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Science Vs

Gimlet Media

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to and cover everything from 5G and Pandemics, to Vaping and Fasting Diets.

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to and cover everything from 5G and Pandemics, to Vaping and Fasting Diets.


United States


Gimlet Media


There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to and cover everything from 5G and Pandemics, to Vaping and Fasting Diets.






Burnout: Can We Fix Work?

Work can really suck. And for lots of us, burnout has been feeling especially terrible. This week, we dive into how burnout messes with our brains and bodies, and we find out whether working from home is making things worse. Plus: Could the four-day workweek be the key to fixing our jobs? We speak to neuroscientist Professor Wendy Suzuki, economist Professor Nick Bloom, and Dr. Alex Pang. Here’s a link to our transcript: Check out Wendy Suzuki’s book, Good Anxiety, and...


Blue Balls: You're Wrong About Them

We join forces with Sarah Marshall from You’re Wrong About to dive into a question for the ages: Blue balls — are they real? We’ve heard that for people with balls, if you get aroused but don’t ejaculate, it can be incredibly painful. But is that true? Or is it a ball-faced lie, something that men make up to pressure women to have sex with them? Join us for a ball-busting episode that puts blue balls to the ultimate test-es, reaching a gripping conclusion as we ask: If blue balls is in fact...


True Love: Is Monogamy Unnatural?

[REBROADCAST] Are humans built for monogamy? Or is the idea of having one partner forever just a myth forced on us by tired old love songs? We revisit the science of love in one of our favorite episodes, hearing from Dr. Helen Fisher, Professor Larry Young and Dr. Dieter Lukas. Find the transcript here: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman with Heather Rogers, Kaitlyn Sawrey, Ben Kuebrich, Shruti Ravindran and Rose Reid. Editing by Annie Rose Strasser and Blythe...


The Secret World of Plants

Plants aren’t just sitting around looking cute; they’re doing all sorts of stuff, like defending themselves, and even warning other plants about danger. Today, we’re talking all about the weird and wily world of plants with Professor Beronda Montgomery from Michigan State University. She has a new book out called “Lessons From Plants.” Transcript: This episode was produced by Taylor White, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Nick DelRose, Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and...


Childbirth: Are Doctors Messing It Up?

Childbirth seems to be getting more and more medicalized, with C-sections and other interventions out the wazoo. But childbirth isn’t a disease! So is all this medical meddling really necessary, or are doctors too trigger-happy with the scalpel? To find out, we talked to obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Sarah Osmundson, doula Shala Konomi, clinical scientist Dr. Sarah Stock, and obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Crystal Berry-Roberts. Here’s a link to our transcript:


Weight: Is Fat Unhealthy?

We’re hearing nonstop chatter about the “quarantine 15.” But should we really care if we put on weight? Is fat bad for us? We talk to Prof. Henry Blackburn, Assoc. Prof. Laura den Hartigh, and Assoc. Prof. A. Janet Tomiyama. Here’s a link to our transcript: Note: In this episode we discuss weight, weight loss, and weight stigma. Please take care when listening, and here are some resources: U.S. helpline for the National Eating Disorders Association: 800-931-2237...


Therapy: Does It Work?

Our mental health has taken a turn for the worse the past couple of years. We keep hearing that therapy can help, but it can be a big investment of time and money. So is it worth it? How often does therapy really help people? To find out, we talked to Jacquelyn Revere and psychologists Dr. Jonathan Shedler, Professor Bunmi Olatunji and Dr. Nancy McWilliams. Here’s a link to our transcript: Note: in this episode we discuss mental health. Please take care when listening...


Let’s Do Science Again!!

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Season 11 starts Sept. 9! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Presenting Not Past It: The Vax That Got Axed

Today, we’re sharing an episode of a show we love: Not Past It. ​​Did you know there was almost an AIDS vaccine? On June 3, 1998, AIDSVAX VAX004 reached the final stage of trials before widespread approval. Not Past It host Simone Polanen gets the facts on the vax and why it never made it to the masses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Delta Variant: How Bad Is It?

This delta variant of the coronavirus seems to really be screwing us over. Cases are spiking in the U.S., and we keep hearing about vaccinated people getting Covid. So how worried should we be? And what is it about delta that makes it so sneaky? We talk to public health supervisor Katarina Grande and virologist and immunologist Professor Ann Sheehy to find out. Here’s a link to our transcript: UPDATE 8/25/21 : In a previous version of this episode, we used the word...


Pet Food: How Fancy Should They Feast?

