300 episodes

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

The Story Collider The Story Collider

    • Science

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

    A Whole New World: Stories about having to take on the challenge of a whole new existence

    A Whole New World: Stories about having to take on the challenge of a whole new existence

    This week we present two stories of people having to navigate a new world.
    Part 1: Sean Bearden has never been interested in education, but when he's incarcerated at the age of 19, he finds a passion for physics.
    Part 2: When Victoria Manning decides to get a cochlear implant, she fears losing her identity as a deaf person.
    Sean Bearden is a Ph. D. candidate in Physics at UC San Diego, researching the application and development of memcomputing systems, a novel computing paradigm. Identifying as a nontraditional student, Sean went from dropping out of high school to receiving the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. To alleviate the stress that is inevitably coupled with graduate research, he enjoys training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the P5 Academy in San Diego. Visit seanbearden.com to learn more.
    Raised in Lower Hutt and Deaf since age four, Victoria Manning’s first career was in psychology but her strong sense of social justice and experience in the USA saw her gravitate towards advocacy roles. Victoria led a 5 year long human rights complaint that resulted in the establishment of a telephone relay service enabling deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech impaired people to access the telephone. She co-chaired the Government’s Disability Strategy review reference group and was the inaugural chairperson of the Government’s New Zealand Sign Language Board. One of Victoria’s career highlights was being chosen to represent disabled New Zealanders at the United Nations for New Zealand’s first reporting on its progress on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was given a Queen’s Service Award for her services to the deaf and disabled communities in 2015.
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    • 44 min
    Sex Ed: Stories about the education of sexuality

    Sex Ed: Stories about the education of sexuality

    Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: https://airtable.com/shreBxfsM5XYktIT5

    This week we present two stories from people who navigated the joys of sex in surprising ways.
    Part 1: When Eva Bloom struggles to have an orgasm, she turns to research.
    Part 2: Dasha Kelly Hamilton thinks of a creative way to teach her daughters about sex.

    Eva Bloom (she/her) is a sexuality educator and researcher. She is the creator of the inclusive, anti-oppressive, and evidence-based sex-ed web series for youth “What’s My Body Doing”, which has garnered over 1 million views. She holds a Masters of Science with her thesis focusing on sexuality and technology, with interests in self-compassion and bisexuality. She has spoken at the Guelph Sexuality Conference among others and is a winner of a Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Choice Award (2017) for excellence in sexuality education.

    Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent. Through responsive and respectful intentionality, Dasha leverages the creative process to facilitate critical dialogues around human and social wellness. Dasha delivers her engagement sessions to campuses, classrooms, correctional institutions, association conferences, social service agencies, municipal departments and team retreats.
    Her nonprofit, Still Waters Collective, has curated poetry programming and spoken word events in the region for almost 20 years. The work has impacting more than 13,000 youth, provided professional development to more than 100 young people and created platforms for thousands of voices to be honored and heard.
    Dasha has written for national, regional and local magazines; produced three collections of poetry; recorded four spoken word CDs; and published two novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has taught writing courses at Mount Mary University, Alverno College and UW-Milwaukee. Dasha served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana and the island of Mauritius. A former Artist of the Year for the City of Milwaukee, Dasha was recently named the city’s 11th Poet Laureate.
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    • 32 min
    Love and Technology: Stories about the technology that alters our lives

    Love and Technology: Stories about the technology that alters our lives

    Vote for your favorite Story Collider story of all time here: https://airtable.com/shreBxfsM5XYktIT5

    This week we present stories from people who navigated our changing relationship to technology.
    Part 1: As a kid, Samy Kamkar discovers his superpower -- hacking.
    Part 2: When Jordan Bush's father-in-law-to-be is diagnosed with cancer shortly before her wedding, she finds a creative way to help him attend.
    Samy Kamkar is a cofounder of Openpath, security researcher, and huge nerd. His open source hardware and software highlight the insecurities in everyday technologies, such as weaponizing a children's toy to unlock cars, designing clandestine wireless keyboard sniffers hidden into mobile phone chargers, and building drones that wirelessly hijack and control swarms of other drones. His work has been cited by the NSA, triggered hearings on Capitol Hill, and has been the basis for security advancements across vehicles, smartphones, and other technologies.
    Jordan is finishing up her dissertation in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her research focuses on when and where lizards fight over territories. She asks that you not confuse her obsession with lizards as a general interest in all reptiles - she does not like snakes, keep your snakes to yourself. After graduating, she has a real goal of becoming a professor at a liberal arts college, and a secret goal of becoming a science journalist and children's book author. She currently lives in Knoxville, TN with her wonderful husband, two babies, and two dogs.
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    • 35 min
    Mothers and Sons: Stories about the love between mothers and sons

    Mothers and Sons: Stories about the love between mothers and sons

    This week we present two stories from mothers who learned valuable lessons from the sons they birthed.
    Part 1: Avi Caspe and his mother, Ariel Detzer, reckon with what the label of "autism" means for their family.
    Part 2: When Paulette Steeves' son is given 2 years to live, she searches for a way to keep him alive.
    Dr. Ariel Detzer is a psychologist in Seattle, Washington, with a practice focused on neurodiversity. She believes that creating a better world for neurodiverse people comes about both through therapeutic support for clients themselves, and through educating clients, families, and surrounding educational and institutional stakeholders. Don't just help the client, change the whole system--this is the social model of disability. To challenge the complex pattern-loving part of her brain, she sings with the Seattle Early Music Guild a capella choir, Sine Nomine.
    Avi Caspe was a high school senior when he recorded this story. He began his autistic activism in sixth grade with a school social justice project on the lack of educator preparation for teaching autistic inclusion students. He made his first academic presentation to the national Association for Autistic Community Conference in 2014, sharing a presentation on how autistic middle schoolers process information in unique ways when under stress, which may in turn impact the way they process bullying experiences, as well as school discipline. Avi is now a freshman at Bellevue College in Washington, where he plans to major in Computer Science. He enjoys improving his standing on Rubik's Cube scores at World Cubing Association events.

    Paulette Steeves was born in Whitehorse Yukon Territories and grew up in Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada. She is an Indigenous archaeologist with a focus on the Pleistocene history of the Western Hemisphere. In her research Steeves argues that Indigenous peoples were present in the Western Hemisphere as early as 60,000 years ago, and possibly much earlier. She has created a data base of hundreds of archaeology sites in both North and South America that date from 250,000 to 12,000 years before present, which challenges the Clovis First dogma of a post 12,000 year before present initial migrations to the Americas. Dr. Steeves received her BA in Anthropology, Honors Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and completed a two-year internship with the Quapaw Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) program during her undergraduate studies. In 2008 Dr. Steeves was awarded the Clifford D. Clark fellowship to attend graduate studies at Binghamton University in New York State. Dr. Steeves dissertation Decolonizing Indigenous Histories: Pleistocene Archaeology Sites of the Western Hemisphere is the first dissertation framed in Indigenous Method and Theory in Anthropology within the United States. In 2011 and 2012 she worked with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to carry out studies in the Great Plains on mammoth sites which contained evidence of human technology on the mammoth bone, thus showing that humans were present in Nebraska over 18,000 years ago. In 2019 she started a new research project focused on creating sacred Indigenous regenerative soils to address food insecurity in the North. Dr. Steeves has taught Anthropology courses with a focus on Native American and First Nations histories and studies, and decolonization of academia and knowledge production at many universities. She is currently an Assistant Professor in History at Algoma University and is a nominee for a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History Healing and Reconciliation.
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    • 38 min
    Code of Ethics: Stories about doing the right thing

    Code of Ethics: Stories about doing the right thing

    This week we present two stories of people struggling with what the “right” thing to do is.
    Part 1: Catherine Macdonald always wanted to study sharks, but her first time tagging them in the field doesn't go as planned.
    Part 2: When Michelle Tong visits home after her first semester of medical school, a stranger presents an ethical dilemma.
    Dr. Catherine Macdonald is co-founder and Director of Field School (www.getintothefield.com), a marine science training and education company dedicated to constantly improving field research practices while teaching students to perform hands-on research with sharks. She is also a part-time Lecturer in Marine Conservation Biology at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
    Company website: www.getintothefield.com
    Personal website: www.drcatherinemacdonald.com

    Michelle Tong is a second-year medical student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has been published in the Margins and Glass, among other literary journals, and reads for the Bellevue Literary Review. This past summer, she won first prize in the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards and received a fellowship from Brooklyn Poets. She teaches poetry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and lives in East Harlem.
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    • 30 min
    Identity Crisis: Stories about what makes us who we are

    Identity Crisis: Stories about what makes us who we are

    This week we present two stories about people struggling with their identity.
    Part 1: When science journalist Katherine Wu interviews a scientist about a new facial recognition algorithm, the conversation turns more personal than she expected.
    Part 2: Hurricane Katrina gives Mary Annaise Heglar a new perspective on both her grandfather and home state.
    Katherine J. Wu is a Boston-based science journalist and storyteller whose writing has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, Scientific American, NOVA Next, and more. She's also a senior producer for The Story Collider. In 2018, she earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunobiology from Harvard University, where she studied how bacteria deal with stress so she could one day learn to do the same. She can spell "tacocat" backwards.
    Mary Annaise Heglar is a climate justice essayist and communications professional based in New York City. Her writing has been published in Vox, Dame Magazine, Zora, and Inverse. She writes regularly on Medium and rants almost daily on Twitter.
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    • 30 min

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