American Scientist Podcast

Periodic audiocasts from American Scientist, a publication of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

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Periodic audiocasts from American Scientist, a publication of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-06-06 03:49
last episode published
2019-06-03 12:00
publication frequency
46.05 days
American Scientist Magazine author  
American Scientist Podcast owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Technology Education Science & Medicine



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

An interview with Jeff Dean, head of artificial intelligence at Google, about the major advances and concerns facing current artificial intelligence research, and how it interfaces with human society.

Drains on the Heart

Young women have a low risk of heart disease, and sex differences in this bodily system could help explain why.

Precision Psychiatry

A new pharmaceutical specifically for postpartum depression is approved and a large, ongoing study may yield insight into depression generally, informing future treatment.

Heart Waves

An interview with Ulrich Parlitz, a biomedical physicist, on using artificial intelligence to predict the propagation of the heart's electrical signals in order to make defibrillation safer.

Viral Interpreter

An interview with Anna Marie Skalka, whose primary research focus has been understanding viruses’ many functions -- both harmful and helpful.

Nerves of an Escape Artist

Studying the neurons of a most elusive and delicate animal, hydra, required a new trap, which worked... at least for a little while. Here's our interview with Jacob Robinson, a neuroengineer at Rice University, whose team developed that trap.

Parker, Meet Parker

At age 31, astrophysicist Gene Parker, now 91, mathematically described what we now call the "solar wind." This August, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe -- the first mission named after a living person -- to study the Sun and solar wind, seeking to...

The People Vs Tech

Reading from "The People Vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (and How We Save It)," author Jamie Bartlett tells one story of Donald Trump's campaign's digital strategy and their collaboration with Facebook in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elect...

A Chemical History of the Universe

Mapping "star stuff" onto the periodic table -- an interview with Jennifer Johnson, a professor of astronomy at the Ohio State University who studies the history of the Milky Way and its stars.

What's Next for Finding Other Earth-like Worlds?

An interview with the TESS mission's Sara Seager, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT who focuses on theoretical models of atmospheres and interiors of all kinds of exoplanets as well as novel space science missions.

Big Data and Democracy

An interview with Jamie Bartlett on his new book, "The People Vs. Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Save It)."

Gendered Communication

Our voices reveal many cues about sex, gender, and sexual orientation, but science doesn't support the stereotypes.

Gutsy Engineering

The bioinspired engineering it takes just to study the cells lining the human gut

Setting a Scientific Talk to a Soundtrack?

A zoologist and a composer combine efforts, setting a scientific talk about the eastern coyote to a soundtrack.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Your sensory experience of food doesn't end when you swallow.

Progress Against Viruses in Animal Reservoirs

New developments in anti-viral therapies may be able to prevent some future pandemics.

Imaging the Heart's Power

The first 3D imaging of the intricate cardiac conduction system provides new detail for researchers and surgeons.

Computing the Moment of Totality

For thousands of years, humanity has been computing the exact timing of eclipses. We're close. But with a little more data, we could be even closer still.

Computational Propaganda

How all that fake news -- designed to sway public opinion, sway your vote, pile on insults -- gets around.

How Hormones Make Birds Better Dancers

An interview with a biologist who studies physiological mechanisms of complex social behavior about new research on the hormones that affect bird behavior.

Next Steps After the March for Science

A discussion of three different experiences at three different Marches for Science, as well as some lessons learned in taking the next steps in advocating for science-based policy.

Lactose Intolerance and the Gut's Microbiome

An interview with a microbiologist about research on using the belly's bacteria to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Defending Science and Scientific Integrity in the Age of Trump

A discussion about how to address the uncertainty about science's role in our federal government and the consequences of political interference.

Harder-Than-Diamond Carbon

A new form of carbon is harder than diamond and can be used to make diamonds, too.

Electron Microscopy: Now In Color

Even though they are far smaller than the shortest wavelength of visible light, tiny biological objects can finally be imaged in multiple hues.

Cancer Chemotherapy During Pregnancy

On the tough decision of whether to use chemotherapy to treat cancer while pregnant, and the resources available to help patients and their doctors make that decision.

Blue Whirls: Hungry Little Beasts

A low-emission method of combustion is full of puzzles and potential.

Graphene Takes Flight

Prospero, the world's first graphene-coated airplane, took flight this year. Hear a short conversation with University of Central Lancashire's Billy Beggs, the leader of the team who created it.

