show episodes
 
Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world t ...
 
Each week we bring you a new, in-depth exploration of the space where science and society collide. We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you though science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We want to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters.
 
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show series
 
In the summer of 2019 - long before the world heard of COVID - author, researcher extraordinaire, and ‘Gastropod’ co-host, Nicola Tilley and her husband and co-author, Geoff Manaugh, told a rapt audience, “You and everyone around you is going to be quarantined, is going to experience quarantine in your lifetimes.” They had just presented their exte…
 
As promised, it's time for the final splashdown in the battle of bottled vs. tap water. When we left off last episode, bottled water had staged a miraculous comeback thanks to Nike, yuppies, and Orson Welles. Today, it's America's favorite liquid refreshment: we buy more bottled water by volume than any other packaged beverage, even though you can …
 
Among COVID-19’s many side effects are two that seem to be in direct conflict – on the one hand we’ve all become armchair epidemiologists, and on the other, conspiracy theories are at an all time high. In the common search for answers regarding the virus, some have put all their faith in the certainties of science while others are just as committed…
 
Over the years, music producers have tried to predict what audiences want to hear while at the same time advances in science and technology have taught us a lot about what happens in the brain when we listen to music that we love. Now, David Rosen, CEO and Co-founder of Secret Chord Labs, has brought these two fields together to explore the potenti…
 
Today, bottled water is ubiquitous and cheap: every single second of every single day, more than a thousand people buy and drink a plastic bottle of water in the U.S.. But it wasn’t always so. In this episode, we trace a centuries-old power struggle as bottled water went from hip to lame to hot again. Why did doctors prescribe the waters from speci…
 
What are your thoughts regarding the relationship between the mind and the brain? For that matter, what are your thoughts? Iris Berent has definitely done some deep thinking on these questions, unearthing the stories we tell ourselves about what we know and who we are as well as the impact these stories can have. She shares her thoughts here today …
 
We’ve dropped hints and left clues—and now, at long last, Gastropod’s very own Nicola Twilley has published her first book! Co-written with her husband Geoff Manaugh, Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine is a captivating chronicle of quarantine across time, space, and species (and yes, they started writing the book long before 20…
 
When was the last time you thought about geometry? Unless you're an architect or a kindergarten teacher, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about shapes. But mathematician Jordan Ellenberg wants to bring geometry back, and show us not just how shapes can measure the world, but how they can explain it. Support the show: https://www.patr…
 
Joining Indre on the podcast today is University of Virginia Professor, Leidy Klotz. A former professional soccer player, Leidy has gone on to pursue his interest in studying how we transform things from how they are to how we want them to be, and has written for a number of prominent publications including The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, …
 
Internet influencers have been pushing “immune boosters” during the pandemic — claiming they’ve got just the pill, berry, or brew to rev up our body’s defenses. But is there really a way to boost our immune system? Science Vs is finding out whether these vitamins and supplements truly work as a shield against colds and viruses. Science Vs takes on …
 
Guest Episode: Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter. Think you know how your body works? Think again! Dr. Jen Gunter is here to shake up everything you thought you knew — from how much water you need to drink to how often you need to poop and everything in between. Join us weekly for this TED original series that will tell you the truth about what's *rea…
 
Guest Episode: Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: what do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we…
 
For most of us, Prohibition seems like a peculiar American experiment—a doomed attempt by straight-laced religious conservatives to ban alcohol, and, with it, fun. But as it turns out, we've got it all wrong: Prohibition was actually a progressive struggle that united powerless and oppressed people around the world—Leo Tolstoy, Frederick Douglass, …
 
Perhaps no other plant is as entwined with pain and pleasure as the chile pepper. But why does it burn—and why on earth do we crave that uncomfortable sensation? How did capsaicin's fungus-fighting, digestion-enhancing, and adrenaline-triggering powers convince early hunter gatherers in South America to fall in love with the chile's tiny berry ance…
 
If you grew up in the U.S., you might remember home economics class as the source of deflated muffins and horrifically distorted sewing projects. You might, like Jonah Hill’s character in Superbad, have thought of home ec as “a joke” that everyone takes “to get an A.” But it wasn’t always so—and, in fact, the field of home economics began as a surp…
 
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