Stanford Scicast



The Stanford SciCast is an undergraduate produced podcast bringing cardinal research news from Stanford scientists to you.


  • SSC #22: Stanford’s Entanglement with Fossil Fuel Divestment by Ruby Gates and Vrinda Suresh

    15/09/2021 Duração: 58min

    Stanford University knows it needs to take bold action on environmental issues—it’s creating a new school focused on sustainability and climate change, it has plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050… So, why is it so hesitant to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, your hosts Ruby Gates and Vrinda Suresh unpack Stanford’s sustainability commitments, and its resistance to fossil fuel divestment, through conversations with student organizers and experts on climate science, climate denial, and the fossil fuel industry. *Note: Ben Franta and Paul Edwards’ interviews were conducted on May 24 and May 27, respectively. When they reference court rulings that came out “today” or “the last couple of days,” they are referring to rulings that happened the week of May 23. Additional Info: Check out Fossil Free’s open letter to Stanford’s president:

  • SSC #21: The Sixth Mass Extinction by Trevor Cambron and Keren Perla

    08/09/2021 Duração: 32min

    Does it really matter if we're in the sixth mass extinction? Short answer: no. But it’s actually a little more complicated. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Trevor Cambron and Keren Perla discuss the debate about whether or not we are currently in the sixth mass extinction, and what it would mean to be in one. We talk to Stanford’s own Dr. Jonathan Payne, paleobiologist in the Department of Geological Sciences, about what the geologic record tells us about our current loss of biodiversity, and how knowledge of the past can influence our actions in the present. We also talk to Peter Brannen, award-winning science journalist and author of “Earth Is Not In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction” about how to communicate the current unprecedented human-caused destruction of biodiversity, and what you can do to help prevent it. The big picture: ignore the sensationalist headlines, but take serious action against biodiversity loss. Resources: “Earth is Not In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction,” Pet

  • SSC #20: Fake Meat Real Solution by Citlali and Ismael

    01/09/2021 Duração: 25min

    With the world’s population expected to reach about 10 billion people by 2050, many are wondering what is the most sustainable way to feed the world. Also, as we are currently going through the worst pandemic in 100 years, many people are wondering what can be done to prevent the threat of another large pandemic. Surprisingly, a solution for both these problems, amongst others, may lie at our fingertips. It can be switching to a mostly plant based diet.  However, getting people on board is a challenge. This is where alternative proteins, like plant-based meat, eggs and dairy come in. In this episode we are talking about alternative meat. We will cover various topics including the need for alternative protein sources, the history of alternative meats in the United States, and the future of meat alternatives.  We are also joined by the lovely Amy Huang, University Research Manager at the Good Food Institute. She will talk directly to college students about their important role in the growing field of alternat

  • SSC #19: Exploring Protein Design: the Next Frontier of Biomedicine by Foster Birnbaum and Jack Ryan

    25/08/2021 Duração: 32min

    Our bodies are powered by proteins. They convert the food we eat into energy, convert that energy into motion, and keep our cells, and therefore ourselves, alive and healthy. Proteins can also pose a danger to our wellbeing -- the proteins surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 virus are particularly well suited to recognize and bind to human cells, allowing the virus to infect us. Given that proteins underlie so many biological processes, researchers have been attempting to create new proteins that accomplish a specific function since the 1940s. In this episode of Stanford SciCast, seniors Foster Birnbaum and Jack Ryan explore this decades-old challenge, known as the protein design problem. They explain how proteins fold, why that folding is important to a protein’s function, and how researchers use computational models of protein folding to facilitate protein design. Also, they interview Dr. Possu Huang, a professor in Stanford’s Department of Bioengineering, to discuss how his lab is applying artificial intelligence

  • SSC #18: Marine Heat Waves Threaten Kelp Forests by Erin Cole and May Aye

    18/08/2021 Duração: 26min

    We’re all familiar with heat waves on land, but did you know they can happen in the ocean as well? Marine heat waves, where ocean temperatures spike unusually high for a period of time, are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. They can impact a range of ecosystems, including kelp forests—beautiful, biodiverse, productive ecosystems that are often overlooked in discussions about climate change’s effect on the ocean. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, the hosts, Erin Cole and May Aye, dive into further details of exactly how marine heat waves impact kelp forests as they learn from their two guests. Jessica Benthuysen, a world-leading physical oceanographer based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, helps us understand the physics of marine heat waves. Fiorenza Micheli, a marine ecologist based at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, explains the effects of marine heat waves on kelp forests and the importance of protecting these ecosystems. To read the insp

  • SSC Season 4 Preview

    26/07/2021 Duração: 01min

    New episodes of the Stanford Science Podcast will be released starting Wednesday, July 28 and continuing every week through September 15th. These podcasts are reported, written, and produced by students taking a course offered by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University. Music credit: Basketliner by Blue Dot Sessions