Amy Quinton reporting for the Unfold podcast

Unfold co-host Amy Quinton interviews UC Davis researchers Pam Ronald and Raoul Adamchak at the Student Farm. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

5 UC Davis Podcasts to Know

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Culture, Fall/Winter 2021-22, On Campus

The Backdrop podcast logo

The Backdrop

Topic: Social sciences, humanities, arts and culture
Year started: 2020

Soterios Johnson, a media host and communications trainer at UC Davis, said he launched The Backdrop to create a place to learn about, discuss and share the work going on at UC Davis. His podcast covers everything from history, law, economics and politics to linguistics, sociology, anthropology, arts and culture. “So far, we’ve covered conspiracy theories, contentious presidential transitions, media exposure and political polarization, humanizing deportation, the reopening of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum and helping refugees reclaim their right to education,” Johnson said, noting he hopes listeners “come away with a better understanding of an issue. There is so much new knowledge and insight being generated at the university that can help us better understand the world around us, solve problems or just see things in a different way.”

EM Pulse podcast logo

EM Pulse

Topic: Emergency medicine
Year started: 2018

EM Pulse tackles topics related to emergency medicine. Co-host Sarah Medeiros, a physician and associate professor of emergency medicine, said, “We find that personal stories deepen the impact so we interview patients, authors and clinicians to make our take-home messages more memorable.” Episodes include “Don’t be a jerk,” which explores how transgender patients can be cared for in the emergency department, and “COVID under the magnifying glass,” which looks at how the pandemic disproportionately affected vulnerable populations. “Taking time to sit down with patients and other providers to really hear their stories and look at how the science impacts their lives has truly been an honor,” said co-host Julia Magana, a physician and associate professor of emergency medicine. “We want our community to have free access to the same information that we do at an academic center like UC Davis.”

Kids Considered podcast logo

Kids Considered

Topic: Child health
Year started: 2018

Kids Considered is a UC Davis Children’s Hospital podcast, featuring two pediatricians who discuss child health topics in plain, nonmedical language. “We talk about topics that we think will be of interest to parents,” said co-host Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases. “We try to make sure that we talk about a variety of ages, from babies to school-age children to teens. We also choose a variety of topics, including behavior and development, diet, relationships, infections — mostly common issues that parents are dealing with or have heard of.” Blumberg and co-host Lena van der List said they strive to reach anyone interested in child health subjects. “One of our most popular recent episodes was on toilet training. And Dr. Dean is a natural when it comes to talking about infections, so our series on COVID was easy and well-received” added van der List.

Unfold podcast logo


Topic: Curiosity-driven research
Year started: 2019

Unfold breaks down complicated problems and explains curiosity-driven research at UC Davis. Each season, the podcast takes a deep dive into a different topic, such as sustainable food systems and climate change. The third season, which launches on Sept. 28, explores topics in the social sciences, engineering, biology and more. “This coming season, we’ll talk about why songs get stuck in our heads, what developmental biologists are learning from axolotls, what you can learn about engineering by paying attention to comic book superheroes and an amazing archaeological discovery by one of our anthropologists, to name just a few,” said Amy Quinton, a news and media relations specialist at UC Davis, who co-hosts with colleague Kat Kerlin. “We hope it gives listeners a more intimate, inside view of science and research at UC Davis.”

Water Talk podcast logo

Water Talk

Topic: Drought
Year started: 2020

Water Talk, a weekly podcast, features discussions about agriculture, water policy, environmental and social justice, land and wildlife management, water for cities, Indigenous perspectives on water, climate change and other issues related to California water. “Many folks may not be as familiar with the extension component of the University of California system. And it’s this idea that the knowledge that’s created at any of the UCs throughout the state, it doesn’t stop at the university boundaries; it’s supposed to extend throughout the whole state. And that’s really what we’re trying to do here,” said Mallika Nocco, a Cooperative Extension specialist in soil-plant-water relations and irrigation management and director of the Conservation Irrigation Lab at UC Davis, in the first episode. She co-hosts with Faith Kearns and Sam Sandoval Solis.