Joe Hanson Can’t Stop Making You Smart [Ep. 93]

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Dr. Joe Hanson has made a case to be included on Science YouTube’s Mount Rushmore. It’s partly because he’s engaging and entertaining, but it also might have something to do with that doctorate in cell and molecular biology from UT-Austin. Every day, he’s proving that It’s Okay to Be Smart.

Joe went from being a “pipette monkey” in a lab to having a solid presence on Tumblr, of all places. And his transition to YouTube ended up helping to fill that gap between fun kids’ science shows and boring, ultra-high-level programming. Traditional/Legacy media has a long way to go before it catches up to YouTube. 

A major aspect of YouTube is storytelling, even if it’s factual information. Joe’s thought a lot about what makes new information appealing or what might allow someone to change their mind about a complex issue — and it’s really about guiding someone through intellectual discomfort.

After Kevin’s realizing that we don’t need “Science Popes” and a rousing discussion of what science *really* is… and what it isn’t. Patrons jump in with questions about what it’s like to work for PBS, getting into science content in the first place, Joe’s sips from the fountain of youth, and when it’s a good time to play dumb.

Thanks to Dr. Hanson for spending time with all of us in The Create Unknown universe, and a special thanks to the patrons who make this show happen each and every week.



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Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 

Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → 

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Opening Animation: Kidmograph 

City Animation: Eric Langlay 


“The Create Unknown” is produced by Unknown Media. 



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