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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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Science has a way of inspiring obsession. In this week’s episode, both our storytellers spiral deep into a personal all-consuming preoccupation. Part 1: Curtis Chou becomes dogmatic in his quest to correct a person’s incorrect fact on the internet. Part 2: Richard Cardillo is determined to uncover a priest’s secret to keeping a thriving cactus coll…
 
In anticipation of our upcoming Proton Prom, this week we’re re-airing the first Story Collider stories from two of the storytellers who will be performing at the event. Part 1: When Aparna Nancherla's science fair project goes awry, she and her fellow students make some unethical choices. Part 2: After a reluctant start, mathematician Ken Ono make…
 
It’s almost magical how a combination of just A, C, T, and G entirely determine who we are. In this week’s episode both our storytellers look at how their genes impact their lives. Part 1: Kristen Williams unexpectedly finds herself attending a family reunion after taking a DNA test. Part 2: After several miscarriages, Joanne O’Meara turns to genet…
 
In this week’s episode both our storytellers struggle to find their place. Part 1: Heather Galindo studies her lab mates in hopes of understanding what it means to be a scientist. Part 2: When Rob Ulrich leaves their small town to study science, they keep waiting to feel like they belong somewhere. Heather Galindo has long combined her loves for ma…
 
It’s not often people have a brush with death, but in this week’s episode both our storytellers are sharing stories about their near misses. Part 1: When Abraham Norfleet’s dad asks him to clean an underwater pump on their family farm, he tries to do it one breath. Part 2: Hana Schank wakes up in a hospital and has no idea how she got there. Abraha…
 
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are assessed and evaluated in ways they never expected. Part 1: During a visit to her doctor, comedian Angel Yau finds herself answering “always” to every question on the mental health evaluation. Part 2: Scientist Valerie Bentivegna doesn’t know what to do when her PhD supervisors tell her that her the…
 
In this week's episode, our storytellers' lives and careers in science are shaped by a great loss in their lives. Part 1: When neuroscientist Macayla Donegan's partner is diagnosed with brain cancer, she's forced to make some tough decisions. Part 2: When Anant Paravatsu struggles in school, his mother comes to his rescue. Macayla Donegan is a reco…
 
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers share their experience with the autism spectrum. This episode is in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, which hopes to further people’s understanding and acceptance of autistic people. Part 1: Neuroscientist B. Blair Braden is confused as to why her neighbour doesn’t pick up on any of her soci…
 
In honor of International Transgender Visibility Day on March 31 this week’s episode celebrates storytellers who are transgender and gender nonconforming. Part 1: Comedian Riley Silverman attempts to use science to change the course of puberty. Part 2: Comedian Ang Buxton explores the differences in gender expectations from the football field to th…
 
In this week’s episode both our storytellers are sharing their experience with diabetes. More than 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, however, many people don’t know about the disease or that they even have it. This episode is to raise awareness for American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is on March 22 this year. Part 1: Diabetes runs in…
 
In honor of Pi Day on March 14, this week’s episode features two stories about how a particular number has impacted the live’s of the storytellers. Part 1: Math teacher Theodore Chao goes all out for Pi Day at his school. Part 2: Debbie Char learns what a flash point is while cooking a meal for her date. Theodore Chao is an associate professor of m…
 
In this week’s episode both our storytellers share their experience of that beautiful and magical moment when new life is brought into this world. Part 1: Ed Pritchard inadvertently becomes a leatherback turtle midwife during his first field job. Part 2: Science reporter Ari Daniel's life is influenced by his remarkable grandmother. A native of Sou…
 
In this week’s episode both our storytellers give us a glimpse into how they make a living in science. Part 1: After a gruelling residency shift, Natalia Khosla starts questioning how medical students are trained. Part 2: Mateus F. Carneiro doesn’t know what to do when his paycheck still hasn’t show up three months into his new research job. Natali…
 
Wasn’t it Einstein who said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? In this week’s episode both our storytellers aren’t in danger of falling prey to Einstein’s version of insanity; they definitely try something new. Part 1: A neurological condition makes Adam Selbst a prime target for mug…
 
When you’re in love with science, it can be as messy and complex as any type of romantic relationship. In this week’s episode both our storytellers grapple with their complicated feelings for their discipline. Oh also, Happy Valentine’s Day! Part 1: Gregory Gedman wonders if he made the right choice in pursuing a career in research. Part 2: After s…
 
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers examine the importance of diversity and representation in science – and not just in their research sample. Part 1: While serving on diversity panel, biologist Latasha Wright is asked if representation in STEM matters, prompting her to reflect on her experiences. Part 2: Leah Clyburn's childhood experien…
 
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers are seeking what all scientists are looking for: validity. If you want to check the reliability of this episode though, we suggest listening to it more than once. Part 1: Adrian Demeritte struggles to find a reason to stay in science after he loses his biggest inspiration. Part 2: After years of a chron…
 
In this week’s episode, both our storytellers experience something that irrevocably alters their lives. Part 1: Carl Zimmer learns he has a lot in common with bats hibernating in an abandoned mine. Part 2: In the midst of a big move, a global pandemic, and social unrest, neuroscientist Aya Osman finds her purpose. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the…
 
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers had to deal with some minibeasts, AKA insects, and surprisingly neither of them moved or burned the whole house down to vanquish them. (Sorry, spoilers!) Part 1: While doing field work in the Belize jungle, Rachel Mann Smith learns how to handle an Alien-style bug. Part 2: A case of lice makes Rachel…
 
This week, both of our storytellers are sharing stories about something that is pretty relatable at the moment — the challenges of leaving the house. Part 1: As she goes blind due to a progressive eye disease, M. Leona Godin must learn how to navigate the world with a cane. Part 2: A frightening encounter with police that leaves teenage Roque Rodri…
 
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers experience a magical night that changes everything. Here’s hoping that we all have a similarly magical night tonight, on New Year’s Eve! Part 1: Growing up in Pakistan, Salman Hameed falls in love with the mysteries of the universe when he stumbles upon Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Part 2: As Zuri Sullivan p…
 
In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers are looking for a little help. Part 1: Jitesh Jaggi keeps his struggle with trichotillomania a secret, until one day his wife catches him in the act. Part 2: When Devan Sandiford finally decides to seek therapy, he finds it more difficult than expected. Jitesh Jaggi is a recent immigrant from India, …
 
This week, we present two stories about respect in science — how we get it and how we keep it. Part 1: Meisa Salaita’s brand-new PhD in chemistry isn’t much help as she prepares to teach ninth-grade physics. Part 2: Early in her career, astronomer Jackie Faherty’s work is stunned when a senior researcher eviscerates her work at a conference. Meisa …
 
In this week’s episode, we share two stories about adventures in sex education. Part 1: Kate Willet is frustrated by the gaps of information in her abstinence-based sex ed class. Part 2: Sex ed instructor Charlie Blake fields an unexpected question from a student. Kate Willett is a comedian, actress, and writer whose raunchy feminist storytelling i…
 
This week we present two stories of people who struggled fitting in. Part 1: After switching majors to anthropology, Edith Gonzalez struggles to dress like an archaeologist. Part 2: At seven years old, Brianna A. Baker gets confronted with some uncomfortable realities of being the only Black girl in her class. Edith Gonzalez is an Assistant Profess…
 
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