100 episodes

On each episode of Critically Speaking, your host, Dr. Therese Markow, interviews foremost experts in a range of fields. We discuss, in everyday language that we all can understand, fundamental issues that impact our health, our society, and our planet. Join our weekly journey where we separate fact from fantasy for topics both current and controversial.

Critically Speaking Therese Markow

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 34 Ratings

On each episode of Critically Speaking, your host, Dr. Therese Markow, interviews foremost experts in a range of fields. We discuss, in everyday language that we all can understand, fundamental issues that impact our health, our society, and our planet. Join our weekly journey where we separate fact from fantasy for topics both current and controversial.

    Fewer Sperm, More Infertility

    Fewer Sperm, More Infertility

    Infertility is on the rise, leading otherwise healthy young couples to seek a form of assisted reproductive technology appropriate for their particular situation. This increase infertility of considerable concern. Is one sex affected more than the other? What are the long-range implications if the trend keeps going? Is it only humans that appear to be affected? And the critical question is why? In today’s episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Shanna Swan, author of the new book Count Down, answer many of these questions, including discussion of the types of chemicals and other factors that may contribute to the rising infertility.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    The number of “good” sperm observed in human populations (as indicated by the WHO) has dramatically decreased. Other characteristics for function, such as abnormal shape, inability to swim correctly, and chromosomal abnormalities are increasing as well. Male and female infertility is about 50/50. Newborn babies are being born “pre-polluted” with up to 100 environmental chemicals.  One solution you can undertake yourself is to determine where your food comes from, as that’s what’s going into your body.  
    "I'm convinced that a large proportion of the decline we're seeing is due to chemical exposures, man-made chemicals." —  Dr. Shanna Swan
     
    Connect with Dr. Shanna Swan:
    Professional Bio: mountsinai.org/profiles/shanna-h-swan  
    Website: shannaswan.com 
    Book: Count Down - shannaswan.com/countdown
    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/shanna-swan-phd-339a4258
    Instagram: instagram.com/drshannaswan
    Twitter: twitter.com/DrShannaSwan
     
    Reference:
    Environmental Working Group: ewg.org
     
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 37 min
    Our Failing Education System

    Our Failing Education System

    Dr. Richard P. Phelps is founder of the Nonpartisan Education Group, editor of Nonpartisan Education Review (http://nonpartisaneducation.org), a Fulbright Scholar, and fellow of the Psychophysics Laboratory. He has authored, or edited and co-authored Correcting Fallacies about Educational and Psychological Testing (APA); Standardized Testing Primer (Peter Lang); Defending Standardized Testing (Psychology Press); Kill the Messenger (Transaction), and several statistical compendia. Phelps has worked with several test development organizations, including ACT, AIR, ETS, the OECD, Pearson, and Westat. He holds degrees from Washington, Indiana, and Harvard Universities, and a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
     
    In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Richard Phelps discuss the education system in the United States, especially in comparison with Western Europe and other industrialized societies. They look at how Common Core, No Child Left Behind, and the changes to the SAT test have affected the curriculum, learning, and student preparedness both for further education as well as life after school. These trends in educational standards and standardized tests continue to impede our students compared to those of the industrialized world. Students from all levels and backgrounds are affected by these programs and the changes that need to be made are discussed.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    The U.S. is falling behind other countries, even those with less spending on education. Common Core and No Child Left Behind have caused progress to be lost in elementary and secondary education standards. The SAT has become less of an aptitude test and more of an achievement test, and can discriminate against talented students from underrepresented groups that attended lower quality high schools.  
    "Most information is not on the world wide web, much of what is there is wrong, and search rankings are easily manipulated by money and interests." —  Dr. Richard Phelps
     
    Connect with Dr. Richard Phelps: 
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichardPPhelps
    Website: https://richardphelps.net/ &https://nonpartisaneducation.org/
    Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Richard_Phelps
    SSRN Scholarly Papers: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1592150
    Academia: https://204.academia.edu/RichardPhelps
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardpphelps/
    LinkedIn Learning: https://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=Richard+P+Phelps
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:  www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticiallyspeaking.net 
     

    • 39 min
    143 The mental health crisis: dreams and nightmares

    143 The mental health crisis: dreams and nightmares

    In this culture where dreams and nightmares are such a part of our everyday language, the question becomes, what is dreaming? We all dream, so what does it mean, and how does it impact other areas of our lives, such as our mental health? In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Michael Nadorff discuss these questions, as well as diving deeper into the different cycles of sleep, the changes in our dreams and sleep as we age, different types of nightmare therapies, and the relationship between nightmares and suicide.  
     
