has been listened to over...
2020-Apr-03 • 36 minutes
Emergency: Stories about urgent situations
This week we present two stories from people who deal with emergencies. Part 1: As a first-generation pre-med student with no financial aid, Brooke Dolecheck takes a job as a 911 operator to support herself. Part 2: Flight paramedic Marc Doll must transport a child to St. Louis for his last chance at a heart transplant. Brooke Dolecheck graduated from Boise State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Leadership and Human Relations. She's now an undergr...
2020-Mar-27 • 32 minutes
Asking for Help: Stories about needing assistance
This week we present two stories from people who didn’t ask for help until it was too late. Part 1: Determined to fit in as a PhD student, Aparna Agarwal decides she'll never ask for help -- even if it means fitting in to much smaller gloves. Part 2: On a snorkeling trip of his dreams, Jesse Hildebrand doesn’t want to admit he has no idea what he’s doing. Aparna Agarwal is a graduate student in Dr. Deepa Agashe’s lab at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India, by day, and a random tho...
2020-Mar-20 • 41 minutes
Desperate Times: Stories about resorting to desperate measures
This week we present two stories from people who were at the end of their rope. Part 1: After donating her kidney to a friend, Leah Waters struggles to get back to normal. Part 2: When the coral colonies of her childhood experience a bleaching event, Native Hawaiian coral biologist Narrissa Spies must face her greatest fear to protect them. Leah Waters is a multiplatform editor at The Dallas Morning News and also advises journalism programs at Frisco Heritage High School. Waters received her M.A. in Journ...
2020-Mar-13 • 32 minutes
Math Class: Stories about adventures in math education
This week we present two stories from the math classroom. Part 1: High school math whiz Tori Ball has always hoped a boy would fall in love with her mind, but when it finally happens, she's not sure how she feels. Part 2: High achieving, but superstitious college student Maryam Zaringhalam’s entire system collapses when she misses a calculus test. Tori Ball is a high school math teacher in Rockville, Maryland. She spends her days taking derivatives, graphing parabolas, and making young people giggle when sh...
2020-Mar-06 • 39 minutes
Barriers: Stories about what stood in our way
This week we present two stories from people who were faced with barriers to their education. Part 1: Eager to succeed in her Physical Chemistry class, Shaniece Mosley is thrown off by a professor's attempt at a compliment. Part 2: Lelemia Irvine struggles to get through his PhD program as he's constantly told that his identity as a Native Hawaiian is incompatible with academia. Shaniece Mosley has been a teacher for eight years, and currently teaches chemistry, AP Chemistry, and science research at Midwood...
2020-Feb-28 • 36 minutes
Leap of Faith: Stories about finding and losing faith
This week we share two stories from people who were confronted with their faith. Part 1: Feeling like a loser after he fails to graduate on time with his degree in materials science, Len Kruger accepts a dinner invitation from a cult. Part 2: After young Jehovah's Witness Emmanuel Garcia loses his faith, he finds a new purpose at a neuroscience conference. Len Kruger is a writer and storyteller. He recently retired from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, where he was a Specialist...
2020-Feb-21 • 44 minutes
A Whole New World: Stories about having to take on the challenge of a whole new existence
This week we present two stories of people having to navigate a new world. Part 1: Sean Bearden has never been interested in education, but when he's incarcerated at the age of 19, he finds a passion for physics. Part 2: When Victoria Manning decides to get a cochlear implant, she fears losing her identity as a deaf person. Sean Bearden is a Ph. D. candidate in Physics at UC San Diego, researching the application and development of memcomputing systems, a novel computing paradigm. Identifying as a nontradit...
2020-Feb-14 • 32 minutes
Sex Ed: Stories about the education of sexuality
Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: This... week we present two stories from people who navigated the joys of sex in surprising ways. Part 1: When Eva Bloom struggles to have an orgasm, she turns to research. Part 2: Dasha Kelly Hamilton thinks of a creative way to teach her daughters about sex. Eva Bloom (she/her) is a sexuality educator and researcher. She is the creator of the inclusive, anti-oppressive, and evidence-based sex-ed web seri...
2020-Feb-07 • 35 minutes
Love and Technology: Stories about the technology that alters our lives
Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: This... week we present stories from people who navigated our changing relationship to technology. Part 1: As a kid, Samy Kamkar discovers his superpower -- hacking. Part 2: When Jordan Bush's father-in-law-to-be is diagnosed with cancer shortly before her wedding, she finds a creative way to help him attend. Samy Kamkar is a cofounder of Openpath, security researcher, and huge nerd. His open source hardw...
2020-Jan-31 • 39 minutes
Mothers and Sons: Stories about the love between mothers and sons
This week we present two stories from mothers who learned valuable lessons from the sons they birthed. Part 1: Avi Caspe and his mother, Ariel Detzer, reckon with what the label of "autism" means for their family. Part 2: When Paulette Steeves' son is given 2 years to live, she searches for a way to keep him alive. Dr. Ariel Detzer is a psychologist in Seattle, Washington, with a practice focused on neurodiversity. She believes that creating a better world for neurodiverse people comes about both through th...
2020-Jan-24 • 30 minutes
Code of Ethics: Stories about doing the right thing
This week we present two stories of people struggling with what the “right” thing to do is. Part 1: Catherine Macdonald always wanted to study sharks, but her first time tagging them in the field doesn't go as planned. Part 2: When Michelle Tong visits home after her first semester of medical school, a stranger presents an ethical dilemma. Dr. Catherine Macdonald is co-founder and Director of Field School (, a marine science training and education company dedicated to constantly impr...
2020-Jan-17 • 31 minutes
Identity Crisis: Stories about what makes us who we are
This week we present two stories about people struggling with their identity. Part 1: When science journalist Katherine Wu interviews a scientist about a new facial recognition algorithm, the conversation turns more personal than she expected. Part 2: Hurricane Katrina gives Mary Annaise Heglar a new perspective on both her grandfather and home state. Katherine J. Wu is a Boston-based science journalist and storyteller whose writing has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, Scientific American, NOVA Next, and m...
2020-Jan-10 • 36 minutes
Hypothesis: Stories about having a question that needs answering
This week we present two stories from people who had hypotheses. Part 1: Teaching sixth grade science becomes much more difficult when Xochitl Garcia's students start hypothesizing that fire is alive. Part 2: When journalist John Rennie is assigned to cover an entomological society event where insects are served as food, he sees an opportunity to face his fear of bugs. Xochitl Garcia is the K-12 education program manager at Science Friday, where she focuses on supporting the inspiring efforts of educators (...
2020-Jan-03 • 36 minutes
Leaving Home: Stories about having to leave in order to find home
This week we present two stories of people who had to leave home to find a new home. Part 1: When Ph.D student Ali Mattu's girlfriend tells him she is moving to New York City, he has to make some tough decisions about where home is. Part 2: Arlo Pérez Esquivel struggles to define his boundaries with his father while he is pursuing his education in another country. Ali Mattu is a cognitive behavioral therapist who helps kids and adults with anxiety disorders. Through YouTube, Dr. Mattu teaches a global aud...
2019-Dec-27 • 37 minutes
Shoot for the Stars: Stories about people who look to the night sky for inspiration
This week we share two stories of people who were inspired by heroes of space. Part 1: After watching a documentary about the moon landing, Kate Downey comes away with a love of all things Buzz Aldrin. Part 2: Richard French gets the call to work for NASA, fulfilling a dream that started with his professor Carl Sagan. Kate makes you fall in love with things you thought were boring. As the co-founder and Creative Director of Caveat, she heads up a team creating live shows that make you a little bit smarter...
2019-Dec-20 • 34 minutes
Dating by the Numbers: Stories about the romantic side of numbers
This week we present two stories from people who found an intersection between numbers and their sex life. Part 1: When online dating isn't working out for him, Tristan Attwood decides to analyze the data himself. Part 2: In search of a deal, Gastor Almonte ends up with an unmanageable number of condoms. Tristan Attwood works as a business analyst for the airline industry. Originally from the Portland, Oregon, area, Tristan relocated to DC more than a decade ago after serving as a field organizer for a Sen...
2019-Dec-13 • 35 minutes
A Scientist is Born: Stories that cross generations
This week we present two stories that give us insight into the birth and life of a scientist. Part 1: As a 16-year-old, Lily Be gets an unexpected education on the reproductive system. Part 2: Xavier Jordan discovers the party side of science at his first scientific conference. Lily Be started sharing stories in Chicago by accident in 2010. She never had a want to express herself artistically. This is not something she ever planned on doing. Lily is from the westside of Chicago, born and raised where she's ...
2019-Dec-06 • 35 minutes
Justice: Stories about righteous determination
This week we present two stories from people who stood up against a system eager to tear them down. Part 1: After a car crash alters Emily Winn's life forever, she must relive the trauma when she testifies in a deposition. Part 2: Black geneticist C. Brandon Ogbunu contemplates the role race has played in his academic career after he gets confronted by the police. Emily Winn is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and PhD candidate in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. Before Brown, Emily co...
2019-Dec-03 • 36 minutes
BONUS: Behind the Scenes, Episode 1: Stage Fright
A sneak peek at our new BONUS podcast for Patreon supporters! Today's episode is the first of our Behind the Scenes series. Liz and Erin are joined by Dr. Ali Mattu to discuss the TERROR of stage fright -- and how to overcome it. For more bonus episodes like this one, join our Patreon community: Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2019-Nov-29 • 37 minutes
Thankful: Stories about gratitude
This week we present two stories from people who owe a debt of gratitude to somebody for their entrance into the science community. Part 1: A chance meeting with a stranger on an airplane has a huge impact on Melanie Knight's life. Part 2: Joshua Adams-Miller has never seen college in his future, until he receives encouragement from an unexpected source. Melanie Knight is CEO and Co-Founder of Ocean to Eye Level Consulting which supports coastal communities around the world open public marine education cent...
2019-Nov-22 • 44 minutes
Outsiders: Stories about seeing things from the outside
This week we present stories from two scientists who were confronted with their status as an “outsider.” Part 1: After getting hit by a car, Ph.D. student Reyhaneh Maktoufi must navigate the recovery and paperwork as an immigrant from Iran. Part 2: When scientist Danielle Lee travels to Tanzania to study pouched rats, she finds she's more of an outsider than she'd expected. Reyhaneh is a Ph.D. candidate in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. Her main fields of interest are science com...
2019-Nov-15 • 33 minutes
Wild: Stories about humans and animals coexisting
This week we present stories from two people finding their boundaries with the wild world of animals. Part 1: Adam Selbst competes with tigers for the attention of his mother. Part 2: Weighed down by the burden of leadership as she supervises the construction of a telescope, Erika Hamden finds comfort in an unlikely spot. Adam Selbst is a writer and graphic designer from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He hosts the monthly Big Irv’s Storytelling Roadshow and has been performing around NYC for the last 8 years. Adam...
2019-Nov-08 • 29 minutes
Late Diagnosis: Stories about being diagnosed as an adult
This week we present two stories about people who discovered a diagnosis late in life. Part 1: As a child, TC Waisman is told that she is on the autism spectrum, but her mother refuses to accept the diagnosis. Part 2: Growing up, Craig Fay develops strategies to hide how terrible he is at math. Since 1998, TC has worked with leaders in large organizations to enhance their personal leadership capacity and make transformational changes to their leadership practice. Coaching and training leaders and public sp...
2019-Nov-01 • 36 minutes
Crushes: Stories about scientists in love
This week we present two stories from scientists searching for that special someone. Part 1: Zoology student Devon Kodzis's strategy of attracting boys with fun animal facts proves difficult. Part 2: Away from her boyfriend for grad school, Meisa Salaita starts to fall for a chemistry classmate who's her complete opposite. Devon Kodzis has a degree in biological sciences and professional experience in teaching, animal training, and education outreach, and science program design. She is currently pursuing a ...
2019-Oct-25 • 37 minutes
Cursed: Stories about superstitions
This week we present two stories from people who let science lead them down a rabbit hole of curses. Part 1: Science journalist Erik Vance decides to get cursed by a witch doctor for science. Part 2: After taking a rock from Mauna Loa, volcanologist Jess Phoenix starts to worry that her offering to the volcano goddess Pele was not enough. Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Baltimore. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consu...
2019-Oct-18 • 17 minutes
Leadership: Stories about responsibility
This week we present two stories from people who had to become leaders whether they liked it or not. Part 1: Eager to show off their new job testing water quality, Prof.Ound takes their friends out on a boat for the first time. Prof.Ound is a Bronx-born and raised spoken word artist, actor, writer, educator and environmentalist. Prof.Ound’s creative work is notable for its Afrocentric emphasis on audience participation and conveying moral/ethical lessons. Merging these aesthetic values into their ecological...
2019-Oct-11 • 35 minutes
Silence: Stories about finding our voices
This week we present two stories about the sounds that silence can take on. Part 1: Kambri Crews attempts to smuggle a gift into prison for her father, who is deaf. Part 2: As Kristine Lycke enters kindergarten, her mother starts treatment for a mysterious illness. Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now owns and operates the performance venue Q.E.D. in Astoria, Queens. Kambri is also a renowned storyteller and the author of the critically acclaimed and New...
2019-Oct-04 • 42 minutes
My First Science: Stories about early experiences with science
This week we present two stories from people telling the first time they crossed paths with science. Part 1: In the third grade, Lylianna Allala finds out that her partner on the class solar system project isn't allowed to come over to her house. Part 2: After surviving leukemia in her childhood and becoming a cancer research scientist, Vicky Forster finds herself working alongside the same doctor who saved her life. Lylianna Allala is the City of Seattle’s Equity and Environment Program Manager at the Offi...
2019-Sep-27 • 36 minutes
On the Scene: Stories about showing up when disaster strikes
This week we present two stories about being the one who is there when it happens. Part 1: Journalist Sarah Kaplan normally covers the science beat, but when tragedy strikes in Las Vegas, she takes on an assignment unlike any she's had before. Part 2: While covering the devastating impact of an earthquake in Thailand, journalist Maryn McKenna reflects on tragedy in her own life. Sarah Kaplan is a reporter at the Washington Post covering news from around the nation and across the universe. Maryn McKenna is ...
2019-Sep-24 • 47 minutes
BONUS: Before and After: Stories that evolve over time
In this special BONUS episode, we unveil a brand-new addition to our podcast! To celebrate, we present new versions of classic stories from Story Collider’s directors and discuss how they have evolved since their original telling. Part 1: As a marine biology student, Liz Neeley loves the order of science, but when a research expedition takes an unexpected turn, she must deal with the messy reality. You can find the original version of Liz’s story here:
2019-Sep-20 • 27 minutes
Miseducation: Stories about what happens in the classroom
This week we present two stories from teachers dealing with wild experiences in the classroom. Part 1: When his students keep having “accidents" during nap time, kindergarten teacher Alvin Irby investigates Part 2: In Aida Rosenbaum’s first month as a high-school science teacher, a fight breaks out between her students. Alvin Irby received his M.S. in Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education and his MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University. He is a form...
2019-Sep-13 • 37 minutes
Secrets: Stories about the things we keep to ourselves
This week we present two stories about the the parts of ourselves that we keep under wraps. Part 1: At 22 years old, Jenn Montooth is accepted to graduate school just as she discovers she's pregnant. Part 2: Studying addiction as a neuroscientist gives Anna Miller a new perspective on her past. Jenn Montooth is a public historian for the National Human Genome Research Institute where she helps with the public’s understanding of genomics and captures the history of the Human Genome Project. She received her ...
2019-Sep-06 • 28 minutes
Proving Myself: Stories about fighting distrust
This week we present two stories from people who have to prove themselves in science acedemia. Part 1: When there's an explosion in the chemistry lab, graduate student Chanté Summers springs into action. Part 2: When Adriana Briscoe's professor accuses her of cheating, she scrambles to save her reputation and her spot on the biology lab's field trip. Chanté Summers is a research chemist at Pfizer Inc where she supports the development of conjugate vaccines. Chanté first became interested in science during h...
2019-Aug-30 • 25 minutes
Labor Day: Stories about trying to make a baby
This week we’re presenting two stories about people trying to become parents. Part 1: After finally getting together in their forties, Chris Wade and his wife are determined to have a baby -- even if it means following some unconventional advice. Part 2: Struggling to conceive, Sara Sweet makes her third attempt at intrauterine insemination just before her family's Christmas gathering. Chris Wade is a native Washingtonian and a retired member of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC. He is a ...
2019-Aug-23 • 44 minutes
Surgery: Stories about operations
This week we present two stories from surgeons who had complications with the knife. Part 1: A routine procedure with one of the primates in her lab becomes much more complicated when neuroscientist Paula Croxson cuts herself with the scalpel. Part 2: When surgeon Bhuvanesh Singh sees his patient back in the hospital months after what he thought was a successful surgery, he grapples with feelings of failure. Paula is a neuroscientist, science communicator, musician and open water swimmer. She received an ...
2019-Aug-21 • 47 minutes
BONUS: Power of Patients: Stories about taking back the narrative
The Story Collider is delighted to bring you an extra BONUS episode this week -- thanks to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Both of the stories featured in this episode were recorded a very special show we produced in collaboration with CZI last June in Aspen, about rare medical conditions and the importance of leveraging the power of patients to accelerate research and drive progress. Part 1: Luke ...
2019-Aug-16 • 31 minutes
The College Years: Stories about leaving home for university
This week we present two stories from people who left home for university and discovered something unexpected. Part 1: After Kenny Kinds begins lying to his parents about his grades, he has to question why he is in engineering school in the first place. Part 2: After a tragedy, Brianna Shaughnessy discovers a different way to heal at the Great Barrier Reef. Kenny Kinds is an application developer/comedian and yes, those two things pair together nicely. He also co-hosts the monthly storytelling show Sorry Pl...
2019-Aug-09 • 30 minutes
My Parent's Child: Stories about taking care of those who took care of us
This week we share two stories from scientists who had to take on a new role with their parents. Part 1: As the scientist in the family, Steve Scott takes on a new role when his dad must undergo heart surgery. Part 2: Tajana Schneiderman struggles to live up to the expectations and sacrifices of her brilliant scientist mother. Steve is a science communicator and public engagement professional working at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. He has a passion for helping scientists to find ways...
2019-Aug-02 • 29 minutes
Saving the World: Stories about trying to be the savior
This week we present two stories from people who ran into roadblocks trying to save the world. Part 1: When pharmacy professor Lindsay Acree volunteers at a local needle exchange, her beliefs about addiction are challenged. Part 2: Engineering PhD student Jeannie Purchase sets out to help a couple in rural South Carolina who have endured dirty tap water for a decade. Lindsay Acree, Pharm.D., AE-C is an assistant professor at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. She received her pharmacy degree f...
2019-Jul-26 • 31 minutes
Dream Deferred: Stories about hitting roadblocks
This week we present two stories about people who had to accept a delay in their personal journeys. Part 1: Veterinarian Rodrigo Solis thinks he's found the perfect job -- taking care of horses in the Mexican Army -- until a new commander takes over. Part 2: Weeks before an important performance, opera singer Laura Crocco notices there's something wrong with her voice. Rodrigo Solis received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Mexico in 2006 and spent one semester abroad studying at the University ...
2019-Jul-19 • 32 minutes
Private Parts: Stories about the science of intimate areas
This week we present two stories from people who had disastrous moments with their own genitals. Part 1: Lonely after her move to New York City, Adrien Behn finds a friend in her copper IUD. Part 2: While recovering from prostate cancer surgery, Dana Strout finds a creative solution to his incontinence. Adrien Behnis a triple threat storyteller: she is a podcaster, writer, and live story performer. She has been featured in the New York Times and has self-produced her first podcast, Strangers Abroad, a narra...
2019-Jul-12 • 31 minutes
Concern: Stories about being worried
This week we present two stories from people gripped with concern for others. Part 1: When biologist Andrew Holding's new baby stops feeding, his scientific instincts are put to the test. Part 2: After finding out her mother has breast cancer, high school teacher Nakeysha Roberts Washington gets hit with the news that one of her students has a brain tumor. Andrew Holding is a Senior Research Associate at Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Institute and a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. His research progra...
2019-Jul-05 • 35 minutes
Marriage: Stories about making it work
Part 1: After turning down a tenure position, Sarah Brady struggles to adapt to her new life as the spouse of a physician. Part 2: As he grows up, Ed Greco's two great loves -- his high school sweetheart, and physics -- come into conflict. Sarah Brady is a storyteller, teaching artist, and writer who relocated to England from the United States a year and a half ago due to her paediatrician husband's job. To say that science has had an impact on her family would be an understatement. For the last ten ye...
2019-Jun-28 • 27 minutes
Youthful Indiscretions: Stories about being Young and Dumb
This week we present two stories about people making choices informed by the naïvety of youth. Part 1: On a dull night in Orlando, young Josh Flaum decides to experiment with drugs he can buy over the counter. Part 2: After Will Tran accidentally cheats his way to a high school math award, he has to grapple with whether or not to come clean. Josh Flaum is a comedy writer local to Los Angeles. He has written for G4 Network's 'Attack of the Show', Nerdist, Legendary Entertainment, has worked as a consultant ...
2019-Jun-21 • 32 minutes
Strength: Stories about searching for what makes us strong
This week we present two stories of scientists having to find a strength within themselves. Part 1: BiologistH eather Hamlin leaves the safety of the lab for her first field assignment: tagging alligators. Part 2: As an unconsenting "face of diversity," Dan Simpson contemplates the role of his gay identity in his academic life. Heather Hamlin earned her BS in Biology, and an MS in Marine Bio-resources from the University of Maine before working as a Senior Biologist at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Fl...
2019-Jun-14 • 35 minutes
Adventures with Dads: Stories about chasing down our fathers
This week we share two stories from people who have go on wild goose chases to find their dads. Part 1: In his last year of medical school in Colombia, Gabriel Duran Rehbein finds out his father has been kidnapped. Part 2: After seeing her dad lose control of his mind, art student Minerva Contreras decides to study the brain, in hopes of understanding him. Gabriel Duran Rehbein, MD describes himself as a huge nerd and a pathological optimist. He is currently making full use of both those characteristics as...
