7 episodes

On the surface, this is a collection of surprising and unusual stories from the history of science. But Dan Riskin digs deeper. He draws connections between those stories and the challenges facing modern day medical researchers.

It’s historical wisdom mixed with modern insight.

Along the way we will learn how Neptune was discovered using math, why Fredrick Banting had to sell his car, and what scientific mistake sent Joseph Sledge to prison for three decades.

We will explore the idea of a “Eureka” moment by asking ‘Is that a real thing?’ and ‘Why was Archimedes naked when he said it?’

There are dozens of questions like that: Does Snake Oil actually contain snakes? How did the Jeep get its name? Why did the electric car fail to dominate the market, despite support from Henry Ford and Thomas Edison? Was Ignaz Semmelweis a genius, or a fool? Can you prevent polio by cleaning the streets? And who brought the first elephant to England?

We will take an honest look at the ethics of giving away a discovery like Fredrick Banting did with insulin, or trying to profit from it.

If you are intrigued by science, get excited about the process of discovery, and want to have the best stories at your next dinner party, this is the show for you.

SciMar is a medical research company looking for a new way to detect, treat and cure Type-2 Diabetes. Rather than insulin from the pancreas, they are focused on a different hormone that comes from the liver -- something called HISS (hepatic insulin sensitizing substance.) We will use historical stories to shine a light on where this modern company is headed.

Inside the Breakthrough - How Science Comes to Lif‪e‬ SciMar with Dan Riskin

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

On the surface, this is a collection of surprising and unusual stories from the history of science. But Dan Riskin digs deeper. He draws connections between those stories and the challenges facing modern day medical researchers.

It’s historical wisdom mixed with modern insight.

Along the way we will learn how Neptune was discovered using math, why Fredrick Banting had to sell his car, and what scientific mistake sent Joseph Sledge to prison for three decades.

We will explore the idea of a “Eureka” moment by asking ‘Is that a real thing?’ and ‘Why was Archimedes naked when he said it?’

There are dozens of questions like that: Does Snake Oil actually contain snakes? How did the Jeep get its name? Why did the electric car fail to dominate the market, despite support from Henry Ford and Thomas Edison? Was Ignaz Semmelweis a genius, or a fool? Can you prevent polio by cleaning the streets? And who brought the first elephant to England?

We will take an honest look at the ethics of giving away a discovery like Fredrick Banting did with insulin, or trying to profit from it.

If you are intrigued by science, get excited about the process of discovery, and want to have the best stories at your next dinner party, this is the show for you.

SciMar is a medical research company looking for a new way to detect, treat and cure Type-2 Diabetes. Rather than insulin from the pancreas, they are focused on a different hormone that comes from the liver -- something called HISS (hepatic insulin sensitizing substance.) We will use historical stories to shine a light on where this modern company is headed.

    When Snake Oil Enters the Courtroom

    When Snake Oil Enters the Courtroom

    What do you think of when you hear the term Snake Oil? Do you think of miracle vitamins with outlandish claims? Do you think of sneaky sales people trying to separate you from your money? Or do you think of actual snakes?

    The truth is, those are all true. Snake Oil is a complicated concept that includes shiffy profiteers, and an audience that is, if not ‘gullible,’ at least ‘susceptible.’

    Joseph Sledge spent three decades in prison because of bad forensics, and when you learn how it played out in the courtroom… you’ll see that what he really fell victim to, was “Snake Oil.”

    The best defence against snake oil is science.

    These science stories from history shed light on the modern research being done on Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, we highlight the work of SciMar as they examine the hormone HISS - Hepatic Insulin Sensitizing Substance - and the effect it has on glucose levels in people who are insulin resistant. www.SciMar.ca

    • 20 min
    Diversity, Leaded Gasoline, and Carjacking

    Diversity, Leaded Gasoline, and Carjacking

    The answers to life’s biggest questions will vary widely based on one simple variable: who you ask. If you do an experiment on men, you might get a different result than when you do it on women. Rich, poor, black, white, young, old… people are diverse and you learn more when you ask your questions of a diverse audience.

    Joseph Henrich figured out that a lot of experiments were being done on a very homogeneous group of people… he calls those people “WEIRD.” You’ll have to listen to find out why.

