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Interviews with your favorite authors, artists, astronauts and more. From WBEZ.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-09-14 03:56
last episode published
2019-09-13 09:01
publication frequency
9.96 days
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen owner   author  
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Book Club: ‘The Testaments’ Preview

Welcome to the Nerdette Book Club! It’s just like a normal book club but in podcast form, and you provide your own booze. In this episode, we're taking a look back at Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel 'The Handmaid's Tale' before sending you out t...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

An Introvert’s Guide To The Good Life

September is right around the corner, which means fall is coming.To celebrate, Nerdette host Greta Johnsen talks with Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, author and illustrator of the new graphic novel Pumpkinheads. It’s about Deja and Josiah, two hig...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

A Love Letter To Cabbage

Abra Berens is a Midwest born-and-bred farmer-turned-chef. And her cookbook, Ruffage, is a gorgeous A-to-Z guide to vegetables.The idea, she tells us, is this: You go to the grocery store, buy what inspires you and then you go home to look up meal idea...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Bonus Book!: ‘The Most Fun We Ever Had’

Chicago Magazine called this novel "a Midwestern Big Little Lies — an intimate character study of a group of affluent, secretive women." In this bonus interview, Greta talks with author Claire Lombardo about her debut novel, ‘The Most Fun We Ever Had.’...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Rad Girls Who Changed The World

These days there are more and more celebrations of women who might have otherwise been relegated to the footnotes of history.As you can imagine, here at Nerdette we’re all about that. Totally into it. Zero complaints.But what is equally as wonderful is...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Summer TV!

Is summer a great time for watching TV? Heck yeah it is. So we caught up with New York Times TV critic Margaret Lyons to get recommendations for the best of the best summer TV, including shows that are dark and mysterious, bright and fun, and also the ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

More Summer Reads!

When anyone at WBEZ needs book recommendations, they go to Greta Johnsen, the station’s resident bookworm.So please enjoy Greta talking about some fantastic reads that you might want to pick up this summer.Contemporary Romantic FictionEvvie Drake Start...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

How To Write Your First Novel In Your 40s With Linda Holmes

If you know NPR’s Linda Holmes, it’s probably not as a novelist. She’s a pop culture correspondent, she co-hosts NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, and her recalcitrant dog Brian is mildly famous on Twitter.But she always wanted to write a novel. An...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Tripping Hard For Science

What’s it like to give people hallucinogenic drugs and study what happens? How might these drugs be used for therapy? And what causes people to take drugs in the first place? That’s what we asked Harriet de Wit, who runs the University of Chicago’s Hum...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

‘Booksmart’ Reminds Us That Your Person Doesn’t Have To Be Your Romantic Soulmate

Greta gives 'Booksmart' four out of four Gretas, a new rating system we've devised specifically for this wonderful new movie. Why's it so good? Well, it’s smart, funny, a little raunchy, and it embraces so many gorgeous, gut-wrenching elements of what ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Bill Nye Wants You To Think Critically And Take Care Of Your Moon Rocks

Bill Nye says that when he was in high school, the big skill that students had to learn was how to find information. “But the challenge now is to sort out the information that may not be true.”Greta talks to Bill from the stage at The Collider’s Climat...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Lizzo Is About To Sing, Rap And Flute Her Way Into Your Heart

Lizzo recently landed on the Billboard 200 chart for the first time with her new album ‘Cuz I Love You,’ making now the perfect time to revisit her 2016 conversation with Nerdette's Greta Johnsen. Lizzo and Greta talk about what inspired her 2016 EP 'C...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

De-Extinction: How, Why, And What If?

Scientists around the world are trying to figure out how to mitigate the potentially disastrous impacts of climate change. Among the innovative ideas? De-extinction. “De-extinction is a scientific movement that’s aiming to recreate close versions of e...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Kids + Science = AWESOME

Sahana Srinivasan is the host of the Netflix kids’ science show Brainchild, a series that’s all about exploring interesting questions about the world in which we live. On Nerdette, Sahana talks about what makes her show different from the kids’ science...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Shrill AF With Lindy West

Oh hey it's Lindy West!Lindy's the the executive producer of Shrill, a new Hulu series starring SNL's Aidy Bryant that's based on Lindy's 2016 novel of the same name. And we talk with Lindy about a few of the delightful scenes from the series (includin...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Wash Your F-ing Hands

At WBEZ (and maybe at your office too?) it seems like a lot of folks get sick at almost exactly the same time. But why?! Simple: People in our office are sick because sick people are in our office.“I think that is probably the single biggest thing that...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Podcats In Space

Yep. Podcats. Not a typo. This week we take a journey back to 1994, just before an astronomer named Heidi Hammel — as well as the entire scientific community at large — learned that a fragmented comet named Shoemaker-Levy 9 was going to crash into Jup...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Winter Watches!