2019-Jun-07 • 35 minutes
Underwater: Stories about swimming deeper
This week we present two stories from people who were underwater both literally and metaphorically. Part 1: Barbara Abernathy has always felt at home in the ocean, but when she undergoes a bone marrow transplant, her doctor tells her she can't go into the water for a year. Part 2: With only two days to find and extract a sample from one of the oldest coral colonies in the world, Konrad Hughen finds himself at the bottom of the ocean with a broken drill bit. Barbara Abernathy, PhD, LMHC, is the President an...
2019-May-31 • 33 minutes
Plan B: Stories about people needing a backup plan
This week we bring you two stories of people who had to reckon with the fact that their first choice wasn’t available. Part 1: When the local science museum looks to hire performers, David Nett believes he's the perfect man for the job. Part 2: After finding out her uterus never developed, scientist Chivonne Battle searches for an alternative way to become a mother. David Nett has spent over 20 years in Los Angeles writing, producing, and acting in TV, film, and theater. Currently, he’s the writer for Geek...
2019-May-24 • 34 minutes
Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind - Part 2
This week we present two more stories about people who need help to deal with mental health. Part 1: Comedian Zack Stovall reevaluates his past battles with his mother in light of a new diagnosis. Part 2: Audrey Kearns' big opportunity to appear as a panelist at a "nerd-convention" turns disastrous when she has an unexpected reaction to a new antidepressant. Zack Stovall is a writer, producer, cartoonist, and comedian. He currently produces the Story Collider and has performed stand-up and sketch comedy a...
2019-May-17 • 30 minutes
Mental Health: Stories about having crises of the mind - Part 1
This week we present two stories about people’s struggles with their own mental health. Part 1: After passing out on the NYC subway, comedian Mike Brown is forced to take a deeper look at his mental health. Part 2: Emily Yarrison survives her suicide attempt and has to ask herself a whole new set of questions. Mike Brown is a New York comic who travels the country and still doesn’t know how to drive. He currently hosts "You Good? with Mike Brown: A Mental Health Podcast" on Loud Speakers Network. He has app...
2019-May-10 • 35 minutes
Moms of Science: Stories about being mothers and scientists
his week we present two stories of scientists becoming mothers. Part 1: Heather Williams trades in her physicist labcoat for motherhood, and wonders if she can return. Part 2: Mary Garcia-Cazarin discovers she's pregnant just as she is offered a prestigious science policy fellowship, and worries about whether she can't cope with both. Heather Williams is a principal medical physicist at The Christie hospital in Manchester, UK, where she oversees imaging and therapy in the Nuclear Medicine Department and s...
2019-May-03 • 25 minutes
Confidence: Stories about finding your voice
This week we present two stories about people finding strength in their own voice. Part 1: A parent-teacher conference leads Eugenia Duodu to question whether she can be a scientist. Part 2: At 13 years old Misha Gajewski has to undergo a jaw surgery to fix a face she is just getting used to. Eugenia Duodu is the Toronto-based CEO of Visions of Science, which inspires kids from low-income and marginalized communities to pursue careers in STEM. As a youth born and raised in a low-income community, she ...
2019-Apr-26 • 30 minutes
The Joy of Cats: Stories about our feline friends
This week, for National Pet Parents day, we bring you two stories of our relationships with our cats. Part 1: In a battle over her apartment's air quality, cat foster mom Tracy Rowland discovers how to use her kitten's parasite as a weapon. Part 2: Gianmarco Soresi learns more about cats than he ever wanted to when his girlfriend adopts five. Tracy is a 3-time Moth StorySLAM champion who first appeared on the Story Collider stage in 2011, with a tale that tangentially had to do with monkeys. She's also...
2019-Apr-19 • 25 minutes
Older and Wiser: Stories about growing up
This week we present two stories of the children we used to be and how they grew up. Part 1: As a sixth grader, Anna Neu decides she's going to fall in love at science camp. Part 2: At age nine, Anicca Harriot plans to study both the heart and space, but as she gets older, that plan becomes more challenging than she expected. Anna Neu has several interests including improv, sketch comedy and voiceover work. She is a trained dancer and Michael Howard Studio Conservatory taught actor. She performs at the Ma...
2019-Apr-12 • 32 minutes
Limelight: Stories about being the voice of science
This week we present two stories about scientists who became the face of the scientific community. Part 1: When conservation scientist Laura Kehoe writes about a surprising chimp behavior, the media takes it wildly out of context and the situation spirals out of control. Part 2: When The Colbert Report calls about her research, marine biologist Skylar Bayer finds an unexpected collaborator and friend in the fisherman helping her get scallops. Laura Kehoe is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of B...
2019-Apr-05 • 35 minutes
Peace: Stories about searching for solace
The week we present two stories of people being confronted with chaos and looking for peace. Part 1: Overwhelmed by setbacks as she pursues her academic ambitions, Tricia Hersey discovers an unexpected solution to her stress. Part 2: Cell biologist Sarah Hird's first pregnancy becomes a crisis in her scientific faith when doctors warn her that there may be something severely wrong with her baby. Tricia Hersey is a Chicago native living in Atlanta with over 20 years experience working with communities as a ...
2019-Mar-29 • 33 minutes
New Places: Stories about being somewhere new
This week we present two stories about being the new one in a new place. Part 1: After moving to a brand-new school in the seventh grade, Edith Gonzalez struggles to maintain her straight-A status with a new, scary biology teacher. Part 2: When social scientist Meltem Alemdar leaves her home in Turkey to pursue her education in the US, she struggles to find her identity. Edith Gonzalez is a native Nuyorican with four graduate degrees in various sub-disciplines of anthropology. By day, she is an historical ...
2019-Mar-22 • 32 minutes
Ocean Adventures: Stories about the swashbuckling high seas
This week, we are presenting two stories from people who took to the open ocean. Part 1: As an irresponsible 17-year-old, Brian D. Bradley volunteers to spend two days living at the bottom of the ocean for a research study. Part 2: As an undergrad, Beryl Kahn takes a semester at sea after a bad breakup and gets rocked by the swells of the sea -- and her emotions. Brian Bradley started writing because he couldn’t draw. At first he wanted to be a poet, but he quickly discovered that poems are pretty difficu...
2019-Mar-15 • 26 minutes
Teamwork: Stories about working together
Part 1: A power outage on campus leads physics student Zoya Vallari to take a stand against her university's female-only curfew. Part 2: Firefighter Nick Baskerville is eager to prove himself when he arrives on the scene of his first fire. Zoya Vallari is a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech where she studies fundamental particles called neutrinos. She received a PhD in particle physics from Stony Brook University in December 2018. She's the winner of Three Minute Thesis competition at her graduate school a...
2019-Mar-08 • 29 minutes
Circles: Stories about coming back around
This week we present two stories about times in which everything came full circle. Part 1: In the middle of a school day, science teacher Brittany Beck passes out in her classroom, leading her to reflect on what got her here. Part 2: Inspired by her grandfather, Kitty Yang becomes a math teacher, but soon realizes she misses being a student. Brittany Beck is a science teacher at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Brittany is also her school’s Coordinator of S...
2019-Mar-01 • 36 minutes
Mentors: Stories about who helps us find our way
Part 1: As a brand-new professor of physiology, John Redden is eager to help students, but soon realizes it’s more complicated than he thought. Part 2: Biologist, Sarah Fankhauser’s relationship with her adviser changes when she joins her lab as a grad student. John Redden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. His research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of cardiovascular diseases. He teaches human anatomy and physiology to pre-health majors, as well as ...
2019-Feb-22 • 31 minutes
Inspiration: Stories about what inspires us
This week, we’re presenting two stories from scientists about the people and places that inspired them. Part 1: Just before she leaves for her dream opportunity to teach marine science on the Red Sea, Latasha Wright gets a call that puts her plans in jeopardy. Part 2: Growing up, Sheena Cruickshank's teenage older brother inspires her love of science, but then one summer he returns from university with a lump on his arm. Latasha Wright received her Ph.D. from NYU Langone Medical Center in Cell and Molecula...
2019-Feb-15 • 26 minutes
Heredity: Stories about where we come from
This week, we present two stories about people understanding their links to their past. Part 1: A question that Laura Spink asked her parents as a kid comes up again when her own child begins to ask similar questions. Part 2: After Denise Coberley brings up her doubt in the Bible to her adoptive religious parents, she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. Laura Spinkis a vocalist/percussionist in the Toronto-based duo, The Young Novelists. She has toured Canada, the United States, and Europe, and ...
2019-Feb-08 • 34 minutes
In Love with Science: Stories about Loving Science
This week, we’re presenting two stories from people who made science their one and only.. Part 1: Parmvir Bahia struggles to appease her parents’ desires for an Indian son-in-law while also satisfying her own desires to be a scientist. Part 2: Monica Dunford’s finds physics cold and boring until she gets a summer job in a lab that changes everything. Parmvir Bahia is a short, British-Indian, neuroscience PhD working at the University of South Florida. She studies the role of nerves in the respiratory syst...
2019-Feb-01 • 29 minutes
Danger: Stories about life-threatening situations
This week, we’re presenting two stories from scientists who found themselves in potentially life-threatening situations. Part 1: Ralph Bouquet goes off script during a psychology research study with uncomfortable and revealing consequences. Part 2: Ali Mustafa finds that the scars of war stay with him even at his new job in the lab. Ralph Bouquet is the Director of Education and Outreach for NOVA, the PBS science documentary series produced by WGBH in Boston. At NOVA, Ralph’s team supports science educator...
2019-Jan-25 • 39 minutes
Courage: Stories about standing up for yourself
This week, we’re presenting stories about the courage to be the person you were meant to be. Part 1: The lessons that Margaret Rubega learns from her dad about fighting back are put to the test when he becomes the one she must stand up to. Part 2: In following her dream of studying chemistry, Charlotte Istance-Tamblin sees how to break the toxic patterns in her relationships. Margaret Rubega is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. She has spen...
2019-Jan-18 • 36 minutes
Acceptance: Stories about belonging
This week, we’re presenting stories about the struggle to find acceptance — whether it’s at Space Camp or in the United States of America. Part 1: Computer scientist LaShana Lewis’s childhood dream of attending Space Camp starts to feel far away — until she gets the Christmas surprise of a lifetime. Part 2: When Guizella Rocabado leaves her home in Bolivia to pursue her education in the United States, her plan hits an unexpected snag. LaShana Lewis grew up in the St. Louis area of Missouri where her love o...
2019-Jan-11 • 30 minutes
Stress: Stories about being under pressure
This week, we’re presenting two stories about stressful situations in science. Part 1: Due to stress in her personal life, TV writer Joey Slamon develops a cyst in an unfortunate place. Part 2: As a biochemistry PhD student, Kellie Vinal has worked hard to prepare for her qualifying exam, but when the day finally arrives, nothing goes according to plan. Joey Slamon has worked as a writer and producer on shows such as Arrested Development, Those Who Can’t and Bobcat Goldthwait’s upcoming Misfits and Mon...
2019-Jan-04 • 31 minutes
Just a Number: Stories about age and science
This week, we’re presenting two stories about age, and what it means to feel either too old or too young to become a scientist. Part 1: Miserable at her corporate job, Michelle McCrackin begins to dream of a career in wildlife biology. Part 2: Volcanologist Ben Kennedy’s attempts to be taken seriously as a scientist are undermined by his youthful appearance. Michelle McCrackin is a research scientist at Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Center. Her research focuses on human-enhanced eutrophication, a proce...
2018-Dec-29 • 29 minutes
Carpe Diem: Stories about seizing the day
In our last episode of 2018, we’re presenting two stories about facing challenges head-on and seizing the day. Part 1: .On the eve of his first big talk at a major international conference, ecologist Kevin Burgio discovers there’s something seriously wrong with the clothes he’d planned to wear. Part 2: While working as a research assistant on a traumatic brain injury study, Devine Joyce struggles with feelings of depression — until she encounters a patient who changes her outlook. Kevin R. Burgio is a US Ai...
2018-Dec-21 • 39 minutes
New Friends: Stories about unexpected connections
This week, we’re presenting stories about unexpected friendships in science, whether they’re formed in the field or at Burning Man. Part 1: Looking to connect with new people, mathematician Seth Cottrell sets up an ‘Ask a Mathematician’ booth at Burning Man. Part 2: When herpetologist Joseph Mendelson gets his an opportunity to do fieldwork in Guatemala during his first year of graduate school, he struggles to connect with the locals. Seth Cottrell earned his PhD in mathematics from the Courant Institute a...
2018-Dec-14 • 34 minutes
Science vs. Love: Stories about the battle between head and heart
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when science gets in the way of love — or vice versa. Part 1: Jacqueline Trumbull is preparing for a career in research psychology when she gets a call from a casting agent for The Bachelor. Part 2: Psychologist Monica O’Neal is an expert in relationships — but in her personal life, she finds herself struggling when it comes to saying goodbye. Jacqueline Trumbull is a clinical research coordinator for a psychiatry lab at Mt Sinai and, as seen on TV, aspires to...
2018-Dec-08 • 30 minutes
Science Gets Personal: Stories about science getting real
This week, we’re presenting two stories about times when science got personal and research started to hit home. Part 1: After years of suffering, Phillip Comella discovers the cause of his “excessive bathroom breaks” while working on his thesis in biomedical science. Part 2: Neuroscientist Kelley Remole begins suffering from mysterious and paralyzing headaches. Phillip Comella is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research includes machine learning and ...
2018-Nov-30 • 25 minutes
Moments of Truth: Stories about pivotal moments
This week, we’re presenting two stories about pivotal moments in science when everything suddenly becomes clear. Part 1: When puppeteer Raymond Carr gets the opportunity of a lifetime, to work on a big-budget show about the evolution of dinosaurs, he worries about how his creationist parents will react. Part 2: A trip to the Kennedy Space Center reminds Wade Roush of what originally inspired him to pursue science journalism. Raymond Carr is a Jim Henson Company trained puppeteer who has been performing fo...
2018-Nov-23 • 32 minutes
Parents: Stories about moms and dads
This week, in honor of the start of the holiday season, we're presenting stories about parents — and the ways our relationships with them intersect with science. Part 1: As a kid, Dan Souza finds it hard to appreciate his mother’s nursing expertise until he sees it in action after a series of fateful incidents. Part 2: When Michaella Thornton shares her struggles with infertility with her bachelor farmer father, his response stuns her. Dan Souza is Editor in Chief of Cook’s Illustrated and a cast member of ...
2018-Nov-16 • 27 minutes
Getting In: Stories about making the grade
It’s that time of year — application season. So this week, we’re presenting two stories about the (literal and figurative) struggle to be accepted. Part 1: The only thing standing in the way of Jennifer Landa’s dreams of studying art in college is her grade in chemistry. Part 2: When she’s accepted into the conversation fellowship of her dreams in Washington, DC, Emi Okikawa must break the news to her family that she’s leaving their home in Hawaii. Jennifer Landa is an actress, host, and crafter. Her work a...
2018-Nov-09 • 35 minutes
Pregnancy: Stories about the science of having a baby
In this week’s episode, we’re presenting two stories about the science of pregnancy. Part 1: An expert in oxytocin, the hormone released during birth, Bianca Jones Marlin is determined to have a natural birth — even as the hours of labor add up… Part 2: Science writer Veronika Meduna thought she never wanted to have children, but in her late thirties, she changes her mind. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from New ...
2018-Nov-02 • 30 minutes
Bodies: Stories About the Skin We're In
This week, we’re presenting stories about our relationships with our bodies, in all their shapes and sizes. Part 1: Born without a right pectoral muscle due to Poland syndrome, John Trumbo has always felt defective, but then he discovers a possible solution. Part 2: Growing up tall and suffering from psoriasis, Emma Yarbrough struggles with feeling conspicuous — but then she discovers there’s more to her unusual height than she’d thought. John Trumbo is a senior healthcare writer with a bachelor’s in commun...
2018-Oct-26 • 33 minutes
Fear: Stories of daring adventures in science
This week, in honor of Halloween, we're presenting two stories about facing fears for science. Part 1: As a newly minted PhD student in geology, Erik Klemetti starts to question his decisions when Aucanquilcha, a 20,000-foot volcano in Chile, proves difficult to tame. Part 2: Explorer George Kourounis finds himself growing increasingly anxious as he prepares to enter a fiery sinkhole known as the “Doorway to Hell.” Erik Klemetti is an associate professor of Geosciences and volcanologist at Denison Universit...
2018-Oct-19 • 31 minutes
Rescue: Stories about taking care of others
This week, we're presenting stories about times when science comes to the rescue — or not, as the case may be. Part 1: When science writer Kate Sheridan falls in love with a man who suffers from paralyzing headaches, her background in neuroscience helps her get to the bottom of it. Part 2: Math teacher Giselle George-Gilkes is on a trip with her students when she receives terrible news from home. Kate Sheridan is a science writer based in Boston, where she lives with a remarkably fluffy cat. Her writing—...
2018-Oct-12 • 32 minutes
Cancer Sucks: Stories from cancer survivors
This week, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're presenting two stories from cancer survivors. Part 1: Gail Thomas clashes with her oncologist while deciding how to fight her cancer. Part 2: As a marathon runner, Pierce McManus prides himself on his toughness — but then he begins coughing up blood. Gail Thomas has several resumes: writer/actor/teacher/filmmaker/lawyer. She is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has performed with RISK!, Sideshow Goshko, the Liar Show. She teaches for the Story Studio. V...
2018-Oct-06 • 27 minutes
Sense of Touch: Stories about the power of contact
This week, we're presenting two stories about the power of touch. Part 1: While working on a book about the sense of touch, science journalist Sushma Subramanian experiments with haptic technology to connect with her long-distance fiance. Part 2: Nick Andersen’s type 1 diabetes begins to affect his dating life. Sushma Subramanian is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Mary Washington, where she advises the staff of the campus newspaper, The Blue & Gray Press. She is also a freelance m...
2018-Sep-28 • 26 minutes
Overwhelmed: Stories about being in over our heads
This week, we're presenting stories about times when science is just too much. Part 1: Fiona Calvert is a crier — but when she starts her PhD, she promises herself she’ll never cry in front of her colleagues. Part 2: After graduating with his PhD, Shane Hanlon struggles to find balance in his science career. Fiona Calvert is a third-year PhD student at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where she focusses on the role of the immune system in Alzheimer’s disease. She uses stem cells to understand how genetic...
2018-Sep-21 • 32 minutes
Science Saved My Life: Stories about life-saving passion
This week, we're presenting stories about passion for science that keeps us going, even in the face of overwhelming struggle. Part 1: When Cailin Gallinger struggles with her gender identity in college, her volunteer position in a plant lab becomes a lifeline. Part 2: In the midst of homelessness and abuse, Rose DF dreams of a life in science. Cailin Gallinger is a Master’s student in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto. She studies the geophysical processes of planets in our sol...
2018-Sep-14 • 31 minutes
Following Directions: Stories about improvising
This week, we're presenting stories about the difficulties of following instructions -- whether it's medical advice or a recipe. Part 1: Science writer Cassandra WIllyard is frustrated by the restrictions put on her during her pregnancy. Part 2: Comedian Joseph Scrimshaw is terrified of messing up when his new museum job requires him to bake. Cassandra Willyard is a freelance science journalist who likes long walks, international travel, and infectious diseases, the more neglected the better. She earned a ...
2018-Sep-07 • 39 minutes
Expectations: Stories about surprising discoveries
This week, we're presenting stories about what happens when our expectations don't match up with reality. Part 1: Married neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are surprised by what they learn when they investigate deception at a psychic convention. Part 2: While working in the South Sudan, OB-GYN Africa Stewart must wait for an elder's permission before treating a pregnant woman gored by a bull. Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are award-winning neuroscientists and professors a...
2018-Aug-31 • 31 minutes
Trials by Fire: Stories about difficult paths to science
This week, we're presenting stories from scientists who faced unusually difficult paths to science. We all know it's hard work to become a scientist. But for some folks, even getting to that point where you can pursue your science education can seem like an impossible dream. Part 1: When Evelyn Valdez-Ward discovers that she's undocumented, she fears her dreams of becoming a scientist are over. Part 2: Samuel Achilefu's experiences growing up during the Nigerian Civil War inspire his passion for science. ...
2018-Aug-29 • 35 minutes
Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients - Part 2
This week, we're presenting a special two-part bonus episode featuring the stories from our June 2018 show at Caveat in New York City, as part of the Underground Science Festival. Rather than the speeches we typically hear on this topic, our storytellers -- who are both OB-GYNs and patients -- have shared firsthand experiences that cross both generations and borders, and are crucial to our understanding of women's health. You can find Part 1 of this special episode here. Part 1: While working with Doctors ...
2018-Aug-28 • 51 minutes
Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients - Part 1
This week, we're presenting a special two-part bonus episode featuring the stories from our June 2018 show in New York City, "Abortion: Stories from doctors and patients," which was part of Caveat's first annual Underground Science Festival. Rather than the speeches we typically hear on this topic, our storytellers -- who are both OB-GYNs and patients -- have shared firsthand experiences that cross both generations and borders, and are crucial to our understanding of women's health. Stay tuned for Part 2 to...
2018-Aug-24 • 33 minutes
Leaving Home: Stories about the places we're from
This week, we're presenting stories about leaving home in pursuit of science. Part 1: After being raised as a creationist, Jennifer Colbourne falls in love with evolutionary science. Jennifer Colbourne is a graduate student at York University where she is currently researching raccoon intelligence. She is interested in how animals are adapting to cities, and how to improve animal-human interactions in the urban environment. Part 2: Herman B. White leaves his hometown of Tuskegee behind to pursue physics --...
