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Beltway Science

Science Podcasts

Podcast by Scientists talking policy

Podcast by Scientists talking policy


United States


Podcast by Scientists talking policy






Gun Violence in America

If ever there was an issue where there is more heat than light, it’s gun violence in the United States. Emotion is great, but it should fuel our desire to get the data right, and draw evidence-based conclusions. On the other hand, if no one is convinced by more or better data, how should we use it? How precise do you really need to be convinced there's a problem? Ben Zalisko is on the sound board for this episode, but can't help pouncing on Asa's asteroid chatter. Sit down, Ben... PLEASE...


Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a futuristic fantasy that's been around for decades. It is a banal technology with extraordinary results. It will eliminate and create jobs... probably, maybe, definitely not really. For chatter, mother nature is viscous, but you can always escape to a McDonalds embassy. BenZ can't resist talking T Rex. Ben Isaacoff's take on the AI national strategy: Check out this old video of Ben Zalisko talking about Sue at...


Securing Genetic Information

Genetic sequencing is an amazing tool to inform medical decisions and tell us how many Neanderthals are in our family tree, but how secure in that data? How could access to your genetic information be used against you, and what are the risks of infringement on your genetic privacy? Sujata, Ben Z, Laura, and Asa discuss how how much you should be worried about access to your genetic information and the policy implications. Subscribe, review, and contact us with feedback: @beltwayscience...


Labor Unions for Scientists

Labor rights for graduate student workers! Ben, Ben, Laura, and guest Matt McCune discuss the need for labor protections for early-career scientists and their quest to form recognized labor unions. We discuss the power imbalances that is imposing a mental health crisis on our next generation of scientists. Not a lot of disagreement on this pod; we get all Woody Guthrie on your ass. As always, we close with pub chatter and bad puns from Ben I. Participants: Dr. Ben Zalisko, @benzalisko Dr....


Opioid Addiction

Asa, Laura, Sujata, and Ben discuss the supply and demand drivers of the opioid crisis. Dr. Rubin shares his experience at treatment facilities. We close with Happy Hour Chatter, as always. @BeltwayScience Participants: Asa Rubin, MD, Pathologist (@asarubin2) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Defense Sujata Emani, PhD, Chemist (@SassySujE) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Energy Ben Isaacoff, PhD,...


Open Science, Live At AAAS CON

Live at the AAAS National Convention in DC, where the theme was “Transcending Boundaries”, we discuss open science, a movement to provide free access to scientific publications and increasingly democratize science. What will this do the publishing industry and peer review, and who pays? As always, what is the status of the various policy solutions? As always we end with Pub Chatter and a plea for you to rate/review/subscribe/follow, so do that! Please! @BeltwayScience...


Combatting Misinformation

FAKE NEWS! "scientists" explain FAKE NEWS tactics to hack our brains... Repetition, tribalism, repitition, memory, repetition... SAD! Many people want to "regulate" social media. No Covfefe! @BeltwayScience on Twitter Links: The psychology of believing misinformation:


Autonomous Vehicles

@BeltwayScience Participants: Ben Isaacoff, PhD, Physicist (@bpisaacoff) 2018-2019 Legislative Branch Fellow at the US Senate Ben Zalisko, PhD, Biochemist (@benzalisko) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Defense Sujata Emani, MD, Chemist (@SassySujE) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Energy Dr. Laura Van Berkel, PhD, Social Psychologist (@Laura_VanBerkel) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the...


Space Junk

Space Debris, the Kessler Effect, and policy options to mitigate how much stuff we put into space, endangering our modern satellite infrastructure. Some highly speculative technologies for cleaning space debris are discussed. As always, stay for pub chatter at the 47:47 mark. @BeltwayScience Participants: Benjamin Zalisko, PhD, Biochemist (@benzalisko) 2018-2019 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Defense Sujata Emani, MD, Chemist...


Eradicate Mosquitos?

Should we use genetic engineering techniques to eradicate disease-carrying mosquito species in the wild? How do we weigh the moral necessity to cure disease with the risk of unpredictable, permanent damage to ecosystems? Participants: Dr. Ben Zalisko, Executive Producer (@benzalisko) Dr. Laura Van Berkel Dr. Asa Rubin (@asarubin2) Chatter Links:


Introduction Beltway Science

“Beltway Science” is a science policy podcast organized by members of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, but it is not an official program of that fellowship. Participants speak for no one but themselves. This podcast features scientists, fresh from the lab, who have decided to take a sharp turn into the DC policy world. They’ll bring their unique perspective, and we invite you to learn along with them as they discuss a different science and/or policy issue every episode. This...