Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists' obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.
Enigmatology (WORD PUZZLES) with David Kwong
Crosswords! Puzzles! Wordles! Magic? Ah yes, world-renowned Enigmatologist David Kwong drops in to chat about the intersection of sleight of hand and brain games, covering everything from Scrabble strategies to how to get away with a surprise party unsuspected. Also: crosswords and dementia, how puzzles are like hot sauce, a secret group of Hollywood magicians, his most clever clues, cryptic crosswords, international slang, Wordle’s many derivatives, and how to get over your intimidation of all those empty squares.
Special Ep: Mycology (MUSHROOMS) Tom Volk Memorial Encore
In celebration of Dr. Tom Volk’s life: Mushrooms! Psilocybin! Humongous fungus! Black mold! Foraging! The incredibly charming and warm Dr. Tom Volk, world-renowned mushroom expert, welcomes Alie into his office to dive deep into the underground world of fungal enthusiasts and touch on pathogens and medicinal therapies. Dr. Volk himself was a heart transplant patient, and shared how his life had been changed since a donor saved it. Also: Alie holds his old heart in her hands. Dr. Tom Volk passed away on November 28, 2022 at the age of 63, and this encore is to celebrate his life and his life’s work with you.
Indigenous Pedology (SOIL SCIENCE) with Lydia Jennings
Soil! Dirt! Earth. Dr. Lydia Jennings, aka Native Soil Nerd, breaks down the stuff under our feet and explains everything from mining to why soil can be different colors. Also: medicine from microbes, giving back to the land after extractive processes, collecting samples in urban rivers, elders’ ecological knowledge, planting hot Cheetos, potting soil mysteries, lung fungus, the smell of rain and why gardening makes you happy. Oh and running hundreds of miles for your science.
Smologies #18: FEASTS with Katherine Spiers
Kid-friendly and quick! It’s another Smologies G-rated cut of a classic episode. Loosen your belts and tuck a napkin under your chin because feasting season is here. Katherine Spiers -- journalist, food anthropologist, editor of HowtoEatLA.com and host of the culinary history podcast Smart Mouth -- lets Alie belly up for a buffet of questions about winter gatherings, Thanksgiving myths, green bean casseroles, the hazards of deep frying, holy eels and more.
Bryology (MOSS) Encore with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer
It’s November and you need chill vibes. And Native American Heritage Month is the perfect time to encore this classic. World-renowned author, botanist, Indigenous ecology professor and bryologist Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Gathering Moss” and “Braiding Sweetgrass,” talks about her passion for moss. Cozy up for the most beautifully doled-out information about hidden worlds, overlooked mysteries, botanical drama, forests in miniature, Native peoples’ uses for moss and philosophies about science and ecology. Dr. Kimmerer will change the way you see mosses forever, will inspire you to wear a loupe on a rope, and will soothe your soul with her beautiful voice and prose. Also bathmats, lawns and smoothies made of moss? We discuss.
Discard Anthropology (GARBAGE) with Robin Nagle
Landfills! Treasures in the trash! Corporate conspiracies! Composting! An instantly classic conversation with the incredibly knowledgeable, frank and wonderful Dr. Robin Nagle of New York University’s Liberal Studies! She is a clinical professor, author, TED speaker and former New York City sanitation worker and truly the best person on Earth to trash talk with. We cover what you can and can’t actually recycle, sticky mustard bottles, drugs in the trash, Swedish Death Cleaning, mobsters and landfills, Bitcoin in the dump, the future of garbage and exactly how screwed we are. Enjoy.
Alie Ward for president of the world.
I fully committed to listening to Ologies after listening to the two ADHD episodes. All of her interviews are fantastic, relatable and Alie does such an incredible job doing her own research, and asking the questions that we all wish we could ask, even to ologists we never even knew existed!
There is only one Alie Ward in this world, and her belief in science, social justice and equality makes me believe that she should be the president of the world.
Something for everyone
I love this podcast with my whole heart and I share each episode with someone new. The beer one went to my dad, the mushrooms one to my bestfriend, and the tree episode to the wood shop guys I work with. The added sound effects add a whole extra level of whimsy and I enjoy learning something new every week. Thank you to Ally and the whole team for providing us with this wonderful pod❤️
As someone who has ADHD with a side of auditory processing disorder I have struggled to find podcasts/ audiobooks to keep my brain engaged, until I found this podcast! I have been listening nonstop for days ( starting right at episode one ) Alie Ward is so engaging to listen to and I love the random google tangents and factoids! There are soo many different ologies that I never knew of! Even the ologies I didn’t think I would be interested in I have found fascinating thanks to her entertaining interviews and guests!