ABC Podcasts launches Dear Science
Your scientific ‘agony aunts’ have arrived – whether you asked for them or not
How would the world’s agony aunts respond to real people’s questions if they had the backing of real science? That’s the task that ABC science journalist Bernie Hobbs and research chemist Dr Alice Williamson have taken upon themselves in their hilarious new podcast, Dear Science.
Bernie and Alice take real letters written in to advice columns in magazines and online, and answer them again – but this time through the lenses of science (and humour). With the help of hard research, expert analysis and a whack of good fun, our scientific agony aunts are writing back to the world’s troubled souls one letter at a time. Can quantum physics solve a long distance relationship? Do bad dreams really mean something? And what does the scientific literature have to say to a Libran who had a brutal year?
Dear Science launches by tackling ‘Fetishes’ and ‘Pet Names’: first up, can fetish research help raincoat-lover Peter? And second, how does science navigate the intricacies of naming rights if your terror of a sister-in-law bans your preferred doggy name?
These are real people’s problems answered with real science. “No one’s actually asked us for help with their problems, but that’s not stopping us from butting in with the best advice evidence can give,” says Bernie. “It’s one thing to get advice from a dream analyst, Alanis Morrissette, or let’s face it – a regular journo in disguise. But at Dear Science we take real people’s real problems and we try to help them by asking, what would science do?” says Alice.
More than 200 people enjoyed a sneak peek of Dear Science when it previewed during the World Science Festival in Brisbane last month. Bernie and Alice tackled problems from the audience and Twitter live on stage, including tips for kids getting noticed in the classroom (wear green!), the science of biscuit dunking and how to handle a podcast addiction (they were no help).
If you have a query that needs the #DearSciencePod treatment, send your questions to Bernie and Alice on Twitter at @DearSciencePod.
Subscribe to Dear Science via the ABC Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.