Jun 15, 2020
Dr. Ginger Campbell is the host of Brain Science, a very large neuroscience podcast, and one of the earliest neuroscience podcasts created. In this episode, she discusses the podcast itself, why and how she started it up, as well as what it takes to run a neuroscience podcast.
Top three takeaways:
[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and the guest, Ginger Campbell
[3:30] Campbell explains why she chose neuroscience as the topic for her podcast
[6:45] The subject that Campbell is most interested in right now is the intrinsic activity of the brain
[10:15] One author suggests that we should do away with the idea of the mind, and focus more on how the brain as an organ interacts with the world around it
[12:45] To make a scientific podcast, one must realize that there is a tremendous workload involved. Creating accurate scientific content for a podcast is much different than making a podcast talking about your favorite TV show or sports team.
[16:30] Authors enjoy coming onto the podcast for the publicity, as obtaining publicity can be very difficult, and being a guest on a popular podcast can be very beneficial
[19:00] When doing a science podcast, you need to deeply think about the audience you are trying to reach. Communicating with those outside your field about what your field does is very beneficial in building a good audience, as there is a need for this type of communication.
[22:15] Be careful of goofing off at the beginning of shows and going off on irrelevant tangents early in the episode, or it may prompt some audience members to stop listening
[26:00] Campbell started the podcast because she has an interest and a knack for explaining science, the same way she explains medicine to her patients
[29:30] Due to the current economic crisis happening, podcasters depending on advertising will likely suffer within the near future
[31:00] For those wanting to do a podcast, it is important to pick a subject that you are passionate about. Talk about what you know and what interests you.
[34:30] It is easier to make a podcast about neuroscience than about quantum mechanics, because everyone has a brain, whereas quantum mechanics do not affect people’s lives
[37:00] Listener feedback is what will really keep you going when it gets tough
[39:00] Ladan gives further thoughts on the discussion and discusses the services of Neural Implant Media
Welcome to the neural implant podcast where we talk with the people behind the current events and breakthroughs in brain implants and understandable way, helping bring together various fields involved in Euro prosthetics. Here is your host, Latin Yara. Check. Hello everyone, and welcome to the neural implant podcast.
Today we have a special guest. It's ginger Campbell of the brain science. Podcast, and I'm really happy to have her on the show. She is an O, G original gangster of the neuroscience podcasting space. She's been doing this since 2006 and the really one of the pioneers of podcasting, she says podcasting started in 2004 so she's not completely.
The first person to do this, but that was like 1415 years ago, so you know, we can call it pretty much like that. So really interesting stuff. She's had over 10 million downloads on her show and really an honor to talk to. One of the people that started out Pluralsight is podcasting
ginger Campbell. Pleasure to have you on the show. You are the host of the brain science podcast, which is a huge neuroscience podcast, and I'm really excited to have you on. We've actually been talking about this for awhile and do you want to introduce the podcast a little bit? Yeah, thanks. First I want to mention that the name of the podcast is.
Brain science podcast is not part of the name anymore. Just in case you happen to be searching in your podcasting app. I think I took the name, I think I took podcasts I will name about five years ago. Actually, I don't remember exactly when I did it. I decided that putting podcasts in your title had become sort of redundant.
Back when I started in 2006 it was really common for podcasts to be part of the title, but you know, now it's not so much. So anyway, just plain old brain science, neuroscience for everyone. Now you're making me rethink the name of my podcast. And so basically the idea of the show is to explore how recent discoveries in neuroscience are helping unravel the mystery of how our brains make us human.
And my tagline is. The show for everyone who has a brain, because I want to communicate. The show doesn't require a scientific background. However, the listeners are very diverse, ranging from people who haven't gone to college. I've got a house painter and a plumber, and then actual neuroscientists, so that makes for a challenge when I'm creating my show.
