9 episodes

Each week, Ventricles introduces an interesting topic about science and technology, from the past, the present and sometimes (how we imagine) the future. Featuring interviews with scholars working at the intersection of science, religion and culture, Ventricles explores the many ways that people know and have known the world.

Ventricles is a new podcast written and produced by Shireen Hamza for the Science, Religion and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School. We'd love to hear your thoughts -- write to us at ventriclespodcast.src@gmail.com

Ventricles Shireen Hamza

    • Social Sciences
    • 5.0, 8 Ratings

Each week, Ventricles introduces an interesting topic about science and technology, from the past, the present and sometimes (how we imagine) the future. Featuring interviews with scholars working at the intersection of science, religion and culture, Ventricles explores the many ways that people know and have known the world.

Ventricles is a new podcast written and produced by Shireen Hamza for the Science, Religion and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School. We'd love to hear your thoughts -- write to us at ventriclespodcast.src@gmail.com

    Jungle Laboratories

    Jungle Laboratories

    In our final episode of season one, Professor Gabriela Soto Laveaga explains the central role that Mexico played in the creation of the birth control pill -- a history that has often been told about a few people in the US. From Ernesto Miramontes, a Mexican scientist whose name is on the patent for a compound used in the first oral contraceptives, to Syntex, the company co-founded by chemist Russell Marker in Mexico City, Mexico takes center stage in the history of oral contraceptives. But what about the hundreds of thousands of peasants in the South of Mexico, who dug up and even manipulated the barbasco roots from which steroid hormones were being synthesized? And are the dense jungles from which they found and dug up tons of these wild barbasco roots a laboratory?

    Audio credits: Thanks as always to The Overseas Ensemble, a collaboration between composer Paed Conca and Sarigama, for use of their music

    • 37 min
    Cybernetic Revolutionaries

    Cybernetic Revolutionaries

    How are technologies shaped by political needs, and how do technologies enable new kinds of politics? In this episode, Professor Eden Medina tells the history of communications technologies in Chile, during the socialist government of Salvador Allende, in the early 1970s. She explains how the innovative cybernetics systems, Project Cybersyn, was employed by the central government to communicate with people and officials across the country in an unprecedented way. Finally, we discuss how important this system seemed to Chileans in a time of political turmoil and what it came to represent - not only to the government, but to to the people of Chile.

    • 25 min
    Why is There a History of Medicine?

    Why is There a History of Medicine?

    If the human body has remained the same in the past few thousand years, why have our approaches to its treatment varied so much? How can an ailment exist in only one part of the world, and not another? Why have so many treatments in the history of Western medicine come to seem so strange to us now? This episode with Professor Shigehisa Kuriyama is about many interesting questions in the history of medicine.

    • 19 min
    Imagining Iraq

    Imagining Iraq

    What will Iraq be like, 100 years in the future? How are Muslim women imagined in the future? In this episode, Professor Ahmed Ragab explores literary imaginaries of the future of the Middle East. He starts by discussing the story, Kahramana, from the recent short-story collection edited by Hassan Blasim, Iraq +100. He compares the story of Kahramana to the superhero, Dust from Marvel comics, to demonstrate how writers based in Iraq navigate and subvert the expectations of Western audiences.

    • 23 min
    Canoes in Space

    Canoes in Space

    What can we learn about space exploration from Polynesian voyaging, or wayfinding? How does a frontier differ from a horizon? In this episode, Professor Eli Nelson explains the story of the Hokule‘a, a double-hulled voyaging canoe launched in 1975 to understand and recover the navigation techniques by which indigenous people found and settled the Pacific Islands. He touches on the various ways that people, from artists to authors of science fiction, have imagined voyaging canoes in the future, and in space.

    • 21 min
    Coins, Medieval and Digital

    Coins, Medieval and Digital

    What is money, and how is it changing? And what do bitcoins have in common with medieval coins? In this episode, Gili Vidan explains how the long history of coins can help us understand the history of digital currencies, something we perceive to be a radical break from the past. We start the episode with a discussion of the future - of one version of the future, science fiction - and what money is ideally imagined to be or not be.

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Journalist user ,

This is so good!

I love the topics they talk about on this show. I can’t wait to see where they go next! Such interesting interviews with really smart people

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