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The Story Collider

462 EpisodesProduced by Story Collider, Inc.Website

Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers - researchers, doctors, and engineers… read more


Stories of COVID-19: Masks

This week’s episode is all about masks -- the many varied reasons we have for wearing them, the uncertainty many of us felt around them in the early days of the pandemic, and most of all, the very real and intense emotion that often surrounds them.

Part 1: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Wellington is reluctant to wear a mask at first — until he discovers an unconventional reason to.

Part 2: Dealing with mask-resistant patients prompts pediatrician Ken Haller to reflect on his experience with a past pandemic, and how it has shaped his approach.

Sean Wellington lives in Chapel Hill, NC but is at heart a New Yorker, where he grew up. He has been teaching in classrooms and performing on stages for more than two decades (on five different continents!) Last year he founded GRIT: True Stories that Matter, which produces weekly events, ongoing workshops and a weekly podcast by the same name. When he is not immersed in story, he enjoys Cuban salsa dancing and tries to finally learn the damned piano.

Ken Haller, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. He is Past President of the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he has served on the board of the Missouri Foundation for Health. He currently serves on the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis where he helped to create the new Arts and Healing Initiative to fund arts and medical organizations that utilize the arts to promote health and healing. He is also a writer, actor, and cabaret artist who has performed in cities including New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago, and Ken has twice been named Best St. Louis Cabaret Artist by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He appears regularly in local and national media to advocate for child health, LGBTQ health issues, and the arts, and his special interests include expanding health care for marginalized communities, ameliorating toxic stress in children, and educating the medical community and the general public about cultural competency, health literacy, vaccine hesitancy, the relationship of medicine to the arts, the effects of media on children, and the special health needs of LGBTQ youth.

As always, find transcripts and photos from our stories at

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