Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

325 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.


Fighting Smog in Los Angeles

If you live in Los Angeles, or even if you’ve just visited, you know about smog. But what might surprise you is that a half-century ago the city’s air quality was more unbearable, even though the city had far fewer cars.

In the final installment of our three-part series on environmental success stories, we tell you about Los Angeles’s caveat-filled triumph over smog. The battle started in the 1940s and continues today, but along the way crucial pieces of technology and legislation helped clear the air—and forced the whole country to follow.



Hosts: Alexis Pedrick and Elisabeth Berry Drago Senior Producer: Mariel Carr Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez Audio Engineer: James Morrison   


Our theme music was composed by Zach Young.  Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network

Research Notes

To research this episode we read Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles and interviewed its author, Chip Jacobs. We also interviewed Roger Turner, research fellow for the Beckman Legacy Project at the Science History Institute.

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