Episode 16: A Brief History Of Space Ice Cream

This week we visit the gift shop and go down the space ice cream rabbit hole. Where did freeze-dried ice cream come from? And why do we eat it?

Not every museum outsources their gift shop to another company - the Smithsonian, for instance, runs their own stores. (Correction: we previously said that The Field Museum also runs their gift store, but it's actually managed by Aramark.) If you're curious, you can see all of the museums Event Network manages on their website. 

Here's Vox's video declaring astronaut ice cream a lie where they talk to Apollo 7 pilot Walt Cunningham and here's Stephen Colbert declaring space ice cream a lie while also attempting to rectify the misnomer. You can see some other examples of early space food at the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum. Also, did you know that regular ice cream is perfectly space-worthy, as long as you can keep it cold on the way up? 

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Music was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico. 

Episode 15: Lugensteine

Fraud isn’t uncommon in science. Why people fake data or specimens is a more complicated question. This week we have a story about scientific fraud as revenge.

Teylers Museum
Courtesy of the Heidelberg University Library. Click to view more engravings.

Courtesy of the Heidelberg University Library. Click to view more engravings.

Special thanks to the Oxford Museum of Natural History for their help with this story. the also thanks to the Teylers Museum for their help. They have six of the lugensteine on display right now, so if you're in the Netherlands, you should definitely stop by. And if you can read Dutch, the museum featured the stones in their magazine in the 1990s (pages 11-17)

We relied on a few books to write this week's episode, especially The Lying Stones of Dr. Johann Bartholomew Adam Beringer Being His Lithographiae Wirceburgenis by Daniel J Woolf and Melvine E Jahn. In addition to a translation of Beringer's original book on his "fossils" the book also has court transcripts.

We also read: 

In 2006 a book came out that proposed that Beringer might have faked the fossils himself. We didn't actually read this one because it's in German and neither of us can read German, but we did read this review of it by Paul Taylor in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

Music was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico. 

Episode 14: Even Our Garbage Looks Amazing!

This week, we talk with some of the artisans that help make scientific research possible.

(Listen on iTunes)

We're not the only ones to have a story about scientific glassblowing. Here's a really cool one from the LA Times!

If you're thinking of buying some glassware for your own home science kits, check out Adams and Chittenden's website. They've got your dephlegmator needs covered. And don't forget to provide a sketch!

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 13: Cascadia

This week: how we learned about the great Cascadia earthquake, and why we can't seem to get ready for it.

(Listen on iTunes)

Lots of other people have written about the Cascadia subduction zone, and what it means for the Pacific Northwest. A few of the ones we mentioned in the episode include The Orphan Tsunami of 1700 - which David Yamaguchi is one of the authors of, and the 2015 New Yorker article by Kathryn Schulz.

If you're looking for some simple things to do to get ready for the next earthquake, check out this guide to putting together an emergency kit! Also, standing in a doorway during an earthquake is apparently actually a terrible idea.

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 12: Best Guesses

This week we take a trip to the distant, distant past. 

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If you want to read more, Jane Davidson's book A History Of Paleontology Illustration takes a much, much more in-depth look at how art affects our understanding of science.

Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures and Joan Thomas's Curiosity reconstruct slightly different Mary Annings, but they're both great reads. We also read Judith Pascoe's book on collectors in the 1800s, The Hummingbird Cabinet, which has a great chapter on Mary Anning's reputation when she was alive and what it's like now. It totally changed how we thought of Mary Anning!

Duria Antiquior by Henry De La Beche. (Click to see larger.)

Duria Antiquior by Henry De La Beche. (Click to see larger.)

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 11: The Loneliest Creature On Earth

This week we have a story by radio producer Lilly Sullivan. It's about loneliness, searching, love, and mysterious ocean sounds. Basically, it has it all!

(Listen on iTunes.)  

Lilly Sullivan produced this piece as a part of Transom.org's Story Workshop. The music in this episode was composed by Laura Ann Bates and Hammock.

If you want to know more about 52 Hertz, check out these articles written by MIT's Hannah Chang. To find out about the ongoing efforts to locate 52 Hertz, head over to the Lonely Whale Foundation website, where you can also learn more about the upcoming feature documentary film.

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 9: It's Complicated

This week, we revisit some of our interviews from episode 8, and explore two topics we didn't have a chance to cover last time.

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The story of the fish fossil in the riverbed that we mentioned comes from this article by the University of Portsmouth paleontologist David Martill.

Several members of the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences, the commercial fossil collectors group, wrote this paper together about the value of commercial fossil dealers to science. It touches on a lot of the things we talked about in this episode, including some of the history behind why you can collect on private land in the US.

This article from the CBC talks about how fossil business affects research, and about how Canadian collection laws affect Canadian museums.

And finally, while most US states don't have specific laws about fossil collections, some do. Alabama, for instance, has fairly lax laws. But, if you find a Basilosaurus cetoides, a kind of fossil whale, you're not allowed to remove it from the state. Apparently it's the Alabama state fossil, and they're pretty particular about that sort of thing.

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 8: Gray Areas

Do fossils have a value? They're valuable to scientists, and they bring people to museums. But are they worth money? That turns out to be a really big question, and this week we try to look at one way of addressing it.