2018-Aug-17 • 33 minutes
Help: Stories about desperate situations
This week, we’re presenting stories about times when we’re overwhelmed and feeling alone. Sometimes, in science, we need help. Sometimes that help is hard to find. And sometimes it comes from an unexpected place. Part 1: As a first-year teacher, Matt Baker feels overwhelmed -- especially when his principal is less than supportive. Matt Baker is a high school math teacher at The Brooklyn Latin School in Brooklyn, NY. After getting his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University, h...
2018-Aug-08 • 29 minutes
Bright Ideas: Stories about inspiration
This week, we're presenting stories about unconventional solutions and things that seemed like a great idea at the time! Part 1: Author Kate Greathead sets off on a cross-country drive to escape her anxiety. Part 2: After years of studying worms, Tracy Chong begins to wonder if they might hold the key to alleviating hunger. Kate Greathead is a 9-time Moth Storytelling Slam champion. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair, and on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour. She was a su...
2018-Aug-03 • 38 minutes
Me vs. My Brain: Stories about losing your self
This week, we're presenting stories about what happens when our own brains keep us from being fully ourselves. Part 1: When storyteller Sandi Marx begins to develop cognitive symptoms of lupus, she worries she'll lose the aspects of her personality that she values most. Part 2: Chemist Toria Stafford's untreated mental illness starts to overwhelm both her science and her personal life. Sandi Marx, a retired talent agent, has been touring the country, telling stories, for the past three years. A multiple M...
2018-Jul-26 • 34 minutes
Loneliness: Stories about finding friends
his week, we're presenting stories about the struggle to find friends. Science can be a lonely job -- but it can also connect us to others in ways we'd never imagine. Part 1: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab, Cindy Joe finds comfort in the friendship of her unconventional pet. Part 2: Patrick Honner starts to doubt his lifelong love of math when graduate school becomes a lonely experience. Cindy Joe is an engineering physicist working with several of Fermilab’s ...
2018-Jul-20 • 35 minutes
Surprises: Stories about the unexpected
This week, we're presenting stories about surprising revelations or events in science. Part 1: When he receives a call from the vet, writer Matthew Dicks is startled to learn that his dog is in surgery -- and that he agreed to it the night before. Part 2: After traveling to Madagascar for a conservation project, climatologist Simon Donner misses his ride to the field site, and must find his way there on his own. Matthew Dicks is an elementary school teacher and the internationally bestselling author of the...
2018-Jul-13 • 34 minutes
Mortality: Stories about confronting death
This week at The Story Collider, we're presenting two stories about confronting death. Part 1: Science communicator Anthony Morgan receives an invitation to be vacuum-sealed to the bottom of a helicopter -- for science! Part 2: As a medical student, Elorm Avakame befriends a patient who is dying from alcoholism. Anthony Morgan is the Creative Director of Science Everywhere!, an organisation devoted to adult science entertainment. The mission is to build science culture through engaging science entertainment...
2018-Jul-06 • 34 minutes
The Science of Dating: Stories about sex and romance
This week, we're presenting two stories about the science behind dating, ranging from a neuroscientist's attempts to use brain scans and personality tests to determine her compatibility with a rapper to a comedian's mishaps with a "penis-numbing spray"! Part 1: Comedian Josh Gondelman is threatened with a lawsuit after he reviews a new sexual enhancement product. Part 2: Seemingly incompatible, neuroscientist Heather Berlin and rapper Baba Brinkman try to use science to figure out if they belong together an...
2018-Jun-29 • 36 minutes
Responsibility: Stories about leadership
This week, we're presenting two stories about responsibility in science. Whether we're working in a classroom or the White House, we all have some level of responsibility for others. And sometimes we have to ask ourselves -- are we doing enough to live up to those responsibilities? Both of our stories today explore this idea. Part 1: On her first day working in the White House under President Obama, microbiologist Jo Handelsman receives some bad news. Dr. Jo Handelsman is currently the Director of the Wis...
2018-Jun-27 • 30 minutes
Pride: Stories about coming out in science
To close out Pride Month this week, we're sharing a special bonus episode featuring stories about coming out in science! Part 1: Science educator Charlie Cook experiments with coming out to students. Charlie Cook is a non-binary stand up comedian by night and a non-binary science educator by day. Their favourite topics include queer theory, entomology, and outer space. For more information on their work and to find out where they're performing next, visit them on Instagram @onmygnome Part 2: Marine biolo...
2018-Jun-22 • 30 minutes
Unfamiliar Territory: Stories about journeys to new places
In this week's episode, we're presenting stories about venturing into unfamiliar territory, whether it's an isolated community in Alaska or the Costa Rican island of Chira. Part 1: Journalist Arielle Duhaime-Ross finds common ground with an Alaskan community struggling with the effects of climate change. Part 2: Costa Rican ecologist Marco Quesada sees a new side of his country when he travels to Chira Island for a conservation project. Arielle Duhaime-Ross is the environment and climate correspondent for ...
2018-Jun-15 • 36 minutes
In Honor of Father's Day: Stories about complicated dads
This week, we're celebrating Father's Day by sharing stories about complicated relationships with dads. Part 1: After her father, a well-known intellectual, passes away, neurobiology PhD student Eva Higginbotham tries to live up to his academic standards. Part 2: Storyteller Nisse Greenberg travels home to care for his father after a brain injury. Eva Higginbotham is a 3rd year PhD candidate on the University of Cambridge’s ‘Developmental Mechanisms’ programme. She works with fruit flies to discover how neu...
2018-Jun-08 • 30 minutes
Forever: Stories about unbreakable bonds
This week we're sharing stories about love that stands the test of time, transcending illness, differences, and even death. In other words -- break out that box of tissues, y'all. Part 1: Writer Alison Smith reconnects with her estranged father after he develops Alzheimer's disease. Part 2: Science journalist Peter Brannen mourns the loss of his mother while studying the earth’s biggest mass extinction. Alison Smith is a writer and performer. Her writing has appeared in Granta, McSweeney’s, The London Tele...
2018-Jun-01 • 27 minutes
Coming of Age: Stories about growing up
This week, we're presenting stories about coming of age. Bildungsroman, if you will. (Thank you, eleventh-grade Honors English!) These storytellers will share stories about growing up and finding their identities -- whether it's within their family, or within their own bodies. Part 1: Growing up, Moni Avello struggles to understand her younger sister, who has Asperger's syndrome. Part 2: For Morgan Givens, the onset of puberty feels like an alien invasion. Moni (Monika) Avello transplanted herself from Mia...
2018-May-25 • 31 minutes
Science Fiction: Stories about aliens and zombies
This week, we take a journey into science-fiction to find out if aliens can master the science of empathy and zombies can bring a couple closer together. Part 1: Chase Masterson's role on Star Trek Deep Space 9 inspires her to think about how she can help others. Part 2: Bethany Van Delft and her fiance reckon with the zombie apocalypse. Chase Masterson is best known for her five-year breakout role as Leeta on Star Trek DS9 & the Doctor Who Big Finishaudio spinoff, VIENNA. Seen Guest-Starring on The Flash, ...
2018-May-18 • 29 minutes
Different: Stories about standing out in a crowd
This week, we present two stories about being different, and the ways our differences can become our strengths. Part 1: Growing up, Amanda Gorman is determined to eliminate her speech impediment. Part 2: An aspiring scientist brought up in a family of artists, Elisa Schaum feels like a black sheep. Called the "next great figure of poetry in the US," 19-year-old Amanda Gorman is the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America and a Moth GrandSLAM champion. Her first poetry book, "The One F...
2018-May-11 • 29 minutes
In Honor of Mother's Day: Stories about moms
This week, in honor of Mother's Day, we present two stories about science and moms! Part 1: Marine biologist Jessica Hoey tries to keep her daughter’s belief in mermaids alive. Part 2: Jamie Brickhouse begins to notice some startling changes in his mother's behavior. Jessica Hoey is the director of reef health reporting at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The reef forms part of her being, both in the office and in her personal life. She jumps at any chance to get her kids out on the ocean, fro...
2018-May-04 • 30 minutes
Identity: Stories about figuring out who we are
This week, we’re presenting stories about identity, whether its an external sense of cultural identity or an internal sense of self. Part 1: Mathematician and comic book writer Jason Rodriguez feels torn between separate cultural and professional identities. Part 2: As a graduate student, Josh Silberg begins to question whether he's cut out for science. Jason Rodriguez is a writer, editor, educator, and applied mathematician. Jason spends the first half of his day developing physiological models of human in...
2018-Apr-27 • 33 minutes
Challenges: Stories about overcoming obstacles
This week, we’re presenting stories about overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers -- whether those barriers are institutional or written into our genetic code. Part 1: Aletha Maybank's childhood experiences with institutional racism inspire her work to combat structural barriers as a physician. Part 2: Joselin Linder shares a unique and deadly genetic mutation with just fourteen other people in the world -- and must make a difficult choice as a result. Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH currently serves as ...
2018-Apr-20 • 28 minutes
Dreams: Stories about ambition
This week, we're presenting stories about scientific ambitions and dreams -- and the ways in which they meet reality. Part 1: Planetary geologist Sara Mazrouei misses out on a dream opportunity -- because of where she was born. Part 2: Working in conservation, marine ecologist Madhavi Colton faces down despair as the challenges feel overwhelming. Sara Mazrouei is a PhD candidate in planetary geology at the University of Toronto. She’s also a science communicator with a passion for sharing the wonders of ...
2018-Apr-13 • 31 minutes
Fight or Flight: Stories about confronting threats
This week, we present two stories about confronting threats -- whether it’s actual physical danger or a threat to your career. Part 1: Climate scientist Kim Cobb is exploring a cave in Borneo when rocks begin to fall. Part 2: Neurobiologist Lyl Tomlinson is startled when he's accused of stealing cocaine from his lab. Kim Cobb is a researcher who uses corals and cave stalagmites to probe the mechanisms of past, present, and future climate change. Kim has sailed on multiple oceanographic cruises to the dee...
2018-Apr-06 • 28 minutes
Science Communication: Stories about spreading the word
This week, we present two stories about communicating science, whether it's through journalism or over a fragile Skype connection. Part 1: Science journalist Judith Stone worries about causing conflict when she writes about cultural differences aboard the International Space Station. Part 2: Nurse Anna Freeman is frustrated by the limits of technology when she attempts to advise a Syrian hospital over a shaky Skype connection. Judith Stone is the author of Light Elements: Essays on Science from Gravity to L...
2018-Mar-30 • 26 minutes
New Beginnings: Stories about starting over
This week, we present two stories about fresh starts and new beginnings in science. Part 1: Mari Provencher's family is rocked by changes -- starting with her mother's decision to become an entomologist. Part 2: Three years into a great faculty position, psychologist Amber Hewitt realizes her passion lies elsewhere. Mari Provencher is a Los Angeles based photographer who's spent a decade exploring the contemporary circus boom. Her work has been featured in Variety, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Time Out C...
2018-Mar-23 • 31 minutes
Women in Science: Stories about defying expectations
This week, in honor of Women's History Month, we're presenting two stories about women in science and the unique challenges they face. Follow us on Twitter @story_collider this week as we feature highlights of other stories from women in science from our back catalog. Part 1: Alison Williams' blossoming passion for chemistry is sidetracked by a professor's thoughtless comment. Part 2: Climate scientist Sarah Myhre becomes embroiled in conflict after speaking out against a senior scientist's problematic st...
2018-Mar-16 • 30 minutes
Generations: Stories about passing science down
This week, we present two stories about science and wisdom passed down through generations. Part 1: Ted Olds fears he’ll fail to graduate after his parents sacrificed to send him to engineering school. Part 2: Kayla Glynn’s challenging relationship with her science-loving grandfather alters the course of her life. Ted Olds has a Mechanical Engineering degree, and worked as a Patent Examiner at the US Patent & Trademark Ofiice. For the last thirty years he has worked as a patent attorney in a variety of high...
2018-Mar-09 • 30 minutes
In Honor of Pi Day: Stories about math
This week, in honor of Pi Day on March 14, we're presenting two stories from mathematicians. Part 1: After a reluctant start, mathematician Ken Ono makes an unexpected discovery. Part 2: Mathematician Piper Harron deals with harassment after standing up for diversity in math. Ken Ono is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University. He is the Vice President of the American Mathematical Society, and he considered to be an expert in the theory of integer partitions and modular forms. ...
2018-Mar-02 • 31 minutes
Innovation: Stories about creative ideas
This week, we present two stories about original ideas and creative solutions in science -- from a Rube Goldberg machine to using hookworms to treat an illness. Part 1: In the ninth grade, Adam Ruben and his friends create a Rube Goldberg machine for a school project. Part 2: Science writer Leah Shaffer discovers an interesting way to manage her chronic illness -- hookworms. Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He has appeared on the Food Network, the Weather Channel, the Travel Chann...
2018-Feb-22 • 27 minutes
Double Lives: Stories about loving both science and art
This week, we present two stories about being torn between love of science and a love of art. Part 1: Saad Sarwana tries to juggle careers in physics and comedy. Part 2: Jean Zarate is torn between science and music until a tragic event brings both into perspective. Saad Sarwana is a Pakistani-American Physicist and Geek. His research is in superconducting electronics. He has over 40 peer reviewed publications and two US patents. Saad is also an amateur comedian for 20+ years, and is on a personal ques...
2018-Feb-16 • 29 minutes
Black Holes: Stories about dark times
This week, we present two stories about dark moments in science. Part 1: Astrophysicist Jesse Shanahan tries to uncover the mysteries behind both the black holes she studies and her own chronic pain. Part 2: Comedian Sarah Pearl checks into a psychiatric hospital after having suicidal thoughts. Jesse Shanahan is a science writer and astrophysicist, currently serving as a Coordinating Committee member in the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability that she co-founded for the American Astronomical So...
2018-Feb-09 • 27 minutes
Heartbreak: Stories about times science breaks our hearts
This week, in honor of Valentine's Day, we're presenting two stories about heartbreak in science. Part 1: Rattled by a recent heartbreak, neuroscientist Prabarna Ganguly makes a mistake in the lab. Part 2: Marine ecologist Kirsten Grorud-Colvert bonds with her diving buddy when they have an unexpected encounter with a hammerhead shark. Prabarna Ganguly is one of the many Bostonian graduate students, studying neuroscience at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on how and why maternal care is ne...
2018-Feb-02 • 34 minutes
Recovery: Stories about responding to crises
This week, we're p​resenting stories about the ways we respond and recover to dire situations in science, whether it's cancer or sexual assault.​​​​​​ Part 1: Biochemist Melanie McConnell encounters unexpected resistance when she tests an experimental cancer treatment. Part 2: Rape survivor Mo Culberson helps train doctors to treat other rape survivors. Melanie McConnell has a life-long interest in cancer cell biology. She has studied pediatric, brain, breast, and skin cancers, all to better understand the ...
2018-Jan-26 • 31 minutes
Good and Evil: Stories about the science of gray areas
This week, we bring you two stories about the science of morality. Or morality in science. Either way you want to look at it. Part 1: Political scientist Ethan Hollander interviews a Nazi war criminal. Part 2: As a graduate student, Cather Simpson was excited to present her work -- but then her adviser lies about it. Ethan J. Hollander is a professor of political science at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He is also the author of Hegemony and the Holocaust: State Power and Jewish Survival in O...
2018-Jan-19 • 26 minutes
Bad Days in the Field: Stories about fieldwork frustrations
This week, we bring you two stories about frustrations in the field, whether it's a failure to find dinosaur fossils or a struggle with a painful medical condition. Part 1: Paleontologist David Evans and his team start to feel defeated after three days of searching fruitlessly for fossils. Part 2: When cave geologist Gabriela Marks Serrato develops fibromyalgia, exploring caves becomes a challenge. David C. Evans holds the Temerty Chair in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the Roya...
2018-Jan-12 • 33 minutes
Origin Stories: Stories about paths to becoming a scientist
This week we present two stories about the inspiration behind scientists' careers. Part 1: Kate Marvel's dream of being a genius takes her to Cambridge to study astrophysics. Part 2: When Joe Normandin begins to question his sexuality as a teenager, he turns to neuroscience for help. Kate Marvel is a scientist at Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute of Space studies. She uses computer models and satellite observations to monitor and explain the changes happening around us. Her work has sugg...
2018-Jan-05 • 29 minutes
Math Problems: Stories about struggles with math
This week, we present two stories about the struggles "math people" face. Part 1: Lew Lefton tries to succeed as both a math professor and a math comedian. Part 2: Vanessa Vakharia faces her first day as student teacher of a math class. Lew Lefton is a faculty member in the Georgia Tech School of Mathematics and the Assistant Dean of Information Technology for the Georgia Tech College of Sciences. He also has the role of Assistant Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure at Georgia Tech. Lefton co-f...
2017-Dec-08 • 34 minutes
Home: Stories about science and community
This week, we present two stories about finding community with science. Part 1: Keoni Mahelona leaves his home in Hawaii in pursuit of science. Part 2: After growing up wealthy, Chuck Collins' thinking is transformed by his work with mobile home park tenants. Aloha. O Keoni koʻu inoa. No Hawaiʻi au. I tēnei wā, noho au i Taipā. Keoni Mahelona is a melting pot of diversity in so many ways -- ethnicity, education, hobbies, sexuality, and possibly personality hahahahaha. He's had a seemingly random journey ...
2017-Dec-08 • 29 minutes
The Science of Growing Up: Stories about coming of age
This week, we present two science stories about becoming the people we're meant to be. Part 1: Research technician Jean Ansolabehere finds herself falling in love with a woman in her lab. Part 2: As a child, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman is told by a school psychologist that he's doomed by his low IQ score. (This story comes from an event produced in partnership with Scientific American and Springer Nature. Watch the full show here:
2017-Dec-08 • 35 minutes
Life and Death: Stories of loss and resilience
This week, we're presenting two stories about loss and resilience in science. Please note: Our first story this week contains graphic depictions of violence. Part 1: Anthropologist Andrew Oberle barely survives an attack by the chimpanzees he was studying. Part 2: After cosmologist Renee Hlozek's father dies, science becomes a solace. While conducting his Anthropology Master's research in South Africa in June 2012, Andrew Oberle was mauled by two adult male chimpanzees and nearly lost his life. His rem...
2017-Dec-08 • 25 minutes
Doubt: Stories about moments of uncertainty in science
This week, we present two stories of doubt in science, from a mysterious illness to imposter syndrome. Part 1: A sudden illness casts doubt on whether Maia Pujara will be able to finish her neuroscience PhD. Maia Pujara received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she developed a passion for science outreach, science communication, and promoting women and underrepresented minorities in STEM. She's a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health to study the brain regi...
2017-Dec-01 • 31 minutes
Psychotropic Substances: Stories about altered states
This week, we present two stories about psychotropic substances, from a study on the impacts of magic mushrooms on cancer surivors to a comedian's spiritual epiphany. Part 1: Actor Gail Thomas is invited to take part in a study testing mushrooms as treatment for depression in cancer survivors. Part 2: Comedian Myq Kaplan has a spiritual epiphany while experimenting with ayahuasca. Gail Thomas has several resumes: writer/actor/teacher/filmmaker/lawyer. She is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has performed with RI...
2017-Nov-24 • 26 minutes
The Bats and the Bees: Stories about winged wildlife
This week, we present two stories about the challenges of studying winged wildlife, from bats to honey bees. Part 1: Cylita Guy finds unexpected adventure when she studies bats in the field. Part 2: Rachael Bonoan discovers she may be dangerously allergic to the honey bees she studies. Cylita Guy is a PhD candidate and ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Broadly interested in zoonotic diseases and their...
2017-Nov-17 • 32 minutes
Reflection: Stories about our sense of self
This week, we present two stories about the things that make up our sense of self, from our appearance to our memories. Part 1: On the verge of losing her teeth, Jean Le Bec travels abroad to find a solution. Part 2: Science writer Michael Lemonick interviews an old friend who lost the ability to form memories after an injury. Born and bred in Brooklyn New York, Jean Le Bec is a Moth StorySlam champion who has been featured on Risk, Yum's The Word, Surprise Stories, Take Two, NY Story Exchange, Two Truth...
2017-Nov-10 • 32 minutes
DNA: Stories about family
This week, we bring you two stories about science and family, from a biochemist and a neuroscientist. Part 1: Biochemist Katie Wu is lactose intolerant, but her mother won't believe her. Part 2: Neuroscientist Oliver Vikbladh and his family look for answers about his sister's mysterious disability. Katherine (Katie) Wu is a graduate student at Harvard University. Currently, she is studying how bacteria handle stressful situations so that she can someday learn to do the same. Outside of the lab, she is C...
2017-Nov-03 • 32 minutes
Maternal Bond: Stories about moms and their kids
This week, we present two stories about the mother-child relationship intersecting with science, from a daughter and a mother. Part 1: Actor and writer Erica Silberman tries to find a place for her mother with Alzheimer’s. Part 2: When Pat Furlong’s sons are diagnosed with a severe type of muscular dystophy, she’s determined to find answers. Erica Silberman showed promise in science for one brief semester in high school when she got an A+ in chemistry. Since then, she has become a playwright, director, pro...
2017-Oct-27 • 29 minutes
Pressure: Stories about stressful situations
This week, we present two stories of scientists under professional and academic pressure, both in the field and in the lab. Part 1: In China, ornithologist Sam Snow and his colleague gather as much data about a species of bird as possible -- but it comes at a cost. Part 2: Biologist Megan Hatlen worries that she’ll never make a breakthrough in her research. Sam Snow is an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist, currently a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University. He looks at birds to explore the evolutionar...
2017-Oct-20 • 29 minutes
Adaptation: Stories about survival
This week, we present two stories of adapting to survive, from a cancer survivor's creative solution to the after-effects of his treatment to an Iraqi who becomes a computer scientist to survive the war. Part 1: Ben Rubenstein survived cancer, but now there are new challenges to contend with. Part 2: A young Iraqi computer scientist must adapt to survive war and its aftermath. Benjamin Rubenstein is the author of the "Cancer-Slaying Super Man" books and other personal essays. He speaks about personal health...
