Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

Episode 50: After the Map


Bill Rankin talks about the changes brought about by GPS and other mapping technologies in the twentieth century. Rankin an associate professor of the history of science at Yale University. He is the author of After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century. He also creates thematic maps at the website Radical Cartography.


Bill Rankin


Episode 49: Living on the International Space Station


International Space Station

Astronaut Garrett Reisman talks about life aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Reisman flew on two shuttle missions to ISS where he conducted three 7-hour spacewalks. In 2011, he joined SpaceX as Director of Space Operations. This year he joined the engineering faculty of University of Southern California where he teaches courses on human spaceflight.


Garrett Reisman

Episode 48: One Long Night


Andrea Pitzer talks about her book One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, one of Smithsonian Magazine’s Ten Best History Books for 2017. While concentration camps may not seem to have much to do with travel and exploration, travel and forced detention are joined in strange and important ways.

Pitzer’s work has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Slate, and Lapham’s Quarterly. To research the book, Pitzer traveled to a dozen countries on four different continents. She talks about history, travel, and offers a preview of her new book project on the Arctic.


Episode 47: Searching for Hobbits


Liang Bua

In 2003, a team of archaeologists discovered a new hominin species in a cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia. The fossils were a big story not only because they were new, but also because they were so small. Homo Floresienses stood about three feet tall.

Paige Madison talks about her work at the Liang Bua cave in Indonesia where she studies Homo Floresiensis as well as the team of researchers who have worked at the cave for years, sometimes for generations. Madison is a PhD candidate in the history of science at Arizona State University where she also works with The Center for Biology and Society and the Institute of Human Origins. She writes about paleoanthropology at the blog Fossil History. She returns to Liang Bua as a Fulbright scholar this fall.

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Paige Madison


Episode 46: Australians’ First Encounter with Captain Cook


Postcard featuring James Cook superimposed over a map of Australia. Cook’s encounter with Aboriginal Australians at Botany Bay is illustrated in the top right corner (1907). Credit: National Museum of Australia

Maria Nugent talks about Aboriginal Australians first encounter with Captain Cook at Botany Bay, a violent meeting has come to represent the origin story of Australia’s colonization by Europeans. The encounter itself has been symbolized by a bark shield – said to have been used by indigenous Australians defending themselves against gunfire from Cook’s crew.


Gweagal activist Rodney Kelly pointing to the bark shield in the British Museum in 2016. Kelly seeks to return the shield to Australia. Credit: Rodney Kelly

Now on permanent display at the British Museum, the shield has come to mean different things for settler Australians and Indigenous Australians, even as historians and archaeologists debate whether it was it was really there at Botany Bay for this historic encounter. Maria Nugent is a Fellow in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the School of History at the Australian National University.


Maria Nugent

Episode 45: An American in Soviet Antarctica, Part II


Stamp commemorating the Soviet Union’s Antarctic bases

Stewart Gillmor — the sole American at Mirny Station in 1961 and 1962– continues his discussion of life at the Soviet base: how communism plays out 10,000 miles from Moscow, the problems with planes in Antarctica, and what to do when the diesel generator dies at the coldest place in the world.


Mirny Station

Episode 44: An American in Soviet Antarctica, Part I


Stewart Gillmore in Mirny Station, 1961.

Stewart Gillmor talks about his fourteen-month stay at Mirny Station, the Soviet Union’s Antarctica base. Gillmor was the sole American at Mirny in 1960-1962 during the height of the Cold War.


Gillmor holding the Russian coat he used at Mirny Station.