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Abstract: The Future of Science

Jeremy Ullman

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Abstract: The Future of Science

Abstract: The Future of Science

Jeremy Ullman

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About Us

Going behind the scenes: graduate research, best practices and the future of science. By students, for students.New interviews with graduate researchers released every Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked!

Latest Episodes

Ep. 16 - Neuroimaging, Cannabis & Pregnancy ft. Lani Cupo

Our guest this week is Lani Cupo, a multifaceted and tempestuous PhD student in Neuroscience. In this episode we discuss the seduction of the cognitive sciences, the integrated program in neuroscience offered through the Montreal Neurological Institute, the effect of perspective-taking on the perception of Native American art using priming, quantitative and qualitative analysis, the suppression of unwated thoughts, what it means to be WEIRD, biased and prejudiced; we talk animal vs. human research, taking pictures of the brain with giant magnets and other imaging techniques, the effects of maternal illness and THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, weed, pot, cannabis, etc.) exposure on disorders in offspring, how a mother's compromised immune system affects fetal development, jelly-bean mice, what we learn from a baby's first poop (!), the importance of laying the foundation of a solid work-life balance early on in your career, and finally my own question gets flipped on me! It's another jam packed episode so tune in, and as always, you can find and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Your feedback is invaluable, so if you like what you heard or have an idea of how the podacast could be improved, we want to hear from you -- shoot us a message, DM, or email at abstractcast@gmail.com Thanks for listening!

59 min5 d ago
Comments
Ep. 16 - Neuroimaging, Cannabis & Pregnancy ft. Lani Cupo

Ch. 1 | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna

Dear McGill PSYC 211 students, I graduated from McGill in Cognitive Science back in 2018. I am volunteering some time this semester to create a rap album that accompanies your course material this fall: here's the first chapter! This course changed the way I thought about science and the world at large; you will get out of this course exatly what you put it, so pay attention and enjoy the process. If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project. The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psycholgy. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. /// If yo...

5 min5 d ago
Comments
Ch. 1 | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna

Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche

Our guest this week is dedicated and cooperative PhD candidate Nadine Bekkouche, studying the structures and processes of graduate education. We cover a plethora of topics of the show this week including, but not limited to: the limitations on human linguistic abilities, two consciousness-changing insights having to do with learning, the importance of a nurturing supervisor (especially at the beginning of your academic career), the personal experience of pain, environmental effects on behavior and emotional state, mental health in academia, teaching versus tutoring, empathy, instructional design and educational technology, what academic institutions can learn from Apple and Google, a unique definition of motivation, and the outcomes of putting your authentic self first. This is truly a jam-packed episode, so come on in!

62 min1 w ago
Comments
Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche

Ep. 14 - Osteo Engineering ft. Daniella Marx

Our guest this week is fun-loving, energetic and tenacious Phd student Daniella Marx. Daniella is working towards her degree in Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. We take a deep dive into the nature of bone and what makes it solid, building bone tissue in a petri dish, bioactive bone cements and their biological effects and applications, the cutting edge in implant technology, the secret life of Strontium, the difference between good and bad inflammation; we also run the gamut on a whole bunch of metals, some of which are found in your body, and others which you should avoid ingesting. Get ready for this, and so much more on episode 14 of Abstract. Happy listening! Check out Daniella's latest publication here!

52 min2 w ago
Comments
Ep. 14 - Osteo Engineering ft. Daniella Marx

Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson

Our guest this is week is none other than expert listener and pattern-seeking PhD candidate William Scott Thompson. Will is interested in understanding recurring motifs in the brain, rather than its specific functions. He is currently working in a lab at a research institute in Sweden, contributing to the longterm multinational goal of mapping the human brain! On today's episode we discuss the Human Brain Project, what goes into building a high-resolution, three-dimensional atlas of the brain, the forebrain structures known as the Basal Ganglia and the evolution of such structures, pain mapping, the difference between epigenetics and gene editing, simulation neuroscience, communication at every scale of the nervous system, the anatomy of a brain cell, the future of academia and much more! NEW! This episode now has a discussion forum, so check out the following link to access and contribute to an international collaborative debate on the following thesis: "One day, it will be possible to fully simulate the human brain." https://www.kialo-edu.com/p/24fb041a-8fc8-4ba5-85b6-f40e83ba1e95/20484

