Nerdin’ About
The Optimistic Rat

The Optimistic Rat

November 17, 2020

Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? 2020 has been a tough year, testing our collective positivity, but what are optimism and pessimism? Neuroscientist Dr. Travis Hodges has some answers as he studies these patterns of thinking IN RATS. Travis is a postdoctoral fellow at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC. We talk to Travis about his research, how he studies pessimism and optimism in adolescent rats, and ultimately what that can teach us about ourselves especially as we get older. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3kGHpGG

The Future of Education

The Future of Education

November 3, 2020

Over the past few months we have witnessed a huge transition to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But is it as easy as just transitioning what we use to do in-person to an online platform? In this episode of Nerdin’ About, we’re joined by Sultan Rana, a teacher of soon-to-be educators at York University’s Faculty of Education. We discuss how to integrate technology wisely into teaching and the need for accessible tech education. Sultan also shares his experience delivering equity, diversity, and inclusion training for teachers and why that training alone isn’t enough. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3eq6TXq

 

Bonus: Nerdin’ About ‘Broad Science’

Bonus: Nerdin’ About ‘Broad Science’

October 27, 2020

We're back in your feed this week for a special Bonus episode! In last week’s episode we spoke with Neuroscientist Rackeb Tesfaye about sleep science. As a part of that conversation we also discussed ‘Broad Science’ an initiative founded by Rackeb aimed at making science more inclusive, engaging, and intersectional through podcasting. In this Bonus episode, you’ll learn about ‘Broad Science’, how it came to be, and why its mission is so important. You’ll also hear a clip from the ‘Broad Science’ episode ‘The Social Life of DNA’ which dives into some of the science of genetic testing. You can find 'Broad Science' at broadscience.org and on Twitter @science_broads. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/3dUsVRx

Sweet Dreams Are Made of Neuroscience

Sweet Dreams Are Made of Neuroscience

October 20, 2020

Why do we sleep? It may surprise you that, although we spend about ⅓ of our lives sleeping, we still have much more to discover about sleep. In this episode of Nerdin’ About we chat with Neuroscientist Rackeb Tesfaye about sleep science, the link between sleep and genetics and how the environment impacts sleep patterns. We also explore Rackeb’s PhD work to better understand the underlying factors that contribute to sleep disturbance among youth with autism. Don’t sleep on this episode! A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2TcsRTQ

Off the Rails at Action Park

Off the Rails at Action Park

September 29, 2020

Take a ride with us back to New Jersey in the 1980’s. To Action Park, an amusement park that was equal parts tantalizing and terrifying. In this episode of Nerdin’ About we chat with Seth Porges, the Co-Director of the documentary 'Class Action Park' now on HBO Max. In it, we’re transported to a time and place where the rules didn’t apply, where dreams became reality (even if they maybe shouldn’t have) and where the rides seemed to defy the laws of physics. A transcript of the episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/2S7TWaa

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

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