Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
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.

  • When Elischa Sanders was young, he thought he would grow up to be in the NBA. But he realized he was better in the classroom than on the court. Now he studies how the brain controls movement. Maybe he can figure out why Stephen Curry's jump shot is so consistent.
  • Who gets access and benefits from our genomes? Keolu Fox, an indigenous geneticist, advocates for more fair and transparent rules on how companies and scientists use the DNA of others.
  • UC San Diego professor Brian Keating wanted to understand how our solar system, our galaxy, our universe came to be. The big bang theory didn’t fully explain the properties of our universe. So he built a telescope at the South Pole to detect signals from the earliest time possible, billions of light years away. This journey led him down a path of ambition, rivalry, discovery and failure. Ultimately, Keating has to grapple with his ego and what it means to be successful as a scientist This is part two of Keating's story. If you haven't listened to part one, go back and listen to that one first. Brian Keating's book about his journey searching for Inflation: A link to the music video that accompanies "The Surface of Light" song that played during the end credits: Correction: Margot mentions that her friend was first author on the the paper that suggested BICEP2's results could be explained by dust. He was, in fact, the second author. The first author was Raphael Flauger who is coincidentally a Physics professor at UC San Diego.
  • How our universe came to be is still unknown. A discovery about this origin story will surely be Nobel Prize worthy. Brian Keating has an idea for how to make such a discovery. This is part one of a two-part story.
  • Gwendolyn Barriac wants you to embrace the future. She's pretty sure that will involve virtual reality. Her goal is to make it so that VR can be accessible to anyone carrying a smartphone with a Qualcomm chip.
  • Aaron Christensen-Quick studies infectious diseases. It came to a surprise to him, then, when he contracted the very disease he studies.
  • The cannabis industry needs scientists too. Allison Justice applies her green thumb to a very green enterprise.
  • Why do armpits smell? And how can be make them smell better? Chris Callewaert, also known as "Dr. Armpit," thinks he's solved this vapor caper.
  • 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.
  • A shorty episode on the March for Science.