Better Learning With Beer!

A Scientist Walks Into a Bar


Episodes feature recordings of talks given at Science on Tap events held in Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA.

This podcast is also available through iTunes.

Episode 14: Grunt with Mary Roach

If you have a sense of humor, Mary Roach is either already your favorite science author or she’s about to be. She came to Portland in 2017 to talk about her latest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, and our onstage interview ranged from asking how she gets inspiration for her books to tips on how… Read more

Episode 13: Evolution Under the Influence

We’re back! This episode is a recording of the talk “Evolution Under the Influence: Alcohol and the Coevolution of Humans and Yeast” by geneticist Dr. Kevin McCabe who works at Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Oregon. In this talk, Kevin will take you through the history of primate alcohol consumption, the importance of yeast to human… Read more

Episode 12: The Neuroscience of Racism

This episode is a recording of the talk You and Your Racist Brain: The Neuroscience of Prejudice with Dr. Larry Sherman, a neuroscientist from OHSU. In this talk, Dr. Sherman explains how our brains have evolved to make judgments based on visual information in milliseconds, and that these preconceived opinions about other people are not based on reason or… Read more

Episode 11: Parasites

This episode is a recording of the talk Parasites: A Global Health Problem, with Dr. Buddy Ullman, a parasitologist from OHSU. In this talk, Buddy describes a number of different human parasites, including tapeworms, hookworms, and plenty that you’ve never heard of. WARNING: this talk contains pretty graphic detail of what parasites do to human… Read more

Episode 10: Neuroscience of PTSD

This episode is a recording of the talk The Neuroscience of Trauma: From Trigger Warnings to PTSD with Dr. Larry Sherman, a neuroscientist at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. In this talk, Larry describes a lot of things related to trauma and PTSD, including his own family experience with the condition, conditioned fear response, fMRI studies, epigenetics, and proven… Read more

Episode 9: Food Scraps as Compost and Energy

This episode is a recording of the talk Ignoble Rot: Food Scraps as Compost and Energy by David Allaway, senior policy analyst with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). David spoke about ways to reduce food waste, and also described some of the pros and cons of four ways of dealing with food waste once it’s been… Read more

Episode 8: Molecules with Theodore Gray

This episode features Theodore Gray talking about his new book “Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything.” Theo is known for many things, including his periodic table, his Ig Nobel award, his column in Popular Science, his app development company called Touchpress, his work as a co-founder of Wolfram Research, and his book “The Elements.” In… Read more

Episode 7: Cannabis Pharmacy

This episode features the talk Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana with author Michael Backes. The book gives “evidence-based information on using cannabis for ailments and conditions, plus a comprehensive guide to the most popular varieties.” In this talk he describes how prohibition of cannabis in the United States has inspired selective breeding and has changed the… Read more

Episode 6: Epigenetics

This episode features the talk Epigenetics: The Merger of Nature and Nurture, by Dr. Lisa Sardinia from Pacific University. Lisa teaches environmental science and biology, specializing in microbiology and genetics. In this talk she describes the emerging field of epigenetics and how changes in your environment and what you eat can contribute to genetic changes not only for yourself… Read more

Episode 5: Missoula Floods

This episode features the talk Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods, by Dr. Scott Burns from Portland State University. The Missoula Floods were a series of 80+ floods that happened in the Pacific Northwest during the last ice age around 15,000 years ago, and they dramatically shaped the geology and topography of Washington and Oregon… Read more

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