Dr. Karen Stollznow is a linguist who earned her PhD at the University of New England, in Australia. She hosts the skeptical podcast Monster Talk with Blake Smith (subscribe, you’ll thank us!) She is also a prolific author, having published academic works, non-fiction as well as fiction.
In this episode, we open with the ways in which we judge and stereotype each other based on the dialect and language that we use and move on to the meanings of words and how the change in time and space. Not only does the cafe lose the accent after a time, but bad words turn good and good words turn bad. It’s hysterical, how that works.
We marked this episode “explicit” because we discuss some of the words that are not used in polite language and how the relative offense of using some words varies based on where the speaker is as well as how the audience may be.
Our topic for this show is the importance of disclosure of potential conflicts of interest while conducting and reporting on research. Anastasia is a founding member and a director of Biology Fortified, an organization that presents information and research on the topic of genetic engineering. Recently, Anastasia had a close up look at a potential conflict of interest, and we discuss that in depth.
Also, there are opportunities for science communicators to join the Biofortified group and Anastasia, Greg and Mike talk about what volunteer needs can be filled.
Romm is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and the founder of the widely read and well respected Climate Progress (a part of Think Progress). He was for a time Acting Assistant Secreatary of the US Department of Energy, and has published several books on climate change, energy, national security, and communication, some of which we link to below.
In this interview, as well as in Romm’s book, you’ll learn about the tried and true methods of creating a message that sticks. You’ll also learn about the one thing Donald Trump is very good at (much to our collective peril).
Episode 20 - When The Uncertainty Principle Goes To 11, with Philip Moriarty
Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of the band Spinal Tap, modified his amplifier for a higher energy state. Something that he could go to that was louder than the loudest, for when “10” wouldn’t do. His amplifier goes up to “11.” And he needs it for that special moment in the song “Hell Hole,” I guess.
Philip Moriarty is the guest for this episode of Ikonokast. The interview is a wide-ranging tour of education in the US and the UK, where Professor Moriarty teaches physics and is delighted on the first day of term to see all of the t-shirts with the names of metal bands, as the students file into class.
Music depends on waves. Wave functions depend on, um, waves, too. So music and quantum physics are naturally related in form, if not always function. The humanities and science are not so easily separated. In Moriarty’s book and in this podcast the two are firmly forged.
Episode 19 - Science for Congress with Volcanologist Jess Phoenix
Jess Phoenix is running for California’s 25th District Congressional seat. Our Congress lacks expertise in science and how science works at a basic level, and as a result there are some poorly thought out decisions are being made. Even worse, Congress is allowed to engage in explicitly anti-science political activities, such as assembling activist science deniers as the so-called science committees or subcommittees in both houses. This would not be as easy if there were a few dozen actual scientists in the House and Senate.
Jess Phoenix sees this as a challenge that must be met by scientists joining as active and influential members of the government. The seat she is running for is currently being held by a climate denialist.
Please consider donating to the campaign. Even if you don’t live in her future district, as a nation we need to have more scientists guiding policy from seats of power, such as the House of Representatives. Here is the campaign site: Jess2018.
Here is a TEDx talk, about geology, by the candidate:
Greg Laden interviewed Dr. Phoenix for this podcast.