2017-Oct-13 • 30 minutes
Invisibility: Stories about hiding in plain sight
This week, we bring you two stories of invisibility, from a man looking to escape his identity to a marine biologist who feels invisible to her colleagues. Part 1: Richard Cardillo escapes his problems by joining a Catholic mission in Peru, where he becomes a community health organizer. Part 2: Marine biologist Liz Neeley is excited to be a part of a coral conservation project in Fiji, but her colleagues keep forgetting her. Richard Cardillo is a 25 year resident of the Lower East Side been an educator f...
2017-Oct-05 • 25 minutes
Perception: Stories about tricks of the mind
This week, we present two stories from science journalists about the ways the ways we perceive -- or misperceive -- the world around us. Part 1: When science journalist Eli Chen begins to have doubts in her relationship, she tries to control her feelings using neuroscience. Part 2: Just out of college, Shannon Palus takes a public relations internship at a nuclear energy lab in Idaho. Eli Chen is the science and environment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio, as well as the producer of The Story Collide...
2017-Sep-28 • 29 minutes
Migration: Stories about journeys home
This week, we bring you two stories about long journeys home, from an Iranian-American biologist and a psychologist who survived Chernobyl. Part 1: Biologist Maryam Zaringhalam is visiting her family's home country of Iran when the travel ban goes into effect in January 2017. Part 2: Chernobyl survivor Janina Scarlet flees the Soviet Union with her family as a child, only to find new challenges in America. Maryam Zaringhalam is Story Collider DC's newest co-producer. She's a molecular biologist who traded ...
2017-Sep-22 • 29 minutes
Attachment: Stories of powerful bonds
In this week's podcast, two chemists try to balance their love and their science, and a mother must choose her newborn daughter's surgeon. Part 1: Heather Abbott-Lyon falls in love with another physical chemist, but can they solve the two-body problem? Part 2: Tracey Segarra must choose a surgeon when her baby is born with a dangerous heart problem. Heather Abbott-Lyon is a physical chemist who teaches and performs research with undergraduate and masters students at Kennesaw State University. She embrace...
2017-Sep-15 • 42 minutes
Identification: Stories about who we are
This week, we present two stories about identity, from a neuroscientist's encounters with racism to an OB-GYN's struggle with her feelings about motherhood. Part 1: After a thoughtless remark from a colleague, neuroscientist Devon Collins reflects on the way racism has impacted his life and science. Part 2: OB-GYN Veronica Ades tries to save a pregnant woman’s life in South Sudan, while struggling with her own feelings about motherhood. Devon Collins is a neuroscientist, podcaster, and educator from the Mid...
2017-Sep-08 • 39 minutes
Chemistry: Stories about falling in love
This week, we present two stories about science intersecting with love -- in both fortunate and unfortunate ways. Part 1: Nothing can come between Lindzi Wessel and her new boyfriend, David -- except maybe herpes. Part 2: Marine biologist Skylar Bayer and first mate Thom Young find love on a boat. Lindzi Wessel is a science and health journalist who recently graduated from the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program. Before turning her sights on journalism, she studied the mind, obtaining a bachelor’...
2017-Sep-01 • 32 minutes
Metamorphosis: Stories of radical change
In this week's episode, we bring you two stories of scientists experiencing radical change, whether at home or in 1980s Berlin. Part 1: Nadia Singh decides she doesn’t want children, believing it will detract from her scientific career, but then her husband issues an ultimatum. Part 2: Kinari Webb’s philosophy as a scientist is shaped by her experience of the fall of the Berlin Wall as a teenager. Nadia Singh is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and an Assoc...
2017-Aug-25 • 28 minutes
Exploration: Stories about facing new challenges
This week, we present two stories of exploring new territory, from communicating with chimpanzees to swimming in the Red Sea. Part 1: While working as a schoolteacher, Jeff Braden gets a phone call out of the blue from a renowned chimpanzee expert. Part 2: Biologist Latasha Wright is forced to confront her fear of the ocean when she visits the coral reef she's been studying. Episode transcript: Jeff Braden is dean of the ...
2017-Aug-18 • 28 minutes
Boiling Point: Stories of reaching points of crisis
This week, we bring you two stories of scientists reaching points of crisis. Part 1: Rashawn Ray’s trajectory as a sociologist is forever changed by the murder of Philando Castile. Part 2: Ecologist Marcelo Ardón Sayao turns to both science and religion when his wife is diagnosed with cancer. Episode transcript: _______________________________ Rashawn Ray is Associate Professor of Sociology, the Edward McK. Johnson, Jr. ...
2017-Aug-11 • 37 minutes
Zoology: Stories about wild animals
This week, we present two stories of encounters with wild animals, from a seal named Crystal in Antarctica to a flatulent rhino in South Africa. Part 1: Science writer Ed Yong is confronted by a flatulent rhino while on safari. Part 2: In Antarctica, scientist Gifford Wong attempts to save a seal that has gone into “dive mode.” Episode transcript at _______________________________ Ed Yong is a science journalist who reports for The...
2017-Aug-04 • 30 minutes
Epidemic: Stories about medical crises
This week, we present two stories of medical crises, from New York in the 1980s to the present-day opioid epidemic. Part 1: During his residency training, pediatrician Ken Haller comes across a disturbing X-ray. Part 2: Neuroscientist Maureen Boyle's relationship with her sister, who struggles with drug addiction, becomes even more complicated when she begins working on drug policy. Episode transcript at _______... Haller is a Profess...
2017-Jul-28 • 33 minutes
Magnetism: Stories about attraction
In today's episode, we bring you two stories about attraction, from the neuroscience of prairie voles to a physics love story. Part 1: Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki is surprised when an acting exercise challenges her beliefs about love and attaction. Part 2: Two physicists, Neer Asherie and Deborah Berebichez, find love after thirteen years. Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D. is a Professor of Neural Science and psychology at New York University. She received her undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Neu...
2017-Jul-21 • 27 minutes
Death: Stories about untimely ends
This week, we present two stories about death in science, from a university lab to a crime lab. Part 1: To make ends meet as a student, Cris Gray takes a high-paying job in a lab… and finds out why it’s so high-paying. Part 2: Chemist Raychelle Burks learns how to cope with death while working in a crime lab. Cris Gray is just a guy who can get bored with things very quickly and loves a good story. You can see him doing stuff and saying things in front of an audience or to just one person in intimate conver...
2017-Jul-14 • 27 minutes
Evolution: Stories about evolving as people
Part 1: Adam Andis was raised as a creationist, but grows up to become an evolutionary biologist. Part 2: In grade school, Angel Yau excels at science -- because her mom does all her work. Adam Andis is a PhD student at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where he uses population genetics and landscape ecology of vernal pool amphibians to understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics…or to put in more succinctly, he plays with frogs in the woods. In addition to frog-science, Andi...
2017-Jul-07 • 32 minutes
Friction: Stories of difficult relationships in science
This week, we bring you two stories of difficult professional relationships in science, whether in the field or in the lab. Part 1: As a young biology student, Margot Wohl is excited to spend a summer in the field, but her male colleague expects her to do all the work. Part 2: Physics major Stephanie Loeb travels to Singapore to study nanoparticles, but is intimidated by her enigmatic project leader. Margot Wohl hails from Bel Air, Maryland but found her spirit city is Philadelphia when she moved their to s...
2017-Jun-30 • 29 minutes
Independent Research: Stories of setting off on our own
This week, we present two stories about young scientists setting off on their own. Part 1: As an undergrad, Frank Stabile lands an exciting summer research position in D.C., but soon he starts to notice something’s not right. Part 2: As a teenager, Deena Walker dreams of being a scientist, but her controlling boyfriend, and her own attitude toward her gender, get in the way. Frank A. Stabile is an evolutionary biologist in training at Yale University. He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Ecolo...
2017-Jun-23 • 31 minutes
Oil: Stories from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
This week, we bring you two stories from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, one from a native Louisianian scientist and the other from a fourth-generation Louisiana fisherman. Part 1: Louisianan scientist Estelle Robichaux struggles to deal with the massive oil spill affecting her state while also balancing personal problems. Part 2: When Lousiana fisherman Robert Campo receives news of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, he knows his life is about to change. Estelle Robichaux, a native Louisianian, is ...
2017-Jun-16 • 33 minutes
Paternal Bonds: Stories about dads
This week, we present stories of science and fatherhood. Part 1: As a teenager, comedian Gastor Almonte seeks answers about some of the scientific terms he hears around school. Part 2: Medical student Usman Hameedi struggles to live up to his father’s expectations while also pursuing his art. Gastor Almonte is a storyteller and stand up comedian based out of Brooklyn, NY. Gastor will be appearing on season 3 of "This Is Not Happening" on Comedy Central. He is the founder and host of Stoops2Stages, a weekly ...
2017-Jun-09 • 29 minutes
Symbiosis: Stories about teamwork
This week, we present two stories about working together, whether it's to accomplish a scientific mission or save a life. Part 1: Yael Fitzpatrick and her theater technician friends attempt to save a sea turtle. Part 2: As the only black woman on a two-month voyage, oceanographer Dawn Wright tries to find her place aboard a scientific drill vessel. Yael Fitzpatrick is an art director, publications designer, sometimes writer, and science communicator. She spent the first part of her life concentrating on mat...
2017-Jun-02 • 28 minutes
Early Childhood Development: Stories about growth
This week, we present two stories of learning experiences connected to early childhood, from an expert in maternal and infant health discovering the reality behind her research to a first-grader striving to be one of the "smart kids." Part 1: Psychologist Amy Brown researches maternal and infant health, but when she has a child of her own, she’s confronted with the reality behind the research. Part 2: As a first-grader, Cassie Soliday finds her coveted spot in the gifted class is at risk. Dr. Amy Brown is a...
2017-May-26 • 41 minutes
Working Memory: Stories about how memory shapes us
This week, we present two stories of how memory impacts our lives, our families, and the way we see ourselves. Part 1: When Jirard Khalil is twelve years old, his mother suddenly starts to change. Part 2: A teacher’s social experiment lands fifth-grade Ben Lillie in an ethical dilemma. Jirard Khalil is a YouTuber, actor, writer, and performer. You can find him online at @JKCompletesIt on Twitter, and That One Video Gamer on YouTube. Ben Lillie, co-founder of The Story Collider, is a high-energy particle phy...
2017-May-19 • 26 minutes
Standard Deviation: Stories about unusual encounters
Part 1: Late one night in the ER, doctor Bess Stillman treats a patient with an interesting dilemma. Part 2: As a teenager, science writer Brendan Bane becomes obsessed with collecting poisonous pets. Bess Stillman is an emergency physician and writer living in NYC. She has appeared on The Moth Radio Hour. Find her at Brendan Bane is a freelance science communicator and recent graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program. His interest in biology blossomed when he ...
2017-May-12 • 34 minutes
Maternal Instinct: Stories about moms
In this week's episode, we present two stories of science and motherhood, just in time for Mother's Day. Part 1: Developmental biologist Pam Feliciano tries to understand her autistic son. Part 2: Science writer Katharine Gammon thinks she’s gone into labor, but her doctor says she hasn’t. As Scientific Director of, Pamela Feliciano leads the effort to build the largest autism research cohort in the United States, to speed up research and improve lives. SPARK aims to build a partnership b...
2017-May-05 • 23 minutes
Hard Science: Stories about journeys into physics
Part 1: When Sarah Demers gets a work-study job working on a particle detector, she has no idea what she's in for. Part 2: After being discouraged from pursuing science, Katy Rodriguez Wimberly searches for her place in the military and as an actor. Sarah Demers is the Horace D. Taft Associate Professor of Physics at Yale University. She is a particle physicist and a member of the ATLAS and Mu2e Collaborations, studying fundamental particles and the forces with which they interact. Sarah graduated from Har...
2017-Apr-28 • 24 minutes
Syzygy: Stories of celestial alignment
Part 1: Bryony Tilsley and her husband are planning a local astronomy event when their family undergoes a big change. Part 2: Eclipse chaser David Baron discovers the real magic behind a total solar eclipse. Bryony Tilsley, along with her husband Rob, is a founder of Dartmoor Skies, a U.K. charity that shares the beauty of astronomy with anyone who wants to experience it. She studied writing and choreography at Dartington College of Arts so she loves to bring art and science together. She finds stargazing t...
2017-Apr-21 • 27 minutes
Resistance: Stories about fighting oppression
Part 1: Environmental engineer Siddhartha Roy is baffled when the state of Michigan insists the water in Flint is safe to drink despite his scientific evidence. Part 2: Sociologist Ada Cheng learns a surprising lesson about resistance while studying human rights violations in Hong Kong. Siddhartha Roy is an Environmental Engineer and PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He works with Dr. Marc Edwards researching corrosion failures in potable water infrastr...
2017-Apr-14 • 29 minutes
Transformation: Stories about changing states
Part 1: Geneticist Sebastian Alvarado reconnects with his love of comic books by attempting to shrink ants. Part 2: Inspired by his favorite novel, third-grade Danny Artese attempts to turn himself into a plant. Sebastian Gaston Alvarado went into science so he could make the X-men. During his Ph.D., he studied the molecular switches that regulate gene function. As a result, his work has shed light on chronic pain, size variation in ants, and metabolism in hibernating squirrels. He is also co-founder of Thw...
2017-Apr-07 • 31 minutes
Technological Advancements: Stories about the ways technology impacts our lives
Part 1: Blind athlete Simon Wheatcroft finds a way to run marathons by himself. Part 2: Worried she won't ever be able to commit to one field of study, Dale Markowitz decides to go all in on a neuroscience project. Simon Wheatcroft’s utilization of technology has enabled him to achieve incredible goals. From learning to train solo outdoors as a blind runner, to crossing deserts alone. It is his ability to adapt technology and engage those who create it, to redefine possibilities. His vast experience in the ...
2017-Mar-31 • 33 minutes
Observational Error: Stories about the overlooked
Part 1: Neuroscientist Qi Lin struggles to connect with friends and colleagues when she can’t escape her scientific mindset. Part 2: When defense attorney Michael Perlin interviews individuals who were not competent to stand trial, he makes a startling discovery. Hailing from Guangzhou (with the best dim sum!), China, Qi Lin is currently working in Dr. Daniela Schiller's lab as a lab manager and investigate the flexibility of emotional memory and the neural basis of social cognition. Qi graduated from New Y...
2017-Mar-24 • 40 minutes
Isolation: Stories about loneliness
Part 1: On an expedition to Antarctica, journalist Alok Jha ends up trapped on the ice for days. Part 2: Neuroscientist Rita Tavares attempts to analyze her romantic problems with science. Alok Jha is a journalist, author and broadcaster, focusing on stories about science. He is the science correspondent at ITV News. Before that, he spent a decade at the Guardian and made programmes for the BBC. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook. Rita Tavares is a pirate born in the country of Portugal. She crossed t...
2017-Mar-17 • 42 minutes
Habitat Loss: Stories of changing environments
Part 1: Ecologist Evon Hekkala travels to Madagascar to help protect a village from a man-eating croc. Part 2: Criminologist Stan Stojkovic receives a letter from an incarcerated man who killed two people when he was a teenager. Evon Hekkala was born just outside of Fossil, Oregon, population 200. How she ended up living and working in NYC and traveling around the globe studying wildlife is all a bit of a big crazy fluke, set in motion by a mixture of really good, bad parenting and the naive ability to neve...
2017-Mar-10 • 32 minutes
In the Field: Stories about venturing into the wild
Part 1: As a grad student, Liz Neeley falls in love with the order of science, but when she heads into the field, she’s forced to confront messy reality. Part 2: Criminologist Heith Copes gets close to his subjects when he studies meth users in rural Alabama. Liz Neeley is the executive director of The Story Collider. She is a lapsed marine biologist who will always name her printers after fish. For the past decade, she has been helping researchers around the world understand the science of science communic...
2017-Mar-03 • 29 minutes
Natural Habitats: Stories of finding where we belong
Part 1: Born and raised in Brooklyn, naturalist Helen Cheng leaves the comfort of the city to venture out into the field. Part 2: Ecologist Thom Young-Bayer makes the tough decision to leave science after his life changes course. Helen Cheng is once a city-dweller turned solitude-seeking naturalist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Helen’s journey took her from the big city to the coasts of the New England, studying horseshoe crabs and receiving her M.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire. Intereste...
2017-Feb-24 • 32 minutes
Predators: Stories about confronting danger
Part 1: Drew Prochaska decides to confront his fear of sharks -- by going swimming with them. Part 2: Attorney Heather Cucolo must navigate the complicated psychology surrounding her sex-offender clients. Drew Prochaska is a two-time Moth StorySlam winner, who has been featured on the "RISK!", "Dear Show", and Audible's "Stories in Session" podcasts. A graduate of The Tisch School of Arts Dramatic Writing Program, Drew's writing was regularly featured on the website of Running with Scissors author Augusten ...
2017-Feb-17 • 35 minutes
Fear Response: Stories about conquering fear
Part 1: Mark Pagán combats his phobia of flying in an unusual way. Part 2: Military surgeon Rob Lim must perform surgery in the middle of a sandstorm in Iraq. Mark Pagán is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, multimedia artist, and writer best known for his humorous autobiographical and documentary vignettes for stage, television, online, screenings, print, and installation. His work and performances have been shown at festivals worldwide including Slamdance Film Festival, PBS, Arizona International Fil...
2017-Feb-10 • 29 minutes
Oxytocin: Stories of love gone wrong
Part 1: MIT Museum education coordinator Faith Dukes wonders if there’s something wrong with her when she fails to couple up. Part 2: Cara Gael O'Regan is startled when she tests positive for syphilis. Faith Dukes is the Education Coordinator at the MIT Museum where her passions for inspiring the next generation of innovators and learning about the latest in science and technology collide. There, she creates interactive sessions for middle and high school students to explore using MIT’s exhibitions, collect...
2017-Feb-03 • 30 minutes
Research: Stories about the places studies take us
Part 1: As a teenager, Bri Riggio struggles to understand her eating disorder and connect with her psychologist father. Part 2: Seth Baum, an expert in global catastrophic risk, makes waves when he suggests a solution to the threat of nuclear winter. Bri Riggio has spent the last six years working at various institutions of higher education, from a study abroad program in Greece to George Mason University, where she now supports the Office of Research at the executive level. While not a scientist by trainin...
2017-Jan-27 • 32 minutes
Outliers: Stories of unusual outcomes
Part 1: A series of unfortunate events reveals something off about molecular biologist Maryam Zaringhalam’s sense of smell. Part 2: Hillary Savoie’s daughter is born with a rare genetic mutation. Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist who just received her PhD from The Rockefeller University. In the lab, Maryam tinkers with parasites and computers to understand how small changes to our genetic building blocks can affect how we look and function. When she's not doing science, Maryam runs ArtLab, a serie...
2017-Jan-20 • 29 minutes
Baseline: Stories about starting points
Part 1: Bioethicist Elizabeth Yuko tries to use her science training while reporting her sexual assault. Part 2: Engineering student Selam Gano returns to her father’s home country of Ethiopia with the hopes of providing clean water to the village where he grew up. Elizabeth Yuko is a bioethicist and writer, specializing in the intersection of popular culture and ethics. She is an experienced communications strategist both for political campaigns and academic research, and currently serves on the Board of D...
2017-Jan-14 • 25 minutes
Excited State: Stories about exhilerating experiences
Brian Mackenwells tries to smuggle something onto the vomit comet, and Jess Thom learns the best way to explain her Tourette's to someone new. Brian Mackenwells currently works at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics as the Public Engagement Officer. For the seven years before that he worked at "Science Oxford", an Oxford-based science communication charity, developing and delivering science shows and workshops to all ages of young people. In his spare time he acts and directs as part of an amateur ...
2017-Jan-06 • 30 minutes
Exposure: Stories about new experiences
Part 1: Journalist Erika Check Hayden travels to Sierra Leone and sees ebola up close and personal for the first time. Part 2: As a child, psychologist Ali Mattu suffers from paralyzing social anxiety. Erika Check Hayden is an award-winning San Francisco-based science, health, and technology reporter. She writes for the science journal Nature, and on a freelance basis for a variety of publications. She is the incoming director of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Science Communication Program. Find ...
2016-Dec-30 • 17 minutes
Adam Becker: The Solar System
Though Adam Becker loved science as a kid, he struggled in school -- until he met first-grade teacher Mrs. Brown. Adam Becker is a writer, astrophysicist, and science publishing troublemaker. He is currently writing a book about the sordid untold history of quantum physics, which will be published in spring 2018 by Basic Books. He is also the managing editor of the Open Journal of Astrophysics, and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Office for History of Science and Technology. Originally hailing from a ti...
2016-Dec-23 • 16 minutes
Mary Ann Allen: My Friend Lovey
When biologist Mary Ann Allen gets a chance to study Down syndrome, the disorder her dear childhood friend had, she jumps at the chance, but the results aren't what she expected. Mary Ann Allen is a Sie post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her work focuses on "genetically encoded suppressors of the deleterious Down syndrome phenotypes and exploring the molecular basis of expression dysregulation in Down syndrome." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Dec-16 • 19 minutes
Rebecca Brachman: Deadly Mistake
Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working late one night alone in the lab when she accidentally sticks herself with a needle full of deadly toxin. Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist, playwright, and screenwriter. She obtained her PhD at Columbia University, where she recently discovered the first drug that might prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Prior to that, she was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she did pioneering work on ...
2016-Dec-09 • 16 minutes
Emily Grossman: Crying in Science
When geneticist and science communicator Emily Grossman is invited to discuss women in science on TV, she doesn't know she'll be debating a legendary Internet bully. Emily Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and genetics, with a Double First in Natural Sciences from Queens' College Cambridge and a PhD in cancer research. She also trained and worked as an actress, and now combines her skills as a science broadcaster, writer and educator; teaching maths and sciences at all academic levels and explainin...
