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Useful Science

Science & Technology News

Science is useful, but its usefulness isn't always obvious. In this podcast we dive deep into scientific research to figure out how the science was done, what was discovered, and how you can use it to improve your life.

Science is useful, but its usefulness isn't always obvious. In this podcast we dive deep into scientific research to figure out how the science was done, what was discovered, and how you can use it to improve your life.

Location:

United States

Description:

Science is useful, but its usefulness isn't always obvious. In this podcast we dive deep into scientific research to figure out how the science was done, what was discovered, and how you can use it to improve your life.

Twitter:

@usefulsci

Language:

English


Episodes

Cultural Change

5/12/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/54 This week we're talking about cultural change. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as @usefulscience, or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes Global Increases in IndividualismSocial Structure, Infectious Diseases, Disasters, Secularism, and Cultural Change in AmericaTuning in to psychological change: Linguistic markers of psychological traits and emotions over time in popular U.S. song...

Duration:00:53:25

Food and Allergies

4/13/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/53 This week we're talking about food and allergies. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as @usefulscience, or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes When surveyed, almost 1 in 5 Americans report that they have a food allergy, but only 1 in 10 report symptoms consistent with food allergies or have received a diagnosis from a physician. This suggests that around twice as many Americans believe they...

Duration:00:32:23

Behavior Change

3/23/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/52 On this episode we're joined by special guest, Erika Kirgios, whose research explores strategies for promoting prosocial behavior. Familiar hosts Avaneesh, Uyen, and Cameron discuss two of Erika's recent studies. One investigates “temptation bundling,” the process of pairing a pleasurable indulgence with a less-pleasurable behavior that confers delayed rewards in order to make it seem more appealing in the short-term. A second study demonstrates the...

Duration:00:52:09

Parenting, Part 2

3/2/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/51 This week we're talking about parenting. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as @usefulscience, or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes Curious Neuron

Duration:01:00:08

Parenting, Part 1

2/9/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/50 This week we're talking about parenting. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as @usefulscience, or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes Mothers In Science

Duration:01:11:50

Vaccine Skepticism

1/19/2021
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/49 The COVID vaccine is a major medical triumph. But not everyone is so excited to receive it. What do we know about vaccine hesitancy? How about its more radical cousin, vaccine rejection? And how does the situation in the United States differ from other countries, like Australia? All that and more on this episode of the podcast, featuring Duncan, Avaneesh, and Cameron. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as...

Duration:00:57:24

Sleep and Lunch Breaks

12/29/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/48 The pandemic has affected all of us – and while we continue to manage the ongoing tragedy and loss, many have begun to look for silver linings as well. Here are two that can result from spending more time at home than usual: (1) nightly sleep among university students appears to have improved, and (2) having more flexibility in how you spend your lunch break (walking to a park, doing yoga) may decrease stress and fatigue, and increase concentration,...

Duration:01:01:20

Blind Cooperation

12/15/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/47 The way we make decisions says a lot about us. In this episode, we highlight two studies that delve into the idea of “Blind Cooperation.” It turns out that being the kind of person who spontaneously cooperates with others and offers help without calculation can confer social benefits in the long run. Namly, it’ll earn you the reputation of being trustworthy. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us on Twitter as @usefulsci, Instagram as...

Duration:00:41:58

The Ig Nobel Prize

11/24/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/46 In an annual ceremony at Harvard University, the Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that "first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK.” It's a quirky and entertaining tradition, and we've featured their 2020 ​A​wards in this episode of the podcast. Hear from Susan, Duncan, and Camerom, who discuss their favorite Ig Nobel Prize winners, and learn more about the ​30-year-old tradition organized by the Annals of Improbable Research. "The prizes...

Duration:00:36:33

Laughter and Social Connection

11/10/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/45 Not all laughter is created equal, and the truth is you probably laugh differently around people you don’t know than you do with friends and family. While subtle, many people can tell the difference. And do social media sites like Facebook provide a replacement for real interactions? A famous study from 2013 says no. Facebook may even make people less happy. Find out more in this episode on Social Connection. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow...

Duration:00:34:21

Climate Change and Health

10/21/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/44 Research suggests that higher local temperatures are associated with a greater incidence of antibiotic-resistant infections. In other words, climate change may exacerbate the already growing problem of antibiotic resistance in humans. On the flip side, scientists in Portland, Oregon find that planting more vegetation, using reflective materials on hard surfaces, and installing green roofs on buildings may help cool urban areas susceptible to extreme...

Duration:00:45:23

Microplastics

10/6/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/43 The average person eats at least 50,000 microplastics a year, and inhales a similar amount. Microplastics have been found in every part of our digestive tract, and are deleterious to the liver and gut. There is good news, however: researchers at Penn State are working on eco-friendly and biodegradable substitutes. They're made from squid teeth. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show...

Duration:00:43:27

5-Year Anniversary

9/22/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/42b 5-Year Anniversary Special. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org.

Duration:00:32:26

Productivity and the Color Green

9/8/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/42 More people are working from home than ever before. These lifestyle changes can meaningfully impact productivity, stress, and mental health. For example, researchers found that merely thinking that your employer expects you to monitor work email during nonwork hours can ramp up anxiety and harm romantic relationships. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes Pressure to answer work...

Duration:01:05:43

Social Justice

8/25/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/41 This episode examines the difficult issues that surround diversity, injustice, and trust. Multiple studies in the United States and Europe found that more ethnic diversity in residential settingis is associated with lower trust among neighbors. And an analysis from 2011 found that many African regions that were raided during the transatlantic slave trade developed cultures of distrust, which can still reverberate in the day-to-day interactions of...

Duration:00:52:19

Dogs and Wellbeing

8/11/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/40 The Useful Science team unveils the many benefits of dogs on our well-being. Researchers in Canada found that therapy dogs can positively impact patients’ experiences in stressful hospital settings plagued by long wait times. And in an observational study of families with young children, researchers found that pre-schoolers who played with the family dog three or more times per week displayed fewer conduct problems, and more prosocial behaviors,...

Duration:00:37:18

Knots

7/21/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/39 This week we're talking about knots. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes Topological mechanics of knots and tanglesThe roles of impact and inertia in the failure of a shoelace knot

Duration:00:38:50

Clinical Trials, COVID-19, and Ethics

7/7/2020
[https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/38\](https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/38) The Useful Science team provides a breakdown on clinical trials - what they are, why they matter, and how long they take. As a wave of urgent clinical trials related to COVID19 is unfolding around the world, researchers try to balance the need for vaccines & treatment with ethical concerns and the health of study participants. Music by [Solomon Krause-Imlach](https://solomonkrauseimlach.com/). Follow us...

Duration:00:49:40

Murder Hornets

6/23/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/37 Avaneesh Narla and Joshua Conrad Jackson discuss the insect that’s been making headlines lately. Also known as Asian giant hornets, these critters have received a lot of hype lately, not just for the scary name but also for their potential to wipe out the oh-so-important pollinating honey bees. Are these fears founded, or is there a bigger threat to our bees? Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at...

Duration:00:33:24

Sugar

6/9/2020
https://www.usefulscience.org/podcast/36 Uyen Nguyen and Joshua Conrad Jackson are back to discuss some things you might not have heard about sugar. More sugar consumption may lead to risky business in kids. We also examine whether the increasingly popular taxes on the sugar industry actually reduce sugary drink intake. Music by Solomon Krause-Imlach. Follow us @usefulsci or email us at podcast@usefulscience.org. Show Notes In Mexico, a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages reduced the sales...

Duration:00:29:42