The Story Collider

Story Collider, Inc.

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

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All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers
5d ago
All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers
In the lead up to our special Story Collider All-Star Slam on December 6, 2022, we’re featuring two past stories from our challengers on this week’s episode. If their old stories are this good, we can only imagine how awesome they’re gonna be competing for the title of Ultimate Science Storyteller. You won’t want to miss this online event! Register for free here. Part 1: A college course forces John Rennie to confront a furious rat, and himself. Part 2: As a kid, comedian Gastor Almonte seeks answers about some of the scientific terms he hears around school. John has worked as a science editor, writer and lecturer for more than 30 years. Currently, he is deputy editor at Quanta Magazine. During his time as editor in chief at Scientific American, between 1994 and 2009, the magazine received two National Magazine Awards. He co-created and hosted the 2013 series Hacking the Planet on The Weather Channel. Since 2009, he has been on the faculty of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program in New York University’s graduate journalism school. John is @tvjrennie Gastor Almonte is a stand-up comedian and storyteller from Brooklyn, NY. He's appeared on Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening, Risk! podcast and the Story Collider Podcast. Timeout magazine named him one of your "New Comedy Obsessions." He's been featured on the New York Comedy Festival, The People's Impov Theater's SoloCom and Cinderblock Comedy Festival. His new album, Immigrant Made, was released in March 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers
5d ago
All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers
In the lead up to our special Story Collider All-Star Slam on December 6, 2022, we’re featuring two past stories from our challengers on this week’s episode. If their old stories are this good, we can only imagine how awesome they’re gonna be competing for the title of Ultimate Science Storyteller. You won’t want to miss this online event! Register for free here. Part 1: A college course forces John Rennie to confront a furious rat, and himself. Part 2: As a kid, comedian Gastor Almonte seeks answers about some of the scientific terms he hears around school. John has worked as a science editor, writer and lecturer for more than 30 years. Currently, he is deputy editor at Quanta Magazine. During his time as editor in chief at Scientific American, between 1994 and 2009, the magazine received two National Magazine Awards. He co-created and hosted the 2013 series Hacking the Planet on The Weather Channel. Since 2009, he has been on the faculty of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program in New York University’s graduate journalism school. John is @tvjrennie Gastor Almonte is a stand-up comedian and storyteller from Brooklyn, NY. He's appeared on Comedy Central's This Is Not Happening, Risk! podcast and the Story Collider Podcast. Timeout magazine named him one of your "New Comedy Obsessions." He's been featured on the New York Comedy Festival, The People's Impov Theater's SoloCom and Cinderblock Comedy Festival. His new album, Immigrant Made, was released in March 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Unlikely Paths: Stories from the Institute for Genomic Biology
25-11-2022
Unlikely Paths: Stories from the Institute for Genomic Biology
There’s rarely an expected path in science. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, features two stories from scientists of their cutting-edge research institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who took unexpected journeys to get where they are today. Part 1: After a troubling personal experience with the health care system, Heng Ji decides to try to fix it. Part 2: When Brendan Harley is diagnosed with leukaemia in high school, it changes everything. Heng Ji is a professor at Computer Science Department, and an affiliated faculty member at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an Amazon Scholar. She received her B.A. and M. A. in Computational Linguistics from Tsinghua University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University. Her research interests focus on Natural Language Processing, especially on Multimedia Multilingual Information Extraction, Knowledge Base Population and Knowledge-driven Generation. She was selected as "Young Scientist" and a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Computing by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and 2017. She was named as part of Women Leaders of Conversational AI (Class of 2023) by Project Voice. The awards she received include "AI's 10 to Watch" Award by IEEE Intelligent Systems in 2013, NSF CAREER award in 2009, PACLIC2012 Best paper runner-up, "Best of ICDM2013" paper award, "Best of SDM2013" paper award, ACL2018 Best Demo paper nomination, ACL2020 Best Demo Paper Award, NAACL2021 Best Demo Paper Award, Google Research Award in 2009 and 2014, IBM Watson Faculty Award in 2012 and 2014 and Bosch Research Award in 2014-2018. She