Sex, Drugs & Science

Wrap Party Episode!

August 26, 2020 Valerie Earnshaw & Carly Hill Season 1 Episode 11
Sex, Drugs & Science
Wrap Party Episode!
Chapters
Sex, Drugs & Science
Wrap Party Episode!
Aug 26, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
Valerie Earnshaw & Carly Hill

This week, Valerie and Carly invite the undergrads to talk a little more about why and how we started the podcast. While we're away on break, follow us on instagram @sexdrugsscience or email us with any questions at sexdrugsnscience@gmail.com. As always, subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date with the next season!

Show Notes Transcript

This week, Valerie and Carly invite the undergrads to talk a little more about why and how we started the podcast. While we're away on break, follow us on instagram @sexdrugsscience or email us with any questions at sexdrugsnscience@gmail.com. As always, subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date with the next season!

Valerie:

I'm Valerie Earnshaw.

Carly:

I'm Carly Hill.

Valerie:

and this is sex, drugs and science . So now in this episode, we are inviting you to our wrap episode. So this is sort of like our, you know , end of season celebration conversation with our undergraduate research assistants who have been working on the podcast all summer, just for a little bit of context. This is something that we do in our lab. At the end of every semester, we have sort of a parties . So this says , you know, I don't know if anybody felt like this wrap episode was the party, but it was fun. It was a fun conversation and we kind of reflected on why we made the podcast and also how we did it. Hey, rock stars, welcome to the wrap party. End of season.

Carly:

wooo

Alyssa:

yay

Valerie:

All right . So I thought that we could kick off our party by introducing ourselves. If you could just, you know , tell everybody maybe your name, a little bit about you so that they can connect , um, your names and your voices. So Alyssa, why don't we start with you?

Alyssa :

Hi, my name is Alyssa. Um, I'm a rising senior at university of Delaware. Um, I am a public policy major with a minor in anthropology. And my role with this podcast is I help do some research for each coming guests. Um, I do some social media work and I also help with the transcribing occasionally.

Valerie:

Awesome. All right , Sarah.

Sarah:

Hi, my name's Sarah Lopez. I'm also a rising senior and my major is human relations administration. I just really love working with people. Um, and I joined the lab because I didn't know exactly what went into the research and the whole process in , um, a whole research project. So I really love that I'm able to be a part of this podcast, but also just being able to be that behind the scenes that goes into such great work that , um, we see going on in this lab and in other labs as well, and in the lab, Alyssa and I, my favorite part of being by favorite part of being a lab member was last summer Alyssa and I coded multiple interviews. And that was one of the best things I think I've done in this lab. It was really fun cause you were able to read interviews , um, kind of see what it's like to interview these people. It almost felt like I was a part of the interview. Um, but that was my favorite thing, but I also love working on this podcast as well.

Valerie:

I forgot about that. So last summer the group was coding all of these qualitative interviews that C arly and our graduate student Natalie had done in our local methadone clinic. And I remember I knew that Alyssa was going to be great for that particular job because she came into the interview with this like monster book that she was reading. Alyssa . Do you remember what book you were reading?

Alyssa:

I was, I came in with The Game of Thrones.

Valerie:

Yes. Oh, if this lady likes to read as , I mean, we had hundreds and hundreds of pages of , um , qualitative interviews. Like we had qualitative interviews from 150 people times two, right?

Carly:

Yeah.

Valerie:

You did two time points.

Carly:

So they were all like an hour long, some of them two hours long at least.

Valerie:

Sarah and Alyssa completely rocked it. Like, I mean, amazing. Like did all of the qualitative coding for that. That was really great. Yeah. That's that makes me feel great that you enjoyed that. That's really nice. Alright , I'm kicking it over to Mackenzie .

Mackenzie :

Hi, I'm Mackenzie. I just graduated from the university of Delaware. I was a health behavior science major with a minor in public health. So being part of this lab has been really great, learning more about the , um , public health world and the stigmas that go along with it. And I've learned so much and I'm , I've really am grateful for having this opportunity. Um, and I just started a job working in the healthcare field

Valerie:

And that's how you know that McKenzie is a complete and total rock star because she started a new job was newly hired. First time, first adult, like, you know , big deal gig during the pandemic.

Carly:

Yeah!

Valerie :

And no one is starting new jobs.

Mackenzie:

Thank you, ha ha

Valerie:

Congratulations McKenzie . We're super thrilled. Um , and we're also glad that we get to hang out with you for a couple more weeks as you have your internship.

Mackenzie :

Thank you. And I , um, in terms of what I do for the podcast or the research, I , um, transcribe podcast episodes and I do a little bit of work working , um, the coronavirus conspiracy theory research.

Valerie:

It keeps you busy cause there are so many conspiracy theories.

Mackenzie:

Exactly.

Valerie:

All right . And last, but certainly not least we'll kick it over to Christina.

Christina :

Hi everyone. I'm Christina. This fall, I'll be starting my sophomore year at the university of Delaware. I'm majoring in computer science and minoring in human development and family sciences for the podcast. I edit the episodes and I help out with researching the guests as needed. Um , I'm really excited that I'm a part of this lab because I really value the intersection of humans and science.

Valerie:

love any rising sophomore who loves an intersection with science. Especially, humans and science. It's just like, you know, now I'm like the emoji, like with all of the hearts coming out of it, it's just really my, my favorite thing. Yeah. It's amazing. All right . Well I think we are going to dig into our podcast origin story. So I sort of feel like, like, this is the part of the podcast where we need like a campfire and we need to like pull up our seats or something, right? Yeah. Yeah. So just like envision that, I mean, Christina, maybe later you could like add some like crackling.

Carly:

Crickets and stuff? Yeah.

Christina :

Yeah, totally

:

Cause this is such...

Carly:

I mean , you know , the ambiance maybe all right. Someone playing like kumbaya on that guitar or wonder wall or something.

