#531 Induced Seismicity

This week we're talking about earthquakes. If you live in Alberta or Oklahoma, you've probably heard about fracking or waste water wells causing earthquakes. We'll speak with seismologist Ruijia Wang about how that happens, and what we can control with these earthquakes. Then we speak to Sara McBride, with the United States Geological Survey, who explains why earthquake response communication should be taking embarrassment into account. Related links: Canadian Induced Seismicity Collaboration Great ShakeOut Earthquake…

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#530 Why Aren’t We Dead Yet?

We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak…

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#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who’s Your Daddy?

At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews,…

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#528 A Shock Machine and The Lost Boys

This week, we take a look at 2 notable post world war 2 social psychology experiments and their creators: Stanley Milgram and his "shock machine", and Muzafer Sherif's boys camp study on group conflict. How did these scientists approach their work? How did the experiments run? How do the experiments hold up? How did people feel then about the ethics of them, and how do we feel now? We are joined by registered psychologist and…

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#527 Honey I CRISPR’d the Kids

This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited…

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#526 Let Me See You Sweat

Summer is coming, and summer means sweat. Why do we sweat so much, and how do we do it? We hear from Yana Kamberov about the evolutionary origins of our sweat glands, and why it's one of the things that makes us mammals. Then we talk about why some (but not all) of our sweat STINKS. We'll speak with Gavin Thomas about the bacteria that give us our BO. Related links: Comparative evidence for the…

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#525 Chernobyl

This week we're looking back at a man-made disaster that changed the world: the Chernobyl meltdown. We take a closer look at all the contributing factors that lead the No 4 reactor at Chernobyl to explode and how the Soviet Union's political, scientific, and administrative culture at the time contributed to the disaster. And we'll look at the fallout, the logistics of trying to clean up a radioactive accident where five minutes in the wrong…

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#524 The Human Network

What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".

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#523 Happy As A Clam (Garden)

This week we’re discussing clam gardens on the west coast of Canada and the US, and how indigenous people have been actively managing food resources in the area for thousands of years. Clam garden rock walls are thousands of years old, and people have been actively maintaining them up to today, but Europeans and the scientific community ignored their existence for a couple of centuries. We speak with Dana Lepofsky, Professor in the Department of…

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#522 Home Alone?

Do you keep your house clean? Do you think that, maybe with the exception of the dog, you're alone in your home? Well, we hate to tell you this, but you're wrong. Your house is filled with microbes, fungi, bugs and much more. This week, we talk about the life filling you're house with Rob Dunn, a professor at North Carolina State University and author of the book "Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes,…

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