Winter is still here! (At least in the nation’s midsection.) And that means you’re looking for stuff to do when you’re stuck inside. And who better to recommend some good nerdy activities than Nerdette co-creator Tricia Bobeda?!? She did just that on W...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Move Over Holden Caulfield

Dana Czapnik has always been drawn to wanderers and wonderers, the kind of fictional characters who are always contemplating who they are and the world around them. But aside from the work of Virginia Woolf, Czapnik said she hasn’t come across many fem...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Dessa Changes Her Mind

The Nerdette team recently moved next to the crew at Sound Opinions, WBEZ’s long-running rock n’ roll talk show. We bring that up because last year that team reviewed Dessa’s latest album, “Chime,” and not only did they call it “brilliant,” they called...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Get That Money.

How does one ask their employer for more money? The short answer, according to Refinery29's Lindsey Stanberry, is just do it."It’s hard. And it’s not fun," Stanberry tells Greta this week. "I mean, you just have to ask."It's a new year. And now — RIGHT...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

End Of The Year Homework!

The year is at its end. And in 2018’s honor, Greta talked to four people who’ve made some amazing things about their favorite thing of the year.  Make sense? It’s kind of like a miniature phone tree but for books, music, and TV. Or like a binder’s wor...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author


Nerdette host Greta Johnsen has a rare genetic disease that CRISPR might be able to fix. As a four-year old in Juneau, Alaska, Greta was diagnosed with an eye condition known as "Best disease." That name is somewhat of a misnomer in that "Best disease...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

How Killer Snails Could Save Your Life

In a curious twist, venomous, killer sea snails are helping scientists make some incredible biomedical advances. Dr. Mandë Holford is the head of the Holford Lab in New York City, but her line of research often means she’s taking nighttime scuba dives ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Redefining Representation With ‘Well-Read Black Girl’

A little while after Glory Edim created an Instagram account under the name Well-Read Black Girl, she said she started getting a lot of messages from young women thanking her for creating a space that offered reflections of themselves.  “It’s not onl...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Barbara Kingsolver Calls Her New Novel ‘My Love Letter To Millennials’

Barbara Kingsolver says her new novel, ‘Unsheltered,’ is “my love letter to millennials.” “Today’s problems can’t be fixed by yesterday’s people,” she tells Greta. “They’re going to be fixed by tomorrow’s people.”Kingsolver is the author of several awa...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Salt, Fat, Acid, Ask For What You Want (With Samin Nosrat)

Samin Nosrat is the chef behind ‘Salt Fat Acid Heat,’ a book and a new Netflix series of the same name. She’s also a proponent of articulating your dreams."I do think taking a little bit of time, a couple times a year, to articulate your goals and your...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Jodie Whittaker And The New 'Doctor Who'

Hey! Today we're talking with Jodie Whittaker! She is the first woman to play the lead role in the long-running, time-travel-based BBC television series Doctor Who. You'll hear her tell Greta the story of how she got the role, how so many lovely Doctor...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

The Author Of Greta’s Favorite Book! (Of 2018): Madeline Miller On 'Circe'

If you were bored by Homeric epics and Greek mythology in high school and college, Nerdette highly encourages you to reconsider. “There is a reason these stories have lasted for 3,000 years,” said Madeline Miller, author of Greta’s favorite book of 201...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

The Gender Pay Gap

Aileen Rizo was working as a math consultant at the Fresno County Office of Education when she discovered a recently-hired male colleague was being paid significantly more than her for the same work. Aileen had more experience and education than this c...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Fall Televisions!

From Murphy Brown to Kidding to Doctor Who and more, New York Times TV critic Margaret Lyons reveals the shows she’s excited about.
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth Talks Mothering, Senatoring, And Couponing

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois is one of only 52 women to ever serve in the Senate. There are currently 23 female senators, which is an all-time high. “There are not enough women,” Duckworth tells Nerdette host Greta Johnsen. “We’re 20 percent o...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Happiness 101

... Well, technically it's Pysc 157. This week Nerdette host Greta Johnsen speaks with the professor responsible for the most popular class in Yale University's 316-year history. Laurie Santos created a course called "Psychology and the Good Life” and ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Science Experiments To Knowhere: A Field Trip To Argonne National Lab

Here at Nerdette, we've wanted to visit Argonne National Laboratory for MANY YEARS. Why? Because it's a massive research facility, it's just outside of Chicago, and it shares many similarities with Hawkins National Laboratory, the fictional government ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Summer Reads!

