300 episodes

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

The Story Collider The Story Collider

    • Science

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

    Emergency: Stories about urgent situations

    Emergency: Stories about urgent situations

    This week we present two stories from people who deal with emergencies.
    Part 1: As a first-generation pre-med student with no financial aid, Brooke Dolecheck takes a job as a 911 operator to support herself.
    Part 2: Flight paramedic Marc Doll must transport a child to St. Louis for his last chance at a heart transplant.
    Brooke Dolecheck graduated from Boise State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Leadership and Human Relations. She's now an undergraduate academic advisor at Boise State University in the program which she graduated from. She works with students who, like herself, have found alternative pathways to pursuing a degree when the traditional route didn't work. She's an advocate for her students - creating unique degree plans that meet the needs of students' goals and the demands of the workforce.
    Marc Doll is the EMS Bureau Chief of the City of St. Charles Fire Department and a 26-year veteran of Emergency Medical Services. Marc has flown world wide to transport those in dire medical need from remote Russia to Carbondale, IL. He’s spent a total of 15 years in the high adrenaline atmosphere as a flight paramedic for both repatriation and children. For a change of pace, he has spent 22 years as a firefighter. While working two full time jobs, he finished his bachelor's degree in EMS Management from Missouri Southern State University with honors and is planning on continuing at Maryville University to acquire his nursing degree starting in the fall of 2020. His hobbies include beer making, practicing his banjo, and spending time with his wife, daughter (who is a nurse), two sons, and two dogs.
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    • 36 min
    Asking for Help: Stories about needing assistance

    Asking for Help: Stories about needing assistance

    This week we present two stories from people who didn’t ask for help until it was too late.
    Part 1: Determined to fit in as a PhD student, Aparna Agarwal decides she'll never ask for help -- even if it means fitting in to much smaller gloves.
    Part 2: On a snorkeling trip of his dreams, Jesse Hildebrand doesn’t want to admit he has no idea what he’s doing.
    Aparna Agarwal is a graduate student in Dr. Deepa Agashe’s lab at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India, by day, and a random thoughts compiler whenever inspiration strikes her. Currently, she is trying to understand adaptation and the role of microbes in that process using the red flour beetle. She is, on an average day, clueless but curious and trying to find answers. In that quest, she loves to travel in person, as well as through the magic of books, articles, blogs, conversations and in general, stories. She enjoys using these stories to help her share and build her science.
    Jesse Hildebrand is the VP of Education for Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, a digital education non-profit that connects scientists and explorers with kids (http://www.exploringbytheseat.com/). He's also the founder of Canada's Science Literacy Week (http://www.scienceliteracy.ca/) and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (http://www.rcgs.org/). Jesse suffers from an excess of personality, watches too many Blue Jays games for his own good, and can enter into a spirited debate on the merits of the Marvel films.
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    • 31 min
    Desperate Times: Stories about resorting to desperate measures

    Desperate Times: Stories about resorting to desperate measures

    This week we present two stories from people who were at the end of their rope.
    Part 1: After donating her kidney to a friend, Leah Waters struggles to get back to normal.
    Part 2: When the coral colonies of her childhood experience a bleaching event, Native Hawaiian coral biologist Narrissa Spies must face her greatest fear to protect them.
    Leah Waters is a multiplatform editor at The Dallas Morning News and also advises journalism programs at Frisco Heritage High School. Waters received her M.A. in Journalism from University of North Texas’ Mayborn School of Journalism in 2017. She also majored in journalism at Angelo State University in 2010, where she was the campus newspaper’s editor-in-chief. Waters currently serves as the Texas Association of Journalism Educators’ State Director and as a vice president of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors. She is a first amendment advocate and testified this session in support of a bill that would restore student press rights in Texas.
    Narrissa Spies is a Native Hawaiian scientist who was born and raised on the island of Hawaii. She received her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and is in the process of completing her PhD this semester at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has previously worked as a researcher, curriculum developer, and educator, and has a passion for marine conservation. In her current position she is on a team that manages ecological services on Oahu, Kauai, American Samoa, and Papahanaumokuakea.
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    • 41 min
    Math Class: Stories about adventures in math education