Interesting. And you said you started back way back in 2006 I think that's pretty much when a podcasting started. How was that? Well, podcasting officially started in 2004 and then it appeared in iTunes in the summer of 2005 which is when many of us early people became aware of it because before that you had to be able to.
Code your own RSS feed and stuff like that. So I wasn't that much of a pioneer. And then it took me about a year to figure out what I wanted to make my show about. So, so I think I started about two years in which now that I'm on my 14th year, I guess, represents almost a pioneer. Yeah. I think for those looking back nowadays, they would, they would see very much as to see very little of a distinction.
It's like, Oh, when did you, you know, when did you come to America? 1492 or 1512 or something. Like I said that at some point it's kind of like, ah, it's kind of, you know, splitting hairs, but so why did you choose neuroscience. Well because it just happened to be what I was reading at the time that I decided to start a show.
I didn't want to show about my job, which I'm a physician, so I wanted to show that was about what I was just interested in, and at the time, neuroscience hadn't been quite become quite so popular, but I would be listening to people say things that weren't quite right because mainstream media. Coverage of science and neuroscience is, you know, pretty bad, and I wanted to share the things I was reading.
I figured lots of people weren't going to read the books. I wanted to share the stuff I was learning with others. That was really my motivation and I wanted to make a show that was accurate, that told people what the science really shows. That was my, that was my driver. So you're working as a physician, but not necessarily in the field of neuroscience.
It was just kind of an interest of yours then, right? Yeah. I actually came through it through philosophy of mind. I was reading Western philosophy for the first time in my life. I had been through Eastern philosophy, which is actually very mind oriented, but not exactly science oriented. And then I decided to explore Western philosophy.
I discovered there's this whole subset of philosophy called philosophy of mind, and that's when I discovered that neuroscience had come a long way since I had last. Got it. Which was like right before I started medical school in 1980 that was in the days of huge glass electrodes and, and so I got really fascinated with neuroscience because like I said, it, it, it's, it helps us understand who we are.
Yeah, definitely. And I mean, but that's still pretty interesting. I mean, there was a, to keep something up for 15 years or to, to maintain, you know, as somewhat expensive habits and a very, very time consuming habit of podcasting, you know, really is, is more than just a passing interest. I would have to argue that there was something bigger driving you, like how you were thinking, why you were thinking and the science.
So maybe what were your favorites. Episodes or favorite subjects like this philosophy of mine. Specific topics, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. Early on, I was really interested in the question of consciousness. That would be a major theme that still carries through on the show. My favorite early episode was one about exercise and the brain.
With John Rady, unfortunately, as a horrible sound quality, but, but that was my favorite early episode because that was something people could use. He explained why exercising is good for your brain, and since the people who tend to listen to my show oftentimes care about their brain health, that one was one that had a personal impact for people.
So it stands out out for me. Really? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And then of course, learning about brain plasticity. That was something that was new at the beginning of the show. Now it's kind of old hat everybody knows about brain plasticity, but the subject that really, the subject that I'm really fascinated by right now actually has to do with the intrinsic activity of the brain.
And this actually might be relevant to your listeners who are interested in neural implants, because I've been reading a couple of books about the idea of the intrinsic activity of the brain. One is called the brain from the inside out by URI Misaki, which is, he's the guy who's very well known as a pioneer in brain rhythms.
And I have another one. I can't think of the name of it right the second, I think it's called the spontaneous brain, but they're both on the same idea that we need to start looking at the brain from the inside out. It's intrinsic activity is really a key feature, and the reason why I think this might be relevant to people interested in neural implants is that I think it may explain how something like say the cochlear implant.
Is why it's so successful. I don't know if you're aware of this, but when the cochlear implant was first invented, people didn't really think it would work because the amount of information in the signal is very poor relative to normal hearing. And what they found was that people learned to make sense out of what they were hearing from the cochlear implant.
You start out making sense, but eventually their brain just kind of decoded it. And so. Bruce hockey's idea is that the brain is going along, making signals, making it, throwing signals out, throwing signals out. And then when we're lippy as a part of life, we associate through the timing of brain rhythms. A spontaneous signal was something else in the world, and we make a match.
So if that's really true, then that means our brain can be more flexible for, you know, learning, you know, new ways to interact with the world. For example, a brain machine interface. You know, we could learn to, to generate a different brain pattern, to do a thing, say with the computer. And that seems to be what people are actually experiencing, right?
When they're trying to create these interfaces. Are you familiar with what I'm talking about? Yeah. Yeah, I know. I know. Boost hockey has a boost hockey, uh, array the Tetro and everything like this, and, and some of my colleagues have worked with them, but yeah, it's, it's definitely, you know, the amount of plasticity that's in the brain.
And you, you might remember this actually, you might've been around like when this was, people were saying like, Oh, there's no, you know, change in the brain. There's no neurons being created after, after childhood. Right. And essentially that everything's kind of set in stone, but you know, that that basically negates all of learning.
And, you know, people like kind of, kind of like with the cochlear implant, like, you know, people can learn crazy, crazy stuff like Morse code. I mean, people learn beeps and boops, you know, and, and translate that into, you know, speech almost. And, and like, I think I heard, I was hearing about like, people that are really good at Morse code, like they almost here.
Writing or speech in that, you know? So yeah, it's crazy stuff. All this, all this about plasticity and how dynamic the brain actually is. And this other guy that I'm reading, and I'm, I can't pronounce his name, so I'm love to say it, but the name of his book is the spontaneous brain. He actually argues that maybe we should even do away with the idea of the mind and just talk about the world brain problem.
That is, how does the brain. Interact with the world. And in, in his book, he, he talks about the empirical evidence. It's very similar to be sockies because they both talk about the evidence that faster rhythms are nested into slower rhythms. And also the fact that when you look at the brain's response to an external signal, it's.
Influenced by whatever the brain is already doing. They're not additive. There's an interaction. So I think that idea, the idea of just doing away with the idea of the mind, he calls it a Copernican revolution because he's saying instead of having this, you know, like sort of mind centered view of the world, which gives us this, this, you know, mind body problem, which we can't seem to solve that.
If we just shift our viewpoint from. To the interaction between the brain and the world. We can just do away with the whole mind body problem. It's just kind of an interesting thought. Yeah, definitely. I think, I think there definitely is a fallacy that lies there. But I want to talk about the podcast. So, you know, you have written here that you've passed 10 million downloads and are very influential.
You've been ranked number one on iTunes and Libsyn, which is a big, you know, podcast, hosting a site. They're also have you as one of the proud, you know, like, Hey, look, who goes with us? You know, look who we have, you know, is one of our customers. But what has been your experience with hosting? One of the biggest.
Well, unfortunately, science podcasts are not, you know, the most popular in terms of big numbers. I mean, my numbers are very good for science, but because of the way advertising works, you need really big numbers to, to make money. To give you an example, I don't know if you've heard of the person who does grammar girl.
She's. Made a business out of her podcast, a Minoan Fogarty. She actually started as a science podcast and back in 2007 she told me she gave up science podcasting cause it was too much work. And, and that really is a reality. I mean, if you're going to, I know you would like to encourage more people to do science podcasts and so would I.
But I think that it is important to be realistic about the work. Load involved. You know, if you make a fan cast about your favorite TV show and you just get together with your buddies and talk about it, you know, every week it's not, I mean, it's time consuming, but it's not the same kind of work as trying to create accurate science content.
I think it's a level of challenge that the people that the average podcast or doesn't appreciate. That's funny that there's more money in grammar than there is in science. Yeah. Well, everybody needs grammar, and a lot of people don't think they need science. Yeah. No, it's very helpful actually. So what has been some of your, I don't know, responses or what?
What kind of feedback have you gotten over? Geez, almost a decade and a half that you've been doing this, huh? Well, the two most surprising things. One is feedback from students. I never. Expected the feedback from students. I thought of my show as being a show that would be sort of the NPR adult kind of person who, who was curious about about neuroscience, but I have students of all ages, and I actually have one listener.
Who is now in his first year of residency, who's been listening to the show as a psychiatry resident who's been listening to the shows for eight years since he was in high school. So that's pretty amazing. And I've had people write to me and say, I'm going to go into neuroscience because of listening to the show, so that.
That was a total surprise. I did not expect that. And the other surprising thing is when people with with neurological or mental health challenges write to me and tell me that. That might show helps them to cope with their challenges. I had a listener once who said he was listening to the show with his father who was dying from Alzheimer's, and I recently actually had a patient, sorry, excuse me, habit, a listener, right?
Saying that he had recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia, and he was still listening to the show that he felt that was helpful to him. So. It's as a physician, I have to say that the most amazing thing is realizing the show has impacted so many people, so many more people than I'll ever reach as a physician.
Yeah, that's pretty amazing stuff. I mean, and that's something I, I, you know, talk about on my show as well. Like, you know, a good scientific paper might get, you know, a hundred views and like five citations or something like this. And that's, you know, you can be proud of that. But with our shows, you can get hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of downloads and that reach, although maybe not as deep and, and like, you know, in the specific subset it breaches, it goes much further.
And I think that really. Gives your research and your message much more value as well. Yeah. I don't have any trouble getting guests. Uh, even though I do focus on scientists who write books, I occasionally interview people who are involved in basic science, especially people that are, uh, extremely good at communicating like Seth grant, for example.
But the reason that I focus on books is that it gives my listeners a place to go if they want to learn more. The average person doesn't have access to the literature. You know, they don't have access to an academic library. All these, lots of these papers are still behind paywalls. But by talking to somebody who's taken the time to put a bunch of research together in a book, if a person you know, wants to go to the next level, their first choice is just go and read the book and people actually do that.
So authors are very happy to come on my show cause they, most of them really do understand that. Yeah. They, they want as much, you know, public publicity as I can get. Cause it really can be hard to sometimes break above the noise. And yeah. I mean there is something special about like having somebody who's worked in the field and you know, potentially.
Simplify things and, and, you know, get it from behind the paywall because that's actually, that's the reason I started this show as well, was, you know, trying to get to the research. I was outside of the paywall at the time, but I wanted to learn what everybody was doing and who the big people in the field were.
So, uh, I figured I might as well help other people with this as well. So, yeah. That, that's really interesting. You, you're very much into books. You have a different, you have another podcast about books actually as well, right? Yeah, so it's called, it's called books and ideas. It has a pretty small audience because it's not niche enough.
You know, in podcasting, it seems to be an advantage to be, to have a niche. And even though books and ideas clearly describes what the show really is, it, it's not quite, I mean, it's really the place I put everything that doesn't fit. So I might talk to a science fiction writer, or I might talk to a scientist.
I might talk to, I, I've interviewed. Astronomers physicists, a woman who's written video game novels. So I mean, it's very, very, very diverse, which I enjoy, but makes finding its audience difficult. So it's truly my passion project. Yeah, for sure. That's a, that's interesting. So what do you think, I mean, do you think, uh, the world would be better if there was more podcasts if more people were doing this kind of stuff, or would it be crowded or what's, what's your kind of opinion on science communication?
We definitely need more good science podcasts. I mean, many years ago, I actually tried to start a website. It was called, this was back in 2008 I started a website called science pod-casters dot org and I tried to recruit Joe's to come and basically share their. Show notes all in one place so people may be, would find them.
And I closed it down in 2010 because the national science foundation started their site, which I think is called. Science three 60 I'm not sure. Anyway, it's a very good clearinghouse for good science podcasts, and there was a way I could compete with that, but I do think that if you're going to do a science podcast, you really do need to think about what is the audience you actually want to reach.
