There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to. This season we tackle immigration, climate change, true love and artificial sweeteners.
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So... you’re losing your hair. Is there anything that can be done about it? And are the treatments dangerous -- for your or your penis? We talk to geneticist Prof. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach and dermatologists Dr. Wilma Bergfeld and Dr. Robert Bernstein.Check out the full transcript here.Extra reading:A review of balding treatmentsStefanie’s paper on balding geneticsThis research on the intersex population of the Dominican Republic Notes on hair transplants
Why do four out of five dentists recommend Colgate? How many Americans really approve of Trump? This special episode is a two-parter: First, we talk to Prof. Dan Levitin, author of ‘Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era’, about some recent news stories and how to be skeptical of the statistics you see. Then, we bring you a surprise you won’t want to miss. It’s about deception, murder, and of course, ~science~. Credits:Ebay - Listen to Ebay's podcast Open For Business on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcastsWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteHello Fresh - For $30 off your first week of meals go to hellofresh.com and enter the promo code SCIENCEVS30Our Sponsors:This episode has been produced by Austin Mitchell, Ben Kuebrich, Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Our editor is Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Ben Kuebrich. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. The lemmings musical mega-mix was created by Austin Mitchell. Thanks to Dr. Malte Andersson, Dr. Anders Angerbjörn and Dr. Rolf Anker Ims. As well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the use of Cruel Camera. Further Reading:Weaponized Lies by Prof. Dan LevitinA Theory on the Cause of Lemming BoomsLinking Climate to Lemming Cycles
We'll be back in your ears with season 5 of Science Vs in the Fall... but in the meantime, new listeners, here's some episode recommendations to get you started.
What makes a serial killer? What drives them to kill again and again? To find out the truth about this ghastly lot, we talked to forensic psychologist Prof. Eric Hickey, criminologist Ass. Prof. Wayne Petherick, and psychiatrist Prof. Gwen Adshead.Check out the full transcript here.Note: in this episode we discuss homicide, and sexual violence. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources:National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)Selected readings:Dr. Mike Aamodt’s database of serial killers at Radford UniversityThis study looked at more than 1000 juvenile offenders to find out what was different about those who became killers All sorts of statistics for some of the common behaviors of serial killersThis paper digs into some of the more unusual “ritualistic” behavior of serial killers Credits: This Episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Wendy Zukerman. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Sound Design and mix by Emma Munger. A big thanks to all of the other academics who helped us out, including Dr. Mike Aamodt, Dr. Ann Burgess, Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, Dr. Devon Polaschek, Dr. Kori Ryan, Dr. Kim Rossmo, Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. David Keatley, Dr. Jennifer Lansford, Dr. Karen Franklin, Dr. Michael Maltz, Dr. Gabrielle Salfati, Dr. Claire Ferguson, Dr. Sandra Taylor, and Katherine Ramsland. Extra thanks to Sarah McVeigh, Christopher Suter, Frank Lopez, Rose Reid, the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and everyone at Gimlet who listened and gave thoughts.
Could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? What really happened at Roswell? The truth... is right here. We talked to astronomers Dr. Jill Tarter, Dr. Seth Shostak, investigative journalist David Clarke, and physicist Prof. Jim Al Khalili. Check out the full transcript here. Selected readings: Seth’s account of that day in 1997The “Condon report”-- a 1968 effort to go through and identify all UFO sightingsThe Roswell ReportThis paper estimating how many planets are in the “Goldilocks” zoneA good read on wormholes and their history; a tough read on how we might use them to teleportCredits: This episode has been produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, as well as Wendy Zukerman and Rose Rimler, with help from Shruti Ravindran and Meryl Horn. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Meryl Horn. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Editing by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. We performed this live for GimletFest - and we were joined onstage by our Aussie mate and mathematician Adam Spencer who has his own podcast you should check out ‘The Big Questions’, and astronomer Dr Emily Rice, who helps run Astronomy on Tap which brings together astronomers and beer. Check it out to see whether it runs in your city. Also thanks to Dr. Ravi Kumar Kopparapu, Dr. Craig O'Neill, Dr. Jessie Christiansen, Dr. Cameron Hummels, Dr. Phil Hopkins, Dr Avi Loeb, and the many other researchers who helped us on this.
This week, we’re entering the Lyme Wars. We’re asking: what is Lyme disease? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? And if you get infected, are you stuck with it forever? To find out we talk to neurologist Dr John Halperin, neuropsychology researcher Dr Kathleen Bechtold, and a Lyme patient we’re calling Emily. Check out the full transcript here.Selected readings: About the culprits behind Lyme Disease The best summary on how well the Lyme tests workKathleen's study about patients suffering from Post-Treatment Lyme Disease SyndromeA most helpful primer on Chronic LymeTwo controlled trials showing that long-term antibiotics use doesn’t help zap out lingering Lyme symptoms Credits: This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler and Meryl Horn. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Daniel Woldorff, Susan Valot, Davis Land and Julian Weller. For this episode, we also spoke to Dr John Aucott, Dr Brian Fallon, Dr Allen Steere, Dr Paul Lantos, Dr Adriana Marques and Dr Alan Barbour. Thank you so much. Thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. And our favorite songstress Rachel Ward.
