#48: Why Does Childhood Cancer Exist & What Can We Do to Make It Go Away Forever?

In Episode 48, Quinn & Brian ask: Why the hell does childhood cancer exist, isn't the world effed up enough as it is, and what can we do to make it go away forever?

Our guest is one of our favorite humans, Jay Scott, Co-Executive Director of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Jay runs the organization with his wife, Liz, in honor of their daughter Alex, who was diagnosed with cancer just two days before her first birthday. She set up a lemonade stand in their yard to help support her doctors and, before she died, she managed to raise more than $1 million.

Since then, Alex’s Lemonade Stand has raised over $150 million and funded nearly 1,000 medical research grants for more than 135 institutions across the U.S. and Canada, and they’re not slowing down for a second. This is an awesome, inspiring, and necessary conversation, but be warned: our keyboards are covered in salty man tears and your phone may get wet as well.

Listen to the episode here, or read the show notes here.

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#47: The Future of Digital Health, Part II

In Episode 47, Quinn goes solo for a minute to discuss: America’s data and the future of digital health.

Quinn sits down for a one-on-one chat with Dave Gershgorn, the lead artificial intelligence reporter at Quartz (AKA qz.com), to figure out why our data is different, how the future we were promised is both here and pretty damn far away, and whether/why data is too white.

The worlds of healthcare and artificial intelligence are looking – big surprise – really biased right now, but with some effort, we can get to the colorful and diverse future of digital health we talked about with Dr. Indra Joshi and Maxine Mackintosh back in episode 43. Today, Dave provides some journalist-approved action steps that will help us get a little more informed on the subject so that we can all help make that future our reality.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#46: Is There Nuclear Waste in the Ocean (& Can We Become Super Heroes if There Is)?

In Episode 46, Quinn & Brian ask: Is there nuclear waste in the ocean... and can we become superheroes if there is?

Our guest is Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson, an Associate Dean and Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Carolina, where she focuses on just ONE thing–– oh, wait, no, we got that wrong. She focuses on just about EVERYTHING: biogeochemistry and geochemistry; climate change; society, policy & environment; coastal processes; water resources & hydrology; and oceanography. She is also a co-author on a paper about the impact of the accident that happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant ("Fukushima Daiichi–Derived Radionuclides in the Ocean: Transport, Fate, and Impacts").

Make sure you put your learning hat on as you put in your headphones for this episode because Dr. Benitez-Nelson has some shit to teach us today. You’ll come away from this episode knowing more about the pros and cons of nuclear power – and the ocean in general – than you ever did before (unless you also happen to be a Renaissance scientist). And at the very least, you’ll have some fun facts to throw around when you talk about the upcoming release of Aquaman.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#45: Poop vs Cancer

In Episode 45, Quinn & Brian discuss the showdown you’ve all been waiting for: Poop Vs. Cancer.

Our guest is Dr. Diwakar Davar, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a medical oncologist/hematologist. Dr. Davar specializes in the management of advanced melanoma and the development of early phase studies to test novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treat advanced cancers.

As it turns out, most of us don’t have shit figured out. But when you think about the geniuses doing this kind of world-changing work, it makes you just want to divert every resource in the world, all the aircraft carrier money, to support their cause. So if you have aircraft carrier money to divert, we have something to share with you. And if you don’t, you can still listen and get pumped for some positive changes on the horizon.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#44: Is Food Waste the Stupidest Thing We Do (& How Do We Cut it in Half)?

In Episode 44, Quinn & Brian ask: Is food waste the stupidest thing we do, as a species, and how can we cut it in half? (or: avocado toast is about to go off, son)

Our guest is Dr. James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences and one of our most mind-blowing guests yet. You may think you know about avocados, but you have no idea.

Apeel Sciences is an agricultural innovation company that creates plant-based technologies to extend the shelf life of fresh produce – like an organic rinse that keeps produce fresh twice as long! These innovations are vital for our survival because, as we said in the title, food waste is quite possibly the stupidest thing our species does. And all of you American Exceptionalism fans out there will be pumped to know that we are the very best, wasting about $165 BILLION of food every year. That means almost 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten. It’s staggering and a little heartbreaking, but Dr. Rogers is here to help.

To listen to the episode go here. To read the transcript, go here.

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#43: The Future of Digital Health Part 1

In Episode 43, Quinn & Brian discuss: The future of digital health.

