Science Talk

Science Talk

United States

Science Talk is a weekly science audio show covering the latest in the world of science and technology. Join Steve Mirsky each week as he explores cutting-edge breakthroughs and controversial issues with leading scientists and journalists. He is also an articles editor and columnist at Scientific American magazine. His column, "Antigravity," is one of science writing's great humor venues. Also check our daily podcast from Scientific American : "60-Second Science." To view all of our archived podcasts please go to


Gorilla's Hum Is a Do-Not-Disturb Sign  

If a socially prominent gorilla is in the midst of a meal, it may hum or sing to tell others nearby that it's busy at the moment and will get back to you later.  

Bill Gates Wants A Miracle  

Scientific American's energy and environment editor David Biello met with Bill Gates on February 22nd to discuss tackling carbon emissions while at the same time making necessary energy available to ever more of the globe’s growing population.  

From AI to Zika: AAAS Conference Highlights  

Scientific American editors Mark Fischetti, Dina Maron and Seth Fletcher talk about the info they picked up at the just-concluded annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Subjects covered include gravitational waves, whether there's really a war on science, the growing concern over Zika virus, sea level rise and advances in artificial intelligence  

Gravitational Waves Found: Kip Thorne Explains  

Scientific American 's Josh Fischman talks with renowned astrophysicist and general relativity expert Kip Thorne about the discovery of gravitational waves by the LIGO Project, co-founded by Thorne  

The Big Gath Dig: Goliath's Hometown  

Freelance journalist Kevin Begos talks with archaeologist Aren Maeir, from Bar Ilan University in Israel, at his dig site in Gath, thought to be Goliath's hometown and a major city of the Philistine civilization.     

Roman Sanitation Didn't Stop Roaming Parasites  

The University of Cambridge's Piers Mitchell, author of the 2015 book Sanitation, Latrines and Intestinal Parasites in Past Populations, talks about the counterintuitive findings in his recent paper in the journal Parasitology titled "Human parasites in the Roman World: health consequences of conquering an empire"  

Evolution Still on Trial 10 Years after Dover  

Evolutionary biologist Nicholas Matzke talks about the Kitzmiller v. Dover evolution trial on the 10th anniversary of the decision. He advised the plaintiffs while working for the National Center for Science Education. He also discusses the continuing post-Dover attempts to get creationist narratives taught in public school science classrooms  

Lifting the Visor on Virtual Reality  

Ken Perlin, a New York University computer science professor and virtual reality pioneer, talks with Scientific American tech editor Larry Greenemeier about the state of virtual reality , its history and where it's heading  

The Epic History of the Horse  

Science journalist and equestrian Wendy Williams talks about her new book The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion  

Math Can Equal Fun  

Harvey Mudd College math professor Arthur Benjamin talks about his new book The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why  

Teaching Machines to Learn on Their Own  

Stephen Hoover, CEO of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, talks with Scientific American tech editor Larry Greenemeier about the revolution underway in machine learning, in which the machine eventually programs itself  

Chemistry Nobel: Keeping DNA in Good Repair  

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for discoveries of the mechanisms by which cells maintain the integrity of their DNA sequences  

Physics Nobel: Neutrinos <i>Do</i> Have Mass  

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass

Medicine Nobel: Sifting Nature for Antiparasite Drugs  

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to William C. Campbell and Satoshi ┼îmura for their discoveries of a medication against roundworm parasites and to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria. Some 3.4 billion people are at risk for the diseases these drugs treat  

The Hunt for the Fat Gene  

Medical researcher Richard Johnson, of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, talks about his October Scientific American article "The Fat Gene," co-authored by anthropologist Peter Andrews of University College London and the Natural History Museum in London. Their piece is about how a genetic mutation in prehistoric apes may underlie today’s pandemic of obesity and diabetes  

The Errors of Albert  

Physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, talks about his article "What Einstein Got Wrong," in Scientific American ’s September issue, devoted to the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s publication of general relativity  

Public Health Hero Jimmy Carter; <i>SA</i> Turns 170  

Jimmy Carter talks about his public health efforts to eradicate guinea worm and improve global mental health and women's health. Plus, magazine collector Steven Lomazow brings part of his collection to the Scientific American 170th birthday party  

Olympics Loser Boston Wins Big Economically  

Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist talks about why the Olympics is almost always a big financial hardship for the host city, a subject he treats at length in his book Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup . Recorded at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in New York City  

Betting Lots of Quatloos on the Search for Alien Civilizations, Part 2  

Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur and former physicist Yuri Milner announce a $100-million, 10-year initiative to look for signs of intelligent life in the cosmos

Betting Lots of Quatloos on the Search for Alien Civilizations, Part 1  

Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur and former physicist Yuri Milner announce a $100-million, 10-year initiative to look for signs of intelligent life in the cosmos  

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