Tide pool showing sea stars, sea anemones, and sea sponges. (Image by Brocken Inaglory)

This week’s guest is Mark Losavio, a marine biologist and science communicator who works with his university’s marine science department to help surrounding communities around Boston learn about the ocean. Mark also recently completed his Masters in marine science where he looked at how virtual reality can be used to enhance an aquarium’s tour offerings and increase visitor participation.

Mark says he has always been obsessed with and telling people about the ocean. In a sense, he has always been a science communicator. Mark got his start working in an exotic pet store so he could work in the…


Alice Ball (left) and Kiersey Clemons who plays Alice in “The Ball Method”

In 1915, Alice Ball, a recent graduate from the College of Hawaii with a master’s in Chemistry, started work on investigating the chemical properties of chaulmoogra oil. This extract, derived from the seeds of the chaulmoogra tree, was first used to treat leprosy in China over six hundred years ago but the substance was too viscous to be an effective treatment. Instead of circulating throughout the body, the thick oil accumulated under the skin as a painful blister.

Kava tea was also used by leprosy sufferers to ease the pain of the disease, which meant Alice’s earlier work on identifying…


In a scene from Spider-Man: Far from Home, first seen on Ellen, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) meets Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) and discovers the new superhero is not from his universe but from a parallel Earth. Beck explains, “There are multiple realities, Peter. This is Earth, dimension 616. I am from Earth-833. We share identical physical constants, Level 4 symmetry.”

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) explains that Thanos’ snap tore a hole in their dimension, which allowed Mysterio to enter their universe. Peter is naturally excited by this revelation and its implications for cosmology. Who wouldn’t be? What exactly does…


Photo by William White on Unsplash

Bonus Episode

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to The Science Bloggers podcast. I’m your host David Latchman. Yes, the show is currently off-season so what you’re listening to is a bonus episode. I hope you enjoy this extra-special extra-content. My guest today is Allison Coffin. She’s a scientist at Washington State University where she studies how we lose our hearing in response to loud sounds and certain types of drugs. She’s also looking at how to develop drugs and other therapies to prevent hearing loss and regenerate hearing after loss has already occurred. She also runs a science communication non-profit Science Talk. I…


As the hit time-travel TV show 12 Monkeys enters its fourth and final season, we talked to the show’s season four science advisor, Sophia Nasr. Sophia is an astroparticle physicist working on dark matter. We talked to her about the work she does at UC Irvine, why dark matter (not the show) is so important, her work on 12 Monkeys, and how important science advisors on TV shows are as science communicators.

Can you tell me a little bit about what you do, and what you research is about?

Yeah, sure. At the moment, I am a graduate student working…


One of the main challenges that every science blogger faces is finding an audience and tracking their engagement. It is pretty pointless if no one is listening to your message. Enter Google Analytics, one of the most valuable tools at a science blogger’s disposal. The various dashboards provided — based on how many people visit the blog, the countries they are from, and how they got there — are the perfect way to display and track a wealth of information any blogger needs.

Google Analytics was specifically created to track visitor engagement. Marketers use it to track their marketing campaigns…


Amanda and Dudley of ‘Dudley Describes’

Amanda Bakkum is a neuroscience graduate student at Simon Fraser University. Her canine companion, Dudley, is the star of her science blog Dudley Describes where he explains “neuroscience in a muttshell.” We interviewed Amanda about her research, and her thoughts on science blogging and communication.

What do you study in grad school?

I study how task constraints affect motor learning. Essentially what that is, I look at how the brain learns and adapts movements to the changing world around us. For instance, our participants would be given a goal-directed task, like walking and stepping to a target, or reaching for…


Dr. Caitlin Faas is a professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, Maryland. She uses the knowledge she gained with a PhD in Human Development to help people and her clients become more productive and achieve their goals. Science Bloggers talked to Dr. Faas about the works she does, her science blog, Purposeful Productivity, and how she uses her blog to get her message across to people who need it most.

You have a PhD in Human Development. What exactly is that?

Human development and family studies is connected to psychology. The whole field or, as we call it, HDFS, is…


Set in the year 3000, the series Futurama features one of the most interesting forms of personal travel — pneumatic tubes. These were used primarily in the late 19th to the early 20th century to transport small packages over short distances, typically within a building or city. Though it is in very limited use today, there has been renewed interest with Elon Musk’s Hyperloop as a conceptual high-speed transportation system in which pressurized capsules ride on a cushion of air.

Riding a Column of Air

David Latchman

Freelance science writer and blogger with a background in physics and mathematics.

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