Science for the People

Science for the People

Canada

Science for the People is a syndicated radio show and podcast based in Edmonton, Alberta, that broadcasts weekly across North America. We explore the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what's in the news and on the shelves.

Episodes

#435 Total Eclipse of the Sun  

On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse is going to appear, visible to most of the continent of North America. Bethany is very, very excited. What's going to happen, and what are scientists doing to take advantage of the event? Bethany Brookshire starts with a primer on the upcoming eclipse with Lisa Grossman, astronomy writer at Science News, then discusses three eclipse-related citizen science projects that need data: Smithsonian Astrophysicist Trae Winter tells us about the Eclipse Soundscapes project; Morrison Planetarium Senior Presenter Elise Ricard discusses the Life Responds project; and University of Massachusetts Assistant Professor of Engineering Kiersten Kirby-Patel...

#434 The Dictionary  

This week we look at the science, art, and craft of lexicography as we go backstage into the process of how dictionaries are made. We spend the hour with Kory Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and author of the book "Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries", to learn more about the history of dictionaries, what their purpose is, and how defining words isn't as straightforward as you might think.

#433 The State of Science Journalism  

This week we step into the world of science journalism from the perspectives of two unique and reputable popular science publications. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Katie Palmer, senior editor of the online science and health section at WIRED, about her direct route into science journalism through a master's in science reporting and her role as an editor of online content. And she talks with Michael Segal, founding editor and editor-in-chief of Nautlius magazine, about how he transitioned from conducting research in engineering and computer science to developing a science and culture magazine, and how Nautilus is forging a...

#432 A Sting In The Tail (Rebroadcast)  

This week we're learning about the fascinating lives of bees, and the important role they play in our global ecosystem. We'll speak to University of Sussex biology professor Dave Goulson about his book "A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees." And we'll talk to Jocelyn Crocker, founding member of YEG Bees, about the rewards and challenges of urban beekeeping.

#431 Memory and Emotion  

This week we look at how our brains process memory and emotion. We talk to Michael Yassa, Associate Professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Neurology at UC Irvine, about how our brains discriminate similar memories from each other and the conditions that compromise that ability. And we speak with James McGaugh, Research Fellow and Founding Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and Founding Director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, about the pathways that allow emotional experience to strengthen memories and the potential ways we may...

#430 Bacteria in Bodies and On The Farm  

This week we look at how new science and new challenges are pushing us to think differently about the role of bacteria in healthcare and pest control in agriculture. We speak to award-winning science writer Ed Yong about his book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" and how our understanding of how microscopic organisms affect our life and health has changed. And we talk with Emily Monosson, environmental toxicologist and author, about her book "Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health" about the parallels between healthcare and agriculture...

#429 Gene Drives  

This week on Science for the People: who is driving this genetic bus? We'll talk with Kevin Esvelt about gene drives, what they are, where they come from what they can be used for, and why the science on gene drives should be done as openly as possible. Then, we'll speak with Laurie Zoloth about the ethical questions surrounding their use, why people are so afraid, and who should be making the decision to use this technology in the wild. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. Related Links How gene drives work Gene Drives...

#428 Cities of the Future (Rebroadcast)  

This week, we're listening to "Cities of The Future," a panel discussion about the future of human living spaces recorded live at CONvergence 2014. Panelists Jamie Bernstein, Ryan Consell and Shawn Lawrence Otto discuss how cities can adapt to accommodate the changing demographics, economics, and environment of a warming planet.

#427 The Life Project  

This week we're diving deep into the history and current state of some of the largest and longest running studies in the world. We speak with science journalist, Chief Magazine Editor for Nature, and author Helen Pearson about her book "The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives" and the history of the long-running series of British longitudinal cohort studies. And we'll talk with Professor Parminder Raina about the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging an what it's like to be at the beginning of a cohort study that could run for decades.

#426 Everybody Poops  

This week on Science for the People, everybody poops! And everybody pees. But we probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how that works. Well, put down your lunch and listen up. We're talking with David Chu, a pediatric urological surgeon about urine. Then we'll hear from his brother, Daniel Chu, who's a colorectal surgeon, about poop. Finally, we'll hear from IgNobel prize winner Patricia Yang about her work studying the flow rate of mammal pee, and why all mammals pee and poop at the same rate. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from...

