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KPBS Premieres New Science Podcast

Meet the “Rad Scientist”

KPBS is releasing a brand-new, science-themed podcast on Oct. 25 called “Rad Scientist” and will be available at

“Rad Scientist” was created by Margot Wohl to find a way to connect local scientists who devote their lives to unearthing the secrets of our world to the community at large. Rather than a long-format interview with a question and answer session typical of science-themed podcasts, “Rad Scientist” is a character vignette with a playful tone. Each episode is short and sweet, packed with fun stories, music, and sound effects. Wohl interviews scientists who study everything from the smallest organisms to the largest cosmic events with the hope that listeners feel a connection with the scientist and perhaps learn a little science along the way.

“I've been part of the science community for about ten years and the researchers I've met have been some of the most passionately curious folks. However, scientists don't always come across as the most accessible people - and that's why I want to make a show that can introduce these people and their passions to the world,” says Wohl.

Wohl is a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego studying how the connections of neurons and the molecules they secrete give rise to complex behaviors. She is also a big proponent, leader, and participant in education outreach geared towards engaging primary and secondary students in science.

"’Rad Scientist’ is a great way to introduce our audience to the wicked smart people who work in the field of science in San Diego,” adds John Decker, KPBS director of programming. “These are intimate and human portraits that can best be told through the form of podcasts. Additionally, we have a chance to work with a talented newcomer in Margot to bring the spirit and excitement of scientific discovery to the KPBS audience.”

There are six episodes to be released every other Wednesdays beginning Oct. 25:

Episode One: The Killing Zone for Sperm with Pascal Gagneux, Professor at UCSD.

What do sperm and malaria have in common? They are both foreign invaders and Pascal Gagneux studies them.

Episode Two: In The Shoes of a Plant with Liang Song, Research Associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Liang Song likes plants…a lot. She eats them, photographs them, she talks to them, and she studies them to find out how they respond to stressful conditions like drought.

Episode Three: The Eiffel Tower of Synthesis with Phil Baran, Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry and Professor at the Scripps Research Institute.

Chemistry is like exploring outer space, according to Philip Baran. He devotes his life to finding new ways to synthesize life-saving molecules that mother nature has been producing for eons.

Episode Four: Hotter than the Sun with Cami Collins, Research Scientist at General Atomics.

Cami Collins was a small town girl with a dream to be a physicist and now, she is part of a team working on a way to make nuclear fusion a feasible energy source. To do so, she controls particles that are ten times hotter than the sun!

Episode Five: We Are All Made of Stars with Robert Quimby, Associate Professor at SDSU.

It’s the ‘90s, and Robert Quimby is touring with a popular ska band. But college rolls around and he has to make a choice: rock star or star chaser? Spoiler alert - Robert chose the latter and studies exploding stars and runs the Mt. Laguna Observatory where they have a new powerful telescope that might help Rob understand what happens when a star dies.

Episode Six: Currently in production

“Rad Scientist” is one of seven projects selected from the 2016-2017 KPBS Explore local content project request for proposals.

The KPBS Explore local content project launched in 2012 as a way to create more local programming and solicit content through a competitive proposal process. The project aims to collaborate with local producers on ideas for programs and series that reflect our diverse and dynamic community and allow audiences to connect over shared experiences.

For more information about “Rad Scientist” and the KPBS Explore project, visit

About KPBS:

KPBS serves San Diego and Imperial counties with trusted news and programs that inspire, respect and educate. KPBS delivers this content to more than one million audience members weekly via multiple outlets, including television, radio and digital media. As a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from our children’s programming to our local news coverage. KPBS is committed to being a reliable source for in-depth, thoughtful and high-quality content. For more information, visit

KPBS Media Contact

Heather Milne Barger, (619) 594-4985

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