was invited by the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and AFRL to join Air Force Data Analytics Expert Panel to inform the Air Force Strategy 2030. She is the lead of many multi-institution projects and tasks, including the U.S. ARL projects on information fusion and knowledge networks construction, DARPA DEFT Tinker Bell team and DARPA KAIROS RESIN team. She has coordinated the NIST TAC Knowledge Base Population task since 2010. She was the associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transaction on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, and served as the Program Committee Co-Chair of many conferences including NAACL-HLT2018 and AACL-IJCNLP2022. She is elected as the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) secretary 2020-2023. Her research has been widely supported by the U.S. government agencies (DARPA, ARL, IARPA, NSF, AFRL, DHS) and industry (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Bosch, IBM, Disney). Heng Ji is supported by NSF AI Institute on Molecule Synthesis, and collaborating with Prof. Marty Burke at Chemistry Department at UIUC and Prof. Kyunghyun Cho at New York University and Genetech on using AI for drug discovery. Dr. Brendan Harley is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research group develops biomaterial that can be implanted in the body to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues or that can be used outside the body as tissue models to study biological events linked to endometrium, brain cancer, and stem cell behavior. He’s a distance runner who dreams of (eventually) running ultramarathons. Follow him @Prof_Harley and www.harleylab.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Borders: Stories about divisions
18-11-2022
Borders: Stories about divisions
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the divisions and limits that influence how we understand and operate in the world and in science. Part 1: César Nufio's childhood experience as a Guatamalan immigrant shapes his life in science. Part 2: Seeking acceptance as a child of Kurdish immigrants in Denmark, Cansu Karabiyik decides to become a scientist. César Nufio is a scientist and educator who is passionate about understanding the natural world and working to increase diversity and inclusion in the sciences. He is currently a multimedia content developer at HHMI’s BioInteractive where he works with artists, educators, filmmakers, and scientists to help engage and inspire students. Previously, he taught tropical biology courses for the Organization for Tropical Studies and explored the effect of climate change on insects in the Rocky Mountains while working at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. Coming to this country as an undocumented child and experiencing the generosity given by so many during his journey has impacted his commitment to giving back and his Latin American identity. Cansu Karabiyik is a neuroscientist at Columbia University. She was born in Denmark to Kurdish immigrants. In 2013, she moved to California for her studies in Biomedical Science and decided to never go back. She moved instead to Portugal to conduct the research for her Master thesis focusing on neuroprotection during stroke. In 2021, she completed her PhD at University of Cambridge in the UK focusing on neurodegeneration and has since been in NYC, where she spends her days in the lab researching molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric diseases and her evenings doing comedy across the city. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Pain: Stories about unpleasant physical sensations
11-11-2022
Pain: Stories about unpleasant physical sensations
Pain is really weird, scientifically speaking. It’s not just a message from injured tissues to be accepted at face value, but a complex experience that can be influenced by your brain. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the aches, pains, and discomfort that come with life. Part 1: While Renee Joshua-Porter is in labor, she starts feeling a horrible stabbing pain in her back. Part 2: Despite being in excruciating pain, Gretchen Douma worries getting a knee replacement will ruin her blossoming acting career. Renee Joshua-Porter is a multi faceted performing artist, Counselor and Chaplain. She is the Founder of The Burning Bush Family Foundation Inc., whose mission is to provide educational and recreational programs through the arts. A first generation American born to Panamanian parents, she grew up listening to and sharing stories. Renee is grateful for meeting Tracey Segarra who first showcased her storytelling on New York stages. Renee is married with three adult children and a dog named Beau. Gretchen Douma is a stage, screen, and voice actor who has been working in theater for more years than she’ll usually admit to. She has performed in Seattle, the Twin Cities, NYC, England, and, on Zoom (thank you, COVID). Also a playwright, Gretchen has several short works and two full-length plays under her belt. The most recent, Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down, is a dark comedy about the ghosts and memories that just won’t leave us alone. Her most terrifying out-of-body experience was doing stand-up at Seattle's Comedy Underground. For years a huge fan of storytelling, Gretchen has only recently jumped into this world as a storyteller herself. It has been thrilling so far. She loves dark chocolate, murder mysteries, and escaping to her backyard garden in North Seattle (where she lives with her wife, Nina, and their two miniature Australian Labradoodles). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Gross Science: Stories about the yucky parts of science