#425 Cooperative Microbes  

This week, we're looking at some of the ways bacteria cooperate with other organisms to break down plants. First we speak with Dr. Lisa Karr, Associate Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and get into the details of how rabbits and cows ferment their food. And Mark Stumpf-Allen, Compost Programs Coordinator for the City of Edmonton, has some practical tips to help you keep your compost pile and soil alive and happy.

#424 Biohacking (Rebroadcast)  

This week we're talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We'll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito Jankowski, co-founder of Silicon Valley's BioCurious. And we'll talk to transdisciplinary artist and educator Heather Dewey-Hagborg about her art projects exploring our relationship with genetics and privacy.

#423 Built On Bones  

This week we dig into the world of bioarchaeology to discover what a bunch of dead people's bones can tell us about our past. We spend the hour with Brenna Hassett, bioarchaeologist and author of the new book Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death", learning about the surprising information stashed away in teeth, bones, and mass graves.

#422 Is Our Children Learning  

This week on science for the people, we're taking on the educational system. We'll be talking with Ulrich Boser about what people think they know about education. It turns out that education is a lot like driving: everyone thinks they're well above average in their knowledge, which means half of us are probably wrong. Then, we'll speak with education researcher Luis Leyva about how math education privileges some at the expense of others. We may not think about it, but the way we have always taught math leaves many people of color behind. Finally, we'll speak with cognitive neuroscientist Suzanna...

#421 Hopeful Monsters  

This week on Science for the People, we are talking about a controversial theory in evolutionary biology that has led to research on the role of single mutations that drastically alter the body plan of organisms. Guest host Anika Hazra speaks with Olivier Rieppel, curator of Evolutionary Biology at the Field Museum, about the history of this theory and where it stands within modern science. And she talks with Nipam Patel, professor of Molecular Cell Biology and Intergrative Biology at UC Berkely, about his experimental research on the role of certain mutated genes in the physical development of crustaceans.

#420 Medical Marijuana (Rebroadcast)  

This week, we're taking a closer look at the medical marijuana controversy. How effective is medical marijuana and for what conditions is it a suitable treatment? In our attempt to separate evidence from anecdote we're joined by a panel of three: Dr. David Casarett, a palliative care physician and author of the book "Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana"; Dr. Robert Wolff, a systematic reviewer for Kleijnen Systematic Reviews and coauthor of a recent systematic review to assess benefits and harms of cannabis for medical use; and Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the...

#419 The Death and Life of the Single-Family House  

This week on Science for the People we take a closer look at North America's housing culture: how it got the way it is today, and how it's changing. We speak with Nathanael Lauster, an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of British Columbia, about his book "The Death and Life of the Single-Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable City".

#418 Animal Research Revisited  

This week we’re revisiting animal research. There's no denying animal research has done amazing things for both humanity and the animals we live and work with. But there are also good reasons why it makes people uncomfortable. We'll talk with philosopher John Hadley about the different philosophical perspectives on animal research, and how scientists might be more open about their practices. We'll also speak with philosopher Janet Stemwedel about current practices regulating research in the United States, how reducing animal use dovetails with issues of scientific reproducibility, and how we can have better, more productive conversations on what is often...

#417 Lab-Cultured Beef  

This week we go into a lab that's working to make our kitchens more sustainable. Guest host Jessie Yaros speaks with Professor Mark Post about lab cultured beef, including how a hamburger is grown from scratch in the lab, the advantages of cultured beef over traditional factory farming processes, and the currently public perception of eating lab-made meat products. And Bethany Brookshire chats with astronomy writer Chris Crockett about the approaching Grand Finale of the Cassini mission and how the spacecraft's destruction could provide us with exciting new information about Saturn and its rings.

#416 Bodies Everywhere (Rebroadcast)  

This week we're looking at the morbid and fascinating history of our attempts to grapple with disease and death. We're joined by medical historian Richard Barnett to talk about his book "The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration." And we'll speak to mortician and blogger Caitlin Doughty about her book "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory", and her ongoing YouTube series "Ask a Mortician", about the history, science and cultural attitudes attached to dealing with the deceased.

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose