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#522 Home Alone?

From Science for the People - Do you keep your house clean? Do you think that, maybe with the exception of the dog, you're alone in your home? Well, we hate to tell you this, but you're wrong. Your house is filled with microbes, fungi, bugs and much more. This week, we talk about the life filling you're house with Rob Dunn, a professor at North Carolina State University and author of the book "Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.


Science for the People
Science for the People is a weekly syndicated long-format interview radio show and podcast which explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what is in the news and on the shelves. Every week, our hosts sit down with science researchers, writers, authors, journalists, and experts to discuss science from the past, the science that affects our lives today, and how science might change our future.

#522 Home Alone?
2019-05-02 21:00:00
Do you keep your house clean? Do you think that, maybe with the exception of the dog, you're alone in your home? Well, we hate to tell you this, but you're wrong. Your house is filled with microbes, fungi, bugs and much more. This week, we talk about the life filling you're house with Rob Dunn, a professor at North Carolina State University and author of the book "Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
1 hour


#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
2019-10-18 21:00:00
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.


#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
2019-10-10 21:00:00
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...


#536 Let Them Eat Dirt
2019-09-26 21:00:00
This week on Science for the People, we're discussing how the gut microbiome is shaped by experiences and circumstances during early childhood. We'll be speaking with Dr. Bretty Finlay, co-author of "Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World", about everything from C-sections to widespread antibiotic resistance to using probiotics to treat diseases. Things are about to get messy! Related links: Clinical Guide to Probiotic Products Available in Canada This episode is hosted by Anika Hazra.


#535 Superior
2019-09-19 21:00:00
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.


#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
2019-09-12 21:00:00
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...


#533 Breaking the Rodent Glass Ceiling
2019-08-30 21:00:00
When a new science finding is published about animal research, you might assume that scientists are trying to find out things that are useful for human health. They are, but it might not be so useful to all humans. Why? Because most biomedical research studies done in mice and rats are done only in male animals. Females were seen as too variable. The surging hormones, the emotions! The rodent show cravings, amirite? Well, not anymore. We're talking to Rebecca Shansky about why people should study males and females in research, and maybe stop worrying so much about mousey PMS. Related...


#532 A Class Conversation
2019-08-22 21:00:00
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.


#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
2019-08-08 21:00:00
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...


#531 Induced Seismicity
2019-08-01 21:00:00
This week we're talking about earthquakes. If you live in Alberta or Oklahoma, you've probably heard about fracking or waste water wells causing earthquakes. We'll speak with seismologist Ruijia Wang about how that happens, and what we can control with these earthquakes. Then we speak to Sara McBride, with the United States Geological Survey, who explains why earthquake response communication should be taking embarrassment into account. Related links: Canadian Induced Seismicity Collaboration Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Earthquake protective actions if you have a physical disability


#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
2019-07-18 21:00:00
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".


#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
2019-07-04 21:00:00
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...


#528 A Shock Machine and The Lost Boys
2019-06-27 21:00:00
This week, we take a look at 2 notable post world war 2 social psychology experiments and their creators: Stanley Milgram and his "shock machine", and Muzafer Sherif's boys camp study on group conflict. How did these scientists approach their work? How did the experiments run? How do the experiments hold up? How did people feel then about the ethics of them, and how do we feel now? We are joined by registered psychologist and author Gina Perry, who has written a book each on these men: "Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments",...


#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
2019-06-13 21:00:00
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...


#526 Let Me See You Sweat
2019-06-06 21:00:00
Summer is coming, and summer means sweat. Why do we sweat so much, and how do we do it? We hear from Yana Kamberov about the evolutionary origins of our sweat glands, and why it's one of the things that makes us mammals. Then we talk about why some (but not all) of our sweat STINKS. We'll speak with Gavin Thomas about the bacteria that give us our BO. Related links: Comparative evidence for the independent evolution of hair and sweat gland traits in primates on bioRxiv Structural basis of malodour precursor transport in the human axilla on eLife This...


