In 1767, a young French servant sailed around the world, collecting plants previously unknown to Western science. The ship’s crew knew the servant as “Jean,” the scrappy aide to the expedition’s botanist. But “Jean” had a secret. She was actually Jeanne Baret, a woman disguised as a man—and she was about to make botanical history.
Annie and Elah told this story for a live audience at On Air Fest a few weeks ago.
The idea behind this show is pretty simple: A university campus is a destination for all kinds of interesting people, so why not invite some of these folks out to brunch, where we’ll have an informal conversation about their work, and then we’ll turn those brunches into a podcast?It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.With apologies to Jack Kerouac, this is the first of two “on the road” episodes we recorded in Brooklyn, New York, while attending On Air Fest 2019. It features two of our favorite podcasters, Elah Feder and Annie Minoff, who co-host and produce Undiscovered, the podcast from WNYC’s iconic radio show Science Friday.Through the hums and hisses of a Brooklyn coffee shop, Elah and Annie talked with host Ted Fox about how they look for stories that haven’t been told, the importance of good communication between the scientific community and the rest of us, and the paleontologist at the center of one of their most memorable episodes—who also might be the one person you’d want at your side in the event of the zombie apocalypse.
For our very first live show at PodCon 2, we were joined by Elah Feder, the co-host and producer of the podcast Undiscovered! Podcasting on a stage with a live audience meant we really had to bring our A-game, so we swapped stories of famous actors, politicians, and other celebrities who also dabbled in science.
Undiscovered is back between seasons with a listener question: What saved the cats? If you rewind to the Middle Ages, cats and humans were on bad terms. Cat roundups, cat torture, and even cat murder were common occurrences throughout Europe. But a series of historic events steadily delivered the tiny felines into public favor. In a story that spans centuries and continents, the Catholic Church and the Rosetta Stone, Elah and Annie investigate how the cat’s reputation shifted from devil’s minion to adored companion.
In U.S. cancer research, the most promising clinical trials are done mostly on white patients, which means people of color—and especially African Americans—are underrepresented in research that might save their lives. In this episode, a young, black medical student joins a team of Boston scientists to try to bring more African American patients into their study, but has to contend with the long history of medical mistreatment that could keep them away.