Science Magazine Podcast
Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

The National Institutes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why ethicists say this a conflict of interest.

 

Sarah also talks Nate Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, about turning a 50-meter undersea fiber optic cable designed to move data into a sensor for activity in the ocean and the land underneath. During a 4-day test in Monterey Bay, California, the cable detected earthquakes, faults, waves, and even ocean-going storms.

 

For this month’s books segment, Kiki Sandford talks with Dan Hooper about his book At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds.

 

You can find more books segments on the Books et al. blog.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Salk’s Where Cures Begin podcast

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

[Image: Adam Reeder/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Charles Pillar

Direct download: Science_Podcast_191129.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

You may have seen the aftermath of a landslide, driving along a twisty mountain road—a scattering of rocks and scree impinging on the pavement. And up until now, that’s pretty much how scientists have tracked landslides—roadside observations and spotty satellite images. Now, researchers are hoping to track landslides systematically by instrumenting an entire national park in Taiwan. The park is riddled with landslides—so much so that visitors wear helmets. Host Sarah Crespi talks with one of those visitors—freelance science journalist Katherine Kornei—about what we can learn from landslides.

 

In a second rocking segment, Sarah also talks with Manvir Singh about the universality of music. His team asked the big questions in a Science paper out this week: Do all societies make music? What are the common elements that can be picked out from songs worldwide? Sarah and Manvir listen to songs and talk about what love ballads and lullabies have in common, regardless of their culture of origin.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo; McDonalds

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Martin Lewinson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Katherine Kornei

Direct download: 191122_SciencePodcast.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

The Polarstern research vessel will spend 1 year locked in an Arctic ice floe. Aboard the ship and on the nearby ice, researchers will take measurements of the ice, air, water, and more in an effort to understand this pristine place. Science journalist Shannon Hall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about her time aboard the Polarstern and how difficult these measurements are, when the researchers’ temporary Arctic home is the noisiest, smokiest, brightest thing around.

 

After that icy start, Sarah talks also with Tanmoy Samanta, a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University in Beijing, about the source of the extreme temperature of the Sun’s corona, which can be up to 1 million K hotter than the surface of the Sun. His team’s careful measurements of spicules—small, plentiful, short-lived spikes of plasma that constantly ruffle the Sun’s surface—and the magnetic networks that seem to generate these spikes, suggest a solution to the long-standing problem of how spicules arise and, at the same time, their likely role in the heating of the corona.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: Bayer

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191115.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Most historical accounts of slavery were written by colonists and planters. Researchers are now using the tools of archaeology to learn more about the day-to-day lives of enslaved Africans—how they survived the conditions of slavery, how they participated in local economies, and how they maintained their own agency. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about a Caribbean archaeology project based on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and launched by the founders of the Society for Black Archaeologists that aims to unearth these details. 

 

Sarah also talks with Jonathan Schulz, a professor in the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about a role for the medieval Roman Catholic Church in so-called WEIRD psychology—western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic. The bulk of psychology experiments have used participants that could be described as WEIRD, and according to many psychological measures, WEIRD subjects tend to have some extreme traits, like a stronger tendency toward individuality and more friendliness with strangers. Schulz and colleagues used historical maps and measures of kinship structure to tie these traits to strict marriage rules enforced by the medieval Catholic Church in Western Europe. Read a related commentary.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191108.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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