#525 Chernobyl
2019-05-30 21:00:00
This week we're looking back at a man-made disaster that changed the world: the Chernobyl meltdown. We take a closer look at all the contributing factors that lead the No 4 reactor at Chernobyl to explode and how the Soviet Union's political, scientific, and administrative culture at the time contributed to the disaster. And we'll look at the fallout, the logistics of trying to clean up a radioactive accident where five minutes in the wrong area will literally kill you, and the long-tail disaster recovery efforts. We are joined by Adam Higginbotham, author of the new best selling book "Midnight...


#524 The Human Network
2019-05-16 21:00:00
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".


#523 Happy As A Clam (Garden)
2019-05-09 21:00:00
This week we’re discussing clam gardens on the west coast of Canada and the US, and how indigenous people have been actively managing food resources in the area for thousands of years. Clam garden rock walls are thousands of years old, and people have been actively maintaining them up to today, but Europeans and the scientific community ignored their existence for a couple of centuries. We speak with Dana Lepofsky, Professor in the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University, and Nicole Smith, a freelance archaeologist based in Victoria, about clam garden rock walls built into the coast of British...


#522 Home Alone?
2019-05-02 21:00:00
Do you keep your house clean? Do you think that, maybe with the exception of the dog, you're alone in your home? Well, we hate to tell you this, but you're wrong. Your house is filled with microbes, fungi, bugs and much more. This week, we talk about the life filling you're house with Rob Dunn, a professor at North Carolina State University and author of the book "Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.


#521 The Curious Life of Krill
2019-04-18 21:00:00
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".


#520 A Closer Look at Objectivism
2019-04-11 21:00:00
This week we broach the topic of Objectivism. We'll be speaking with Keith Lockitch, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, about the philosophy of Objectivism as it's taught through Ayn Rand's writings. Then we'll speak with Denise Cummins, cognitive scientist, author and fellow at the Association for Psychological Science, about the impact of Objectivist ideology on society. Related links: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously Another Critic Who Doesn’t Care What Rand Thought or Why She Thought It, Only That She’s Wrong Quote is from "A Companion to Ayn Rand"


#519 Animal Architects
2019-04-04 21:00:00
Don't make the mistake of thinking that humans are the only species that's mastered architecture. There are bugs out in this world that form huge, self healing structures out of their own bodies. And there are other bugs that form fountains of thousands - all to destroy a pizza in just a few hours. Move over, pirhanas. The black soldier fly larvae are here. This week, we talk to Olga Shishkov and Sulisay Phonekeo about their work studying living animal structures, and what that could mean for how we build and how we deal with our rapidly mounting piles of...


#518 With Genetic Knowledge Comes the Need for Counselling
2019-03-21 21:00:00
This week we delve into genetic testing - for yourself and your future children. We speak with Jane Tiller, lawyer and genetic counsellor, about genetic tests that are available to the public, and what to do with the results of these tests. And we talk with Noam Shomron, associate professor at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, about technological advancements his lab has made in the genetic testing of fetuses.


#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
2019-03-14 21:00:00
Our modern lives run on plastic. It's in the computers and phones we use. It's in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it's devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the 2019 Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., where Bethany Brookshire sat down with three plastics researchers - Christina Simkanin, Chelsea Rochman, and Jennifer Provencher - and a live audience to discuss plastics in our oceans. Where they are, where they are going, and what they carry with them. Related links:...


#516 The Keys to Skeletons Lost
2019-03-07 20:00:00
Until we break a bone or two, we tend not to spend too much time thinking about our bones, where they come from, and how we know what we know about them. Well, today we've got a bone to pick with our own skeletons. We'll talk with Brian Switek, author of the book "Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone", about where your skeleton comes from, and how so many of the skeletons scientists have studied have complicated pasts and uncertain futures.


#515 Humanimal
2019-02-28 20:00:00
Are humans special? We feel special, like we're somehow different from the rest of life on the planet. But are we really? This week, we spend the hour with Adam Rutherford, science broadcaster, writer, and author of the book "Humanimal: How Homo Sapiens Became Nature's Most Paradoxical Creature - A New Evolutionary History". We discuss the commone ways we think humans are different from other creatures and how, sometimes, those ideas turns out to be not quite correct. Along the way we also think a little more carefully about some of the deeply ingrained and sometimes subtle ideas people have...


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#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.