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Visiting utopias, fighting heat death, and making mysterious ‘dark earth’

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A book on utopias and gender roles, India looks to beat climate-induced heat in cities, and how ancient Amazonians improved the soil

First up on this week’s show: the latest in our series of books on sex, gender, and science. Books host Angela Saini discusses Everyday Utopia: In Praise of Radical Alternatives to the Traditional Family Home with ethnographer Kristen Ghodsee, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies at the University of Pennsylvania. See this year’s whole series here.


Also this week, as part of a special issue on climate change and health, host Sarah Crespi speaks with Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, a freelance journalist based in Mumbai, India. They talk about how India is looking to avoid overheating cities in the coming decades, as climate change and urbanization collide.


Finally, we hear about how ancient Amazonians created fertile “dark earth” on purpose. Sarah is joined by Morgan Schmidt, an archaeologist and geographer at the Federal University of Santa Catarina. They discuss recent research published in Science Advances on the mysterious rich soil that coincides with ancient ruins, which may still be produced by modern Indigenous people in Brazil.


This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.


About the Science Podcast


Authors: Sarah Crespi, Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Angela Saini 


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