You're the Expert

Three comedians try to guess what a leading expert does all day and learn why their research is important. You're the Expert brings academia out of the Ivory Tower and into your iPhone. Hosted by Chris Duffy. Produced by Pretty Good Friends.

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Three comedians try to guess what a leading expert does all day and learn why their research is important. You're the Expert brings academia out of the Ivory Tower and into your iPhone. Hosted by Chris Duffy. Produced by Pretty Good Friends.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-05-03 01:02
last episode published
2018-12-20 15:36
publication frequency
19.74 days
Chris Duffy author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences Medicine Social Sciences Comedy



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Ketamine and Preventing Mental Illness

Dr. Rebecca Brachman tells us about her groundbreaking work in the neuroscience of resilience and how certain chemical compounds may be able to help prevent illnesses like depression or PTSD. This episode features comedians Wyatt Cenac, Maeve Higgins, ...
Chris Duffy author

Dr. Jennifer Lopez and the International Space Station

NASA expert Dr. Jennifer Lopez works with the International Space Station. Comedians Jo Firestone, Bowen Yang, and Josh Sharp get to the bottom of why her work matters, what's happening in space, and who's the best J.Lo. This episode was recorded in fr...
Chris Duffy author

YTE in the Field (Part 2 of 2): Digging up Dinosaurs

Discovering new dinosaurs with Dr. Mike D'Emic in the second installment of this two-part mini-series. Chris hears from the rest of the dig team about their experience finding fossils and searching for dino bones. In this episode, we look at future pal...
Chris Duffy author

YTE in the Field (Part 1 of 2): Digging up Dinosaurs

Chris discovers a new species of dinosaur with paleontologist Dr. Mike D'Emic. This is a special two part mini-series / experiment where we leave the theater and go into the field to see science as it's happening. Let us know what you think!  ...
Chris Duffy author

What You Inherit From Your Parents

Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin is a Columbia neuroscientist who studies maternal bonding and how trauma in parents affects the brains of future offspring. She teaches comedians Josh Gondelman, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Dylan Marron about what you get from yo...
Chris Duffy author


Jess Phoenix studies volcanoes all over the world. She also runs a nonprofit and was a candidate for Congress. In this episode, she explains magma, lava, and all her other hot facts to panelists Aparna Nancherla, Max Silvestri, and Caitlin Durante. Hos...
Chris Duffy author

Trash, Garbage, and Sanitation

Dr. Robin Nagle is the anthropologist-in-residence for New York City's Department of Sanitation and a professor at NYU. She walks us through the crucial and often overlooked role sanitation workers play in the city and talks trash with comedians Maeve ...
Chris Duffy author

Sharks and Remoras

Dr. Brooke Flammang studies sharks and the fish that stick onto them. She discovered a previously undiscovered muscle in shark tails, builds autonomous underwater robots, and fires off lasers in her lab. She's incredible. Comedians Dillon Stevenson, Ma...
Chris Duffy author

Love: Anatomy, Biology, and Evolution

Dr. Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist, is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers, and the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site Comedians Bowen ...
Chris Duffy author

Wearable Tech and Emotional Computing

MIT's Dr. Rosalind "Roz" Picard helped invent the field of wearable computers. Now she's working on getting them to understand our emotions. Comedians Ken Reid, Josh Sharp, and Fareeha Khan learn about her research and get into their feelings in this s...
Chris Duffy author

Invasive Species

Lauren Nolfo-Clements studies invasive species. In particular, she's an expert on nutria, giant swamp rodents. Host Chris Duffy and comedians Josh Sharp, Ken Reid, and Caitlin Durante learn about these rodents of unusual size and the science of introdu...
Chris Duffy author

Ice Squeezer

Dr. Christine McCarthy is an "ice squeezer" at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She studies space ice on moons and other planets and glaciers here on Earth. In this episode, she tells comedians Gary Richardson (SNL), Ashley Brook...
Chris Duffy author

National Geographic Photography

Anand Varma is a National Geographic Photographer and biologist who uses pioneering techniques to capture images of everything from parasites that control the mind of an insect to hummingbirds to bees licking each other. He explains his work to comedia...
Chris Duffy author

The Chambered Nautilus and Memory

Dr. Jennifer Basil studies memory and navigation across a variety of animals. But her main study subject is the Chambered Nautilus, a beautiful and mysterious creature of the deep. Listen as comedians Jo Firestone, Zhubin Parang, and Shalewa Sharpe dis...
Chris Duffy author

Chemicals in Our Teeth

Dr. Christine Austin uses teeth to study childhood development, exposure to chemicals, and stress. She teaches comedians Todd Barry, Michelle Buteau, and Negin Farsad about the secret rings hidden in our molars, why you don't want to inhale tooth dust,...
Chris Duffy author

Sea Sponges

Dr. Alicia Perez-Porro is an expert on sea sponges. Are they the oldest living creatures? Are they constantly filtering our oceans? Should you use them to clean yourself in the shower? Comedians Josh Gondelman, Maeve Higgins, and Gary Richardson find o...
Chris Duffy author

