COVID-19 UPDATES • 06/25/2021
Two students from the doctoral program in neuroscience created a podcast that highlights unsung heroes of science and medicine.
Recover the bench is the brainchild of Megan E. Conrow-Graham and Jamal B. Williams, podcast co-hosts and writers from a heartfelt conversation in the summer of 2020.
“We were going through an extraordinarily chaotic time,” said Conrow-Graham. “COVID-19 had left us working from home which was a challenge in itself, but the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other black Americans left many of us wondering how we could get involved in raising communities that have been historically marginalized, poorly characterized and neglected. “
The couple discovered that these unsung heroes were often women and people of color who have been looked down upon throughout history.
The theme of the podcast is a combination of science and social justice through storytelling.
“We hope to uncover the horrible truth about how racism and other prejudices have been used as tools of scientific discovery, while also highlighting those who have managed to overcome these obstacles and make their own significant contributions to the world. science and medicine, ”Williams said.
“Even today, many of the contributions of these people are underestimated on the ground,” he adds. “We believe our approach can help answer questions about how we got to the flawed system we have today in science and medicine, and how we can overcome these mistakes as we go along.”
Announcement of unsung scouts
Seven full episodes have been recorded so far and feature pioneers such as:
Conrow-Graham and Williams are already somewhat familiar with about half of the topics they discuss – and others come naturally – but when looking for background information they always stumble upon new material.
They also accept suggestions through their social media channels and through the podcast’s website.
Reflect the problems of society in general
After many hours of research, the co-hosts come up with a comprehensive plan for each podcast episode.
“Sometimes one of us chooses the topic and will teach the other person what was chosen, and other times we are both eager to discuss a topic, so we will do our own research and we will meet and discuss, “Conrow-Graham said.
The most common themes among the podcast’s topics are racism, sexism, and the lack of accountability of those who have exploited various groups to get ahead.
“Somehow, most of the topics we talked about on the podcast aren’t familiar to most, and we think that’s on purpose. It really reflects issues in society in general, because throughout history these people of the “group” have been able to move forward, while others end up being actively exploited or excluded from the spaces of power, “said Conrow-Graham.
“This includes biomedical science and medical practice, as these areas are mired in the traditional academic world,” she adds. “Not so long ago, people of color and women were not allowed to enter traditional medical universities, which only strengthens the hierarchy of power and the paternalistic approach to patient care. to the detriment of those excluded from the decision-making process. “
True diversity encompasses views, ideas
Podcast hosts say they are empowered and encouraged by the emphasis on social justice in many segments of society today.
“We are inspired by change makers inside and outside of science. Many of us are fighting the same battles, but from different perspectives,” said Williams. “And for this to continue, we all need to understand that our views and strategies may be different, but we need to come together as one if we are to see change.
“One thing that has really empowered us throughout this podcast is getting to meet so many amazing people in our field who are passionate about evolving biomedical science and healthcare to promote true diversity,” adds. he does. “For us, true diversity does not only mean the inclusion of people of different races, gender identities and origins, but also diversity of views and ideas. in the world.”
Recording in the studio of the Jacobs school
The podcast has changed recording locations a few times, but now most episodes are recorded in a studio at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which is in the office of a faculty member generous enough to allow students to borrow its recording space.
Other members of the podcast’s team include producer / engineer Prachetas Jai Patel, a student in the master’s program in neuroscience.
“He’s an integral part of our team. His job ranges from mastering and mixing our audio to uploading new episodes to all platforms,” said Conrow-Graham. “Prachetas is also the webmaster of the podcast’s website. We couldn’t have built this without him.”
Producer / Editor Anwiti Singh, a writer living in India, helps write recaps on each episode.
Podcasters are currently working on recruiting other people to help with social media editing and promotion.
Interested parties can email them at [email protected].
This press release was produced by University of Buffalo – UB Now. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.