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.
Bovine Neuropathology (HEADBUTTING) with Nicole Ackermans
Slamming heads together to impress someone: why does this happen? Let’s ask Dr. Nicole Ackermans, whose current job involves receiving sheep heads and painstakingly counting damaged neurons from headbutting concussions. The Neuropathology episode last week gives all the concussion basics, but this one turns the microscope away from accidents and points it right at intentional behaviors in nature, from bighorn sheep to musk oxen, goats, woodpeckers, and some other animals that will freak you out. Also: questionable helmet ideas and horny hogs.
Smologies #9: GAMING with Jane McGonigal
Games! Play! Fun! Addiction? Flim-flam? From the origins of tabletop classics to the future of VR, Dr. Jane McGonigal answers our burning questions. This video game developer, TED speaker and bestselling author is an expert on how playing -- and especially video games -- can motivate, soothe and connect us. Will video games turn your child into a future car thief? How do they make you stronger? How much is too much? What about slot machines? Everyone who loves games (and everyone who hates games) should hear this one.
Neuropathology (CONCUSSIONS) with Mary Alexis Iaccarino
Hi, last week I fell down a flight of stairs. Then I went to the hospital. Then I emailed Dr. Mary Alexis Iaccarino, a Harvard Medical School professor and specialist in rehabilitation from traumatic brain injuries. I asked her all about what happens during a concussion, when to be worried, how long it takes to heal, when a person should get their ass to a hospital, what a brain scan can tell us about a head injury, what it CAN’T tell us about a head injury, if you can fall asleep after a head injury, and the differences between mTBI, TBI, SRC, CTE and even ATGATT. Plus, bike helmets, Natasha Richardson, fruit fly role models and some truly infuriating statistics on who gets mTBI treatment and who doesn’t. And stay tuned later this week for a bonus episode on what happens when bighorn sheep bash their skulls together.
Raccoonology (PROCYONIDS) with A Gaze of Raccoonologists
Here we go: SIX more raccoon experts, because one episode is not enough for the wonders of these terrific trash bandits. Revel in the raccoon love and hear about presidential pets, neuronal density, why raccoonologists walk out on the job, their fabled intelligence, how Aesop's Fables factor into raccoonology, and the comfort of the male gaze?
Procyonology (RACCOONS) with Suzanne MacDonald
Tiny hands! Round rumps! Chaos! Compost! Delicious garbage and sweet faces make raccoons as mysterious as they are adored. World class raccoon expert, psychologist and animal behaviorist Dr. Suzanne MacDonald of Toronto’s York University explains tree sleeping, brain worms, cartoon raccoons, queer icons, whether you should keep one as a pet and also: some of the best career and life advice from midnight gremlins eating chicken bones in your driveway. Stay tuned for next week’s part 2 with half a dozen more raccoon experts.
Smologies #8: HAGFISH with Tim Winegard
Who doesn't love a floppy, slime-filled, hot dog shaped creature of the deep sea? On this Smologies (It's like if Ologies were more Smol) we return to our conversation with Tim Winegard, a professional hagfishologist (YES IT'S A WORD) at Chapman University, and he dishes on the world's slimiest treasures. You're gonna learn about things like why you don't always need a spine and how special ketchup is and, of course, lots and lots about mucus.
Also in case you didn't know, Smologies is indeed an abbreviated, de-filthed episode of Ologies for when you only have 20 minutes to learn something interesting about the thing your date said they're into in their profile you've got kids with you in the car who are definitely going to repeat the curse word they learned from their ol' GrandfatherWard all through fingerpainting class.
Shoulda been a media critic
Ologies makes me want to travel back in time. I would tell my young self to be a media critic. So then I could write the stellar review this podcast deserves.
I love how Allie Ward brings out the human side of science. I love her enthusiasm. I love the fun.
Listen! You won’t be disappointed.
Making science fun!
Completely changed my life
A friend of mine recommended I listen to Ologies almost a year ago. Boy Howdy was it the best thing I have ever done. For starters Dad Ward you have helped me see how much I love science and it doesn’t just need to be a hobby. I share this podcast with absolutely everyone (like my biology class, people I meet at stores, all my family) pretty much who ever I talk to hears about Ologies. Thank you so much for living your dream and allowing me to make my dream a reality. 💕