Surveillance, Privacy, and Security on the Internet

A short conversation with--and reading by--Jamie Bartlett, author of The Dark Net.

Testing the Toxicity of Black Cohosh

Initial studies from the U.S. National Toxicology Program indicate that black cohosh extract -- widely marketed to treat women's health issues -- is genotoxic.

Moving Forward After Flint

A discussion with Virginia Tech graduate student Siddharta Roy on his experiences uncovering the Flint water crisis and how it has affected his outlook on science and his career.

Using Computing to Advance Toxicology

A discussion on the use of computer models to screen chemicals for their toxicity--virtually--and so avoid time-intensive and expensive toxicology screenings, including animal testing.

Exploring The Dark Net with Author Jamie Bartlett

A discussion about the what happens in the part of the Internet that's anonymous but where market mechanisms, technology, ethics, and human behavior still mix.

Evolution of Sleep and Sleep Disorders

An evolutionary anthropologist thinks there are three particular ways that natural selection has made our sleep different from that of other great apes.

Dance: It's Only Human

How and why did we evolve to dance? It's only human, but the benefits are like what chimps get from grooming one another.

An Interview with Fracking Expert Avner Vengosh

Geochemist Avner Vengosh of Duke University describes the water issues posed by fracking that he thinks should be of top concern and discusses the politically charged environment surrounding this practice of shale gas extraction.

3D Printing Replacement Body Parts

Right now, if one of your body parts fails, the only option for replacement is a transplant. Enter regenerative medicine, a fledgling field with the aim of regrowing parts from a person’s own cells. Researchers in that field are now amplifying their ef...

The Living World in Eight Mandalas

Caryn Babaian, an artist and a biology instructor at Bucks County Community College, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, has found a visual format that encourages her students to see and think about these all-important interactions. Here she explains why the man...

The Heart's New Beat: Evolution

Biologist Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University sat down to discuss the evolution of the heart, including why dog years are different than people years and the fascinating overlooked research of cardiologist Helen Taussig. At the end of the inter...

Engineering Around Extreme Events

Ana Barros, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University and a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can af...

Moving Toward Open Access

Biologist Michael Eisen, who is also one of the founders of the open-access publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS), discussed how the idea for PLOS and the open-access movement began.

An Inside View: Tales Told by a Doctor

Terrence Holt, PhD, is a research associate professor in the Department of Social Medicine and a clinical assistant professor of geriatric medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Alongside his medical background, he is also a...

From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous b...

The Many Personalities of Animals

Have you ever wondered whether animals have personalities the way people do? Dr. Andy Sih, a professor of ecology at the University of California, Davis, researches animal personalities and shows that traits, such as an individuals level of aggressiven...

Compounds Treat Substance Abuse and Parkinson's Disease

F. Ivy Carroll is a distinguished fellow for medicinal chemistry at the Research Triangle Institute, where he is the director of their Center for Organic and Medicinal Chemistry. Carroll has spent more than 30 years studying potential treatments for su...

Through the Theoretical Glass

Its difficult to envision what dimensions beyond 3D are, and why physicists, chemists, and mathematicians want to study them. Duke University chemist Patrick Charbonneau studies the theory behind the formation of glass, tackling questions about an area...

Ultrafast Animals: The Force Behind Trap-Jaw Ants

When people think of the fastest animals, most consider running cheetahs, flitting hummingbirds, or jumping kangaroos. But there's a level above what we think of as fast: Ultrafast organisms conserve energy and move in nano- or even micro-seconds. She...

Ultrafast Animals: The Powerful Punch of Mantis Shrimp

When people think of the fastest animals, most consider running cheetahs, flitting hummingbirds, or jumping kangaroos. But there's a level above what we think of as fast: Ultrafast organisms conserve energy and move in nano- or even micro-seconds. She...

Chasing Down Cosmic Dust

There are major discrepancies between model predictions and observations on cosmic dust and the theories of dust nucleation and formation. New additions to the theory may improve its performance and its ability to predict the properties and formation o...

Redesigning the Human Genome with DNA-Binding Proteins

Gene therapy and genomic engineering are rapidly burgeoning areas of research. Dr. Charles Gersbach of Duke University sat down with associate editor Katie L. Burke to discuss the history of gene therapy and what we can do now that we couldn’t do even ...