Valerie:

I think most realistically there should be sounds of Carly burning her marshmallow and then like, you know, eating it too quickly. And then Yeah. How did you know? That is exactly how I eat mostly .

Christina :

That is like oddly specific.

Carly:

b ut incredibly on point. So yeah.

Valerie:

Okay. All right . So I feel like I should say it was a dark and stormy night, but it wasn't, it was our origin story begins with me giving a webinar for the national institutes of health. It was their office of disease prevention. They have this , um, webinars series where they have scientists come on and they do like an hour long presentation, basically on some sort of method that mostly like social and behavioral sciences might apply to their research. So I was invited to do one of these webinars and um, let me preface by saying I gave, I give a lot of talks and in 2019, for some reason I gave like a lot, a lot of talks and this particular talk, I really like threw my back into like, I, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to give the talk or the webinar. Cause I knew it would be like saved on the internet. I wrote it out. I even like a couple of weeks beforehand, I had to give a different talk and I like previewed parts of it to see if it would go out. Like I could feed back . I was like, I was really like man this is a good talk.

:

Well, and it paid off.

Carly:

Because what she's not going to say is that it was also like one of the highest registered Like, so like the most participants they'd had registered for the...

Valerie:

Yeah. For the series today. So that was very cool. They were like hundreds of people who were in , who were , you know , tuning in for this webinar, which was really neat. Um, so I was even after the webinar, I felt really good. And then I get this email from this guy and he's got a lot of pro tips for me about how to do better in my , um, in presentations, including this , um, piece, which I'm going to read for you, even though it makes, you know, it definitely makes me embarrassed, but anyway, he goes, "I apologize at the outset of this, if it seems to have a personal tone to it because it is not intended from that direction". And now I'm realizing I can't get through this reading this without like annotating. So I just want to say that if you have to start an email by saying.

:

"like no offense, but"

Valerie:

"No offense but" essentially like don't write the email. Okay, got that out of my system. Maybe I can get through the rest. "What has come to be known as Valley speak the rising of the tone slash pitch at the end of each phrase or sentence and or the emphasizing of the last syllable of a word such that the auditory result is that the phrase slash sentence seems to be a question rather than a statement has become common amongst some speakers." And , um , he didn't say which speakers, he meant women, and I'm pretty sure he met younger women. Talk to him. "It can be quite distracting to listeners in an audience in that it directs the listener's mind on a path to expect, to have to answer an inquiry rather than accept a statement. The latter of which most often is intended as another piece in the foundation or other slash further structural member of the presentation."

Carly:

Dude, wait guys, how much did auditory result? Like yeah , bruh what?

Valerie:

So I get this email and then I just feel like the , I felt terrible. Like I'm a stigma researcher. I have since classified, like this was a sexist thing to receive. Um, but I get this and I just feel like, Oh my gosh, I sound really dumb on everything I say, including this , uh , webinar and I'm using Valley speak. And so it just, it made me feel really low. And I mean his whole email, I mean, there are other pro tips, like it's just terrible. Um, but then I was like, you know, how does this guy know what scientists actually sound like? Like, yes, maybe I'm using Valley speak. Um, or maybe I have some ups speak. Although Carly assures me, that's not as bad as they think.

:

Yeah well I said , how many

Carly:

Guys, how many times has Dr. Earnshaw Said something? You're like, dude, I don't know if that's a question or like a statement. I don't know, like what she's saying to me that has not happened.

Christina:

It's just like you understand that people communicate in different ways.

Valerie:

Like yeah, yeah, yeah. So I essentially felt like he was like your listen little girl, you need to change the way you speak so that you sound like a scientist. And I kind of started circling around into then a place of anger and frustration first off being like, you know, not super impressive that you thought for 45 minutes to an hour, that I was personally asking you questions. And like, that must have been very confusing for you, sir . So like for him, but then also, you know, like I said into this place of like, how would you know what a scientist sounds like? You know, you might read our publications, you might , um, yeah, you might read our publications or, you know, see our stuff on the website, but you don't hear from scientists. You don't know who they are. So this, I am a scientist. I think I'm a decent scientist and this is how I talk and it's fine. And so actually , um, you know, just in this vein, one of the things that we don't do on this podcast is really script anything. It's supposed to sound like how we actually speak. Like there are wonderful podcasts out there who have that had different goals and, and um, the academics on those podcasts are very scripted. They like write their script and then they read their script and we're purposefully not doing that because we think that it's important for people to hear like, this is how scientists talk to each other. Like it's casual, maybe there's some Valley speak, but none of us are confused about whether we're asking each other questions.

:

nope

Valerie:

All right. So then I had this idea like, okay, we need to hear more from scientists. We need to A hear their voices and B like, wouldn't it be interesting to hear, you know, more about a Stephanie store leader said the people behind the publications a little bit, like how did they get into this? Like clearly we need to recruit also more people into this gig. So we have more diverse voices. So , um, I then called my friend Kim Nelson from episode two and I was like, Kim, what if I start a podcast? And she was like, you know, A-plus idea go right ahead. And I said, okay. But if I get any hate mail, you know, or more critiquey emails, I'm just gonna forward all of those to you. Cause that's the part of this that I don't, I'm not excited about it . And she said deal, which is why, if you do have any complaints about the podcast, we'd like you to direct them to KayNells@fau .com and we'd appreciate that. Don't send them to us. And then to Kim Nelson.

:

Yeah. If you have any nice things to say, hit us up.

Valerie:

Yeah. Any nice things, you know, send them right to us. So yeah. Then we , um, you know, got the green light from Kim that this wasn't a terrible idea. And then immediately wrote Carly into the nonsense. Um, and then we brought it to the group and we had a discussion about it. So I dunno . Do you guys, do you remember when we brought it to the group, was it, did it sound like a really weird thing to be doing or did it sound like a fun thing to be doing?

