Each week we bring you a new, in-depth exploration of the space where science and society collide. We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you though science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We want to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters.

This week: new research on how climate change is affecting autumn wildfires; a study that attempts to use a biologically inspired and technically enhanced enzymatic solution to break down plastics, and a study showing that whether blue whales are foraging or migrating affects what time of day they sing songs. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to journalist and author Lee van der Voo about her new book As the World Burns: The New Generation of Activists and the Landmark Legal Fight Against Climate Change. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This week we talk to Stephan Crawford about The ClimateMusic Project, an organization that hopes to, through music, tell the urgent story of climate change. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This week we talk to Sara Hendren, an artist, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering about her new book What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World. Hendren's book explores the idea that perhaps many people are disabled not by the shape of their body or how they work, but instead by the shape of the built environment in which they live. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This week: A deep look into new research on the relationship between how you sleep and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, including an interview with the study’s author, Matt Walker, and two neuroscientists review Elon Musk’s recent Neuralink announcement and explain what they got right and what they got very wrong. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to psychologist Katherine Kinzler about her new book How You Say It: Why You Talk the Way You Do—And What It Says About You. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to Scottish psychologist Stuart Ritchie about his new book Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to mathematician and epidemiologist Adam Kucharski about his recent book The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread—And Why They Stop. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This week: A new study showing how you can, as a way to control their population, change blood-drinking female mosquitoes to male, non-biting mosquitoes by changing just one gene; research into new ways for robots to grab things; a study showing the ways in which the pupils of people who have PTSD react differently than others, even in emotionally-neutral situations; beavers in Alaska are working overtime in the Arctic tundra as a result of climate change and possibly damaging the ecosystem; and research examining how the Earth’s crust cracked in the first place. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to science reporter Zach St. George about his new book The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to environmental attorney Barbara Freese about her new book Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to science writer Wendy Williams about her new book The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This week: New astrophysics research on the likelihood of there being intelligent life on other planets in our solar system; a study in which atomic force microscopy was used to study the biology of yeast; research into why the chlorophyll in plants doesn’t absorb peak (green) sunlight; and a look at a study that involves watching wasps fight each other in front of a crowd. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to Tony Wagner, a globally recognized expert in education and senior research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, about his new book Learning by Heart: An Unconventional Education. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to Robert Rosencrans, an MD/PhD student at the The University of Alabama at Birmingham about the history of structural racism in medicine and the problems with race-based medicine. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

In her book, The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez explores how eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—shaped human society. In this episode, we explore the importance of materials and learn about the unsung heroes who crafted them into tools we use every day. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to astrophysicist Mario Livio about his new book Galileo: And the Science Deniers. A note before today’s episode:  We have all been watching the escalation of police violence against protesters and Black people and if you consider yourself someone who cares about the injustices and racism being levied against Black communities, I want to ask you to do something about it.  If you have a platform, use it. If you have money to spare, donate it. At the very least you have your voice and your time.  There is a deep anti-Blackness in America and this is an inflection point. When white silence equals violence, there’s no defending complacency. We support Black voices, we support protesters, and we’re horrified by the actions of police. Please consider taking action. Find a local bail fund to support here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd More anti-racism resources here: http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES — Adam Isaak, Inquiring Minds producer Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to noted historian Bart Ehrman about his new book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to Lulu Miller, cofounder of NPR's Invisibilia, about her new book Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We talk to writer Keith Law about the behavioral economics of baseball and his new book The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.