    Something else you might learn if you study a diverse group is that leaded gasoline leads to violent crime. There are a lot of steps in between those two ideas so buckle in for that ride.

    And lastly Dr Lautt of SciMar explains why so many researchers only use men as test subjects, and what the consequence of that is.

    These science stories from history shed light on the modern research being done on Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, we highlight the work of SciMar as they examine the hormone HISS - Hepatic Insulin Sensitizing Substance - and the effect it has on glucose levels in people who are insulin resistant. www.SciMar.ca

    • 27 min
    Why Unpopular Science is Good Science

    Why Unpopular Science is Good Science

    When someone tells you “that is a stupid idea,” how do you react? Do you reconsider your position? Do you dig your heels in and get defensive? Do you quit, or work harder?

    Being unpopular is a regular state of affairs for scientists. The nature of the work requires you to disrupt paradigms and make people uncomfortable. How a scientist reacts to that criticism is crucial to their success.

    Galileo got told he was wrong by the Pope himself. Seriously, the entire Catholic Church told him his idea that the Earth went around the Sun was flawed. But he stood his ground, and ended up in jail.

    Ignaz Semmelweis had a simpler idea -- that doctors should wash their hands. But that idea was met with opposition as well. He stood his ground and ended up in an asylum.

    Dr Wayne Lautt of SciMar has spent 30 years being told his ideas are unfounded. How should he react? What are the consequences of pushing back?

    These science stories from history shed light on the modern research being done on Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically we highlight the work of SciMar as they examine the hormone HISS - Hepatic Insulin Sensitizing Substance - and the effect it has on glucose levels in people who are insulin resistant. www.SciMar.ca

    • 29 min
    Ross Geller and Marie Curie are Outsiders

    Ross Geller and Marie Curie are Outsiders

    The TV show Friends was king of primetime for a decade and while all six characters were ‘friends’ one of them was not like the others: Ross. We look at why he was such a poor fit with this group and what that means for real life scientists.

    Marie Curie studied at the Sorbonne. She discovered Polonium and Radium. Eventually she became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. All that makes her a unique character. We go to Poland to discover what else made her an outsider.

    Host Dan Riskin confronts his own reality as an Outsider while also drawing comfort from the realization that that distinction puts him in some esteemed company.

    And we visit with Dr Wayne Lautt from SciMar. He is disrupting a paradigm, changing the way we think about type 2 diabetes. Specifically, he is looking at the liver and hormone that comes from there, as something that can improve our sensitivity to insulin. www.SciMar.ca

    • 28 min
    How Bad Timing Killed the Electric Car

    How Bad Timing Killed the Electric Car

    There was a time that the battle between Electric, Gasoline, and Steam powered cars was a dead heat. So why did gas win? Was it price? Or power? Speed, noise, marketing, or political influence? Or was it just Bad Timing?

    Reader’s Digest magazine told us about the invention of the LED 60 years ago. But those tiny lights that make your phone screen so clear didn’t transition immediately into everyday use. They have a long and muddled history.

    This story brings together Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Charles Kettering, Nick Holonyak, and Dan Riskin’s Great Aunt Marney.

    These science stories from history shed light on the modern research being done on Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, we highlight the work of SciMar as they examine the hormone HISS - Hepatic Insulin Sensitizing Substance - and the effect it has on glucose levels in people who are insulin resistant. www.SciMar.ca

    • 26 min
    Eureka! Before and After

    Eureka! Before and After

    When we tell science stories they usually have a long complicated build up, and finish with someone yelling Eureka. But is Eureka really the end? What if we look at it as the beginning? Or the middle?

    In this first episode, we meet Archimedes - a brilliant scientist from ancient Greece that is credited with the first use of the word “Eureka!” And we also travel to England for the story of Alexander Fleming and the discovery of penicillin. Lastly we meet Dr Wayne Lautt and hear about his Eureka moment.

    The series is hosted by Dan Riskin. He is formerly the host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet and also a contributor to The Nature of Things on CBC. Dan is also a highly regarded scientist in his own right.

    These science stories from history help shed light on the modern research being done on Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, we highlight the work of SciMar as they examine the hormone HISS and the effect it has on glucose levels in people who are insulin resistant. www.SciMar.ca

    • 25 min

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