Circle of Willis
Conversations with and about real scientists

S1E15 - The Widowmaker

In which I almost die of a heart attack.

Welcome to the first annual Circle of Willis Halloween Special, THE WIDOWMAKER, in which I tell the story of almost dying recently of a particularly deadly heart attack. If you have a family history of heart disease, if you had a traumatic childhood, if you have been under a lot of stress, for a long period of time, if you work too much, especially in a sedentary job, if you’re overweight, if you smoke, if you’re hypertensive or have high cholesterol... consider at least chatting with a cardiologist. Make an appointment. Get a calcium scan test. Reflect on your life as it’s happening now, not at some future point where you’ve achieved some kind of goal or real stability or peace and contentment or whatever thing it is.

Think about how you’re living this single life you’re ever going to have, or even whether you are living that life.

Because The Widowmaker can strike at any time, without warning, on any ordinary day.

It almost got me. Don’t let it get you.

* * * As always, remember that this podcast is brought to you by VQR and the Center for Media and Citizenship. Plus, we're a member of the TEEJ.FM podcast network. AND... The music of CIRCLE OF WILLIS was composed and performed by Tom Stauffer and his band THE NEW DRAKES. You can purchase this music at their Amazon page.

Preview: Susan Johnson

Coming soon!

Hi Everyone!

My conversation with SUSAN JOHNSON—Episode 14—is coming soon, but it isn't quite ready yet. In this preview we talk about how Sue's work on the science and practice of couple's therapy has begun to expand to a general mission of giving away what she calls "the science of love" to the general public, with the goal of creating a more nurturing society.

Lofty goals, for sure, but as I say in this preview, these goals feel right to me just now, on the cusp of the anniversary of the hate that came to my home and workplace--Charlottesville, VA and UVA--just one year ago.

Thanks to Sue for providing a good counterpoint to this crummy anniversary. And cheers to Sue's goal.

More soon!

Jim

S1E14 - Nilanjana Dasgupta

Supporting Women in STEM

Welcome to Episode 13, where I’m talking with NILANJANA DASGUPTA about how young women interested in STEM disciplines can benefit from women teachers and mentors. We also talk about Nilanjana’s fascinating family history that for generations has combined science and social activism. Nilanjana is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she also serves as Director of Faculty Equity and Inclusion. In Part 1 of this episode, Nilanjana talks about the origins of her work on women in STEM—how she discovered the effect of women mentors for young women in these disciplines—and gets us up to date on her latest attempt to use this knowledge to develop targeted interventions designed to encourage young women interested in STEM to stick with it! In Part 2, Nilanjana tells the story of her family history—a history of science and social activism that begins in India and influences her choices step by step to the work she’s doing today. We’ll also hear about some of her earlier work on what psychologists call implicit biases — the attitudes, beliefs or stereotypes thought by some to be guiding our actions unconsciously. As you’ll hear, Nilanjana’s contribution to this research radically changed how we understand it. * * * As always, remember that this podcast is brought to you by VQR and the Center for Media and Citizenship. Plus, we're a member of the TEEJ.FM podcast network. AND... The music of CIRCLE OF WILLIS was composed and performed by Tom Stauffer, Gene Ruley and their band THE NEW DRAKES. You can purchase this music at their Amazon page.

Preview: Nilanjana Dasgupta

Hi Everyone! My conversation with —Episode 13—is coming soon, but it isn't quite ready yet. In this preview we talk about the origin of Dr. Dasgupta's work on the factors that encourage (or discourage) women from participating in the STEM...

Hi Everyone!

My conversation with NILANJANA DASGUPTA—Episode 13—is coming soon, but it isn't quite ready yet. In this preview we talk about the origin of Dr. Dasgupta's work on the factors that encourage (or discourage) women from participating in the STEM professions.

We'll talk more about this important work in Episode 13, where we'll also delve into her fascinating family history—a history that for generations has combined science and social activism.

More soon!

Jim

S1E13 - Children at the Border

In this special episode of Circle of Willis I talk with five developmental scientists about what may be happening to the children who are currently being separated from their parents as part of a policy to deter immigration and asylum seekers at the...

In this special episode of Circle of Willis I talk with five developmental scientists about what may be happening to the children who are currently being separated from their parents as part of a policy to deter immigration and asylum seekers at the southern border to the United States. We discuss what happens to the private emotional lives of these children, but also what happens to their brains and to their bodies.

Specifically, I spoke with

Jude Cassidy, Professor of Psychology and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland.

Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor and McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Dylan Gee, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University Charles Nelson, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital Nim Tottenham, Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University Thanks also to VQR and the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia To Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and Executive Producer of Circle of Willis. To Nathan Moore, General Manager of WTJU FM, here in Charlottesville, VA and director of the TEEJ.FM network. To Tom Stauffer for original musical contributions to this episode, and for the music he made with Gene Ruley as part of their band the New Drakes. Finally, a special thanks to Lulu Miller, co-founder of the podcast Invisibilia and reporter for NPR News. ** Note: Mirian G's story, related in the show, can be found here.

© 2020 James A. Coan, Jr.