9 episodes

Device is a monthly book discussion with a science-based twist. In each episode, we discuss a novel that uses science to drive the story’s action, and dissect the plot device for scientific plausibility.

Device KPBS

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 23 Ratings

Device is a monthly book discussion with a science-based twist. In each episode, we discuss a novel that uses science to drive the story’s action, and dissect the plot device for scientific plausibility.

    Introducing "Port of Entry"

    Introducing "Port of Entry"

    From KPBS and PRX, "Port of Entry" tells cross-border stories that connect us.

    Subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen, or here: www.portofentrypod.org.

    • 3 min
    Introducing Rad Scientist

    Introducing Rad Scientist

    We want to tell you about an exciting new season of KPBS Explore podcast, "Rad Scientist."

    Recent events involving the killing of unarmed Black people have brought discussions about racism to the forefront, including at scientific institutions. This season of KPBS Explore podcast "Rad Scientist" is centered on Black scientists, from graduate students to faculty to those who have left the ivory towers. They study bug microbiomes, autism, neural prosthetics and more. But they will also discuss how racism has impacted their scientific journey. First episode drops Sept. 2.

    Subscribe here: https://www.kpbs.org/podcasts/rad-scientist/

    • 3 min
    Cyclical Row

    Cyclical Row

    California's sardine fishery crashed in the late 1930s, much like how Mack and his gang crashed Doc's labortory in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Device heads to sea to speak with the biologists and oceanographers on how the sardine bounced back.

    • 25 min
    Presence Mechanism

    Presence Mechanism

    Ragle Gumm discovers he’s living in a simulated reality, and is pretty sure he’s starting to "go sane." In "Time Out Of Joint," author Phillip K. Dick envisioned a future where we would be walking on distant planets by the 1990s, as NASA did when the U.S. Spaceflight Program was created in 1958. The San Diego Air & Space Museum provides some history on NASA’s ambitions. Virtual reality developer E McNeill chats with host Emily T. Griffiths and producer Derrick Acosta about current VR technology and how it has its roots in NASA’s exploration research. Cover art is a still frame from "Auralux: Constellations," from indie game designer E McNeill.

    • 24 min
    Ants, Ants, Revolution

    Ants, Ants, Revolution

    In "The Poisonwood Bible," author Barbara Kingsolver takes us to 1950s Belgian Congo via the Prices, a missionary family. While this novel is great historical fiction, it’s embellished scientifical fiction when a horde of driver ants attack an African Village. David Holway from UC San Diego gives us the rundown on local ant species while Michael Wall from the San Diego Natural History Museum highlights insect appreciation, something Kingsolver could have been better at.

    • 22 min
    Loom Moon

    Loom Moon

    Shane Haggard and Lisa Will from San Diego City College discuss what would happen to the Earth if a meteor knocked the moon closer to us, and what happens to Miranda Evan's family in "Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Patmul2 ,

Love it!

I love this show. It’s so entertaining and informative at the same time. Emily is wonderful. Please do another season!

SndSci ,

Cyclical Row

You failed to fact check. CalCOFI does not contribute to sardine assessments. SWFSC egg-production and now acoustic-trawl surveys provide the observation data to inform assessments and managers. In 2011, published in 2012, data from the acoustic-trawl surveys allowed SWFSC scientists to predict the Cannery Row redux. In 2015, the sardine fishery was closed. In 2019, the sardine stock was declared overfished.

v_lociraptor ,

Well researched and interesting!

I love the book selections so far and how the plot devices in each book are well researched, explaining the relationship (or lack thereof) between fact and fiction. I always look forward to the next installment!

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