Science and technology are everywhere in our lives. This podcast takes a look not only at the science itself, but its role in society, how it affects our lives, and how it influences how we define ourselves as humans. Episodes also throw in a mix of culture, history, ethics, philosophy, religion, and the future! Hosted by Elizabeth Fernandez, an astronomer and science communicator. Let’s spark some dialog!  How to subscribe to and rate the podcast.

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The Star of Bethlehem – A Real Event?

Was the Star of Bethlehem a real event? If so, was it a comet, a supernova, an alignment of planets, or something else? In today's podcast, we are joined by Dr. Peter Barthel, a professor in astrophysics and the co-editor of “The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi” for a discussion where we explore some of the latest understanding and analysis surrounding the star of Bethlehem.

Space: East and West

From space programs to technology, culture affects many aspects of our lives. Today we talk to Dr. Susmita Mohanty, an entrepreneur who has started businesses on three continents and was voted one of Financial Times 25 Indians to Watch in 2012. Intimately familiar with the space programs in a range of countries, we discuss how cultural underpinnings affect something as large as the space program of an entire country.
India's space program

Dress to OS

You don’t always think of fashion and science together. But why not? Our clothes can get very close and personal to us, more so than most other things in our everyday lives. Adding a flair of technology can allow our clothes to monitor our well being, protect our bodies in new ways, and be quite a fashion statement. Today, our guest is Anouk Wipprecht, a fashion-tech designer who combines robotics, engineering, machine learning, and fashion in her futuristic dresses. After listening to the podcast, check out her designs at her website.

Made In Space

Going to space is always a risky business. If you forget something or if something breaks, you may be days, months, or even years away from receiving a spare part. This risk could be life threatening. But all that is about to change. Today, we talk to Brad Kohlenberg from a company called Made In Space. This company is seeking to revolutionize the space industry by moving 3D printing in space, giving astronauts the opportunity to print any part they may need, making space safer, and eventually, accessible to many more. Seriously, this is the future, and it’s awesome. Also, check out the video!

Made In Space

The International Space Station and I: The World from Above

There are humans living and working in space as we speak. It’s a fact we often forget. This inspired today’s guest, Liam Kennedy, to invent a computer called the ISS Above (www.issabove.com/), which connects people on Earth with those in space, and serves as a reminder of humanity’s potential. Liam talks about his invention, the plight of an inventor, and what it’s like to live on the International Space Station. Today’s podcast also features a surprise visit from a computer!

Galactic Cannibalism

It’s a galaxy-eat-galaxy Universe out there. Today we’re talking about how big galaxies eat little galaxies, and looking at the fabulous arcs of stars stripped and tossed across the dark sky. Our guest today is Dr. Robyn Sanderson, who looks at these tidal tails, and uses them to understand everything from galactic formation to dark matter.

The Future Universe – Teeming with Life?

Why haven’t we found life on other planets yet? Perhaps it’s because we are some of the first life to develop in the Universe. I talk to Dr. Avi Loeb, chair of the astronomy department at Harvard, about the possibility that life may be much more common in the distant future around small, dim, and colder stars. Can we find life around these dim stars now? The search is on!

Hello Jupiter! It’s Juno.

Jupiter is a mystery, but that’s about to change. The spacecraft Juno has traveled billions of miles across the void of space to pay Jupiter a visit, and will finally begin to shed some light on this unique planet, letting us peer beneath the clouds, see what lies behind that Great Red Spot, and even answer the question - what is the core of Jupiter made of? But it’s a perilous journey, and Juno had to be built to withstand it. I paid NASA/JPL a visit on the evening of the 4th of July, 2016, when Juno was set to enter into orbit around Jupiter.

The Dolphin Whisperer

Are humans the only species that use language? Perhaps not. Today we talk to Jeremy Karnowski from the University of California at San Diego, who talks about how dolphins communicate, how they can call to each other by name, and even answering the question – do dolphins gossip?

Traveling to the Stars on the Wind of a Laser

Ever dream of traveling to the stars? This dream may not be as far away as you think. Today we talk to Dr. Philip Lubin, who tells us about a radical new idea to get to the stars, recently funded by the Breakthrough Foundation.

An Explosion from Across the Universe

Gamma ray bursts are some of the most powerful explosions we know of, ones that we can literally see from across the Universe. But they are extremely short - lasting only a few milliseconds to a few minutes. What could cause such an explosion? Today, Dr. Rodolfo Barniol Duran, a theoretical astrophysicist at Purdue, talks to us about what we know about these mysterious explosions.

Astronomy… With A Canon!

Dr. Dylan Spaulding, a project scientist at UC Davis in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, talks about how he creates high velocity impacts in the lab, and what this can tell us about planet formation.

Climate Science from the Bottom of the World

Dr. Shasta Marrero, from the University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences, talks about her visit to Antarctica, and what the ice shelf can tell us about global temperatures.
Photo by Shasta Marrero, Patriot Hills, Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica (Jan 2014).