#599 Losing Our Minds

Mental illness is being discussed openly and publicly more than it ever has been, but our understanding of what it is and its impacts are still a work-in-progress. What is mental illness and how do we distinguish it from the expected suffering that comes from being human? How has the public discussion around mental illness impacted our language, sometimes mixing together clinical language and colloquial language in complicated, confusing ways? We speak with academic psychologist…

Continue reading


#598 Train, boat, truck, it’s the supply chain

I'm sure we've all heard the phrase 'supply chain disruption' by now. It might bring to mind ships floating outside LA or trucks jackknifed across a highway in the snow. But it's far, far more than that. Get ready for miles of conveyor belts and the largest robot in the world. Christopher Mims is here to talk about his book Arriving Today: From Factory to Front Door -- Why Everything Has Changed About How and…

Continue reading


#596 Tailoring your brain with science

Intent on improving your creativity or focus? Want to raise your IQ? What does that even mean? This week, we've got Emily Willingham back on the show to talk about tailoring the brain with science: The good, the bad, and the totally not proven. We're talking about her new book The Tailored Brain: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship: A user's guide to feeling better and thinking smarter.

Continue reading


#595 Handmade: A Scientist’s Search for Meaning Through Making

In Handmade: A Scientist’s Search for Meaning Through Making, author Anna Ploszajski takes her experience of materials science out of the lab and into the world of craftspeople. Ploszajski's quest to fashion a broader perspective on stuff surpasses the dry and academic. In her book, Anna brings readers along through an exploration of materials ancient and modern, bringing out the ways that matter intersects with society and identity. On the show, we’ll talk about matter from…

Continue reading


#594 Science to look forward to in 2022

2021 has vanished, sucked into the black hole created by 2020. But while the pandemic continues, we are steadily climbing our way out. And what better way to gain momentum than to look forward at where science might be going? We’ve looking from the tiniest parts of the human body to the vast expanse of space to find out where we are going. Related Links: Floods Have Swamped the US. The Next Health Problem: Mold…

Continue reading