If you want your show to be, you know, the inside baseball, you know, really highly technical. Fine, but realize your chances of getting an audience is going to be, you know. You could, it's okay to have a small audience, but you need to know that that's what's going to happen if you want. If your passion is you want people outside your field to understand what your field is about, I think that's really, really valuable, especially these days because science journalism, you know, the newspapers aren't paying for science journalists, the television networks.
Obviously aren't paying for good science journalists, so there's a huge need for somebody to go out there and communicate to people what science is really about. To give you an example of another great Lipson podcast that I'm promoting right now, for obvious reasons, is this weekend virology. I mean, if you want to hear a great show, that's really the science of coronavirus.
This week in virology, which is a Lipson show and Vincent ranch and Ella used to be a part of my science podcast or.org organization. This week in virology launched in 2008 so it's not a, you know, Hey, let's jump on the bandwagon. You know, I had to get that in there cause I really think this is an important show for people to listen to.
I just think that, I think it's really valuable. We need, I'd like to see some good physics shows that, you know, tried to explain things to regular people like me. You know, I guess maybe Sean Carroll does a little on his, but he, his show is, I don't think it's. It's really focused on physics, even though he's a physicist.
Yeah, but if you're going to do it, I would the run recommendation if I had anything to do different, I don't know if you're planning to ask me that question. If I was going to do something different, I would want to have a cohost. I mean, you know someone to carry the load so that you know it's not all on you.
If you can find a cohost, you'll probably have a better chance of, of lasting and not pod fading. And plus listeners enjoy, you know, hearing the relationship between the cohost. And that's something that, that, that I, I've never had the opportunity to do. Yeah, definitely. I agree. Like I've, I've had, I've also co-hosted some, some other podcasts, you know, with some colleagues, and that does get go much better because you get a different perspective.
I mean, obviously, you know, the questions that you ask, you know your way of thinking, but then the cohost might ask a question and that's just like, Oh wow. That is actually very interesting. I'm very curious what the answer is. I think that's a very good piece of advice. But beware of the excess chitter chatter.
I can't tell you how many podcasts I have turned off at the beginning because everybody's talking about. You know, it doesn't matter what TV show they watched or whatever. Most of us can't pull that off. I mean, if you're like a celebrity, maybe somebody wants to know what you did last night, but otherwise they probably don't and they're probably going to turn off your show before you even get to your interview.
If you make it a habit. Of doing too much goofing around at the beginning. And that's, that's just my opinion. But I've heard other podcast listeners say the same thing when talking about what shows they turn off. Most of us aren't as funny as we think we are and know, get to the point. For sure. I completely agree.
It has to be substantive. So, okay, so what's, what's your plans with the future of brain science and what kind of goals are you hoping to accomplish with it? Well, you know, this year it's hard to know what's going to happen. I was really hoping to take the show to another level this year. I actually experimented with going back to twice a month, which I, um, did the first two years of the show.
But I've decided to go back to once a month, which has worked well for over 10 years. I'm trying, I was planning to release the second edition of my book. Are you sure? The unconscious. Origins of certainty next week, but that's been held up just in the layout. Um, stage, just because of uncertainties with, with the pen dynamic, and I'm not sure how people are going to get books.
Amazon's society books are very low priority. If you order a book right now from Amazon, it'll come whenever. So it's probably not a re the best possible time to be releasing a book. And I really want to write that book. Are you sure is really just based on several older episodes of the show. And what I really want to do is to write a truly original book because I mean, I got almost 15 years worth of material.
I got lots of material. I want to write an original book, mainly because let's face it, there's still a lot of people who don't listen to podcasts. And. The reality is books are still, you know, the gold standard. So I want to write a really good, but it's called, it's going to be called why neuroscience matters, because really my, my whole premise is that understanding how neuroscience works should be a basic scientific literacy skill for the 21st century.
For example, if you understand what cognitive dissonance is. Politics make a lot more sense, but at any rate, so that's really my focus for this year is to get those books out. And then I w I hope they will help grow the show, but the main thing is to reach new people. Okay. Yeah. Just kind of educate the world on, on everything that's going on, how we think, why we think, I think that's a really good idea.
But I would, I would argue that, you know, books are, you know, obviously they reach different type of peer person than, than podcasting. And maybe more, maybe less, I don't know. But I would say that even better. Methods of teaching. And a big part of that is actually video is, you know, lot more people. For example, watch YouTube, then read books.
Yeah. And I'm not going to argue with that. I don't see myself as a video person. If somebody came to me and said, Hey, do you want to be part of a video project? I'd say, cool, but I'm not, you know, I'm not gonna. Take that on as a solo project. Audio podcasting is enough of a challenge as a solo project. I appreciate the fact that that a lot of people still, you know, now learn by video.
I happened to be a person who learns by reading and believe that there are still those of us out there. We learn by reading and I'm willing to accept the fact that. Someone else may be reaching those video people. Yeah. And if somebody wants to come to me and say, Hey, here's your great book. How can we put parts of it into a video?
You know, I'll be, I'll be up for that too, but I know what my strength is. Yeah. I mean, I got into podcasting because I realized almost immediately that it was just something that, that, um, really excited me and I felt like I was good at it. Explaining science is a lot more like my day job in which I explained medicine to my patients.
So it kind of, you know, trying to translate things into English is something that sort of comes naturally, or at least I've been doing it so long. It feels natural. Yeah, definitely. Kind of, I mean, essentially you're translating from Latin into English. Well, it's not quite that bad, but close enough. Yeah. I did want to talk about one other thing that was related to the book, and that was, I had.
I've had half a listener who's been just sort of hounding me about making an audio version of, are you sure? Which I'm not planning to do, partly because of expense and partly because of the content is already available mostly in audio. Format, but when I do my big book project, I definitely do consider making an audio version of it to be essential for the exact reason that you just mentioned that the format of audio is so good for reaching people.
And the thing I love about audio versus video is that a person can be. They can be driving their car. They have been going for a walk. They can be cleaning their house. They can, I don't know how you would mow the lawn because I don't think you'd be able to hear it, but you can do a lot of stuff while you're listening to audio as opposed to, you know, video, which if you're actually really paying attention, you know, you kind of have to.
Look at it. So that's why I'm comfortable with not doing video, although I appreciate the fact that, that it's, it's a very powerful tool. I mean, I'm the person who, when I go to the website, I don't watch the videos. I say I look for the, where did they put the written instructions? In fact, I have a coach who has all these videos and she's learned that she's just going to send me the PDFs because I don't want to watch the video.
So it may be a generational thing, but. You know, I'm a baby boomer. There's plenty of people in my boom's still left. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean, I think also like audio is kind of the sweet spot where it's easily accessible and you also, like you said, you can do it while doing other things, driving, transporting, you know, basically all the stuff that I've stopped doing.
So actually I've had my podcast kind of pile up because I've stopped commuting to work and I stopped, you know, doing all this stuff that where I, where I used to listen to podcasts. It's been a, it's been pretty bad. I'm going to have quite a backlog once I get back to everything. Right. And that's, you know, that's why it's hard to know what's going to happen.
Rob Walch from, from Lipson, he, he's been talking on the feed about how the last slump in, in podcast advertising happened in 2008 with the, with the financial crisis in 2008 and I remember that because I had one. Really great advertising campaign with the Navy, and then the rates just went through the bottom.
I mean, they just, they went way down. So people, podcasts, which you rely on, on advertising, are really going to be, you know, hurting in the next, you know, foreseeable future. And then the people who are making their living off of production, you know, audio editing and things like that are probably also gonna, you know, struggle a little for me.
My show's established and I can survive on a plateau for a while, but if I was somebody just starting out, I'm not saying you shouldn't start now. But this might be a good time to be in the planning phases, right. And, and really get everything aligned up. Maybe if, I think if I was starting a new show at this point, what I might consider doing is getting a large number of interviews in the can, right.
And then launching in the fall, maybe when people are hopefully going to be back on a more regular schedule and then you won't have that time pressure of trying to put out a show every week. So we can make the best of it. Yeah, definitely. Don't have this be dead time. Have it be useful, actually. Yeah. So what is, what are some, what is some advice that you have for people in the neuroscience field?
Neurotechnology in general, like through your experience in the field and, and having talked to so many people. Well, I always, I always ask my guests to give advice to students because I have so many student listeners, and one of the things that, that many of my guests say, which I think applies to us whether or not we're students or not, is to choose something that, that you're really passionate about.
In other words, if you were going to do a podcast. Unless you are intentionally planning a very short run series that's gonna like say go 12 episodes in and, but if you want to do it for a prolonged period of time, you've got to pick something that you're really passionate about. I picked neuroscience because I felt like I wasn't going to run out of material, which has certainly proven to be true every time.
I think that I've kind of gotten. You know, into a stuck point. I turn around and I've got a bunch of new books in my mailbox and I'm like, and I get enthused again. So if the subject doesn't light you up, you're not going to last. I think the, the old writing advice, you know, to re, you know, which is write what you know, probably applies to podcasting too.
Yeah, definitely. I would completely agree. I mean, you know, even even in the field of, even in the sub field of neural implants, you know, especially the guests that I have a little bit more familiarity with, it's much easier for me versus something like, you know, computational stuff or you know, programming or whatever, and they're just like, Oh shoot, this is a bit outside of what I know and what I can intelligently speak about.
But also, I guess not. What I'm interested in. I am interested in it, but maybe not to the extent to the other stuff. So I completely agree, and I think you've shown this very well. It's, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon, you know? And then when you're, when you're planning your interviews, I think they're, the most obvious rule is read ahead of time.
You know, you know, if you listen to interviews in the mainstream media, you can lots of times tell that they haven't read anything by the person that they're interviewing, right? So even if you're interviewing somebody who's only who's written a paper or whatever, you want to have read their work. And then when you're thinking about your interview, I recommend making your questions.
Ask yourself, well, what is the one thing about this person's work that I want my listeners to understand? And then gear all your questions to that. And most scientists don't mind if you say to them, can you back up for a minute and explain what you meant by XYZ? If you're making a show for nonspecialists, they don't have to understand everything, but they need to be able to understand the big picture and they don't like being talked down to.
I mean, the show I do basically goes against all the, all the dogma about how to do science. Broadcasting. You know, if you look at mainstream media, everything is so watered down. There's this assumption that people won't understand it or that you need a bunch of special effects, which of course obviously don't have and neither one.
I think neither one of those things are true, but you do have to be able to make it clear. Why should I, the guy off the street care about this? I mean, you're doing a show about neural implants. I think probably, you know that. That's not as hard as it might be for some other show. I always like to joke that it's a lot easier to make a podcast about neuroscience because everybody does have a brain, and neuroscience really does affect us as individuals, whereas like most of us are not affected by quantum mechanics, so it doesn't matter whether we understand it or not.
Yeah, I mean, I know we are affected by quantum mechanics on some level, but you know what I mean? We're not making day to day decisions based on her understanding of quantum mechanics. Yeah, exactly. Kind of make it relevant. Bring it, bring it all home. Right. And I'm not mean telling them what to think. I am also a big believer in trusting that the science can speak for itself.
You know, decide what the key idea is. Help your guest to share that key idea. And then you have to trust your listeners. Yeah, for sure. This is really interesting stuff. I love it. Um, you know, especially coming from, you know, like I said, one of the biggest science podcasters, you know, of our time and, and somebody who's been doing it all, I'll say pretty much from the beginning.
Yeah. There's a couple of science podcasts out there. They've been around longer than mine, but not many. Yeah, I mean, I, I, I'd have a hard time believing it honestly. Like, unless it was like radio program before, I was just like, Oh, we might as well do podcasting in addition to this, like science Friday.
That's kinda what I'm thinking. Right. I don't care that I don't count those because those are repurposed radio shows. So you're right. One of the oldest ones is probably a repurposed radio show, but there is a show called the astronomy cast, which is Pam Hamlin. Gay's done over 300 episodes of that show.
I think she launched in three 2005 while she's in the podcasting hall of fame, the only science podcast in the podcasting hall of fame, like actual hall of fame. Well, it's called the Academy of podcasters, and now it's been bought out, so it's probably going to become the Hollywood podcasting hall of fame, but the people that are currently in it are true pioneers.
Just Google Academy of podcasters hall of fame. She got a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
No. But yeah. Yeah, it's, it's, it's a lot of work creating a science podcast, but I think it's, it's, it's a great way to share pot. I think it's a great way to share science. It just, it's just a lot of work. You have to, the thing that will keep you going if you decide to do it, and I don't know if this is your experience, but for me, it's listener feedback.
Every time I think I'm going to quit. I get an email from somebody who said, tells me, you know how it's made a difference to them. And, and that, that keeps me going. Yeah, definitely. Like the, the feedback is, is great. And the really, it's amazing kind of the connections that you create for others and then you create for yourself as well.
But another thing for me too is because I can go to conferences and I have gone to conferences kind of helping out on the meta side of things with some things, I, I'm basically in the room of, you know, a few hundred people that, you know. Portion of them who know who I am and listen to the show and everything like that.
So that's kind of an amazing thing because I have a, I have a travel podcast as well actually, and it's, it's bigger than the Nerland pop podcast, but you know, it's just diffuse, like it's all over the world. So I would never in the wild run into one of my listeners, but at one of the conferences, it really, it does happen and people are, you know, people like it, you know?
And so that, that also kind of motivates me a little bit further, cause it's just like, it's not just numbers on a screen, it's actual. People and it's actual, you know, it's, it's has real life consequences I guess. So, Dr. Campbell, this has been excellent. Thank you so much for coming on. Is there anything that we didn't talk about that you wanted to mention?
Yeah. And, and I have a free newsletter on my website, so if somebody says, well, I'd like to know when that book is really happening. Who's got a brain science podcast.com and sign up for the newsletter. You get. Show notes automatically and know when the book is finally a reality. Excellent. I'm looking forward to it and especially looking forward to the audience
guys. Hopefully you enjoyed that. Yeah, it was interesting. Afterwards we talked about, you know, how hard it is to make money podcasting and how little it is, and you know, she's like, Oh, you can put some of your episodes behind a pay wall, or, you know, do a Patrion and have people donate to you. But with how niche this show is, I don't think I'd be making too much.
And I don't think, I don't want to do that to you guys. Like, and only earn 20 bucks a month, you know, sell out my soul for 20 bucks a month, or you know, 30 or whatever. I might end up earning from that. But I do this for the love of the topic and the. The people that are in it and just reaching out and everything like this.
I think it's really good, but I mean, please do remember that I do offer other services, and so if you're interested in either advertising on a podcast or making your own podcast, or filming a promotional video for example, or a conference, or you know, a panel or whatever, I'm doing three D animations, then I'm available for this as well.
The email is. Latin@neuralimplant.media and so yeah, I can do all your media needs. Even things like making some figures in, in some journal articles. I've seen some really, really ugly figures, really ugly photos, and I can make that a little bit better. Just that much better. To, to make it more attractive.
And you know, it's a small thing, but it's a is, it's a very real thing. And I've seen people close and I've seen people just stop reading. If they saw like an especially hideous graphic, then yeah, let me know. Let me know and I'll see if I can help you out. Hope you enjoyed the show and were able to learn something new, bringing together different fields in novel ways.
Until next time on the neural implant podcast.