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 …

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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 Limorenko Galina
“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 …
British Studies September 18, 2020

Merchants of Medicine

The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long Eighteenth Century

Zachary Dorner

Hosted by Maia Woolner
In Merchants of Medicine: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long Eighteenth Century (The University of Chicago Press), medicines embody the hopes of those who prepared, sold, and …
Neuroscience September 17, 2020

The Mind Is Flat

The Remarkable Shallowness of the Improvising Brain

Nick Chater

Hosted by John Griffiths
Psychologists and neuroscientists struggle with how best to interpret human motivation and decision making. The assumption is that below a mental “surface” of conscious awareness lies a deep and complex …
Environmental Studies September 17, 2020

Becoming Wild

How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

Carl Safina

Hosted by Mark Molloy
Some people insist that culture is strictly a human accomplishment. What are those people afraid of? Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace (Henry Holt …
Popular Culture September 14, 2020

Run, Spot, Run

The Ethics of Keeping Pets

Jessica Pierce

Hosted by Mark Molloy
A life shared with pets brings many emotions. We feel love for our companions, certainly, and happiness at the thought that we’re providing them with a safe, healthy life. But …
Language September 11, 2020

How You Say It

Why You Talk the Way You Do - And What It Says About You

Katherine Kinzler

Hosted by Matthew Jordan
We gravitate toward people like us; it's human nature. Race, class, and gender shape our social identities, and thus who we perceive as "like us" or "not like us". But …
Intellectual History September 10, 2020

From Darwin to Derrida

Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life

David Haig

Hosted by Carrie Evans
In his book, From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life (MIT Press), evolutionary biologist David Haig explains how a physical world of matter in …
Economics September 4, 2020

Dark Data

Why What You Don't Know Matters

David J. Hand

Hosted by Jason Brunson
There is no shortage of books on the growing impact of data collection and analysis on our societies, our cultures, and our everyday lives. David Hand's new book Dark Data …
Medicine September 3, 2020


What the Nose Tells the Mind

Ann-Sophie Barwich

Hosted by Joseph Fridman
In Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard UP, 2020), cognitive scientist, empirical philosopher & historian of science, technology, and the senses A. S. Barwich asks a deceptively simple …