#49: Can The Huge Food Companies Pivot to Sustainability?

In Episode 49, Quinn & Brian ask: What can the HUGE food and beverage companies do, right now, to improve U.S. food systems and drive trends towards a more sustainable future?

It’s a big and complicated question, but our guest Jennifer Mleczko is going to share the one simple thing you can do to address all of it at once. Jennifer is a consultant at the World Bank focused on sustainable development, specifically agriculture and, even more specifically, livestock.

There are environmental, social, economic, and political implications to the food systems we’ve created here in the United States; globalization, international trade, market consolidation, and the ways we produce food affects communities all around the globe. We aren’t always aware of how buying a package of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets from Walmart affects a small farm halfway across the country or the world, but every choice we make has consequences – and the more we work to bring awareness to these choices, the more we can do to transition to a more sustainable food system.

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

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#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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#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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#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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#16: Clouds ruin EVERYTHING

In Episode 16, Quinn & Brian ask: what's the future of climate modeling? Also, what's a climate model?

Enter Dr. Kate Marvel. She's a climate scientist and a writer. A theoretical physicist by training, she is now an associate research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. Because, sure.

Dr. Marvel's research focuses on how human activities affect the climate and what we can expect in the future, using satellite observations, computer models, and basic physics to study the human impact on variables from rainfall patterns to cloud cover.

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

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#15: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action, Part II?

In Episode 15, Quinn and Brian dig deeper and ask: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action, part II?

On the mic: Akshat Rathi, a reporter for Quartz in London. He wrote a series last year called The Race to Zero Emissions about carbon capture, and we dig into that, and the next 10 years of CCS, today.

Akshat’s resume: he’s previously worked at The Economist and The Conversation. His writing has appeared in Nature, The Guardian and The Hindu. He has a PhD in chemistry from Oxford University and a BTech in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, and if that isn’t enough to convince you, well I’m sorry.

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

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#14: How do we improve America’s agriculture system?

In Episode 14, Quinn (because Brian abandoned him) asks himself: How do we improve America’s agriculture system?

On the mic, Emily Cassidy, the Sustainability Science Manager at the illustrious and beautiful California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and a leading member of their new climate action initiative, Planet Vision.

Emily's the co-author of a highly cited paper called “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet”, investigating how to sustainably feed 9 billion people. 

Today we put Emily’s long background in natural resources science to use and discuss the steps America, and Americans, need to take to improve our food system, and make it healthier. For the air, for the land, for the water, and for each of us, inside our bodies.

Also: Jane Goodall, and cow farts vs. cow burps.

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

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#13: A blueprint for suing the pants off fossil fuel companies

In Episode 13, Quinn and Brian plot a blueprint for suing the pants off fossil fuel companies. Of course we don't know where the hell to start, so we asked for help.

Meet the mastermind: Mayor Serge Dedina of tiny Imperial Beach, California, one of the first cities to sue fossil fuel companies for climate change damages.

We discuss what led to their suit, but more importantly, actions other cities should be taking to plan for the future, including their own legal action. Also: surfing, Nazis, and grandmas.

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

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#12: Can algorithms predict the next major pandemic?

In Episode 12, Quinn and Brian ask: Can algorithms predict the next major pandemic? Pretty please?

Joining us: Dr. Sam Scarpino, Assistant Professor of Marine & Environmental Sciences and Physics and a core faculty member in the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

We discuss whether, and if so, how advanced algorithms and data science can help predict and prevent the next major pandemic. 

Also, the importance of a liberal arts education, bad wifi in 2018, and my wife’s iPhone. 

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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#11: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action?

In Episode 11, Quinn & Brian ask with fingers crossed: Can carbon capture be a building block in climate action?

On the mic: David Hawkins, director of the climate program at the National Resources Defense Council, and the man basically responsible for you breathing clean air most days. So, you’re welcome.  

We discuss David’s history of working to safeguard the planet, but more specifically, his thoughts on the futuristic but necessary technology that is carbon capture, and whether we can pin our hopes on it. Stay tuned for his thoughts on using your voice and vote to move the needle.

Also: yodeling

Listen here, or read the transcript here

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#10: The Tantrum That Saved The World

In Episode 10 (we made it!), Quinn & Brian read a picture book. And a damn good one. Introducing The Tantrum That Saved The World.

On the mic: Megan Herbert, Aussie co-author and illustrator of the popular new children’s book about climate change activism.

We talk about the book, her co-author, esteemed climate scientist and science communicator Michael E, Mann, as well as modeling behavior for our kids, providing them with tools now and in the future to become agents of change, and also drinking.

Order Megan and Michael’s book right now at WorldSavingBooks.com!

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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#9: How do we stay safe from infectious disease (zombies)?

In Episode 9, Quinn and Brian cower under the desk and ask: How do we stay safe from infectious disease (zombies)?

Please meet Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious diseases physician, Assistant Professor at Boston University, and the Director of Infection Control and Medical Response at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory. Yeah. Exactly what you imagine. That's her job. You're welcome.

We discuss historical pandemics, modern-day factors in the growth of new and return of old infectious diseases, our current level of preparedness, zombies, Minority Report, hand washing, and of course, anti-vaxxers.

Listen 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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#7: How can we use the ocean without using it up?

In Episode 7, Brian and Quinn ask: How can we use the ocean without using it up?

Meet Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist extraordinaire. And like a hundred other things, because her hobbies include saving the planet, what about you, punk?

Find out how the ocean’s doing, who should be responsible for keeping it clean, how representation is a nightmare on ocean conservation boards just like everywhere else, and finally, the seafood you definitely should and should not be eating. 

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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#6: The queer female volcanologist who wants to change Congress

In Episode 6, Quinn and Brian meet the queer female volcanologist who wants to change Congress.

Today's guest is the one and only Jess Phoenix, volcanologist, geologist, and Congressional candidate for CA-25. We discuss her experience in the field, her unlikely move into politics, and the lessons she’s learned as a female scientist that might help others to come.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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