Cover art for podcast The Story Collider

The Story Collider

373 EpisodesProduced by The Story ColliderWebsite

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

31:14

Just a Number: Stories about age and science

This week, we’re presenting two stories about age, and what it means to feel either too old or too young to become a scientist.

Part 1:  Miserable at her corporate job, Michelle McCrackin begins to dream of a career in wildlife biology.

Part 2: Volcanologist Ben Kennedy’s attempts to be taken seriously as a scientist are undermined by his youthful appearance.

Michelle McCrackin is a research scientist at Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Center. Her research focuses on human-enhanced eutrophication, a process that reduces water clarity and causes dead zones and large algal blooms in lakes and coastal waters. She moved to Sweden from the US for the opportunity to join a new team that works to bridge the gap between scientists and decision makers in the Baltic Sea region. Michelle is actively involved with science communication though public seminars, web-articles, policy briefs, blogs, and face-to-face meetings with politicians and civil servants. Her Swedish skills are limited to reading menus and navigating public transportation; her attempts to speak Swedish usually leave people looking confused.   

Ben Kennedy is an associate professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Canterbury. His work involves physical volcanology and fieldwork, geoscience education, experimental volcanology, interpreting volcano monitoring data, measurements of volcanic rock properties, and calderas and magma plumbing. Basically, Ben loves rocks and working out why volcanoes erupt in various different ways. He travels to various volcanoes all around the world to collect rocks, then takes the rocks back to the University of Canterbury and does various experiments to learn more about the eruptions in which they originated.  

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