Christina:

I think something that I like about this lab and maybe just being like a first gen student, I didn't really know how research work . I was like, Oh, this is just something we're going to do. Like anything is possible. And we're like just going to tackle anything that we want to do in this lab. So I also liked that you have like science friends in the field who are you call up? And you're like, Hey, can we start a pod? Like we should start a podcast. What do you think? And they're like, yeah, totally. Like, I love that that support exists within the community.

Valerie:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

:

I think for me too, the other thing that was funny was that the way that you first approached me was more like,

Carly:

You know, we totally don't have to do this at all. Like, is this stupid? Like, you know, is this even something you'd want to do? And I'm like, do I want to make a podcast for a living-- Yup? Like, isn't that everyone's goal? Like this is, you know, not that I'm doing it, you know , for a living. I just mean to say that like, this is definitely a part of the work that I do obviously. And like, how cool is that? That I was like, yeah, where do I sign up? Where do we begin?

Valerie:

Yeah, totally. It was, yeah. I mean, would you rather spend all of your time coding?

Carly:

I like that too. I'm a weirdo, but I do definitely love this, but it was just funny that I think, you know, you were like, Oh, it might be a hard sell. And I was like, Oh , absolutely.

Valerie:

Well, mostly because we don't have time to do this. Right. So there's no time to do this, but we're doing it anyway. And we're enjoying it.

Sarah:

I still think that you should frame this email and like put it somewhere where like you see it every morning and then remind yourself who you are and then how far you've come. And also how many people are on that , that conference or that talk. And this person was the only one to say something.

Valerie:

Yeah. Well, isn't that like the funny thing though, when you experience discrimination that like you could feel really amazing about it, but then it's like that one, that one person who tried to take you down a notch who, and you need to not let them. I think that I really love that Sarah , that's a really great cause like even what I did was I forwarded it to some colleagues, they read it and laughed and then I buried it. Like I archived it and even copying and paste it, pasting it into this email. It's like a first time I've looked at it since. And I just, it made me feel self conscious again, to be really honest. I was like, "ah my valleys speak". Everyone's going to know that's a really empowering thing. That'd be a really empowering thing to do. I mean, we could really have like a whole wall right in the office, these types of things and experience , right . Just start documenting

Carly:

Instead of anything, like reach out to the guy and say, thank you because you know, you inspired a pretty awesome podcast and you know, without you and you're kind and what was it? The , uh, you know, the non-personal words, sir , like we get to do this podcast. So thanks.

Valerie:

Well, I I'm worried if I email him back, he'll see the link to the podcast in my notes. I'm not worried or in my email signature, I'm not worried that he'll listen to this. That would be great. I am worried though, that he's gonna like be driving around, listening to the podcast and thinking, I'm asking him questions like all of the time and be distracted . Like what if he gets into an accident? Or like, what if something, what if he trips like something bad could happen to him because he is trying to answer me. Right . Just be dangerous. But yeah, no, I mean, we could consider it as well. All right . So we had the idea, we had the, we obviously had an ACE team. The next thing was to , um, figure out obviously our cover art and our music. So what was the story behind our cover art and music?

Alyssa:

Um , so I went to middle school with , um, with my friend Connie and we were in the art program and I've stayed friends with her since. And I thought , um , since she was attending art school, Micah , that she would be a really good candidate for potentially drafting up a cover , like a podcast cover. Um, so I got Connie and then in terms of the music , um , I listened to low fi hip hop for like studying sometimes. Occasionally. Yeah . Maybe. Um, and then I talked to Carly

Carly:

I think . Yeah. I think the , I said like, I was like, well, you know, like I think I try to be like cool and hip with the undergrads. It was like, maybe like some like low fi hip hop. But I just kept saying that I don't know that I like actually knew what that meant, but Alyssa was like, dude, I got ya . And came up with, you know, found the city girl track and it's awesome.

Valerie:

Yeah. Alyssa played like two , like a minute of the city girls soundtrack. And we were like, yep. Sold, how do we, what do we do next? Yeah.

:

Yup

Valerie:

Yeah. I would like to back up a minute though, because Connie is amazing. She's a really fantastic artist and we're super glad a , you know, that you introduced us and Alyssa and Connie used to do a Gilmore girls zine, I believe, which is amazing. Is that true? Am I embarrassing?

Alyssa :

No, you're not embarrassing. It never came to fruit . It never was actualized, unfortunately, but we do very much love Gilmore Girls.

:

I mean, who doesn't, you know?

Valerie:

Um , well, the other thing I wanted to say was that we sent Connie the concept, you know, sex, drugs and science and Connie sent us back, you know, we've landed on like a like I think a pretty G rated cover. Our Connie sent us back some pretty fantastic, not G read it.

Carly:

Yeah. Like some beautifully spicy.

Valerie:

It was so good!

:

Yeah, I know

Valerie:

It was spicy , um, yeah, so maybe this will be another point in the podcast where we'll plug our Instagram at sex drug science, and we'll have to , um, follow up with Connie and get permission to post some of her like more spicy artwork to the , um, to the podcast or sorry to the Instagram page. But , um, and you can see there, but some of it, you know, we sort of felt like, well, if our boss at the university, maybe we can't , um, maybe they'll have some questions about what we're up to, but yeah, it was amazing. And , um, it was really fun to work with her. So, yeah. Alright . And then we had a podcast pretty much. I mean, we had to interview people, I guess.

:

Yeah. But I mean like that pretty much all came together. It felt super legit after that. I think that's what we needed to do to get in the mindset.

Carly:

So like, all right , now, now we're real. Pod-casters , it's not equipment.

Valerie:

We have a cover. I will say. I think the thing we probably underestimated the most was maybe editing and Christina totally came to the rescue for that. So Christina, you basically taught yourself audacity. Right? And figured out...