Our guests are Dr. Indra Joshi & Maxine Mackintosh. Together, these two co-founded One HealthTech, a grassroots community that champions and promotes the unheard voices in health innovation to drive our future healthcare using technology. Dr. Joshi is also the clinical lead for NHS England's digital experience programme and Maxine is pursuing her PhD in neuroinformatics at the Alan Turing Institute, where she is working on the intersection of data science and dementia.

A lot of our episodes start off somewhere a little depressing, like our impending environmental collapse or the impending U.S. federal government collapse, or both, then we find a silver lining – but today’s episode starts with the silver lining! The future of digital health is looking pretty goddamn’ cool, female, and colorful (like most things should). It’s a big step up from our alabaster-ass present, that’s for sure.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#42: Almost An Astronaut

In Episode 42, Quinn & Brian ask: What happens when you’re almost an astronaut... and what comes next?

Our guest is Dr. Sian Proctor, an explorer, scientist, full-time professor, STEM communicator, and almost as astronaut. Today she joins the show to tell us how we can all help get more women and more people of color into space, one way or another. If you didn’t know – and we weren’t sure – being a white, male military pilot isn’t the only way to get to space! You can be exposed to radiation and get super powers, become an (evil?) genius who starts their own electric car and space flight companies, or become a college-educated engineer, biologist, physical scientist, computer scientist, or mathematician.

So we’re still out, but that’s still a pretty wide range of qualifications.

Dr. Proctor was so much fun to talk to and so inspirational, and this episode will serve as the booster shot you need to not give up on your dreams (even if your dream is to be the best antivaxxer out there because, like most vaccines, it’s completely safe for you and your children). It’s basically like watching The Greatest Showman over and over and over again, but in about an hour and with less singing.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#41: Outsmarting Cholera

In Episode 41, Quinn & Brian discuss: Outsmarting cholera.

Cholera is still around in many parts of the world, and not a lot has changed. That is to say, it’s still shitty and deadly. However, there is hope when it comes to treatment, and that hope is our guest Dr. Minmin Yen! Dr. Yen is the CEO and co-founder of medical startup PhagePro, where she and her team are developing bacteriophages, or viruses specifically designed to kill bacteria and prevent bacterial infections.

So why is this even necessary? Why can’t we just give people with cholera a pil? Well, antibiotics are fighting a losing battle against increasingly resistant bacteria and the 3-5 MILLION people who contract cholera every year need some help. The silver lining, luckily, is that the help they have is a heck of a lot smarter than us.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#40: What Takes a Young Woman from Art School to NASA... & Why Might That Change Everything Forever, for Everyone?

In Episode 40, Quinn & Brian ask: What would take a young woman from art school to NASA... and why might that change everything forever, for everyone, for good?


Our guest is Ariel Waldman, the author of What's It Like in Space? Stories from Astronauts Who've Been There, the founder of Spacehack.org, the global director of Science Hack Day (something she awesomely calls “massively multiplayer science”), and a member of the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts – a program that nurtures radical, science fiction-inspired ideas that could transform future space missions.


Ariel is helping to build a great new future full of exciting ideas, and she does everything in her power to invite others to collaborate and contribute themselves. She’s doing all of the things, and while you don't have to do all of them too, Ariel is an inspiration for all of us to get out there and do SOMETHING! Plus, she is single handedly proving to parents everywhere that you can, in fact, do something with an art degree.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#39: Is The Ocean Running Out of Oxygen? Is That Bad?

In Episode 39, Quinn & Brian ask: Is The Ocean Running Out of Oxygen? Is That Bad?

Our guest is Dawn “Deepsea Dawn” Wright, Ph.D., the Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (AKA Esri) and a Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. She also happens to have the distinction of being the first African-American woman to dive to the ocean floor in the deep submersible ALVIN (which we would totally be up for doing if anyone has a spare submergible chipmunk for us to ride).

Dr. Wright leads efforts to map the entirety of the ocean floor in, essentially, the same detail as the Google Maps app on your phone. This is one of the grandest endeavors that our society has yet to undertake, and it’s not just a good excuse to take a ride in a cool submarine. In many ways, we understand the stars and celestial bodies better than we understand the water that covers the majority of our planet – and we need to understand it if we’re going to protect it and prevent the depletion of oxygen.

P.S. If you like golden retriever puppies, you should definitely follow Dawn on Instagram.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#38: Is It Harder to Build Clean Power Plants or Play in a Reputable Cover Band?

In Episode 38, Quinn & Brian ask: Is it harder to build clean power plants or play in a reputable cover band?

Our guest is Sean Casten, a scientist, clean energy entrepreneur, and cover band member who is running for Congress in Illinois’ 6th district. Let’s let out a big “whoop whoop!” for Brian’s home district!

Sean is running against Peter “Skeletor” Roskam, who called climate change “junk science,” which is really all we need to hear to know that Sean is the right man for Illinois’’ 6th district. Plus, Sean is backed by our friends at 314 Action, an incredible group of people who are smarter than us trying to get other people who are smarter than us elected. You can check out our previous episodes with 314 Action founder Shaughnessy Naughton (episode 35) and fellow Congressional candidates Chrissy Houlahan (episode 37) and Joseph Kopser (episode 32) – and we’ll have even more STEM-ific candidates coming before the Midterm elections on Nov. 6th.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#37: Why Does Congress Need a Female Air Force Officer / Engineer / Chemistry Teacher / Mom?

In Episode 37, Quinn & Brian ask: Why does Congress need a female Air Force Officer / Engineer / Chemistry Teacher / Mom among its ranks? (Possibly our dumbest question yet?)

Our guest is Chrissy Houlahan, a candidate for Pennsylvania District 6 on Nov. 6th. We dig into the very personal reasons she’s running, what’s so special about Pennsylvania, and the first thing she’s going to do when she gets elected. Plus, how did she collect such an impressive list of bona fides?

Chrissy shares some incredibly insightful facts that highlight why this Pennsylvania race is so important – because, as it turns out, when you do your research, you get facts! (It’s one of the firsts time we’ve heard these from a politician, too, so don’t feel too embarrassed if it’s your first time hearing about this.) Chrissy is one of our featured conversations in partnership with 314 Action, an organization working hard to put STEM candidates in office. You can learn more about the organization in our interview with the founder, Shaughnessy Naughton, back in episode 35 and support them at 314action.org.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#36: Can Latinos Save the World?

In Episode 36, Quinn & Brian ask: Can Latinos save the planet?

Our guest is Mark Magana, the Founding President & CEO of GreenLatinos, a national coalition of Latino environmental, natural resources, and conservation advocates. Mark started the organization 10 years ago (with the super pithy name National Latinos Coalition on Climate Change) in an effort to garner support for a cap and trade bill in Congress. What they found, however, was that Latinos in the environmental movement were siloed in different sectors – so they changed their name and set out on a mission to break down those barriers.

Somewhere between a professional organization and an environmental policy organization, GreenLatinos now brings together Latinos in every sector of the environmental movement to work with one other on behalf of their communities and each other. As our previous guests Elsa and Emelly would say, it’s zero hour – so we have to get out from behind these desks, take the activism to the front lines, and actually do something to create change. We acknowledge and understand that no heritage makes up a homogenous voting block, but we can’t think of anyone better poised to save the planet than the united efforts of the most rapidly growing population in our country, who are also disproportionately affected by climate issues.

But here’s the good news: every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18. That’s 66,000 new voters every month, and that represents a huge potential for change. This is something that the white folks in charge are clearly scared of and actively working to suppress – but with your support, we can help make that potential for change a reality.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#35: Can These Scientists Really Save Congress?

In Episode 35, Quinn & Brian ask: Can these scientists really save congress?

Our guest is Shaughnessy Naughton. She is the President & Founder of 314 Action, an organization founded by members of the STEM community; grassroots supporters and political activists who believe in the power of SCIENCE! They are committed to electing more STEM candidates to every level of elected office, advocate for evidence-based policy solutions to issues like climate change, and stand up to fight back against the Trump administration's attacks on science.

314 Action’s efforts are always appreciated, but as we rapidly barrel towards the midterm elections here in the U.S. (Nov. 6th, 2018 – don’t forget to mark your calendars & register to vote) they are more necessary than ever. Because, as Shaughnessy tells us, “The attacks on science didn’t start with the Trump administration, but they’ve taken what felt like a war on science and turned it into an all-out war on facts.” So leading up to the elections, we’ll be speaking with a number of candidates endorsed by 314 Action so that we can spread some much-needed awareness and get some actually qualified people into office.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#34: Electrocuting The Sh*t Out of Cancer

In Episode 34, Quinn & Brian discuss: Electrocuting the S#!t Out of Cancer.

Our guest is Theo Roth, an MB/PhD student candidate at UCSF who spends his days running experiments in the Marson Lab, and contributing to kick-ass research like the development of new tools for efficient CRISPR genome engineering in human cells.

The topic of this episode is extremely close to us and particularly relevant right now because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Childhood cancer, unfortunately, only receives 5% of the total federal research funding, which means we need more people like us supporting cancer researchers and hospitals that are working to help children with cancer. So our goal with this episode is to not only explain all of the awesome work that Theo does and how in the hell he electrocutes cancer cells – although we definitely get all up in that – but also to identify some steps you can take RIGHT NOW to support people like Theo who are fighting the good fight and working to eliminate cancer.

On that note: f#$k cancer in the face.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#33: This is Zero Hour... So What The Hell Are You Doing?

In Episode 33, Quinn & Brian ask: This is Zero Hour... so what the hell are you doing?

Our guests are Elsa Mengistu and Emelly Villa, two of the young people behind Zero Hour, a movement that is aligning the voices of diverse in the conversation on climate and environmental justice. They’re doing incredible things to make this the world they want to (and can) live in – and they’re only 17 and 18!

The older generations, all around the world, have been stealing the future away from their children and grandchildren for far too long – and their children and grandchildren are fed up. #thisisZeroHour to act on climate change, and neither our planet or the youth can afford to wait any longer. If this episode doesn’t convince you to hop on board The Revolution train – not just any revolution, but the capital letter Revolution that’s going to change the world (and maybe put some backs against the wall) – then there’s probably nothing that will.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#32: Are You Ready for Some Radical Environmental Justice?

In Episode 32, Quinn & Brian ask: Are You Ready for Some Radical Environmental Justice?

Our guest is Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, which we’re pretty sure means she’s the boss of all the religious folks out there – and luckily enough for you pious people, she’s delightful! The mission of Creation Justice Ministries is to “educate, equip, and mobilize Christian communities and individuals to protect, restore, and rightly share God's Creation.” But more than that, and this is why we really wanted to chat with Shantha, they focus on providing support to the vulnerable and marginalized.

As an individual, when you watch the news and see all of the problems in the world (and then maybe pour yourself another drink or cry a little), those big problems can feel insurmountable for a regular person. And as the environment rapidly deteriorates and starts fighting back, the marginalized communities that are already suffering the most from our systematic problems just get more crap piled onto them.

But Creation Justice Ministries is going into small vulnerable communities, asking the people who live there what actually needs to be done, and then educating them on how to solve those problems themselves. Because that’s where people actually give a shit, and that’s where you can have the most impact.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#31: Can Texas Go (Clean Energy) Independent?

In Episode 31, Quinn & Brian ask: Can Texas Go (Clean Energy) Independent?

Joining us this week is Congressional candidate for Texas district 21, Joseph Kopser. He’s a military vet and clean energy entrepreneur on the hunt for enemy of science Lamar Hunt’s seat.

This is the first in our series of conversations with candidates supported by 314 Action, the largest pro-science advocacy organization committed to electing scientists and STEM professionals to public office.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#30: What's the Business Incentive for Going Green?

In Episode 30, Quinn & Brian ask: what’s the business incentive for climate/clean energy action?

In light of the Paris Agreement and all the bullshit that’s gone down since, we drafted Will Hackman to be our guest and explain it all.

Will’s been a campaign manager for the House and Senate, he’s worked as a marine fisheries conservation advocate, he represented Georgetown University at the UN climate change conference, and he’s an author on various energy, environmental, and climate change topics.

He’s also leaving immediately after this call to go to Alaska and potentially never come back.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#29: The Pope Has Decided to Fix Climate Change With His Own Bare Hands

In Episode 29, Quinn & Brian ponder the fact that the Pope Has Decided to Defeat Climate Change With His Own Bare Hands

Our guest — Jose Aguto. Jose is the Associate Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, where he works to lead Catholicism into climate action, which includes building and providing the tools to do so.

We’re excited to continue our streak of talking to and hopefully not insulting the last segments of the population that we (desperately) need to get on board with climate action — whatever their beliefs. Cracking this little problem is gonna take every single last one of us, and yes that means you too, Steve.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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