100 episodes

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

Town Hall Seattle Science Serie‪s‬ Town Hall Seattle

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

    130. Nathaniel Rich with Claire Vaye Watkins: What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Natural World?

    130. Nathaniel Rich with Claire Vaye Watkins: What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Natural World?

    We live at a time in which scientists race to reanimate extinct beasts, our most essential ecosystems require monumental engineering projects to survive, chicken breasts grow in test tubes, and multinational corporations conspire to poison the blood of every living creature. No rock, leaf, or cubic foot of air on Earth has escaped humanity’s clumsy signature. The old distinctions—between natural and artificial, dystopia and utopia, science fiction and science fact—have blurred, losing all meaning. So author Nathaniel Rich argues in his book Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade.
    With intimate stories from ordinary people making desperate efforts to preserve their humanity in a world that seems increasingly alien, Rich joined us to share from this deeply reported book. In conversation with fellow author Claire Vaye Watkins, he presented a beautifully told exploration of our post-natural world, one that helps us understand our place in a reality that resembles nothing human beings have known. Together, they wondered what it means to live in an era of terrible ecological responsibility. The question is no longer, How do we return to the world that we’ve lost?, they express, but rather What world do we want to create in its place?
    Nathaniel Rich is the author of Losing Earth: A Recent History and the novels King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue. He is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books.
    Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the novel Gold Fame Citrusand the short story collection Battleborn. A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, Watkins is a professor at the University of California Irvine.
    Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780374106034 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation or become a member click here. 

    • 59 min
    129. Rob Dunn: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human

    129. Rob Dunn: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human

    What exactly are flavors? Why are some so pleasing while others are not? What is the relationship between Paleolithic art and cheese?
    Ecology professor Rob Dunn joined us to offer bold new perspectives on why food is enjoyable and how the pursuit of delicious flavors has guided the course of human history. In Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human, co-written with Monica Sanchez, Dunn argued that deliciousness is an overlooked feature of the story of animal evolution. He shared stories from the book: stories about the pleasures of chimpanzees, the taste of mastodons, the mysteries of avocados, and more. He endeavored to show how a consideration of flavor and deliciousness changes the way we think about and make sense of the natural world: they shape the behavior of cats and dogs, they shape the use of tools by chimpanzees—they may even account for some of the major transitions in human evolution. Don’t miss these toothsome tales that are likely to change the way you think about flavor.
    Rob Dunn is a professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University and in the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Never Home Alone.
    Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780691199474 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation or become a member click here. 

    • 55 min
    128. Robert Kolker with Dr. David Eagleman: The Extraordinary History of Schizophrenia in One Family

    128. Robert Kolker with Dr. David Eagleman: The Extraordinary History of Schizophrenia in One Family

    From the outside, the Galvin family seemed to be living the American Dream: a happy family with twelve children who perfectly spanned the baby boom, and a trajectory of upward mobility. Behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
    Award-winning author Robert Kolker joined us in conversation with neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman to share this heartrending story, the subject of his book Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family. With clarity and compassion, he presented the extraordinary history of the Galvins, one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Exploring how their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia and how their stolen DNA has informed decades of genetic research, he uncovered one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.
    Robert Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, O Magazine, and Men’s Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the 2011 Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
    Dr. David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and internationally best-selling author. He teaches brain plasticity at Stanford University, is the creator and host of the Emmy-nominated television series The Brain, and is the CEO of Neosensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. He is the author of eight books—including Livewired: The Inside Story of the Human Brain, out in May 2021.
    Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780525562641 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation or become a member click here. 

    • 58 min
    127. Dr. Shanna Swan with Stacey Colino and Steve Scher: How Our Modern World Threatens the Future of Fertility

    127. Dr. Shanna Swan with Stacey Colino and Steve Scher: How Our Modern World Threatens the Future of Fertility

    In 2017, a scientist and her team of researchers completed a major study. They found that over the past four decades, sperm levels among men in Western countries have dropped by more than 50 percent. The result sent shockwaves around the globe—but the story didn’t end there. It turns out our sexual development is changing in broader ways, for both men and women and even other species, and that the modern world is on pace to become an infertile one. How and why could this happen? What is hijacking our fertility and our health?
    The scientist who led that research team, Dr. Shanna Swan, joined us with her coauthor Stacey Colino in a conversation facilitated by Town Hall Senior Correspondent Steve Scher to unpack these startling discoveries. As contained in her book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, Dr. Swan and her team examined 185 studies involving close to 45,000 healthy men. She and Colino shared what they discerned about how both lifestyle and chemical exposures are affecting our fertility, sexual development, and general health as a species. With accessible explanations of the threats and repercussions, they presents an urgent wake-up call to action in protecting our future.
    Shanna H. Swan, PhD, is an award-winning scientist based at Mt. Sinai and one of the leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists in the world. Dr. Swan has published more than 200 scientific papers and has been featured in extensive media coverage around the world. Her appearances include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CBS News, PBS, BBC, and NPR, as well as in leading magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Time, and many more.
    Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer specializing in health and environmental issues and a regular contributor to US News & World Report. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post Health section and in dozens of national magazines, including Newsweek, Parade, Woman’s Day, Sports Illustrated, and Good Housekeeping. She is the coauthor with David Katz of Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well; Strong is the New Skinny with Jennifer Cohen; Good Food Fast! with Jason Roberts; and Taking Back the Month with Diana Taylor.
    Steve Scher is a podcaster, interviewer, and teacher. He worked in Seattle public radio for almost 30 years. He has taught at the University of Washington since 2009. He is Senior Correspondent for Town Hall Seattle’s In The Moment podcast.
    Buy the Book: 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here. 

    • 1 hr 4 min
    126. Mario Livio: The Relevance of Galileo and Science Denial in the Modern World

    126. Mario Livio: The Relevance of Galileo and Science Denial in the Modern World

    In the non-stop pace of the modern world, it might be a surprise to learn that a 400-year-old story is more relevant today than ever before. But that’s exactly what astrophysicist Mario Livio believes about the life story of Galileo, and he joined us with a fresh interpretation of one of history’s greatest and most fascinating scientists.
    Drawing on his own scientific expertise, as well as his book Galileo and the Science Deniers, Livio provided captivating insights into how Galileo reached his bold new conclusions about the cosmos and the laws of nature. Livio explored how current crises—such as the minimization of the dangers of climate change—mirror the problems that Galileo experienced with discoveries being erroneously questioned or ignored. He shared how Galileo was not only a revolutionary because of his conclusions, but also because of his belief in the democratization of scientific knowledge, that every educated person should know science as well as literature. Livio reminded us that we can continue to take inspiration from heroes of the past—especially as the tenets they held dear four centuries ago remain threatened even today.
    Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, a bestselling author, and a popular speaker who has appeared on The Daily Show, 60 Minutes, and NOVA. He is the author of the bestsellers The Golden Ratio, Brilliant Blunders, and Galileo.
    Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9781501194733 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here. 

    • 59 min
    125. Noreena Hertz with Steve Scher: Restoring Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart

    125. Noreena Hertz with Steve Scher: Restoring Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart

    Even before a global pandemic introduced us to terms like “social distancing,” loneliness was a defining condition of the twenty-first century, academic Noreena Hertz posits. She argues that the fabric of community was unraveling, and our personal relationships were under threat.
    Combining a decade of research with firsthand reporting, Hertz joined us to discuss her findings, collected in her book The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World that’s Pulling Apart. She shares how technology is not the sole culprit, but equally to blame are the dismantling of civic institutions, the reorganization of the workplace, the mass migration to cities, and decades of policies that have placed self-interest above the collective good. This loneliness is not merely a mental and physical health crisis, Hertz contends, but an economic and political one as well. But she believes it’s a crisis we have the power to solve, and she offers bold solutions for healing our fractured communities and restoring connection in our lives.
    Noreena Hertz is a renowned thought leader, academic, and broadcaster. She is the author of The Silent Takeover, The Debt Threat, and Eyes Wide Open. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Financial Times. She is currently based at University College London, where she holds an honorary professorship.
    Steve Scher is a podcaster, interviewer, and teacher. He worked in Seattle public radio for almost 30 years. He has taught at the University of Washington since 2009. He is Senior Correspondent for Town Hall Seattle’s In The Moment podcast.
    Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780593135839 
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation online click here. 

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

CC_onTheMtn ,

Such great topics!

Thought provoking talks, great Q&A, a worthy dialog. It’s almost as good as being there. So glad THS is broadcasting these good discussions.

(tim jack) ,

Cool Beans & Rad Podcast

Solid, professional, and entertaining! Tons of great material in here. My morning commute just a little more educational.

msa1912 ,

Large selection of interesting speakers

I really enjoy this podcast. It includes an ecclectic mix of speakers. Very well produced.

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