The Story Collider

Storytelling Podcasts

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

Location:

United States

Description:

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they're all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!

Language:

English

Contact:

201-780-9967


Episodes

Extra Mile: Stories about going over and above

2/3/2023
If you've thought that you've ever gone above what is expected in your life, you haven't heard this week's stories. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers give new meaning to going the extra mile. Part 1: Jack Walsh exaggerates the severity of his brain tumor to get out of buying a timeshare. Part 2: Laura Fukumoto goes above and beyond trying to make a special mushroom dish from her grandmother’s childhood. Jack Walsh is an award-winning educational television producer as well as a...

Duration:00:35:48

Volunteered: Stories about unwanted jobs

1/27/2023
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share times where they got stuck with jobs they never signed up for. Part 1: Ted Olds finds himself an unwilling participant in his son’s school assignment to look after an electronic baby doll. Part 2: Cadré Francis is less than thrilled when finds out he’s been volunteered to do demonstrations at a STEM camp. Ted Olds is a mechanical engineer and patent lawyer. He has worked on protecting technologies as wide ranging as Pratt and Whitney's...

Duration:00:27:23

Evolution: Stories about our changing relationship with science

1/20/2023
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers explore their ever changing relationships with science over the course of their lives. Part 1: All throughout his life, Chris Wade has a love-hate relationship with science, with very little love. Part 2: After Caroline Hu’s parents make her choose between art and science at age 17, she struggles with her choice. Chris Wade is a native Washingtonian and a retired police officer. He is married to his best friend and adores his children. Chris...

Duration:00:23:47

Misinterpretation: Stories about misreading the situation

1/13/2023
To err is human, even if you’re a scientist. In this week’s episode, both storytellers share moments about a time when they got things a bit wrong. Part 1: As a newly minted postdoc, Eric Jankowski has the perfect solution for helping his mentees. Part 2: Science journalist Eric Boodman gets in a little too deep on an assignment about a senior care home. Eric Jankowski is an associate professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University, where he...

Duration:00:23:59

Trial and Error: Stories about problem solving

1/6/2023
The new year is the time to try something new and in this week’s episode, both our storytellers approach their scientific problems in the most science-y way possible – through trial and error. It’s also how Story Collider is going to approach this year as we make a few small changes to the podcast. We can only hope to be as successful as our storytellers in our experiments. Happy New Year! Part 1: Computational biologist Francis Windram is determined to figure out how to make spider webs...

Duration:00:27:34

Sport Science: Stories about the athletic side of science

12/30/2022
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about the science-y side of sports and physical recreation. Part 1: Daniel Engber risks derailing his PhD by constant daydreaming, until his neuroscience research gives him an idea that will revolutionize the NBA. Part 2: Doomed to be the waterboy after tearing his ACL, engineering student Baratunde Cola is determined to make it back to his college's football team. Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate.com and Popular Science, and...

Duration:00:32:33

The Road to Science: Stories about winding paths to science

12/23/2022
The journey to science is rarely straightforward and clear cut. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share their tales of how they came to science. Part 1: With her truck stuck in the mud in the Serengeti, Aerin Jacob learns three important lessons. Part 2: At four years old, Daniel Miller became one of the youngest people in the state of Texas ever to testify in court -- against his own mother, for sexual assault. As an adult, he struggles for stability, but finds hope in physics....

Duration:00:35:10

Flora: Stories from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

12/16/2022
Without plants, we wouldn’t have air to breathe, and we also wouldn’t have these great stories inspired by the leafy green vegetation. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, features two stories from scientists of the cutting-edge research institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who had plants impact their life and science. Part 1: While everyone around Anthony Digrado is impressed with his plant PhD research, he...

Duration:00:30:18

Body Image: Stories about physical appearance

12/9/2022
In this week’s episode, both our stories are about how we see our bodies and the often complex relationship we have with them. Part 1: With the looming possibility of a double mastectomy, Connie Henderson considers her options for reconstruction. Part 2: Growing up Dhruti Shah struggles to accept her dark body hair. Connie Henderson lives in Vancouver, Washington where she practices law with her husband Paul and son Jordan. Her practice focuses on representing people who have been injured as...

Duration:00:30:10

All-Star: Stories from our All-Star Slam challengers

12/2/2022
In the lead up to our special Story Collider All-Star Slam on December 6, 2022, we’re featuring two past stories from our challengers on this week’s episode. If their old stories are this good, we can only imagine how awesome they’re gonna be competing for the title of Ultimate Science Storyteller. You won’t want to miss this online event! Register for free here. Part 1: A college course forces John Rennie to confront a furious rat, and himself. Part 2: As a kid, comedian Gastor Almonte...

Duration:00:36:14

Unlikely Paths: Stories from the Institute for Genomic Biology

11/25/2022
There’s rarely an expected path in science. This week’s episode, produced in partnership with The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, features two stories from scientists of their cutting-edge research institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who took unexpected journeys to get where they are today. Part 1: After a troubling personal experience with the health care system, Heng Ji decides to try to fix it. Part 2: When Brendan Harley is diagnosed with leukaemia in...

Duration:00:24:15

Borders: Stories about divisions

11/18/2022
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the divisions and limits that influence how we understand and operate in the world and in science. Part 1: César Nufio's childhood experience as a Guatamalan immigrant shapes his life in science. Part 2: Seeking acceptance as a child of Kurdish immigrants in Denmark, Cansu Karabiyik decides to become a scientist. César Nufio is a scientist and educator who is passionate about understanding the natural world and working to increase...

Duration:00:30:12

Pain: Stories about unpleasant physical sensations

11/11/2022
Pain is really weird, scientifically speaking. It’s not just a message from injured tissues to be accepted at face value, but a complex experience that can be influenced by your brain. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers explore the aches, pains, and discomfort that come with life. Part 1: While Renee Joshua-Porter is in labor, she starts feeling a horrible stabbing pain in her back. Part 2: Despite being in excruciating pain, Gretchen Douma worries getting a knee replacement will...

Duration:00:28:15

Gross Science: Stories about the yucky parts of science

11/4/2022
Science isn’t always pretty. In fact, more often than not it’s kinda disgusting. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories of the less glamorous side of science. Part 1: In order to score extra credit in her high school anatomy class, Amy Segal embarks on a journey to build a cat skeleton. Part 2: Dave Coyle goes on a smelly mission to find the endangered American burying beetle for his undergraduate project. Amy Segal works in finance by day but by night finds herself...

Duration:00:28:58

Expect the Unexpected: Stories about unforeseen circumstances

10/28/2022
Often, the hypotheses scientists make at the start of an experiment turn out to be correct. But sometimes, the results end up as something completely unpredictable. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share stories about a time where they didn’t see it coming. Part 1: While shooting a TV show about the brain, producer Esther Stone gets the opportunity to interview a notorious serial killer. Part 2: As someone who’s seen every single episode of Mayday, Sara Mazrouei considers...

Duration:00:29:16

Childhood Dreams: Stories about youthful aspirations

10/21/2022
When you’re a kid, anything seems possible, whether it’s becoming an astronaut or a princess, or even convincing your parents to get you that puppy. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers set themselves some lofty goals when they were young. Part 1: On the top bunk in her childhood bedroom, Kayla Hernandez makes plans to escape her home life and become a scientist. Part 2: As a teenager, Marc Abbott dreams of finding a wife and having kids, but a case of testicular torsion could ruin...

Duration:00:36:10

Calling: Stories about one's vocation

10/14/2022
Sometimes a job is just a way to make a living, but for our storytellers it is much more than that. In this week’s episode, our stories are about the undeniable draw to a career. Part 1: When pediatric oncologist Sam Blackman gets called for a consult by the obstetrics department, he’s convinced they have the wrong number. Part 2: After 25 years of teaching, Matthew Dicks questions whether or not he should still be a teacher. Sam Blackman is a physician-scientist and pediatric oncologist....

Duration:00:35:03

Blending In: Stories about trying to belong

10/7/2022
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are scientists struggling to feel like they belong -- in and out of science. Part 1: Neuroscientist Pardeep Singh feels more than out of place when he ends up as a contestant on The Bachelorette. Part 2: When Thiago Arzua comes to the United States from Brazil to study science he doesn’t know how to fit in. Pardeep Singh is a neuroscientist, podcaster, Brooklynite and the first Indian-American to ever get a rose on The Bachelorette. Born and...

Duration:00:29:35

Healing Power of Nature: Stories about finding peace outside

9/30/2022
Being in nature can have a powerful effect on our body and mind. It’s like a tonic for our well-being. Research has found that it reduces blood pressure, stabilizes our heart rate, and decreases the production of stress hormones. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers discover just how therapeutic nature can be. Part 1: Geography and Environmental Sciences Professor John Aubert is having a hard time connecting to his now teenage daughter. Part 2: Sarah Luchini may be in over her head,...

Duration:00:24:42

Overachieving: Stories about going above and beyond

9/23/2022
This week we’re being the opposite of overachievers and re-running some classic Story Collider stories. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are dedicated to going the extra mile for science. Part 1: As a new, super competitive, graduate student Aditi Nadkarni thinks she has the perfect way to impress her advisor and labmates ... until one night it spirals a tiny bit out of control. This story originally aired on July 28, 2013. Part 2: While completing a community service...

Duration:00:32:44