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You can see some of the fossils we saw for sale at Jim Lovisek's store on his website Fossil Realm. Brian Switek's writes at Laelaps, which just moved to Scientific American from National Geographic, so there's only a few posts there. But National Geographic has his older posts archived, and they're worth checking out as well.

The story of Sue the T-Rex has been told in a bunch of different places. Most recently is the documentary Dinosaur 13 (available on Netflix in the US, but not in Canada), which is in turn based on a book by Peter Larson, Rex Appeal. And if you're interested in another take on that story, Brian Switek wrote a blog post about Sue in response to the movie.

Sue is also on Twitter. We've always wondered how she can type and see the screen at the same time. 

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 7: Dafila and the Swans

This week, Malcolm stumbles across a science paper from the 1970s about a graduate student with a really extraordinary and really specific ability. 

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You can read the paper from this story (heads up, if you're on a university campus you should be able to access it for free, but if you're not, you'll probably have to pay to access it. If you're really curious, email us.) But for free you can see some of Dafila Scott's artwork on her website. And the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust website has a list of nature reserves (including Welney) that you can visit, if you live in the UK. 

And finally, this is a Bewick's swan. 

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 6: Finding The Sweet Spot

This week we have a story about what a lifetime of birdwatching can teach you about yourself and other people (spoiler alert: birding is not only about birds).

We used clips from "Rules for the Black Birdwatcher" courtesy of BirdNote. "Rules for the Black Birdwatcher" was produced for BirdNote by Ari Daniel Shapiro, with executive producer Dominic Black, and featured J. Drew Lanham and James Wright.

Make sure to check out Drew's original article too! And if you're interested in the birdwatcher statistics we quoted, you can find them in this Fish and Wildlife Service report

If you like this episode, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 5: Bughouse

This week, we try find out what it's like to learn that your house is full of insects and spiders, and discover that this is a harder question to ask than we thought. By the way, your house is full of insects and spiders. That's just how it is.

If you're interested in Matt's arthropod survey paper, you can check it out on PeerJ, it's open access! And if you enjoyed this week's episode, subscribe to us on iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 4: Going into the Sun

How do you make your sci-fi movie as realistic as possible? You hire a scientist to help you out! This week we look at what it's like for a scientist to help make a movie is scientifically accurate, and why a movie director might want science accuracy in the first place.

(Episode transcript.)

Even though they're primarily entertainment, scientists really want to get into the movies because they can be a great place to bring some science to the public. There are a number of institutions hoping to improve the quality of science in film and television. For example, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation runs a science and film program that provides grants to filmmakers to produce movies with science and technology themes or characters. They also give out grants, fellowships, and prizes for filmmakers and movies that showcase STEM subjects at the Sundance Film Festival.

The National Academy of Sciences runs a program that connects film and TV producers with scientists. It's called the Science & Entertainment Exchange, and it's helped to provide consultants for everything from The Avengers to House. We also talked with Jessica Cail, a psychopharmacologist who's been contacted to work on books, movies, and TV shows through the Exchange. She told us that her job as a consultant isn't just about making sure the chemistry is accurate. Consultants can also help filmmakers craft believable scientist characters and give a broader representation of what scientists are really like (i.e., not all white guys) into pop culture. If you're interested in reading more about how science and scientists are depicted in TV and movies, Hollywood Science is very thorough and fun. 

If you're a sci-fi buff, you should definitely check out Peter Hyams' movies. He's responsible for a ton of great movies. Outland is less well known, despite starring Sean Connery, but it's pretty awesome, with some truly great sci-fi visuals. If you're curious about 2010 after hearing so much about it, here's a clip.  And if you've somehow never seen Timecop, then check out the trailer. We'll leave you to discover all the rest yourselves! 

If you like what you heard, subscribe to the show on iTunes. 

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 3: Loope to Loope

Last episode we talked about how hard it can be to talk about your job as a scientist when your parents don't understand what you do. This week, we talk with Garrison Loope and his family to find out what talking about your job is like when you're a scientist from a family of scientists!

(Episode transcript)

If you like what you're hearing, don't forget to rate and subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you listen to us!

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 2: Homework

Does becoming a scientist change the way you talk to your friends and family? This week, we talk with Sweta Agrawal about what being a scientist is like when your parents are not scientists.

(Episode transcript.)

If you like what you're hearing, don't forget to rate and subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you listen to us!

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 1: Accidentally Famous

Imagine going into the office one day and finding out that your work has become famous overnight. It turns out it's not always as fun as it sounds. In this week's episode, we talk with some scientists about what it's like to have your research in the spotlight.

(Episode transcript.)

Want to know more? Here are some articles from David and Patricia about how they've chosen to defend their research. Roger has written a number of papers about the value and definition of basic science, here's just one. And check out some shrimp-treadmill related videos here, here, or here

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.

Episode 0: Before and After

New Heads For New People is a podcast where we'll be talking about what happens when science leaves the lab and ends up in the real world. Our first full episode comes out in two weeks, but you can get a sample of the kind of stuff we'll be doing right now! If you like what you hear, you can subscribe on iTunes

(Episode transcript.)

Here's a link to one of the classic papers about the "draw a scientist" test we mention in the preview (bonus - see if you can spot the podcast title in there)! And here's a link to the Fermilab webpage where you can see the kids' pictures for yourself.

Music in this episode was composed by Malcolm Rosenthal. Artwork was drawn by Jackie Sojico.