“What’s New in EvoS” Podcast
What’s New in EvoS was a podcast about current events, research, and people in the Evolutionary Studies program at Binghamton University. Regular features were interviews with EvoS Seminar Series guest lecturers and conversations with researchers and students.
1. Randy Olson (10/27/2008)
Randy Olson is a marine biologist turned documentary filmmaker. As part of the EvoS seminar series, he gave a talk on October 27 titled “Don’t be such a scientist!”, presented in conjunction with a screening of his film, “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus”. The talk and the film address the issue of shortcomings in science communication.
In this extended episode, Randy talks about his transition from scientist to filmmaker, common problems with science communication, and strategies for effectively communicating to a broad audience. We also hear from a few people who attended the seminar and the screening.
2. Bill Romey (10/31/2008)
Bill Romey is a biology professor at SUNY Potsdam. At the October 31 EvoS seminar he spoke about factors that influence the position of animals within groups. Bill discussed the evolutionary significance of spatial patterns within groups as well as the behavioral mechanisms that produce those patterns.
In this episode, we talked to Bill about his research with whirligig beetles and why they’re an ideal species for experiments in this subject. We wrap up with a few words of interest from an audience member.
3. Chris Reiber (11/14/2008)
Chris Reiber is a biological anthropologist at Binghamton University. In her November 14 EvoS seminar she described research supporting an evolutionary theory of premenstrual syndrome. The evolutionary approach integrates and explains disparate forms of PMS as consequences of other cyclic adaptations related to fertility and security.
In this episode, Chris explains the evolutionary model of PMS. As always, we conclude with a few thoughts from a seminar attendee.
4. Steven Brown (11/21/2008)
Steven Brown is a cognitive neuroscientist at McMaster University. In his November 21 EvoS seminar he presented two aspects of human vocalization: its neurological basis and its utility for tracing cultural migration. Steven has identified the brain area associated with motor control of the larynx, and plans to study the diffusion of Austronesian musical styles.
In this episode we talk to Steven about the connection between speech and song, the prevalence of dance in human culture, and the integration of art and science.
5. Brian Boyd (12/5/2008)
Brian Boyd is an English professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In his December 5 EvoS seminar he spoke about an evolutionary approach to literature and art. In this episode, we talk to Brian about the role of storytelling in human society and fictional stories in particular. We discuss the connections between storytelling, creativity, occupational specialization, and play.
6. “Evolution for Everyone” Poster Session (12/5/2008)
On Thursday, December 4, 2008, students from the Biology 105 “Evolution for Everyone” course taught by Dan O’Brien and David Sloan Wilson presented posters proposing a variety of evolutionary research projects. This episode contains a sample of the descriptions offered by many groups about their projects.