04-11-2022
Gross Science: Stories about the yucky parts of science
Science isn’t always pretty. In fact, more often than not it’s kinda disgusting. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories of the less glamorous side of science. Part 1: In order to score extra credit in her high school anatomy class, Amy Segal embarks on a journey to build a cat skeleton. Part 2: Dave Coyle goes on a smelly mission to find the endangered American burying beetle for his undergraduate project. Amy Segal works in finance by day but by night finds herself drawn to storytelling shows on the Lower East Side. She is a Moth Story Slam winner, has been featured on The Story Collider podcast and is the proud recipient of 200 one-dollar bills from a One Up! storytelling competition. She is developing a one-person show, the beginnings of which she performed at the MarshStream International SoloFest in 2020 and 2022. Dr. Dave Coyle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University. His Extension Forestry program focuses on forest and tree health and invasive species management in natural and managed landscapes across the Southeast. Dave’s research program focuses on the biology and management invasive plants and insects. Dave completed his B.A. in Biology at Luther College, a M.S. in Entomology and Forestry at Iowa State University, and a PhD in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin. Dave is Past-President of the North American Invasive Species Management Association, is on the South Carolina Invasive Species Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Committee for the South Carolina Exotic Plant Pest Council. Dave lives near Athens, GA. He is married to an amazing woman and they have two young boys. He grew up on a farm in Harmony, MN, and spent most of his time in the woods. He was an active member of the Carimona Cruisers 4-H club and once had a pet cow named Kari. Together, then won a trophy at the 1986 Fillmore County Fair. He still loves cows but thinks horses are shifty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Expect the Unexpected: Stories about unforeseen circumstances
28-10-2022
Expect the Unexpected: Stories about unforeseen circumstances
Often, the hypotheses scientists make at the start of an experiment turn out to be correct. But sometimes, the results end up as something completely unpredictable. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about a time where they didn’t see it coming. Part 1: While shooting a TV show about the brain, producer Esther Stone gets the opportunity to interview a notorious serial killer. Part 2: As someone who’s seen every single episode of Mayday, Sara Mazrouei considers herself an expert in all the ways you can die on a plane until she takes a flight to Australia. Esther Stone is a London transplant who fell in love with New York. Switching continents sparked a career change from IT to TV. Now, she is a producer with a wide range of credits including a documentary, The Brain, Mysteries at the Museum, and the ever-popular wedding staple – Say Yes to the Dress. Her work has brought her into contact with royalty, neuroscientists, psychopaths, and lots of white dresses. Sara Mazrouei is a planetary scientist, an educational developer, and a science communicator with a passion for sharing the wonders of the universe with the public. Her PhD research focused on the recent bombardment history of the Moon and links to future sample-return missions. Her work has been featured in many media such as the New York Times and National Geographic. Sara is also passionate about increasing the status of women in STEM as well as equity, diversity and meaningful inclusion. Sara uses storytelling, examples including the Story Collider and TEDx Downsview Women, as a method for sharing her authentic experiences and making science more accessible. She is currently an Educational Developer at Toronto Metropolitan University's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Calling: Stories about one's vocation
14-10-2022
Calling: Stories about one's vocation