There are soooo many options for what to feed your dog or cat, from the cheap stuff at the supermarket to fresh food delivered straight to your door. So what’s the best option? And just how fancy do we need to get to be good pet parents? We ask Prof. Maja Louise Arendt, Dr. Paul Pion and Prof. Marion Nestle. UPDATE 6/1/21: We adjusted the episode to better reflect Paul's opinion about the link between grain-free food, taurine, and heart problems in dogs. Get the transcript here:...


The G Spot: Come Again?

We’re heading into a big summer, with more places and — ahem — people opening up. So we’re revisiting one of our favorite episodes about feeling good. Maybe you’ve heard about this magic button in the vagina that can cause amazing orgasms. What’s going on with it? Join us on a hunt for the elusive G spot. Our guides: Prof. Beverly Whipple, who introduced America to the G spot in the 1980s, and Prof. Helen O’Connell, a urologist and expert on female sexual anatomy. Get the transcript here:...


Back From the Dead

Today we're telling tales that push life to the ultimate limit. We're bringing things back from the dead, diving into the mysteries of immortality and asking just how much can the human body take? We talk to Rohan Schoeman, Dr. Eduard Argudo, Audrey Mash, Prof. Ferdinando Boero, Prof. Shin Kubota, Dr. Moiya McTier, and Prof. David Howard. UPDATE 5/17/21: An earlier version of this episode said that Nesyamun was scanned using MRI. While David has used MRI to scan vocal tracts in his research,...


A Seedy, Late-Night Adventure

Today, under cover of darkness, we're hunting buried treasure. This is a wild romp through one of the oldest science experiments in the world. And at first, everything was going to plan. Scientists had a secret map, headlamps, shovels … but then — out of nowhere — something got in the way. We go on this journey with plant biologists Professor Frank Telewski, Dr. Marjorie Weber, and Dr. David Lowry. Check out the transcript here: To see sweet photos of the dig head to...


Screens: Are They Ruining Our Brains and Mental Health and Eyes and

Tons of us are spending waaaayyy more time using screens these days — and it’s freaking us out. We’ve got all kinds of worries. Like, is all this screen time rotting kids’ brains? Is social media destroying our mental health? And then there’s our eyes. Our eyes!! Are all these screens ruining them too?! To find out, we speak to psychologist Dr. Brenna Hassinger-Das, communication studies researcher Dr. Natalie Pennington and optical physicist Dr. Maitreyee Roy. Check out the transcript here:...


Havana Syndrome: Did a Secret Weapon Fry Diplomats' Brains?

Back in 2016, U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba were struck by a mysterious noise, followed by symptoms like headaches, dizziness and memory problems. This sent the U.S. scrambling to try to find the culprit. Could it have been an ear-piercing sonic weapon? Or something even sneakier — a device that could beam microwaves into your brain?? We speak to journalist Tim Golden, Prof. Douglas Smith, Prof. Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, Dr. Mitchell Joseph Valdés-Sosa, Prof. Chris Collins, and Prof. Alan...


How Science Created Morons

REBROADCAST: This episode looks at how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to the bottom of this messed-up story. Check out the full transcript here: This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey, Wendy Zukerman, and Romilla Karnick with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran and Nick DelRose....


Coronavirus: How Scary Are the Variants?

UPDATE 4/13/21: Since this episode published, there has been some evidence linking the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to rare blood clots. As of April 13, there were six cases in the U.S. out of more than 6.8 million doses, and one person had died. The CDC and FDA have recommended pausing the vaccine while they learn more. Details are here: Just as coronavirus vaccinations are ramping up, a bunch of new variants are here,...


Snake Bite Cures: Weasels, Pigeons, Pee

Venomous snakes entranced medieval Europe. And although bites were rare, this didn’t stop 14th century doctors from using everything but the kitchen sink to make snake bite treatments. We’re talking weasels, birds — even the pee of a young man. So was it all for snakes and giggles? Or is there something we’re missing in our treatments today? We speak to medieval animal expert Dr. Kathleen Walker-Meikle. Check out the transcript here: This episode was produced by Taylor...



Snake venom is a wily beast. It's packed with hundreds of toxins that can attack our blood vessels, muscles and nerves. That's why snake bites kill some 100,000 people each year. On today's show — dangerous snake bites and the bizarre way we make the only thing that can save you from them: antivenom. (Spoiler alert: it takes snake milkers and stables filled with horses.) We'll also look at the groundbreaking research that could eventually revolutionise all this. We speak to Captain Pete...