2016-Dec-02 • 15 minutes
Amanda Buch: My Father's Brain
When Amanda Buch's beloved father is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, it sparks a passion in her for neuroscience. Amanda Buch is a budding neuroscientist and visual artist who draws inspiration from the intersection of brain biology and creativity in art. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Biophysics and will be pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience. As a scientist, Amanda aims to better characterize and treat the dysfunctional brain circuitry involved in Parkinson’s disease. She has appro...
2016-Nov-25 • 17 minutes
Matt Hartings: My Bacon Number
Chemist Matt Hartings is excited -- and a little frantic -- when he receives an unexpected invitation to talk about the science of bacon on The Today Show. Matt Hartings is a chemist who works at American University. When he's not being bossed around by chairs and deans and provosts, he's more than happy to be bossed around by his wife and three kids. Matt's research involves putting nanoparticles inside of polymers to make new stuff that does new kinds of things. He also loves food. And the science of food...
2016-Nov-18 • 15 minutes
Chiara Mariottini: Lost in Translation
Italian neuroscientist Chiara Mariottini struggles to fit in when she moves to New York City. Chiara Mariottini has a PhD in Neurophysiology from the University of Florence, Italy. She graduated at the end of 2007 and moved to NYC in January 2008. She is a pharmacist by training, but she’s been always fascinated by science and in particular by the brain. She is interested in how memories are maintained for a long time by our brains and how they can be altered by disease and removed during forgetting. Learn ...
2016-Nov-11 • 15 minutes
Wes Hazard: Everything Is Wrong
Standup comedian Wes Hazard's dangerous chronic illness rears its head while he's on stage one night. Wes Hazard is a Boston-based comic & storyteller who was named 1 of '5 Boston Comics to Watch' by the Boston Globe. His first book 'Questions for Terrible People' has been selected as a Barnes & Noble featured humor title. Follow him @weshazard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Nov-04 • 20 minutes
Amy Oestreicher: Life Without a Stomach
Amy Oestreicher is a normal teenage theater nerd... until the day her stomach explodes. Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright, eagerly sharing the lessons learned from trauma and has brought out the stories that unite us all through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking. As the writer, director and star of the Gutless & Grate...
2016-Oct-28 • 17 minutes
Jana Watson-Capps: Shark-Infested Waters
Biologist Jana Watson-Capps struggles with feeling in over her head in her scientific career. Jana Watson-Capps is an Associate Director of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute, where she serves as chief-of-staff and head of strategy. Jana works with administrators, faculty, and students from across the CU system and external partners to develop and implement the institute's interdisciplinary programs and industrial partnerships. Before joining BioFrontiers, she taught in the Biology Department...
2016-Oct-21 • 17 minutes
Herman Pontzer: Burning Calories
Anthropologist Herman Pontzer spends time living among a Hadza hunter-gatherer tribe in order to see if they burn more calories than a typical Westerner. Herman Pontzer, professor of anthropology at Hunter College in New York, investigates the human and ape evolution. His work incorporates laboratory and field studies of humans and apes, living and extinct, to shed light on our evolutionary past. Most recently Dr. Pontzer has investigated energy expenditure among Hadza hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania....
2016-Oct-14 • 14 minutes
Layne Jackson Hubbard: Still Myself
Layne Jackson Hubbard wakes up in a hospital room with a head wound and no memory of how she got there. Layne Jackson Hubbard is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder and is the founder of MindScribe, a startup company working to empower early childhood development through creative technologies. During her undergrad at CU Boulder, she successfully spoke before the Board of Regents to create a new Neuroscience degree for the university's students. She has a B.A. in Computer ...
2016-Oct-07 • 16 minutes
Aparna Nancherla: By Any Means Necessary
When comedian Aparna Nancherla's science fair project goes awry, she and her fellow students make some unethical choices. Aparna Nancherla is a standup comedian and writer who has written for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and appeared on “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” among many other programs. Follow her @aparnapkin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Sep-30 • 15 minutes
Patrick Freeman: Elephant Time
Patrick Freeman is studying elephants in Namibia when he receives terrible news. Patrick Freeman is a Research Assistant at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology. He specializes in sub-Saharan wildlife ecology and is passionate about elephants. He has spent numerous field seasons observing them in Namibia, South Africa, and most recently in Kenya. He is an avid wildlife photographer, of which he says, "My goal is to bring authentic images of wildlife, wild spaces, and conservati...
2016-Sep-23 • 19 minutes
Rachel Yehuda: Cause and Effect
To discover why some survivors of trauma experience PTSD and some don't, scientist Rachel Yehuda must convince a community of Holocaust survivors to let her study them. Rachel Yehuda is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Mental Health Patient Care Center at the James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital. Her research on PTSD has included both human populations and animal models, neuroendocrinology, and genomic and molecular biol...
2016-Sep-16 • 24 minutes
Ira Flatow: The Sound of the Falls
As a young science reporter at NPR, Science Friday's Ira Flatow accepts a challenge to record what it sounds like to go over Niagara Falls. Award winning science correspondent and TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Science Friday, heard weekly on PRI, Public Radio International, and online. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing radio and Internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space, and the environment. Ira is also founder and president of the ...
2016-Sep-09 • 17 minutes
Wyatt Cenac: Driving Drunk for Science
While completing a community service requirement in high school, comedian Wyatt Cenac puts a drunk driving simulation to the test. Wyatt Cenac is a comedian and a former correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has also released multiple standup specials, most recently on Netflix, and appeared on film and TV. He regularly hosts a standup evening in Brooklyn called “Night Train with Wyatt Cenac.” Follow him on Twitter @wyattcenac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Sep-02 • 17 minutes
Paula Croxson: How Cold Is Too Cold?
Neuroscientist Paula Croxson is determined to finish her first open-water swimming race -- despite the dangers. Paula Croxson is a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she researches the brain mechanisms and chemicals that are responsible for memory. She's particularly interested in complex, autobiographical life memories. Paula is from the UK and before coming to New York she received an M.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience fro...
2016-Aug-26 • 20 minutes
Ben Lillie: The Truth About My Grandfather
After his grandfather passes away, Ben Lillie learns the surprising truth about his life -- from Wikipedia. Ben is a high-energy particle physicist who left the ivory tower for the wilds of New York's theater district. He is co-founder and artistic director of The Story Collider, where he’s lead the production of over 200 events in ten cities, and the five-year (and ongoing) production of the Story Collider podcast. He spent four years on the editorial team at TED, covering and participating in the producti...
2016-Aug-19 • 14 minutes
Elana Lancaster: The Egg & the Equinox
In grade school, Elana Lancaster gets into trouble when he questions his student teacher's science. Elana Lancaster is a health educator and storyteller who lives in Brooklyn. He's a Moth Slam winner, and co-hosts and co-produces the monthly show Take Two Storytelling. When he's not talking about himself onstage, he can often be found teaching and writing about LGBT health, working with medical providers to help them provide better care for transgender patients, and sharing random facts about sperm. Learn m...
2016-Aug-12 • 17 minutes
Skylar Bayer: The Hummingbird of Doom
Skylar Bayer's dreams of a career in scientific scuba diving are put in jeopardy when her heart begins acting strangely. Skylar Bayer is a PhD candidate studying the secret sex lives of scallops in the great state of Maine. Due to a mishap involving a fisherman, buckets of gonads, and an unlocked Chevy, she once lost all her research samples, but gained a segment on The Colbert Report. She has also appeared as a guest on MPBN's Maine Calling and manages the blog and podcast, Strictlyfishwrap. Skylar has pro...
2016-Aug-06 • 14 minutes
Aaron Wolfe: The Inseminator
Aaron Wolfe seeks meaning through labor at a kibbutz dairy farm -- and finds himself tackling some rather unexpected tasks. Aaron Wolfe is a moth grandslam winning storyteller, writer, filmmaker, and obsessive fan of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. He is the screenwriter of the Academy Awards Shortlisted “Record/Play” and yet still somehow hasn’t won his friend's Oscars Pool. He has, however, taught his son to love soccer so there’s that. His work has been featured on The Moth radio hour, the NYTimes, and ...
2016-Jul-29 • 11 minutes
Jo Firestone: A Sex Education
When comedian Jo Firestone goes to college, she starts to worry she has an STD -- even though she's never had sex. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Jul-22 • 12 minutes
MaryAnn Wilbur: Two Pregnancies
While she's 26 weeks pregnant, OB-GYN MaryAnn Wilbur treats a woman who is also 26 weeks pregnant -- and about to go into labor. MaryAnn Wilbur is currently an editorial fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine and a practicing OB/Gyn at the Dimock Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She graduated with a combined MD/MPH from Boston University in 2011 and completed residency training in Gynecology & Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in June 2015. Next year, she will return to Johns Hopki...
2016-Jul-15 • 14 minutes
Henry Duffy: 97 Days On Pitcairn Island
As a student, Henry Duffy jumps at a chance to do research...on the second most remote island in the world. Henry Duffy is a conservationist with a particular interest in the marine environment and a background in tropical marine ecology and fisheries management. He has been marooned on one of the world’s most remote islands for three months in the name of scientific research, and aims to convince everyone that corals, sharks, sponges and fish are just as exciting as all the wildlife on land. Learn more abo...
2016-Jul-08 • 13 minutes
Nathan Boll: What Else Is Out There?
Nathan Boll was an excellent physics student -- up until the day he suddenly dropped out. Nathan Boll is a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences and a Space Policy Graduate Fellow in the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Montana Western and an M.S. in Space Science from the University of Michigan. Nathan’s work is primarily focused on the development of internatio...
2016-Jul-01 • 14 minutes
Nitin Ron: Babies and Mountains
Newborn and premature baby specialist Nitin Ron learns a surprising lesson from one of his young patients. Nitin Ron is a neonatologist (baby doctor) and loves high altitude trekking and mountaineering. He is an associate professor of pediatrics at New York Methodist Hospital, and loves to use innovative methods to teach medical students. He is leading a research project in the Himalayas, including the Mt. Everest region, involving ultrasound of the eye and the body to predict mountain sickness. He also vol...
2016-Jun-24 • 17 minutes
Emily Mullin: Losing My Voice
In high school, Emily Mullin dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist -- until her voice mysteriously begins to disappear. Emily Mullin is a freelance science writer interested in telling stories that explore the intersection of health and humanity. She is a regular contributor at Forbes, and her reporting frequently appears in The Washington Post. She has also written for publications like The Atlantic, The Baltimore Sun, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. She holds an MA...
2016-Jun-17 • 14 minutes
Jeff Sparr: Obsession
Jeff Sparr finds an unexpected purpose after his life is torn apart... by a case of jock itch. PeaceLove co-founder Jeff Sparr is a man on an audacious mission -- a mission to make mental illness cool. Not cool to have, but cool to support. A family man, mental health advocate, teacher and self-taught artist, Jeff is above all a survivor, battling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) much of his life. Inspired by a simple, powerful image signifying “peace of mind and love for yourself,” Sparr set out to buil...
2016-Jun-10 • 13 minutes
Amanda Duffy: A Picture of My Brain
Neuroscientist Amanda Duffy gets some surprising news about her brain when she volunteers to be a control in an MRI study. Amanda Marie Duffy is a graduate student at Brown University pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Her research is focused on understanding mechanisms that underlie ALS disease progression and therapeutic intervention with the use of molecular, cellular, and behavioral techniques. In 2015, Amanda was named a fellow in the Society for Neuroscience’s Neuroscience Scholars Program. In 2014, ...
2016-Jun-03 • 19 minutes
David Russell: In The Name Of Love
In high school, David Russell joins a hospital apprentice program in order to get close to his crush. David Russell is a librarian, bookseller and storyteller who is thankful to live in Georgia after spending 28 years in the Buffalo area. He hosts Stories On The Square on the fourth Sunday of every month at Kavarna. He has also performed at Naked City, Carapace, Write Club Atlanta, Titans of Talking and Stories On The Edge Of Night. He won his first storytelling award at the age of 9 and has been addicted e...
2016-May-29 • 17 minutes
Rochelle Williams: Potential
As a PhD student, Rochelle Williams faces barriers to a career in engineering. Rochelle Williams is a Louisiana girl, Spelman woman, and lover of all things football. No stranger to implicit and institutional biases, she is an advocate for women of color in STEM and the relevancy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has a B.S. in physics from Spelman College and both her M.Engr. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education from Southern University and A&M College....
2016-May-20 • 20 minutes
Steve Crabtree: Painting A Nuclear Submarine
Steve Crabtree gets an unusual start to his career: watching paint dry. Steve Crabtree left school aged 15 in 1985 and started work as a painter & decorator in Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited in Barrow in Furness, where he painted nuclear submarines. Steve left the shipyard in 1992, went to Art College and after leaving college – and teaching music technology for a short time - started at the BBC in January 1999 as a junior researcher on ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Steve has produced and directed much ...
2016-May-14 • 13 minutes
Brion Randolph: Curiosity Saves The Cats
Brion Randolph's journey to becoming a doctor begins with a box full of kittens. Dr. Brion Randolph is currently the Chief of Medical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Newnan, Georgia. He joined CTCA as a medical oncologist and hematologist when the hospital opened in August 2012 and is now Chief of Medical Oncology. He also serves as Medical Director of Hematologic Oncology at the Newnan hospital. Dr. Randolph earned his medical degree from the University of South Carolina in Columb...
2016-May-06 • 14 minutes
Dawn Fraser: The Mission
While working as a census taker in 2010, Dawn Fraser is taken by surprise when her partner asks her for a favor. Dawn J. Fraser is a storyteller, educator and and nationally acclaimed speaker based out of New York City. She is the Host of the live show and upcoming podcast ‘Barbershop Stories’, which features storytellers performing true tales in barbershops and salons. Dawn has created programs for college students, educators and entrepreneurs to develop leadership potential through storytelling, and is an...
2016-Apr-29 • 14 minutes
Bill Harwood: How A Chemist Becomes A Cop
As a young chemist working for the state crime lab, Bill Harwood is unexpectedly called to a crime scene. Lt. Bill Harwood is the director of the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory. He has over 26 years of experience in forensics and law enforcement. Lt. Harwood began his career as a forensic chemist at the Crime Laboratory in 1989 after graduating from the University of Maine at Orono with degrees in Medical Technology and Zoology. He examined physical evidence and testified as an expert witness over the ...
2016-Apr-22 • 18 minutes
Nneze Akwiwu: The First Female President Of Nigeria
A chance conversation gives Nneze Akwiwu a chance to study in the United States. Nneze Akwiwu is currently a senior Biology major at Spelman College. She thinks of herself as a bubbly, outgoing and very family oriented individual. She has plans of becoming the first female president of Nigeria. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Apr-15 • 13 minutes
Chris Duffy: A Comedian Walks Into Some Neuroscience
After reading about scientific theories of humor, comedian Chris Duffy decides to see if those principles can make his act better. Chris Duffy is a NYC-based comedian who performs across the country. His shows have been featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and in The Onion A.V. Club. Chris is the creator and host ofYou're the Expert, a live show, podcast, and public radio program on Boston's WBUR where three comedians try to guess what a scientist studies all day. Learn more about ...
2016-Apr-08 • 11 minutes
Kia Salehi: Control
A young neuroscientist seeks control through an eating disorder. Kia Salehi is a recent graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in neuroscience and mathematics. For two years after graduation she worked as the lab manager for a neuroscience lab at Brown University in Providence, RI. For the past six months she has been traveling and working on organic farms in New Zealand with her girlfriend. She recently returned to the US and is pausing in Providence to reunite with her cats and friends before mo...
2016-Apr-01 • 14 minutes
Amanda Stockton: The Girl With The Big Nose
Growing up on a cattle ranch, Amanda Stockton dreams of searching for life elsewhere in the universe. Dr. Amanda Stockton is an assistant professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her work walks the line between engineering and science to develop instrumentation capable of looking for organic molecules elsewhere in the solar system. These molecules could be the feedstock for an emergence of life or the remnants of past life now extinct on places like Euro...
2016-Mar-26 • 12 minutes
Dan Daneshvar: Making The Death Call
To study a dangerous disease, Dan Daneshvar asks families to consider donating their loved one's brains. Dan Daneshvar received an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Brain and Cognitive Sciences with Concentrations in Cognitive Neuroscience and Poetry. He joined the CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine in January 2009, where he studies the effects of repetitive head impacts in athletes, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He will receive M.D./Ph.D. dual degree...
2016-Mar-18 • 15 minutes
Joe Palca: 175 Riverside Drive
A series of incidents propels Joe Palca to a career in sleep research. Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. He comes to journalism from a science background, having received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he worked on human sleep physiology. Since joining NPR in 1992, Dr. Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, “Joe’s Big Idea.” Stories in the series ...
2016-Mar-12 • 14 minutes
Erika Engelhaupt: Fear Of Flying
Erika Engelhaupt gets a dream reporting assignment. There's just one problem--she has to take a small prop plane just like the one that she almost crashed in years ago. Erika Engelhaupt is a science writer and editor. At the time of this show, she is about to start a new job as the online science editor at National Geographic. She was most recently a deputy managing editor at Science News magazine, where she started her blog, Gory Details. Gory Details covers all that is creepy, bizarre, or otherwise strang...
2016-Mar-05 • 14 minutes
Maryam Zaringhalam: Cheating My Way To Smart
Maryam Zaringhalam's scheme to cheat her way into the smart class makes clear a huge flaw in the education system. Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist and graduate student at The Rockefeller University. In the lab, Maryam tinkers with parasites and computers to understand how small changes to our genetic building blocks can affect how we look and function. When she's not doing science, Maryam runs ArtLab, a series that pairs scientists with artists, and podcasts with Science Soapbox, exploring scien...
2016-Feb-26 • 19 minutes
Jonaki Bhattacharyya: Losing Control
Jonaki Bhattacharyya ventures out into rugged Canadian wilderness to research wild horses — but can does she have what it takes to survive? This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at Jonaki Bhattacharyya, PhD, does applied research in ethnoecology (focusing on Indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge), conservation planning, and wildlife management. Integrating cultural values and knowledge systems with ecological issues, her ...
2016-Feb-20 • 15 minutes
David Putrino: Medical Records
While working at a hospital, David Putrino finds a surprise in his own medical records. David is a Physical Therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He has worked as a clinician in the US, UK and Australia, studied computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and designed prostheses for Brain Machine Interface devices at New York University. He is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and the Director of Telemedici...
2016-Feb-12 • 11 minutes
Saad Sarwana: The Math Test
Saad Sarwana is finally about to win a high school award, but in his way is a math problem even the teacher got wrong. Saad Sarwana grew up in Pakistan, and moved first to Canada and then eventually to the US to attend graduate school in Physics. He's a professional physicist by day and an amateur standup comedian by night! As a Physicist, Saad has over 30 peer reviewed publications and two US patents. As a comedian Saad has performed over 1000 shows over 20 years. He co-hosts the Science Channel show "Outr...
2016-Feb-05 • 14 minutes
Rachel Fairbank: Scientist Or Subject?
While being treated after an accident, Rachel Fairbank struggles with not being the researcher. Rachel Fairbank received her bachelor's in biology from Cornell University, did some graduate work in the developmental biology program at Baylor College of Medicine, and is currently working on an MFA in creative writing at the University of Houston, where she also works as a science writer. In her spare time, she likes to box. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Jan-29 • 12 minutes
Abhishek Shah: Waste Disposal
Abhishek Shah takes a simple job to pay for school--toxic waste disposal. Being a biomedical engineer, Abhishek Shah knows everything about physics, chemistry and biology. He applies the same fundamentals to his stand up comedy and storytelling to improve the chemistry with audience by applying the physics of joke structure. His intriguing experiences and fascinating background makes him a unique storyteller. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2016-Jan-22 • 14 minutes
Brian Kennedy: The Back-Up Plan
Brian Kennedy is forced to take a job in his local pharmacy to finance his theater dreams. Brian Kennedy is a writer/storyteller living in NYC. He's written for The Huffington Post and performed improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. He tells stories on podcasts and at various venues, including The Moth -- where he's a StorySLAM winner. A long time ago, he wrote plays and produced them in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Yes, he grew up in Minnesota. Yes, he still has the accent to prove it...
2016-Jan-17 • 14 minutes
Kaća Bradonjić: The Nature Of Space And Time
Physicist Kaća Bradonjić's view of time is shaped by her experience as a war refugee. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Kaća Bradonjić is a theoretical physicist living and working in Massachusetts. Her research on the nature of space, time, and gravitation straddles the boundaries of science, philosophy, history of physics, and visual art. She is particularly interested in the relations between mathematical structures used in physics and the aspects of the physical reality they are supposed to represe...
2016-Jan-08 • 18 minutes
Ali Mattu: My Brother The Trekkie
Psychologist Ali Mattu didn't know what he wanted to be as a kid, but his older brother helped him find inspiration in Star Trek. Ali is a clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders where he specializes in the treatment of OCD, hair-pulling and skin-picking disorders. Outside of the hospital, Ali is an advocate for the brain and behavior sciences through his positions on national psychological associations and his presentations at comic cons. He writes about th...
2016-Jan-01 • 11 minutes
Anna Nicanarova: Playing Sick
Anna Nicanarova pretends to be sick to get out of a test, but how far will she take the ruse? Anna Nicanorova is Director of Annalect Labs -- space for experimentation and rapid prototyping within Annalect. Anna is Co–Founder of Books+Whiskey meetup and volunteer with ScriptEd (Science Skill Center High School). She holds an MBA from University of Pennsylvania -- The Wharton School and BA from Hogeschool van Utrecht. Her life is very rigorously tracked and visualized through Annual Quantified Self reports. ...
2015-Dec-25 • 19 minutes
Tom Levenson: Henry
Used to the controlled uncertainties of his work, science writer Tom Levenson is forced to confront the dramatic uncertainty of whether he’ll be able to adopt a son. Tom Levenson writes books (most recently The Hunt for Vulcan) and makes films, about science, its history, and whatever else catches his magpie's love of shiny bits. His work has been honored by a Peabody, a National Academies Science Communication and an AAAS Science Journalism Award, among others. By day he professes at MIT, where he directs ...
2015-Dec-18 • 23 minutes
Adam Foote: The Sea Urchin Massacre
Adam Foote confronts the problem of obtaining sea urchins in land-locked Pittsburgh...during a polar vortex. Adam recently graduated with a Master's degree in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University, and he is very grateful to his sea urchin friends for getting him there. His first memory of science is when he took a long bath after a day in the woods and wondered why fingers prune up. When he is not explaining science to both willing and unwilling audiences, Adam enjoys cooking, which is chemistry for hung...
2015-Dec-11 • 13 minutes
Neer Asherie: The Milk Heist
When he discovers his milk has been stolen from the dorm fridge, Neer Asherie has to resort to extreme science measures to find the culprit. Neer Asherie is a professor of physics and biology at Yeshiva University. He received a B.A. and M.A. in natural sciences (physical) from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He was awarded grants from the National Science Foundation to support his research on the self-assembly of globular proteins. His articles have appeared in the Proceedings of the ...
2015-Dec-04 • 12 minutes
Rachel Pendergrass: A Bad Day At The Aquarium
Rachel Pendergrass gets her dream job: talking to visitors in an aquarium, but dealing with the questions are not what she expected. Rachel Pendergrass is a storyteller, writer, actor, and science communicator native to the Atlanta area. She is a co-producer of WRITE CLUB Atlanta and the assistant director of the Dragon Con Science Track. She is the host of the new YouTube science communication comedy series Your Favorite Animal is A Dick. You can also find her performing at various live literature shows ar...
2015-Nov-28 • 19 minutes
Alan Guth: Stumbling To Inflation
Alan Guth is working on a fairly typical research paper, when he accidentally makes a huge discovery about the origin of the universe. Alan H. Guth is the Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics and a MacVicar Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Trained in particle theory at MIT, Guth held postdoc positions at Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) before returning to MIT as a faculty member in 1980. His work in cosmology began at Cornell, w...
2015-Nov-22 • 16 minutes
Adam Rogers: Separating Cells
Adam Rogers gets an exciting opportunity to work in a marine biology lab, and see if he really wants to be a biologist. Adam Rogers is articles editor at WIRED, where he edits features about miscellaneous geekery and runs the science desk. His features for the print magazine have included stories about the astrophysics of the movie Interstellar, a fan cruise for apex nerds, and a mysterious fungus that lives on whisky fumes. That last one won the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for magazine writing...
2015-Nov-13 • 15 minutes
April Salazar: The Heart Adapts
Facing an incredibly important decision, April Salazar is infuriated by way scientific information about reproduction is distorted. April Salazar is a writer and storyteller. She's written for The New York Times and has shared stories on The Moth podcast and NPR's Latino USA. In her spare time she works in technology at an educational non-profit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2015-Nov-06 • 17 minutes
Jimmy Wohl: Calmfidence
As a musician and writer Jimmy Wohl thought he was the ultimate creative, then he encounters a pharmaceutical marketing campaign. Jimmy Wohl is a writer and musician from New York City. He performs in many shows throughout the region, is the host of a travel storytelling show in Brooklyn called Get Outta Here!, and has published nonfiction in the New York Press (RIP). He's also a saxophonist who spent several years as a musical director on cruise ships, and has studied percussion in India. Learn more about ...
2015-Oct-31 • 14 minutes
Erik Vance: Is This Biology?
Erik Vance searches for the real meaning of biology while chasing porcupines. Erik Vance is a native Bay Area writer replanted in Mexico as a non-native species. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consultant, and an environmental educator. His work focuses on the human element of science – the people who do it, those who benefit from it, and those who do not. He has written for The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Harper’s, National Ge...
2015-Oct-23 • 19 minutes
Aerin Jacob: Lessons From The Man With A Machine Gun
With her truck stuck in the mud in the Serengeti, Aerin Jacob learns three important lessons. This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at Aerin Jacob is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria and a Wilburforce Fellow in Conservation Science Fellow. Trained as an ecologist, she works to develop management strategies that incorporate local, Indigenous, and scientific knowledge to achieve conservation objectives while mainta...
2015-Oct-16 • 12 minutes
Nicole Ferraro: The Summer Of West Nile
A remote disease comes very close to home for Queens resident Nicole Ferraro. Nicole Ferraro is a writer, editor, and storyteller living in NYC. Her personal essays have been published in The New York Times, Story Collider Magazine, The Frisky, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, and elsewhere. Nicole is also the cohost of New York Story Exchange, a monthly storytelling series at Cornelia Street Cafe. For more information, visit: By day she earns her keep as the edit...
2015-Oct-09 • 18 minutes
Teppei Katori: Becoming American
A Japanese particle physicist struggles to find his place (and learn English) in the American midwest. Teppei Katori is an experimental particle physicist and a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. His major interest is neutrino physics, especially neutrino interaction measurements on nuclear targets, and tests of space-time symmetry with neutrinos. Currently he works on two neutrino projects: the T2K experiment in Japan, and the IceCube experiment in Antarctica. He is native Japanese, and went to I...
2015-Oct-02 • 20 minutes
John Rennie: The Downside Of Being The Boss
John Rennie finds it’s great to be editor in chief of Scientific American, but not when all the ingredients of sarin gas are in his office. John Rennie is a science writer, editor, and lecturer based in New York. Viewers of The Weather Channel know him as the host of the original series Hacking The Planet and co-host of the hit special The Truth About Twisters. He is also the editorial director of science for McGraw-Hill Education, overseeing its highly respected AccessScience online reference and the McGra...
2015-Sep-25 • 16 minutes
Adriana Salerno: A Different Kind Of Problem
As a mathematician, Adriana Salerno is used to solving problems, but depression is something else entirely. Adriana Salerno is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in 2001. The following year she started graduate school in the Mathematics Department at the University of Texas, where she received her Ph.D. in 2009. In the summer of 2007, Adriana was the AMS-AAAS Mass Media Fellow. She worked at Voice of America for t...
2015-Sep-18 • 14 minutes
Brittany Bushnell: A Neuroscientist With A Brain Tumor
Just after beginning a graduate program in neuroscience, Brittany Bushnell gets an unexpected look at her own brain. Brittany Bushnell has a BS in psychology from the University of Washington, and is currently working on her PhD in neuroscience at New York University. She is currently studying the neural basis of amblyopia -- a developmental disorder of the visual system. Outside of work, she takes aerial circus classes and grew up racing BMX bikes with her family. She lives in NYC with her husband Maurice....
2015-Sep-11 • 14 minutes
Nate Charles Troisi: Family Chemistry
A chemistry set is the perfect opportunity for Nate Charles Troisi to connect with his engineer father. Nate Charles Troisi is an award winning storyteller and solo performer originally based in Melbourne, Australia and now based in NYC. He's written and directed films and plays, is part of the Australian sketch group 'Middle Brow' and even released an album as 50% of Australian hip-hop group 'Arty Bucco'. He's currently working on his next solo show 'Take Care', which will premiere in New Orleans later thi...
2015-Sep-04 • 13 minutes
David Moinina Sengeh: Whose Story Is It?
When reporters call to cover David Moinina Sengeh's work, that should be a good thing, but it depends on what story they want to tell. David Moinina Sengeh, born and raised in Sierra Leone, is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Media Lab. His research in the Biomechatronics Group is at the intersection of medical imaging, material science, human anatomy, computer-aided design and manufacturing. David is on Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology for 2013, a 2014 TED Fellow, on the Wired Smart List 2013, winner...
2015-Aug-28 • 15 minutes
Tara Lagu: Quitting The Lab To Save The World
Tara Lagu's passion for beating her high school rival in the science fair turns into an unusual medical career. Tara Lagu, M.D., M.P.H, is an Academic Hospitalist in the Center for Quality of Care Research and Department of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center and an Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. After graduating with her MD/MPH from the Yale University School of Medicine, she completed a General Internal Medicine Residency at Brown. From 2005-2008, she was a Robert Wood Joh...
2015-Aug-21 • 17 minutes
Karen James: I Could Be an Astronaut
A surprise email leads a biologist to NASA. Dr Karen James (@kejames on Twitter) is a biologist at the MDI Biological Laboratory, where she combines DNA-based species identification ('DNA barcoding'), with public participation in scientific research ('citizen science') to meet environmental research, conservation, and management needs. She is a co-founder and director of The HMS Beagle Project, a UK charity that aims to retrace the Voyage of the Beagle aboard a tall ship in support of science education and ...
2015-Aug-15 • 14 minutes
Erica Ferencik: My Dad & His Mice
Erica Ferencik's father left his family to pursue his obsession with finding monogamy in the animal kingdom. Award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and essayist Erica Ferencik is the author of the comic novel, Cracks in the Foundation and the best-selling collection of essays, Hot, Naked and Awake: Notes From the Burning Edge of Menopause. Her newest collection of essays, A Natural History of Boys, is due out in November of this year. Ferencik's novel, Repeaters, a paranormal thriller about reincarnation, ha...
2015-Aug-07 • 13 minutes
George Church: Playing With Fire
George Church learns a lesson on the power of nature the hard way. George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Studies, and Director of, which provides the world's only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing, and barcoding. His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generatio...
2015-Jul-31 • 15 minutes
John Dimandja: The First Day Of Class
Professor John Dimandja is confused when his class begins snickering on the first day -- until he realizes it's because they weren't expecting him to be black. John Dimandja is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Spelman College. A native of Oxford, Ohio, John grew up in the US, Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo. His professional career includes work as an analytical chemist at the NASA/Ames Research Center and the CDC prior to joining Spelman in 2002. An internationally recognized leader in t...
2015-Jul-27 • 12 minutes
Diana Reiss: Who is training who?
Early in her career researching dolphin intelligence Diana Reiss began wondering, "Who is training who?" Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist and a marine mammal scientist, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Reiss's research focuses on dolphin cognition, communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution of intelligence. Much of her work has investigated vocal communication and vocal learning in dolphins usi...
2015-Jul-19 • 16 minutes
Uzma Rizvi: Being an Archaeologist
At a checkpoint in Iraq, not knowing if she'll get through, Uzma Rizvi reflects on what it means to be an archaeologist. This story was produced as part of the Springer Storytellers series. Hear and read more at Uzma Z. Rizvi (PhD 2007, UPenn) is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at Pratt Institute of Art and Design, Brooklyn, where she teaches anthropology, ancient urbanism, critical heritage studies, memory and war/trauma studies and the postcolonial critique....
2015-Jul-13 • 17 minutes
Brian Wecht: The Littlest Experiment
For physicist Brian Wecht, his new baby is the perfect opportunity--to do experiments. Brian Wecht studies theoretical particle physics and string theory and is the co-founder of The Story Collider. Additionally, he is half of the musical sketch duo Ninja Sex Party, in which he wears a ninja costume, remains silent, and plays the piano. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2015-Jul-06 • 18 minutes
Jessica Henkel: Stuck
Ecologist Jessica Henkel finds the keys to her research truck missing, as it's parked on a remote beach with one of the biggest tides of the season about to come in. Jessica is a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences and a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. She has a B.A. in English from Stony Brook University and a M.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of New Orleans. Jessica is interes...
2015-Jun-27 • 19 minutes
Carter Edwards: Brontosaurus Claus
Not even the truth about Santa Claus and George Washington could prepare Carter Edwards for what happened to Brontosaurus. Carter Edwards' work has appeared in Mathematics Magazine, Hobart, The New York Times, and others. His debut collection of fiction, The Aversive Clause, won the 2011 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press. His debut collection of poetry, From The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes, was released last summer, also from Black Lawrence Press. He is a 2014 Poetry Fellow of the Ne...
2015-Jun-19 • 13 minutes
Rose Eveleth: Looking For Help
Rose Eveleth always wanted to be fiercely independent. But sometimes being too independent has its downsides. Rose Eveleth is a writer, producer, and designer based in Brooklyn. She's dabbled in everything from research on krill to animations about beer to podcasts about fake tumbleweed farms. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, The Atlantic, BBC Future, Deadspin and more. She also produces the podcast for The Story Collider, a show you might have heard of. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit ...
2015-Jun-12 • 17 minutes
Virendra Singh: Farm To School
Virendra Singh is responsible for carrying on his family's farm, but he begs his parents to be allowed to go to school. Virendra was born in a farmer's family in northern India. He experienced and learned engineering challenges while growing up on the agriculture farms. After receiving his PhD in Chemistry in 2007, he joined The Georgia Institute of Technology where he is currently working as a Material Scientist. His research focuses in the area of macromolecular nanoengineering. His latest research effort...
2015-Jun-04 • 14 minutes
Sean Carroll: What Would Stephen Hawking Do?
Sean Carroll gets a fabulous job offer—to work with Stephen Hawking—twice. Sean Carroll is a Research Professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology, especially issues of dark matter, dark energy, and the origin of the universe. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. His most recent boo...
2015-May-27 • 15 minutes
Carl Hart: My Cousin's Meds
When neuroscientist Carl Hart meets with his cousin he wonders about what he now knows about psychiatric medication and society, and whether his own life is a success. Carl Hart is a member of the faculty at Columbia University, jointly-appointed in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in neuroscience, psychology, and pharmacology and has been recognized for excellence in teaching with the University's highest teaching award. Dr. Hart is also a Research...
2015-May-19 • 13 minutes
David Kipping: Falling To Other Worlds
A near-fatal accident on a mountain leads exoplanet hunter David Kipping to a new goal. David Kipping is an astronomer based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where he researches extrasolar planets and moons. He is currently fulfilling a Donald Menzel Fellowship at the CfA with the Harvard College Observatory. He is best described as a "modeler," combining novel theoretical modeling with modern statistical data analysis techniques applied to observations. This story was produced as p...
2015-May-11 • 15 minutes
Chris Gunter: My Prosthetic
Geneticist Chris Gunter worries about passing on a rare condition to her son. Chris Gunter is a human geneticist by training, and a science communicator by choice. She earned her Ph.D. at Emory University and then moved up and down the east coast, ending up as a Senior Editor at the journal Nature. Currently she serves as the Associate Director for Research for the Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics for the Emory University School of Medicine....
2015-May-01 • 13 minutes
Bradford Jordan: The Brain In The Trunk
Bradford Jordan finds there's more to the brain his dad brings to show his class than just how cool it is. Bradford Jordan is an actor, improviser, storyteller and facilitator. He is a lead teacher at the Peoples Improv Theatre in New York, where he has introduced hundreds of students to the art of improvisation. As an actor, director, and teacher with the national arts and literacy organization, The Story Pirates, Bradford teaches creative writing workshops to school kids and works with his creative team t...
2015-Apr-24 • 12 minutes
Renee Hlozek: Who Looks Like A Scientist?
An offhand sexist comment enrages Renee Hlozek, and leads her to dig into how her colleagues really view people who aren't the stereotypical scientist. Dr. Renee Hlozek is the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics in at Princeton University; the Spitzer-Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and is currently a Senior TED Fellow. Her research focuses on theoretical cosmology; as a member of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope she measures the Cosmic Micr...
2015-Apr-17 • 18 minutes
Elin Roberts: The Bacon Sandwich
A simple interview about a bacon sandwich turns into a national, then international nightmare. Elin Roberts is Head of Public Engagement at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. She is a passionate science communicator producing activities and programs for visitors. She has worked with scientists, presenters and teachers helping them direct their messages. As a hands-on practitioner she still enjoys the sensation of dried PVA on her fingertips and the smell of freshly applied sticky back plastic. Learn more abo...
2015-Apr-11 • 18 minutes
Jon Ronson: Jon Ronson Vs Jon_Ronson
When Jon Ronson discovers a twitter account pretending to be him, he sets off to find it's creators. Jon Ronson is a British nonfiction author, documentary maker and screenwriter. His books, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats, The Psychopath Test, and Lost At Sea, have all been international bestsellers. He's a regular contributor to the PRI show This American Life, and has appeared at TED, and on The Daily Show. His new book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” is available now. Lear...
2015-Apr-03 • 13 minutes
Molly Payne Wynne: An Accomplice To Fish Murder
A summer job in Yellowstone National Park isn't quite what Molly Payne Wynne had been expecting. Molly is the Monitoring Coordinator for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, an unprecedented collaborative effort to restore 11 species of sea-run fish in New England's second largest river, the Penobscot. Molly has pursued a variety of research topics in fisheries; most recently, river herring habitat use patterns through otolith chemistry at the University of Southern Maine and otolith growth and microchemi...
2015-Mar-27 • 13 minutes
Bianca Jones Marlin: It's Because She's Black
On the first day of grad school for her PhD, a fellow student tells Bianca Jones Marlin that she doesn't really belong there. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and doctoral candidate at New York University, School of Medicine. She received dual bachelor degrees in biology and adolescent education from St. John's University. Her time as a high school biology teacher led her to the laboratory, where she now studies the neurochemicals that govern communication and dictate social memories. Bianca investig...
2015-Mar-16 • 14 minutes
Hillary Rea: A Standard Pregnancy
Hillary Rea enjoys her job as a "standard patient" helping to train medical students, until she's asked to sub in on a birth gone quite wrong. Hillary Rea is a Philadelphia dwelling comedian and storyteller, and the host of the storytelling shows Tell Me A Story and Fibber. She is a NYC Moth StorySLAM winner and was featured on The Soundtrack Series and How I Learned podcasts. She was a 2011 Artist-in-Residence for Elsewhere Artist Collaborative in Greensboro, NC. For more info, please visit:
2015-Mar-06 • 19 minutes
Adam Becker: How To Save Your PhD Supervisor
When Adam Becker realizes a visiting film crew is made up of geocentrists, he has to prevent them from exploiting his adviser's work. Adam Becker is a cosmologist, a journalist, a programmer, and a science publishing troublemaker. He hails from a tiny town in northern New Jersey, and he has a PhD in physics from the University of Michigan. He strongly believes that scientific research should be open, that the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is nonsense, and that David Tennant was the best Doc...
2015-Feb-27 • 15 minutes
Erin Barker: Plants And People
Erin Barker's attempt to save a college relationship leads her to a plant biology class where the professor brought an ax to class. Erin Barker is senior producer of The Story Collider and a host of its live show in New York. She is the first woman to win The Moth's GrandSLAM storytelling competition twice and has appeared in its Mainstage and shows in cities across the country, as well as on its Peabody Award-winning show on PRX, The Moth Radio Hour. One of her stories was included in The Moth's New York T...
2015-Feb-20 • 12 minutes
Obehi Janice: Gather And Murmur
Obehi Janice's family struggles to understand a death their doctors can't explain. Obehi Janice is a writer, actress, and comedian. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has trained with Shakespeare & Company and ImprovBoston. Her essays include "To Sasha, Malia, and Bo," which appeared in Kinfolks: a journal of Black expression. She is a performer of stage and screen and can also be heard as a voice actress on radio, TV, and video games. Obehi was recently named "Boston's Best Actress" by The Impr...
2015-Feb-12 • 14 minutes
Indre Viskontas: The Man Chart
Neuroscientist Indre Viskontas and her friends turn to science to find the right way to date. Indre Viskontas is a neuroscientist and opera singer. She is also the host of Inquiring Minds, an in-depth exploration of the place where science, politics, and society collide. Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2015-Feb-04 • 13 minutes
David Epstein: Holographic Supplements
Sports writer David Epstein tracks down some surprising health claims circulating in the football world. David Epstein is author of the recent New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, an exploration of the genetic basis of athleticism. He is currently an investigative reporter at the non-profit ProPublica. Up until September, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He has been a crime reporter at the New York Daily News, and an education reporter at Inside Higher Ed. In his past life, David was a ge...
2015-Jan-29 • 19 minutes
Tara Clancy: Adventures In Babymaking
The joys and dangers of getting pregnant for Tara Clancy and her wife. Tara Clancy is a writer and performer. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review and The Rumpus. She is also a winner of The Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition and was recently featured on their podcast. Originally from Queens, Tara now lives in Manhattan with her wife and two sons. More at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2015-Jan-22 • 14 minutes
Suze Kundu: A New Pair Of Shoes
Suze Kundu is forced to abandon dancing for materials science, until materials science comes to the rescue. Suze Kundu is a Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, where she shares her love of Materials Science and Engineering with anyone that will stand still for long enough. In addition she presents many Outreach and Public Engagement workshops and demo lectures, and pops up on TV fairly regularly, getting excited about everything from aerogel to zirconia. She is also fresh off the stage from Irrevere...
2015-Jan-12 • 13 minutes
Bethany Brookshire: A Perfect Mentor
Lost after arriving at grad school, Bethany Brookshire is happy to finally find a perfect mentor. Bethany Brookshire has a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Philosophy from The College of William and Mary, a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is the guest Editor of the Open Laboratory Anthology of Science Blogging, 2009, and the winner of the Society for Neuroscience Next Generation Award and the Three Quarks Daily Science Writing Award, among others. She is...
2015-Jan-03 • 23 minutes
Justin Cameron: A Dangerous Trick
Sword swallower Justin Cameron gets an unexpected lesson in anatomy and medicine. Justin is a product manager and mobile app designer who works on search engines and secure email products. Before that, he was an itinerant technical writer, hacker, and, very briefly, a sideshow performer. He lives in Brooklyn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2014-Dec-26 • 18 minutes
Alex Bellos: Your Favorite Number
Alex Bellos is surprised that people ask him what his favorite number is, so he decides to ask everyone what theirs is. Alex Bellos is the author of the popular science bestsellers The Grapes of Math and Here's Looking at Euclid. In a previous life he was the Guardian's South America correspondent, based in Rio, where he wrote Futebol: the Brazilian Way of Life, a book on Brazilian football. He also ghost-wrote Pele's autobiography. Alex blogs on maths for the Guardian and presents maths documentaries for B...
