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#070: When science is funny – Wade & Byrne from Sci-gasm Podcast

By Jordan Michaelides

Wade and Byrne ( @scigasmpodcast ) are the founders of the brand and podcast known as Sci-gasm, and two of Australia’s brightest young science communicators. If you like that skeptical combination of science and comedy, that brings an understanding of science to a scientific pleb like me, then I’m absolutely sure you’ll love the work of these two gentlemen.

I became enthralled with science as I went through an interesting stage of self improvement, driving to and from university listening to Dr Karl spin fascinating stories from boring peer reviewed papers. I matured with Neil Degrasse Tyson as he made me realise we’re really just cruising through space on a giant green, earth-shaped convertible. I became aware of my hunger for rationalism and the truth as I discovered the likes of Richard Feynman and Sam Harris in my most recent years of self discovery.

Scientific communication is the toughest form of storytelling and a noble task – you’re aiming for the truth while also making it palatable for the everyman. I have immense respect for what Wade and Byrne are able to do, and I think you should discover that to.

Key topics we covered:

  • Caffeine and cocaine
  • Their research backgrounds
  • When their interests in science began
  • Raising children, parental ‘moral panic’
  • How Wade and Byrne met
  • The name Sci-gasm and what it is to them
  • Science and comedy, podcasting
  • Genes, chromosomes and Scientific denialism
  • What they’ve learnt from the misinformed
  • Scientists they most respect

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


01:08 – Introduction
04:08 – Caffeine and cocaine
07:19 – Dairy, Lactose, Wine
14:52 – Their research backgrounds
23:25 – When their interests in science began
27:53 – Raising children & parental ‘moral panic’
34:05 – How Wade and Byrne met
37:38 – The name Sci-gasm, Carin Bondar
44:03 – When science meets comedy
46:25 – Social media vs podcasting
52:03 – Critical analysis, what Sci-gasm is
56:31 – Media, research and nutrition
01:02:32 – Genes, X & Y chromosomes
01:09:37 – Scientific denialism
01:22:06 – What they’ve learnt from the misinformed
01:24:05 – Scientists they most respect
01:24:52 – Favourite books and resources
01:28:12 – Best purchase under $200
01:29:42 – What’s obvious to them but not to others
01:29:52 – What is difficult to find middle-ground on?
01:30:54 – If they could have a billboard anywhere