     Key Takeaways:
    All dreams, good and bad, occur during the REM cycles of our sleep. The amount of REM sleep increases as the night goes on and, consequently, dreams get longer too.   Sleep loves the cold. If you fall asleep in too warm of an environment, during REM sleep when your temperature drops, you are more likely to wake up feeling overheated.  Having nightmares significantly increased the likelihood of future suicide attempts in those who had previously attempted suicide.   
    "REM is so important to us that, if you are sleep deprived, your body actually prioritizes REM, and it makes it even that much more intensive." —  Dr. Michael Nadorff
     
    Connect with Dr. Michael Nadorff:
    Professional Bio: psychology.msstate.edu/people/michael-r-nadorff/  
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 33 min
    Cold and Colder

    Cold and Colder

    Various forms of cold therapy, from ice on wounds to cold showers, have been successfully used for ages. And ice baths help athletes after an event. But these temperatures don't fall below freezing, or 32°F, and are usually above this. Recently, tanks providing whole body cryotherapy have been promoted for a wide range of health problems, some serious and progressive. This involves subjecting the body to anywhere from minus 160°F to 250°F, for several minutes. While this extreme exposure, even if for only a minute or so, definitely causes physical reactions, there have been no clinical trials to demonstrate their efficacy for the medical conditions supposedly helped. Furthermore, the tanks are not FDA approved.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    Whole body cryotherapy is being promoted for a wide range of medical conditions. The WBC tanks are not FDA approved medical devices. The facilities offering WBC rarely have any medical personnel present during the treatments. No standard clinical trials have been conducted demonstrating their efficacy, as claimed, for the medical conditions mentioned. People considering using the treatment should consult their physicians, rather than the internet, as to the benefits, prior to spending the money to expose themselves to these extremes.  
    "Don't get all your information from celebrity testimony or social media promotions. Things that pass for research on the internet are not what serious investigators would define as quality research." —  Therese Markow, Ph.D.
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 10 min
    Breast Cancer Risks: Underarm Products

    Breast Cancer Risks: Underarm Products

    Breast cancer is on the rise, especially in women under 40. This is pretty scary and the increase points to something environmental. In today’s episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Kris McGrath talk about one of these environmental factors and how our individual underarm hygiene may play a role in our risk for breast (and prostate) cancers earlier in life. Dr. McGrath has had a long time interest in this trend and they discuss some of his work on the relationship between underarm shaving and the use of deodorants and antiperspirants.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    The majority of breast cancer is environmental or lifestyle. Only 5-10% of breast cancer is due to genetic causes. So what are the factors? Both breast cancer and prostate cancer are hormone-driven cancers. More research needs to be done, but there already is a significant and scary relationship between underarm hygiene and beast and prostate cancers.   
    "In my paper, I showed that the earlier you began underarm habits, shaving your underarm and applying antiperspirant deodorant three times a week or more, the diagnosis of breast cancer began at a younger age, especially if you started using these products before the age of 16." —  Dr. Kris McGrath
     
    Connect with Dr. Kris McGrath:
    Professional Bio: feinberg.northwestern.edu/faculty-profiles/az/profile.html?xid=15819  
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 20 min
    Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld: The Placenta and the Fetal Brain

    Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld: The Placenta and the Fetal Brain

    What's the placenta? Some people think of it as a bag filled with fluid that protects the fetus inside from accidental blows, or a structure that sends maternal nutrients to the fetus while removing its waste products. Well, it's actually much more than this. When we may think that the placenta is protective, it can also create detrimental effects to the fetus - effects that can be lifelong. In fact, the placenta is a complex organ on its own and we've only recently been discovering some of the things that the placenta really does, and also what it can't do. Every new person that has arrived on this planet developed in a placenta, so to ensure the health and wellbeing of future generations, understanding what goes on with the placenta has become more critical. Today's guest is a leader in the field of placental biology. Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld is professor of biomedical sciences and her cutting edge research on the multiple roles of the placenta and fetal development provides critical guidance for prenatal maternal lifestyle and care.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    The placenta does have some ability to metabolize things, and it does offer some buffering capacity to the fetus. The placenta is an endocrine organ. It also produces neurotransmitters.  Endocrine disrupters can be found in household items and everything around us. Understanding the green chemistry movement can help us lead a healthy life style.   
    "Even though we can't really, completely, eliminate our exposure to environmental chemicals. We can try to offset it by living with good healthy practices." —  Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld
     
    Connect with Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld:
    Professional Bio: https://biomed.missouri.edu/cheryl-s-rosenfeld-phd-dvm/ 
    The United States Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society:  https://www.usdohad.org/ 
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

TagTeam123 ,

Incredible and informative podcast

Critically Speaking is the perfect balance of scientific concepts in plain English. The topics aired on the show sometimes are very complex issues, but are always told in an enjoyable and easy to digest way. I also love that no two weeks are the same and the topics are always changing - there is truly something for everyone.

jvignes53 ,

Excellent podcast

I love this podcast, very informative.

pjw3501 ,

Pjw3501

Great info would recommend to anyone interested in their health!

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