Season 1: Transdisciplinary by Design

As our world becomes ever-more complex and interconnected, so do our challenges. Addressing them requires an equally complex approach, facilitated by teams of diverse thinkers. Season 01 of The Symbiotic Podcast had a mission: to understand how these kinds of teams come together in the sciences, communicate between disciplines, and collaborate towards their shared goals.

Season 1: Transdisciplinary by Design

Season 1 Episodes

Episode 06: Confronting Global Outbreaks

February 27, 2020 / Season 01 / Episode 06 / 01:11:22

On February 4, 2020 as the COVID-19 virus began to go global, Cole spoke with three scientists from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics to hear their perspective on the outbreak. The resulting conversation uncovers aspects of humanity’s complex relationship with viruses that don’t often reach the mainstream media.

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Episode 05: Intraoperative Bioprinting

January 30, 2020 / Season 01 / Episode 05 / 00:50:39

In this episode, Cole and his guests discuss a transdisciplinary effort at Penn State to advance the printing of living tissues, from skin to bone to organs. Combining the efforts of engineers, nanotechnologists, and surgeons, the team has coined a new term – “intraoperative bioprinting” – to describe their approach.

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Episode 04: Rule Breakers of the Plant World

December 19, 2019 / Season 01 / Episode 04 / 00:58:00

In this episode, Cole and his guests discuss Penn State’s launch of the world’s first Center for Parasitic and Carnivorous Plants. These fascinatingly strange organisms have much to teach us about the outrageous diversity of life - especially now that we have the capacity to study them at every scale, from the molecular to the ecological.

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Episode 03: Live from the 2019 National Science Writers Conference

November 21, 2019 / Season 01 / Episode 03 / 01:13:39

This special live episode was recorded at SciWri 2019 - a national conference for science journalists hosted by Penn State in 2019. The panel featured a panel of ground-breaking Penn State researchers sharing their trials, tribulations and hard-won best practices for trans-disciplinary life sciences research. The taping includes a live Q&A with the audience.

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Episode 02: Bugs vs. Drugs: How many antibiotics should we take?

October 14, 2019 / Season 01 / Episode 02 / 00:50:38

In this episode, we discuss a unique, collaborative research project that brought together experts in infectious disease and communications to explore appropriate interventions for reducing the threat of antibiotic resistance. Through a collaboration with Penn State's Student Health Services, a Big 10 campus became a living laboratory for the first stages of this innovative and important experiment.

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Episode 01: Life evolves through collaboration. Science should too.

September 15, 2019 / Season 01 / Episode 01 / 01:00:15

In this pilot episode, we discuss the importance of collaboration as an evolutionary driver, and explore ways that trans-disciplinary teams of scientists can mimic nature, evolving the way research is done. We also unpack the story of why and how Penn State has become a hotbed for this kind of work.

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