Ologies with Alie Ward

Alie Ward

Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists' obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life. read less
ScienceScience

Episodes

Field Trip: I Chased the 2024 Eclipse with Umbraphiles
2d ago
Field Trip: I Chased the 2024 Eclipse with Umbraphiles
Come along like a frog in my pocket for an adventure to see an eclipse. After last week’s Heliology episode on the Sun, I rushed out of state to see what the fuss was about and to witness my first ever total eclipse of the Sun. Did it go as planned? Of course not? Did it work out? You’ll have to listen. We’ve got: a rollercoaster of emotions, last-minute pivots, chats with strangers, highway scenery, hope, anxiety, awe, and tears as we see if my seven-year wait for totality pans out. A donation went to Functional MagicCheck out Veritasium on YouTubeVisit Dr. Teagan Wall’s website and follow her on Instagram and XJarrett’s Webby-nominated Avatar: The Last Airbender podcast, “Braving the Elements” More episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Heliology (THE SUN/ECLIPSES), Selenology (THE MOON), Cosmology (THE UNIVERSE), Meteorology (WEATHER & CLIMATE), Nephology (CLOUDS), FIELD TRIP: Alie’s Mystery Surgery, Disasterology (DISASTERS), Genicular Traumatology (BAD KNEES)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio Productions and Jacob ChaffeeManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek Website by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Heliology (THE SUN/ECLIPSES) with India Jackson and Michael Kirk
03-04-2024
Heliology (THE SUN/ECLIPSES) with India Jackson and Michael Kirk
Sunset flimflam! Auroras! Eclipse tips! Let’s get to know the center of our solar system, the Sun,  as the April 8th eclipse approaches. What is it made of? How big is it? Will it explode soon? Why can’t I stare at it? And why is it wearing sunglasses? Dr. Michael Kirk and almost-Dr. India Jackson are brilliant and charming Heliologists who have both worked with NASA’s heliophysics departments. Get to know them and also the giant hot plasma ball we revolve around. You’ll never (not look at it) the same. Follow Michael on Google ScholarVisit India’s website and follow her on Instagram, X and Google ScholarWatch NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse Live Broadcast on April 8, 2024Donations went to Astronomers Without Borders and the Grady Memorial Hospital Health FoundationMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Selenology (THE MOON), Cosmology (THE UNIVERSE), Meteorology (WEATHER & CLIMATE), Nephology (CLOUDS), Black Hole Theory Cosmology (WHAT ARE BLACK HOLES?!), Discard Anthropology (GARBAGE), Tiktokology (THE TIKTOK APP), Space Archaeology (SPACE JUNK), Aerology (MARS), Quantum Ontology (WHAT IS REAL?)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio Productions and Jacob ChaffeeManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek Website by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Disgustology (REPULSION TO GROSS STUFF) with Paul Rozin
27-03-2024
Disgustology (REPULSION TO GROSS STUFF) with Paul Rozin
Taboos. Intolerable foods. Sad songs. Sexy kinks. Candy that looks like poo. Let’s get a little gross, shall we? The foremost expert in disgust, Dr. Paul Rozin, chats about the emotions related to revulsion – and BOY HOWDY do we cover some ground. Why do some things gross us out and others don’t? Can we change that? Learn how research psychologists study disgust, from butterflies to bigotry, and from pranks to power dynamics. Maybe don’t eat lunch while you listen, but definitely tune in to learn how to conquer some fears. Browse Dr. Rozin’s publications on Google ScholarDonations went to InterAct Theatre Company and the International OCD FoundationMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Personality Psychology (PERSONALITIES), Scatology (POOP), Gelotology (LAUGHTER), Gustology (TASTE), Attention-Deficit Neuropsychology (ADHD) Part 1 & Part 2, Dipterology (FLIES), Chickenology (HENS & ROOSTERS), FIELD TRIP: Alie’s Mystery SurgerySponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio Productions and Jake ChaffeeManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Oikology (DECLUTTERING) Encore with Jamie & Filip Hord + Joe Ferrari
12-03-2024
Oikology (DECLUTTERING) Encore with Jamie & Filip Hord + Joe Ferrari
Why does clutter happen? How can we get rid of it and how will it affect us psychologically if we do? Buckle up for an encore that will lift your spirits and quite possibly change your life. We all have unfolded piles of laundry, that closet we don’t want to open, a tornado of papers on our desk that seems impossible to sort through. Enter: Oikology, the science of keeping things contained. Alie hunted down world-famous professional organizers, Jamie & Filip Hord of Horderly to chat about -- FIRST OFF-- their name, plus gender and messes, when to call in a pro to help, the step-by-step process to tackle the entropy in your home and life, what do do about gifts you don’t want, what tools you might need, the KonMari method, how to overcome the emotional attachment to objects, and why decluttering becomes addictive. We also called in the big guns, research psychologist Dr. Joe Ferrari of DePaul university, to share his research on clutter, its psychological causes and effects, if the “spark joy” method works for everyone, when to call a professional organizer and how many pants is too many pants. Also: dispatches from my own front lines. This episode already changed my own life… and closet.Visit Jamie and Filip Hord’s website and follow them on Instagram, X. and YouTubeListen to Dr. Ferrari in the Volitional Psychology (PROCRASTINATION) episode and check out his book: Still Procrastinating?Donations went to Dress for Success and the Institute for Challenging DisorganizationMore episode sources & linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Attention-Deficit Neuropsychology (ADHD) Part 1 & Part 2, LIFE ADVICE, Volitional Psychology (PROCRASTINATION), Eudemonology (HAPPINESS), Discard Anthropology (GARBAGE), Disinfectology (BLEACH)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio Productions, Jarrett Sleeper of MindJam Media & Steven Ray MorrisManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Functional Morphology (ANATOMY) Encore with Joy Reidenberg
05-03-2024
Functional Morphology (ANATOMY) Encore with Joy Reidenberg
Ever poked at roadkill? Watched videos of whales exploding? Drooled over a curio cabinet full of claws & bones? Peered into a jar with a pickled toad? Then this one is for you. Whether you’ve heard it before or are new to this classic ep, you’re sure to be delighted by this Ologist’s storytelling. Arguably the world's most famous comparative anatomist (and pretty-much-also functional morphologist) Dr. Joy Reidenberg pulls up a chair at Mt. Sinai Hospital to talk about her fascinating backstory, exploding whales, taxidermied chipmunks, dead toadfish, animal's weird anatomy and its function and how it might help human health. She is absolutely amazing and you will become obsessed with her work.Dr. Joy Reidenberg on X &  FacebookBrowse her publications on ResearchGateMore episode sources & linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Evolutionary Biology (DARWINISM), Veterinary Biology (CRITTER FIXING), Nassology (TAXIDERMY), Road Ecology (ROAD KILL), Acoustic Ecology (NATURE RECORDINGS), Procyonology (RACCOONS), Lemurology (LEMURS), Delphinology (DOLPHINS), Ichthyology (FISHES), Mammalogy (MAMMALS), Ornithology (BIRDS) Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio Productions and Steven Ray MorrisManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Black Hole Theory Cosmology (WHAT ARE BLACK HOLES?!) Part 2 with Ronald Gamble, Jr.
28-02-2024
Black Hole Theory Cosmology (WHAT ARE BLACK HOLES?!) Part 2 with Ronald Gamble, Jr.
Part 2! Black hole suns, black hole movies, wormholes, time travel, matter evaporation, scientists being bitches, risk-taking advice, Italy’s favorite pastry, and more await you. NASA Goddard Theoretical Astrophysicist and Black Hole Theory Cosmologist  Dr. Ronald Gamble, Jr. is back for the conclusion of black hole basics and how theories get made and what’s on the (event) horizon for future astrophysicists to solve. Also: what do we do with our space anxiety?!Visit Dr. Ronald Gamble’s website and follow him on Instagram, X, and Google ScholarDonations went to TheScienceHaven.orgMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Scotohylology (DARK MATTER), Cosmology (THE UNIVERSE), Quantum Ontology (WHAT IS REAL?), UFOlogy (UNEXPLAINED AERIAL PHENOMENA), Astrobiology (ALIENS), Abstract Mathematology (UH, IS MATH REAL?), Futurology (THE FUTURE), Eschatology (THE APOCALYPSE), Radiology (X-RAY VISION), Invisible Photology (INVISIBILITY CLOAKS), Molecular Biology (PROTEINS)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Black Hole Theory Cosmology (WHAT ARE BLACK HOLES?!) Part 1 with Ronald Gamble, Jr.
21-02-2024
Black Hole Theory Cosmology (WHAT ARE BLACK HOLES?!) Part 1 with Ronald Gamble, Jr.
How big are black holes? Is time elastic? What is spacetime foam? Why is there a place called “elsewhere?” Enjoy this dazzling two-parter that starts with the absolute basics with NASA’s Goddard Theoretical Astrophysicist and Black Hole Theory Cosmologist  Dr. Ronald Gamble, Jr.  We talk busting of flim-flam, how do we image them, what's the most giant dense book you can buy about them, where do trad goths fit into this episode, does my dog exist, how astrophysics is like drawing, and the greatest gift he could give his mom. Also what you have in common with an annulus. Visit Dr. Ronald Gamble’s website and follow him on Instagram, X, and Google ScholarMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Scotohylology (DARK MATTER), Cosmology (THE UNIVERSE), Quantum Ontology (WHAT IS REAL?), Abstract Mathematology (UH, IS MATH REAL?), Futurology (THE FUTURE), Eschatology (THE APOCALYPSE), Radiology (X-RAY VISION), Invisible Photology (INVISIBILITY CLOAKS)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Theoretical & Creative Ecology (SCIENCE & ECOPOETRY) with Madhur Anand
07-02-2024
Theoretical & Creative Ecology (SCIENCE & ECOPOETRY) with Madhur Anand
Environmental models! Poetry! Scientists who are poets! Novelists who are scientists! Art + science =  an actual -ology. Creative Ecologist, climate scientist, theoretical ecologist, author and celebrated poet Dr. Madhur Anand sits on a porch with me on an island to chat about storytelling, narratives in science, forest beetles, carbon stability, human motives, hip waders, technology meets nature, absurdity, identity, overcoming writer’s or scientist’s' block, and how accepting ourselves can be contagious. Forecast: you begin jotting down poems on envelopes. Visit the Anand Lab in Global Ecological Change & Sustainability and follow Dr. Anand on Google Scholar and XBuy Madhur Anand’s collections of poems A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (2015) and Parasitic Oscillations (2022), and her book of prose This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart (2020)A donation went to Rare Charitable ReserveMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Pedagogology (SCIENCE COMMUNICATION) with Bill Nye, Molecular Biology + SciComm with Raven ‘the Science Maven’ Baxter, Indigenous Fire Ecology (GOOD FIRE), Pyrotechnology (FIREMAKING), Fire Ecology (WILDFIRES), Oceanology Encore (THE OCEAN),Enigmatology (WORD PUZZLES), Syndesiology (CONNECTIONS) with James BurkeSponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsManaging Director: Susan HaleScheduling producer: Noel DilworthTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Evolutionary Anthropology (METABOLISM) with Herman Pontzer
31-01-2024
Evolutionary Anthropology (METABOLISM) with Herman Pontzer
*Content warning up top: This episode discusses sensitive themes like diet culture, caloric intake, the psychological & physical effects of food restriction and includes many listeners’ personal experience with the term “obesity." It may be triggering for those with a history of or sensitivity to disordered eating. We also discuss the Body Mass Index, still used by medical professionals, but acknowledged by many sociologists to be rooted in structural oppression.*Let’s explore our human machinery. And talk about Brazilian butt lifts. Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and metabolism researcher Dr. Herman Pontzer gives us the data on mitochondrial backstories, muscle mass and hormones, our expanding brains, the flaws of the Body Mass Index, humans’ relationships with nutrition, why crash dieting can change your metabolism, perspectives on sticky medical terms, isotope magic, how much exercise hunter gatherers get, carnivore diets, scales, and what to do if you're grappling with sadness. Visit the Pontzer Lab websiteBrowse Dr. Pontzer’s papers on ResearchGate and follow him on Instagram and XBuy Dr. Pontzer’s book, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Stay Healthy, and Lose WeightA donation went to Hadza FundMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Pyrotechnology (FIREMAKING), Entomophagy Anthropology (EATING BUGS), Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS), Genicular Traumatology (BAD KNEES)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, hoodies, totes!Follow @Ologies on Instagram and XFollow @AlieWard on Instagram and XEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsTranscripts by Aveline Malek and The WordaryWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Carcinology (CRABS) Part 2 with Adam Wall
24-01-2024
Carcinology (CRABS) Part 2 with Adam Wall
Hairy crabs! Shell swaps! Carcinization! Will we all evolve to be crabs? What’s with having one giant claw? Why would a crab stab you? Adam Wall, a carcinologist at the Natural History Museum of LA covers all of this and more in this thrilling conclusion of our two-part episode on crabs. Also: did the Little Mermaid get it right, and does Adam enjoy being interviewed? Listen to the end to find out.And if you missed Part 1, listen here. Part 1 covers:  Claw hands! Beady eyes! Pinching forces that could crack your skull! The tiniest to the most hauntingly giant crabs, discovering new species, crabs that are NOT crabs, sea monkeys, hairy crabs, hermit crabs, crab dongs, crab butts, crab butters, the secret history of secret Maryland spices, Amelia Earhart rumors, giant invasive crabs in Norway, behind the scenes Hollywood crabs, and so much more. View Adam’s papers on ResearchGateFind him barely ever posting on TwitterA donation went to NHM.org’s Marine Biodiversity Center’s fairy shrimp researchConsider a $5 or $10 birthday donation to SkypeAScientist.comMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Teuthology (SQUIDS), Teuthological Ludology (ACTUAL SQUID GAMES), Phallology (PENISES), Scorpiology (SCORPIONS), Pectinidology (SCALLOPS),  Echinology (SEA URCHINS & SAND DOLLARS), Scatology (POOP), Biomineralogy (SHELLS), Oceanology (OCEANS), Lutrinology (OTTERS), Conotoxinology (CONE SNAIL VENOM), Cheloniology (SEA TURTLES), Cnidariology (CORAL)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, stickers, totes!Follow @Ologies on Twitter and InstagramFollow @AlieWard on Twitter and InstagramEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsTranscripts by Aveline MalekWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Carcinology (CRABS) Part 1 with Adam Wall
16-01-2024
Carcinology (CRABS) Part 1 with Adam Wall
Claw hands! Beady eyes! Pinching forces that could crack your skull! Gentleman, scholar, curator of the Natural History Museum’s crustacea collection and Carcinologist Adam Wall takes us on a tour of the museum’s crab bunker to discuss everything from the tiniest to the most hauntingly giant crabs, discovering new species, crabs that are NOT crabs, sea monkeys, hairy crabs, hermit crabs, crab dongs, crab butts, crab butters, the secret history of secret Maryland spices, Amelia Earhart rumors, giant invasive crabs in Norway, behind the scenes Hollywood crabs, and so much more. So dazzling and comprehensive and weird – we had to crack this episode in two. Make sure to catch next week’s. View Adam’s papers on ResearchGateFind him barely ever posting on TwitterA donation went to NHM.org’s Marine Biodiversity Center’s fairy shrimp researchMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Pectinidology (SCALLOPS),  Echinology (SEA URCHINS & SAND DOLLARS), Scatology (POOP), Biomineralogy (SHELLS), Oceanology (OCEANS), Lutrinology (OTTERS), Conotoxinology (CONE SNAIL VENOM), Cheloniology (SEA TURTLES), Cnidariology (CORAL)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, stickers, totes!Follow @Ologies on Twitter and InstagramFollow @AlieWard on Twitter and InstagramEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsTranscripts by Aveline MalekWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn
Ethnoecology (ETHNOBOTANY/NATIVE PLANTS) with Leigh Joseph
09-01-2024
Ethnoecology (ETHNOBOTANY/NATIVE PLANTS) with Leigh Joseph
The what, where, and who of native plants is … ethnobotany! Which is under the umbrella of Ethnoecology! The wonderful botanist Leigh Joseph shares what steered her to this field, how she includes her Squamish First Nation community in her research, and how we relate to plants – both native and invasive. She’ll chat about how to identify plants, Latin names vs. traditional names, how knowledge is passed down or silenced, the chilling history that inspired some of her work, uses for barks and berries and saps and teas, pharmaceuticals derived from Indigenous knowledge, ceremonial plants, the dos and absolutely do-nots of harvesting, skin remedies, white sage, and so much more. Also what should I put on my face? Visit Leigh Joseph’s website and follow her on InstagramBuy her book: Held by the Land: A Guide to Indigenous Plants for WellnessShop Leigh’s plant-based beauty brand: Skwálwen BotanicalsDonations went to Indigenous Climate Action and Seeding SovereigntyMore episode sources and linksSmologies (short, classroom-safe) episodesOther episodes you may enjoy: Foraging Ecology (EATING WILD PLANTS) with @BlackForager, Alexis Nikole Nelson, Indigenous Cuisinology (NATIVE COOKING), Smologies #31: INDIGENOUS COOKING, Indigenous Pedology (SOIL SCIENCE), Bryology (MOSS) with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Dendrology (TREES), Wildlife Ecology (FIELDWORK), Urology (CROTCH PARTS), Nephrology (KIDNEYS), Carnivorous Phytobiology (MEAT-EATING PLANTS)Sponsors of OlogiesTranscripts and bleeped episodesBecome a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a monthOlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, stickers, totes!Follow @Ologies on Twitter and InstagramFollow @AlieWard on Twitter and InstagramEditing by Mercedes Maitland of Maitland Audio ProductionsTranscripts by Aveline MalekWebsite by Kelly R. DwyerTheme song by Nick Thorburn