100 episodes

Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

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    • Science
    • 4.3 • 632 Ratings

Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

    Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood

    Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood

    There are massive telescopes that look far out into the cosmos, giant particle accelerators looking for ever tinier signals, gargantuan gravitational wave detectors that span kilometers of Earth—what about soil science? Where’s the big science project on deep soil? It’s coming soon. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for a new subsoil observatory to take us beyond topsoil.

    Wood is in some ways an ideal building material. You can grow it out of the ground. It’s not very heavy. It’s strong. But materials like metal and plastic have one up on wood in terms of flexibility. Plastic and metal can be melted and molded into complicated shapes. Could wood ever do this? Liangbing Hu, a professor in the department of materials science and engineering and director of the Center for Materials Innovation at the University of Maryland, College Park, talked with Sarah about making moldable wood in a new way.

    In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for the Custom Publishing office, interviews Michael Brehm, associate professor at UMass Chan Medical School Diabetes Center of Excellence, about how he is using humanized mouse models to study ways to modulate the body’s immune system as a pathway to treating type 1 diabetes. This segment is sponsored by the Jackson Laboratory. 

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Xiao et al., Science 2021; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text:  honeycomb structure made from moldable wood]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    The ripple effects of mass incarceration, and how much is a dog’s nose really worth?

    The ripple effects of mass incarceration, and how much is a dog’s nose really worth?

    This week we are covering the Sciencespecial issue on mass incarceration.

    Can a dog find a body? Sometimes. Can a dog indicate a body was in a spot a few months ago, even though it’s not there now? There’s not much scientific evidence to back up such claims. But in the United States, people are being sent to prison based on this type of evidence. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Andrey Smith, a reporter and researcher based in Maine, about the science—or lack thereof—behind dog-sniff evidence.

    With 2 million people in jail or prison in the United States, it has become incredibly common to have a close relative behind bars. Sarah talks with Hedwig Lee, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis, about the consequences of mass incarceration for families of the incarcerated, from economic to social. 

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image:  Adrian Brandon; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: illustration from the special issue on mass incarceration by Adrian Brandon. He writes: “This illustration shines a light on the structural role of the prison system and how deeply embedded it is in the fabric of this country.”]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Peter Andrey Smith

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min
    Swarms of satellites could crowd out the stars, and the evolution of hepatitis B over 10 millennia

    Swarms of satellites could crowd out the stars, and the evolution of hepatitis B over 10 millennia

    In 2019, a SpaceX rocket released 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit—the first wave of more than 10,000 planned releases. At the same time, a new field of environmental debate was also launched—with satellite companies on one side, and astronomers, photographers, and stargazers on the other. Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the future of these space-based swarms.

    Over the course of the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, different variants of the virus have come and gone. What would such changes look like over 10,000 years? Arthur Kocher, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, talks with Sarah about watching the evolution of the virus that causes hepatitis B—over 10 millennia—and how changes in the disease’s path match up with shifts in human history.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Rafael Schmall; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: Starlink satellites moving across the sky in a long-exposure photograph of the star Albireo in Cygnus]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Josh Sokol

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min
    Whole-genome screening for newborns, and the importance of active learning for STEM

    Whole-genome screening for newborns, and the importance of active learning for STEM

    Today, most newborns get some biochemical screens of their blood, but whole-genome sequencing is a much more comprehensive look at an infant—maybe too comprehensive? Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ethical ins and outs of whole-genome screening for newborns, and the kinds of infrastructure needed to use these screens more widely.

    Sarah also talks with three contributors to a series of vignettes on the importance of active learning for students in science, technology, engineering, and math.

    Yuko Munakata, professor in the department of psychology and Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, talks about how the amount of unstructured time and active learning contributes to developing executive function—the way our brains keep us on task.

    Nesra Yannier, special faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and inventor of NoRILLA, discusses an artificial intelligence–driven learning platform that helps children explore and learn about the real world.

    Finally, Louis Deslauriers, senior preceptor in the department of physics and director of science teaching and learning at Harvard University, laments lectures: why we like them so much, why we think we learn more from lectures than inquiry-based learning, and why we’re wrong.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Jerry Lai/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: newborn baby feet]

    [Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jocelyn Kaiser]

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Earliest human footprints in North America, dating violins with tree rings, and the social life of DNA

    Earliest human footprints in North America, dating violins with tree rings, and the social life of DNA

    Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss fossilized footprints left on a lake shore in North America sometime before the end of Last Glacial Maximum—possibly the earliest evidence for humans on the continent. Read the research.

    Next, Paolo Cherubini, a senior scientist in the dendrosciences research group at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, discusses using tree rings to date and authenticate 17th and 18th century violins worth millions of dollars.

    Finally, in this month’s installment of the series of book interviews on race and science, guest host Angela Saini interviews Alondra Nelson, professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, about her 2016 book The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome.

    Note on the closing music: Violinist Nicholas Kitchen plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne on the violin “Castelbarco” made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy, in 1697. Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress. 

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Bennet et al., Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: human footprints preserved in rock]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Lizzie Wade; Angela Saini

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min
    Potty training cows, and sardines swimming into an ecological trap

    Potty training cows, and sardines swimming into an ecological trap

    Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the health and environmental benefits of potty training cows.

    Next, Peter Teske, a professor in the department of zoology at the University of Johannesburg, joins us to talk about his Science Advances paper on origins of the sardine run—a massive annual fish migration off the coast of South Africa.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Steven Benjamin; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: sardines in a swirling bait ball]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
632 Ratings

632 Ratings

Babydust1974 ,

Won’t let me listen to episodes.

Hello! I love your podcast and I always like to listen to them from oldest to newest. For some reason it won’t let me listen to the next episode I am on which is from 2014 about down syndrome. Can you please fix it so I can continue to listen to your podcast?
Can you please fix your podcast so I can listen to the rest of 2014 episodes and then move on to 2015? Please?

M Dodge ,

Sarah Crespi Superstar

Sarah Crespi is one of my favorite interviewers and science communicators. She’s beyond amazing. When she interviews researchers, her questions are well-crafted and insightful, and she asks terrific follow-up questions. Any time I feel a little confused by an interviewee’s explanation, she asks exactly the right question to clarify things. All of my respect and admiration to such a skilled science communicator!

hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose ,

Love Sarah Crespi

In a toxic ocean of vocal fry and uptalk Sarah Crespi is a beautiful tropical island to save us all. It is so refreshing to listen to a science podcast that isn’t singularly focused on COVID-19 and climate change.
Sarahs interviews are weaved flawlessly with insightful questions and innocent humor. She is supremely intelligent and confident during the interview. The shows are expertly edited and the sound quality is excellent.

If my daughter displays an interest in journalism or any professional audio career I will play this podcast for her and say “this is how to do it”

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