2014-Dec-16 • 20 minutes
Ed Yong: Questioning A Hero
Ed Yong is ecstatic to get an interview with his hero, Sir David Attenborough, but he's not prepared for a lesson in what having a science hero really means. Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer. His blog Not Exactly Rocket Science is hosted by National Geographic, and his work has also appeared in Wired, Nature, the BBC, New Scientist and more. His first book I CONTAIN MULTITUDES--about how microbes influence the lives of every animal, from humans to squid to wasps--will be published in 2016. Learn m...
2014-Dec-11 • 14 minutes
Annalee Newitz: Honoring The Dead
Annalee Newitz comes to terms with grief while exploring the remains of a mysterious ancient city. Annalee Newitz is the editor of io9, and author most recently of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2014-Dec-02 • 12 minutes
Steve Zimmer: Less Than One Percent
Against the odds, animal-loving kid Steve Zimmer attempts to rescue tadpoles in jeopardy. An aging yuppie from the midwest, Steve Zimmer was originally an academic economist and is currently a programmer, but not before working 5 years in an NYU immunology lab. Steve began attending the Moth in 2004 and telling stories in 2006. He is a past Grandslam winner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2014-Nov-25 • 15 minutes
Shayle Matsuda: My First Expedition As A Man
Marine biologist Shayle Matsuda adapts to his new identity as a transgender man while on assignment in the Philippines. Shayle Matsuda researches sea slugs as an MSc candidate at the California Academy of Sciences and San Francisco State University. When not in the lab, he hosts the interactive science happy hour series “Science, Neat” in San Francisco. He uses watercolors and digital media to make science more accessible to wider audiences, and creates and facilitates unique research experiences for high s...
2014-Nov-16 • 13 minutes
Brian Fisher: Living With The Pygmies
Alone in the African rainforest and on the brink of death, entomologist Brian Fisher finds help from an unexpected source. Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remote rainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. By documenting the species diversity and distribution of this "invisible majority," Dr. Fisher is helping to establish conservation pr...
2014-Nov-04 • 17 minutes
Matineh Eybpoosh: Being Good
Married young and used to giving up her own dreams, Iranian student Matineh Eybpoosh moves to the U.S. to study civil engineering—and a whole new world opens up. Matineh Eybpoosh was born in Oroumieh, a town that carries the scent of apples and the generosity of grapes, and shelters happy flamingos. She holds a masters in Construction Engineering and Management from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and a B.A. in civil engineering from Tabriz University in Iran. She is currently a Ph.D. candid...
2014-Oct-27 • 20 minutes
Jeffrey Schell: Caught In The Rip Current
Oceanographer Jeffrey Schell finds himself in a race against time when he encounters swimmers stuck in a dangerous rip current. Jeffrey M. Schell is an associate professor of oceanography with Sea Education Association, a renowned study abroad organization offering academic programs in marine environmental studies. Since 1994, Jeff has guided students through the challenges of oceanographic field research toward the thrill of discovery while teaching on more than 30 Sea Semester programs onboard the RV West...
2014-Oct-19 • 13 minutes
Nisse Greenberg: What's In A Name
While teaching a math class, Nisse Greenberg is troubled by his student's name, and his own. Nisse Greenberg is an educator and storyteller who eats mostly vegetarian. Sometimes he eats wings because wings are really good. When he applied for a visa to go to India he tried to type "atheist" into the proposed slot for religion, but he accidentally typed "matheist." He found it more appropriate anyway. He teaches high-school math to high-schoolers and math philosophy to adults. He creates art with spreadsheet...
2014-Oct-09 • 16 minutes
Karen Hopkin: Who's The Donor?
A panicked day leads Karen Hopkin to wonder if her sperm donor really is the father of her child. Karen Hopkin is a freelance writer and the creator of the Studmuffins of Science calendar. Karen received a PhD in biochemistry in 1992, and then traded in her test tubes for a keyboard. A former producer for NPR's Science Friday, Karen currently voices stories for Scientific American's daily podcast, 60-Second Science. She is a coauthor of the textbook Essential Cell Biology and has written for many magazines ...
2014-Sep-27 • 22 minutes
John Rennie: Crazy Mail
As an editor at Scientific American John Rennie delighted in the weird correspondence they received, but then one letter crossed a line. John Rennie is a science writer, editor, and lecturer based in New York. Viewers of The Weather Channel know him as the host of the original series Hacking The Planet and co-host of the hit special The Truth About Twisters. He is also the editorial director of science for McGraw-Hill Education, overseeing its highly respected AccessScience online reference and the McGraw-H...
2014-Sep-21 • 21 minutes
Edward Frenkel: The Test
When Edward Frenkel is told he won't be accepted to a Russian university because his father is Jewish, he decides to take the admissions exam anyway. Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, which he joined in 1997 after being on the faculty at Harvard University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and the winner of the Hermann Weyl Prize in mathematical physics. Frenkel has authored 3 boo...
2014-Sep-13 • 14 minutes
Meredith White: How To Write A Testimony
Marine scientist Meredith has to navigate a whole new world when she's called upon to testify in front of the Maine legislature in support of a crucial bill. Meredith White is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. Her research focuses on how Coastal Ocean Acidification affects marine organisms, from phytoplankton to commercially-important bivalves. She is also interested in the fascinating field of marine invertebrate reproduction and larval development....
2014-Sep-05 • 13 minutes
Nelson Lugo: A Simple Magic Trick
Nelson Lugo has a brilliant idea for his grade school talent show -- use chemistry to do a simple magic trick. It did not go over well. Nelson Lugo is a Magician, Sideshow Artist, and Batman enthusiast. He was featured by TimeOut NY as a New York Entertainer to Watch and co-hosts a podcast called "The EPIC PIEcast" for He's been a guest speaker for The Sunday Assembly NYC, a guest singer for the BTK Band, an invited storyteller at Adam Wade's Whatever Happened to the Nerds as well as for the ...
2014-Aug-29 • 19 minutes
Emily Caudill: Fading Notes
Musician Emily Caudill's life-saving chemotherapy treatment causes her to lose her hearing. Emily Caudill is a songwriter and musician from Louisville, Kentucky. In 2011, while she was working in special education, and as a music therapy intern, Emily was diagnosed with metastatic germ cell ovarian cancer. She sustained significant hearing impairment as a result of chemotherapy. Emily believes that life is a song, and the music is composed by our stories. When she isn't writing songs and stories, Emily enjo...
2014-Aug-22 • 18 minutes
Erika Engelhaupt: The Science Of Speeding
Erika Engelhaupt is on a road trip out to DC when suddenly they're pulled over and her boyfriend is arrested. She'll need science to vindicate her man. Erika Engelhaupt is a science writer and editor. At the time of this show, she is about to start a new job as the online science editor at National Geographic. She was most recently a deputy managing editor at Science News magazine, where she started her blog, Gory Details. Gory Details covers all that is creepy, bizarre, or otherwise strangely fascinating i...
2014-Aug-15 • 14 minutes
Stephon Alexander: Physics Dreams
Physicist Stephon Alexander feels overwhelmed until the father of quantum gravity himself helps him find inspiration in his subconscious. Stephon Alexander is the Ernest Everett Just 1907 Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. Stephon was born in Trinidad and grew up in the Bronx, NY. He is a theoretical physicist specializing in the interface between cosmology, particle physics and quantum gravity (String Theory and Loop Quantum Gravity). He received his BSc (1993) from Haverford College ...
2014-Aug-08 • 18 minutes
Daniel Miller: Black Holes
At four years old, Daniel Miller became one of the youngest people in the state of Texas ever to testify in court -- against his own mother, for sexual assault. As an adult, he struggles for stability, but finds hope in physics. (Warning: this story contains disturbing and potentially triggering events.) Daniel R. Miller is a Ph.D. student and research assistant at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. Using large telescopes in the Chilean Andes to observe our Universe as it was 12 bi...
2014-Aug-01 • 19 minutes
Daniel Engber: Distracting Mark Cuban
Daniel Engber risks derailing his PhD by constant daydreaming, until his neuroscience research gives him a idea that will revolutionize the NBA. Daniel Engber is a columnist for and Popular Science, and a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine. He has appeared on Radiolab, All Things Considered and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and received the National Academies of Science Communication Award in 2012 and the Sex-Positive Journalism Award in 2008. His work has been anthologized in Th...
2014-Jul-25 • 21 minutes
Eugene Lim: Colliding Universes
Cosmologist Eugene Lim is pulled into another world when he goes to help teach after the earthquake in Haiti. One day, Eugene Lim decided to dump his Mech Eng. degree to do physics for a living. So he went and obtained a PhD in astronomy at the University of Chicago, advised by someone who does not have a degree in physics. He is currently at Kings College, London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2014-Jul-18 • 16 minutes
Ainissa Ramirez: Science Vs Football
Materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez never connected with her brothers' love of football until she unexpectedly ends up writing a book about it. Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist, who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She co-authored Newton's Football (Random House) and authored Save Our Science (TED Books). She has appeared on NPR and CNN; gave a TED talk in 2012; and blogs for The Huffington Post. She was a mechanical engineering professor at Yale for ten...
2014-Jul-11 • 15 minutes
Annalise Kaylor: A Room Full Of Odds
A cancer diagnosis is only the start of the collapse for Annalise Kaylor, but she finds support in an unexpected community. Hailing from the northwoods of Wisconsin, Annalise Kaylor planned to live in an RV and travel around the country when she made a pit stop in Atlanta and decided it was home. By day, Annalise is one of the country's foremost authorities on social media, helping companies concoct ways for you to loathe Facebook even more. By night, she's an anti-social pilot who loves beer, bourbon, and ...
2014-Jul-04 • 13 minutes
Allison Hartshorn: Common Ground
A relationship bridging the divide between scientists and artists is reflected in a fight over where to store tomatoes. Alison graduated with a BSc in Astrophysics from Newcastle University. Leaving for London to seek her fortune, she worked for several years in building services engineering in investment banks; first as an operations manager and then as a consultant. She left this career to pursue her love of physics, completing a Masters in Space Science and a PhD in solar physics at UCL. She is now at Qu...
2014-Jun-27 • 22 minutes
Jodi Beggs: Kindergarten tycoon
Jodi Beggs's mother greatly underestimates how well her kindergartener understands economics. Jodi Beggs is an economist and writer whose focus is on making economics accessible and interesting to both students and a general audience. Jodi is currently a lecturer at Northeastern University, where she teaches economics to both economics and music industry students. Jodi is also the Assistant Director of Research at Northeastern University's CREATE Center, where she conducts research in the music industry. Ou...
2014-Jun-20 • 15 minutes
Kathleen Raven: Hearing
Science writer Kathleen Raven's unexpected loss of hearing takes her on a journey with modern technology. Kathleen Raven writes for Reuters Health and blogs about sustainable agriculture for Scientific American. As an independent writer based in Atlanta, she regularly takes walking breaks in Piedmont Park with her dog, Sunshine. She recently completed two degrees at the University of Georgia: Conservation Ecology (MS) and Health & Medical Journalism (MA). She likes speaking in elementary German with her Dut...
2014-Jun-13 • 16 minutes
Moran Cerf: Finding Fear
When he misses the opportunity to work with one of the most famous patients in neuroscience, Moran Cerf takes an unorthodox approach. Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at NYU and Northwestern University. Prior to his career in opening and studying brains, Moran used to work as a hacker in various security companies, breaking into banks and financial institutes to make a living. Moran is involved in the story-telling community, and is also the Alfred P. Sloan faculty at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los ...
2014-Jun-05 • 21 minutes
Sarah Schlesinger: Experimental Treatments
Immunologist Sarah Schlesinger must try to save her mentor's life with his own work in cellular immunity. Sarah J. Schlesinger MD is a clinical investigator and immunologist at The Rockefeller University who has spent more than 20 years working in the field of cellular immunity, including as clinical director of the laboratory led by the late Ralph M. Steinman, M.D., 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. She is currently Senior Attending Physician and Associate Professor of Clinical Investigation a...
2014-May-29 • 13 minutes
Marjorie Winther: Lighting A Fire
As a science teacher, Marjorie Winther has both entertaining and troubling times with her students, but when she brings them to the South she discovers a whole new side of them. Marjorie Winther has been performing stories and comedy for over ten years. She is the winner of the 2012 First Person Arts Grand Slam. Marjorie has been voted audience favorite at numerous First Person Arts story slams. She recently performed at the WHYY Connections Festival, The Women in Comedy Festival at Plays and Players and at...
2014-May-22 • 18 minutes
Margaret Geller: Mapping The Universe
As a grad student, Margaret Geller is invited to a private island off the coast of Maine by legendary physicist John Wheeler and his wife, for a trip she'll never forget. Margaret Geller is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1975. Geller is best known for her pioneering 3D maps of the distribution of galaxies in the nearby universe. These maps revealed surprising large patterns in the universe marked by galaxie...
2014-May-14 • 26 minutes
Carl Zimmer: Safety Carl Versus Gamera
Science writer Carl Zimmer grew up loving monster movies, but he never guessed a real monster would show up in his own backyard. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times. He's the author of a dozen books, including Parasite Rex and Evolution: Making Sense of Life. He has won prizes for his writing from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. Zimmer has appeared on radio shows such as This American Life and Radio Lab. Help keep us going! If you ...
2014-May-07 • 20 minutes
Abby Rabinowitz: Surrogate storytelling
Journalist Abby Rabinowitz embarks on a journey through India's burgeoning surrogacy industry in search of a missing baby. Abby Rabinowitz teaches writing at Columbia University, where she earned her MFA in nonfiction writing. Her work has appeared in the journal Science, the New York Times, and Nautilus. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2014-May-01 • 17 minutes
Sara Seager: A New Search For Life
In the midst of her search for life on other planets, astrophysicist Sara Seager's own world is shattered when her husband is told he has stage three cancer. Professor Sara Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist. She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concep...
2014-Apr-23 • 18 minutes
Jack El-Hai: Too Close To The Subject
Writer Jack El-Hai worries about his own state of mind when he spends time in the files of the psychiatrist who examined Nazi leaders. Jack El-Hai is the author of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII (PublicAffairs Books) and The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (Wiley). He has contributed articles and essays on science, medicine, and history to The Atlantic, Wired, ...
2014-Apr-16 • 15 minutes
Baratunde Cola: The Comeback
Doomed to be the waterboy after tearing his ACL, engineering student Baratunde Cola is determined to make it back to his college's football team. Bara Cola is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Georgia Tech, and founder and president of Carbice Nanotechnologies, Inc. He researches thermal transport and energy conversion in nanostructured materials, and is actively involved in the commercialization of his work, currently to cool electronics better. His work in nanotechn...
2014-Apr-09 • 15 minutes
Nick Hud: The Origin Of Life
For years, chemist Nick Hud struggles to share his work with his Catholic mother, until he finds help from a surprising source. Nicholas Hud was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his B.S. from Loyola Marymount University, his Ph.D. from UC Davis, and postdoctoral training at UCLA. Prof. Hud has studied the structure and function of DNA in various cells and viruses for over twenty-five years. Since joining the faculty of Georgia Tech in 1999, his laboratory has become increasingly involved in the ...
2014-Apr-02 • 24 minutes
Amy Cuddy: Passing As Myself
After a terrible head injury, Amy Cuddy wakes up in the hospital to find she's a different person. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and Harvard Business School Associate Professor who studies how snap judgments and nonverbal behavior affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. Amy Cuddy's fascinating work on "power posing" reveals how your physical posture affects not only how others see you, but also how you see yourself, your own hormone levels, and your performance and important life outcomes. R...
2014-Mar-26 • 13 minutes
Shannon Cason: The perfect solution
Shannon Cason turns to science to save his tumultuous marriage. Shannon Cason is a writer and storyteller. He has shared his stories on large stages, in dive bars, and in small living rooms all around the country. Shannon is a Moth GrandSlam winner; a contributor to NPR’s Snap Judgment; and host of his own storytelling podcast called Homemade Stories. He is originally from Detroit. Find out more at Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here:
2014-Mar-18 • 16 minutes
Deena Walker: Just Like My Sister
When anxiety begins to overtake her, biology student Deena Walker begins to worry she'll end up just like her mentally ill sister. Deena Walker is a postdoctoral fellow at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine where she studies the molecular mechanisms of addiction and depression. She recently moved to New York after finishing her PhD at The University of Texas at Austin in December 2012. When she's not in lab she enjoys practicing yoga and playing fetch with her dog in Central Park. Help keep us going! If you love ...
2014-Mar-12 • 15 minutes
Charles van Rees: Suffering For Science
Charles Van Rees desperately pursues a bird through the desert for the sake of data. Charles van Rees is a conservation biologist and PhD student at Tufts University. His research in biology focuses on how ecological research can be used to integrate biodiversity conservation with economic development and create "win-win" situations for people and wildlife. He has worked throughout the United States, in Costa Rica, and Vietnam on a variety of zoological research topics and wildlife conservation issues. He h...
2014-Mar-04 • 17 minutes
Amy Dixon: The Caretaker Look
Amy Dixon is passionate about becoming a hospice nurse, but finds she can't fully understand what the families she works with are going through--until one day. Amy Dixon is a registered nurse with over sixteen years of experience in critical care, home care, hospice, and telehealth/teletriage. She is currently a Clinical Manager in a tele-triage department for a large non-profit home care agency in New York City providing education and after-hours clinical support to patients or caregivers, in all aspects o...
2014-Feb-25 • 13 minutes
Rabiah Mayas: Identical Twins
An accidental revelation causes Rabiah Mayas to question her identity. Rabiah Mayas, PhD, is madly in love with science and driven by life’s questions, large and small. As Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, her work is focused on supporting that same spirit in youth who face barriers to accessing quality science experiences. She leads a multidisciplinary department that develops, implements and researches programs that support youth in pursuit of th...
2014-Feb-18 • 16 minutes
Jesse Dunietz: Star of the science team
Jesse Dunietz wasn't thrilled to be the one assigned to the music portion of his high school science team -- the one part of the team that was definitely going to lose. Jesse Dunietz is a Ph.D. student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from New Jersey, Jesse's circuitous route to Pittsburgh has included residences in Israel, Cambridge (the Massachusetts one), Cambridge (the English one), and California (the only one). He teaches computers to understand language, coaxing them to s...
2014-Feb-11 • 16 minutes
Skylar Bayer: Phoning Home From Alvin
Marine biologist Skylar Bayer faces her fears to go on a deep-ocean dive aboard the Alvin submersible, and ends up getting more than she expected. Skylar Bayer is a native to the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been pursuing a career in marine science since the age of eight and is currently working on her PhD in marine reproductive ecology at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine. She manages, edits and writes for the blog, Strictlyfishwrap (, sharing anecdotal scien...
2014-Feb-04 • 15 minutes
Tonia Pinheiro: Double dose
Tonia Pinheiro is conflicted when her doctor's instructions seem dangerous. Tonia (tone-ya) Pinheiro is a Wake Up! Artist (sm) and founder of Wake Up! Works and ISEEU Theater. She's a diverse and dynamic improvisational actor, singer, and sound healer. Tonia is dedicated to social change and social healing by engaging and empowering people to shift their operating paradigm from fear to love through the use of sound, improvisation, and other creative expressions. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, ...
2014-Jan-29 • 14 minutes
Brad Lawrence: The end of the world
For a young Brad Lawrence, fears of a nuclear apocalypse are put into perspective by his mother, at first intentionally. Brad Lawrence is a host of And I Am Not Lying, Best In Show, and has also hosted for The Moth. He has performed to sold-out houses everywhere from South By Southwest to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and can regularly be seen contributing to storytelling, stand-up, variety, and burlesque shows throughout New York. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: http://www....
2014-Jan-21 • 19 minutes
Rowena Fletcher-Wood: Diffraction
As a chemistry student, Rowena Fletcher-Wood has to reconstruct the structure of chemicals, and a relationship with a friend, by interpreting complex data. Rowena Fletcher-Wood is a keen science communicator and doctoral researcher in materials chemistry at the University of Birmingham. She graduated from Oxford in 2011 and has since divided her time between research, outreach, story-writing and climbing. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here:
2014-Jan-13 • 17 minutes
Kishore Hari: We will rock the Earth
When Kishore Hari is hired to run a new science festival he thinks he has the perfect plan, but the reality was much more than he expected. Kishore Hari is the Director of the Bay Area Science Festival, an annual celebration of science in San Francisco. After spending years operating an environmental services company, he left industry for the greener pastures of public science events and science education. He has founded numerous public science ventures, including a science cafe, a science field trip series...
2014-Jan-06 • 14 minutes
Julian Parker: A plane nerd
After abandoning a love of flying, a former military officer gets behind the controls of a plane for the first time. Growing up in an army family, Julian failed to resist the urge to follow in his father's footsteps, but after a short but brilliant military career he stumbled into the world of corporate investigation where he has successfully managed to avoid being found out for over 20 years. Help keep us going! If you love the podcast, please donate here: Learn more about ...
2013-Dec-30 • 16 minutes
Anna Wexler: A crucial choice
There is one rule more important than any other in an fMRI experiment: no metal. But a stuck piercing makes aspiring neuroscientist Anna Wexler make a crucial choice -- end her career, or face possible serious injury? Anna Wexler is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently pursuing her PhD at MIT in the Science, Technology, and Society Program, where she is studying the social and ethical implications of neuroscience advancements. She graduated from MIT with two Bachelors of Science degrees, one in Brai...
2013-Dec-23 • 11 minutes
Saad Sarwana: A muslim, a physicist, and a comedian...
Pakistan-born physicist Saad Sarwana gets a visit from the FBI. Saad Sarwana grew up in Pakistan, and moved first to Canada and then eventually to the US to attend graduate school in Physics. He's a professional physicist by day and an amateur standup comedian by night! As a Physicist, Saad has over 30 peer reviewed publications and two US patents. As a comedian Saad has performed at every major comedy club in the NYC area, and has been featured on an ABC 20/20 story about Muslim Standup Comedians. This win...
