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Science

Kathy Reichs

By Author, Film, Sci-Fi, Science, True Crime, TV No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our special guest is the renowned Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist turned bestselling author of Temperance Brennan novels. With a career that’s as remarkable as her literary acclaim creations, Kathy shares insights from her life journey. She went from being a curious child fascinated by science to becoming one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

Whether handling crime scenes or weaving humor into dark narratives, Kathy offers listeners an intimate portrait of a life rich with stories. So, stay tuned for a captivating conversation that traverses death investigations, literature’s imaginative realms, and everything that ties them together through the eyes of a master storyteller.

This episode is sponsored by:

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In this Episode:

  • The early signs of drive and curiosity in young Kathy.
  • The rigorous path to becoming a board-certified forensic anthropologist.
  • Transitioning from academic writing to crafting thrilling novels based on real-life experiences.
  • Insights into Temperance Brennan’s character evolution—from books to the hit TV show “Bones.”
  • Behind-the-scenes look at scriptwriting for “Bones” and how it differs from novel writing.
  • The importance of setting in storytelling and why Kathy never writes about places she hasn’t visited.
  • How personal preferences sometimes make their way into characters’ quirks.
  • Hear about Kathy’s latest novel, “The Bone Hacker.”
  • Kathy also touches upon family influences, with two out of three children following in her footsteps in writing.

Quotations:

“I do put in detail. I never put in anything just for grisly sensationalism. It has to inform the reader and move the story forward.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I don’t shy away from because I think my readers want to know what it’s like at a crime scene or what it’s like in an autopsy room. So I do give them detail.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“You have to maintain your objectivity, your scientific distance, without getting emotionally involved with each victim, because you wouldn’t be of any good to them. But you have to still keep in mind that it’s a human being, treat that set of remains respectfully and hopefully get a name for that dead person, figure out what happened to them, and get them back to their family.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Bones is, we were all on the same page. I had other offers and they just weren’t right. But one of the things we agreed on was that we wanted humor in the show. I put humor in the books.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“We had brilliant writers. You know, I’m not one of these authors who’s going to say they took my work and destroyed it. I had a wonderful experience. Everybody from the on-camera talent to the producers, to the crew, to the writers, everybody just was delightful. And we didn’t have a lot of drama. We didn’t have a lot of tension on the set like some shows do. And I think that’s partly why we lasted as long as we did.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“That’s the definition of a thriller: that your protagonist or those close to your protagonist have to come under threat. One of the components of a thriller versus just a mystery.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Setting is a really strong component of my books. It’s almost like another character in my books. So I’ll never write about a place I haven’t been.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I think you have to go to a place to absorb. You could Google Earth it, but you’re not going to get the smells and the sounds and, you know, the tastes, the flavor of the food, and yeah.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I started out in academics and then I started doing forensic anthropology casework and then based on that, I wrote commercial fiction and then went into the world of TV production. So I kept taking side paths.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I’ll never run out of ideas. I’ve worked on so many cases when I was still actively doing forensic work. But also I’ve constantly got my antenna out for things, for whatever I’m reading, talking to colleagues, reading forensic journals, attending forensic meetings, and listening to presentations. I’m always on the lookout for ideas, story ideas.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“If I can get through one or two pages in a day, that’s a really good day.”

“French is hard. It’s really hard. Spanish is easy. If it’s written, you pronounce it. French, they’re all these letters in the words. They have no purpose. You don’t pronounce them.” ~ Kathy Reich

“I try to make things up. I try not to use cliches ever. There may be a few that sneak in, but I do try to not use cliches.” ~ Kathy Reichs

Guest’s Bio:

Kathy Reichs’s first novel, Déjà Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan books include Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones, and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authored the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, Terminal, and the novella collection Trace Evidence. The series follows the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great-niece, Tory Brennan.  Dr. Reichs’ latest novel, Two Nights, was released on July 11 and features Sunday Night, a tough-talking, scarred heroine.  Dr. Reichs was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years, she consulted with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and with the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has traveled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI), she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted in the recovery of remains at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC, and Montreal, Québec.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Website: https://kathyreichs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathyreichsbooks/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kathyreichs/

X: https://twitter.com/KathyReichs

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ph/kathyreichs/

Dan Levitt

By Author, Education, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a mind-bending conversation with Dan Levitt, the author of What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner. From contemplating his daughter’s vegetarian diet to delving deep into the history of scientific discovery, Dan took us on a ride from the Big Bang to modern biology. He also shares something enthralling about Robert Oppenheimer, Georges Lemaître, Fred Hoyle, Martin Kamen, Sam Ruben, Einstein, and all things geeky.  So, join us to hear more discussions about extensive research filled with fascinating stories that may blow your mind!