58 min3 w ago
Comments
Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson

Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram

On this week's episode I sit down with ambitious, caring and creative postdoc Ryan Persram. We discuss the nature of sibling conflict, the general and three specific sub-types of trust, tools for conflict mediation, the importance of promoting positive interactions with other people, empathy, collaboration, friendships, family dynamics, nesting, identify development and we close it out with a deep dive into defining and characterizing work-life balance! Moving forward, Ryan hopes to contribute to the creation of new policy and design of outreach programs to educate adults and parents on child develpment, well being and relationship building. NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, for the first 21 minutes of this episode, the quality of the guest's audio is slightly lower than what you can normally expect here on Abstract. Thank you kindly for understanding, and we hope you enjoy this week's animated discussion! Abstract on Facebook Abstract on Twitter

66 minAUG 16
Comments
Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram

Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka

Our guest this week is self-professed "fairly laid back" PhD student Eitan Bulka. He is rapidly approaching the end of his PhD at McGill University, where he has spent over half a decade developing a breadth and depth of knowledge in robotics -- and he shares that with us in an hour of blissful pedagogy! We talk about how airplanes generate lift, the benefit of a high thrust to weight ratio, the kinds of people you find in the robotics community, what it means to do research in an Aerospace Mechantronics lab, the ubiquity of Newton's second law of motion, motion planning, aerial dynamics, the 12 dimensions of control laws and applications of both of these latter systems (and more). Eitan also believes that it's easy to make time for something when you love it - and he loves what he does, as will evident upon listening to this episode. As an added bonus, Eitan was also just inducted into the McGill sports hall of fame; so for all of you sports fans out there, this one's for you too!

57 minAUG 10
Comments
Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka

Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile

Our guest this week is PhD candidate, professional procrastinator and aerospace industry expert Andrea Cartile! In a nutshell, she does stuff with airplanes, but more specifically she optimizes communication in the domain of aircraft modification. Her research lies in information management, and she seeks to answer questions like "how do you take an existing airplane and make changes to it?" and "what do you need to prove that an aircraft modification is equally safe or safer than the original design?" Andrea never shies away from a challenge, in fact, she specifically seeks out the hard stuff! She's gritty, has a great attitude and killer work ethic. Excelling in the biological sciences and then pivoting to engineering, Andrea has proven herself to be a true jack of all trades. Andrea also draws a fascinating connection between the seemingly disparate fields of Engineering and Biology (you don't want to miss this). We discuss the framework and sub-fields of aerospace, Andrea's expe...

61 minAUG 3
Comments
Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile

Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau

Our guest this week is the ever optimistic Austin Trudeau, the man who inspired this very podcast. He is our second graduate student business owner after Shauna (Ep. 4), and he has been studying emotional decision-making in a marketing context. His focus is on the phenomenon of delayed discounting -- which he breaks down for us in great detail -- and the effects of sexual imagery on people's spending habits. Austin is chock full of great pearls of wisdom; strong mindset, perspective and time management skills are the cornerstones of Austin's philosphy. He also believes that you are an average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and he's proud of his 5! Austin and two fellow business-owners started the podcast that inspired this one, so please do yourselves a favor and check out The Weekly Call, available everywhere you find Abstract!

70 minJUL 27
Comments
Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau

Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace

Our guest today is the curious Mr. Alex Pace, a recent Master's graduate from Concordia University's Environmental Geography program. He's been studying the history of climate through the analysis of tree-rings in Quebec. We run the gamut on the climate crisis, outlining its 5 main components: climate science, impacts on humans, impacts on nature, individual solutions and systems solutions. We talk greenhouse gases, the Gaia Hypothesis, jurassic sustainability, tropical Antarctic fossils and so much more! We answer the question of which natural phenomena allow us to know the climate of the past. We close our discussion with the big picture of life as an academic, what to keep an eye out for, and what's important for success along the way. Alex is also an aspiring nature photographer, and you can find his lovely work on instagram @alley.peach!