Sometimes a job is just a way to make a living, but for our storytellers it is much more than that. In this week’s episode, our stories are about the undeniable draw to a career. Part 1: When pediatric oncologist Sam Blackman gets called for a consult by the obstetrics department, he’s convinced they have the wrong number. Part 2: After 25 years of teaching, Matthew Dicks questions whether or not he should still be a teacher. Sam Blackman is a physician-scientist and pediatric oncologist. He's the founder and chief medical officer of Day One Biopharmaceuticals, a company focused on drug development for childhood cancers. He's an avid storyteller, baker of bread, and recently returned from a trek to Everest Base Camp. Sam lives on Orcas Island with his wife and daughter. Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing and Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, Twenty-one Truths About Love, The Other Mother, and the nonfiction title Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Art of Storytelling. His novels have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide. He is an advice columnist for Slate magazine and the humor columnist for Seasons magazine. When not hunched over a computer screen, he fills his days as an elementary school teacher, storyteller, blogger, wedding DJ, minister, and storytelling and speaking consultant. He has been teaching for 21 years and is a former West Hartford Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year. Matthew is a record 56-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 9-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He has performed for audiences around the globe. Matthew is also the founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England. He teaches storytelling and public speaking throughout the world to individuals, corporations, school districts, hospitals, universities, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Healing Power of Nature: Stories about finding peace outside
30-09-2022
Healing Power of Nature: Stories about finding peace outside
Being in nature can have a powerful effect on our body and mind. It’s like a tonic for our well-being. Research has found that it reduces blood pressure, stabilizes our heart rate, and decreases the production of stress hormones. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers discover just how therapeutic nature can be. Part 1: Geography and Environmental Sciences Professor John Aubert is having a hard time connecting to his now teenage daughter. Part 2: Sarah Luchini may be in over her head, literally, as she tries to cross a river while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. John Aubert is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences at American River College in Sacramento, CA. After realizing that his family and friends were finally getting tired of hearing his stories, he was ecstatic to discover that he could tell them to strangers! He has taken the stage at numerous Moth Story Slams and has been a featured storyteller for Capital Storytelling, Story Collider, Six Feet Apart Productions, and Artists Standing Strong Together. In addition to storytelling, John’s other interests include movies, hiking, fly fishing, and volunteering in his community. Sarah Luchini is Marketing Specialist at Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. She is responsible for coordinating the Institute's internal and external marketing efforts to grow awareness and engagement, as well as developing and implementing marketing plans in support of the organization’s mission to inspire science, learning, and community for a changing world. Prior to joining Schoodic Institute, Luchini worked as Lead Graphic Designer at Downeast Graphics & Printing, a print and graphics studio where she worked seamlessly in print and web-based design. Luchini holds a Bachelors of Fine Art degree from Lesley University College of Art & Design, with a background in fine art and art history. Her work has been shown in exhibitions throughout Maine, Boston, and Florence, Italy, and she has worked in art galleries in Massachusetts and along the Maine coast. Born and raised in Ellsworth, Maine, Sarah has a passion for outdoor recreation and exploring her local landscapes. In her free time, Sarah enjoys being out on the trails hiking and biking, or paddleboarding at home with her cat, Murray (yes, Murray always wears a life vest!). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Unconventional Friendships: Stories about unlikely pairs
16-09-2022
Unconventional Friendships: Stories about unlikely pairs
Science is filled with weird and wonderful bonds, like Bubbles the African Elephant and Bella the Black Labrador or potassium and argon. In this week’s classic episode, both our storytellers share stories of times when they made an unexpected connection. Part 1: Journalist Jon Ronson is excited when he hears about some 'sentient' robots, but when he goes to interview them he finds both less and more than he ever expected. This story originally aired on March 10, 2013. Part 2: When The Colbert Report calls about her research, marine biologist Skylar Bayer finds an unexpected collaborator and friend in the fisherman helping her get scallops. Skylar Bayer (she/her/hers) is a marine ecologist, storyteller, and science communicator who lives in Alaska. Her scientific research focuses on marine ecology, bivalves, aquaculture, and extension. She completed her Ph.D. in the secret sex lives of scallops, a subject that landed her on The Colbert Report in 2013. She is an alum of the Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and has been a producer for The Story Collider since 2014. She is a co-editor of the upcoming anthology of personal stories from scientists with disabilities and medical conditions, Uncharted: how scientists navigate, health, research, and bis, soon to be published by Columbia University Press. This story originally aired on April 12, 2019 in an episode titled “Limelight.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Strength in Numbers: Stories from Latasha Wright