Christina:

okay. So Google taught me like , this is like one of the biggest things in computer science that all of my professors like stress , you have to know how to Google everything. And I was like, that makes no sense. Like everyone knows how to Google, but then I was like, Oh, you need to know how to Google things. Once I started working with audacity and it's just like, it's hard, but it's like, it's a fun learning curve and I really enjoy it.

Valerie:

Yeah. You've been fantastic. And Christina has the ambitions to go onto a PhD program, which I'm sure that she will because she's super, super talented. And at some point I think this season with one of our guests, we talked about how basically getting a PhD is like really knowing how to Google stuff, you know, because you're just constantly learning. You're constantly figuring it out. So whether it's Google, Google, or Google scholar, you're just kind of, you really need to learn. You really need to be able to pick up new skills and constantly be sort of evolving. So I think that skillset will continue to serve you well.

:

yeah, you'll be ahead of the curve.

Valerie:

Yeah. All right . So early on , um , one of the first, one of the first things we did in addition to, you know, cover art, music, start thinking out guests was , we actually sat down and thought through why we wanted to do this, which was, I think a good process and Alyssa drafted what we , um, have called our manifesto. So Alyssa , do you want to kick us off? And , um, it's a four point manifesto. So to kick us off and read the point 1.

Alyssa :

S ure. U m, the first point is, u m, shift the public's perception towards social science, debunking hard versus soft science.

:

I think we've done that.

Valerie:

Yup. Check.

Sarah:

And then following that is disrupting idea that hard science is objective and social science is subjective.

Carly:

Definitely check.

Valerie:

I really enjoyed how , uh, Sam Friedman , who is our bonus episode, he talked a lot about that. You know, I think he would say that all science is , um , through the lens of the scientist. Alright .

Christina:

And then the third point is humanized stories of marginalized people.

Mackenzie:

and last but not least spotlighting professionals and community members working in the realm of social sciences.

:

Definitely check.

Valerie:

Yeah. Alyssa A-plus on the manifesto.

:

Yeah. And go team. We did it.

Valerie:

Yeah. And I'll say, I appreciate that. The hard versus, you know, debunking hard versus soft science is prominent in our manifesto because nothing drives me more bananas than someone, you know, referring to what I do as soft science or I don't even like social science to be honest, because I feel like it's othering. Like if you're a biologist, you're just a scientist. If you're a chemist, you're just a scientist. But as soon as you study humans, you know, and their interactions, then you're a social scientist. So I don't, I don't like that. I'm just a scientist. So , um, I really love that part of our manifesto is to like, is to debunk that and to, and to not other social, you know, social science, behavioral science to just say, you know, this is science. So I always tell when I teach research methods class, I always tell the students in those classes, that understanding humans is really, really hard and designing strong studies to understand humans is, is super challenging. So they might be glad that they're not in chemistry, but they're still, you know, buckling up for a pretty challenging , um , science. Right . So, okay. So the other , um, thing that I think in our early discussions, we thought was an important part of what we were doing is disseminating science. Um, and I think we had a lot of conversations and we actually, you know , did some reading around why is it important to disseminate science essentially beyond peer reviewed publications? So , um, most of the people that we've interviewed over the course of the summer, they do their research. They write their research up in these articles. They send them out to these, you know , specific scientific journals they're reviewed by , um , their peers by other scientists in the field. And then they're published in that journal. And then that's it like, that's where that piece of information lives. And unless you have access to one of those journals, because maybe you're affiliated with a university or , um, some , some of the, some of the articles that include science that was funded by NIH has to be freely available. But , um, a lot of that research is behind a paywall. Like you have to pay like $40 to access some of these articles. So we had a lot of conversations around why it's super important to , um, to disseminate scientific findings beyond peer reviewed articles and also to do it in a way that is accessible. You know, sometimes these articles are written in a way that is, you know, scientific writing. So it's not super user friendly. Um, so what do you guys think about, you know, it's been a few months since that conversation, what do you think it means to you to be disseminating scientific information and knowledge in this sort of current era, especially a lot has changed in terms of activism, black lives matter , um, reforming police brutality, even COVID. I mean, how has your thoughts on science dissemination evolved.

Christina:

something that I've definitely noticed, especially in relation to like science and the general public is that we don't really like think using the scientific method, which like , obviously we don't we're humans, but I think what I really value about the scientific method that isn't always talked about is that you're allowed to be wrong. And we always like the paper is focused on the hypotheses or the findings that are right. But like behind every paper there's like failed hypotheses. There's evidence that doesn't support what you were looking for. And part of science is looking at the evidence and forming conclusions that you might not have initially thought you would come to. And I think that's really important, especially in terms of like activism and challenging social norms. I think that we have to like accept that. Like my, one of my professors said that failure is just an opportunity to ask new questions and I think that's really like failure has such a bad connotation, but I think when you think about it, in terms of the scientific method, failure is just like one step in the learning process. And I just think that we need to be okay with being wrong as long as we take steps to understanding what's right.

Valerie:

I feel like we should just conclude this whole thing now. Um, well, okay . So first of all, my mind first was going in the direction of COVID. Cause you know, like I think that people are upset when like we are getting things wrong and there's this whole conversation right around like hydroxychloroquine right now and was , you know, and people have like zero tolerance for things being wrong or being debated. And you're so right. That it's just like an inherent part of the con of the scientific method. And then on the other side of that, it speaks directly to black lives matter. I mean, we're getting it wrong in our systems and our institutions and um, the scientific method does offer up a way of being like, yeah, it's okay, we got it wrong. We need to re figure it out. We need to look at the patterns of what's happening and then we need to figure out solutions to it. That's yeah. That's a really interesting way to kind of think about everything happening this summer.

