UBC psychology graduate students are creating a buzz with a new science podcast

‘Brain Buzz’ dives into the minds and ideas of scientists

Have you ever had a conversation where a small spark ignites a larger discussion that moves in a new, exciting direction? Having thought-provoking conversations stoked Drake Levere and Kyle Gooderham to launch and host Brain Buzz, a new podcast that is putting science out into the open.

Brain Buzz gets into the people behind the research, their ideas and what led them on their path to science. The hosts and their guests talk about popular ideas and bust myths related to their field. In one episode, Gabriel Brooks and Mario Ferrari, graduate students at the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, break down the misperceptions people have about problem gamblers and gambling related distorted beliefs. Listen to Brain Buzz on iTunes or Google Play.

“Podcasts are the best medium to talk about research,” says Levere, an MA student in health psychology. “You can hear from researchers first-hand, in an open and relatable way. We want Brain Buzz to be an interactive experience for our listeners—and a way for people to get their research out in the open.”

A shared passion for science, talking about science, and beer brought Levere and Gooderham together. The researchers, along with friends and colleagues, were often having lively conversations about science. The idea to host a podcast kept surfacing; they were inspired to make research more accessible to everyone, not just academics.

Gooderham, a cognitive science MA student, says, “A lot of scientific work is behind pay walls and not everyone reads scientific papers—whereas Brain Buzz is open and accessible. We want to talk about people’s research and generate interest in the work being done.”

While hosts are encouraged by the interest in Brain Buzz from fellow scientists, they hope to reach young people who might be inspired to pursue a career in science. “Younger people who want to get into science aren’t reading scientific journals, they’re turning to social media or reddit to read about research. We’re leveraging social media and other channels to reach young people as well.”

Although the idea began with psychology, the hosts hope it will evolve beyond this field. “There are lots people doing really interesting work, such as engineering and medicine,” says Levere. “If we’re interested in the work that is being done in other areas, why wouldn’t other people be as well?”

For future episodes, you can expect the hosts to expand their guest list to include a range of topics including ethical and moral dilemmas, technology and mental health, science communication, gender, and anthropology.

Follow Brain Buzz Podcast on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About the hosts

Drake Levere is an Iroquois, Ontario native studying Health Psychology at UBC. His research interests include elationships, coping, trauma, and support.

Kyle Gooderham is a Vancouver, British Columbia native studying Cognitive Psychology at UBC. His research interests include exercise cognition, attention, memory, and learning.

Brain Buzz guests Gabriel Brooks and Mario Ferrari in the studio with hosts Kyle Gooderham and Drake Levere (L-R)