Sex, Drugs & Science Podcast

The Stigma & Health Inequities Lab hosts the Sex, Drugs, & Science Podcast. We interview your favorite sex and drugs scientists about what they study and why. Each week features an interview with a scientist studying topics such as: pornography, opioids, HIV, harm reduction, and others. Co-hosted by Valerie Earnshaw and Carly Hill with help from the UD Stigma Lab.

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Season 1 episodes:

Dr. Carmen Logie is the Canada Research Chair in Global Health Equity and Social Justice with Marginalized Populations at the University of Toronto. Valerie and Carly talk with her about partnering with communities globally on HIV research. Carmen pushes back on research that paints LGBT people as “sad and risky”, advises that we “only get what we ask for” in our work, and grapples with telling stories that document structural oppression while also highlighting individual agency and resilience. Valerie and Carly vow to get fluevogs before their next professional presentations.

Dr. Kim Nelson is an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University, and winner of the 2020 Early Career Investigator Award from the Society for Behavioral Medicine. Kim breaks down state resolutions identifying porn as a public health issue, talks about her work on porn literacy for young sexual minority men, describes what sex education would look like in her ideal world, and shares how her all-lady scientist squad is taking on minor consent laws. Carly shares about her own sex education experiences, and Valerie and Carly encourage listeners to send complaints about the show to Kim (knels@faux.com)

Dr. Stephenie “WD” Chaudoir is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of the Holy Cross. Stephenie talks with Valerie and Carly about integrating her background as a first-generation college student with her position as an academic scientist, using the power and privilege of tenure to tackle sexual misconduct on college campuses, and collaborating with an ace group of scientists to study how a brief writing intervention has “monster effects” on improving mental health among sexual minorities in rural Appalachia. Valerie and Stephenie reflect on why they haven’t focused on sexism research, despite being women who study stigma, and Valerie shares pro tips on science celebration piñatas.

Dr. Seven Tomek is a neuroscientist who recently earned her PhD at Arizona State University. She talks with Valerie and Carly about her research on opioids and social behavior, how she became interested in a region of the brain called the insula, and why she prefers rat participants to human participants. Seven shares her underdog story of how she became a neuroscientist, and Valerie reports on how Seven’s Instagram page expanded her research assistants’ minds about what a neuroscientist can look like. Scott from the Gin Blossoms, Seven’s friend, leaves a message for Carly and Valerie and they debate quitting their jobs to become roadies.

Dr. Scott Hadland is a pediatrician and addiction specialist at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. Valerie and Carly talk with him about the importance of treating addiction during adolescence, medications for opioid use disorders, and associations between the pharmaceutical industry’s opioid marketing and physicians’ opioid prescribing. Valerie and Carly debate whether pharma has a hit out on Scott and nominate Scott for an official science superhero cape and magic policy wand.

Dr. Seth Kalichman is Professor of Social Psychology and Dr. Lisa Eaton is Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Seth is also the Editor-in-Chief of the journal AIDS & Behavior and Lisa is an Associate Editor. Seth and Lisa tell the stories of how they became interested in HIV research, share best practices for collecting data at Pride, and think about how to apply lessons learned from HIV research to COVID-19. Seth issues a public apology to Anthony Fauci, and Valerie learns that she’s technically living in the South.

Dr. Jasmine Abrams is an international behavioral research scientist, educator, and entrepreneur working toward health equity for women of African ancestry. She is an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, founder of SpiceXperience (a sex-positive woman owned company providing premium erotic education), and co-founder of Research Unlimited (a full service research assistance agency). Jasmine talks to Valerie and Carly about her work on the Strong Black Women Schema, bringing pleasure to sexual health research, drawing energy from being an entrepreneur, and supporting Black academics.

Dr. Gabriel Culbert is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago and Dr. Agung Waluyo is the Directorate of Community Engagement & Empowerment at the Universitas Indonesia. Gabe and Agung describe how they met in Jakarta in 2003 and how their research partnership has developed since then. Agung reflects on what it was like to learn about drug use and the HIV epidemic after a sheltered childhood, recalls being warned that he could be sent to jail for doing stigma research focused on Indonesian healthcare providers, and shares how he navigates conversations about politically sensitive research with government officials. Gabe describes the reasons why the HIV epidemic became concentrated in prisons in Indonesia, questions why Indonesia has one of the highest HIV mortality rates despite having the largest universal healthcare system in the world, and envisions an expanded role for nurses in HIV prevention and treatment. Valerie and Carly nominate Gabe and Agung to be poster children for international research partnerships.

Dr. Jelani Kerr is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Jelani and Valerie talk about what getting tenure means for them and doing research in community settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jelani describes how he got interested in HIV research, connects drug policy to the HIV epidemic in African American communities, gives a history lesson on the war on drugs, and describes why police brutality is a systemic problem. Carly and Valerie talk about Breonna Taylor, the #SayHerName campaign, and stereotypes underlying police brutality targeting Black women.

Dr. Samuel Friedman is a Research Professor and faculty member at the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is also the Senior Theoretician and Associate Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Theory Core at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR). In this bonus episode, Sam and Valerie discuss their role in activism as it relates to academia. Sam also talks about his role in drug user activism in the 1990s, specifically a demonstration at the Department of Health and Human Services which involves a 12 foot tall replica of a human backbone.

This week, Valerie and Carly invite the undergrads to talk a little more about why and how we started the podcast. While we’re away on break, follow us on instagram @sexdrugsscience or email us with any questions at sexdrugsnscience@gmail.com. As always, subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date with the next season!