Science Chat Podcast

by webmaster on September 10, 2009

Check out episode 1 of my science communication podcast, Science Chat at
In it I talk to Dr Stephen Sullivan from Rockefeller U in New York about stem cell research; to Joanne Manaster of University of Urbana, Ill and YouTube fame about beauty and science communication; and to Attracta Farrell, President of the Chiropractic Association of Ireland about the science behind chiropractic treatment and the difficulties in communicating the right message to the public.
You can comment on this post or on the podcast itself right here…

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{ 1 comment }

Epicanis September 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

(Now that I’m finally back…)
I’m not sure what to make of Dr. Sullivan’s apparent assertion that scientists in Ireland can’t really work with embryonic stem cells until the government tells them what’s unethical so that they know what not to do…or did I just misinterpret that bit? Here in the US over most of the last decade we didn’t seem to get much embryonic stem cell research done at all because the government at the time asserted that virtually all (new) embryonic stem cell research was unethical[1]. Since ethics is a social matter, and therefore a matter of communication, I’d have thought it’d be better for scientists to work on opening up dialogues themselves with representatives of the public, the government, and so forth to hash out the ethical issues out in the open, rather than waiting for a government mandate.

I thought you were WAY too gentle with the chiropractic folks – though I suppose that makes it easier to get interviews later. As far as that segment goes, I’d have liked to have gotten some references to the peer-reviewed studies she mentioned (I don’t recall the precise wording, but at one point she made an off-hand remark about there being lots of published studies to support chiropractic treatments without actually naming any.) Though I admit I have an obvious bias for wanting to see the primary sources, as my podcast project might indicate.

When’s episode 2 due?…

[1] Well, okay, it’s a LITTLE more complicated than that – privately-funded research was still allowed and hypothetically research involving some old and I’m told often contaminated or otherwise minimally-useful stem-cell lines that had been sort of “grandfathered” in. Not sure how much of either ended up being actually funded, though.

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