The final episode of the Undark Podcast was published in August, 2022, capping nearly five years of audio journalism and discussion. We appreciate your interest in exploring the intersection of science and society with us during that time, and hope you’ll continue to visit undark.org, where you'll find our rich mix of in-depth investigations, news features, essays, op-eds, and multimedia journalism.
Ep. 63: For Deep Ocean Mining, Questions Abound
This month: Some regions of the deep ocean contain vast amounts of key minerals, like cobalt and nickel, that are needed to power clean energy technologies. But some scientists warn that mining them could have tremendous consequences, not just for underwater ecosystems, but for the planet as a whole.
Ep. 62: Restoring Landscapes and Livelihoods in Western Bosnia
This month: Twenty-six years after the end of the Bosnian War, farmers in Livno are once again making cheese the traditional way, grazing herds of sheep on the wide-open plains. The animals' return is restoring natural wetlands, leading to cascading impacts on the environment and the economy.
Ep. 61: When Accents Speak Louder Than Words
For scientists who come from abroad to live and work in America, accents can be personal. It's discouraging to be misunderstood, even when they think they’re speaking clearly. Sometimes, it could even be a career liability. Is the problem the accent, or those on the receiving end?
Ep. 60: Shifting Blame Over Water Pollution
Residents of Lebanon's Beqaa Valley say pollution in the Litani River is responsible for a host of chronic health problems. While a causal link is hard to prove, cleanup efforts are precarious amid the country's economic crisis and shifting blame between refugees and government inaction.
Ep. 59: Water Cremation Ignites Debate Over Dignified Death
Alkaline hydrolysis is an end-of-life option that’s gaining popularity in Canada and the U.S. It’s marketed as a greener form of cremation — a way to still end up with ashes, but without sending harmful emissions into the air. But getting the technology approved by lawmakers has proven difficult.
Ep. 58: When an Intellectual Disability Means Life or Death
When Pervis Payne was sentenced to death more than three decades ago, it was permissible to execute someone with an intellectual disability. A Supreme Court decision changed that in 2002, but Payne's disability was acknowledged only last year. Why did it take so long to remove him from The Row?
A fantastic monthly program
A lot of science journalism can be dry or complicated, but Undark is sophisticated, intelligent and accessible. The stories are unique and deeply researched, and the podcast version of the site provides a monthly window into topics around the world -- soil poisoning from Vietnam-era ordnance in Southeast Asia, efforts to remove fish from a lake in Canada -- that illuminate and inspire. Excellent work.