101 episodes

The most interesting people in the world of science and technology.



STEM-Talk is an interview podcast show produced by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a not-for-profit research lab pioneering ground-breaking technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. Twice a month, we talk to groundbreaking scientists, engineers and technologists. Our interviews focus on the science that our subjects are engaged with, as well as their careers, motivations, education, and passions. Think of them as “profiles in science.” Tune in every other Tuesday to our show—and if you like us, please write a review of STEM-talk on iTunes—and spread the word. 

STEM-Talk Dawn Kernagis and Ken Ford

    • Natural Sciences

The most interesting people in the world of science and technology.



STEM-Talk is an interview podcast show produced by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a not-for-profit research lab pioneering ground-breaking technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. Twice a month, we talk to groundbreaking scientists, engineers and technologists. Our interviews focus on the science that our subjects are engaged with, as well as their careers, motivations, education, and passions. Think of them as “profiles in science.” Tune in every other Tuesday to our show—and if you like us, please write a review of STEM-talk on iTunes—and spread the word. 

    Episode 101: Rachel Yehuda talks about epigenetic inheritance, PTSD and the potential of MDMA therapies

    Episode 101: Rachel Yehuda talks about epigenetic inheritance, PTSD and the potential of MDMA therapies

    Today we talk with Dr. Rachel Yehuda whose pioneering research on cortisol and brain function has revolutionized worldwide our understanding and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.



    Rachel is also well-known for her studies on the intergenerational transmission of trauma and PTSD. This novel research has shown that the children of traumatized parents are at risk of similar problems due to epigenetic changes that are transmitted from the parents to their offspring. She has worked with war veterans, Holocaust survivors and other victims of trauma to detail the biological roots of PTSD.



    She is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and the director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She also is the director of the Mental Health Patient Care Center at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 100: Peter Attia gives an update on his views regarding longevity and health span

    Episode 100: Peter Attia gives an update on his views regarding longevity and health span

    Today’s episode marks the 100th episode of STEM-Talk and the return of guest Peter Attia, who Ken and Dawn interviewed for episode one of STEM-Talk back in 2016.



    Peter is the founder of Attia Medical, a medical practice with offices in San Diego and New York City that focuses on the applied science of longevity. Peter emphasizes nutritional biochemistry, exercise physiology, sleep physiology, lipidology, pharmacology and four-system endocrinology to help people increase their lifespan and health span.



    Peter is the host of the podcast The Drive. He earned his M.D. from Stanford University and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 99 : Dave Rabin talks about how psychedelics and wearable devices can help improve people’s lives

    Episode 99 : Dave Rabin talks about how psychedelics and wearable devices can help improve people’s lives

    Dr. David Rabin is the chief innovation officer and co-founder of Apollo Neuroscience. He also is the co-inventor of Apollo, a wearable device designed to improve focus, sleep and access to meditative states by gently delivering layered vibrations to the skin.



    Dave is a board-certified psychiatrist and translational neuroscientist who for the past decade has been studying resilience and the impact of chronic stress on humans. He received his MD in medicine and Ph.D. in neuroscience from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. He trained in psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.



    Dave also has organized the world’s largest controlled study of psychedelic medicines and is well-known for his research into MDMA and its potential to treat posttraumatic stress disorder along with other disorders.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Episode 98: Steven Austad talks about aging and preserving human health

    Episode 98: Steven Austad talks about aging and preserving human health

    Our guest today is Dr. Steven Austad who studies  virtually every aspect of aging. He is a distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.



    In addition to being recognized for his aging and longevity research, Steve is also well-known for his background as a New York City cab driver, newspaper reporter and a lion trainer who then decided to become a biologist.



    His research today involves developing lifestyle and pharmacological approaches to improving and preserving human health. He is particularly focused on figuring out why different species age at different rates.



    Steve is the author of more than 190 scientific articles. His book, "Why We Age: What Science Is Discovering about the Body’s Journey Through Life," has been translated into nine languages. He also writes newspaper columns and has written for publications like Natural History magazine, Scientific American and International Wildlife.

    • 1 hr 40 min
    Episode 97: Francesca Rossi talks about AI ethics and the development of new AI systems

    Episode 97: Francesca Rossi talks about AI ethics and the development of new AI systems

    Our guest today is Francesca Rossi,  who for the past three years has been an AI Ethics Global Leader at IBM Research as well as an IBM Distinguished Research Staff Member. Prior to her time at IBM, she was a professor of computer science at the University of Padova, Italy.



    Francesca’s AI research interests include constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. Much of her research today is focused on the future of artificial intelligence and the ethical issues surrounding the development and behavior of AI systems.



    She is a fellow of both the worldwide association of AI (AAAI) and of the European Association of AI. She also has been president of the International Joint Conference on AI and the editor in chief of the Journal of AI Research.



    Sitting in for Dawn during today’s interview is IHMC colleague Brent Venable, who recently was named the inaugural director of a new Ph.D. program in Intelligent Systems and Robotics that is a partnership between IHMC and the University of West Florida.



    Brent is a graduate of the University of Padova and had Francesca as her academic advisor.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Episode 96: Dick Despommier discusses vertical farming and fly fishing

    Episode 96: Dick Despommier discusses vertical farming and fly fishing

    Today we have part two of our interview with Dr. Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist and ecologist who is the emeritus professor of public and environmental health at Columbia University.



    Today’s episode focuses on vertical farming, a concept that Dick and his students came up with in 1999. When Dick’s book “Vertical Farms: Feeding the World in the 21st Century” came out in 2010, there were no vertical farms in the world. Today, there are vertical farms throughout the U.S. and around the globe.



    Part one of our interview, episode 95, covered Dick’s nearly 30 years of research into intracellular parasitism and his focus onTrichinella spiralis, one of the world’s largest intracellular parasites.



    Dick is the author of five books, including “People, Parasites and Plowshares.” His most recent book, “Waist Deep in Water,” is a memoir of his life-long love of fly fishing, a topic we had so much fun discussing with Dick that we touch on it in today’s episode as well as in part one of our interview with Dick.

    • 33 min

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