Following an unexpected American election result, Cara is joined by the host of the Congressional Dish podcast, Jennifer Briney, to clarify the separation of powers in the federal government (executive, legislative, and judicial), and the realistic extent to which each branch can successfully effect change. Also discussed: what President-elect Donald Trump could mean for the future of America, and how to prevent cynicism and disillusionment by putting pressure on our elected officials and being an active voter and citizen. Follow Jen: @JenBriney.
Cara connects with an astrophysicist who's working in the most remote place on Earth: Dr. Christine Corbett Moran talks nerdy from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, deep in the heart of Antarctica. They discuss the challenges and privileges of spending a cold, dark winter at the geographic South Pole, including stunning auroras and joining the 300 club. Follow Christine: @corbett.
Just in time for Halloween, Cara is joined by Dr. Lydia Pyne, the author of "Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils." A science historian with training in paleoanthropology, Lydia has special insight into the fossilized hominin ancestors many of us have grown to love, like Lucy, the Old Man of La Chapelle, and the Taung Child, to name a few. Follow Lydia: @LydiaPyne.
While visiting Manchester for the QED Conference, Cara sits down with journalist, author, and television producer Dr. Simon Singh about his rich and fascinating career in science media and skepticism. They discuss his journey from particle physicist at CERN to bestselling author (The Code Book, The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, etc.), including his love of math (or maths, for the British listeners!). They also talk about Simon's role in libel reform in England, following the influential court case "British Chiropractic Association v. Singh." Follow Simon: @SLSingh.
Cara is joined by the author (and illustrator) of "Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics," Jason Porath. They discuss what led him to complete this wonderful project, as well as how one funds such a labor of love (hint: Patreon!). They also dive into the stories of many of the women featured in the book--some we've all heard about (like Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc) and some less known (have you heard of Agontime and the Dahomey Amazons? I hadn't either). Follow Jason: @JasonPorath.
This week, Cara is joined by Maria Konnikova, the author of "The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It...Every Time." They discuss the art of the con artist (including whether Donald Trump fits the bill) as well as Maria's unique approach to writing, merging psychology and literature. Follow Maria: @mkonnikova.
Cara speaks to Karen Garst, the author of "Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life Without Religion." They talk about some of the difficult experiences of the women featured in the book, as well as their own connections with atheist activism and feminism. Follow Karen: @karen_garst.
This week, Cara has a chance to #TalkNerdy with the director of the Bay Area Science Festival, Kishore Hari. They dive deep into the dos and don'ts of science communication, with a special focus on live events that involve members of the publ--the community. (Kishore hates the term "general public!") They also nerd out about DragonCon and cosplay. Follow Kishore: @sciencequiche.
Cara is joined by Maia Szalavitz, author of Unbroken Brain, to talk about the way we treat addiction in this country, and why it is so very wrong. They focus on evidence-based approaches that work and how the cult of Synanon, incarceration, and 12-step programs often cause more harm than good. Follow Maia: @maiasz.
Cara is joined in studio by the "Mathemagician" himself, Dr. Arthur Benjamin! He demonstrates some of the amazing feats of mental math found in his newest book, "The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why." They also discuss educational policy, including the power of fundamentals in mathematical literacy. Prepare to be amazed! Follow Arthur: @TheMagicofMath.
Cara is joined by NASA Astrophysicist Dr. Amber Straughn, the Deputy Project Scientist for James Webb Space Telescope Science Communications. They dive into Amber's interests in deep sky objects like galaxies, as well as what the Hubble Space Telescope has taught us about the vast size of the universe. They focus on Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, detailing just how it will aim to answer the biggest questions in astronomy, going beyond what Hubble can currently see. Follow Amber: @astraughnomer.
California Director of the National Wildlife Federation, Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, tells Cara the story of P-22, Hollywood's famous mountain lion. They also talk about ways we can all aid in conservation efforts, like inviting native wildlife into your home garden and supporting the Santa Monica Mountains wildlife corridor. To learn more, check out Beth's new book, "When Mountain Lions are Neighbors." 100% of the proceed go directly toward wildlife conservation. Follow Beth: @BethPratt.
Cara is joined by author Luke Dittrich to discuss his new book "Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets." They dive deeply into the story of famed neurological patient Henry Molaison, who, at the age of 27, received an invasive brain surgery that left him with profound memory loss. Luke's telling of the story is especially poignant since his very own grandfather was the lobotomist who performed the surgery back in 1953. Follow Luke: @LukeDittrich.
In a very special episode of #TalkNerdy, Cara's mom has come to town! They sit down to discuss what it was like to grow up during the Civil Rights movement, protesting the Vietnam War, and her life's work in Spanish education.
Science Communicator & Nerd Brigade cofounder Teagan Wall joins Cara to discuss the economics of decision making, including the different ways to calculate the value of a human life. (Mostly, though, they end up talking about dropping their phones in toilets. We've all been there.) Follow Teagan: @TeagWall.