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Rad Scientist

A KPBS Explore series taking listeners on a journey through the lives and discoveries of San Diego's raddest scientists — researchers pushing the frontiers of human knowledge. Hosted and produced by Margot Wohl.

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  • Academia has a problem. Underrepresented minorities fall off at every step along the path to becoming a STEM professor. What we are left with is a professoriate that does not reflect the diversity of the general population. In this episode, we dive into what is known about this issue and how we can make the environment of STEM education more equitable. Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher And So Then - Blue Dot Sessions Bivly - Blue Dot Sessions Bauxite - Blue Dot Sessions Hedgeliner - Blue Dot Sessions Illway - Blue Dot Sessions Setting Pace - Blue Dot Sessions Building the Sled - Blue Dot Sessions The Yards - Blue Dot Sessions Rambling - Blue Dot Sessions Lamprey - Blue Dot Sessions Lean - Blue Dot Sessions
  • Gentry Patrick was born in South Central Los Angeles to a 16-year-old single mother. Through grit, serendipity, mentorship, and wits, he went on to study science at some of the most reputable institutions and ultimately earned his doctoral degree and landed a job as a professor of biology at UC San Diego. There he studies how proteins in the brain get recycled while also paving the way for underserved students to follow in his footsteps. Gentry’s Convocation Speech [] PATHways to STEM homepage [] Message from Gentry as Director of Mentorship and Diversity for Biological Sciences [] Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher Jazz Chords Piano Loop 120 bpm - Orange Free Sounds Buzzy Minuet - Chad Crouch Hip Hop Bass Instrumental - Titibles Greylock - Blue Dot Sessions Near and Within - Zifhang Air Hockey Saloon - Chris Zabriskie Lamprey - Blue Dot Sessions Platformer - Chad Crouch Parallel Universe - Andrew KN Mr Mole and Son - Blue Dot Sessions Sunday Morning Sun - Ryan Andersen
  • When you listen to the ocean, you realize that there is a whole world of sound that our ears aren't made to hear. Goldie Phillips tells us what we can hear off the waters of San Diego, and what is threatening the rich soundscape of the Pacific Ocean. This episode first aired in January 2019.
  • Austin Coley was told he was not “PhD worthy” while getting his masters. That didn’t stop him from getting his doctorate and continuing to research a mental illness that affected his uncle. Follow "Rad Scientist" on Facebook: Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher Golden Bunny - Daniel Birch crystal life - Ketsa Dontletthemin - Ketsa Kitty In The Window - Podington Bear Splash In The Ocean - Daniel Birch Bossa Nova - Podington Bear Gentle Sea Swell - Daniel Birch On A Wing - Podington Bear Keith in 1987 - Ketsa
  • When you ask Chandler Puritty who she is, she’ll give you many answers: Ecologist, social justice advocate, plant lover, cat mother, artist, psychic medium. She cares deeply about the environment and climate change. Her thesis charted the resilience of exotic versus native plants of Southern California after drought. But she also cares about the environment, or culture, within STEM that makes Black scientists feel uncomfortable. Chandler takes many steps as a writer, professor, and healer to make the experiences of early career Black scientists better. Chandler sells artwork and Tarot sessions at Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher Nocturnal - Podington Bear Entwined Oddity - Blue Dot Sessions Sad Marimba Planet - Podington Bear Shines Through Trees - Podington Bear Tollhouse - Podington Bear Gruyere - Podington Bear The Secret to Growing Up Dimmy - Podington Bear Purple Butter - Breakmaster Cylinder Sunset - Podington Bear Flowing Bells - Daniel Birch Closet Interlude- Blue Dot Sessions De Facto - Chad Crouch Coming Round - Modus The Speed of Life - Podington Bear
  • Kaylee Arnold grew up in Oceanside, but moved to Georgia to pursue a PhD in ecology. Despite her fear of heights, Kaylee climbs high up in the palm trees of Panama to collect her research subjects, kissing bugs. She studies the gut bacteria of these parasite-carrying insects to broaden our understanding of how microbiome diversity is affected by environmental factors like deforestation. After the video was released of a white woman threatening to call the police on birder Chris Cooper, Kaylee and other Black scientists, part of the online group “BlackAFinSTEM”, started a social media campaign called Black Birders Week to celebrate Black excellence and reclaim the outdoors for Black scientists and outdoorsmen. Twitter handle: @Black_Ecologist To view the work that Kaylee does with EcoReach, the organization she paired with to fundraise for binoculars, visit Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher Out of the Skies, Under the Earth - Chris Zabriskie Sometimes - Frequency Decree Harmonium and Saz Beat Jam - Podington Bear Drama Queen - Podington Bear Movement Libre - Trypheme Rambling - Ketsa Dirty Wallpaper - Blue Dot Sessions Hip Hop Instrumental 2 - Ketsa Tu connais Barbar - Mocke Grasping - Ketsa
  • Daril Brown wants to build vocal neuroprostheses, or devices that use brain signals to recreate speech. He tests his methods using zebra finches, who learn their songs through childhood. As a Black researcher in a field lacking diversity, he describes adjusting his own speech patterns to avoid being perceived as a threat in white academic spaces, an irony that does not escape him. Twitter handle: @darilbrown Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher Tender and Curious - Podington Bear Old Dancehouse - Lobo Loco Hedgeliner -Blue Dot Sessions The Secret to Growing Up - Lee Rosevere Oriel - Blue Dot Sessions Um Pepino - Blue Dot Sessions Moonrise -Chad Crouch I’m Going For a Coffee - Lee Rosevere
  • Melonie Vaughn’s desire to study neurodevelopmental disorders stemmed from watching her autistic brother struggle with navigating school and social relationships. Now she is a rising second year neuroscience Ph.D. student at UC San Diego. Melonie, an Afro-Panamanian, is the only black woman in her program. Twitter handle: @melonievaughn_ Episode Music: Rad Scientist Theme Motif - Grant Fisher At Our Best Alone - Blue Dot Sessions Not Alone - Lee Rosevere The Yards - Blue Dot Sessions How I Used To See The Stars - Lee Rosevere Blammo - Podington Bear
  • Recent events involving the killing of unarmed Black people have brought discussions about racism to the forefront, including at scientific institutions. This season is centered on Black scientists, from graduate students to faculty to those who have left the ivory towers. They study bug microbiomes, autism, neural prosthetics and more. But they will also discuss how racism has impacted their scientific journey. To cap off the season, we will examine the root of inequity in STEM academia and what we can do moving forward to ensure a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem where science can serve everyone.
  • Sophia Hirakis is always on the move, just like the proteins she studies. She’s always doing something, whether it's traveling between Greece and the States, watching Yankees' games, doing science, working at her family's hotel, or writing and performing poems and music. And now that she has her doctoral degree, she's starting a nonprofit to help refugees get into graduate schools.