Science Vs

Science Vs

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to and cover everything from 5G and Pandemics, to Vaping and Fasting Diets.

Episodes

May 6, 2021 34 min
Today, under cover of darkness, we're hunting buried treasure. This is a wild romp through one of the oldest science experiments in the world. And at first, everything was going to plan. Scientists had a secret map, headlamps, shovels … but then — out of nowhere — something got in the way. We go on this journey with plant biologists Professor Frank Telewski, Dr. Marjorie Weber, and Dr. David Lowry.   Check out the transcript h...
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Tons of us are spending waaaayyy more time using screens these days — and it’s freaking us out. We’ve got all kinds of worries. Like, is all this screen time rotting kids’ brains? Is social media destroying our mental health? And then there’s our eyes. Our eyes!! Are all these screens ruining them too?! To find out, we speak to psychologist Dr. Brenna Hassinger-Das, communication studies researcher Dr. Natalie Pennington and optica...
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Back in 2016, U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba were struck by a mysterious noise, followed by symptoms like headaches, dizziness and memory problems. This sent the U.S. scrambling to try to find the culprit. Could it have been an ear-piercing sonic weapon? Or something even sneakier — a device that could beam microwaves into your brain?? We speak to journalist Tim Golden, Prof. Douglas Smith, Prof. Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, Dr. Mitc...
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April 8, 2021 36 min
REBROADCAST: This episode looks at how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to the bottom of this messed-up story. Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/3sZ3m8P This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey, Wendy Zukerman, and Romilla Karnick with help from M...
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UPDATE 4/13/21: Since this episode published, there has been some evidence linking the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to rare blood clots. As of April 13, there were six cases in the U.S. out of more than 6.8 million doses, and one person had died. The CDC and FDA have recommended pausing the vaccine while they learn more. Details are here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html  Just as coronavi...
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Venomous snakes entranced medieval Europe. And although bites were rare, this didn’t stop 14th century doctors from using everything but the kitchen sink to make snake bite treatments. We’re talking weasels, birds — even the pee of a young man. So was it all for snakes and giggles? Or is there something we’re missing in our treatments today? We speak to medieval animal expert Dr. Kathleen Walker-Meikle.  Check out the transcript h...
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March 25, 2021 33 min
Snake venom is a wily beast. It's packed with hundreds of toxins that can attack our blood vessels, muscles and nerves. That's why snake bites kill some 100,000 people each year. On today's show — dangerous snake bites and the bizarre way we make the only thing that can save you from them: antivenom. (Spoiler alert: it takes snake milkers and stables filled with horses.) We'll also look at the groundbreaking researc...
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March 18, 2021 36 min
In 2017, a weird-looking space object called ʻOumuamua whipped past our sun. Now a Harvard scientist is suggesting it miiiight be an alien probe! So we’re revisiting this episode from a few years ago, where we ask: could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? We talked to astronomers Dr. Jill Tarter, Dr. Seth Shostak, investigative journalist David Clarke, and physicist Prof. Jim Al Khalili. Chec...
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March 12, 2021 34 min
Parts of the U.S. are about to see a surge of cicadas — masses of flying bugs, popping up all over the place. After 17 years underground, a crap ton of Brood X cicadas will emerge for a giant chorusing orgy — and it’s all for sex and drugs. So what does this cicada storm mean for us? Should we be bugging out? We speak to biologist Dr. John Cooley, ecologist Dr. Louie Yang, mycologist Dr. Matt Kasson, and evolutionary biologist Prof...
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March 5, 2021 35 min
Internet influencers have been pushing “immune boosters” during the pandemic — claiming they’ve got just the pill, berry or brew to rev up our body’s defenses. But is there really a way to boost our immune system? We’re finding out whether these vitamins and supplements truly work as a shield against colds and viruses. We speak to public health Prof. Tim Caulfield, nutrition Prof. Carol Johnston, immunologist Shiv Pillai, and immun...
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February 25, 2021 2 min
There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Season 10 starts March 4!
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January 28, 2021 6 min
Butterflies flit through life as the pride and joy of the insect world. But when we saw photos of butterflies swarming the eyes of turtles, we wondered if there was a dark side lurking behind all those flashy colors. Assistant Professor of Biology Chandreyee Mitra lets us in on these butterfly secrets. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/36osuwx  This episode was produced by Nick DelRose with help from Wendy Zukerman,...
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January 21, 2021 18 min
This week, we’re sharing an episode of Coronavirus: Fact Vs. Fiction, a podcast from CNN. This episode is The Hunt for Disease X: As human activity ventures further into the wilderness, scientists believe more diseases will emerge. CNN Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley takes Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a journey deep into the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the hunt for the next pandemic pathogen conti...
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December 10, 2020 38 min
Magic mushrooms have hit the headlines, with people saying that shrooms cured their depression and anxiety. But is this for real? How can taking a trip on psychedelics fix your brain? Today, magic mushrooms ditch their tie dye for a lab coat as we go on a magical journey into the science. We talk to clinical psychologists Dr. Alan Davis and Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu, and neuropsychologist Dr. Katrin Preller. Here’s a link to our tra...
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MINI EPISODE! Tons of new science means fresh answers on a few things that really freaked us out at the start of the pandemic: coronavirus on surfaces; ibuprofen and Covid-19; and getting Covid twice.  Link to transcript: https://bit.ly/3lXu6Ca This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, Nick DelRose, and Wendy Zukerman with help from Michelle Dang and Hannah Harris Green. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell with help from Caitlin Kenne...
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December 3, 2020 33 min
There’s a ton of hoopla over these new coronavirus vaccines. But given that they’ve been produced at warp speed — can we trust them? We also find out what’s going on with “long haulers.” How common is it to be sick for months from Covid-19? Plus, fresh new science about why some young people land in the hospital. We talk to Dr. Katy Stephenson, Dr. Alexander Hoischen, Dr. Jeffrey Siegelman, and Prof. Tim Spector.  Link to transcri...
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November 19, 2020 33 min
When a deadly pig virus hit Cuba in 1971, some claimed the CIA was behind it all. But could it be true? In part two of our investigation into the outbreak, we finally hear directly from the CIA — and get to the bottom of what happened.  In this episode: ex-CIA Brian Latell, journalist Drew Fetherston, Professor Mary-Louise Penrith and Professor José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno.  Please fill out our Science Vs survey! Link here: https:...
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November 13, 2020 31 min
When the Cuban government rounded up and killed thousands of pigs in 1971, people were angry and confused. Castro claimed they were trying to stop an outbreak. But then rumours started spreading that something much bigger was behind it all. The CIA.  To find out more, we speak to Professor Virgil Suarez, journalist Drew Fetherston, Professor Mary Louise Penrith, ex-CIA Carol "Rollie" Flynn and Professor Loch Johnson. Here’...
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November 6, 2020 5 min
The eccentric platypus has always turned heads, and now it’s got something else up its sleeve. We talked with mammalogist Dr. Paula Anich to get the scoop. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/34YfHR4 This episode was produced by Nick DelRose with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, and Hannah Harris Green. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Mix and sound design by Bumi Hidaka. Music written by Peter Leo...
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October 30, 2020 33 min
The idea of paying Black Americans reparations for slavery has been around for a long time, but it’s starting to get more support than ever. So we ask: If the country does agree to pay up, how do you calculate the bill? And how could the U.S. come up with that kind of cash? To find out, we talk to historian and farmer Leah Penniman, economist Prof. William Darity Jr., public policy scholar Assistant Prof. Naomi Zewde, and Ebony Pic...
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