Hey! Nerdette is about to go on a little summer break, but before we do we wanted to share this lovely conversation Greta had with WBEZ’s Jenn White and the owner of Volumes Bookscafe in Chicago, Rebecca George. They talk about what makes a good summer...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Musician Neko Case

Super-talented singer-songwriter Neko Case is not immune to self-doubt. In the years before becoming “an adult,” she tells us she had a complicated relationship with ambition.  “I wanted to be in a band and I wanted to play music, but I couldn’t have e...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Dame Steve Shirley

“I’d been patronized as a child,” Dame Stephanie Shirley — a.k.a. Steve — tells us this week. “I wasn’t going to be patronized as an adult.”The kind of company that Stephanie Shirley wanted to work for didn’t exist in 1962, so she created her own.“I wa...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Teen Vogue’s Vera Papisova

Speaking out about traumatic incidents can sometimes be more traumatic than the incidents themselves. That was the case for one reporter after she documented rampant sexual harassment at a recent music festival.Vera Papisova is the wellness editor for ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: NPR’s Audie Cornish

Audie Cornish says she had something like an epiphany after posting a photo of herself and her new baby on Twitter in April. "I realized, oh my god, I’m part of the problem," Cornish tells Greta Johnsen. "Because there is absolutely nothing worse than ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Nerdette’s Finest: Negin Farsad

If you’re looking for a way to combat the online trolls and bots fomenting unrest in the U.S., comedian Negin Farsad might have a solution for you. It’s a philosophy she calls “Being aggressively delightful.” You might think that sounds exhausting, but...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Nerdette’s Finest: Neil deGrasse Tyson Assigns Homework

On Nerdette, our guests assign us homework. It’s usually something to read, watch, or do — like a great book, a compelling TV show, or a life-changing daily routine.  We’ve been lucky enough to have famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the show ...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Nerdette's Finest: Tom Hanks

On a scale of 1 to famous, Tom Hanks is off the charts.  So how did we land this amazing interview? Easy! We put a 1939 Underwood Champion typewriter into a recording studio and lured him in Elmer Fudd style! (Bugs Bunny:Carrots::Tom Hanks:Typewriters)...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Nerdette's Finest: Roxane Gay

Nerdette has been around for FIVE YEARS! And we're celebrating our birthday by showcasing some of our favorite parts of our favorite episodes. Did you know that writer Roxane Gay has a fascination with Channing Tatum's neck? You're about to! Because th...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Design Sponge’s Grace Bonney

In 2016, Grace Bonney spoke with 100 women doing creative work and turned those interviews into a book, In the Company of Women.  It became a New York Times bestseller, and earlier this month, Bonney released a follow up: a biennial business magazine c...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: The Kondabolu Brothers

We brought brothers Hari and Ashok Kondabolu on Nerdette to talk about making time for self-care in what can be a grinding, freelance economy. Instead, they unpacked their relationship. “Do you look up to me at all?” Hari asks his younger brother, with...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Astronaut Megan McArthur

Near the end of STS-125, NASA’s final space shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope back in 2009, bad weather in Florida initially stopped the seven-member team from returning to Earth. The two-day delay that followed presented the astronauts wit...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: Amy Schumer And Aidy Bryant

Let’s be real: life can be hectic sometimes. You don’t need to tell that to Amy Schumer and Aidy Bryant, two of the nation’s top female comedians. Who better to kick off our new project, Power Up? For the next few months, we're asking fascinating peopl...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Power Up: A New Project From Nerdette

Here at Nerdette we’ve been thinking a lot about how much the world can wear us down. Which has led us to a very important question: How do so many successful, inspiring people have the time and energy to be so successful and inspiring? Power Up is a n...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Class Is In Session: Jason Katims Explains The Appeal Of High School TV Dramas

The 90s TV drama 'My So-Called Life' had a profound impact on Nerdette host Greta Johnsen. (“Jordan Catalano still holds a special place in my heart,” she said of the fictional Liberty High School heartthrob played by Jared Leto.)Jason Katims helped cr...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author

Tomi Adeyemi Calls Her New Book ‘Black Panther With Magic’

Tomi Adeyemi is the 24-year-old author of 'Children of Blood and Bone,' a new young adult novel that — in terms of pop culture blockbusters — could be on par with 'The Hunger Games' or 'Harry Potter.' The book, the first in a West African-inspired fant...
Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen author