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Science History Podcast

Jun 11, 2020

Today we explore what mathematicians would refer to as the non-trivial intersection between science and poetry. Guiding us through these overlapping sets is a person uniquely suited to the task, the science writer Dava Sobel. Dava is the author of prominent and best-selling science history books, including Longitude,...


May 11, 2020

Frogs have hopped around this planet for 200 million years. In comparison, anatomically modern humans have only been around for 200 thousand years. But the last half century has seen a tragic loss in amphibian biodiversity around the world. It seems especially striking that a group of animals that predate the dinosaurs...


Apr 11, 2020

Chemistry has given the world the incredible diversity of fuels, pharmaceuticals, and household products that we rely on every day, along with tremendous advances in fighting infectious diseases and ensuring an abundant food supply. But the products of chemistry also include tens of thousands of toxic compounds that...


Mar 11, 2020

Rachel Carson alerted the world to the dangers of pollution with the publication of her book Silent Spring in 1962, and in the process, she helped to launch the environmental movement. My guest, Paul Ehrlich, alerted the world to the dangers of human population growth and resource consumption with the publication of his...


Feb 11, 2020

Global biodiversity is in the midst of a mass extinction driven by rapid human population growth and over-consumption of resources. These forces drive habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, climate change, and the many other proximate causes of species losses. The study of these forces, and how they can be mitigated...