This episode is sponsored by:

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In this Episode:

  • How questioning Dan’s daughter’s vegetarian diet led to an intriguing path of scientific discovery.
  • The eye-opening revelation that every particle in our bodies originated from the Big Bang.
  • Hear stories and tales about science history, controversies, DNA discovery, tragedies, triumphs, and many more!
  • Discussion about the human complexity, mitochondria story, and challenges faced by scientific pioneers.
  • Reflections on life’s wonders and geological disagreements regarding evolution due to limited evidence but constant reinterpretation lead us closer to truth over time.

Quotations:

“History of science. I love it.” ~ Dan Levitt

“We are puzzle-solving creatures and the satisfaction of puzzle-solving drives us forward.” ~ Dan Levitt

“Many times the scientific breakthroughs don’t come with Eureka. They come with, oh, that’s weird.” ~ Dan Levitt

“No one had any idea how life could have evolved, and no one thought that you could even study it.” ~ Dan Levitt

“One of the things that is incredible that scientists have been able to do is reconstructing how we got here from the Big Bang—from this crazy, just random explosion of these tiny sub-subatomic particles and an energy package. Uh, it doesn’t necessarily explain why we’re here, right? Cause, you know, who knows what went before? Uh, but it certainly does explain why we’re here and it’s incredible—just incredible that we can do that.” ~ Dan Levitt

“One of the interesting things that I found when I was writing my book because I traced so many different kinds of discoveries is, you know, a lot of discoveries were brilliant insights like Einstein and relativity and Lemaître and the Big Bang.” ~ Dan Levitt

“It’s interesting because, you know, you have to also come up with new ideas and then defend it when people say you’re nuts.” ~ Dan Levitt

“That’s a large part of the scientific process, is, you know, coming up with an idea, and if you find the evidence and you believe in it, you know, you’re going to have a lot of skeptics, because scientists are trained to be skeptical, and that’s why science works because people are constantly saying, well, yeah, that sounds nice, but couldn’t it be this, or couldn’t it be this, or couldn’t it be that, right?” ~ Dan Levitt

“As our instruments get more powerful, we’re going to learn all kinds of things that we had no idea about.”  ~ Dan Levitt

Guest’s Bio:

Dan Levitt is the author of What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner. The book brings together a lifetime of discovery and research that led to a sweet spot where history meets science. He fondly recalls a chemistry kit his parents gave him when he was seven; he had a great time recording his results in a small notebook. He still misses those musty cards that he used to browse as he researched assignments as a student in Philadelphia’s public schools. In high school, his favorite class was chemistry, and that’s what he thought he would study, but then he found cognitive psychology at Swarthmore College.

In the Peace Corps in Kenya, Dan taught high school physics, biology, and world history in a remote village. Living close to Mount Kilimanjaro, walking by anthills as tall as people, and seeing snakes, hippos, and other wildlife gave him an intense curiosity about the natural world. He returned to Philadelphia to take a job developing exhibits and videos at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. That led to an interest in documentary filmmaking. After getting an MFA, Dan moved to Boston and started his career writing, producing, and directing documentaries for Discovery, Science, National Geographic, History, HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute), and others. His productions include films on dinosaurs; how Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and Hawking made their greatest discoveries; the archeology of Custer’s Last Stand; and scientists’ efforts to uncover the cause of Malaysia’s Nipah virus. His work has received numerous awards, including two Cine-Golden Eagles, Emmy Award nominations, and the coveted Spur Award for scriptwriting from the Western Writers of America.

While dreaming up films, Dan was seized by an idea for a book and decided to go for it. What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner, published by HarperCollins, is his first book.

He considers himself lucky that his career combines science, history, and writing, all of which he loves. He lives in Cambridge with his other loves: his wife, two kids, and their dog, Maxwell Smart.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Dr. Dave Reed

By Caregiving, Fun, Personal Growth, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had an amazing and fun-filled chat with our special guest, the esteemed veterinarian, Dr. Dave Reed from Reed Animal Hospital, in the Bay Area. With years of experience under his belt and countless pet lives saved, his passion for his profession and dedication to animal welfare are truly inspiring. His journey started on a farm in the Midwest, where he grew up around animals, leading him initially to aspire to be a mixed animal practitioner.

Tune into this engaging conversation filled with personal anecdotes, professional expertise, humor, and heartfelt advice on caring for our furry friends!

