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Welcome to the podcast all about how babies and families are made. In this series, working midwife, mother and bestselling author Leah Hazard speaks to remarkable women and men from all walks of life about fertility, birth, pregnancy and parenting. She explores the way we see our bodies and our relationships, the choices we make as we build our families, and the highs and lows that those choices can bring. No judgment, no shame. Just real stories, and all the warmth, wit and compassion you’d ...
 
The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.
 
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Building Policy Update: As of June 1, 2022, masks remain required at Town Hall Seattle. Read our current COVID-19 policies and in-building safety protocols. Thu 7/14, 2022, 7:30pm Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Melanie Mitchell with Lili Cheng How Close Are We to AI? BUY THE BOOKS Ubi SuntBy Blaise Agüera y Arcas Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thi…
 
Year after year, the quality of the world’s agricultural soil is degrading, which deeply impacts the quality and quantity of the food that we grow. Further, there’s a clear link between the health of our soil and the health of humans. What does that mean for us? Eventually we’ll face an existential crisis of the world’s food supply and our health. …
 
Alzheimer’s is a global health problem with more than 6 million people living with the disease in the U.S. alone. Tremendous gains have been made in the understanding of the science and basic biology underlying Alzheimer’s and other dementias. These advances are leading to great strides in strategies for prevention, detection, diagnostics and thera…
 
From the grasslands of the Columbia Plateau to the rich valleys west of the Cascade Mountains, There are over 70,000 miles of rivers in Washington state. Rivers are vital to our region’s ecosystems, hosting a wide diversity of living things in their waters and along their banks – our beautiful state would not be what it is without our waterways. Ho…
 
There’s a powerful movement happening in farming today, and it’s not a movement focused on flashy technology or producing food faster or at larger scales. Instead, it’s a movement that centers on farmers reconnecting with their roots, reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food, healing their communities, and ultimately fighting climate chang…
 
As the threats of climate change become more urgent than ever, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. The problems — and their solutions — seem unwieldy and complicated. But what if we embrace the complexity of the climate crisis and create solutions that are just as intertwined as the issues? That’s where intersectional environ…
 
Farmers and environmentalists haven’t always seen eye-to-eye about the best ways to manage agricultural landscapes, but America’s farms are vital to preserving ecosystems and a stable climate. How might the two come together to unite for the common good? In No Farms, No Food, longtime farm, fisheries, and environmental policy advocate Don Stuart to…
 
In the 1940s, the insecticide DDT was widely used to combat insect-borne human diseases like malaria and control insects in agricultural applications, gardens, and inside homes. In the 1950s, it became evident that the pesticide was causing extensive health and environmental damage. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted the public to …
 
The COVID-19 pandemic — one of the most disruptive events in human history — has made it more challenging than ever to feel prepared, hopeful, and equipped to face the future with optimism. How do we map out our lives when it feels impossible to predict what the world will be like next week, let alone next year or next decade? Humans aren’t particu…
 
Humans have been stumbling upon the remains of ancient animals since prehistoric times, long before fossils were routinely dug up, named, and pieced together into “whole” prehistoric skeletons. The word dinosaur wasn’t established until the mid-19th century – practically yesterday, considering the massive span of the geologic time scale. From bits …
 
The majestic bald eagle can be spotted throughout most of North America at various points during the year. Here in Western Washington, we’re lucky to spot them all year-round — no doubt thanks to an abundance of tall trees for nesting and open bodies of water that provide a source of food. They are revered birds, sacred within Indigenous traditions…
 
Our world constantly vibrates with sound, from the delicate flap of an insect’s wings to the thunderous roar of a rocket launching into space. There’s the spring chorus of frogs. The sputter of a creek and the whoosh of a sudden breeze. Songs, music, and speech. But the sounds of today aren’t necessarily the same sounds that our ancestors encounter…
 
In the dense rainforest of the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Somass River (c̓uumaʕas) brings sockeye salmon (miʕaat) into the Nuu-chah-nulth community of Tseshaht. C̓uumaʕas and miʕaat are central to the sacred food practices that have been a crucial part of the Indigenous community’s efforts to enact food sovereignty, decolonize their diet, …
 
Tuberculosis might seem like a disease of the past in the West, but globally it remains a persistent and costly threat across all age groups. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.5 million people died from TB in 2020 — could it be on track to re-emerge as the next global public health crisis? According to medical science journalist Vi…
 
The human immune system is nothing short of remarkable: it helps our bodies ward off bacteria and viruses, heals wounds, and maintains the balance needed to keep us alive. The good news? Our immune systems are no longer threatened by the plagues and common diseases of the past. The bad news? Our bodies face an array of distinctively modern challeng…
 
Is it possible for drug use to be part of a responsible, balanced, and happy life? Dr. Carl L. Hart, a prominent neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Columbia University, believes so; but he didn’t always see it that way. Dr. Hart grew up in Miami at a time when drugs like crack cocaine were blamed for his city’s problems. Initially, his r…
 
