By Elise Castelaz
If you could guess the top two reasons anyone listens to a podcast, odds are you would say, “to learn something,” or, “to be entertained.” Unfortunately those two reasons tend to be mutually exclusive. You’re either laughing your butt off at your favorite comedian or grimacing at the gory details of the newest murder-mystery, without taking away much “textbook knowledge.” Or you really are learning some good stuff! History, science, politics… but you had to re-listen to that one part five times because it got a little complex.
On top of all this, odds are at least one of the hosts of your favorite podcasts is a white male. In fact, according to this 2016 study, only 18% of podcasts based in the US have a non-white host, but two-thirds of them have a white male host! As the numbers show, we definitely have a minority representation problem here!
If only there was a podcast out there that was equal parts entertaining and educational, and was hosted by bad ass women of color! Are you sitting down? Because this is big news- finally, the podcast we’ve all been waiting for has arrived.
Dope Labs is a brand new podcast that is going to help us all appreciate science in our day-to-day lives. The podcast is hosted by two women of color, Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley, who have PhDs in Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, and Genetics & Genomics and Cellular & Molecular Biology, respectively. The witty and wicked smart scientists both received their degrees from Duke University, which is where the duo met back in 2011.
According to our hosts, this podcast “ain’t for your momma and ain’t for your kids.” They are going to cover trending topics, or as they call it, “trash from the internet” (read: ASMR, insta-influencers, horoscopes, cuffing season, the list goes on.) and give it a scientific twist. So you will be up to date on all the latest, and casually be able to drop knowledge on psychology, chemistry, genetics, and more. Brunch is about to get way more interesting.
The way each episode will be laid out is modeled after an actual science lab at university- yes, these women are intelligent, hilarious, and clever. They start with a recitation, which is basically a preview of the episode. They cover all the basics and give you the context that you’ll need to follow along.
Next they dive in to the meat and potatoes, the dissection. This is when we get all of the actual deets, and they even bring in real experts to go further in depth. Who would have thought a Behavioral Ecologist would have so much to say about cuffing season? Find out for yourself in episode one! Finally the ladies wrap it all up in a pretty bow in the final section, the conclusion.