09-09-2022
Strength in Numbers: Stories from Latasha Wright
In this week’s episode, we have not one, but two stories from Story Collider’s board member Latasha Wright. This is her fourth story featured on our podcast and her fifth story she’s told for The Story Collider! Part 1: Biologist Latasha Wright is at work one day when she suddenly begins to experience intense pain. Part 2: Just before she leaves for her dream opportunity to teach marine science on the Red Sea, Latasha Wright gets a call that puts her plans in jeopardy. This story originally aired on February 22, 2019 in an episode titled “Inspiration.” Latasha Wright received her Ph.D. from NYU Langone Medical Center in Cell and Molecular Biology. After her studies, she went on to continue her scientific training at Johns Hopkins University and Weill Cornell Medical Center. She has co­authored numerous publications and presented her work at international and national conferences. In 2011, she joined the crew of the BioBus, a mobile science lab dedicated to bringing hands­ on science and inspiration to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The BioBus creates a setting that fosters innovation and creativity. Students are encouraged to ask questions, formulate hypotheses, and design experiments. Through the BioBus, Latasha was able to share her love of science with a new generation of potential scientists. Everyday that she spends teaching students about science in this transformative environment helps her remember that science is fun. She loves sharing the journey of discovery with students of all ages. In 2014, the BioBus team launched an immersive, un­intimidating laboratory space called the BioBase, a community laboratory model. At the BioBase students are encouraged to explore their scientific potential through in­-depth programming and hands­-on experimentation. Latasha has lead the efforts in establishing this community laboratory model, and hopes to build on its success in other communities. The efforts of the BioBus’ team to promote science education to all communities in New York City has been recognized by numerous news outlets, including the WNYC science radio program Hypothesis. Additionally, Latasha has been featured as NY1’s New Yorker of the Week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Anomaly: Stories about rare diseases
19-08-2022
Anomaly: Stories about rare diseases
It's almost unbelievable that a change in something as small as a cell or a gene can lead to such big consequences. In this week’s episode, our stories are about rare childhood illnesses from different perspectives. Part 1: As a kid, Lauren Soares can’t understand why her parents are making such a big deal out her brain tumour. Part 2: Gerry Downes sees his research in a new light when his daughter is diagnosed with a rare genetic disease. Lauren Soares is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. Lauren creates ethereal dark pop music under her artist name, laur. She recently directed and produced a music video for her new single 'hades' and is gearing up to release her debut album in the fall of 2022. While not working on art, Lauren directs her energy toward helping artists and organizations achieve their business goals through digital media, storytelling, and strategic planning. She has a BFA in Fine Arts and Writing. Gerry Downes is an Associate Professor in Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received a BS in Biology from Johnson C Smith University, a PhD in Neuroscience from Washington University, and postdoctoral training from the University of Pennsylvania. His laboratory studies tiny fish to investigate how genes and brains control movement. He is passionate about science teaching and outreach, as well as shifting perceptions on who can be a scientist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Taken Seriously: Stories about wanting respect
12-08-2022
Taken Seriously: Stories about wanting respect
While some people can fake it 'til they make it, others find that being taken seriously is a challenge, no matter what they do. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about trying to get the respect they deserve. Part 1: Adam Ruben desperately wants to be seen as more than a junior scientist in his lab. Part 2: When Larissa Zhou says she wants to make better food for outer space, no one takes her seriously. Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He has appeared on the Food Network, Netflix, the Travel Channel, the Weather Channel, and currently hosts "What on Earth?" and "Ancient Unexplained Files" on the Science Channel and "Inventions that Changed History" on Discovery Plus, as well as writing for the Emmy-nominated PBS Kids show "Elinor Wonders Why." Adam writes the monthly humor column "Experimental Error" in the AAAS journal Science Careers and is the author of two books: Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010) and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago Review Press, 2017). Learn more at adamruben.net. Larissa Zhou is a PhD student at Harvard University, where she develops food technologies for low-resource environments. She loves to rock climb and cook. She's invested in building communities and transforming mentees into leaders, both in academia and on the mountain. Learn more at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Story Collider En Español: Historias científicas en español
