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

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.

Episode transcript.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

EPISODE 10: Systemic Factors of the Mental Health Crisis

As the third installment in our mental health series, we interview Hassan Muhammad, PhD, a recent PhD graduate from Weill Cornell. Together, we explore the systemic and institutional factors that may contribute to the graduate student mental health crisis.

Full episode transcript.

Recap episode transcript

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.

Gymnast on a Bar
EPISODE 9: Combating the Mental Health Crisis

Tune into the second episode in our three-part series on the graduate student mental health crisis. In this installment, we chat with Dr. Judith Cukor, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Weill Cornell Medical College. Here, we delve into what all of us, especially graduate students, can do to manage mental health struggles.

We discuss how to identify red flags within ourselves and daily lives, find time and recognize the importance of self-care, learn how to manage our time, manage our imposter syndrome, and combat anxiety and depression.

Full episode transcript.

Recap episode transcript.

EPISODE 11: Two Senior Grad Students Weigh in on the Mental Health Crisis

To recap our mental health series, we are focusing on the perspectives of two graduate students that have recently graduated: Caitlin Gilbert, PhD, and Farid Aboharb, PhD. Caitlin and Farid tell us about the mental health struggles they have faced on the way to achieving that hard-won degree.

Full episode transcript.

EPISODE 12: Un(earth)ing Climate Advocacy with the Environmental Advocates of NY

As the introductory episode in our new Un(earth)ing Climate Advocacy series, we spotlight the efforts of Amanda Sachs who works with the Environmental Advocates of New York, the leading New York non-profit fighting for a safe climate, clean water and healthier communities for all. To avert the worst effects of climate change, Environmental Advocates NY is at the forefront of taking action to fight climate change and advocating for policies that transition our economy off of fossil fuels.

Full episode transcript.

EPISODE 13: Protecting the People - a Fenceline Community's Fight for Environmental Justice

In a two-episode series, we explore the lived experiences and grassroots work of the Cherokee Concerned Citizens, an organization dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of their fenceline community. Our guests, Barbara and Jennifer, discuss what it's like living next to production plants for companies like Chevron, VT Halter, First Chemical, and Mississippi Phosphates, and what they're doing to fight environmental injustice.

Full episode transcript.

EPISODE 14: Marching for Science - scientists for climate change policy

In this episode, we are joined by March for Science members Dr. Ingrid Paredes, PhD, and Gianna White, BS. March for Science is a non-profit organization in NYC comprised primarily of scientists dedicated to combating climate change through policy. We discuss the inception of March for Science and its current mission.

Full episode transcript.