This week, Cara is joined by paleontologist and science communicator Dr. Shaena Montanari. They discuss what geochemistry is and how it's used by paleontologists, as well as why dinosaur eggs are so damn interesting! Shaena's journey from geology to paleontology to science communication to science policy is also explored. Follow Shaena: @DrShaena.
Cara is joined by science writer Shannon Stirone (Motherboard, Popular Science, Discover Magazine, etc.) to talk about the highs and lows of the freelance life. They also discuss her incredible work reporting on astronomy, including a recent piece about what happens to your body when you die in space. Follow Shannon: @shannonmstirone.
Cara chats with "What's It Like in Space?" author Ariel Waldman about her incredible career improving accessibility of science and space exploration for anyone and everyone. They discuss her work on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts and her previous work at NASA's Colab program, along with her two flagship initiatives, Spacehack.org and Science Hack Day. Follow Ariel: @arielwaldman.
Cara is joined in studio by bestselling author Daniel Suarez to talk about his new book, "Change Agent." They talk about the incredible science that informs his writing, including CRISPR and other approaches to genetic engineering. Also discussed: genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their utility, as well as humankind's relationship with technology. Follow Daniel: @itsDanielSuarez.
Cara is joined by the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Oxford Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Marcus Du Sautoy, to talk about his new book "The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science." They discuss his role as a professional science communicator, as well as his take on the very edges of modern science understanding, from chaos to consciousness to infinity. Follow Marcus: @MarcusduSautoy.
Cara is joined in studio by the ever charming, hilarious, and insightful Annabelle Gurwitch to talk about her new book, "Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To." They discuss how to find joy and humor in all of our families, biological and chosen, including our parents and siblings, friends, coworkers, and even our social and religious communities. Sprinkled in are conversations about the marginalization of science and scientists in Trump's America, and why it's important to poke fun at even the most sensitive of topics. Follow Annabelle: @AnnabelGurwitch.
This week, Cara connects across the globe with the Curator of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum, Dr. Jodi Rowley (she discovered "Helen's Flying Frog" among others). They talk about Jodi's biodiversity field work in Cambodia and Vietnam, with a specific focus on conservation efforts to counter the extinction threats facing frogs and toads worldwide. Follow Jodi: @jodirowley.
Cara is joined in studio by Caltech PhD candidate Kelvin Bates. They talk about his work in atmospheric chemistry, including how isoprene contributes to smog. They also talk about the importance of creativity and the arts when working in a strict academic environment, as well as the issues facing LGBTQ individuals in academia.
Cara chats remotely with Dr. Christie Wilcox, a conservation biologist and science writer. They focus on the topic of her new book, "Venomous," including the difference between venom and poison, the vast number of animals that have evolved venom as a predation or defensive mechanism, and how the toxins in venom are being used in modern medicine to treat a variety of diseases. Follow Christie: @NerdyChristie.
Cara is joined for the third time by her dear friend and colleague Dr. Jason Goldman. They talk about the relationship between ecology and cognitive science, including the massive influence human beings have on the planet's wildlife. They also discuss one of Jason's recent stories about a brilliant decoy that could one day defeat sea turtle poachers in Nicaragua. Follow Jason: @jgold85.
Cara is joined in studio by UCLA Professor of Information Studies and Design Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan. They talk about themes from his new book, "Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World," including online echo chambers, cultural empathy, and fake news. Follow Ramesh: @rameshmedia.
On a particularly rainy Los Angeles day, Cara is joined in studio by Dr. Brian Wecht, a theoretical physicist-turned YouTuber and musician (Ninja Sex Party, Game Grumps). They talk about his work in string theory, the intersection of science and music, and the incredible work he does as a co-founder and producer of Story Collider. Follow Brian: @bwecht.
Cara is joined in studio by physicist, oceanographer, and BBC television presenter Dr. Helen Czerski. They talk about the science of bubbles, the current science landscape in broadcast television, and Helen's wonderful new book, "Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life," in which she explores the foundational physics surrounding us in the simplest everyday objects and experiences. Follow Helen: @helenczerski.
Cara is joined in studio by Dagny Fleischman, a PhD candidate studying plasmonics and metamaterials at Caltech. They talk about what the field of materials science is and what exciting developments it has to offer (including her own studies of light, color, and specialized image sensors). They also discuss the important work Dagny is doing on campus to improve how student satisfaction metrics are measured and interpreted.
Cara is joined in studio by celebrity makeup artist Val Harvey, who she's also lucky enough to call her friend. What begins as an intriguing conversation about Val's upbringing as a Jehovah's Witness evolves into a frank and telling discussion of race relations in Trump's America. Follow Val: @MohawkMakeup.
This week, Cara chats with Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. They discuss his incredible work both as the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the host of the Be Reasonable Podcast. But the primary focus of their conversation is the unholy alliance between journalists and PR companies, as Marsh exposes in his blog "Bad PR." Follow Marsh: @MrMMarsh.
Cara is joined by Jo Ruxton, the co-founder and Director of Education of Plastic Oceans Foundation, a global network of charitable organizations focused on changing attitudes toward the use of plastics. They discuss the upcoming film, "A Plastic Ocean," which highlights the detrimental effect plastic refuse is having on our marine habitats, and because of that, on our own health and safety. They also talk about ways we can make a difference. Follow Jo: @joruxton.
Cara speaks with the Director of polio eradication efforts for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Jay Wenger. They discuss the history of wild poliovirus, including its devastating medical effects, as well as the incredible success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. (Oral polio vaccination has reduced cases across the globe by 99.9% since 1988.) In addition, they focus on new cases in Nigeria, and why it is more important than ever to focus on final eradication efforts. To support the effort, visit www.endpolio.org. Follow Jay: @jay_wenger.