Ever Wonder how we figured out that mosquitoes transmit malaria? Curious about the latest Zika news? Have questions about why Lyme disease causes a bullseye rash? Tiny Vampires is a show about insects that transmit disease and the scientists that are fighting them. Each episode is a guided by questions sent in by listeners. The question is answered with background information and the story of how sciientists were able to shine a light on that particular mystery.
the Zika virus outbreak began, our laboratory was hosting a researcher from Brazil. She explained to me her frustration with the wide rift between what the media outlets and governments were reporting around the world and what the science was actually saying. I realized that this was the cause of the conflicting reports from different information outlets, which lead to many of my friends and family members were asking me in depth scientific questions about Zika.
It is difficult for the general public to get good information when they have a specific scientific question. The research is either hidden behind a paywall or wall of scientific jargon, often times both.
A fellowship funded by the National Science Foundation called the Social Responsibilities of Researchers (SRR) was the perfect way for me to get training in my ethical responsibilities as a scientist and to fund a podcast that would answer the public's questions. SRR fellows like myself are trained to take the scientific mandate of conducting research that will further knowledge and better lives and expand it to reach out of our labs into the public sphere. This means different things for each fellow from aiding lawmakers to science communication.
In my case I chose to start this podcast. I hope that it fills the gap between the cutting edge science and the consumers while being interesting and entertaining. If you have any questions about diseases transmitting insects I look forward to reading them and discovering the most up-to-date science together. Post your questions on the contact page.