64 minJUL 20
Comments
Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace

Latest Episodes

Ep. 16 - Neuroimaging, Cannabis & Pregnancy ft. Lani Cupo

Our guest this week is Lani Cupo, a multifaceted and tempestuous PhD student in Neuroscience. In this episode we discuss the seduction of the cognitive sciences, the integrated program in neuroscience offered through the Montreal Neurological Institute, the effect of perspective-taking on the perception of Native American art using priming, quantitative and qualitative analysis, the suppression of unwated thoughts, what it means to be WEIRD, biased and prejudiced; we talk animal vs. human research, taking pictures of the brain with giant magnets and other imaging techniques, the effects of maternal illness and THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, weed, pot, cannabis, etc.) exposure on disorders in offspring, how a mother's compromised immune system affects fetal development, jelly-bean mice, what we learn from a baby's first poop (!), the importance of laying the foundation of a solid work-life balance early on in your career, and finally my own question gets flipped on me! It's another jam packed episode so tune in, and as always, you can find and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Your feedback is invaluable, so if you like what you heard or have an idea of how the podacast could be improved, we want to hear from you -- shoot us a message, DM, or email at abstractcast@gmail.com Thanks for listening!

59 min5 d ago
Comments
Ep. 16 - Neuroimaging, Cannabis & Pregnancy ft. Lani Cupo

Ch. 1 | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna

Dear McGill PSYC 211 students, I graduated from McGill in Cognitive Science back in 2018. I am volunteering some time this semester to create a rap album that accompanies your course material this fall: here's the first chapter! This course changed the way I thought about science and the world at large; you will get out of this course exatly what you put it, so pay attention and enjoy the process. If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project. The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psycholgy. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. /// If yo...

5 min5 d ago
Comments
Ch. 1 | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna

Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche

Our guest this week is dedicated and cooperative PhD candidate Nadine Bekkouche, studying the structures and processes of graduate education. We cover a plethora of topics of the show this week including, but not limited to: the limitations on human linguistic abilities, two consciousness-changing insights having to do with learning, the importance of a nurturing supervisor (especially at the beginning of your academic career), the personal experience of pain, environmental effects on behavior and emotional state, mental health in academia, teaching versus tutoring, empathy, instructional design and educational technology, what academic institutions can learn from Apple and Google, a unique definition of motivation, and the outcomes of putting your authentic self first. This is truly a jam-packed episode, so come on in!

62 min1 w ago
Comments
Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche

Ep. 14 - Osteo Engineering ft. Daniella Marx

Our guest this week is fun-loving, energetic and tenacious Phd student Daniella Marx. Daniella is working towards her degree in Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. We take a deep dive into the nature of bone and what makes it solid, building bone tissue in a petri dish, bioactive bone cements and their biological effects and applications, the cutting edge in implant technology, the secret life of Strontium, the difference between good and bad inflammation; we also run the gamut on a whole bunch of metals, some of which are found in your body, and others which you should avoid ingesting. Get ready for this, and so much more on episode 14 of Abstract. Happy listening! Check out Daniella's latest publication here!

52 min2 w ago
Comments
Ep. 14 - Osteo Engineering ft. Daniella Marx

Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson

Our guest this is week is none other than expert listener and pattern-seeking PhD candidate William Scott Thompson. Will is interested in understanding recurring motifs in the brain, rather than its specific functions. He is currently working in a lab at a research institute in Sweden, contributing to the longterm multinational goal of mapping the human brain! On today's episode we discuss the Human Brain Project, what goes into building a high-resolution, three-dimensional atlas of the brain, the forebrain structures known as the Basal Ganglia and the evolution of such structures, pain mapping, the difference between epigenetics and gene editing, simulation neuroscience, communication at every scale of the nervous system, the anatomy of a brain cell, the future of academia and much more! NEW! This episode now has a discussion forum, so check out the following link to access and contribute to an international collaborative debate on the following thesis: "One day, it will be possible to fully simulate the human brain." https://www.kialo-edu.com/p/24fb041a-8fc8-4ba5-85b6-f40e83ba1e95/20484

58 min3 w ago
Comments
Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson

Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram

On this week's episode I sit down with ambitious, caring and creative postdoc Ryan Persram. We discuss the nature of sibling conflict, the general and three specific sub-types of trust, tools for conflict mediation, the importance of promoting positive interactions with other people, empathy, collaboration, friendships, family dynamics, nesting, identify development and we close it out with a deep dive into defining and characterizing work-life balance! Moving forward, Ryan hopes to contribute to the creation of new policy and design of outreach programs to educate adults and parents on child develpment, well being and relationship building. NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, for the first 21 minutes of this episode, the quality of the guest's audio is slightly lower than what you can normally expect here on Abstract. Thank you kindly for understanding, and we hope you enjoy this week's animated discussion! Abstract on Facebook Abstract on Twitter

66 minAUG 16
Comments
Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram

Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka

Our guest this week is self-professed "fairly laid back" PhD student Eitan Bulka. He is rapidly approaching the end of his PhD at McGill University, where he has spent over half a decade developing a breadth and depth of knowledge in robotics -- and he shares that with us in an hour of blissful pedagogy! We talk about how airplanes generate lift, the benefit of a high thrust to weight ratio, the kinds of people you find in the robotics community, what it means to do research in an Aerospace Mechantronics lab, the ubiquity of Newton's second law of motion, motion planning, aerial dynamics, the 12 dimensions of control laws and applications of both of these latter systems (and more). Eitan also believes that it's easy to make time for something when you love it - and he loves what he does, as will evident upon listening to this episode. As an added bonus, Eitan was also just inducted into the McGill sports hall of fame; so for all of you sports fans out there, this one's for you too!

57 minAUG 10
Comments
Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka

Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile

Our guest this week is PhD candidate, professional procrastinator and aerospace industry expert Andrea Cartile! In a nutshell, she does stuff with airplanes, but more specifically she optimizes communication in the domain of aircraft modification. Her research lies in information management, and she seeks to answer questions like "how do you take an existing airplane and make changes to it?" and "what do you need to prove that an aircraft modification is equally safe or safer than the original design?" Andrea never shies away from a challenge, in fact, she specifically seeks out the hard stuff! She's gritty, has a great attitude and killer work ethic. Excelling in the biological sciences and then pivoting to engineering, Andrea has proven herself to be a true jack of all trades. Andrea also draws a fascinating connection between the seemingly disparate fields of Engineering and Biology (you don't want to miss this). We discuss the framework and sub-fields of aerospace, Andrea's expe...

61 minAUG 3
Comments
Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile

Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau

Our guest this week is the ever optimistic Austin Trudeau, the man who inspired this very podcast. He is our second graduate student business owner after Shauna (Ep. 4), and he has been studying emotional decision-making in a marketing context. His focus is on the phenomenon of delayed discounting -- which he breaks down for us in great detail -- and the effects of sexual imagery on people's spending habits. Austin is chock full of great pearls of wisdom; strong mindset, perspective and time management skills are the cornerstones of Austin's philosphy. He also believes that you are an average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and he's proud of his 5! Austin and two fellow business-owners started the podcast that inspired this one, so please do yourselves a favor and check out The Weekly Call, available everywhere you find Abstract!

70 minJUL 27
Comments
Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau

Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace

Our guest today is the curious Mr. Alex Pace, a recent Master's graduate from Concordia University's Environmental Geography program. He's been studying the history of climate through the analysis of tree-rings in Quebec. We run the gamut on the climate crisis, outlining its 5 main components: climate science, impacts on humans, impacts on nature, individual solutions and systems solutions. We talk greenhouse gases, the Gaia Hypothesis, jurassic sustainability, tropical Antarctic fossils and so much more! We answer the question of which natural phenomena allow us to know the climate of the past. We close our discussion with the big picture of life as an academic, what to keep an eye out for, and what's important for success along the way. Alex is also an aspiring nature photographer, and you can find his lovely work on instagram @alley.peach!

64 minJUL 20
Comments
Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace
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