Christina:

Yeah. And I think, especially with like the systems, people take it as a personal threat when you're like, this system is doing it wrong or this person is doing it wrong. But I think that caused us to go with the way that we approach it. Like one of the organizations I met and talks about calling people in, instead of calling people out and like, it's not a personal attack when you say the system is wrong or the system is hurting people it's "Hey, like there's a problem that we can take active steps to make it not as wrong". It's not like a personal threat, always.

Mackenzie:

I would agree with what Christina says, especially with , um, like research articles, mostly just focusing on like what went well. Um , when a lot of times I think that there needs to be a lot of focus on not only like what went wrong or like what wasn't, what we were expecting, but also put more focus on what we can do to make things better for the future. Because like, yeah, you can report all the results you want, but if you're not looking to see like, well, how can we take what we have ? Like the information we have now based on, you know, the research we've done or, you know, the studies and basically applying that to be better in the future. I feel like that's not like it's not really going to, it's not beneficial if you don't take that information and you try to make , um , like better outcomes and better future.

Valerie:

I love that Mackenzie . And I think what happens often is that, you know, scientists have 3000 words to describe their full study, all the reasons they did it, everything they found, all the strengths and limitations. And then that leaves them like a hundred words to talk about how to apply it. So all of the scientists that we've interviewed have like deep and complex thoughts about what to do with our work and why it's important and how to make the world a better place. But in those 3000 words, you know, those articles they're not going to get there. And so yeah, opening up like a platform or a space for people to talk more about that I think is super important. Yeah . That's a really great point.

Carly:

One of my favorite questions to ask a lot of the people that we've interviewed so far is like in your ideal world, you know, what is your ideal intervention or your, you know, what's your end all be all. Or the, the, you know, how are we going to fix it? And that question leads to a lot of really interesting conversations that I feel like exactly what you're just saying, doctor and shows that we wouldn't otherwise get that because, you know, it's hard to put all that stuff with, you know, the , the right sort of feeling in it in 300 words or less, you know, so that's a good one.

Valerie:

Can I ask? Cause I know , um, just because in this moment of COVID and black lives matter and , um, that was a special guest appearance from my dog Katniss, by the way. But , um, I know that you you're all at home. And um, so like, you know, when you're in a university setting, you're in this kind of, you're kind of like in a bubble, even though some of the people in your bubble might be a share , have different views from you. Of course. And , um , that's certainly the case at our university as well as many others. But I think it's particularly interesting to go to be kind of navigating through this really pronounced moment for science and activism and social change at home. What's it like for you to conversations maybe about COVID or about black lives matter with other people in your, you know, in your networks when you have maybe one scientific understanding of how things work? Like I have a scientific understanding about what social distancing means or about what black or about, sorry, what , um , masks mean. And then somebody else has a different one. How do you engage in that scientific conversation? Or how do you engage in a conversation with someone who doesn't understand systemic racism or, or doesn't think that that's really a problem? How do you think about since you all have, you know , scientific understandings of some of these issues, how do you engage in those conversations with people who might disagree with you or have you had to do that? Has that been something you've had to navigate?

Alyssa:

Um, I personally, like, I think one of the most important things when you're having a conversation with someone whose like, view, like doesn't align with yours is to have empathy when you enter the conversation. And another key part I would mention is I'm trying to understand their point of view and understand like, what are they, what is their concept of say like systemic racism,

Valerie:

It's a very kind approach.

:

Yeah.

Sarah:

And then I, I would agree, but also , um, from like my high school experience and then we'll, for some context, I'm from Southern Delaware. So Southern Delaware is a little bit , um, a little different than Northern Delaware, which is where I go to school. UD

Valerie:

Some could say it's more conservative socially in Southern Delaware. Yeah.

Sarah:

Yeah. So with the whole black lives matter movement, kind of gaining some more attention in the media recently, it's been a little, you know, awkward down here to even have some of these conversations because some of the people down here are just so close minded and are not even willing to have a conversation with. So I've had this conversation many times with some of the people I grew up with, and it's not that I don't consider them friends anymore. I just know who I can talk to and who I can't talk to about certain issues that are going on. But it , it upsets me because it's not even like things that should be debated. It's basic human rights that are sometimes debated and that's something that shouldn't be. And sometimes you get so much pushback from some of these people. It just hurts me to know that they don't understand this and that they continue going through their lives, like hurting others and just thinking this way. And it's hard. I think it's hard because like you grow up with some people, but then you realize as you grow up, like how different you are. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Christina:

Yeah, definitely going off of what Sarah was saying about how some arguments are about human rights. I've definitely started to notice that there are arguments or conversations. I have the privilege to take part in. So I've started to shut them down. Like I'm not going to sit there, argue with someone over whether black lives matter or not. Like it's a privilege to be able to argue that point. And I don't think it's productive to have that argument at all. And I think once I make that point, like we're coming from a place where it's a privilege to be able to argue over that or not really like that communicates it pretty well. But with like science, one thing that I've learned is when you're trying to have an argument over, whether someone should like believe in science or not, you can't approach it scientifically, which is like very paradoxical, but like you have to appeal to their emotions more. So it's more like, well, if you don't wear a mask, then one of your older relatives is going to get hurt. And then it , like, you have to kind of make it about them, which is like not a great conversation to have, but like when you make things personal, I think more that appeals to people more, when it hits closer to home, then like scientific finding might communicate something.

Valerie:

I feel like that's a very evidence based approach even

Mackenzie:

And I'll just add that. I feel as if my experiences, I guess, with like my education. And , um, I feel like I've just learned so much about these types of issues going on right now. And it's made me like happy that at least I feel as if I'm not like close minded about something and I'm not like stuck in my ways. And just like seeing people who are just so stuck in their ways and not willing to see, you know, people's like opinions or like see the opposite side. It just really, I guess, shows just how I guess grateful I am to be able to realize, well, like, you know, I'm going to, I don't know , this doesn't make sense. Like I'm not going to be like stuck believing one thing. And I'm going to like, you know, hear other opinions and like use what I've learned, I guess as a way, instead of just saying, like shutting down every other, you know, what other people are saying, just because I agree with them.

Christina:

I think it's like, we're constantly learning. And I think that something I've noticed is that there's some things that like my parents, like , just don't know, like there are things that I didn't know until a few weeks ago that I learned from like an Instagram infographic and my parents aren't on Instagram, looking at all of their friends, sharing stories about like informative posts. Like I think that's something that like, my generation is very willing to like learn and acknowledge that like there's things we don't know. And so like sometimes it's just sitting down and having a conversation with my mom because she didn't realize that like these systems that don't oppress her are oppressing other people. And it's not that it's not always coming from a place of hate. It's just, she didn't experience it. So she never, like, she never learned. And I think it's about some of the responsibility falls on us. Like we're learning this and it's our responsibility to share what we're learning.

Valerie:

Now I'm envisioning you guys like, you know, like infiltrating, Like learning all of these things that are going on infiltrating, and I'm getting this like really lovely visual Mackenzie , what you were saying really resonated with me because as a, as a scientist, I see some people who are decades into their career and really, really talented and really smart. And there'll be like, not budging on their theoretical framework, for example, like they published the theoretical framework in 1995 and it's the best theoretical framework. And like, they don't incorporate like new language or new ideas. And like, this is, this is the framework. And so I even think about that, like as a scientist, that, how can I make sure that I hadn't , that I didn't like have this thought about how this thing worked in like 2009 or something. And that's the only way that I'm going to talk about that forever. Like how do I stay really engaged in the literature and , um, and take, you know, stick to it when I think that I'm in the right lane, but also like incorporate new innovations, new voices and, you know, as I move forward. So I think about that, I still think about that a lot, even like in my science. So I think that that's a really.

Mackenzie:

Exactly. Yeah.

Valerie:

Yeah. So were there things from this , um, the season , uh, this podcast season that you've learned, or did anything stick out to you either what the po-, what the guests were doing or different , um, social justice initiatives that folks were involved in, anything , um, that were big takeaways for you?

Alyssa:

I liked how , um, the, the episode of Jasmine Abrams and how her tweet inspired her in a colleague to like devise 101 ways in which they can like dismantle like structural racism and other systems of oppression. And I thought that was really awesome. And I think one point in the episode that really stood out to me is that she was pointing out that like, you all have the data and stuff and it's , it's, it's up to you to like, act on it. But that was a really cool moment.

Valerie:

Yeah. That was a great moment.

:

Yeah.

Mackenzie:

I feel like just generally speaking, I feel like, I mean, I think everybody who's been featured on the podcast has just been so talented and very informative and I've loved learning all about them, but I also really like , um, all the female scientists, just because I feel like, you know, years ago it was, it was never like that. It was mostly just, you know, so focused on like males, just doing science and, you know, females kind of taking like a back burner type of , um, approach with, I guess, science, but hearing, you know, everyone and all the work that , and you and Carly and everybody else in this lab and all like the Strides that women have been waking in the field of science has just been really empowering. And it just makes me, I guess, excited for the future.

Valerie:

I'm going to start crying (laughing) and then you guys could see, I'm like starting to turn bright red over. Now my, like , um, my like heart emojis are like floating out from my body. They're terrible. Okay. Yeah. That's, that's a , that's a really lovely to take away of yeah. Of, you know, highlighting and really learning about lady scientists and just the fact that we have. So, like we have an , a never ending list. I feel like of lady scientists. Oh . Like in our little niche here that we could just, you know, go on and on with.

:

And they all have great voices and the listeners love listening to them.

Valerie:

And they're not questioning whether (i'm) asking (them) questions or not.

:

Yeah (laughs)

Christina:

One thing that I like, I didn't really go in like, listen, like listening to each episode and expecting any of the scientists to sound a certain way. But I think that's like something that I realized, like I have no expectation because there is no one face to science. And I think that's like one of the biggest goals, like there's no one person who represents science. It's just a bunch of people coming together about things that they're passionate about. And I can't like have expectations when there's no mold to fill.

Carly:

Exactly.

Valerie:

I love that. Yeah. And we need to keep making more room for, you know, like all shapes and sizes and looks and, you know, and , uh , varieties of scientists. Absolutely. Yeah.

Sarah:

Something that stood out to me was in the episode with Stephanie Chaudoir. Uh , one of the quotes that I really loved was holding each other accountable. So holding your colleagues accountable, when you see something, when you hear something going on, because she said often she would hear things or like things that just happen in general, in certain classrooms or with certain colleagues. And she said, it's just important to call that stuff out or else you're just contributing to that. You're not stopping anything. And her episode was also great because she talked about her being first gen and how once she was able to accept that she was able to kind of like work through it. So I think it's important and that connected to me because I'm also a first gen student and it's great to see and hear about others connecting to that identity and how that has actually helped them in their work. And just kind of like leveling, leveling up, as you say, doctor Earnshaw.

Valerie:

Yeah. I think , um, there's a lot of , uh , we call it imposter syndrome in the Academy. Like there's a lot of feelings of imposter syndrome. Like just think about what kind of imposter syndrome you might be feeling and undergrad as a first gen and then like, you know, magnify that times 10, maybe when you roll into, hopefully, you know, all of your master's and PhD programs. Like I think that it really starts to amp up for folks. And then, and then eventually you end up, Hey, you're a faculty member, but now you have to like go to these like faculty member parties and you need to like use the right fork or you need to like, you know, choose the right wine or like eat your, eat your food. So anyway, not that if you're , um , I'm now relating, I think in a little bit of a different way, because if you're a first gen college student, you can know all of those things of course. But I think that , um, there are definitely sometimes seems to be like a vibe too , of just like, you know, for me it was like a real class thing. I'm now relating more through that. I remember one time showing up to one of my first , um, like parties as a faculty member. I was at Harvard med school and we pulled up to the party and my husband, my now husband and I were driving like our little like Honda , um, like it was a Honda fit. Like one of those like really little baby Honda's, but the hatchback, and there was a cop at the party there to help everybody park. And he's like, yeah, you can go up and like park between like the Mercedes and the Benz or, you know, the Mercedes and the BMW or something. And so now we're like trying not to scratch (the cars). And it was like a whole line of like Mercedes and BMWs. Then we like walk up to the party it's at this like huge mansion, like this, this house was amazing. The , um, the faculty member who was hosting, it lived next to Tom Brady. Like, he's like, Oh yeah. That's like Tom Brady's house over there. And then he's like, you know, and then there was like a baby animal petting zoo at the party. And I just was like, I am so far out of my depth. Like I felt like I really stuck out. I felt like I didn't belong there at this party. I mean, the people there were really like lovely and wonderful and welcoming, but just from the moment we pulled up, like in our baby Honda civic and had to park between the Mercedes and the BMW, I was like, what are we doing? I was like, I'm dressed wrong. Everything's wrong.

:

"Who invited us?"

Valerie:

Yeah who Invited us for sure. I think that there's like a lot of, yeah. Like, you know, feelings of fitting in and , um , feeling like whether we belong or not, and these sort of things ,

Carly:

But that's what we learned is that we all do.

Valerie:

(Laughs) Yeah .

Christina:

And going full circle here, I feel like as college has become like so expensive college can be a sign of knowledge, but it also can be a sign of wealth.

Valerie:

(whispers) yes

Christina :

And so I think that's why I really value disseminating knowledge and science and making it accessible because you shouldn't have to pay like 50,000 a year to learn how to read a research paper, where to like, learn about what's going on in the field. And I think that's why I'm so passionate about making sure that science has like a right and scientific knowledge is a right, that we all are entitled to.

Valerie:

Christina. I'd like you to put that on one of our Instagram quote squares with your name on it.

:

Yes, please.

Valerie:

I mean there's been a lot of Instagram q uotes s quares. I'm just putting it out there for next once we have our transcript. A ll r ight. So, u m, we're hoping to do a season two. Uh, well , you know, I feel like this is like a , uh , summer school podcast. So come for a season two for next summer. Um, what are you hoping that we get into for season two, either topics or, or types of guests, or what are you looking forward to for, for that.

Sarah:

I'm hoping it'll be like a post COVID like summary wrap-up or something like kind of like navigating your world mask free. Like what's it like walking out and not expecting everyone to wear a mask? What's it like to hug some of your friends? Like I'm hoping.

Carly:

that's so true. Yeah. Yeah. I didn't think about that. Asking people like, yeah , what is it like to have like human contact, again, doing different studies on that we can do like focus groups, live focus groups for the next,

Valerie:

we were initially planning to do this podcast in person with people. So like all of my equipment that I have here is for taping in person. So not only do I hope to get people an instructional and how to, you know, be within six feet of each other, but also hopefully we will be doing some of these in person. Anything else that you guys hope that we dig into?

Alyssa:

This is kind of like random but related, but like, I'm hoping by season two that like in UD students, I mean, students and faculty will be like, incorporate , I know, well, faculty will be incorporating the podcast episodes, maybe like curriculum, because this is totally applicable. And I think it's really assessable.

Valerie:

agreed.

Carly:

Absolutely.

Valerie:

Let's flood their email inbox tomorrow,

Carly:

town hall meetings.

Christina:

I also think going off of like the whole post COVID, hopefully , um, maybe some like new scientific findings on covid, but I think we've definitely got a lot of like fresh off the pages, like what we know about Cobin now, but hopefully we'll know more vaccines will be like developed in different and I just find is always changing. So maybe there'll be new stuff to learn and talk about.

Valerie:

Absolutely. And I think that there are definitely even like sex and drugs science that is going to be really interesting to learn about post COVID. And I think a lot of people are really worried about what's going to happen with the opioid epidemic during COVID or we talked with , um , Kim Nelson about what's what's it going to be like for her , um, young , um, sexual minority men and some of her studies , um, to be, you know, living at home or, you know, being so bound to home and what's that gonna look like for, for their lives for right now? Uh, so I think there will definitely be some interesting sex and drug science to be had , uh, to learn about what does that all look like during a pandemic?

Christina:

Yeah. And I think that the pandemic has, like, I know that intersectionality has been a topic for a while , but it's like coming out, especially in a pandemic seeing how different demographics are affected differently and how all of science connects to it like itself. And I think that's something we've talked about on the podcast as well. It's been a common thread that like everything is connected. The whole world is connected.

Valerie:

Yeah, for sure. I'm really, I will say also that when we first sat down and wrote up our list of guests , um, pre COVID , um, that we wrote a really robust list of infectious disease doctors because infectious disease doctors, MDs do some of the most amazing sex and drugs, research. And then I didn't have it in me to email any of them to ask them to do that because they were all, you know, especially in the first couple months of us taping, they were all in the COVID wards. Like all of them were working so hard. And so I'm really hoping for season two that, u m, we can get, you know, get some of our infectious disease docs on here, some of our favorites, u m, and we can continue to like get greater diversity i n the people that w ere coming on the podcast. Um, I think because of COVID, you know, we had also reached out to some other people and just, you know, if you think about our moms who are working from home or like super busy, like there's just a lot of people who are not just, you know, hanging at home, waiting for us to call and podcasts with them, unfortunately. So, you know, I think that as people, as you know , hopefully as kids go back to school as , um, people's kind of lives, return to more of a normal state, we can also , um, continue to recruit diverse voices to , to come and join us and share their science.