Volcanoes have long fascinated curious humans of all ages. Here in the Seattle area, our beloved Tahoma (Mount Rainier) and the four other active volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range are beautiful but ever-present reminders of Washington’s location in the “Ring of Fire,” a 25,000-mile arc of volcanic activity that follows the rim of the Pacific …
 
It’s no secret that human health and the health of Earth’s systems — in particular, the air, water, biodiversity, and climate — are inextricably linked. It’s also no secret that Earth’s systems are changing in ways that can feel daunting and unwieldy. But with all great change comes great opportunity, and the emerging field of Planetary Health offe…
 
In July of 2018, Orca whale J35, also known as “Tahlequah,” gave birth to a calf off the coast of British Columbia. When the calf died shortly after birth, the world grieved alongside J35 as she carried the calf for 17 days across 1,000 miles before finally releasing it and rejoining her pod. Grief that transcends species is an extraordinary thing;…
 
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson is known for delivering novels with poignant and incisive reflections on our present and future. He’s also no stranger to the Town Hall stage and has joined us in the past to discuss his novel Fall and collaborative work with Nicole Galland, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., among others. Stephenson returned to the T…
 
When you think of therapy in a traditional sense, what comes to mind? Television shows, movies, and comics love to paint a stereotypical scene: a bespectacled therapist asks poignant questions and jots down notes on a legal pad; meanwhile, the patient reclines on a sofa and spills their thoughts and emotions into the void of the room. It might be e…
 
On average, a person takes around 20,000 breaths each day; yet most of us never notice the rhythmic rush of air flowing in and out, keeping our bodies oxygenated and alive. And as many asthma or respiratory distress sufferers will attest, you don’t want to notice. But things are happening all around us that threaten our blissful ignorance of breath…
 
Prebiotics and probiotics. Fecal microbiota transplants. Optimizing a diet personalized to you. These microbiome-themed topics are all around us in the media, but microbiome research remains a fairly nascent field of study and wasn’t on many people’s radars even 10 years ago. UCSD Professor Dr. Jack Gilbert and Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) A…
 
Human beings are extraordinary meddlers. We’ve been shaping the world around us since the last ice age, and the longer we’re around, the better we become at resetting the course of evolution. From domesticating animals to CRISPR, a revolutionary new gene-editing tool that garnered a Nobel Prize in 2020, humans haven’t stopped tinkering and probably…
 
We know we have to do something about climate change, and we know we need to move immediately. The mere thought of it tends to make people freeze in their tracks from sheer overwhelm. Thousands of ideas exist, but there’s no clear, collective plan. Try as some people might, jumping on a rocket to the next planet isn’t the answer. But what if we don…
 
The year 2050 once felt like a far-off speck on a distant horizon. But with less than three decades left before we reach the halfway point of the 21st century, that faraway mote doesn’t feel quite so distant. Is it possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change by then? What efforts can we focus on to truly make an impact? In The Decarboniza…
 
Escaping infectious disease and managing its spread has long been at the forefront of the human mind; it’s certainly taken front and center in the minds of today’s humans as the globe continues to wade through the COVID-19 pandemic. In an especially timely and fascinating look at the story of disease past and present, historian Kyle Harper explaine…
 
Whether we can see it or not, the impacts of Monsanto— the agrochemical giant best known for creating the herbicide Roundup and the genetically engineered seeds that resist it— are everywhere. Monsanto has shaped and reshaped the farms that provide food to people worldwide; and while we might not be able to see the breadth of the company’s impacts,…
 
When it comes to human reproduction, particularly from a Western perspective, there’s no shortage of physical things involved. Pregnancy tests. Maternity clothing. Pacifiers. Baby carriers. Reproduction and parenting involve a plethora of objects, each designed with a purpose in mind and each contributing to the reproductive experience, for better …
 
We’ve pondered the puzzles of the human body for millennia, questioning the function of both the visible parts and the parts hidden away behind layers of skin, muscle, and bones. When it comes to the human body— and the bodies of many other living creatures— the heart is an organ that’s long been central to our understanding of life. How did humans…
 
All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup. All our differences are found in the remaining .1 percent. Our DNA makes us different in our personalities and in our health, and both matter when it comes to educational and economic success in our current society. In The Genetic Lottery, clinical psychology professor Paige Harde…
 
Plastic is everywhere, and it lasts forever. But humans have a hard time grasping “forever”— the scope is far greater than our comprehension. That’s precisely the problem that Allison Cobb explored in her new book, Plastic: An Autobiography. Cobb aimed to give shape to behemoths like climate change, nuclear technologies, and racism, using plastic w…
 
The Sahara desert, once upon a time, wasn’t a desert at all. It was green. It was a pleasant place, fed by rivers and lakes. It was home to crocodiles, hippos, turtles, and fish of all stripes. Prehistoric hunters and gatherers came to the lush land, as well, to partake of its rich bounty. It’s now the largest hot desert in the world, equal in size…
 
The web of life is sometimes freezing. Take, for instance, what’s happening in the Alaska Arctic. In one of the largest remaining wilderness ecosystems on the planet, the frigid place is home to the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, and is also a hotspot to study the effects of climate change. What becomes of the caribou if climate change continues unab…
 
What’s a little lizard to do when another ferocious hurricane comes tearing through its homelands? Grow larger toe pads to grip more tightly. Where are the long-spined urchins going? South, to find cooler homes. How come the aggressive butterflyfish isn’t fighting anymore? The coral they loved is no longer worth fighting for. Thor Hanson, who last …
 
Methuselah lived to 969 years old, according to the Bible. In our recent age, Jeanne Calmet holds the title of the oldest person who ever lived. She lived to be 122 years and 164 days old. There’s a woman in Japan, Kane Tanaka, who is currently 118. Jiroemon Kimuri, also from Japan, is the oldest man of all time, living to 116 years and 54 days. Ho…
 
Want to have a tooth pulled? There’s a risk in doing so. Need to have an X-ray because you broke your femur? There’s a risk in doing that, too. Chemotherapy? Having your appendix removed? Getting the COVID-19 vaccine? There’s risk in all of it. From risk, however, can come innovation and solutions. In You Bet Your Life, Dr. Paul Offit gave a long-r…
 
Barney is a friendly purple Tyrannosaurus rex. Dino, everyone’s favorite pet from The Flintstones, is a “Snorkosaurus.” Godzilla is a “Godzillasaurus.” Dinosaurs have fascinated us all for as long as we first discovered dinosaurs. From Jurassic Park to the sitcom The Dinosaurs, we’ve been enthralled by Stegastauruses, Velociraptors, Brontosauruses,…
 
Love isn’t the only thing that hurts. Leigh Cowart knows. Eating the world’s hottest pepper hurts. Ballerinas dancing on broken bones hurts. A sideshow performer electrocuting themself hurts. Ultramarathon running, jumping into an icy lake, and tattooing all hurt. Why are we doing all of this to ourselves on purpose? This question, and many others,…
 
Quarantining during COVID certainly wasn’t the first time we’ve had to restrict our movements to prevent the spread of disease. Far from it. Take, for instance, that time in the 14th century when the Black Death decimated populations (killing off, some suggest, 60% of the entire European population). And take some other alarming maladies like yello…
 
Leah Hazard talks to award-winning editor, writer, speaker, podcast host, and digital media consultant (who likes talking and thinking about women and work) Jenn Romolini about why motherhood is a "fucking scam". Her 2017 book "Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures" was named one of the best leadership books…
 
We’re not to blame for climate change. It’s a part of the natural cycle. The earth is flat. The round Earth conspiracy is orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies. No one should get the coronavirus vaccine. Bill Gates wants to use it to implant microchips in people. This is, of course, all bunk. But how can we change the minds of people w…
 
In Baby Loss Awareness Week, midwife Leah Hazard talks to award-winning freelance health journalist Jennie Agg about her own experience of recurrent miscarriage and how her path to parenthood has been anything but straightforward. Jennie specialises in women's health and has written features for national newspapers and magazines including The Times…
 
There aren’t many in this world who can be called a real-life Lorax. In fact, there’s just one: Dr. Meg Lowman. Lowman was nicknamed that by National Geographic for her enthusiasm and knowledge of all things trees. A true tree hugger, Lowman, executive director of the TREE Foundation, has been up in the branches and crowns for decades, learning and…
 
Midwife Leah Hazard talks to author and mum Lucy Brett about her book - PMSL - and her campaign to smash the taboos around women's health and birth. Lucy started writing about women’s health, bodies and taboo after the birth of her second baby. Like many women born in an analogue age her sex and body education was a combined effort – she learned ab…
 
Why do Black people have a higher death rate than white people from COVID-19? Why do the working class have higher instances of respiratory diseases? If someone is saddled with debt, what does that do to their bodies? Inflamed illuminates the hidden relationships between our biological systems and the injustices of our political, social, and econom…
 
Midwife Leah Hazard welcomes Dr Claire Ashley to the pod to discuss life inside the NHS, how she ended up burned out and why she decided to change her career path to find happiness. Claire also explains her new life mission - to help overwhelmed healthcare professionals recognise, prevent and overcome burnout, as well as helping them to create care…
 
“If there is magic on this planet,” anthropologist Loren Eiseley said, “it is contained in water.” Humans have been trying to contain that magic for millennia. Giulio Boccaletti knows this more than most anyone. With Water: A Biography, Boccaletti showcased the revealing history of how the distribution of water has shaped human civilization. We all…
 
Midwife Leah Hazard explores surrogacy and becoming a dad with author Robin Morgan-Bentley, who welcomed baby Solly with husband Paul during lockdown last year. Robin tells Leah how the couple went about finding a surrogate as well as the challenges that came along and the relationship they've since built up with their incredible surrogate Rachel. …
 
There are bird nests that you can eat. Some birds go “anting,” a behavior in which they rub ants all over their feathers and skin. A mockingbird can emit up to 200 distinct noises. These facts, and many more, are encapsulated in Christopher Leahy’s new book, Birdpedia: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore. Leahy highlights his A to Z treasury of bird f…
 
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