24 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 & iHeartRadio

Surprisingly Brilliant iHeartRadio

    • Natural Sciences
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

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 & iHeartRadio

    The Forgotten Whiskey Chemist

    The Forgotten Whiskey Chemist

    Greg tells Maren the story of a chemist who develops hit product after hit product, from revolutionising whisky production to developing ‘the first wonder drug'… a man who was once the most famous Japanese person in America but was soon forgotten.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant


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    • 1 hr
    The World in a Jar

    The World in a Jar

    A forgotten figure, shrouded in mystery, is the true voice behind our modern understanding of perhaps the most important issue facing humanity today: climate change. Maren tells Greg a story filled with intrigue and lost voices, and they come to understand why all these voices are so important to listen to in the first place.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 49 min
    The Puzzle Beneath Your Feet

    The Puzzle Beneath Your Feet

    This week Greg tells Maren about shovel-faced reptiles, giant ferns, land bridges, and classified war-time research. This is the story of how we worked out what shaped - and shapes - our planet. The story of an idea that's said to be as big a deal to Earth Sciences as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is to the Life Sciences. Yet the idea was ignored for 50 years... 

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

    The Reinvention of Sex

    One pill changed the world forever. It replaced crocodile dung inserted into the vagina. It involved rabbit embryos fertilized in a test tube. And it may be available for men in the future. Maren tells Greg a story filled with the wild characters and moral quandaries that have defined our modern sex lives.

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Way To Win At Everything

    The Way To Win At Everything

    Chess... Poker... Rock Paper Scissors... Your daily commute..? Nuclear war..? AND your Social Media?? Turns out you can form a winning strategy for all of these using 'Game Theory' - and in this episode Greg not only tells Maren how, but also untangles the story of its development, including separating fact from fiction in the film 'A Beautiful Mind'.

    [*Winning not guaranteed. Sorry]

    Show notes, sources, and transcript can be found at https://linktr.ee/surprisinglybrilliant
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    • 57 min
    The Virus Queen

    The Virus Queen

     The first human coronavirus, yoga, and the recorder all have something in common: they were all mastered by the same woman. In this episode, Maren tells Greg the story of an extraordinary woman who completely changed the way we literally SEE viruses.

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

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