32 episodes

A science history podcast uncovering the little-known stories and less-talked-about people behind well-known science & tech. Written & Hosted by Maren Hunsberger & Greg Foot for Seeker

Surprisingly Brilliant iHeartRadio

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 39 Ratings

A science history podcast uncovering the little-known stories and less-talked-about people behind well-known science & tech. Written & Hosted by Maren Hunsberger & Greg Foot for Seeker

    The Helplessly Human Doctor

    The Helplessly Human Doctor

    The man who changed our understanding of disorders of the brain was a man who couldn't recognize faces himself. He was a man who saw music as a therapeutic tool, who broke all the existing rules for how to talk to and about patients, and who made us all feel a little more human. Maren tells Greg the amazing true story of Oliver Sacks.

    This episode is made possible thanks to HHMI Tangled Bank Studios. ‘Oliver Sacks: His Own Life’ is available to stream on PBS for a limited time: https://to.pbs.org/3xngwPJ

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Lifesaving Bean

    The Lifesaving Bean

    One bean has changed the world in unexpected ways, and the man behind it was even more extraordinary. This is the story of a man whose genius shone against all odds, how his discoveries shaped much of our modern world, and the science that he could have done...if society had let him. Maren introduces Greg to Percy Julian.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Half-Walnut of Pus

    The Half-Walnut of Pus

    Vaccines. They're a big topic of conversation right now. But who discovered them? Who gave the first one? And what was the rather effective method around for hundreds of years before them?? Greg tells Maren a (rather gross) story of pus, pox parties, and… cuckoos? It's a tale that travels from China, through Turkey, to a small town in Gloucestershire, and asks if the ‘father of immunology’ - Edward Jenner - really earned that title.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Language of the Universe

    The Language of the Universe

    The universe speaks in a common language...the mathematics of change. Maren wasn't so sure about math, but after this episode she's a truly changed person. Isaac Newton DID stand on the shoulders of giants to translate the universe...but he also had his rivals, like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Maren tells Greg a story that starts with the beginning of civilization and goes (literally) on to infinity.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 52 min
    The Donald Trump Of Science

    The Donald Trump Of Science

    A story in three parts: The discovery of a revolutionary biotechnology that’s used every day by countless scientists. How that works. And the dangerous ideas (& behaviour) of the man who won a Nobel Prize for its invention. Greg tells Maren about Kary Mullis and PCR.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 54 min
    The Secret Doctor

    The Secret Doctor

    This doctor was a public health pioneer, a visionary in the medical treatments of his day, and a relatively radical voice against the entrenched establishment...but do we only remember him because of this one secret? Maren tells Greg about James Barry and a story that travers the globe and challenges all our assumptions.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Nigelclarketv ,

Interesting and insightful

A great podcast that looks at some amazing lesser known stories from science history! Well done

Maryloulabelle ,

The electronic ear episode

Hiya guys, love the podcast but I really loved the way you discussed and brought forward all avenues of the Deaf community. I respect them as it it but even more now. Can I just make the point that the implant is like a super hero device. Like when Spider-Man or Dr X all had to learn to process the things they could hear and sense it sounds like those who have taken the implant choice are just like that too!! Super Heroes!

mum&more ,

Such a Great Podcast!

One of my favourite podcasts and my favourite science/history podcast! One of my favourite things to listen to.

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