The Pulse Go on a sonic adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with host Maiken Scott. Created by WHYY in Philadelphia, the NPR member station that brought you Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
The Pulse

The Pulse


Go on a sonic adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with host Maiken Scott. Created by WHYY in Philadelphia, the NPR member station that brought you Fresh Air with Terry Gross.More from The Pulse »

Most Recent Episodes

Super Nerds

We used to think of nerds as unattractive, pimply or tragically unfashionable — but somehow over the years — the meaning changed. The post Super Nerds appeared first on WHYY.

Cleaning Up

Everywhere we go, in just about everything we do, we make trash. On this episode, we explore the hard work of cleaning up. The post Cleaning Up appeared first on WHYY.

Traveling down the modern Mississippi

The Mississippi's history is as winding as the river itself. But it's also part of our modern landscape.


Some of our most cherished items are things we have preserved for centuries: Paintings, books, everyday objects that were used by our long-gone ancestors. On this episode, we'll explore our desire to preserve things and what happens to our many collections. We'll follow a plant and fish collection as it finds a new home and we'll check in on the fate of old bones found on a construction site in historic Philadelphia. Plus, we'll hear how Thomas Jefferson lost 30 years of research on native languages in one calamitous incident. The post Preservation appeared first on WHYY.

Our Bodies, Our Gender

Congratulations, it's a ... (Wait...does it matter?) Maybe it shouldn't matter, but in healthcare an awful lot of decisions are based on our understanding of gender and the body. Meanwhile, our conversations about gender are changing. On this episode, we explore stories that show up in the places where gender and medical treatment meet. As scientists learn more, how is healthcare responding? The post Our Bodies, Our Gender appeared first on WHYY.

Science At Work

It's Labor Day, which means we're celebrating the hard-working people who keep the engines of productivity humming. On this episode, we'll explore how science and technology are changing work and workplaces, and what we are learning about the pitfalls of different work environments. Our current healthcare conundrum certainly stems in part from the coupling of work and insurance benefits — so we'll look at the past and future of this union. We'll meet a woman who used science to prove that ladies should be part of the workforce. Plus, the psychology of snarky office emails, and the case for mandatory vacation days. The post Science At Work appeared first on WHYY.

Changing Landscapes

The land and vistas around us tell a story about weather, the seasons, and light, but also about human influence, climate change — and shifts in our culture and priorities. On this episode, we travel to changing landscapes: from sprawling tobacco farms in Kentucky to misty forests in the mountains of Peru, and finally to a gritty corner of Philadelphia that's become infamous. Plus, using food waste to build a new landscape on the ocean floor. The post Changing Landscapes appeared first on WHYY.

Vice Control

Gambling. Drugs. Prostitution. Booze. As a society, we have always regulated behaviors we consider vices. Those regulations were once grounded in moral arguments and rooted in religion. But in recent years, public health has driven our discussions about how to handle troubling or unhealthy behavior. On this episode, we examine the intersection of vice and public health. The post Vice Control appeared first on WHYY.

Heat Wave

It's summer, and it's hot. On this episode, we get stranded on an urban 'heat island' and learn what people are doing to cool them down. How is the growing global demand for air conditioning affecting our climate? We take a trip to the weather library to understand the difference between day-to-day weather and bigger climate trends. Also: Hot springs, hot flashes, and wildfires. The post Heat Wave appeared first on WHYY.

Leap of Space

On July 29th, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act and soon we sent men where only our imaginations had taken us. The Pulse celebrates major advancements in space travel and considers the challenges that have — so far — kept us from building a community on Mars. We visit a lab hoping to produce the power source that will fuel tomorrow's space missions. An analysis of the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" suggests how the filmmakers got the future so wrong. Also, squashing coworker squabbles in space and why it's so hard to bake a decent loaf of bread in microgravity. The post Leap of Space appeared first on WHYY.

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