Alyssa:

Yeah . And , um, another thing I'm hoping for season two is like UD faculty would be featured on there, like , um, like Dr. Anna Aviles and Dr. Yasser Payne, because I actually, this is like a side tangent, but like I've listened to a podcast episode with Dr. Payne , like another Delaware, like local podcast. So

Valerie:

Was it the fatherhood one ? I heard that was the , Oh, that was maybe a different one.

Alyssa:

Um , no, it's like a different one. Um, it's like a Delaware one and it's like, yeah, it's, it's really cool.

Valerie:

Yeah. I have all of these like grand dreams about interviewing our local people in person. But if we get to season two and we're still not able to leave the house, we're just going to zoom with them. We'll definitely get them.

Sarah:

So for season two, I also want to hear from the listeners, What are their comments? What do they want to see? Because I know we have some international listeners,

Carly:

Tons! Loads!

Valerie:

Six, no, maybe five continents. We're not, we're not in Africa yet, but we're not ,

Carly:

but whoever you are in France, we love you so much.

Valerie:

France was one of our first. So now in this episode, we are inviting you to our wrap episode. So this is sort of like our, you know, end of season celebration conversation with our undergraduate research assistants who have been working on the podcast all summer. And just for a little bit of context, this is something that we do in our lab. Um , at the end of every semester, we have sort of a party. So this was, you know, I don't know if anybody felt like this wrap up episode was a party, but it was fun. It was a fun conversation. And we kind of reflected on why we made the podcast and also how we did it.

Mackenzie:

I , um, I think it's really interesting at least from season one, hearing different scientists and everyone on the podcast who have worked in different countries and hearing how, you know, their work as is like similar, but also different from the work that we do here in the United States. And I feel like, you know, public health is a big , um, part of not only, you know, the country, but I also feel like, you know , taking it a step further and thinking about like global health is also really interesting just because public health and global health, I think at least in my opinion are pretty, they're connected in a way, because I feel like, you know, we can learn from other countries and the work that they've been doing, but, you know, I saw, I just really thought it was interesting hearing, different perspectives from people who have worked from, you know, different parts of the world. So I just really enjoyed listening to what they had to say about different public health topics.

Valerie:

A hundred percent. That MacKenzie makes me think too. I mean, just about one of the other things I was hoping to do this season and we , we didn't get to it. And so hopefully it will really prioritize that for future seasons is really disrupting the idea of who can be a scientist. So this , um, this season we interviewed all people like with PhDs or MDs people working in academia. And I'm really hoping also that next season, we can go talk to some of our community collaborators or people who are using, who are doing sex and drug science, but who aren't on, you know, not on university campuses and talk to them about what that looks like. So I think it's, we didn't get that message out enough this season that , um , you don't need a PhD to do great science. And hopefully that's also something that we can , um , really highlight and talk about next season, too. So lots of, lots of different kind of locations, you know, throughout the world, you know, off of university campuses and really , um , continue again to highlight the kind of like diverse voices, the scientists . So

Mackenzie:

Exactly, just because I feel like, you know, there are so many parts that make up just like the public health and science world and , um , getting rid of there's so many people getting rid of stigmas and, you know, all that type of work. And I feel like it's Important to like recognize and appreciate the work that they're doing, because they're also making a difference in the world of science lately .

Carly:

And on that note, I think all of you guys are hoping to make a difference in the world of science too, and disseminating it and doing all the wonderful things by working so hard this whole semester on this podcast. So thank you guys so much for everything that you guys have done for, you know, since this has been more than a semester now, I guess that's not even fair to say at this point, right?

Valerie:

Yeah. (a lot)

Carly:

For ages at this point. Thank you guys very much.

Valerie:

Yeah. I say this a lot. Don't tell any of my colleagues, hopefully they don't listen to this podcast, but this , um, this lab group is far and away. My favorite thing I do as a faculty member, interacting with you guys and doing science with you, and now leveling up as, I guess I say, and disseminating science as well, and in a, in a different way. And I'm really grateful that you spend time with us, that you work so hard , um, you know, on, on the podcast, but also on all aspects of the research that we do. I mean, we really just, we couldn't do it without you, and I'm super grateful that you choose to choose to come and choose to do it with us. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Carly:

Here, here.

Valerie:

So Carly, season one is done.

Carly:

I know. Womp Womp.

Valerie:

Uh , so our goal was to bring you a summer podcast , summer school-esque with your favorite sex and drugs scientists. And we did it,

Carly:

we sure did.

Valerie:

Sure did. Um, I had so much fun doing this. I had a lot of fun. And so now I'm like feeling all the feels, but it's over . I feel like really proud of us that we got this season out . And I also feel sad that it's wrapping up.

Carly:

I know me too, but then excited to come back for season two.

Valerie:

Yeah. So our plan is to come back next summer with , um, with some fresh new sex and drug scientists and some great conversations with them. And if we can get ahead on our science homework aka you know, like our real jobs, this fall, we'll aim for a few episodes for you over the holidays. Um , this winter will be our goal.

Carly:

And so in the meantime, make sure you guys subscribe to sex, drugs and science, wherever you get your podcasts, you can stay up to date when we do have new episodes, feel free to follow us on Instagram @ sex drug science no "and" or email us at sex, drugs and science@gmail.com with feedback,

Valerie:

unless that feedback is critical or success , then you can send it directly to dr. Kim Nelson at knells@fau.com Thanks to the stigma and health inequities lab at the university of Delaware, including Alyssa , Leon, Christina Hall , sapele McKenzie , Sarknack, and Sarah Lopez as always. This episode was edited by Christina wholesaler .

Carly:

And thank you again to city girl for letting us use your music for this season and to Connie Chung for the artwork.

Valerie:

And we'd like to put out one more huge, huge thanks to all of our guests for joining us this season and especially for bringing their conversational A games to the podcast and a warm and like super enthusiastic. Thank you all for listening. [inaudible] .