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The Story Collider

Story Collider, Inc.

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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!
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show series
 
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales that illuminate the transformative power of returning to their roots. Part 1: Gregor Posadas joins the army to pursue his dreams of becoming an engineer and fulfill his father’s wish of “fixing” their home country of the Philippines. Part 2: After losing his father as a young child, Nandh…
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In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers give us behind the scenes glimpses into why they do what they do. Part 1: While constantly staring at Mercury’s craters for NASA's MESSENGER mission, a picture of the Galapagos Islands captures Paul Byrne’s attention. Part 2: While serving in the navy to get his engineering degree, David Estrada is s…
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Disgust, often seen as a primal and universal emotion, can reveal a lot about our values, boundaries, and cultural norms. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are confronted with something that grosses them out. Part 1: While on a school trip in Russia, Cassandra Hartblay’s vegetarian dietary restrictions keep getting tested. Part 2: As…
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Memories are the threads that weave together the tapestry of our lives, each one a cherished treasure that shapes who we are and where we've been. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share stories about memories that altered their lives. Part 1: After constantly living in the shadow of her older sister, RJ Millena isn’t sure how to car…
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There are many ways you can ask someone “Are you okay?” In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers navigate the complexities of human connection and how we show concern for those we love. Part 1: Dave Kalema keeps lying to his sick mother about how bad his knee injury is. Part 2: Dionne C. Monsanto doesn’t know how to help her daughter with h…
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Happy Pi Day! In honor of upcoming Pi Day on March 14, this week’s episode features two stories about the nerdy celebration. Both of our storytellers will whisk you away on a journey filled with equal parts math and pastry, proving that whether you're calculating circumference or slicing into a sweet treat, there's always a story to be savored. Par…
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Wildfires can impact so many things, from ecosystems to the air quality, to even the economy. But in this week’s episode, both of our storytellers take a look at the more personal impacts of forest fires. Part 1: In college, Nick Link almost burns down the entire neighborhood when he and his friends set some Christmas trees on fire. Part 2: After m…
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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)'s Rare As One Network brings together rare disease patients and advocates in their quest for cures. Both of this week’s stories are from Rare As One grantees who are sharing their stories and experiences navigating diagnoses and organizing their communities to accelerate research, identify treatments, and change…
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s episode features two stories where love finds a way. Part 1: Scientist Bruce Hungate yearns to find someone who cares about the tiny details as much as he does. Part 2: Science reporter Ari Daniel and his wife are at odds when it comes to moving their family to Lebanon, but the pandemic changes things. Bruce…
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In science, peer review plays a critical role in figuring out if research is good enough, robust enough. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers find themselves looking for outside feedback on if they’re good enough. Part 1: At her NASA summer internship, Kirsten Siebach feels completely out of place among the Mars mission scientists. Part…
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CDC research shows about 1 in 8 women with a recent live birth experience symptoms of postpartum depression. In this week’s episode, our storytellers share their experience with postpartum depression. Part 1: With a new kid and her husband moving to Iowa for a job, Angie Chatman’s mental health begins to suffer. Part 2: Anna Agniel’s romantic notio…
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Throughout history, the relationship between faith and science has been complex – a delicate interplay between the spiritual and the empirical, where questions of existence, purpose, and the unknown have often intersected. In this week’s episode, our storytellers examine the delicate balance between religious convictions and the pursuit of empirica…
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In science, failure is as important as success. In this week’s episode, our storytellers share times when they failed at science or science failed them. Part 1: Samuel Scarpino is convinced that the paper he wrote about how hard it is to predict infectious diseases should win a Nobel Prize. Part 2: It’s grad student Moronke Harris’ turn with the de…
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In this week’s episode, our storytellers delve into their personal encounters with psychedelics—moments where reality became a blur, perceptions began to shift, and the boundaries of consciousness expanded. Part 1: While tripping on acid, Michael Czajkowski goes into anaphylaxis. Part 2: Dust Cwaine sees their body differently while experimenting w…
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Happy New Year! In this week’s episode, our storytellers ponder the big questions about life and death. Part 1: When Shannon Turner’s high school friend passes away from a rare virus from a monkey, she contemplates her sense of purpose. Part 2: After a traumatizing experience with a dead body leaves journalist Erica Buist agoraphobic, she embarks o…
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As we say goodbye to 2023 and ring in the New Year, this week’s classic episode is all about the novel. Part 1: Feeling isolated in her new job as a particle accelerator operator at Fermilab, Cindy Joe finds comfort in the friendship of her unconventional pet. This story originally aired on July 27, 2018 in an episode titled “Loneliness: Stories ab…
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Happy Holidays! In this week’s classic episode, both stories explore the miracle of life. Part 1: An expert in oxytocin, the hormone released during birth, Bianca Jones Marlin is determined to have a natural birth — even as the hours of labor add up… This story originally aired on Nov. 9, 2018, in an episode titled “Pregnancy”. Part 2: Ed Pritchard…
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Science doesn’t always have to be in fancy labs with million dollar equipment and shiny beakers. Sometimes, science can be a bit more DIY. In this week’s episode, our storytellers take a hands-on approach to scientific discovery. Part 1: Brittany Ross gets inspired when her high school physics teacher assigns a physics video project where she has t…
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In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers strive to be their authentic selves in academia. Part 1: Raul Fernandez dreamed of going to university to study engineering. When he gets to Boston University, he feels unwelcome. Part 2: Cynthia Chapple was continually underestimated by her teachers and struggled with minimizing aspects of herself t…
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Research participants are sometimes the most important part of science. Without participants there is no data, and without data there are no findings. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers become an active part of scientific research. Part 1: Therapist Susan Fee signs up herself and her daughter for a stress management research study. Pa…
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Everyone thinks they know the difference between fantasy and reality. But do we? In this week’s episode, our storytellers struggle to keep a firm grasp on the real world. Part 1: Shawn Musgrave's seizures make him feel like he's experiencing deja vu. Part 2: Shane Mauss’ bipolar disorder causes him to lose his sense of reality. Shawn Musgrave is a …
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While some people have straight forward career paths, in this week’s episode, both of our storyteller’s career paths are a little more complex. Part 1: Witnessing mistakes health care professionals made after her dad has a stroke, Jenn Kamara vows never to work in medicine. Part 2: For Theresa Ball, it seems like everything in life is keeping her f…
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In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers confront their secret shames and learn to accept themselves, warts and all. Part 1: Comedian Amy Veltman doesn’t want to acknowledge her embarrassing gastrointestinal issues. Part 2: Mike Lambert seeks a friend’s help to pick out new glasses, but his secret body dysmorphia threatens to undo him. Amy …
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While many people believe science and politics should be kept separate, politics is deeply ingrained in science. Be it through funding agendas, cultural lobbies or personal bias – politics can shape the science in many ways. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers share tales about when politics and science meet. Part 1: Scientist Gretchen…
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We all have thoughts that can be seemingly absurd or self-contradictory. In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers reckon with their conflicting thoughts. Part 1: After surviving breast cancer, comedian Ophira Eisenberg hates the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon. Part 2: After the sudden death of his mom, Richard Kemeny feels numb to the …
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