Cara Santa Maria is a science communicator, television host, producer, and journalist. She is excited to present "Talk Nerdy," a place for conversations with interesting people about interesting topics.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Hilary Scheppers and Daniel Couceiro, both of whom previously worked at Rainforest Expeditions in the Tambopata National Reserve of the Peruvian Amazon.
In this week's episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Thomas Seeley, professor of biology at Cornell University and international expert on bees. They talk about his new book, "The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honeybee in the Wild." Topics include honeybee physiology and behavior, backyard beekeeping, and what we can learn from wild bees to improve our relationship with these fascinating creatures.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist and science popularizer Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book, “Letters from an Astrophysicist.” They venture behind Neil’s public persona to discuss the deeply personal correspondence that makes up the book, focusing on themes like faith, philosophy, and skepticism. Follow Neil: @neiltyson.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Lucinda Jackson, author of "Just a Girl: Growing Up Female and Ambitious." They discuss her personal experiences navigating the pernicious institutional sexism of academia and corporate America, as well as its implications for broader society. Follow Lucinda: @LucindaAJackson.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by clinical psychologist, journalist, and author of the new book, "All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership," Dr. Darcy Lockman. They discuss the inequities of gendered labor that persist to this day, as well as the physical and psychological burden wives and mothers are all too often forced to carry. Follow Darcy: @Darcy_Lockman.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Robert P. Crease, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Stony Brook University. They dive into the important topics covered in his newest book, "The Workshop and the World: What Ten Thinkers Can Teach Us About Science and Authority," including history's lessons for restoring society's trust in the scientific community.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Nick Haddad, Senior Terrestrial Ecologist in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University and Kellogg Biological Station. They discuss his newest book, "The Last Butterflies: A Scientist's Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature." Follow Nick: @nickmhaddad.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by President of Air Quality Sciences at UL and Founder of Greenguard Environmental Institute, Dr. Marilyn Black. They talk about the science of assessing indoor and outdoor air quality, including the toxic chemicals often released by products like 3-D printers and furniture treated with flame retardants.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by writer and historian Dr. Lydia Pyne to talk about her new book, “Genuine Fakes: How Phony Things Teach Us About Real Stuff.” Lydia describes the fuzzy line between what’s real and what’s fake, sharing stories about nature documentaries, art forgeries, fossil hoaxes, lab-grown diamonds, and everything in between. Follow Lydia: @LydiaPyne.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by molecular cell biologist at the University of California Merced, Dr. Miriam Barlow. They talk about her research on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including how they evolve, the impact on public health, and what we can do to prevent or mitigate the spread of infection. Follow Miriam: @Miriome.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Sora Kim, Life and Environmental Sciences professor at UC Merced. They talk about the importance of diversity, mentorship, and collaboration in STEM fields. They also discuss her fascinating research examining stable isotopes in fossilized shark teeth in an effort to better understand global climate change. Follow Sora: @SoraLKim
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Joanna Andrecka, product marketing manager at Refeyn. They discuss an exciting new technology called mass photometry. This process uses light to analyze the mass of biomolecules in their native state, with no markers or labels. Follow Joanna: @AndreckaJoanna
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by evolutionary psychologist Dr. Sarah E. Hill to talk about her new book, "This Is Your Brain on Birth Control: The Surprising Science of Women, Hormones, and the Law of Unintended Consequences." They discuss the long history of scientific inquiry that ignores women's bodies and minds, as well as what new research is telling us about birth control's sweeping effects. Follow Sarah: @sarahehillphd.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University. They talk about new book, “The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race.” Their conversation centers around the important role of dopamine in human behavior, relationships, and addiction.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara once again sits down with Caltech physicist Dr. Sean Carroll, this time to talk about his new book, “Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.” They discuss what quantum mechanics is (and isn’t), its relation to psychology and philosophy, and how the many-worlds interpretation may just be the key to understanding the cosmos. Follow Sean: @seanmcarroll.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by novelist Laura Purcell to talk about her book, “The Poison Thread.” They discuss the science and psychology of Victorian England as well as the experiences of female characters living during the era. Follow Laura: @SpookyPurcell.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by author Craig Childs to talk about his new book, “Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America.” They discuss his intersecting interests of journalism, desert studies, adventure, and exploration. As an expert in ancient migration on foot, Craig also shares what its like to retrace the steps of ancient people in the Americas. Follow Craig: @CraigChilds_
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with extragalactic astrophysicist and host of the Everyday Einstein podcast, Dr. Sabrina Stierwalt about the nature of the cosmos. They discuss galaxy formation, black holes, and the fact that we are not, as we often like to believe, the center of the universe. Follow Sabrina: @qdteinstein.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by science journalist Kit Chapman to talk about his new book, "Superheavy: Making and Breaking the Periodic Table." They discuss all things chemistry, including the fascinating history of its discoveries. Follow Kit: @ChemistryKit.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with conservation biologist and author Dr. Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson about her new book, "Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects." They talk about the ecological importance of insects as well as the steps we can take to conserve their habitat the world over. Follow Anne: @annesver
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by mathematician and former NFL player, John Urschel. They talk about his passion for mathematics, including his current work as a doctoral candidate at MIT and his new book, "Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football." They also discuss his love of football, motivations for retiring from the sport, and the painful reality of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Follow John: @JohnCUrschel.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Molly Strausbaugh, chemist and assistant director of the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS). They talk about all things chemistry, including how the American Chemical Society's CAS serves scientists by providing a wealth of knowledge about the properties of every chemical you can imagine. Follow Molly's work: @AmerChemSociety.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by philosopher and historian of science, Dr. Michael Ruse, to discuss his new book, "A Meaning to Life." They talk about the interplay between existential philosophy and Darwinian evolution, including his approach to atheism. Read several of Michael's other books here.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Annaka Harris, science editor, consultant, and author of the new book, “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.” They talk about her work in the world of science writing as well as mindfulness meditation. Then the conversation turns to the topic of consciousness, a fascinating deep dive into the mysterious construct that has baffled and intrigued scientists and philosophers for centuries. Follow Annaka: @AnnakaHarris.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by the Head of Science at Synthego, Dr. Kevin Holden. They talk about new advances in genetic engineering technology, such as the CRISPR-CasX system. Also discussed: what the future holds for synthetic biology and related fields. Follow Kevin’s work: @Synthego.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Alexis Pedrick, the manager of public programs at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They talk about all things rare earths, including the Rare Earth Elements Project at the institute. They also discuss the podcast Alexis co-hosts, Distillations. Follow Alexis’s work: @SciHistoryOrg.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara sits down with Dr. Lucy Jones, founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and author of the new book, “The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)”. They just so happened to record on the morning of July 5, 2019, between the magnitude 6.4 foreshock on July 4 and the magnitude 7.1 earthquake on July 5, 2019 in southern California. They discuss earthquake safety, seismology, and the psychological biases that prevent us from accurate risk assessment. Follow Lucy: @DrLucyJones.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by UCLA biogeochemistry PhD student Rob Ulrich. They talk about his work as the founding president of Queers in STEM, including the institutional barriers faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in the sciences and allied academic fields. They also discuss the upcoming international LGBTSTEM Day on July 5th! Follow Rob: @robertnulrich.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Ana Humphrey, winner of the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search. They talk about her $250,000 winning research calculating potential exoplanets using NASA’s Kepler data, as well as what’s next for this inspirational high school grad. Follow Ana: @AnaOnAPlanet.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with fellow Texan Sahana Srinivasan, host of Netflix’s “Brain Child.” They talk about what is was like to lead a show while finishing her college degree. In addition, they discuss the role of inclusion and diversity in science media, as Sahana is the first Indian-American woman to host a science television show in the United States.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is once again joined in-studio by Katie McKissick, author and illustrator of Beatrice the Biologist. They talk about their mutual love of all things science and scicomm, including her newest book, “Everyday Amazing: Fascinating Facts About the Science that Surrounds Us.” Follow Katie: @BeatriceBiology.
In this week’s episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by neuroscientist and author, Dr. Erin Clabough. They talk about her new book, “Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control.” Also discussed: Erin’s path to science and motherhood, as well as evidence-supported insights for parents.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by the author of “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote,” Elaine Weiss. They talk about the fascinating history of women’s suffrage, including the brave individuals who fought against misogyny, racism, and corporate interests to secure the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Follow Elaine: @efweiss5.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with filmmaker, conservationist, hunter, and cohost of the “Into the Wilderness” podcast Byron Pace while attending a conference in Namibia. They discuss the controversial topic of African big game conservation, including the economic necessity of hunting programs in many regions. Follow Byron: @ByronJPace.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, recorded in Windhoek, Namibia, Cara speaks with the Director of the Namibian Association of CBNRM (community-based natural resource management) Support Organisations, Maxi Louis. They talk about her work as an anti-apartheid activist, advocate for indigenous peoples in southern Africa, and champion for conservation.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Harvard neuroscientist-turned-visual effects pioneer Dr. Barry Sandrew. They talk about his innovative work in digital imaging for motion pictures, including his invention and later re-imagination of digital colorization. They also discuss what life is like living with prosopagnosia (face blindness. Follow Barry: @movieproducer.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by science writer Christie Aschwanden to talk about her new book, “Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Sports Recovery.” They talk about the myths and pseudoscience often peddled within the exercise recovery industry, as well as the strength of the scientific evidence available. Follow Christie: @cragcrest.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Jeffrey Marlow, a science journalist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and Geobiologist at Harvard University who studies deep-sea microbes. They talk about the importance of innovative technology to the scientific process, as well as the curious link between marine microbial communities and potential life on other worlds. Follow Jeffrey: @jj_marlow.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara has an in-studio chat with Dr. Stacey Finley, head of the Computational Systems Biology Laboratory in the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. They discuss the work she’s doing at the intersection of systems biology, chemical engineering, computer science, and materials science to develop novel mechanistic models of disease processes such as cancer. Follow Stacey: @USCSysBio_Lab.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein, author of “Aroused: The History of Hormones and How they Control Just About Everything.” They talk about her work as a science and medicine writer, and her winding journey from M.D. to M.P.H. and everything in between. Then they focus on the topic of her new book, the fascinating history and current impact of human hormones. Follow Randi: @randihepstein.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Mr. Fascinate himself, Justin Shaifer. They talk about the work he’s doing to bring culturally responsive STEM curriculum to students and educators nationwide, as well as his animated series, ‘Hood Science. Follow Justin: @FascinateSci.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by producer, writer, and designer Rose Eveleth. They discuss the futuristic scenarios explored on Rose’s popular podcast, Flash Forward. They also spend an inordinate amount of time talking about archival footage and the importance of learning history, because, well, you know… Follow Rose: @roseeveleth.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with Stacey Espinosa, Global Product Development Senior Manager for Mints and New Benefits at Mars Wrigley Confectionary. They talk about her dream job as a chemical engineer developing new candy flavors, as well as ways we can all help inspire young women to pursue STEM careers.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in-studio by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber, founding director of the Innovation in Integrated Informatics Lab and the Center for Intelligent Environments, Technology, and Society at the University of Southern California. They talk about her work developing adaptive built environments using machine learning and systems thinking. They also discuss an incredible course she teaches called “Innovation in Engineering Design for Global Challenges,” in which USC students travel to refugee camps around the world to work with their inhabitants to design sustainable, feasible solutions to critical problems. Follow Burcin: @Becerik-Gerber.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Kristina (Kris) Ropella, Dean of the College of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Marquette University. They talk about her research in biosignal processing and medical imaging for diagnostic biomedical devices. They also discuss her role as Dean of Engineering, a position that is still incredibly rare to be held by a woman. Follow Kris: @DeanRopellaMU.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, founder of the Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona. They talk about sustainability, conservation, indigenous agriculture, and his newest of several books, “Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair.” Follow Gary: @Ferhat9282468.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Livia Eberlin, an analytical chemist at the University of Texas. They talk about her recognition as a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow, Moore Inventor Fellow, and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient. They also discuss her incredible work at the intersection of chemistry and medicine, including the invention of the MasSpec Pen, a handheld device allowing for rapid, nondestructive analysis of cancerous tissue during surgery. Follow Livia: @livia_se.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Ross MacPhee, Curator of the Department of Mammalogy in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. They talk about his newest book, “End of the Megafauna: The Weight of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest, Animals.” In it, Ross discusses new and exciting theories underlying the multiple extinction events of Earth’s largest prehistoric mammals.