The Story Collider

The Story Collider

United Kingdom

From finding awe in Hubble images to visiting the doctor, science is everywhere in our lives. Whether we wear a white lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since eighth grade, science affects and changes us. We all have a story about science, and at The Story Collider, we want to hear those stories.

Episodes

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 explaining science for a wide range of TV and radio programs and at live events.

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 approached this goal over the past five years by studying it from the perspectives of stem cell therapy, molecular signaling, biomedical engineering, and neuroscience. Her most developed work has involved using sound as a therapy for the brain, a technology called focused ultrasound. She has been coauthored in top science journals including Nature. She enjoys applying her understanding of the brain and her artistic abilities to science communication and illustration.

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. He's currently writing a book on kitchen chemistry and will be speaking about a little of that today.

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.

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.

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 & Grateful, her one-woman autobiographical musical, she's toured theatres across the country, earning accolades since it’s BroadwayWorld Award-nominated NYC debut. As a visual artist, her works have been featured in esteemed solo exhibitions, and her mixed media workshops emphasize creativity as an essential mindset.

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 at Metro State College of Denver and studied the mating strategies of bottlenose dolphins. Jana is interested in bringing diverse groups of people together in new ways to advance bioscience research, education and applications to help society. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Georgetown University and her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

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. Follow him @HermanPontzer.

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 Science and graduated #1 in her class. Her research is funded by the Chancellor's Fellowship.

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.

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 conservation challenges to life for people who may never be able to see them in the flesh." You can follow him @PTFreeman.

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 biological studies of trauma.

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 Science Friday Initiative, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit company dedicated to creating radio, TV, and Internet projects that make science “user-friendly.”

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.

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 from the University of Oxford. When she's not doing science, she plays the flute, and she blogs for Psychology Today.

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 production of the annual TED and TED Global conferences. He has a degree in physics from Reed College, a PhD from Stanford in theoretical physics, did a postdoc at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and has published in The Atlantic, Slate, and Method Quarterly. He is ben@storycollider.org and @benlillie.

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.

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 produced and hosted shows for The Story Collider throughout Maine.

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 Slate. You can find out a lot more at aaron-wolfe.com

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.

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