A Science Advocacy Podcast. We get great interviews with science writers, and scientists, on their specialties. Rather than focus on topicality, we talk to our guests on the implications of their research and writings with regards to larger issues. Dr. Greg Laden is an anthropologist with extensive research in Africa, as well as on climate change. With his expertise as a research and as a professor, he and Mike Haubrich, engage wtih our guests and audience to ensure meaningful content.
Ethan Siegel is a primo science communicator, with a blog at Starts With a Bang, a podcast of his own of the same name, and articles that he has published in a diverse array of magazines. He's an enthusiastic interpreter of science, and we assure you there is no math required to listen to this podcast.
The episode post is at https://ikonokast.com/2022/05/08/fourteen-questions-with-ethan-siegel/
Especially since Covid-19, everyone you argue with either in person or on the internet about masks or vaccines, or climate change, or evolution, or whether the earth is flat or round, or whatever people fight about, there's going to be a demand to produce the science to support your argument. That's not always as easy as you might think.
In this episode, Mike and Greg are each other's guests, and we go over things you can do both at home and in talking to your local and national government representatives to help restore carbon balance to nature.
The wait is over!
Bill Schutt, auther of Pump: A Natural History of the Heart
This is the second part of Greg Laden's interview with Bill Schutt, whose book Pump: A Natural History of the Heart, is available on Amazon in multiple formats. If you haven't listened to the first part of this interview yet, catch up on that one first.
Don't forget to listen to our interview with Dr. Schutt on Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History.
Here are the links to the articles in both parts of this interview:
Pump: A Natural History of the Heart
Meteorite Crash-Landed in Canada Woman's Bed
COVID-19 slows birth rate in U.S., Europe
Bat guts become less healthy through diet of 'fast food' from banana plantations
Threatened rattlesnakes' inbreeding makes species more resistant to bad mutations
Dr. Karen Stollznow is a linguist who earned her PhD at the University of New England, in Australia. She hosts the skeptical podcast Monster Talk with Blake Smith (subscribe, you'll thank us!) She is also a prolific author, having published academic works, non-fiction as well as fiction.
In this episode, we open with the ways in which we judge and stereotype each other based on the dialect and language that we use and move on to the meanings of words and how the change in time and space. Not only does the cafe lose the accent after a time, but bad words turn good and good words turn bad. It's hysterical, how that works.
We marked this episode "explicit" because we discuss some of the words that are not used in polite language and how the relative offense of using some words varies based on where the speaker is as well as how the audience may be.
Our topic for this show is the importance of disclosure of potential conflicts of interest while conducting and reporting on research. Anastasia is a founding member and a director of Biology Fortified, an organization that presents information and research on the topic of genetic engineering. Recently, Anastasia had a close up look at a potential conflict of interest, and we discuss that in depth.
Also, there are opportunities for science communicators to join the Biofortified group and Anastasia, Greg and Mike talk about what volunteer needs can be filled.
Romm is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and the founder of the widely read and well respected Climate Progress (a part of Think Progress). He was for a time Acting Assistant Secreatary of the US Department of Energy, and has published several books on climate change, energy, national security, and communication, some of which we link to below.
In this interview, as well as in Romm's book, you'll learn about the tried and true methods of creating a message that sticks. You'll also learn about the one thing Donald Trump is very good at (much to our collective peril).
Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of the band Spinal Tap, modified his amplifier for a higher energy state. Something that he could go to that was louder than the loudest, for when "10" wouldn't do. His amplifier goes up to "11." And he needs it for that special moment in the song "Hell Hole," I guess.
Philip Moriarty is the guest for this episode of Ikonokast. The interview is a wide-ranging tour of education in the US and the UK, where Professor Moriarty teaches physics and is delighted on the first day of term to see all of the t-shirts with the names of metal bands, as the students file into class.
Music depends on waves. Wave functions depend on, um, waves, too. So music and quantum physics are naturally related in form, if not always function. The humanities and science are not so easily separated. In Moriarty's book and in this podcast the two are firmly forged.
Jess Phoenix is running for California's 25th District Congressional seat. Our Congress lacks expertise in science and how science works at a basic level, and as a result there are some poorly thought out decisions are being made. Even worse, Congress is allowed to engage in explicitly anti-science political activities, such as assembling activist science deniers as the so-called science committees or subcommittees in both houses. This would not be as easy if there were a few dozen actual scientists in the House and Senate.
Jess Phoenix sees this as a challenge that must be met by scientists joining as active and influential members of the government. The seat she is running for is currently being held by a climate denialist.
Please consider donating to the campaign. Even if you don't live in her future district, as a nation we need to have more scientists guiding policy from seats of power, such as the House of Representatives. Here is the campaign site: Jess2018.
Here is a TEDx talk, about geology, by the candidate:
Greg Laden interviewed Dr. Phoenix for this podcast.
It is too late for the planet, and civilization, to not suffer serious consequences of climate disruption owing to human release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere for a century or too. But, perhaps it is not too late to reduce the effects to the point where we can maintain our civilization. But, Carter and Woodworth argue, for that to happen, we need to get past the criminals who are holding us back and get on with the changes that should be made.
Mike and Greg converse on the subject of the geology and geography of Arizona and the red rocks of Sedona. The rocks tell the story of the ages of the earth, and this is a pretty chapter. We also talk about the end of ScienceBlogs, which has been a seminal collective that set the tone in many ways for a new means of science communication through social media. And finally, Greg interviewed Shanthan Kesharaju, who has created an Amazon Echo Skill to tutor in mathematics. There are implications for the future of how we use adaptive systems to teach skills and develop our minds, with the possibility of staving off dementia in patients as well.
In the podcast, you may hear Mike refer to John as a "Vulcan Historian." What Mike meant to say is that John J. McKay is a historian with a specialty in the history of the Balkans, and that is an important distinction. He is also interested in the many weird theories that abound to explain (often not very well) natural history of the earth. He discovered that the mammoths are used as ersatz evidence in many of those theories, such as the idea that the ice build up at the poles became so heavy that the poles slid southward 40 degrees latitude and that pushed Atlantis to where Antarctica now freezes.
There were many other strange ideas to explain the discovery of these giant bones and Mr. McKay relates how the process of discovering the mammoth is important to the development of science itself. You can read more from John at Mammoth Tales, his blog, but we highly advise that you read his book!
Said book you may conveniently purchase here to support Ikonokast.
We don't do too many shows on cuisine, but this week we asked scientist and author Bill Schutt to speak with us about his research in cannibalism. His new book, Cannibalism: A perfectly natural history, explores the behavioral and evolutionary biology of cannibalism in general, and within that context, examines cannibalism among humans.