Nerdin’ About
Beyond the Binary: Trans-Inclusive Reproductive Health

Beyond the Binary: Trans-Inclusive Reproductive Health

September 15, 2020

Reproductive health is often framed within categories of “women’s” and “men’s” health, but an approach based on binaries falls short of addressing the needs of all people. In this episode of Nerdin’ About we talk with A.J. Lowik, a non-binary person who is a PhD Candidate and researcher studying trans-inclusive reproductive health as well as a trans-inclusion consultant. We discuss current barriers to trans and non-binary folks in accessing health care, the trouble with cisnormative and repronormative frameworks (and what the heck these are!), and ways for making health care spaces more inclusive. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2FBKMjg

Planet Hunting: You Don’t Need a License (or PhD)

Planet Hunting: You Don’t Need a License (or PhD)

September 1, 2020

Are we alone in the universe? Having discovered over 21 exoplanets already, Dr. Michelle Kunimoto is on the hunt for new planets and part of this work involves determining whether they could support life. In this episode of Nerdin' About, Dr. Kunimoto shares the science behind the search for exoplanets, the characteristics we consider when determining whether a planet may be able to support life, and which of these planets deserve a spot on your exoplanet tourist bucket list. And of course, no episode about the search for new worlds would be complete without a little tangent about Star Trek and how it inspires exploration. A transcript of this week’s episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2QNJR1E

Decolonizing Theatre, One Joke at a Time

Decolonizing Theatre, One Joke at a Time

August 18, 2020

Are you missing the theatre? Are you itching for a comedy about quantum mechanics, prison reform, and Indigenous liberation? In this episode of Nerdin’ About we talk with storyteller and creator Kim Senklip Harvey about how she uses comedy to discuss issues of injustice faced by Indigenous peoples, and to build connections among people across space and time. We also dive into why Kim writes stories that highlight Indigenous matriarchs, and how she brings this focus into her blog and podcast “The Indigenous Cultural Evolutionist”. A transcript of this week’s episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3garLB4

Quantum Stuff Swirls for Days

Quantum Stuff Swirls for Days

August 4, 2020

Have you ever attended a party surrounded by variously shaped novelty balloons, looked around and thought: What’s up with Helium? It turns out there’s more to this noble gas than its ultra-light, voice-altering characteristics and these other traits will make you think about balloons a whole lot differently. In this episode of Nerdin’ About, Pramodh Senarath Yapa chats with us about condensed matter physics, how Helium was discovered, its uses, and the super cool (-270 degrees cool) Helium 3! Beyond nerding out about Helium, Pramodh describes the similarities between electrons and dancing, and how (He) continues to explore the melding of physics and music. A transcript of this week’s episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/31iZAdU

Forecasting for the Future: Weather and Climate Change

Forecasting for the Future: Weather and Climate Change

July 21, 2020

On this episode of Nerdin’ About, the forecast calls for meteorology. We’re joined by Johanna Wagstaffe, the on-air meteorologist, seismologist, and science reporter for CBC News. We discuss why weather forecasting can be unpredictable, how weather data is (and has been) collected, and how advances in technology are improving our ability to predict the weather. And even though there is still some uncertainty in weather forecasting, we also talk about the certainty of climate change and why communicating the science behind the changing climate is so important. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2CK3T9o

Islets in the Stream: Diabetes and How to Treat it

Islets in the Stream: Diabetes and How to Treat it

July 1, 2020

Diabetes affects over 2 million people in Canada, but what is diabetes and how can we treat it? In this episode of Nerdin’ About we speak with Dr. Krishana Sankar about her PhD research where she combined biology and engineering to explore improving treatments for diabetes. We give some love to the often forgotten and under-appreciated islets of Langerhans, learning about their role in diabetes, and how "going with flow” can help in our efforts to improve islet transplantation. In addition to studying diabetes, Dr. Sankar founded the #150minutes campaign to increase awareness of diabetes and encourage 150 minutes of exercise each week. Dr. Sankar is also the founder of GradWriteSlack, an online community supporting graduate students in their writing. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3ggaOFW

Shark Tails: Monsters of Myth and Legend

Shark Tails: Monsters of Myth and Legend

June 16, 2020

When you think of sharks, what comes to mind? Blood-thirsty monsters? Cuddly puppy...fish? In this episode of Nerdin’ About we discover why neither fits the fin, and why if you’ve seen one shark, you haven’t seen them all. We’re joined by marine conservation biologist Dr. David Shiffman, who answers all of our questions about shark diversity, shark sex, shark conservation, and of course, how the movie Jaws influenced how society thinks about sharks. We also dive into how the loss of some species (whether they be predators or… super-urinators) can have serious consequences for marine ecosystems. For more from Dr. Shiffman, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @WhySharksMatter. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/30Rp975

Pigeons are “Too Coo” for the Suburbs

Pigeons are “Too Coo” for the Suburbs

May 19, 2020

Love them or hate them, pigeons are a part of city living - but how did pigeons end up in cities and what can pigeons tell us about the cities that we live in? In this episode we speak with pigeon expert Elizabeth Carlen about her research, which involves using pigeon genetics to uncover some of what we still don’t understand about our feathered neighbours. A transcript of this episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3eSUbzg

Star Wars and Lessons in Law

Star Wars and Lessons in Law

May 4, 2020

On this should-be holiday of May the 4th, we’re off to a galaxy far, far away with JAG attorney and Star Wars aficionado Thomas Harper to talk about legal matters in the Star Wars universe. If you’ve ever wondered about the legality of some of the actions of The Empire, or why the Rebels wear uniforms, you’re in good company. Grab your lightsaber and join the Nerd Herd as we get an education in Law with a Star Wars twist. A transcript of this episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2XD7VZi

Nearsightedness and Chickens

Nearsightedness and Chickens

April 27, 2020

Nearsightedness is increasing globally, but why? What causes nearsightedness and is there anything we can do to keep our vision in tip-top shape as we age? Push up your spectacles and join us this week as we speak with vision scientist Dr. Brittany Carr about nearsightedness, potential ways to stop it from progressing, and lessons learned from chickens. A transcript of this episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2Y4ZftI

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