Ep 82 : The Origins of Language May Go Much Farther Back Than We Thought – with guests Dr. Chris Petkov and Dr. Ben Wilson

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When did language originate?  It’s a tricky question to answer.  We can’t go back in time.  We can’t even look at “fossilized brains” to see how they worked.  So how can we understand the origins of language? Scientists have a few ways to do this.  One way is to scan the brains of living animals […]

Ep 81: Staying Connected During COVID-19 (with Technology!) – with guest Eric Elnes

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If the COVID-19 pandemic had hit even ten years ago, we would be in a very different situation than today. We wouldn’t be able to video conference over Zoom.  We wouldn’t have Facebook Portals to feel like we’re in the room with one another.  Technology that sometimes seems to drive us apart (what’s so social […]

decoding a message from ET

Ep 68: They’re Not Speaking English – Decoding a Message from ET – with guest Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen

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What would happen if we found a message from a civilization on another planet? Chances are, they won’t be speaking English. We can’t talk to dolphins, dogs, or trees. What makes us think we ever would able to understand a message from not only another species, but from another planet? How would we go about […]

Cartoons and science

Ep 53: Down the Rabbit Hole: Scientific Comics and Storytelling – with guest Dr. Matteo Farinella

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When you think of ways general science is communicated to the public, you probably think of a PBS documentary, a fun youtube video, the science section of Barnes and Nobel, or maybe even your favorite podcast (wink wink). But can scientific comics be an equally effective way at communicating science?   Matteo Farinella thinks so. Matteo […]

space junk

Ep 42: Space Junk, Trash on the Moon, and the Earth’s Copper Ring – with guest Dr. Lisa Ruth Rand

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What happens to old satellites? Or to astronauts’ trash? It turns out that the Earth is surrounded by a sphere of garbage – often referred to as space junk. This consists of everything from bits of frozen coolant, paint flecks, astronauts’ tools, and even a toothbrush. There is no trash collection in space. What happens, […]

Fake News

Ep 38: What Happens Next Will Blow Your Mind! Using Natural Language Processing to Find Fake News, Satire, and Clickbait – with guests Dr. Victoria Rubin and her Group

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Where do you get your news from? Can you trust it?  Gone are the days when most people read the newspaper.  Instead, many people now get their news from their Facebook feed, Twitter, or a host of other online sources.  Unfortunately, amid the cat videos and photos of friends, it may be hard to tell […]

Teaching_Science

Ep. 29: Teaching Science with Animals and Travel – with guest Dr. Meenakshi Prabhune

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Science is all around us, but sometimes, it is easy to be intimidated by the formulas, math, and terminology.  That’s why today’s guest, Dr. Meenakshi Prabhune (or Minu for short), goes about teaching science using things we see in everyday life and things we can relate to – namely, animals.  Growing up in India, she had […]