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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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Story Collider co-founder Ben Lillie joins us on the podcast today to discuss some of his favorite stories from the past 11 years, and also share one of his own. Part 1: Immunologist Sarah Schlesinger must try to save her mentor's life with his own work in cellular immunity. Other stories that Ben highlighted in this episode: Saad Sarwana, Anna Rot…
 
This week, in anticipation of our first annual Proton Prom on Thursday, June 3, we’re sharing stories from two of our featured storytellers! Champion storyteller Steve Zimmer and physicist and comedian Saad Sarwana have both appeared on our podcast in years past. Part 1: Against the odds, animal-loving kid Steve Zimmer attempts to rescue tadpoles i…
 
This week, our host, Erin Barker, is joined on the podcast by the hosts of our online live shows, Gastor Almonte and Paula Croxson, to introduce two fan-favorite stories from the past year of Story Collider’s online live shows. Part 1: Just as she’s doubting her identity as a scientist, Johana Goyes Vallejos is asked to give a presentation about he…
 
In celebration of The Story Collider's 11th birthday, we’re sharing two of our most loved stories from years past. Next week, tune in for two more stories that were highlights from this past year of online shows! Part 1: Lou Serico’s childhood dream of being a scientist is tested by working in a herpes lab for his PhD. Lou’s story originally aired …
 
In the final installment of this new five-part series of Stories of COVID-19, we present two stories that explore what it means to be a neighbor, or part of a community, during the pandemic. Part 1: Feeling more and more isolated as the pandemic continues, Brooklynite Adam Selbst finds purpose in a mutual aid project. Part 2: Separated from her own…
 
This week’s episode is all about masks -- the many varied reasons we have for wearing them, the uncertainty many of us felt around them in the early days of the pandemic, and most of all, the very real and intense emotion that often surrounds them. Part 1: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Wellington is reluctant to wear a mask at fi…
 
During the past year, we’ve all been separated from our normal lives, from our workplaces and colleagues, and worst of all, from the people we love. In this week’s episode, we’re sharing two stories on the theme of separation. Part 1: When Nestor Gomez is separated from his mother during the pandemic, it brings back painful memories of a different …
 
Few professions outside of medicine and research have played as pivotal of a role in the events of the past year as teachers have. In today’s episode, we’ll hear two stories — one from a Chicago Public Schools teacher and another from a New York Public Schools teacher — about how the challenges and triumphs they’ve experienced during the COVID-19 p…
 
This week, we begin sharing Stories of COVID-19 once again, starting with stories about the ways COVID-19 has impacted our working lives. Part 1: When a bug gets stuck in her ear while she’s in the field tagging alligators, Laura Kojima isn’t sure how to get it out without putting herself and her work at risk due to COVID-19. Part 2: When she finds…
 
In this last installment of our “Two Sides” series, we’ll hear stories from a brother and sister, Susan Kay Maller and Dan Boyd. Despite being born 18 years apart, Susan and Dan have similar memories of growing up with their mother — though how they dealt with these situations couldn’t be more different. Part 1: Looking back on her childhood, Susan…
 
This week's episode is part two of a special three-part mini-series centered around stories about mental health, told from two different perspectives. This mini-series is guest hosted and produced by Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. In this episode, both stories are from the same storyteller, EMT and special service teacher Jenice Mat…
 
This week is the start of a very special three-part mini-series centered around stories about mental health, told from two different perspectives. This mini-series is guest hosted and produced by Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. The first episode of this series features a story told by a couple, chemist Xavier Jordan Retana and editor…
 
In today’s bonus episode, we bring you two stories on the theme of migration. Part 1: Ornithologist Dai Shizuka finds himself relating to an unusual bird that sings in more than one dialect. Part 2: When Nestor Gomez takes his child to be vaccinated, it brings up fearful memories from his own childhood. As always, find transcripts, photos, and more…
 
This week, we’re sharing a very special bonus episode while we’re between series! This episode is titled “Champions,” because our storytellers today are just that. Our first storyteller, Kimberly Chao, was the winner of our Super Collider science story slam in December, and our second storyteller, marine biologist Catherine Macdonald, told our most…
 
In Part 2 of this episode, we’re sharing two more stories about the powerful love that has sustained us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, find transcripts and photos from these stories on our website. First, we’ll hear from journalist and Story Collider senior producer Misha Gajewski. In her story, Misha takes her father to his chemo app…
 
Throughout the tragic events of the past few months -- and despite the tragic events still to come -- love still perseveres and flourishes. From an unlikely pandemic wedding to the bond formed between researcher and patient, this episode will examine the powerful love that sustains us during this time. Our first story is from Melanie Hamlett, a Mot…
 
In part 2 of Clarity, we’re sharing two more stories about the ways the pandemic has brought our lives into sharper focus. In our first story, comedian Freddy G realizes just how much he relies on his wife’s support when she gets stuck in another state due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our second story is from Trey Kay, host and producer of the Us & Th…
 
The starkness and suddenness of the pandemic has forced many of us to stop and reconsider our lifestyles. In this episode, our storytellers will share tales of how their priorities and values have come into focus since lockdown began. Our first story is from award-winning standup comedian and Story Collider senior producer Gastor Almonte. In his st…
 
In Part 2 of this episode, we have THREE more stories about how our storytellers are finding community during the pandemic. Don't forget, you can find transcripts and photos from all of our stories on our website. Our first story is from Adam Wade, author of the bestselling Audible Original You Ought to Know Adam Wade. In his story, Adam prepares t…
 
Right now, while we can’t safely gather together, it can be difficult to feel part of a community. When most of our interactions are through a computer screen, it’s tough to support and inspire each other, celebrate special occasions, and discover new experiences together. But our stories in this episode will explore the ways in which our storytell…
 
In Part 2 of “Home,” we’ll share two more stories about how storytellers are adapting their home lives during social distancing. Our first story is from Chicago-based storyteller and Story Collider producer Lily Be. In her story, Lily Be decides she needs company during the pandemic -- in the form of a bearded dragon. In our second story, Tazmin Ud…
 
Over the past few months, our homes have become workplaces, schools, and the backdrop for the majority of our lives. In this episode, our storytellers consider how to adjust to being stuck at home. Our first story is from psychologist (and Story Collider board member!) Ali Mattu. Cooped up with his young outdoor-kid daughter, indoor-kid Ali decides…
 
We’re taking a break from our Stories of COVID-19 series until Jan. 8. But in the meantime, we have a fan-favorite story from one of our online live shows to share with you! Today’s story is from Sam Long, a high school science teacher in Colorado and the co-founder of GenderInclusiveBiology.com and the Colorado Transgender/Nonbinary Educators Netw…
 
In Part 2 of this episode, we’ll share two more stories about the impact of COVID-19 across generations. Our first story is from two storytellers — science communicator Ian Haydon and his mother, retired writer and editor Judy Stokes. Their story begins when Ian calls his mother in March and reveals that he will be participating in a Phase 1 COVID-…
 
Each generation is experiencing the pandemic differently. For some, the trauma of the 1918 pandemic still echoes. Others worry about how to balance their own health and responsibilities with concerns about the health of their parents or children. In this episode, we’ll share stories about the impact of COVID-19 across generations. Our first story i…
 
In Part 2 of Connections, we share two more stories about finding new ways to connect during the pandemic. Our first story is from psychologist Shreya Varma, who is based in New Delhi, India. In her story, Shreya struggles to connect with her patients in the same way when she's treating them over web video. Our second story is from storyteller and …
 
Note: Apologies for the glitch yesterday! This is an updated version. By necessity, the pandemic is changing the way that we communicate with each other, and the way we care for each other. In these stories, our storytellers find unexpected ways to connect, despite social distancing. Our first story is from computational biologist and Story Collide…
 
In Part 2 of Decisions, we’re sharing two more stories of difficult choices, one from a physician and another from the director of a public health laboratory. In our first story, medical doctor Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis must make a difficult decision about whether to work home while pregnant during the pandemic. In our final story of this episode,…
 
In the midst of a pandemic, almost every decision feels high stakes, and impossibly complicated. This episode will explore the difficult decisions our storytellers have made, to care for each other and themselves. Our first story is from labor and delivery nurse Amelia Reeves. When tragedy strikes in the maternity ward, Amelia has to decide whether…
 
In part two of this episode, we’ll hear two more stories about adapting to a new normal. Our first story is from bestselling author and champion storyteller Matthew Dicks. When life becomes monotonous during quarantine, Matthew searches for a new experience. In our second story, veterinarian Lauren Adelman struggles to connect with her patients' fa…
 
The pandemic has forced us all to adapt in various ways, for the sake of our physical or mental health. The stories in this week’s episode will focus on the ways in which our storytellers have forged new lives and routines for themselves. Our first story is from Fiona Calvert, Story Collider UK producer and science communication officer at Alzheime…
 
In part 2 of this episode, we’ll explore the theme of cooperation further with two more stories, from a volunteer and an organizer. Our first story is from neuroscientist (and Story Collider senior producer!) Paula Croxson. Longing for connection, Paula decides to volunteer at a local hospital, despite her anxiety about the risks. In our second sto…
 
In this episode, we explore the ways in which we’re working together to help one another and get things done, despite the significant obstacles and social-distancing restrictions presented by COVID-19. Today, in part one of this episode, we’ll hear a story from Brazilian biologist Diana Bertuol Garcia. In this story, Diana and her research group ar…
 
In part 2 of our first episode, we share two more stories on the theme of Contact. In our first story, Tracey Segarra is laid off from her corporate job during the pandemic, but finds a new calling as a contact tracer. In our second story, writer and performer Jennifer Joy begins developing symptoms of COVID-19 in early March. See storycollider.org…
 
Our series begins in New York City, the center of the early days of the pandemic, with a story from Harvey Katz, one of the hosts and creators of Take Two Storytelling. In this story, Harvey, a brand-new nurse, is thrust into the hectic environment of a Brooklyn ICU at the onset of the pandemic. (Find a transcript and photos at storycollider.org.) …
 
A quick announcement from the Story Collider team about changes coming to our podcast! On Friday, November 13th, we will launch our new series, The Stories of COVID-19, featuring stories from doctors, nurses, researchers, volunteers, activists, comedians, journalists, and more! Find out more: https://www.storycollider.org/stories-of-covid19 Learn m…
 
This week we present two more stories from our back catalog about people who experienced epidemics of the past. Part 1: Journalist Erika Check Hayden travels to Sierra Leone and sees Ebola up close and personal for the first time. Part 2: Richard Cardillo escapes his problems by joining a Catholic mission in Peru, where he becomes a community healt…
 
This week we present two stories from our back catalog of people having to handle previous epidemics. Part 1: As a pediatrician in the 1980s, Ken Haller comes across a disturbing X-ray. Part 2: On her first day working in the White House under President Obama, microbiologist Jo Handelsman receives some bad news. Ken is a Professor of Pediatrics at …
 
This week we present two stories of people who spiraled out of control in their minds. Part 1: Computer vision researcher Virginie Uhlmann struggles to send an important email. Part 2: After a panic attack, Shane Saunderson questions the role of technology in his life. Virginie Uhlmann is fascinated by life sciences but feels more comfortable surro…
 
This week we present two stories from people who had encounters with ocean animals. Part 1: Stuck in the lab with buckets of jellyfish, Shreya Yadav must rethink why she's studying what she's studying in the first place. Part 2: Underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen comes face to face with an animal he wasn't expecting. Shreya Yadav is a PhD can…
 
This week we present two stories from people who had experiences with strangers. Part 1: Even though he's an excellent student, and later a doctor, Dale Okorodudu finds that strangers perceive him differently. Part 2: Laura Bulk, who has been partially blind since she was a baby, struggles with strangers' attempts to "help." Dr. Dale Okorodudu was …
 
This week we present two stories from people who needed a little luck to get by. Part 1: Studying Marine Biology in Florida, Philadelphian Kory Evans feels like a fish out of water... while fishing. Part 2: Carla Katz finds out she has a brain aneurysm while getting screened for a kidney transplant. Kory Evans is an evolutionary biologist broadly i…
 
This week we present two stories from people who decided to experiment with science when they were still teenagers. Part 1: In high school, Saad Sarwana decides to go from nerd to bad boy with a prank that he learned in chemistry class. Part 2: As a college student, Andrew Akira Hansen loves chemistry so much that he takes his experiments out of th…
 
This week we present two stories from people who were confronted with what it means to lose family. Part 1: After leaving class early, Sonia Zárate gets a startling phone call about her daughter. Part 2: An indoor kid at heart, Sam Dingman goes on a hike anyways and ends up making a shocking discovery. Sonia Zárate is a proud Chicanx from SoCal. Sh…
 
This week we present stories from people who found themselves in sticky situations in the midst of doing research. Part 1: Erik Vance's first job reporting on scientific research doesn't smell as much like success as it smells like manure. Part 2: Liz Neeley observes hypnosis from the inside when she becomes the subject of the experiment. Erik Vanc…
 
This week we present two stories from people who found the improbable. Part 1: Part 2: As a national park ranger, native South Floridian Gary Bremen has spent the past 33 years telling the stories of the places and people that have shaped this nation. He has visited 254 of the 419 national parks, and now recognizes how much his encounters with ligh…
 
This week we present two stories from people who got called into action to save an animal they didn’t know they’d be called to save. Part 1: While running an errand, Andrea Azarian happens upon a lost horse that needs her help. Part 2: Left in charge of the farm for the first time, Gwynne Hogan panics when a goat goes into labor. Andrea Azarian has…
 
This week we present two stories from people who experienced challenges in their travels. Part 1: Transporting virginal fruit flies from Houston to Honolulu proves to be no easy task for Patricia Savant. Part 2: When a storm rocks the cruise ship where he works, Mike Funergy worries about how the elderly passengers will handle it. Dr. Patricia Shaw…
 
This week we present two stories from people for whom science and love were interconnected. Part 1: When Saurin Choksi starts dating a neuroscientist, it challenges his assumptions about gender roles. Part 2: Wendy Suzuki's trajectory as a neuroscientist is forever altered by a passionate love affair in Paris. A proud member of the Writers Guild of…
 
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