Bestselling author Sam Kean talks all things science on With a Side of Knowledge podcast

Author: Ted Fox

With a Side of Knowledge cover art, featuring the show's title over a Notre Dame monogram waffle

With a Side of Knowledge is a podcast produced by the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. It brings listeners informal interviews with fascinating scholars and professionals from both Notre Dame and elsewhere that take place over brunch.

The second episode of season two, “On Good Stories and Coming Along for the Science,” was released Thursday, Nov. 1, and features New York Times-bestselling author Sam Kean.

Each of Kean’s four books—Caesar’s Last BreathThe Tale of the Dueling NeurosurgeonsThe Violinist’s Thumb, and The Disappearing Spoon—has been aimed at making science more accessible to a broad audience. In addition to his books, his work has appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and Psychology Today, among other places.

Kean came to Notre Dame this past summer to give a plenary address at the 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, a national meeting sponsored by the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. He and With a Side of Knowledge host Ted Fox explored all manner of science topics, from ill-fated attempts at weather control and early research on DNA to hidden backstories of the periodic table of the elements.

You can visit to learn more about the podcast, which is available through iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher or by searching “With a Side of Knowledge” in your favorite podcast app.

You can also listen to the episode with Kean using the player below.