17-28 Segment 2: The Science of Smell

RHJ 17-28B FB


The sense of smell evokes powerful memories and makes food taste good, but it also has important functions in interpersonal relations and personal safety. Experts discuss the science behind it.

Read the entire transcript here. 


  • Dr. Charles Wysocki, Behavioral Neuroscientist Emeritus, Monell Chemical Senses Center

  • Neil Pasricha, author, The Book of Awesome

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15-06 Story 1: Gender bias in science


Synopsis: Few female role models exist at major research universities in scientific fields, subverting efforts to get more women into math and science. Many scientists have dismissed gender bias as a factor. However, new research shows that unintentional bias results in women being subconsciously considered less competent than their male scientific counterparts. Experts explain how unconscious bias exists and its pervasive effect in academia and society at large.

Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Joan Herbers, Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University and Past President, Association for Women in Science; Dr. Jo Handelsman, Associate Director for Science, US Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Links for more information:

Click here for the transcript.

15-06 Story 2: Eye exams: More than vision


Synopsis: Eye exams are looking for a lot more than just eye diseases or how well you see. The eye is the window to the rest of our body’s health, and many diseases can be spotted there first. An ophthalmologist explains.

Host: Lynn Holley. Guest: Dr. Christopher Starr, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York.

Click here for the transcript.

15-05 Story 1: The pitfalls of online dating


Synopsis: For the first time in history, today more than half of American adults are single. Many are still looking for love–more than 40 million are members of online dating sites, which have their busiest time of the year between now and Valentine’s Day. A noted psychologist explains research showing most users have exactly the wrong approach when seeking a good match online, and discusses how they can better their odds of finding true love.

Host: Reed Pence. Guest: Ken Page, psychotherapist in private practice, blogger on Psychology Today and author, Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy.

Links for more information:

Click here for the transcript.

15-05 Story 2: The flu: It’s bad this year


Synopsis: The 2014-2015 flu season started much earlier than normal and so far has been much more severe than usual. Experts explain how this year’s mismatch occurred between the flu vaccine and the predominant strain of flu, and how people can protect themselves in spite of the ineffective vaccine.

Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Dr. Helmut Albrecht, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases & Heyward Gibbes Professor of Internal Medicine, University of South Carolina. Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Click here for the transcript.

15-04 Story 1: HPV


Synopsis: Human papilloma viruses are responsible for many cancers, especially cervical cancer and throat cancer. Vaccines exist for the major HPV’s that cause these cancers, yet relatively few eligible youths have gotten them. Experts discuss the toll of HPV and the reasons so many people avoid both vaccination and Pap tests that can detect cervical cancer early.

Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Rodney Willoughby, Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin and member, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Dr. Susan Vadaparampil, Senior Member, Division of Population Sciences, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL. Dr. Leah Smith, postdoctoral fellow, Queen’s University. Dr. Linda Levesque, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Queen’s University

Links for more information:

Click here for the transcript.

15-04 Story 2: Music Thanatology


Synopsis: Music thanatology is a specialized practice of playing harp music for the dying. A practitioner of the art explains how there is also science to it as well.

Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Betsy Haraf, family member who witnessed thanatology vigil. Tony Pederson, certified music thanatologist, Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center, Northbrook, IL and President, Music Thanotology Association International

Links for more information:

Click here for the transcript.