2013-Dec-16 • 13 minutes
David Epstein: A turn on the track
When tragedy strikes his high school friend, David Epstein vows to find out what happened. David Epstein is author of the recent New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, an exploration of the genetic basis of athleticism. He is currently an investigative reporter at the non-profit ProPublica. Up until September, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He has been a crime reporter at the New York Daily News, and an education reporter at Inside Higher Ed. In his past life, David was a geology grad stu...
2013-Dec-09 • 16 minutes
Danielle N. Lee: Working twice as hard
As a woman of color working in science, Danielle N. Lee has always encountered challenges. But she doesn't expect the email she receives one morning, or the events it sets in motion. Dr. Danielle N. Lee is a biologist and outreach scientist. Her research areas include animal behavior, behavioral ecology, and mammalogy; She is currently examining individual behavioral differences and natural history of African Giant Pouched Rats, Cricetomys ansorgei. DNLee (as she is known online) specializes in informal sci...
2013-Dec-01 • 16 minutes
Pete Etchells: The next level
Psychologist Pete Etchells' father inspired him -- to hate neurons. Pete Etchells is a lecturer in biological psychology at Bath Spa University, UK, and a science blogger for the Guardian's psychology blog, Head Quarters. When he was growing up though, he really wanted to be a dinosaur. His research interests cover everything from how the human visual system works, to understanding how modern technology (particularly video games) affects behaviour and development. Every week the Story Collider brings you a ...
2013-Nov-24 • 16 minutes
Craig Lehocky: Do you always talk like that?
While studying bioengineering, Craig Lehocky discovers he's different from the other students. Craig Lehocky's tinkering runs deep. He currently develops surgical robots as an M.D. / Ph.D. student at CMU and University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he worked on prosthetic limbs controlled by the brain at the University of Pittsburgh. And even before that, he restored cars, houses, and guitar amplifiers at the University of his Dad. He doesn't know what tinkering his future holds, but hopes it unfolds in Pitts...
2013-Nov-22 • 9 minutes
Special Episode - Outtakes! (And a request for help)
The Story Collider needs your help! Our initial funding is coming to an end, and we need your help to keep going. It doesn't take a lot, $1/podcast will go a long way. As a thanks if you donate, we'll give you a special podcast with some of the storylets we tell in the live shows between the main stories. Here's a sample of those. If you'd like to contribute or for more info, head to Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Nov-18 • 18 minutes
Saswato R. Das: Wrong number
A wrong number to a friend in Sri Lanka leads Saswato Das to the final interview with a famous science fiction writer. Saswato R. Das has written about science and technology for more than two decades for publications that include the Economist, Scientific American, New Scientist, the International Herald Tribune/ New York Times global edition, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Times Literary Supplement (UK), the Times of India, IEEE Spectrum, the Bell Labs Technical Journal, etc. He has a background in a...
2013-Nov-10 • 13 minutes
Jim O'Grady: You, me, and the monkey
Jim O'Grady's attempts to woo his housemate are stymied by the monkey she's training to help quadriplegics. Jim O'Grady is a reporter for WNYC Radio and a Moth GrandSLAM champ. He has worked as a reporter for The New York Times, a professor of journalism at NYU and research director at The Center for an Urban Future. That's a policy think tank for whom he co-wrote this science-y report: He is the author of two biographies, Dorothy Day: With Love for the Poor and Disarmed & Dangerous: T...
2013-Nov-03 • 15 minutes
Deborah Blum: A taste of nature
At age 7, Deborah Blum starts a mystery when she interrupts her parent's dinner party. So their guest, famed biologist E.O. Wilson, investigates. Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist, author and blogger, is the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Author of five books and a popular guide to science writing, her most recent publication, The Poisoner's Handbook, was a 2011 New York Times best seller and will be the subject of an America...
2013-Oct-28 • 14 minutes
Victor Hwang: Spacecraft are never late
What's the worst that can happen when you let a recent college grad command a $330 million spacecraft? Victor Hwang is a New England born nerd. After graduating from Tufts, he helped build ground telescopes, fly spacecrafts, and chased a dream to become a circus acrobat. Now he's a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute trying to make humanoid robots a little bit smarter. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more and subscribe to our podcast a...
2013-Oct-20 • 17 minutes
Eliza Strickland: Lost in the deep
Science writer Eliza Strickland discovers that in the race to the bottom of the Mariana Trench the most important thing is what they leave behind. Eliza Strickland is an editor for the magazine IEEE Spectrum, where she was assigned the daunting beat of covering technology across the Asian continent. On her third day on the job a tsunami flooded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. She spent the next two years writing about the catastrophe, its human ...
2013-Oct-14 • 13 minutes
Emily Graslie: From landscapes to taxidermy
How does a landscape artist become the host of a popular science show on YouTube? For Emily Graslie it started with pictures of a wolf head on Facebook. Emily Graslie graduated from The University of Montana with a BFA in painting in 2011. Her relationship with science began as an internship with The University of Montana Zoological Museum during her senior year. What started off as a means to practice scientific illustration gradually developed into a love of skeletal preparation and an interest in the inn...
2013-Oct-06 • 15 minutes
Alan Lightman: More than just the equations
From a (mostly) successful model rocket launch to a missed opportunity by Richard Feynman, Alan Lightman learns that the equations aren't the whole story. Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist, and essayist. He has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT and was the first person at MIT to receive dual appointments in science and in the humanities. His scientific work has been in the area of theoretical astrophysics. His literary work has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Harp...
2013-Sep-29 • 17 minutes
Robin Dessel: Sex and the nursing home
When two residents of her nursing home fell in love, sexual rights advocate Robin Dessel had to decide how the staff would handle their rendezvous. Robin has over 25 years of experience at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, and oversees vision care, memory care and sexual rights and expression. Robin co-authored the nation's first sexual rights policy for residential health care, recognizing the sexual rights of all residents including those with dementia, entitled "Residents' Rights to Intimacy and Sexual Expre...
2013-Sep-22 • 15 minutes
Stephanie Nothelle: A last cup of coffee
Stephanie Nothelle loves volunteering at her local nursing home, but she doesn't know what to do when one of the residents says, "I die today" and asks for a last cup of coffee -- against doctor's orders. Stephanie Nothelle is an Internal Medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She is an aspiring geriatrician and has spent many hours volunteering in nursing homes and previously worked at an Adult Day Care center before attending medical school. She currently does research on cardiovascula...
2013-Sep-15 • 15 minutes
Aviva Hope Rutkin: Sensory substitution
For her masters thesis in science writing, Aviva Hope Rutkin starts writing about sensory substitution -- a way of swapping in one sense for another. But her work leads to a mysterious Dr. Bach-y-Rita and a whole new way of knowing someone. Aviva Hope Rutkin writes about science and technology for the MIT Technology Review and The Raptor Lab. She has previously interned at Nature Publishing Group, Time, NASA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. She studied neuroscience and ...
2013-Sep-08 • 17 minutes
Richard Pollack: The wobbly table
Richard Pollack finds himself moderating an uneasy negotiation between Israelis and Jordanians, as part of an international effort to stem a scourge of houseflies. Richard Pollack is a public health entomologist serving academia (Harvard School of Public Health & Boston Univ) and government service, and operates the consulting venture, IdentifyUS. He has traveled the globe to study, teach about, and guide policy issues relevant to medically relevant pests, such as mosquitoes, lice, ticks, bed bugs, and the ...
2013-Sep-01 • 20 minutes
John Rennie: The lab safety officer
After he's named lab safety officer, John Rennie must recover a precious sample from the bottom of a vat of liquid nitrogen. So he reaches in. John Rennie is a science writer, editor, and lecturer based in New York. Viewers of The Weather Channel know him as the host of the original series Hacking The Planet and as one of the hosts of The Truth About… series of specials. He is also currently the editorial director of science for McGraw-Hill Professional, overseeing its highly respected AccessScience online ...
2013-Aug-24 • 14 minutes
Darcy Burke: The mountain lion book
Darcy Burke's mother gave her a book on mountain lions, and it had the effect that every science writer wishes their book will have. Kind of. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more and subscribe to our podcast (and see our celebration of a million downloads!) here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Jul-28 • 17 minutes
Aditi Nadkarni: How to impress your graduate advisor
As a new, super competitive, graduate student Aditi Nadkarni thinks she has the perfect way to impress her advisor and labmates ... until one night it spirals a tiny bit out of control. Aditi Nadkarni is a New York-based cancer researcher and a freelance science and creative writer; her occupations are a miscellany of creative pursuits. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoi...
2013-Jul-21 • 13 minutes
Kimberly Rae Miller: Let's fix dad
Kimberly Rae Miller's family had a secret: her dad was a hoarder. But when she begins digging into the research on hoarding, she finds it's not nearly as simple to fix as she'd hoped. Kimberly Rae Miller is a writer living in New York City. She haswritten for Yahoo!'s Shine, Figure magazine, and contributed to CBS Radio/CBS New York. In 2010, Kim was featured in Katharine Sise's career guide Creative Girl. She blogs at Her memoir, Coming Clean, will be published by Amazon Publishing Jul...
2013-Jul-16 • 19 minutes
Sara Peters and Peter Aguero: Praying for a seizure
Sara Peters has epilepsy, but no drugs seem to help. So she agrees to be hooked up to a machine at the hospital for days, in hopes of inducing the one thing she and her husband, Peter Aguero, dread the most: a seizure. Recorded at TEDMED 2013. Video: Originally from New Jersey, Sara Peters now lives in Sunnyside, Queens with her charming, maddening husband. A tech writer whose work focuses on IT security, she is currently editor-in-chief of a Web publication for IT pro...
2013-Jul-15 • 13 minutes
Ben Moskowitz: Cheating the snake
When Ben Moskowitz gets to take special classes in elementary school, he's excited at first, but then he starts to realize there might be something different about him. Ben Moskowitz is from Glen St. Mary, Florida. He works as an audiovisual preservationist at New York University. He is a Moth GrandSlam Champion and a pretty nice guy. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Scotty and Viva. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: http://storyc...
2013-Jul-07 • 14 minutes
Alex Brown: The nature of time and meningitis
Science writer Alex Brown's philosophical education becomes very practical when he is diagnosed with meningitis. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Alex Brown has a BSc Natural Sciences from the University of Bath and will soon graduate with an MSc Science Communication from the University of the West of England. He currently works in administration in a lab in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also fascinated by the interaction ...
2013-Jun-30 • 14 minutes
Susannah Cahalan: Patient #217
Three years after a mysterious illness nearly drove her insane and took her life, Susannah Cahalan visits a patient with the same rare, dangerous condition. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Susannah Cahalan is the New York Times bestselling author of "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness." She began her investigative reporting career at The New York Post when she took an internship her senior year of high school. She has n...
2013-Jun-24 • 15 minutes
Elna Baker: Nerd day
Elna Baker's grade school reputation faces it's greatest threat: her engineer father's enthusiasm for homework. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Elna Baker is a writer and comedic storyteller. She's appeared on The Moth Radio Hour, This American Life, BBC Radio 4, All Things Considered, WTF with Marc Maron, Studio 360, The Sound of Young America, The Joy Behar Show and at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She's writt...
2013-Jun-17 • 14 minutes
Justin Werfel: Robotics lessons from termites
A physicist decides that the best way to make progress on his robotics project is to go to Namibia to study termites. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Justin Werfel is a research scientist at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He received his PhD at MIT and did postdoctoral work at Harvard and the New England Complex Systems Institute. He works on topics including swarm robotics, evolutionary...
2013-Jun-10 • 17 minutes
Seth Mnookin: Science vs. feelings in the fight over vaccines
Science writer Seth Mnookin set out to write a book on whether vaccines were dangerous, but discovered the issue was more complex than he'd thought. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Seth Mnookin teaches in MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, was one of The Wall Street Journal's Top Five Health and Medicine books for 2011 a...
2013-Jun-03 • 13 minutes
Mike Nitabach: I was supposed to be a lawyer
As grad school for neuroscience wears on, Michael Nitabach feels the pull of law school, and goes. But he had another surprise coming. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Mike Nitabach is Associate Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology and of Genetics at Yale School of Medicine, where he directs a research program aimed at understanding how neural circuits process information and control behavior. He received his PhD at Col...
2013-May-27 • 12 minutes
Esther Perel: Science & sexuality
Esther Perel's career gets an unexpected boost from the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Or subscribe on iTunes: Psychologist Esther Perel is recognized as one of the world's most original and insightful voices on couples and sexuality across cultures. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native is a celebrat...
2013-May-20 • 17 minutes
Mara Wilson: A love affair of a lifetime (with science)
As a kid, Mara Wilson is decidedly uninterested in science, but as she grows up she starts to look for answers in new places. Every week the Story Collider brings you a true, personal story about science. Find more here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-May-13 • 22 minutes
Meehan Crist: My mother's brain
When Meehan Crist was a child, her mother hit her head. It was only as an adult that she discovered that her mother was covering up something far more serious: something called rather ironically a "mild traumatic brain injury." Find more from The Story Collider here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-May-05 • 15 minutes
Daniela Schiller: A new last memory
Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller studies the emotional components of memory. In her previous story her research helped her begin to understand her father, a holocaust survivor. But that story led to a whole new chapter in their relationship, and her understanding of memories. Hear Daniela's first story here: Learn... more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Apr-21 • 16 minutes
Moran Cerf: Being dead while being alive
Moran Cerf's life is spun around when a computer glitch declares him dead -- but that's nothing compared to what happens when a real funeral comes around. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Apr-14 • 17 minutes
Andrew Revkin: My lucky stroke
When he begins showing strange symptoms on a jog though the mountains, science writer Andrew Revkin discovers just how close to death he is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Apr-07 • 15 minutes
Sarah Everts: Bitten in a foreign country
While visiting Guatemala Sarah Everts is bitten by a dog, so she goes looking for a rabies shot. But coming home to Canada is when the real problem started. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Mar-31 • 17 minutes
Stuart Firestein: A mentor with a nose for science
After a career as a theater manager, Stuart Firestein takes a biology class, which leads him to a completely new life, and a lot of salamander noses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Mar-24 • 14 minutes
Paula Croxson: When your grandmother forgets who you are
When Paula Croxson began to study memory as a neuroscientist, she also learned a new way of thinking about her grandmother's failing memory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Mar-16 • 14 minutes
Jess Zimmerman: The Gorilla In the Room
Writer Jess Zimmerman discovers the dangers of dating a philosopher of neuroscience who thinks he knows what's really happening in her head. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Mar-10 • 16 minutes
Jon Ronson: A journalist interviews a robot
Journalist Jon Ronson is excited when he hears about some 'sentient' robots, but when he goes to interview them he finds both less and more than he ever expected. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Mar-03 • 15 minutes
Andre Fenton: The twisting road from basic brain research to helping malaria patients
André Fenton always wanted to do research at the most fundamental level -- to uncover basic truths about memory and how it works, never mind how useful. But a friend's accident unexpectedly leads to him inventing a spectacularly useful, and lifesaving, device. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Feb-24 • 16 minutes
Robin & Samantha Henig: The rules of writing with your daughter
Robin Marantz Henig and her daughter, Samantha, decided to write a book together about life as a twentysomthing. There was just one problem -- how to handle the bits you don't want to talk about with your mother? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Feb-17 • 18 minutes
Colin Jerolmack: How a sociologist became The Pigeon Guy
Colin Jerolmack was floundering in grad school until he found deep insights into human nature... from pigeons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Feb-10 • 17 minutes
Kelly & Zach Weinersmith: Two nerds fall in love
Biologist Kelly Smith and comic artist Zach Weiner were having trouble dating, until they met online and realized what they each needed was another nerd. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Feb-03 • 13 minutes
Anica Rissi: Confessions of a fourth-grade science fraud
Anica Rissi realizes the true purpose of her science project: to increase her popularity. But how far is she willing to go? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Jan-27 • 11 minutes
Tara Clancy: A bartender from Queens learns theoretical physics
Tara Clancy's worry over making bad life choices leads her to think about all the things she doesn't know -- and from there, obviously, to theoretical physics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Jan-20 • 13 minutes
Heather Berlin: Can a scientist believe in life after death?
Her grandmother's death forces neuroscientist Heather Berlin to think hard about what she believes, and why. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2013-Jan-06 • 12 minutes
Anna Rothschild: Feeling love in your gut
Anna Rothschild tells the most adorably gross love story you'll ever hear. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Dec-16 • 10 minutes
Robin Abrahams: A rabbit's personality
A neighbor's gift of two baby rabbits leads Robin Abrahams to a new view of, and fascination with, personality. "Do you not understand that I am a nine year old girl? ... Of course I want the bunnies!" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Dec-09 • 15 minutes
Lawrence David: An extreme self-study
Having lost his ambition to be a scientist, Lawrence David embarks on one more research project -- to collect and study his poop. Every day. For a year. "I wake up, I dread pooping. I'm gagging, and I hear my wife screaming from the bedroom, 'Serves you right for putting feces in our fridge!'" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Dec-02 • 17 minutes
Abby Pond: A quiet moment
When her dad is diagnosed with cancer, Abby Pond is sent on a journey home, across the world, and into a new science. "He said, 'Why are you sitting here waiting for me to die. This is dumb.' So he kicked me out." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Nov-25 • 14 minutes
Arran Frood: A therapeutic trip
Arran Frood is a science writer who specializes in writing about studies of psychedelic drugs, but a routine story turns personal when he finds himself in a study of MDMA and therapy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Nov-18 • 15 minutes
Adam Wade: Volcanic chemistry
In high school, Adam Wade falls for his lab partner, but is led astray by dreams of golf team greatness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Nov-11 • 14 minutes
Heather Swain: The last hours of a rabid woman
When Heather Swain is told she has rabies, that turns out to be the least strange part of her experience. "Who wants to grow up saying their mother died of rabies, like I was a raccoon?" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Nov-05 • 17 minutes
Steve Mirsky: Why would you have a masters in chemistry?
Questions arise when Steve Mirsky is introduced to his friend's new girlfriend, and he relies on his past experience to help -- specifically his degree in chemistry. "It's almost like you're army buddies.... It's midnight, it's just the two of you, and you're going through this labyrinth of dusty medical records." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Oct-28 • 16 minutes
Ari Daniel Shapiro: Narwhal tagging in the arctic
As a grad student, Ari Daniel Shapiro has to tag some narwhals to collect data. The problem: it's in the arctic, the devices have never been tested, and if he fails he'll never be able to do research again. "The thing is, you have to get the tag back to get the data." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Oct-21 • 13 minutes
Brooke Borel: My dog's heart
A science writer is challenged when her dog comes down with a case of heartworm -- and then the medication goes wrong. "As I'm leaving, the vet says, 'Oh, by the way: Don't go on the internet. It'll only freak you out.'" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Oct-14 • 13 minutes
Rory Scholl: What I want is to smile again
Rory Scholl has to show up on day one to a new job -- with a severe case of Bell's Palsy. "When I said this to one of my co-workers I slurred my words, which was nothing new: I had a lot of three martini lunches." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Oct-07 • 18 minutes
Christine Gentry: Four lessons from my dad
Christine Gentry's rural, Vietnam vet father rarely talked about important issues, but a series of remarkable moments with animals and nature teach her four lessons she'll never forget. "Lesson number 2: Aint no use crying about things you can't do nothin' about." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Sep-30 • 21 minutes
Diane Kelly: Confronting death on the road
After turning to a unique field of study -- erections -- Diane Kelly turns to an even more unique source for her research material -- roadkill. "When you open up an animal, there is all kinds of awesome in there." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Sep-23 • 15 minutes
Caroline Howe: A life in trash
A trip to India to work for an environmental program leads Caroline Howe to a new passion: trash. "I was the first to arrive, so obviously I was the one to set up our waste management system." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Sep-16 • 15 minutes
Greg Walloch: A walk in the park
A late-night excursion to a party turns absurd and then terrifying as Greg Walloch, who has cerebral palsy, can't jump the fence around Tompkins Square Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Sep-09 • 16 minutes
Sara Peters: Waiting for a seizure
With her epilepsy medication failing, Sara Peters checks into a hospital with one goal: make the scariest thing in her life happen again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Sep-02 • 13 minutes
Tim Manley: A superhero goes to the hospital
As a six-year old, Tim Manley has to go to the hospital with a mysterious illness. Fortunately, he has his superpowers and his trusty sidekick -- his mom. "We get to the hospital and I have my own room... like a King!" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Aug-30 • 14 minutes
Love in a biophysics lab -- in memory of Michelle Dobrawsky
We just heard the terrible news that Michelle Dobrawsky passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. Michelle was one of our first storytellers and a great friend of the show and we’re devastated by the loss. Michelle described herself as a Lawyer, Nerd, and Comic. She was well known in the comedy world not just as a great comedian, but as someone who worked hard to get other other comics exposure and stage time. She was starting to explore storytelling right around the same time Brian and I were...
2012-Aug-13 • 12 minutes
Margot Leitman: The last thing I heard
Margot Leitman faces down doctors, friends and uncertainty when she suddenly loses hearing in one ear. "If I’ve gone deaf, for real, that means the last thing I’ve heard to its full extent was James Cameron’s Avatar, and [that is so] disappointing for me." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Jul-29 • 18 minutes
George Lombardi: Don't go in the water
In the Indian Ocean, doctor George Lombardi makes use of the most important lesson his mother ever taught him: floating. "Let me give you one of the morals early on: No bonding experiences with somebody you're about to fire." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Jul-22 • 11 minutes
Madeline Huberth: The turtle and the fish
Madeline Huberth confronts the imminent death of a classroom goldfish while navigating the dangerous social waters of junior high. "Why could someone, if they could control a situation and make a happy ending, choose not to do so?" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
2012-Jul-15 • 13 minutes
Christopher Roussi: Sufficiently advanced magic
After becoming ill during a trip to Ecuador, DARPA researcher Chris Roussi seeks medical advice from a local expert: a shaman. "Here I am, an engineer-scientist, and here's this educated man spouting the worst kind of fuzzy thinking, superstitious claptrap. I look him in the eye and I say: OK!" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit