100 episodes

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

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    • Science

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

    151. Dr. Nir Barzilai with Dr. Lee Hood: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity

    151. Dr. Nir Barzilai with Dr. Lee Hood: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity

    Methuselah lived to 969 years old, according to the Bible. In our recent age, Jeanne Calmet holds the title of the oldest person who ever lived. She lived to be 122 years and 164 days old. There’s a woman in Japan, Kane Tanaka, who is currently 118. Jiroemon Kimuri, also from Japan, is the oldest man of all time, living to 116 years and 54 days. How did they do it? How do some people avoid the deterioration and weakness that plagues many of their peers decades early? Is it luck, or something else? Is it possible to grow older without getting sicker? Could a 90-year-old not look a day over 50?
    In Age Later, Dr. Nir Barzilai, a pioneer in aging research, looked both at the four age-related diseases that take most of us (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s) and at SuperAgers (people who have maintained active lives well into their 90s who’ve never experienced any of those diseases). What can we learn from these subjects, who have not only reached a ripe old age but have further ripened the older they get? Dr. Barzilai revealed the secrets of these SuperAgers and the scientific discoveries so that we can mimic some of their natural resistance to the aging process. This isn’t to say we’ll live to 969, but there’s still plenty of life yet to live for all of us.
    Dr. Nir Barzilai is the founding Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and is Director of the Nathan Shock Center for Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and the Einstein Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging. He is also the Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).
    Lee Hood, MD, PhD is a world-renowned scientist who co-founded Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in 2000 and served as its first President from 2000-2017. When ISB affiliated with Providence in 2016, Dr. Hood became Providence’s Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer. He is also Chief Strategy Officer and Professor at ISB.
    Buy the Book: Age Later: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity (Hardcover) Third Place Books 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Institute for Systems Biology. 

    • 1 hr 7 min
    150. Paul A. Offit with Larry Corey: The Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation

    150. Paul A. Offit with Larry Corey: The Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation

    Want to have a tooth pulled? There’s a risk in doing so. Need to have an X-ray because you broke your femur? There’s a risk in doing that, too. Chemotherapy? Having your appendix removed? Getting the COVID-19 vaccine? There’s risk in all of it.
    From risk, however, can come innovation and solutions. In You Bet Your Life, Dr. Paul Offit gave a long-ranging peek into how medical treatments come to be. It’s made, in part, through risk. From the first blood transfusions 400 years ago to the hunt for the COVID-19 vaccine, risk has been essential. It’s fraught with danger though with many relationships at play. Between intellectual breakthroughs, political realities, and human foibles, the path is a rocky one, but, from it, we can reach new plateaus of medical understanding and healthier lives.
    Dr. Paul Offit is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Author of nine books, he is also professor of vaccinology and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
    Dr. Larry Corey is an internationally renowned expert in virology, immunology and vaccine development, and the former president and director of Fred Hutch.
    Buy the Book: You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation (Hardcover) Third Place Books
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here. 

    • 56 min
    149. Darren Naish: A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore

    149. Darren Naish: A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore

    Barney is a friendly purple Tyrannosaurus rex. Dino, everyone’s favorite pet from The Flintstones, is a “Snorkosaurus.” Godzilla is a “Godzillasaurus.” Dinosaurs have fascinated us all for as long as we first discovered dinosaurs. From Jurassic Park to the sitcom The Dinosaurs, we’ve been enthralled by Stegastauruses, Velociraptors, Brontosauruses, and all the other long-long reptiles of millennia ago. But what do we actually know of these ancient creatures? And what can we still learn? Plenty. Luckily, Darren Naish is here to help answer some of those questions.
    With Dinopedia: A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore, Naish gave an entertaining and informative account of dinosaurs in all their immensity. All we know about them have changed in recent decades. Since the late 1960s a scientific revolution has taken place in the study of them. New ideas have been explored, showing how the extinct creatures were marvels of evolution that surpassed modern reptiles and mammals in size, athletic abilities, and more. Naish shed light on our most recent understanding of dinosaur diversity and evolutionary history. 
    Darren Naish is an author, illustrator, and zoologist affiliated with the University of Southampton. His books include Hunting Monsters: Cryptozoology and the Reality behind the Myths and Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved.
    Buy the Book: Dinopedia: A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore (Hardcover) from Third Place Books 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation online click here.

    • 50 min
    148. Leigh Cowart with Dan Block: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose

    148. Leigh Cowart with Dan Block: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose

    Love isn’t the only thing that hurts. Leigh Cowart knows. Eating the world’s hottest pepper hurts. Ballerinas dancing on broken bones hurts. A sideshow performer electrocuting themself hurts. Ultramarathon running, jumping into an icy lake, and tattooing all hurt. Why are we doing all of this to ourselves on purpose?
    This question, and many others, are answered in Leigh Cowart’s scintillating new book, Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose. Masochism, Cowart’s learned, is a part of who we are. But why? What are the benefits? And at what cost? What does giving ourselves pain say about the human experience? Cowart dives into the neuroscience behind it, through conversations with psychologists, scientists, and those who seek pain for pleasure. Cowart, by the way, is a self-proclaimed masochist, seeking out the thrill of it. They participate in painful activities to find some greater understanding of how our minds and bodies find meaning in pain, and the relief after.
    Sideshow performer Dan Block, who is featured in the book, joined Cowart for the event to perform stunts and discuss the line between pain for fun and for self-harm.
    Leigh Cowart is a researcher and journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed News, Hazlitt, Vice, and other outlets.
    Dan “The Amazing Face” Block is the founder and director of the Three Legged Dog Sideshow, which has been performing across the country for a decade and producing events in Texas for 5 years.
    Buy the Book: Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose (Hardcover) from Third Place Books 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation online click here.

    • 59 min
    147. Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley: The History and Future of Quarantine

    147. Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley: The History and Future of Quarantine

    Quarantining during COVID certainly wasn’t the first time we’ve had to restrict our movements to prevent the spread of disease. Far from it. Take, for instance, that time in the 14th century when the Black Death decimated populations (killing off, some suggest, 60% of the entire European population). And take some other alarming maladies like yellow fever, tuberculosis, Ebola, and cholera.
    With Until Proven Safe, Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley offered a survey of the uses and abuses of quarantines, from the days of the Black Death to the lockdowns of Covid-19. With a quarantine there is an interplay of forces – biological, political, and technological – that is powerful and effective but also dangerous. When quarantined, it means we are waiting to see if something hidden inside us will be revealed. It also operates under an assumption of guilt. In quarantine, we are considered infectious until proven safe. Whatever challenges being in quarantine has, such as the tedium of isolation and the physical spaces built to contain, Manaugh and Twilley provided suggestions to surmount those challenges. They also highlighted those on the frontlines of quarantine today, all eager for a better tomorrow. Because maybe it won’t be tomorrow, but one day soon, another hazard will befall us.
    Geoff Manaugh is the author of A Burglar’s Guide to the City, as well as the architecture and technology website BLDGBLOG.
    Nicola Twilley is co-host of the award-winning podcast Gastropod, which looks at food through the lens of history and science.
    Buy the Book: Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine (Hardcover) from Third Place Books
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation online click here.

    • 59 min
    146. Lee McIntyre: How to Talk to a Science Denier

    146. Lee McIntyre: How to Talk to a Science Denier

    We’re not to blame for climate change. It’s a part of the natural cycle. The earth is flat. The round Earth conspiracy is orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies. No one should get the coronavirus vaccine. Bill Gates wants to use it to implant microchips in people. This is, of course, all bunk. But how can we change the minds of people who believe it to be true?
    Lee McIntyre offered thoughts and suggestions to try and reach, communicate, and change the minds of science deniers in How to Talk to a Science Denier. And, he warned, it’s best not to just dismiss them and ignore them. Why? Science denial can kill. From attending a flat earth conference to chats with anti-vaxxers, McIntire presented the five factors involved in science denial: cherry-picking evidence, belief in conspiracy theories, reliance on fake experts, logical errors, and setting impossible expectations on what science can achieve. Can we achieve understanding with the irrational? Not through belittling them or through anger, McIntyre said, but through calm, respectful rationality.
    Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. He is the author of Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior, Post-Truth, and The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience.
    Buy the Book: How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason (Hardcover) Third Place Books 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation online click here. 

    • 1 hr

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