#79: Air Pollution: The Low Hanging Fruit of Our Hellish Future

In Episode 79, Quinn & Brian are back to discuss: Optimism in the air (wait... that doesn’t sound like us).

Our guest is Beth Gardiner, an environmental journalist and the author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution.

We talk about why Beth was driven to write Choked, how we got to the sad state that we’re in on this planet right now, and how we’re actually getting out of it. It’s not improving everywhere, and it could definitely be improving faster, but this is one area where you can actually see and feel change happening.

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To listen to this episode, click here. To read the transcript, click here.

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#78: Planning for Chaos: Strategies for Our Mad Max World

In Episode 78, Quinn & Brian discuss: Planning for chaos.

Our guest is Bina Venkataraman, author of the upcoming book The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age and a teacher in the program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Fair warning, so you don’t get upset like Brian did: this is not a real telescope. But you should still be excited, like Brian is now, because Bina is awesome and her book sounds fantastic.

As you can probably tell from the title of Bina’s book, this is actually a pretty positive episode! Of course, because we can’t let the silver lining distract you from the thundering cumulonimbus above our heads for too long, we will remind you that a book like this is only necessary because we’re pretty much one Instagram filter away from it being Mad Max out there.

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To listen to this episode, click here. To read the transcript, click here.

Trump’s Book Club:

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Bina’s TEDTalk: ted.com/talks/bina_venkataraman_the_power_to_think_ahead_in_a_reckless_age

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Important, Not Important is produced by Crate Media


#25: Middle School Physics: Lame, or the First Step to Becoming A Superhero?

In Episode 25, Quinn & Brian ask: “Middle school physics class: Lame, or the first step to becoming a superhero?”

Our guest today is “The Physics Girl”, Dianna Cowern. She’s hunted for dark matter with MIT and Harvard, worked at GE, and is now one of the world’s most popular science communicators. And holy hell is her enthusiasm contagious.

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

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#18: A new science foundation in America

In Episode 18, Quinn & Brian try to build a more flexible, approachable, and fun new science foundation in America. But they don't know where to start.

Enter the legendary Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer”. He's an astronomer (obviously), author, and science communicator extraordinaire and we chat about rebuilding the foundations of American science.

And that, friends, starts with enthusiasm. Science — fuck yeah!

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

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#8: How do we safeguard science in American schools?

In Episode 8, Quinn and Brian ask: How do we safeguard science in American schools?

Here to answer: Don Duggan-Haas, a lifetime advocate for science education standards (he literally wrote the textbook, and yes, this is the correct use of “literally”), as well as Therese Etokaand Jai Bansal, two immigrant high school students who fought to keep climate change science a part of the Boise, Idaho public school curriculum.

Together, we form a game plan to ensure every American student gets a comprehensive science education. 

Also: Black Panther, Shuri (swoon), the Justice League, James T. Kirk, thoughts on Parkland, and more.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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