Before Roe v. Wade, there were thousands of illegal abortions in the U.S. every year. Some of these were incredibly dangerous; women would use knitting needles or coat hangers to end pregnancies. This, and other illegal methods, could lead to injury or death. In the 1970s, one group of women got fed up and decided to take women's health into their own hands. We talk to “self-helpers” Carol Downer and Francie Hornstein, who led a movement for safe abortions and education for women by women. Check out the full transcript here: .
Placebo: Can the Mind Cure You?
Could fake medicine actually take away your pain or treat a disease? We dig into the science of placebos to find out more about the power of the mind to heal. We speak to medical researcher Prof. Ted Kaptchuk, neuroscientist Prof. Fabrizio Benedetti and medical psychologist Prof. Manfred Schedlowski. UPDATE 5/13/19: We changed a few things in this episode to clarify facts. An earlier version of this episode implied that the placebo surgery for knee and back pain was really effective in itself. In fact, these studies found that some placebo surgeries work as well as real surgeries. In other words, patients reported less pain after both the real surgery and the placebo surgery. We also said that Pavlov’s studies used a bell to condition dogs. Whether Pavlov himself used a conventional bell is debated in the literature. Some say this was an early translation error from Russian to English. Later studies by his colleagues definitely used a bell. Finally! We have added a caveat into placebo research more generally to highlight that this research is early and that we don’t have many have long-term studies into placebos, so we don’t know how long the placebo effect can last. Check out the full transcript here: Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Fabian Mirko May, Mary Dooe and Maggie Penman. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Diletta Barbiani, Dr. Cynthia McRae, Dr. J Bruce Moseley, Professor Apkar Apkarian, Professor Jon Stoessl, and others. And special thanks to Lynda McKenzie, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Vaccines: Time for a Booster Shot [Rebroadcast]
Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems - could these really be side effects of vaccines? From the archives, we bring back our dive into the science to find out how safe vaccines really are. We spoke to public health researchers Prof. Dan Salmon and Prof. Amy Kalkbrenner and neurologist Prof. Ingrid Scheffer. Check out the full transcript Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke with Dr. Saad Omer, Dr. Neal Halsey, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Frank DeStefano, and Prof. Alison Buttenheim. And an extra thanks to Bonnie Stanway, Ivona Stamatoska, Reese and Walter Ludwig, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and - of course! - Leo Rogers.
Fertility Cliff: Is It Real?
We’re often told to have kids quickly, before our biological clock strikes and we fall off the fertility cliff. This week we find out it’s that’s true for women or men. And if the cliff is real, can you do anything about it, like freezing your eggs? Plus, the sperm-aggedon! We speak to epidemiologist Prof. Lauren Wise, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Mary Sabatini, and andrologist Prof. Allan Pacey. Check out the full transcript which shows the drop in sperm counts in several parts of the world Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelley. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Mary Dooe and Andy Short. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Richard Lea, Dr. Hagai Levine, Professor Jens Peter Ellekilde Bond, and others. And special thanks to everyone at Gimlet who listened to the episode, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. And a huge thanks to Christopher Suter.
Race: Can We See It In Our DNA?
For decades, we've heard that race is a social and cultural idea — not scientific. But with the changing world of genetics, is race science back? We speak to sociologist Prof. Dorothy Roberts, evolutionary biologist Prof. Joseph L. Graves Jr. and psychological methodologist Prof. Jelte Wicherts. Check out the full transcript Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Botte Jellema and Shani Aviram. A huge thanks to Stillman Brown, Morgan Jerkins, Amber Davis, Cedric Shine, Emmanuel Dzotsi, and to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Noah Rosenberg, Rasmus Nielsen, Mark Shriver, Garrett Hellenthal, Sarah Tishkoff, Kenneth Kidd, John Protzko, Dan Levitis, and others. Finally, thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.