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Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria
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Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

Author: Cara Santa Maria

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Cara Santa Maria is a science communicator, television host, producer, and journalist. She is excited to present "Talk Nerdy," a place for conversations with interesting people about interesting topics.
379 Episodes
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In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Andy Norman, director of the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of the Cognitive Immunology Research Initiative (CIRCE). They talk about his new book, “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think.”
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Natalia Pasternak, Brazilian microbiologist, skeptic, and popularizer of science. They talk about her work fighting back against the blatant anti-science rhetoric of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara has the opportunity to speak with her favorite living author, Mary Roach. They talk about her newest book, “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law,” as well as her illustrious career reporting on and writing about the quirky, profound, and bitingly funny vicissitudes of human experience.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, adrienne maree brown. They talk about her two newest books, “Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation” and “We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice.” Topics discussed include: racial, gender, and environmental justice; cancel culture; and the power of intersubjectivity.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by physicist Dr. Walter E. Massey to talk about his long and distinguished career as the past head of the National Science Foundation, president and chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, director of Argonne National Laboratory, and president of Morehouse College, among countless other titles. They also talk about his new book, "In the Eye of the Storm: My Time as Chairman of Bank of America During the Country's Worst Financial Crisis."
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Eliza VanCort, author of “A Woman’s Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard.” They talk about her harrowing childhood and recovery from a traumatic brain injury, which influenced her work in women’s empowerment and anti-racism.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by astrophysicist Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi to talk about his new book, "A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars." They discuss his work in both theoretical cosmology and applied astrophysics as well as the absolute necessity of representation in the sciences.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by science communicator Ginny Smith to talk about her new book, “Overloaded: How Every Aspect of Your Life is Influenced by Your Brain Chemicals”. They discuss the importance of neurotransmission, the role different neurochemicals play in brain function, and when we shouldn’t believe the hype.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by award-winning mathematician Dr. Jordan Ellenberg to talk about his newest book, "Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else." They discuss the importance of mathematics education, as well as the geometry that lies beneath the scientific, political, and philosophical problems we encounter as human beings.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by computational neuroscientist Dr. Grace Lindsay to talk about the new book, "Models of the Mind: How Physics, Engineering, and Mathematics Have Shaped Our Understanding of the Brain." They talk about efforts to quantify mental processes like sensation, perception, and memory, as well as new frontiers in machine learning, computer vision, and artificial intelligence, using systems inspired by neurobiology.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Narissa Bax, the Marine and Coastal Program Coordinator for the South Atlantic Environmental Research Group in the Falkland Islands. Narissa shares her love for all things conservation and ecology, especially the work she is doing to better understand and preserve deep-sea corals in the Antarctic region.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by awardee of President Barack Obama's White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion, Deena Pierott. Deena is the founder of iUrban Teen, a science, technology, engineering, manufacturing (STEM), and arts program for youth of color, and co-founder of Black Women in STEM 2.0, an organization advocates for equitable and inclusive workspaces while supporting black women in high-tech careers. They talk about the issues facing historically excluded individuals in STEM spaces, and how we can all work to effect change.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by writer and historian Dr. Audrey Clare Farley to talk about her new book, "The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt." Audrey tells a story steeped in white supremacy and greed, against a backdrop of the growing eugenics movement in 1930s America.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by writer, researcher, and broadcaster Melanie Challenger to talk about her newest book, "How to Be Animal: A New History of What It Means to Be Human." They reflect on the existential and moral roots of the human experience, as well as our deep evolutionary nature as creatures living on Planet Earth.
Fake Medicine w/ Brad McKay

Fake Medicine w/ Brad McKay

2021-06-2801:17:091

In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Australian GP and science communicator Dr. Brad McKay to talk about his new book, “Fake Medicine: Exposing the Wellness Crazes, Cons and Quacks Costing Us Our Health.” They dive into the world of snake oil and pseudoscience, and Brad shares his own journey into science, skepticism, and LGBTQIA+-affirmative practice.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by two brilliant teenagers who recently won top honors in science competitions. First, she speaks with Michelle Hua, first-place winner of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award. Michelle tells how she designed and implemented a novel deep-learning framework using human silhouettes. Next, Yunseo Choi, first-place winner of the Regeneron Science Talent Search, shares her work in matching theory.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Alexa Miller, founder of the medical education consultancy Arts Practica. They discuss the use of visual arts education to improve diagnostic outcomes, as well as physician and patient comfort in times of uncertainty.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by Dr. Eman Tadros, Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychology and Counseling at Governor’s State University. They talk about the profound effects racism has on the perception of expertise as well as her research into incarceration and family systems. Follow Eman: @EmanTadros.
In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara is joined by environmental educator and children’s book author Heather L. Montgomery to talk about “Who Gives a Poop? Surprising Science from One End to the Other.” They discuss the joys of gross science, why kids rule, and some of the strange and wonderful promises of, you guessed it, poop.
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Comments (7)

Chak Olate

Wait! What happened to the 'same two questions'? I was really looking forward to them.

Oct 18th
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Maria Jouravleva

Really upsetting to hear Brian's take at the end, seems like very short-sighted analysis so I'm glad the host politely called him out. #talknerdypodcast

Jan 1st
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Amanda Aho

What a good episode! I learned so much about CF!

Oct 21st
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Amanda Aho

castbox got the wrong audio somehow. the title is Keith Cooper but the episode itself is from March 2019. I was able to find the correct episode on SoundCloud, though

Jul 8th
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Keith Evans

great episode

Aug 28th
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memonkey

Wow! I mean WOOOOOW! You guys in the States have some real issues. Keep fighting the good fight Cara. From NZ.

Jul 11th
Reply

TheRealJacob98

I went to this!! Had an amazing time.

Sep 28th
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