Joe Palca is one of the best science storytellers out there. In his 20 years as an NPR science correspondent he’s covered all sorts of obscure topics, from soccer-playing robots and oyster glue to turtle paleontology. He finds the humor in the serious and the thoughtful in the funny, usually by focusing on the human elements of stories.
“Stories are usually about people, those are the ones we remember. We don’t remember stories about transuranic elements,” Palca says.
We took this episode of Distillations on the road and visited Palca at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., where we got a behind-the-scenes tour of his program, Joe’s Big Idea.
Distillations explores aspects of humanity’s scientific and cultural legacy. Our hosts are Michal Meyer, historian of science and editor in chief of Chemical Heritage magazine, and Bob Kenworthy, CHF’s in-house chemist. Each month they guide us through engaging topics about history, technology, and science.
You can download the Distillations app in the iTunes store or see the full podcast webpage, with show clock and show notes on CHF’s website.