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Sources and Methods is a podcast hosted by Alex Strick and Matt Trevithick in which interesting people doing interesting things get to talk about the what, how and why of what they do.

Sources and Methods is a podcast hosted by Alex Strick and Matt Trevithick in which interesting people doing interesting things get to talk about the what, how and why of what they do.
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Sources and Methods is a podcast hosted by Alex Strick and Matt Trevithick in which interesting people doing interesting things get to talk about the what, how and why of what they do.




27: K. Anders Ericsson

This week we talk with Dr K. Anders Ericsson about his pioneering work advancing the science of expertise. Key question: how do we get better at specific skills and learning? We get into everything covered in his latest book, 'Peak', and discuss how writers and researchers might put some of his insights into practice. Full show notes are available at


26: Alex Mullen

Our guest this week is Alex Mullen. He’s currently a medical student at the University of Mississipi, but also the current reigning World Memory Champion. He can memorise the order of a pack of cards in 17 seconds and was inspired to start training to improve his memory after reading Joshua Foer’s book, Moonwalking with Einstein. Shownotes can be found at


25: Marou Chocolate

Our guest this week is Samuel Maruta, the co-founder of Marou Chocolate in Vietnam, and an increasing presence on the artisanal chocolate scene. He walks us through the production, ethics and big picture thinking around the chocolate industry. Show notes are available at


24: Ben Anderson

Our guest this week is Ben Anderson, a British journalist, television reporter, and writer. A winner of the Foreign Press Award, he has produced documentaries for numerous television outlets throughout his career, and currently works for VICE. He also wrote “No Worse Enemy” based on his reporting of the war in Afghanistan, and his documentary films are available online. Show notes are available at


23: Beeminder

Matt is back this week! Our guests this week are Bethany Soule and Daniel Reeves of They’re a husband and wife team that have put together a productivity app that thousands of people use regularly to track their performance towards their goals. Show notes are available at


22: Jonathan Brown

Our guest this week is Jonathan Brown, an Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in places such as Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, India and Iran. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld,...


21: Lion Kimbro

Our guest this week is someone who has done a lot of thinking about notes and note-taking. Lion Kimbro now works at Pokemon but he has written chapters in books on note-taking as well as his own book, entitled “How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think”. I first read his book a couple of years ago and think about it fairly regularly. I changed a number of things relating to how I take notes since reading it through and I thought getting him to come on the show would be a unique...


20: Stephen Krashen

Our guest this week is Stephen Krashen, an academic, linguist, and educational theorist who has been active on the front lines of the academic and media debate about how people learn languages, how children are taught in the United States and the on the value of reading. He is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California and has published over 480 papers and books. Full show notes and links to everything we talked about in the show are available at


19: Naheed Mustafa

Our guest this week is Naheed Mustafa, a freelance writer and award-winning broadcaster based in Toronto. She has reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Canada for a variety of international publications. She is also a prolific twitter user and (for those who already know Naheed on twitter), author of the #commuterchronicles. Full show notes are available at


18: Will McCants

Our guest this week is Will McCants, a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and has served in government and think tank positions related to Islam, the Middle East and terrorism, including as State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He is the author of "Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and...


17: Leah Farrall

Our guest this week was Leah Farrall, a Research Associate in Counter Terrorism at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre (USSC) and also a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at Massey University. Leah was formerly a senior Counter Terrorism Intelligence Analyst with the Australian Federal Police and served as the organization’s al Qaeda subject matter specialist while working on a range of international and domestic counter terrorism investigations. She also served as the...


16: Aaron Zelin

Our guest for the show is Aaron Zelin, founder of the essential resource and website, Aaron is a fellow at The Washington Institute, where his research focuses on how jihadist groups are adjusting to the new political environment in the era of Arab uprisings and Salafi politics in countries transitioning to democracy. He received his M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Brandeis University; and a B.A. from Indiana University. We discuss how to study and understand...


15: Andrew Abbott

Our guest for the show is Andrew Abbott, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Sociology Department. He studied at Harvard and the University of Chicago for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and also taught for 13 years at Rutgers University. He is well-known for his theoretical analysis of professions and their development and is the author of six books and some seventy articles and chapters. We spoke to him about research methods, writing and the state of 'the academy'. Show...


14: Gregory Johnsen

Our guest this week is Gregory Johnsen, author of "The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia". Johnsen went to Jordan with the Peace Corps and first went to Yemen on a Fulbright Fellowship. In addition to his book, he has also written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and others. He holds a BA in History, an MA in Near Eastern studies from the University of Arizona and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University. He...


13: Paul Clammer

Our guest this week is Paul Clammer. Paul writes travel guidebooks for a living, and he has contributed to over two dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet, including acting as the head author on their Morocco and Dominican Republic & Haiti guidebooks, as well as covering tougher destinations such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Mauritania for them. He also was the driving force for their 2007 Afghanistan Lonely Planet guide. We discuss the art of travel writing, the market for guidebooks as well as...


12: Louie Palu

This week we're joined by Louie Palu, a photographer who has spent long periods documenting Kandahar (Afghanistan) and Guantánamo Bay. Suzanne Schroder also joins the episode as a guest host. We talk about photography, documenting history and the challenges of journalism. Show notes, as always, are available at


11: Molly Crabapple

This week we talk with Molly Crabapple, an artist and writer who has worked in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi's migrant labor camps, and with rebels in Syria. Crabapple is a columnist for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. We talk about art, journalism and the tensions that can exist when your work traverses the boundaries between the two. Molly also shares some advice for those who hope for a career in art. Shownotes available at...


10: Jason Lyall

This week we catch up with Jason Lyall, an associate professor at Yale University (USA). His research explores the dynamics and effects of violence in conventional and guerrilla wars, with emphasis on Afghanistan and Russia’s Northern Caucasus (particularly Chechnya). His work draws on diverse methods, ranging from historical and cross-national comparisons to field, survey and “natural” experiments. We get into the weeds about the use of polling to understand other countries, the academic...


9: Rohini Mohan

This week we spoke with Rohini Mohan, just back in India following a book tour for her book 'The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War'. We get into how she wrote and researched the book, how it was edited and her writing process. Show notes for everything mentioned in the episode are available at


8: Azmat Khan

This week we spoke with Azmat Khan, who worked most recently as a senior digital producer and reporter with Al Jazeera America’s flagship current affairs program, America Tonight, where she was responsible for leading the program’s digital strategy and reporting in-depth original stories online - though she’s also been up to a whole lot else, including a move over to Buzzfeed’s investigative reporting team. We discussed what working as a producer means, how she manages information and...