05-08-2022
Story Collider En Español: Historias científicas en español
En el episodio de esta semana, nuestros dos narradores comparten historias reales y personales sobre la ciencia en español. Parte 1: Ro Moran nos cuenta de un tiempo cuando él se hizo cargo de la vida de un animal y los corazones de sus compañeros de clase. Parte 2: En su primer semestre de ser profesora, Ana Maria Porras les enseña has sus estudiantes que es ser realmente poderosa y humilde. Ro is an award-winning chicken wing eater with a penchant for storytelling. His credits include Prose of Pie, Tiny Tales, and other open mic shows. He is most celebrated for his groundbreaking guitar/comedy duo with his daughter. They’ve since broken up due to ‘creative differences’ . Billboard Magazine has referred to Ro Moran as “Who?!” When Ro isn’t telling tall tales, he is a social justice warrior for a national human rights non profit. Dr. Ana Maria Porras is a biomedical engineer who studies the human gut microbiome. She uses biomaterials to study how both good and bad microbes in our intestines affect our health. And she also crochets them! She currently works as a Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and is always finding new ways to engage with the public in the U.S. and Latin America using her crocheted microbes. She got her BS at the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD at the University of Wisconsin. She loves to bake, dance, read, watch tv, and, above all, eat ice cream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Anxiety: Stories about feelings of worry
29-07-2022
Anxiety: Stories about feelings of worry
As the great Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”. It’s comforting to know that even in ancient Greece anxiety was a thing. In this week’s episode, both storytellers share stories of a time where their fears got the better of them. Part 1: When biologist Melina Giakoumis can’t find a single sea star she starts to worry she’s not cut out to be a scientist. Part 2: One question from a conference attendee sends math teacher Nancy Buck into panic spiral. Melina Giakoumis is a PhD candidate in Biology at the City University of New York. She uses genomics, field surveys and ecological modeling to study marine invertebrates in the Atlantic Ocean. In particular, Melina is interested in the population dynamics of sea stars in the North Atlantic and their impact on the coastal community. Before starting her PhD, Melina was a research technician in the genomics lab of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where she sequenced the DNA of a huge variety of species, from bacteria to whales. Melina has spent lots of time poking around in the tide pools of New England, and hopes her research can be used for the conservation of these ecosystems. Melina currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two dachshunds. Nancy Buck currently teaches in a 6 - 12 school in Brooklyn. She is also a Master Teacher in the Math for America program. She believes that math is a beautiful and creative subject that allows people to understand the world around them. She works hard to create safe spaces so that all educators can see that both they and their students are mathematicians. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Good Intentions: Stories about meaning well
22-07-2022
Good Intentions: Stories about meaning well
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers set out to do the right thing, but you know what they say about good intentions. Part 1: During the pandemic, science journalist Maddie Bender signs up to be a contact tracer. Part 2: Veterinarian Leslie Brooks decides to make an exception to the rules for one pet owner. Maddie Bender is an innovation reporter at The Daily Beast and a science journalist whose work has appeared in STAT, Scientific American, VICE, Smithsonian Magazine, and other outlets. She holds an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health in microbial disease epidemiology and lives in Boston with her cat, Maisy. Leslie Brooks is a veterinarian by formal training. She is a writer, humanitarian, and advocate by informal experience. Her goals as a veterinarian are to contribute to improving human relationships through enhancing the human-animal bond and promoting the concept of One Health. She worked as a “cat and dog doctor” for a decade, including volunteering much of her time working with individuals experiencing homelessness or crisis who have pets. She is currently a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development, where she is using her transferable skills as a veterinarian in the policy realm and a humanitarian context. A goal of hers is to talk more openly about mistakes and failures to change the narrative of how we view success. She lives in the DC-metro area with her husband and 5-year-old son, Mehdi. She loves to paint abstractly, bike around the city, being an amateur photographer, and dancing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices