142 episodes

Science Vs

Gimlet Media Science
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Episodic
Nov 19, 2020

Did the CIA do it? Part II

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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://blythet.typeform.com/to/Z7YOM2QM 

New to the show? Some of our fave episodes are …
Hunting an Invisible Killer: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/brhv724 
The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/brhod5  
Placebo: Can the Mind Cure You? https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/5whgzd 
5G: Welcome to the Revolution? https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/j4h39x 

Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/2Kn0iSv

A huge thanks to Dan Guillemette, Rebecca Ibarra and the team at WNYC’s Scattered. This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Nick DelRose, Mathilde Urfalino, Hannah Harris Green, Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. It was edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney, with help from PJ Vogt. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord and Marcus Bagala. Interpreting by Carmen Graterol and Julia Kaplan. Translation by Silvina Baldermann. Thanks to everyone we got in touch with for this episode including Peter Kornbluh, Professor Piero Gleijeses, Professor Armanda Bastos, Dr. Alexis Albion, Dr. David Williams, Professor Hugh Wilford, Dr. James Lockhart, Professor Louis A. Pérez, Dr. Megan Niederwerder, Steven Aftergood, and Vicki J. Huddleston. And thank you to the Cuban exiles and those who fought in the bay of pigs for speaking to us. A special thanks to the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. 

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Nov 13, 2020

Did the CIA Plant a Virus in Cuba?

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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’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/3ksSP0o

A huge thanks to Dan Guillemette, Rebeca Ibarra and the team at WNYC’s Scattered. This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Nick DelRose, Mathilde Urfalino, Hannah Harris Green, Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. It was edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney, with help from PJ Vogt. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord and Marcus Bagala. Interpreting by Carmen Graterol and Julia Kaplan. Translation by Silvina Baldermann. Thanks to everyone we got in touch with for this episode including Peter Kornbluh, Professor Piero Gleijeses, Professor Armanda Bastos, Dr. Alexis Albion, Dr David Williams, Professor Hugh Wilford, Professor Jose Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Dr James Lockhart, Professor Louis A. Pérez, Dr Megan Niederwerder,Steven Aftergood, and Vicki J. Huddleston. And thank you to the Cuban exiles and those who fought in the bay of pigs for speaking to us. A special thanks to the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. 

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Nov 06, 2020

Platypuses Get a Glow Up

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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 Leonard. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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Oct 30, 2020

Reparations: How Could It Work?

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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 Pickett. 
UPDATE 10/30/20: An earlier version of this episode said that the average White person who didn’t finish high school makes more money than the average Black person who graduated from college. The actual statistic is about net worth, rather than income, so we removed this reference. We’ve updated the episode.
Check out the transcript here: https://bit.ly/3kSFe3q
Selected resources:

Leah’s book, Farming While Black

Sandy’s book, From Here to Equality

This Time article about Rosewood

This episode was produced by Rose Rimler and Anoa Changa with help from Wendy Zukerman, Hannah Harris Green, Michelle Dang, and Nick DelRose. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Erica Akiko Howard. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord and Marcus Bagala. Baby sounds provided by Hunter and Lyric. Thanks to everyone we got in touch with for this episode including Sophia Clark, Dr. Dania Francis, Dr. Dionissi Alliprantis, Prof. Kristen Broady, Prof. Rashawn Ray, Dr. Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, Prof. Henry Thompson, Prof. Richard Edwards, and Prof. Steve Greenlaw. A special thanks to the Zukerman family, Walter Rimler, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. 

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Oct 22, 2020

Supervolcanoes: Is Yellowstone Gonna Blow?

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We keep hearing that a Yellowstone supervolcano could blow at any moment — and possibly wipe us all out. So is Yellowstone overdue for the BIG ONE, and if it happens, how bad could it be? To find out, we talk to paleoecologist Dr. Gill Plunkett, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Dr. Mike Poland and Washington resident Christian Jacobsen. 

Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/3kliFV6

Check out Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s weekly blog the “Caldera Chronicles”: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/caldera-chronicles

This episode was produced by Michelle Dang and Nicholas DelRose, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler and Hannah Harris Green. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Barbra Rodriguez. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Marcus Bagala, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Brian Wilcox, Dr. Mike Rampino, Dr. Jazmin Scarlett, Dr. Joe McConnell, Dr. Rosaly Lopes and Dr. Thor Thordarson. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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Oct 15, 2020

Science Vs Presents: How to Save a Planet

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We’re sharing another great Gimlet show, How to Save a Planet. On this episode: It started with students walking out of school to demand more action on climate change, built into an international movement – and then was propelled forward by a pandemic. This is the surprising story behind Europe’s climate plan, and what the rest of us can learn from it.
Find more episodes here: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KzrasExlM5dgMYwgFHns6
How to Save a Planet is hosted by Alex Blumberg and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. Reporters and producers are Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz and Anna Ladd. Senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design, mixing and original music by Emma Munger. Additional music by Bobby Lord. Mixed for Science Vs by Robert Hann.
Thanks to Manon Dufour and Annika Hedberg for talking with us about the European Green Deal. Special thanks to Sandra Riaño, Rachel Strom and Whitney Potter.

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Oct 08, 2020

Lab-Grown Meat: We Grill It

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Silicon Valley seems to be constantly pumping out “solutions” to fix our broken food system. The latest and greatest: cell-cultured meat — meat that’s grown in vats, without needing to kill animals. Companies say their new techy meat will be safe and better for the planet than what we have now. We join forces with Chase Purdy, author of “Billion Dollar Burger,” to find out if this stuff is all it’s cracked up to be. In this episode, we speak to Ira van Eelen, Dr. Uma Valeti of Memphis Meats and Dr. Carolyn Mattick.

Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/2IbvIu1

This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman and Chase Purdy, with help from Rose Rimler, Nicholas DelRose, Michelle Dang and Hannah Harris Green. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Eva Dasher. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Marcus Bagala, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Hanna Tuomisto, Dr. Marco Springmann and Dr. Lini Wollenberg. And special thanks to Livia Padilha, Jack Weinstein, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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Oct 02, 2020

Hunting an Invisible Killer

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An adventuring Swedish doctor takes on a decades-long medical mystery: What exactly was the 1918 flu? We talk to Dr. Johan Hultin, Eileen Hultin, Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger, Ann Reid, Rita Olanna and Annie Conger. 

Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/30mnvt6

Check out Radiolab’s episode on the 1918 flu here: https://bit.ly/3n9cxkm

And the book Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused it by Gina Kolata: https://bit.ly/3ipCeJU

This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Michelle Dang, Hannah Harris Green and Nicholas DelRose. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Eva Dasher. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord, Emma Munger, and Marcus Thorne Bagala. Special thanks to: Abbie Ruzicka, Abigail Collins, Davis Hovey, John White, Robyn Russell, Rachel Cohen, Warren Kakoona, Brian Crockett, Trefon Angasan, Brad Angasan, Matt Ganley, Dr. Adam Lauring, Dr. Matt Memoli, Prof. Susan Jones, and everyone else we spoke to for this episode. Plus a big thanks to Brendan Klinkenberg, Walter Rimler, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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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.