New AIP podcast reveals untold stories behind scientific discoveries, starting with climate change

Newswise – WASHINGTON, July 20, 2022 – AIP is launching “Initial Conditions: A Physics History Podcast” on July 21. Weekly episodes will delve into the collections of the American Institute of Physics’ Niels Bohr Library & Archives to uncover the unexpected stories behind discoveries in physics. Co-hosts Maura Shapiro and Justin Shapiro use their knowledge of science and history to tell the stories that have been overlooked in the history of physics.

“I’m excited to share historically overlooked physics stories to increase representation and expand our idea of ​​what it means to be a physicist,” said co-host Maura Shapiro. “My not-so-hidden goal is to make physics fun and accessible by hiding it in story and plot. If you’re interested in history or science, or even just learning new things, this podcast is for you. No knowledge of physics is required!”

“The history of physics is full of untold stories, forgotten documents, and fun coincidences. Reconstructing the past is a fun and exciting process,” said co-host Justin Shapiro. “I know I learned a lot about how scientific knowledge is produced by researching the different stories we present this season. If we have done our job well, you will also have fun discovering the history of physics. “

The first three episodes, the first of which is slated for release on July 21, will examine how climate change was studied in the 20th century and how those climate debates still resonate today. Future podcasts will dive into the history of black holes, historical romance, LGBTQ+ representation in the scientific community, an unknown area of ​​study for Sir Isaac Newton, and many other fun and important topics.

The free episodes will be available weekly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and almost anywhere podcasts are available. New episodes can be downloaded every Thursday. More information, including a list of topics, transcripts, and guests, can be found here:

In addition to the podcast series, the AIP Center for History of Physics will launch a revamped online exhibit, The Discovery of Global Warming, featuring a summary of the history of climate change science, essays on topics related to climate change and linkages. current technical information. Content is curated by Spencer Weart, a renowned historian specializing in the history of modern physics and geophysics.

Until his retirement in 2009, Weart was director of the AIP Center for the History of Physics. The Discovery of Climate Change website is an extension of his book, “The Discovery of Global Warming”, and allowed him to update the text with new findings and information on climate change. The updated site will be mobile-optimized for users on the go, with searchable essays and a visual refresh to improve the user experience. Visual enhancements and new content will go live in August.



The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a 501(c)(3) association of scientific societies. The IPA pursues its mission – to advance, promote and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity – with a unifying voice from diversity. In its role as a federation, the IPA advances the success of its member societies by providing the means to pool, coordinate and leverage their diverse expertise and contributions in pursuit of a common goal of advancing the physical sciences in the research enterprise, in the economy, in education and in society. In its role as an institute, the AIP functions as a center of excellence using policy analysis, social science, and historical research to promote future advances in the physical sciences.


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