This episode is sponsored by:

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In This Episode:

  • Being a Vet: Understand the commitment involved in becoming a vet – 8 years of education, including specialization
  • Career Highlights: Hear about Dr.Dave’s memorable encounter with famous veterinarian James Herriot and how he decided against large animal practice.
  • Fear Free Veterinary Medicine: Learn about ‘fear-free veterinary medicine’ that focuses on creating relaxed environments for pets and their owners.
  • Dealing with Pets: Discover how to anticipate dog behavior to avoid bites and understand why cats can be more unpredictable than dogs.
  • Pet Health Indicators: Find out when pet lethargy should cause concern and other signs of ill health in pets.
  • Communication is Key: Learn how effective communication can address the many concerns of first-time pet owners.
  • Changes Over Time: Reflect on the significant advancements in veterinary medicine over the past decades due to increased care levels for pets seen as family members rather than outdoor creatures.

Quotations:

“It’s surprising though, the number of people that ask me, they say, are you going to retire? And I think to myself, no, I don’t think so. You know? I love what I do. ~ Dr. Dave Reed

“Thank you to you, good pet owners. Because, to be honest with you, if we didn’t have good pet owners asking us to do these things, we would’ve been doing it just like we did it 30 years ago”.  ~ Dr. Dave Reed

“They’re not our children, but they are a significant member of the family.” ~ Dr. Dave Reed

Guest’s Bio:

Dr. David Reed of Reed Animal Hospital grew up on a farm in Illinois and has loved animals since his childhood. An alumnus of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, he soon moved to the Bay Area, where he has made the exceptional veterinary care of cats and dogs his professional passion for more than three decades. He enjoys working with the community through low-cost vaccination clinics, speaking at local schools, and working with the Santa Clara County Sheriff K9 Unit. He considers working with the amazing police dogs some of his most rewarding work. Recently, “Dr. Dave” was voted one of the Bay Area’s Best Veterinarians, along with Dr. Dave’s Doggie Daycare as one of the Best Doggie Daycares, in Bay Woof Magazine’s Beast of the Bay Awards. Dr. Reed is highly respected and beloved by his furry patients and their families.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Dr. Afton Hassett

By Author, Mental Health, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us in this enlightening episode as we dive deep into the world of chronic pain with our guest, Dr. Afton Hassett, an experienced pain psychologist and the author of “Chronic Pain Reset”.  She offers informative content about how stress and mental health are intertwined with physical discomfort and delves into various aspects of chronic pain—its effects, causes, and potential treatments.

Listen in and discover valuable insights about how your emotions can affect your perception of discomfort, and learn practical strategies for dealing with persistent affliction. And together, let’s unlock the power of positivity in healing!

This episode is sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • The Intersection of Mental and Physical Health 
  • Resilience in Managing Chronic Pain
  • The Power of Social Interaction
  • Customizing Treatment Plans
  • The Neuroscience Behind Pain 
  • The Invisible Nature Of Pain 
  • The Role Of Physical Activity And Sleep In Managing Chronic Pain 
  • Negative Impact Of Modern Devices On Sleep Quality  
  • Understanding Chronic Pain
  • The Biopsychosocial Aspects of Pain
  • Rewiring the Brain 
  • The Limitations Of Pharmaceuticals 
  • The Power Of Holistic Methods  
  • Pain Relief Through Enjoyable Activities 

Quotations:

“I think one of the most healing things that we can do is to just kind of step outside of ourselves.” ~ Dr. Afton Hassett

” The coolest evidence we have to date is that our emotions and our mindset can indeed influence our immunity and our ability to fight off a common cold and other viruses.” ~ Dr. Afton Hassett

“People just have to be open to kind of keep trying different things, and that’s what matters is to continue to try.” ~ Dr. Afton Hassett

“My goal is that down the road, I won’t even be helping people with chronic pain. That’ll be cured. But by helping them, I’m leading a life that feels really rich and rewarding.” ~ Dr. Afton Hassett

Guest’s Bio:

Dr. Afton Hassett is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. She received her BFA from Colorado State University and her doctorate from Alliant International University in San Diego, CA. As a principal investigator at the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, she conducts interdisciplinary research related to exploring the role of cognitive, affective, and behavioral factors in chronic pain populations. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and is a leader in the field of resilience and pain research. Her work has focused on exploring positive emotions and affective balance in people with pain; health-related quality of life in adult and pediatric rheumatology patients; and novel interventions to promote resilience and self-management for individuals with chronic pain. She is committed to education for individuals at many levels including patients, undergraduate and graduate students, medical residents, postdocs, physicians, and other healthcare providers. Dr. Hassett is the Director of Clinical Pain Research at the Back & Pain Center and the Past President of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals – a division of the American College of Rheumatology. Current funding sources include National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the University of Michigan. With over $14M of research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Afton’s mission is to bring evidence-based strategies from research and academic settings to the people themselves. Her life’s work is dedicated to helping people with chronic pain live lives with less pain, greater happiness, and renewed purpose in life.

Guest’s Contact Info: