Science November 24, 2020

Heredity Under the Microscope

Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome

Soraya de Chadarevian

Hosted by Maia Woolner
“What are chromosomes? And what does it mean to treat them as visual objects?” asks Soraya de Chadarevian in her new book, Heredity Under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study …

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Science, Technology, and Society November 23, 2020

Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Kelly C. Smith and Carlos Mariscal

Hosted by John Traphagan
Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (Oxford University Press, 2020) focuses on the emerging scientific discipline of astrobiology, exploring many of the humanistic issues this multidisciplinary field is generating. Despite …
Medicine November 16, 2020


A Shadow History of Demons in Science

Jimena Canales

Hosted by Claire Clark
Science may be known for banishing the demons of superstition from the modern world. Yet just as the demon-haunted world was being exorcized by the enlightening power of reason, a …
Psychology November 16, 2020

Gender and Our Brains

How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

Gina Rippon

Hosted by Eugenio Duarte
There is a long history of brain research that seems to legitimize widely held beliefs about the men versus women. According to my guest, much of that research is founded …
Mathematics November 11, 2020

The Joy of Geometry

Alfred S. Posamentier

Hosted by Jim Stein
Alfred S. Posamentier's The Joy of Geometry (Prometheus, 2020) is a book for someone who has taken geometry but wants to go further. This book, as one might expect, is …
Anthropology November 4, 2020

The Book of Unconformities

Speculations on Lost Time

Hugh Raffles

Hosted by Lachlan Summers
At once an examination of geology, a biography of monuments, and a meditation on the connection between personal loss and massive loss, Hugh Raffles’ The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on …
Animal Studies November 3, 2020

The Animals' Agenda

Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age

Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce

Hosted by Mark Molloy
A compelling argument that the time has come to use what we know about the fascinating and diverse inner lives of other animals on their behalf Every day we are …
Science October 30, 2020


Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion

Ingrid Newkirk and Gene Stone

Hosted by Mark Molloy
The founder and president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, and bestselling author Gene Stone explore the wonders of animal life and offer tools for living more kindly toward them. In the …
Gender Studies October 27, 2020

Gender and Our Brains

How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

Gina Rippon

Hosted by Christina Gessler
For decades if not centuries, science has backed up society’s simple dictum that men and women are hardwired differently, that the world is divided by two different kinds of brains—male …
Van Leer Institute Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel October 22, 2020


How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Robert Plomin

Hosted by Renee Garfinkel
Have you ever felt, “Oh my God, I’m turning into my mother (or father)!” ? Robert Plomin explains why that happens in Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are …
American Studies October 20, 2020

Into the Extreme

U.S. Environmental Systems and Politics Beyond Earth

Valerie Olson

Hosted by John Traphagan
What if outer space is not outside the human environment but, rather, defines it? This is the unusual starting point of Valerie Olson’s Into the Extreme: U.S. Environmental Systems and …
Gender Studies October 15, 2020


The Missing Science of Men’s Reproductive Health

Rene Almeling

Hosted by Michael Johnston
Rene Almeling’s new book GUYnecology: The Missing Science of Men’s Reproductive Health (University of California Press, 2020) provides an in-depth look at why we do not talk about men’s reproductive …
Communications October 14, 2020

Scholarly Communication

An Interview with Joerg Heber of PLOS

Joerg Heber

Hosted by Daniel Shea
Open Access is spelled with a capital O and a capital A at the Public Library of Science (or PLOS, for short), a nonprofit Open Access publisher. Among PLOS's suite …
History October 12, 2020

Strange Blood

The Rise and Fall of Lamb Blood Transfusion in 19th-Century Medicine and Beyond

Boel Berner

Hosted by Claire Clark
In the mid-1870s, the experimental therapy of lamb blood transfusion spread like an epidemic across Europe and the USA. Doctors tried it as a cure for tuberculosis, pellagra and anemia …
Medicine October 9, 2020

Rebel Cell

Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's Oldest Betrayal

Kat Arney

Hosted by Matthew Jordan
Cancer exists in nearly every animal and has afflicted humans as long as our species has walked the earth. In Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's …
Science October 5, 2020

Every Life is on Fire

How Thermodynamics Explains the Origins of Living Things

Jeremy England

Hosted by Galina Limorenko
“How did life begin? Most things in the universe aren't alive, and yet if you trace the evolutionary history of plants and animals back far enough, you will find that …
Psychology October 1, 2020

Mama's Last Hug

Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

Frans de Waal

Hosted by Mark Molloy
Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves (W. W. Norton & Company) is a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals, beginning with …
Environmental Studies September 30, 2020

The Wake of Crows

Living and Dying in Shared Worlds

Thom van Dooren

Hosted by Mark Molloy
Crows can be found almost everywhere that people are, from tropical islands to deserts and arctic forests, from densely populated cities to suburbs and farms. Across these diverse landscapes, many …
Communications September 29, 2020

Scholarly Communications

An Interview with Helen Pearson of 'Nature'

Helen Pearson

Hosted by Daniel Shea
Nature is the premier weekly journal of science, the journal where specialists go to read and publish primary research in their fields. But Nature is also a science magazine, a …
Education September 24, 2020

Dr. Christopher Harris on Teaching Neuroscience

Christopher Harris

Hosted by John Griffiths
Dr. Christopher Harris (@chrisharris) is a neuroscientist, engineer and educator at the EdTech company Backyard Brains. He is principal investigator on an NIH-funded project to develop brain-based robots for neuroscience …