This week, we’re entering the foreskin firestorm. We’re asking: what are the risks of circumcision? And are there any medical benefits? To find out we talk to pediatric urologist Andrew Freedman, HIV researcher Godfrey Kigozi, and sex researcher Caroline Pukall. Check out the full transcript here.Selected readings: The American Academy of Pediatrics technical report, which Andrew helped writeA thoughtful opinion piece from AndrewThe trial in Uganda that Godfrey co-authoredCaroline’s team’s penis-poking studyAnother paper from Caroline’s team on how men feel about their circumcisionsCredits: This episode has been produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Shruti Ravindran and Meryl Horn. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Extra thanks to Soraya Shockley and Saidu Tejan-Thomas. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Gideon Brower, Ryan Delaney, Tom Wayne Harris, and Bahizi Ignatius. For this episode, we also spoke to Dr. Jenn Bossio, Dr. Aaron Tobian, and a bunch of folks at the CDC. Thank you so much. A special thanks to the parents and circumcised men who spoke with us for this story, as well as Frank Lopez, the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
This week, how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to the bottom of this disturbing story.UPDATE 05/25/18: This episode has been updated. A previous version said that the 'good' side of the Kallikak family included someone who had signed the Declaration of Independence. It now says that the 'good' Kallikak family member married into the family with the relative who signed the Declaration of Independence. Check out the full transcript here.To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisersSelected readings: Carl Zimmer's book 'She Has Her Mother's Laugh' Henry Goddard’s book about the Kallikak familyJ. David Smith’s article on the truth about Emma’s familyThe sad story of Carrie Buck and forced sterilization This episode was produced by senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, Wendy Zukerman, Romilla Karnick with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, and Shruti Ravindran. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Alex Blumberg and PJ Vogt. An extra thanks to Phoebe Flanagan as well as Emily Ulbricht for help with German translations. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Meryl Horn. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Thanks also to Professor Peter Visscher, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
We have this idea that polar bears are teetering on the brink of extinction. But the story isn’t that simple. To find out why, we talk to environmental lawyer Kassie Siegel, wildlife biologist Dr. Karyn Rode, and sea ice expert Dr. Ignatius Rigor. With a little help from Payton, a polar bear at the Memphis Zoo. Check out the full transcript here.Selected readings: This map of polar bear populations around the ArcticOn the Endangered Species Act and global warmingKaryn’s tale of two bear populationsThis paper on Arctic sea iceThis episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, and Heather Rogers, will help from Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran, and Meryl Horn. Extra help from Saidu Tejan-Thomas. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording help from Peter Frick-Wright, Amber Cortes and Katy Sewall. A huge thanks to all of sea ice and polar bear researchers that we contacted for this story, including: Dr Walt Meier, Professor Kent Moore, Dr Ian Stirling, James Wilder, Anthony Pagano, and Dr Peter Boveng. And more thanks to Danielle Brigida, Frank Lopez, Gerald Thompson, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
This week, something different. We speak to astronaut Scott Kelly, who went up to space a man and came back a Rhesus monkey. Just kidding, that didn’t happen at all. Listen to find out the real story. PLUS: We talk to Lynn Levy, star producer of the Gimlet show The Habitat. Check out the full transcript here.Selected readings:NASA’s updated press release about Scott and MarkMore information about its Twins StudyA paper about what space does to your eyeballsThis episode has been produced by Romilla Karnick, Wendy Zukerman, and senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, with help from Rose Rimler and Shruti Ravindran. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. With additional help from Lynn Levy and Peter Bresnan. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording help from Mark Bramhill. Extra thanks to Susan Bailey, Alan Hargens, Chris Mason, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
People who love the ketogenic diet swear it boosts their brainpower, melts their fat, and makes them better athletes. Is it true? To find out, we go keto. And, we talk to some scientists: neuroscientist Dom D’Agostino, medical researcher Eric Verdin, and nutritionist Louise Bourke. Also, Wendy’s mum drops in.Check out our full transcript here.Selected readings:This history of the ketogenic dietA pretty comprehensive reviewEric’s exploration of keto on the memories of miceLouise’s paper on keto and sportsThis episode has been produced by senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman along with Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran and Romilla Karnick. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional help from Eric Menell and Simone Polanen. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Marissa Shieh and Mary Shedden. Extra thanks to Professor Jon Ramsey, Professor Judith Wylie-Roset, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Deirdre K Tobias, Joanna Lauder and Frank Lopez. Thanks to Jack Weinstein. And extra special thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson and Ingrid Zukerman.
Nine countries, including North Korea, have nuclear weapons. What would happen if a nuclear bomb was dropped-- say, in New York City? We talk to nuclear historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein, nuclear engineer Dr. Tetsuji Imanaka, and epidemiologist Dr. Eric Grant. UPDATE 04/27: We've adjusted this episode to correct the elevated risk of cancer in survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs. If you survived the atomic bombs your risk of cancer is 10% higher than someone who is the same age as you.Check out our full transcript here. Selected readings:This comprehensive report on nuclear bombsAlex’s nuclear weapon simulation websiteTetsuji’s paper calculating the radiation exposure of Hiroshima survivorsThis review of the Life Span Study of atomic bomb survivors This sobering report on nuclear winterTo find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, Rose Rimler, and Shruti Ravindran, with help from Romilla Karnick. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional thoughts from Lulu Miller. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Thanks for recording help from John Wild. For this episode we also spoke to Prof. Richard Wakeford, Dr. Richard Turco, Prof. Brian Toon, Prof. Alan Robock, Dr. Dale Preston, Dr. William Kennedy, Dr. Jonathan D. Pollack, and a bunch of other experts on North Korea and nuclear weapons. Thank you so much. Also, special thanks to Shigeko Sasamori and Kathleen Sullivan. An extra special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.