Bitcoins and Cryptography

Dr. Tal Rabin is the head of the Cryptography Research Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. She's an expert on secure cryptographic algorithms. In this episode, she teaches comedians John Hodgman, Josh Sharp, and Shalewa Sharpe about how crypt...
Chris Duffy author

Brown Dwarves

Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty studies the celestial bodies known as Brown Dwarfs. Our panelists Aparna Nancherla, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Zhubin Parang discover what a brown dwarf is, how clouds are being detected in space, and what Jackie wants eve...
Chris Duffy author

Rats! Live at NatGeo

Dr. Danielle Lee got into science hoping to study something sexy, but ended up studying rats. She tells comedians Aparna Nancherla, Maeve Higgins, and Baratunde Thurston about her journey and the incredible things she's learned about rodents. Hosted by...
Chris Duffy author

The Evolution of Teeth

NYU's Dr. Shara Bailey studies what human teeth can tell us about our past. How does the shape of your molar reveal your family history? And what is the tooth-based link between North America and East Asia? Shara tells comedians Jo Firestone, Charlie H...
Chris Duffy author

Raccoons at Just For Laughs Toronto

Live from Second City in Toronto, Dr. Suzanne MacDonald tells us what it's like to be the world's leading expert on raccoon intelligence. Can you build a raccoon-proof trash can? Why does one man have fifty raccoons in his backyard? And how can they af...
Chris Duffy author

Green Chemistry

Dr. Cora MacBeth studies green chemistry at Emory University. She teaches comedians Chuck Bryant (from Stuff You Should Know), Josh Sharp, and Shalewa Sharpe about how to manufacture chemicals without destroying the planet and why you've got brown bott...
Chris Duffy author

The Mysteries of Fat

Recorded live at the Maine Science Festival, Dr. Kristy Townsend is a neurobiologist who studies the effects of diet on the brain. She teaches Roy Wood Jr, Michelle Buteau, and Charlie Hankin about brown fat, how the brain coordinates energy balance, a...
Chris Duffy author

Ghost Snakes

Dr. Sara Ruane tells us all about the new species she discovered, the Ghost Snake, and what life is like as a snake scientist. Should you suck the venom out of a snakebite? Should you ride in a car with a herpetologist? The answer to both questions is:...
Chris Duffy author

Coral Reefs live at NatGeo

Clare Fieseler is a marine ecologist and coral reef expert. She teaches comedians Aparna Nancherla, Hari Kondabolu, and Maeve Higgins what coral are and how to protect them. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at National Geographic i...
Chris Duffy author

The Hunt for Earth 2.0

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT. She's a MacArthur genius who's trying to find and identify another Earth. Our panelists for this episode are Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla, and Marina Franklin. Recorded as a co-presenta...
Chris Duffy author

Whale Blowholes & Dugongs

Studying sea cows, capturing whale blow, and analyzing giant orange poop... it's all in a day's work for marine biologist Dr. Liz Burgess. Recorded in front of a live audience at the New England Aquarium, this episode features panelists Eugene Mirman, ...
Chris Duffy author

An update on the show!

You're the Expert is coming back! We're not dead yet. We're doing live tapings now and we'll be releasing episodes again this Fall. More details on our website at Thanks so much for listening!
Chris Duffy author

Fruit Flies

In our final episode of this season, Dr. Nancy Pokrywka teaches us about her work studying fruit flies and genetics. Comedians Josh Sharp, Obehi Janice, and Gary Richardson learn about the beauty and mystery of tiny flies (and also how they like to get...
Chris Duffy author

Colorful Dyes and Fluorescence

Dr. Luke Lavis is a chemist who creates new colors. His work on fluorescence and tagging makes scientific and medical breakthroughs possible. Also, it looks really cool. Comedians Matt Porter, Charlie Hankin, and Shalewa Sharpe learn about the mysterio...
Chris Duffy author

The Love Life of Penguins

Dr. Suzanne Macey is a conservation biologist studying the mating habits of little blue penguins to help save the species. She also gets deep into the love life of tiny turtles. Basically, if you've got a small creature that's looking for love, Suzanne...
Chris Duffy author

Economics and Human Behavior

Dr. Laura Gee is an economist at Tufts. She uses Facebook to study how social groups affect behavior. How do we get jobs? Why do we give money to charity? Dr. Gee helps comedians Eugene Mirman, Maeve Higgins, and Ken Reid find the answers. Hosted by Ch...
Chris Duffy author

Climate Change and Antarctic Winters

Oscar Schofield is a biological oceanographer who studies climate change and the warming of Antarctica. In this episode, he teaches comedians Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla, and Josh Sharp about how oceans are going to rise, why scientists go crazy, an...
Chris Duffy author


Elizabeth Crone is a scientist at Tufts who studies butterflies. Comedians Ken Reid, Rachel Rosenthal, and Corey Rodrigues learn about nature's most beautiful insect and why the US military is involved. Hosted by Chris Duffy. Produced by Pretty Good Fr...
Chris Duffy author

What Makes You Attractive?

