What is the purpose of popculture in this lab?

Chem alum and biologist frifinish offer "not your typical science podcast" to empower listeners to uncover their inner scientists

Anyone can be a scientist, even if they don’t realize it yet! This main design template drives the new podcast Dope Labs that intends to empower listeners to discover their inner scientist to understand also experiences in daily life. It explores the science behind pop society phenomena—everything from customer DNA testing to why we lie. And the co-hosts will be the first to tell you: “This is NOT your typical scientific research podcast!”

Those hosts are PhD researchers and also educators Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley.

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Shodiya was a postdoctdental researcher in the U-M Chemistry’s Maldonaperform group.

Shodiya and Whatley came to be friends while earning doctoral levels at Duke College and also, for them, the podcast is a organic expansion of their relationship. They admit that “we’ve basically been doing this podactors considering that 2011, we’re just currently hitting ‘document.’ ”


Zakiya Whatley, PhD and also Titi Shodiya, PhD

While in graduate school they noticed that civilization external of their scientific communities would certainly have “a million” unanswered concerns as soon as they discovered out that the 2 were researchers. According to them, “…we realized that tbelow was a need for scientific concerns to be answered in a way that is more digestible.” Dope Labs provides Shodiya and Whatley with a platdevelop to do just that, in a means that is both indevelopmental and also entertaining.

Sound Up Bootcamp aids launch

The two acquired the opportunity to make the podcast a truth as soon as Shodiya was one of 10 participants from 18,000 applicants selected to attend Spotify’s inaugural Sound Up Bootcamp. This week-lengthy extensive workshop was designed to carry the diverse voices of womales of shade right into the podcast human being. At the finish of the workshop, Shodiya was among only three participants to be awarded a $10,000 give to fund their pilot episode.

Finally the 2 womales did hit “record,” and also the outcome is a podactors complete of infectious power that invites anyone and also everyone to join in the clinical examination of the day-to-day.

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For each podcast, Shodiya and also Whatley tease out the scientific research behind a topic that is trending on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or the news. They structure the podcast based on their actual suffer as researchers, so each episode (or Lab) is split right into three parts: the recitation, the dissection, and the conclusion.

“Wakanda Forever”

For example, in “Wakanda Forever,” the recitation breaks down fictional product “vibranium” from the Marvel film Black Panther, with a review from the hosts and also interviews with listeners. Shodiya and also Whatley likewise ask concerns around vibranium and also comparable real-life materials: “Is any type of of this stuff possible? What are researchers doing currently to press us towards Wakanda? What demands to occur to make it possible?”

In the disarea, they answer these concerns by drawing on Shodiya’s background in materials science and tap the expertise of physics and also astronomy professor James Kakalios, that created the book “The Physics of Superheroes.” They briefly cover just how energy in products is moved by “excellent vibrations” and then explain exceptional real-human being materials prefer graphene, a super-strong carbon-based product, and piezoelectrics, which deserve to generate power with applied push.

In the final segment, they conclude that filmmachines and various other artists have the right to work side-by-side via scientists to press the limits of what is technologically feasible.

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Dope Labs now in its second seachild

Shodiya and Whatley hope to usage Dope Labs to “expand also people’s principle of what have to be thought about scientific research, and also who have the right to be a scientist.” The podcast medium functions well for them bereason “it’s on demand so people can listen as soon as it’s convenient.” Also, obstacles to production are reasonably low in this format.

Whatley and Shodiya continue to be inspired by their listeners. According to them, the many rewarding thing around the podactors is the listeners that say points choose “I hate science, yet I love your show” or “I don’t listen to podcasts, however I listen to your display.”

Dope Labs just kicked off its second seaboy. Its co-hosts proceed to create a non-intimidating space for everyone to discover science in a captivating means. As they would certainly say, “welconcerned the lab!”