13 episodes

In Plain English is a podcast where we discuss scientific research in terms that are accessible to everyone, not just the experts. Every episode will feature an expert in a particular field of science, such as genetics or anthropology. The expert will then present a paper in their field, and the podcast guests--people without much knowledge of the subject--ask questions and discuss the research. Each episode will conclude with a broader discussion of how the paper’s findings impact society as a whole.

In Plain English: Science Made Simple In Plain English

    • Science

In Plain English is a podcast where we discuss scientific research in terms that are accessible to everyone, not just the experts. Every episode will feature an expert in a particular field of science, such as genetics or anthropology. The expert will then present a paper in their field, and the podcast guests--people without much knowledge of the subject--ask questions and discuss the research. Each episode will conclude with a broader discussion of how the paper’s findings impact society as a whole.

    When Research Gets it Wrong, Part 2

    When Research Gets it Wrong, Part 2

    Join expert Vera Thornton and guests Doris Meinerding and Hannah Waterhouse for Part 2 of a thought-provoking look "behind the scenes" of scientific research, to answer the question "Why are research findings sometimes wrong?"

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! If you are able, please consider becoming a Patron to help support In Plain English!

    And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    Disclaimers: Though this episode talks about medical tests, none of the guests are doctors, nor are they your doctor. If you have a question about your own health or medical care, please ask your doctor.

    This article and the ensuing discussion should not be misconstrued to support any form of science denialism. As we discuss in the episode, science is a process, not a set of definite facts. Sometimes in this process, new evidence emerges that casts doubt on previous findings. We believe that it is important for scientists to be transparent about this part of the process.

    The author of this article, Dr. John Ioannadis, has recently become (in)famous for using his platform as a prominent researcher to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic (https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-the-heck-happened-to-john-ioannidis/). His actions are unfortunately a perfect example of one possible pitfall of studies like this that call out issues with research rigor and reproducibility: misconstruing them to mean that no science should be trusted. My goal in making this podcast is to make science better and more accessible to the public, and to give you all the tools to be more educated consumers of scientific news and literature. The big takeaway is this: apply rigorous skepticism to both science that fits your world view and science that challenges it, and be open to changing your mind if the evidence leads you in a different direction from what you originally thought.

    Photo Credit: Chokniti Khongchum

    • 36 min
    When Research Gets it Wrong, Part 1

    When Research Gets it Wrong, Part 1

    Join expert Vera Thornton and guests Doris Meinerding and Hannah Waterhouse for Part 1 of a thought-provoking look "behind the scenes" of scientific research, to answer the question "Why are research findings sometimes wrong?" Part 2 will air on the first Tuesday of September.

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! If you are able, please consider becoming a Patron to help support In Plain English!

    And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    Disclaimers: Though this episode talks about medical tests, none of the guests are doctors, nor are they your doctor. If you have a question about your own health or medical care, please ask your doctor.

    This article and the ensuing discussion should not be misconstrued to support any form of science denialism. As we discuss in the episode, science is a process, not a set of definite facts. Sometimes in this process, new evidence emerges that casts doubt on previous findings. We believe that it is important for scientists to be transparent about this part of the process..

    The author of this article, Dr. John Ioannadis, has recently become (in)famous for using his platform as a prominent researcher to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic (https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-the-heck-happened-to-john-ioannidis/). His actions are unfortunately a perfect example of one possible pitfall of studies like this that call out issues with research rigor and reproducibility: misconstruing them to mean that no science should be trusted. My goal in making this podcast is to make science better and more accessible to the public, and to give you all the tools to be more educated consumers of scientific news and literature. The big takeaway is this: apply rigorous skepticism to both science that fits your world view and science that challenges it, and be open to changing your mind if the evidence leads you in a different direction from what you originally thought.

    Photo Credit: Chokniti Khongchum

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The Drug War: A Violent Situation

    The Drug War: A Violent Situation

    Join expert Hilary Agro and guests Vera Thornton and Brigid Lydon as they discuss the far-reaching impacts of the drug war and the importance of harm reduction.

    You can download the paper on our website.

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! If you are able, please consider becoming a Patron to help support In Plain English!

    And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    Harm Reduction Resources
    National Harm Reduction Coalition: https://harmreduction.org/resource-center/


    Find syringes and naloxone (Narcan) near you
    Learn about harm reduction issues
    Get training online

    https://www.narcan.com


    Download instructions for using Narcan
    Find Narcan near you
    Learn about your state's Narcan access laws

    MO HOPE Project (for Missouri residents): https://mohopeproject.org/resources/get-naloxone/


    Find out how to get naloxone in Missouri
    Get information on how to use naloxone
    Learn about other harm reduction measures

    Prevent + ED (for Missouri residents): https://prevented.org


    Get naloxone training

    The T (for St. Louis area residents): https://www.thetstl.com


    Get naloxone training
    Get naloxone & other first aid supplies

    Image Credit: "Drugs Say Stop The Drug War" by The Drug Users Bible is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

    • 1 hr
    Pathogen Wars: How Gut Bacteria Protect Against Cholera

    Pathogen Wars: How Gut Bacteria Protect Against Cholera

    Join expert Jonathan Mitchell and guests Nicolas Scrutton Alvarado and Raymond Uymatiao to learn about the beneficial bacteria in your gut that can help protect against diseases like cholera.

    You can download the paper on our website.

    Check out Jonathan's podcast Microbe Moment!

    Check out Nicolas's podcast In the Spotlight!

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! If you are able, please consider becoming a Patron to help support In Plain English! And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    Image Credit: "Beneficial Gut Bacteria" by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

    • 45 min
    Climate Change, Corporations, and Cap-and-Trade

    Climate Change, Corporations, and Cap-and-Trade

    In the 9th episode of In Plain English, expert Kelly-Anne Moffa and guests Leenah Abugisisa and Alexander Albury delve into the ups and downs of California's cap-and-trade policy and its impact on climate change.

    You can find the paper, "Leakage from Sub-national Climate Policy: The Case of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program", on our website.

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! And check out our Discord server to talk science with other listeners, experts, and guests!

    If you are able, consider supporting us on Patreon. Becoming a patron gets you cool perks like early access to episodes, bonus content, and monthly AMAs, and it helps In Plain English keep growing and improving. And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Parasites: Master Puppeteers

    Parasites: Master Puppeteers

    In the 8th episode of In Plain English, expert Abby Kimball and guests Jakayla Folarin and Olayinka Idowu discuss the fascinating world of parasites and the surprising ways in which they connect all life, from ants to elephants.

    You can download the paper for this episode on our website.

    If you want to learn more about this topic, check out the book Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer.

    Remember to follow In Plain English on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest announcements! If you are able, consider supporting us on Patreon. Becoming a patron gets you cool perks like early access to episodes, bonus content, and monthly AMAs, and it helps In Plain English keep growing and improving. And check out our Where to Listen page to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite platform!

    Featured image credit: "Larvae from the parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis" by ZEISS Microscopy is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

    • 1 hr