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.


This Is Not Your Great-Grandfather’s Taxidermy

Have you noticed any antlered rabbits mounted on the wall of your local coffee shop? Or maybe some geese with butterfly wings? That’s because taxidermy has made a comeback. Our producer, Mariel Carr, wanted to know why, so she spent a few months exploring the alternative—or rogue—taxidermy scene in Philadelphia. Rogue taxidermy takes an artistic approach to the traditional craft. It combines materials, and even animals, in unconventional ways. And it seems to involve a fair amount of glitter.

Meet Beth Beverly, a young taxidermist; John Whitenight, an eccentric collector of Victorian taxidermy; and the polar bears and gorillas at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Together they explain taxidermy’s long history of combining art and science, and describe the role arsenic played in taxidermy’s rise to prominence in the 19th century.

Show Clock:

00:04 Intro 01:13 This Is Not Your Great-Grandfather's Taxidermy


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy Reporter: Mariel CarrProducer: Mariel Carr Associate Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez

"Boop" and "Climbing the Mountain" courtesy of Podington Bear and the Free Music Archive.

Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network.

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