Distillations is the Science History Institute’s critically acclaimed flagship podcast. We take deep dives into stories that range from the serious to the eccentric, all to help listeners better understand our world. Hear about everything from the crisis in Alzheimer’s research to New England’s 19th-century vampire panic in compelling, sometimes-funny, documentary-style audio stories.
The unnatural history of a carbonated drink.
The unexpected origin of the sports bra.
Once upon a time all births were natural. A lot has happened since then.
Dive into the world of nixtamalization, a chemical process that allowed the Mesoamerican empires to thrive and tacos to taste good.
Blood is powerful, but it can also be dangerous.
We loved it. We hated it. Now we kind of maybe like it again.
Society has long had strict ideas about sex and gender binaries, but even nature doesn’t always comply.
Travel back in time with us and find out what the world was like when science and the supernatural weren’t so far apart.
This episode takes on the frothy subject of beer, and explores the science, culture, and history behind the suds.
On today’s show, we investigate Olympic mysteries, from the flame of the torch to the composition of those so-called gold medals.
From antibiotics to chemotherapy, modern pharmaceuticals transformed the experience of illness in the 20th century.
How do scientists explain what they do to the larger public, and how can historians help?