Distillations is the Science History Institute’s critically acclaimed flagship podcast. We take deep dives into stories that range from the serious to the eccentric, all to help listeners better understand our world. Hear about everything from the crisis in Alzheimer’s research to New England’s 19th-century vampire panic in compelling, sometimes-funny, documentary-style audio stories.
“When you’ve got a public health crisis like this, you’ve got no choice but to deploy all of your resources toward finding a solution.”
The longtime biotech executive talks to us about how CRISPR can be used to make a faster diagnostic test for COVID-19 and how she’s advising a hospital in creating a vaccine.
The scientist, entrepreneur, and author has lived through three epidemics. He tells us how this pandemic compares with his earlier experiences: “It is a tragedy that never needed to happen.”
The University of Pennsylvania microbiology professor talks about her 40 years of experience researching coronaviruses.
The former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recalls the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Ebola pandemic: “Early pandemic science is filled with uncertainty.”
The former CEO of Gilead Sciences tells us about remdesivir, an older drug showing promise in the fight against COVID-19.
Mütter Museum historical curator Jane E. Boyd discusses the parallels between the 1918–1919 flu pandemic and the coronavirus.
The way the city tackled its water pollution problems has made it an unexpected pioneer.
The virus that made America talk about abortion.
Thirty years of research have failed to solve the Alzheimer’s riddle. Is the problem a blind embrace of scientific dogma?
Historian of science and media Ingrid Ockert discusses the exact moment Carl Sagan began wearing turtlenecks, how NOVA changed television, and the key to any successful show: respect the audience.
Rare earth elements are essential to modern life. Luckily the world has plenty of them; unfortunately, getting them out of the ground leaves behind massive environmental damage.
The blaze that sparked the modern environmental movement . . . or did it?
When the United States and Mexico resolved their beef.
Harnessing nature to deliver us from drought.
This is not just another sappy love story from science’s past.
We know migraines have afflicted people for at least three thousand years. Still, the condition continues to mystify us today.
A tiny animal with a big story.