    Math Class: Stories about adventures in math education

    This week we present two stories from the math classroom.
    Part 1: High school math whiz Tori Ball has always hoped a boy would fall in love with her mind, but when it finally happens, she's not sure how she feels.
    Part 2: High achieving, but superstitious college student Maryam Zaringhalam’s entire system collapses when she misses a calculus test.
    Tori Ball is a high school math teacher in Rockville, Maryland. She spends her days taking derivatives, graphing parabolas, and making young people giggle when she says the word "asymptote." Back when she was a high school student in Rockville, Maryland, Tori's antics on the morning announcements earned her the nickname "Tori with the Story" - a moniker that remains appropriate to this day. Tori has shared stories on stage in DC with Story District, the Moth, and Perfect Liar's Club - and is excited for her Story Collider debut!
    Maryam is a molecular biologist who traded in her pipettes for the world of science policy and advocacy. She comes to D.C. from the concrete jungles of New York, where she received her PhD from The Rockefeller University. She co-hosts the science policy podcast Science Soapbox, and her words have appeared in Slate, Scientific American, and Quartz. Her cat is named Tesla, after Nikola and not Elon Musk's car. For insights like this and more, follow her on Twitter @webmz_
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    • 32 min
    Barriers: Stories about what stood in our way

    Barriers: Stories about what stood in our way

    This week we present two stories from people who were faced with barriers to their education.
    Part 1: Eager to succeed in her Physical Chemistry class, Shaniece Mosley is thrown off by a professor's attempt at a compliment.
    Part 2: Lelemia Irvine struggles to get through his PhD program as he's constantly told that his identity as a Native Hawaiian is incompatible with academia.
    Shaniece Mosley has been a teacher for eight years, and currently teaches chemistry, AP Chemistry, and science research at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. After attending Northeastern University and SUNYAlbany, where she received a B.S. in Chemistry, she attended Pace University where she earned an M.S. in Secondary Science Education. A former New York City Teaching Fellow, Shaniece is now an MƒA Master Teacher. She enjoys spending free time with her husband Dan and their 2 year old son Greyson.
    Lelemia Irvine, PhD, EIT, is kupukaaina, a lineal descendant from the aboriginal families that sprouted out of the land of Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. Dr. Irvine is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu. He is now at his dream job as a professor but the road to get there was not a breeze. Dr. Irvine is the first Kāne Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian male) to earn a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2019. In his doctoral research, he studied the physics of stormwater within a bioswale using predictive and computational approaches. As far as we know, presently there are less than 10 Native Hawaiians with a PhD in any engineering discipline in the world. Dr. Irvine is a self-described Rain Farmer, a term he coined, when his father, who has dementia, ask him “boy, what you studying in school?”. As a rain farmer, he seeks to connect sky to aquifer thru the physics of fluids and indigenous engineering ways of knowing. Dr. Irvine shares his personal journey as an empowerment tool for others to co-navigate and constellate the village of higher education systems.
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    • 38 min
    Leap of Faith: Stories about finding and losing faith

    Leap of Faith: Stories about finding and losing faith

    This week we share two stories from people who were confronted with their faith.
    Part 1: Feeling like a loser after he fails to graduate on time with his degree in materials science, Len Kruger accepts a dinner invitation from a cult.
    Part 2: After young Jehovah's Witness Emmanuel Garcia loses his faith, he finds a new purpose at a neuroscience conference.
    Len Kruger is a writer and storyteller. He recently retired from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, where he was a Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. Len has performed stories on stage with local storytelling groups such as Story District, the Moth, and Better Said Than Done. His short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Zoetrope All-Story, The Barcelona Review, and Gargoyle. He has Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland.
    Emmanuel (Mani) Garcia is an Indigenous-Black-Latino psychological scientist-practitioner; passionate science communicator; sign language interpreter; group fitness instructor; certified holistic yoga teacher; statistics educator; filmmaker; artist; writer; musician; and cult survivor living in Queens NYC. While completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at CUNY-John Jay, Mani is focused on developing his recently launched wellness capacity-building movement #Joy4L. His mission with #Joy4L is to increase joy in the lives of all minoritized people by increasing their access to high quality wellness resources. You can follow Mani at: manigarcia.com; Instagram: @bodyweightfun; Twitter: @manigarcianyc.
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    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

Libbylml ,

New host/format... not great

I loved this podcast ever since I heard it a few years ago, but there have been some changes dragging it downhill. One, the new additional host. Too much chatter that is inconsequential and a bit annoying. And two, the stories more often than not are not actually related to science at all! I hope this podcast take a turn again soon!

MJCCA ,

Love it but loose the hosts

I greatly enjoy the science stories but fast forward the hosts inconsequential comments.

JelloJello ,

Are we in a social science experiment?

As a femaleI I appreciate hearing female hosts (think Terry Gross). But, the new format of “school girls giggling” has me wondering what is going on. Love the stories, hate the new format.

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