EPISODES

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EPISODE 1: Through the Lens of a Scientist

Academia and industry are two traditional routes taken by scientists with a Ph.D. What about policy? In our first episode, we dive into the world of science policy with Caitlin Warlick-Short, Director of Communications at the National Science Policy Network, and the way in which young scientists can initiate local, national, and global change. 

International Flags
POP-UP EPISODE: Striking a SciDEAL

NSPN's Science Diplomacy Exchange and Learning program (SciDEAL) brings together early-career

scientists and science diplomacy institutions that include non-profit organizations, consulates, and embassies.

Participants will learn about science diplomacy and create resources for the public. Hear from Dr. Amrita Banerjee, Ph.D., the program coordinator, to learn more.

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EPISODES 2 & 3: The Pandemic, Part 1 - The Vaccine

COVID-19 has killed more than 480,000 Americans. A vaccine may prevent the death toll from rising and may mark the end of the deadly pandemic that has changed the lives of millions of people. However, the vaccine's safety and effectiveness have been called into question. How was a vaccine developed in a year? What does it mean that the vaccines have been approved for emergency use only? Why is the vaccine's rollout so slow? Why are African Americans more hesitant to receive the vaccine than other demographic groups? We tackle these questions and more with Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, a member of the COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force, and Reverend Diann Holt, a member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. Both were appointed personally by New York Governor Cuomo and seek to bring scientific, social, and economic perspectives to these burning questions.

Dr. García-Sastre's interview transcript.

Rev. Holt's interview transcript.

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EPISODE 5: Modeling Public Health Data

Public health data models are used to predict and explain trends in public health outcomes, such as is the case with pandemics, food insecurity, maternal mortality, and hospital resources. These models inform policy-making and public health decisions at the institutional, communal, and federal level, with the potential to impact the lives of millions of people. How are these models built? How do modelers interact with policymakers? Why is it important for modelers to engage with the community they are modeling? These questions are explored with Dr. Ayaz Hyder, PhD, from Ohio State University and Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, PhD/MPH from the University of Toronto, both of whom are mathematical modelers.

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EPISODE 4: The Pandemic, Part 2 - COVID-19 Legislation

The vaccines have been hailed as the answer to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it's not the only one. The deaths of many Americans and the impact on the economy has been the focus of many legislative initiatives, especially the CARES Act. We learn more about the ways in which a scientific perspective and background can play a role in legislation with Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-6) and Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6). Both armed with backgrounds in STEM, they give us insights into their journey to the Hill and their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have previously discussed racially-equitable access to the COVID vaccines with Reverend Diann Holt in Episode 3. However, one population that often gets overlooked is the deaf and hard of hearing population. We are joined by FEMA Regional Disability Integration Specialist Philip "PJ" Mattiachi, who is deaf and communicates in American Sign Language. PJ is joined by Vivian Ayalón Rivera, a civil rights attorney with FEMA dedicated to ensuring equitable access to the COVID vaccines for the deaf and hard of hearing. They discuss the barriers that the deaf and hard of hearing community specifically face in their journey to be vaccinated against COVID.

EPISODE 6: COVID, the vaccines, and the deaf and hard of hearing

Episode transcript.

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EPISODE 7: Vaccine Hesitancy

The quest to vaccinate the U.S. population continues. While supply of the COVID-19 vaccines remains high, the vaccination rate has plateaued. In this three-part series, we explore vaccine history, the causes of vaccine hesitancy, and bust the myths driving much of the hesitancy. In Part I, we dive into the history of immunizations and frame the current problem of vaccine hesitancy, one of the top threats to global public health (WHO). In Part II, we explore the reasons for vaccine hesitancy and the distrust of medicine and research shared by communities color. In Part III, we bust the most prevalent myths that fuel vaccine hesitancy: the speed, the side effects, and already having COVID.

Full series transcript.

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EPISODE 8: Intro to the Graduate Student Mental Health Crisis 

As the first installment of our three-part mental health series, this introductory episode features our interview with Dr. Nathan Vanderford, one lead authors on the ground-breaking Nature Biotechnology published in 2018, "Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education". Here, we discuss Dr. Vanderford's journey through STEM and his thoughts on the crisis.

Full interview transcript.

Recap episode transcript.