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with award-winning documentarian and creative director of Genepool Productions, Sonya Pemberton. They talk about her newest film, Vitamania, as well as other projects she’s produced and aired across the globe. They also discuss the challenges bringing Australian-made films to an American audience in the current science media landscape. Follow Sonya: @pembertonfilms.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Wright State University professor of philosophy Dr. William Irvine about his new book, “You: A Natural History.” They discuss the various identities that make you, well, you, including perspectives from evolutionary biology, genetics, and physics. Then the conversation turns to classical philosophy and the perspective of the stoics.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by author and artist Shawn Sheehy to talk about his newest book, “Beyond the Sixth Extinction: A Post-Apocalyptic Pop-Up.” They discuss his journey into the paper arts as well as the ecological and evolutionary science that goes into his work. Follow Shawn on Facebook here.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara connects with science writer David Quammen to talk about his new book, “The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life.” They discuss the complexity of modern evolutionary theory, from classical Darwinian natural selection to recent discoveries in the field of molecular phylogenetics. Follow David: @DavidQuammen.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by J.R. Becker, author of the “Annabelle and Aiden” children’s book series. They discuss how his transition into fatherhood inspired him to write books for kids that emphasize science, skepticism, and awe. Follow J.R.: @AnnabelleNAiden.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by National Geographic Explorer and conservation technologist, Shah Selbe. They talk about his work as the founder of Conservify, a non-profit organization dedicated to the democratization of data and technology to aid in global conservation. Follow Shah: @ShahSelbe.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara joins Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and Cosmology, Lord Martin Rees, in his office at Cambridge University. They talk about his new book, “On the Future: Prospects of Humanity,” as well as his work as the co-founder of the Center for the Study of Existential Risk. They discuss the hazards of short-term decision-making and the great potential modern science and technology offers us to secure the future of planet Earth for generations to come.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Anna Rothschild, the creator and host of the incredible Washington Post Youtube series “Anna’s Science Magic Show Hooray!” They talk about her lifelong interest in how stuff works (including the gross stuff that never ceases to amaze and fascinate), as well as the ins and outs of creating, writing, animating, and starring in your own science Youtube series. Follow Anna: @Anna_Rothschild.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by documentarians Christina Costantini and Darren Foster. They talk about their wonderful new film, Science Fair, which Cristina describes as a “love letter to the subculture that saved” her and critics agree will restore your faith in humanity. Follow the film: @ScienceFairFilm.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Chris Impey, astrophysicist and author of “Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes.” They discuss black holes’ rich history of discovery, from Galilean telescopes to spectroscopy to gravitational wave detection. Follow Chris: @ImpeyChris.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. David George Haskell, the author of “Songs of Trees: Stories of Nature’s Great Connectors,” They juxtapose the joyous relationship humanity has long had with nature against modern abuses, such as consumption, destruction, and shortsightedness. David’s verbal expression is as eloquent as his writing—this poetic conversation will have you thinking about your place in the great ecosystem we call Earth. Follow David: @DGHaskell.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, connects with Israeli-based immunologist and Chief Scientific Officer of BiondVax Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Tammy Ben-Yedidia. They discuss her incredible work developing and testing a multi-season, multi-strain “universal” flu vaccine. Follow Tammy’s work: @BiondVax.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with mathematician Dr. Hannah Fry about her new book, “Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms.” They talk about her work as a television presenter for the BBC and a radio presenter for “The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry.” They also discuss the use on algorithms in modern society, including her own research into the mathematics of human behavior. Follow Hannah: @FryRsquared.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by speaker, writer, and empathy educator Kate Kenfield. They talk about her ingenious Tea & Empathy cards, which facilitate conversation in a non-confrontational and practical manner. They also discuss the necessity of empathy for effective interpersonal communication, with a special focus on social and emotional learning, consent, and gender differences. Follow Kate: @katekenfield.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in-studio by journalist Vince Beiser to talk about his new book, “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization.” They discuss the surprising and fascinating history of sand, from its foundational role in society to its dealings as a black market commodity. Follow Vince: @vincelb.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with the creator and author of “Dinosaur Comics,” computer programmer-turned-writer Ryan North. From his incredible new book “How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler,” they discuss how one might build a civilization from scratch (if, you know, it comes to that). Follow Ryan: @ryanqnorth.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with actress Alison Becker (Parks and Recreation) about the ups and downs of the television industry with a special emphasis on the #MeToo era. They also discuss her work in sketch comedy, as well as her super cool side gig teaching improv to help people improve their communication skills. Follow Alison: @thealisonbecker.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Kevin Hainline, a postdoctoral researcher in astrophysics at the Steward Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. They discuss the nature of black holes and galaxies, the value of science communication, and his work on the upcoming JWST NIRCam (the imager for the James Webb Space Telescope). Follow Kevin: @Kevin_Hainline.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara sits down in studio with Mara Altman, author of the hilarious and enlightening new book, “Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back).” They talk about the writing that originally inspired the book (her Kindle single “Bearded Lady”) as well as Mara’s journey to understand the origins of embarrassment and shame that often accompany our relationships with our bodies. Watch the trailer for her book here! Follow Mara: @maraaltman.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Sara MacSorley, the author of "Super Cool Scientists: A Coloring Book Celebrating Women in Science." They talk about her work in science communication, with a specific focus on what Sara is doing to promote inclusion and representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Follow Sara: @SMacSorley.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Adam Rutherford, author of "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes." They dive deep into human genetics, including what consumer DNA tests can and can't tell you about your genetic history. They also discuss the sordid history of eugenics as a scientific discipline. Follow Adam: @AdamRutherford.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Breanna Cox, the Quality Assurance Manager at MedCure, Inc., a whole-body donation program. They detail what happens when you donate your body for science (education and research), including the care that is taken to maintain compassion and respect for your remains after you die. Follow Breanna's work: @MedCure_
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Ben Goldfarb, environmental journalist and author of the new book "Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter." Ben informs Cara of little-known beaver facts and she admits to having never seen one in the wild! They also talk about the ecological importance of this strange, magnificent creature. Follow Ben: @ben_a_goldfarb.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with the Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB), Dr. Siva Kumari. They discuss her role as the first-ever woman to lead the IB, a 50-year-old multinational, not-for-profit foundation focused on delivering exceptional global education to students around the world. Follow Siva: @siva_kumari.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with Dr. Adam Frank, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. They talk about his new book, "Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth." Topics include: how we can shift our perspective on climate change to be better prepared for its challenges, and why we're likely not alone in the universe. Follow Adam: @AdamFrank4.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Helen Pates Jamet, a medical entomologist who specializes in malaria prevention, research, and vector control product development. She works as the Global Head of Research and Market Access for Vestergaard, the world's largest producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets. They talk about the global impact of malaria, a devastating disease that infects over 200 million people and causes nearly half a million deaths annually. Helen shares the incredible work she and others like her are doing to reduce transmission. Follow Helen's work: @vestergaard.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with Eugenia Bone, author of the new book "Microbia: A Journey into the Unseen World Around You." They discuss Eugenia's journey back to school to learn about the microbiome, the vast collection of all the microbes (and their genes) living inside you. They also talk about her fascinating career as a nature and food writer. Follow Eugenia: @eugeniabone.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by Heather Burdick, the Director of Marine Operations for the Bay Foundation. They talk about her work supporting the Marine Team on various projects involving research, monitoring, and ecological restoration throughout the Santa Monica Bay. The specifically discuss the Palos Verdes Kelp Restoration Project and southern California abalone recovery efforts. Follow the Bay Foundation: @SMBRF.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Lehman College/City University of New York and CUNY's Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Professor Margot Mifflin. They talk about her research into feminist tattoo culture, including two of her books, "Bodies of Subversion" and "The Blue Tattoo." Follow Margot: @Msmifflin.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Bertha Vazquez, the Director of the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, a division of the Center for Inquiry. They discuss her incredible work providing the tools and training necessary to effectively teach the science of evolution throughout middle schools in the United States. Follow TIES: @rdfrsTIES.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Michael Lemonick, the Opinion Editor at Scientific American. They talk about his book, "The Perpetual Now: A story of amnesia, memory, and love." He shares the tale of a woman whose brain was ravaged by encephalitis, disrupting her ability to form new memories and destroying her recollections from the past. However, her intellect and artistic ability remained relatively intact, providing researchers with insights into the wonders of the human mind. Follow Michael: @MLemonick.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleobiologist and Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals Dr. Nick Pyenson about his new book, "Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures." They talk about the similarities between cetaceans and land-dwelling mammals, along with what makes them unique among Earth's creatures (extinct and extant). Follow Nick: @PyensonLab.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy. Angela tells Cara about her own experiences as a writer and a mother, including the ways women lack pre- and postnatal support in American society. Follow Angela: @agarbes.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by celebrated science writer Carl Zimmer, author of "She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potentials of Heredity." They discuss the promises of modern genetics research and applications, as well as the dark history of the eugenics movement. Carl also tells of his personal journey to uncover the secrets that lie within his own genome. Follow Carl: @carlzimmer.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by jack-of-all-trades and skeptic extraordinaire George Hrab. They talk about his work as the drummer of the Philadelphia Funk Authority and the producer/host of the Geologic Podcast. They also discuss the fun he has emceeing skeptic events across the globe. Follow George: @georgehrab.
On this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Kari Byron to talk about her new book, "Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life's Toughest Questions." They talk about her time on Mythbusters, the importance of the scientific method, and how her work on television is empowering her daughter and other young girls to be who they really are. Follow Kari: @KariByron.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with science communicator and Ph.D. student Samantha Yammine, better known as Science Sam. They discuss the importance of the public dissemination of science, the special role social media has to play, and the difficulties facing some science communicators within their own institutions. They also talk about her research in stem cell biology and neuroscience! Follow Sam: @heysciencesam.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with Robert Kurson, the author of "Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon." He describes the trials and tribulations of the Apollo 8 mission as well as the bravery and fortitude of the men and women who made it happen. In addition, they discuss the impact of the odyssey, during arguably one of the worst years in American history, 1968. Follow Robert: @robertkurson.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Sharon Weinberger, the executive editor for news at Foreign Policy. They talk about her new book, "The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World." They discuss DARPA's successes and failures, including the internet, drones, Agent Orange, mass surveillance, and its curious relationship with climate science. Follow Sharon: @weinbergersa.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Lauren Ayton, the Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Bionic Eye Technologies. They talk about all things vision, including how the eye works and what can go wrong with it. Then they discuss incredible bionic implants and prostheses that are offering the gift of sight to those who've been living without it. Follow Lauren: @DrLaurenAyton.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by science journalist Dr. Lone Frank, author of "The Pleasure Shock: The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor." They discuss her work as a Danish science communicator and her history in academic neurobiology. Then, Lone tells Cara about the fascinating history of Robert G. Heath, the Tulane psychiatrist who performed controversial surgeries and experiments while developing a groundbreaking procedure that was surely ahead of its time. Follow Lone: @Lone_Frank.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with author Mark O'Connell about his new book "To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death." They talk about the process of writing a book, a well as the things he learned during his investigation of the fascinating and sometimes troubling transhumanist movement. Follow Mark: @mrkocnnll.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara chats with journalist and editor Melissa Dahl about her new book, “Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness.” They talk about what makes us shudder, from the sound of our own voices to the prospect of starting a conversation with strangers on the New York City subway. Follow Melissa: @melissadahl.
It's the 200th episode of Talk Nerdy! To celebrate, Cara brings back the Ask Me Anything (AMA) format, with a twist! This week, Cara is joined in studio by friend of the show and host of the Ologies podcast, Alie Ward. She scans the brilliant questions provided by you, the Talk Nerdy listeners, and selects her favorites to turn the tables and interview Cara! They cover ground from space travel to science communication to Killer, of course! And Cara answers her famous final two questions. THANK YOU for an incredible 200 episodes! Talk Nerdy wouldn't be possible without the support of incredible listeners like you. Follow Alie @alieward and Cara @CaraSantaMaria.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by astrophysicist Dr. Adam Becker to talk about his new book, "What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics." They talk about the important role philosophy plays in understanding the scientific process as well as what happens when you question one of the sacred cows of quantum physics, the Copenhagen interpretation. Follow Adam: @FreelanceAstro.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with science journalist Alanna Mitchell about her new book, “The Spinning Magnet.” They examine magnetismʼs long history of discovery, including the hundreds of times the Earthʼs poles have flipped. Follow Alanna @amitchelltweets.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined in studio by stand-up comedian David Huntsberger. They talk, among other random things, about the wonderful work he's doing on his science podcast, "The Space Cave." Also discussed: the frustrating and fantastic world of freelance content creation. Follow Dave: @huntsbergerjunk.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara re-records her lost episode with scientist and author Laurie Winkless! They bemoan the loss of Cara's laptop while discussing Laurie's new book, "Science and the City: The Mechanics Behind the Metropolis." Topics include how cities manage increasing water demand, Laurie's favorite feats of engineering, and a disgusting byproduct of human refuse, the "fatberg." Follow Laurie: @laurie_winkless.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara sits down with Dr. Clifford Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Southern California. They talk about his new book, "The Dialogues: Conversations About the Nature of the Universe," a graphic novel that explains physics for everyday people. Follow Clifford: @asymptotia.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by planetary scientist Dr. Amanda Hendrix to talk about her book, “Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets” (coauthored by Charles Wohlforth). They dive deep into the fascinating moons of Saturn and all of the scientific (and potentially life-supporting!) information they have to offer. Follow Amanda: @arh_moons.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by comedian Ian Harris to talk about his new special, "ExtraOrdinary." They also discuss his work throughout the years as a so-called "skeptic comedian" and his work in the world of mixed martial arts. Follow Ian: @comediocre.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by filmmaker Kelly Loudenberg to discuss her new Netflix docuseries, "The Confession Tapes." They talk about the psychology of false or coerced confessions, including unethical police practices like the "Reid technique."