Dr. Carlota Batres studies the science of attraction. What makes you find some people sexy and others gross? Comedians Jo Firestone, Roy Wood Jr, and Hari Kondabolu get to the bottom of our evolutionary desires and find out why this research matters. H...
Chris Duffy author

Bird Brains and Parrot Talk

Dr. Irene Pepperberg knows more about bird brains than just about anyone in the world. Her groundbreaking work with Alex, an African Gray Parrot who talked back and answered questions about abstract concepts, changed the way we think about consciousnes...
Chris Duffy author

Astrophysics and Predicting the Future

Harvard astrophysicist Alyssa Goodman studies the birth of stars and the many ways humans have tried to predict the future. Comedians Maeve Higgins, Ken Reid, and Steve Macone learn the secrets of the universe and why everyone is so afraid of stars. Ho...
Chris Duffy author

Making Decisions

Dr. Anne Churchland studies how your brain makes decisions. Comedians Jo Firestone, Zhubin Parang, and Roy Wood, Jr. learn how to make good choices and all about neuroscience. Hosted by Chris Duffy. Produced by Pretty Good Friends.
Chris Duffy author

Rights of the Dead

Ray Madoff (BC Law) is a lawyer who specializes in the rights of the dead. What happens to your body? Who gets your stuff? Can the government clone you? Can dogs inherit money? Ray's the person to ask. She teaches SNL's Sasheer Zamata, Ken Reid, and Ob...
Chris Duffy author

Primate Cognition

Dr. Alexandra Rosati is a Harvard scientist who studies primate cognition. How do chimps and bonobos understand the world? And what does that tell us about humans? Comedians Sasheer Zamata, Ken Reid, and Obehi Janice learn about everything from chimpan...
Chris Duffy author

Pet Psychiatry

Dr. Nicholas Dodman is the head of Tufts' Animal Behavior Clinic. He's the author of "The Dog Who Loved Too Much" and "The Cat Who Cried For Help."  Panelists Eugene Mirman, Ken Reid, and Obehi Janice learn about Nick's research. Also, we talk about ho...
Chris Duffy author

The Biggest Dinosaur Ever

Dreadnoughtus is the biggest dinosaur ever found. Dr. Ken Lacovara (Rowan University) is the paleontologist who discovered it. He tells comedians Aparna Nancherla, Hari Kondabolu, and Maeve Higgins all about tiny headed dinos, breaking rocks, and how h...
Chris Duffy author

Robot Geckos

Dr. Tonia Hsieh (Temple University) is a biomechanist who discovered how geckos are able to stick to walls. She's using her findings to build better robots. Recorded live at the Philadelphia Science Festival, this episode features comedians Aparna Nanc...
Chris Duffy author

Bacterial Batteries and Viral Solar Cells

Dr. Angela Belcher is an MIT professor and a MacArthur genius. She teaches comedians Aparna Nancherla, Josh Sharp, and Bobby Smithney about how she uses viruses and bacteria to build next generation batteries, solar cells, and much more. She is literal...
Chris Duffy author

Medicinal Chemistry at the Atlanta Science Festival

Dr. Stefan France is a chemist at Georgia Tech working on synthesizing new molecules for medicine. He teaches comedians Josh Sharp, Amber Nash, and Shalewa Sharpe about the life of a chemist and why both chocolate and wine might be good for you. Record...
Chris Duffy author

Killer Snails

Dr. Mande Holford studies venomous sea snails, the "assassins of the sea." Her research holds clues to treating Alzheimer's, solving opioid addiction, and much more. Panelists Tracy Clayton (Another Round), Zhubin Parang (head writer for The Daily Show...
Chris Duffy author

Neanderthal-Human Interbreeding

Did you know that you're about 2% Neanderthal? Bridget Alex is a Harvard anthropologist and evolutionary biologist studying how/when our ancestors met and bred with Neanderthals. She teaches comedians Sam Ike, Kenice Mobley, and Steve Macone about the ...
Chris Duffy author


Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich is the chief scientific officer at the Best Bees Company. Comedians Bobby Smithney, Julia Claire, and Gary Petersen learn about Noah's research and dive into the secret lives of bees, what it's like to be stung 500 times, and why i...
Chris Duffy author

The Science of Nightmares

Dr. Gary Fireman is the chair of Suffolk University's Psychology Department. He's an expert on nightmares and disturbed dreaming. Comedians Maeve Higgins, Charlie Hankin, and Matt Porter find out where nightmares come from, what they mean, and how they...
Chris Duffy author

Airport Biology at SF Sketchfest

Natalie Reeder is the official wildlife biologist at San Francisco International Airport. Natalie helps comedians Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and James Adomian understand how to keep birds away from engines, when snakes actually do get out on planes...
Chris Duffy author