Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

294 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.


Drawing History: Telling the Stories of Science through Comics and Graphic Novels

How do you show what the inside of an atom looks like? Or how a scientist feels in the moment of discovery? We decided to approach the human stories of science in a new way: by visualizing them.

First we visit author and illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm in his studio. Then we stop in on a college animation class and hear from students creating cartoons about chemistry and fairies.

Then we talk to historian Bert Hansen and author and Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. They tell us how the comics of the 1930s, 40s and 50s relayed stories of “real heroes”—including doctors, chemists and physicists, and how new graphic genres are engaging readers and sparking their interest in history and science. They both suggest that surprise, emotion, and showing the impossible all work to engage readers in ways that written words alone cannot.


00:04 Introduction

01:15 Studio visit #1: Jonathan Fetter-Vorm in Brooklyn

03:54 Studio visit #2: University of the Arts in Philadelphia

07:00 Interview with Bert Hansen and Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

15:06 Reflections from Bob and Michal 


"Heroism in Medical Science" from Dupont's radio drama, Cavalcade of America

"Now I am become Death" Robert Oppenheimer speech


"Drawing Stories of Science with Jonathan Fetter-Vorm"  

"How the Public Became Interested in Medical Science"

"Science for Artists: University of the Arts Students Reflect on Animating Objects from CHF's Collection"  


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Robert Kenworthy

Guests: Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Bert Hansen

Reporter, Producer & Editor: Mariel Carr


“Stabbings”- Moby, mobygratis

"Isolate"- Moby, mobygratis

“The Plaintive Heating Griddle”- Ergo Phizmiz, Free Music Archive

“Awake in the Dream”- Infinite Third, Free Music Archive

"Sunny Day"- The Rabbits, Free Music Archive

"Do What You Can"- Lee Rosevere, Free Music Archive

"My Friends"- Quiet Orchestra, Free Music Archive

“Tragic”- Semyon, Free Music Archive



Check out Distillations magazine at, where you'll find articles, videos, and our podcast.


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