This episode of Inquiring Minds, a podcast hosted by best-selling author Chris Mooney and neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas, also features an interview with Quartz meteorology writer Eric Holthaus about whether global warming may be producing more extreme cold weather in the mid-latitudes, just like what much of America experienced this week.
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As a writer, Deborah Blum says she has a "love of evil chemistry." It seems that audiences do too: Her latest book, The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, was not only a bestseller, but was just turned into a film by PBS (you can watch it for free here).
The book tells the story of Charles Norris, New York City's first medical examiner, and Alexander Gettler, his toxicologist and forensic chemist. They were a scientific and medical duo who brought real evidence and reliable forensic techniques to the pressing task of apprehending poisoners, who were running rampant at the time because there was no science capable of catching them. "When Norris came to office in 1918, the same year, the city of New York actually published a report saying that poisoners could operate with impunity in New York City," explains Blum on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast [stream below].