What’s it like to give people hallucinogenic drugs and study what happens? How might these drugs be used for therapy? And what causes people to take drugs in the first place? That’s what we asked Harriet de Wit, who runs the University of Chicago’s Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, where she administers drugs like LSD, ecstacy and psilocybin to volunteers in an effort to learn more about the human nervous system. “The whole world of researchers is feeling very cautious,” de Wit tells us, “cautiously optimistic — that if the drugs are used under controlled circumstances, they might have some potential benefits.”Let’s get funky.
Greta gives 'Booksmart' four out of four Gretas, a new rating system we've devised specifically for this wonderful new movie. Why's it so good? Well, it’s smart, funny, a little raunchy, and it embraces so many gorgeous, gut-wrenching elements of what it means to be a smart, funny teenage girl. This week on Nerdette, we talk with the wonderful Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein (the stars of the film) about the movie's themes: Friendship, growing older, sexuality, feminism, and dealing with high expectations. Bottom line: GO SEE IT.
Bill Nye says that when he was in high school, the big skill that students had to learn was how to find information. “But the challenge now is to sort out the information that may not be true.”Greta talks to Bill from the stage at The Collider’s Climate City Expo in Asheville, N.C. Their conversation focuses on climate change, Bill's new Netflix series (called "Bill Nye Saves the World") and combatting dubious scientific claims with critical thinking and an abundance of evidence.And also: Fake tree octopi, bow ties and moon rocks.
Lizzo recently landed on the Billboard 200 chart for the first time with her new album ‘Cuz I Love You,’ making now the perfect time to revisit her 2016 conversation with Nerdette's Greta Johnsen. Lizzo and Greta talk about what inspired her 2016 EP 'Coconut Oil' and how Lizzo became Lizzo.And your homework after listening to this episode is, of course, to play ‘Cuz I Love You’ on repeat, forever?P.S. Get in on our lovely new tote bags! One’s for Nerdette and one’s for Nerdette Recaps Game of Thrones with Peter Sagal. Find them here: https://www.wbez.org/nerdalert
Scientists around the world are trying to figure out how to mitigate the potentially disastrous impacts of climate change.
Among the innovative ideas? De-extinction.
“De-extinction is a scientific movement that’s aiming to recreate close versions of extinct species,” said Britt Wray, the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction.
Wray says the idea is to create close facsimiles of “keystone species,” or animals that had a profound impact on their ecosystems.
As you can imagine, de-extinction brings up a lot of questions, including:
How on earth do you replicate an ancient zebra-horse?
What happens when countries can create patents for lab-grown animals?
And why would we want woolly mammoths to roam the arctic again?
Wray tackles all those questions, and more, on the latest episode of Nerdette.
Click the “play” button to listen to the entire conversation, which was produced and adapted for the web by Justin Bull.