The future is scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Host Dr. Kate Biberdorf (aka Kate the Chemist) is seeking scientists to guide us into the great unknown. From fungus zombies to feeling young forever, we’re puzzling out what our world could look like — and how we can get ready. A podcast from KCUR Studios and the NPR Podcast Network. Supported by The Stowers Institute For Medical Research.
Breaking down the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of quantum dots
Ever since the 2023 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of quantum dots, Kate’s phone has been ringing off the hook. Everyone wants her to explain what these tiny clusters of atoms are — and how they relate to the budding field of nanotechnology. In essence, she says, quantum dots are helping chemists make our world brighter, healthier and more energy efficient.
Seeking... your thoughts
Seeking A Scientist is returning for a second season! But before we head back to the lab, Kate The Chemist wants to hear from YOU. What episode was your favorite? What do you want to hear more about from us? Leave us a review and comment on your favorite podcast platform, or email Kate directly at Kate@seekingascientist.org.
Does the multiverse actually exist?
Over the last few years, the box office has been dominated by films like "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" that explore ideas of parallel universes, quantum worlds and alternate lives. There's some real science behind those ideas, but they may not look exactly how we imagine. Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll helps us untangle the madness from the multiverse.
Do fungi secretly rule our world?
From molds and yeasts to the mushrooms we fear and love, fungi are connected to life and death on our planet — but they're often misunderstood. We only know about 10% of the estimated 3.8 million species that exist. Do we need to be afraid of things like fungus zombies? We asked astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and mycologist Giuliana Furci to help us understand this vast kingdom, and separate “fungal fact” from “fungal fiction.”
Can we stop our world from flooding?
In April 2023 alone, floods hit numerous regions of the United States, including land-locked states like Kansas, Tennessee and Colorado. With warmer temperatures and human activity causing the oceans to rise and the ground to sink, flooding is now a question of “when,” not “if.” NOAA oceanographer WIlliam Sweet explains why those disasters are getting worse and how we can prepare for a “floodier future.”
Can we fix our failing electrical grid?
In February 2021, Texas and wide swaths of North America were shut down by Winter Storm Uri, which caused massive blackouts and left millions of people without power for days. The winter storms exposed vulnerabilities in our country’s electrical grid, and underlined the pressing need for a more reliable energy system. Is a recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion a possible path forward?
I will try to be bright, brief and gone. I enjoyed your podcast, short season though. I’m glad you embraced the last one with Sean Carroll, you did a good job with it. I have all of his books, I listen to his podcast, and support it ..
The one that moved me, and I’m not sure I’ve ever quite had that experience listening to a Podcast, the ocean plastic trash. I’m not gonna remember his name, but I remember how it made me feel. He was talking about the calamity and the horribleness of the plastic trash pile, and walking on it. You appeared to want to move quickly through the calamity / topic and get into the solution of fixing it. He would not let you. He brought you back to to confronting and contemplating the severity and the fact we will be living with plasric forever. Probably some of it coursing through my blood now. Your voice was shaken. You were stumbling in a very real and personal way that brought forth the reality of that severity. He made you confront it, It was real, you were real. I thought that was one of the most incredible moments I’ve ever heard on a podcast. It was deeply moving for everyone. Well done Kate!
Maybe you’re in the process of capturing lightning in a bottle. I wish you the best.
Great science podcast
This is so great! Kate is pleasant and a natural. The subjects are fascinating and the information is delivered in relatable way. More please!
Absolutely Worth the Listen
Fascinating. Fun. Informative. Incredibly important information. It was an easy binge to make it through the first several episodes that are out. The information is easy to understand, sprinkled in with lots of pop-culture references to keep you smiling.