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Oxford Science Cafe Launches Monthly Podcast

University of Mississippi graduate student Sumeet Kulkarni records a podcast for the 'Ssippin' Science' series. The programs replace the in-person Oxford Science Cafe meetings, which are cancelled during the COVID-19 health crisis. Submitted photo

New series to continue providing scientific programs amid social distancing

In an effort to keep informing and entertaining science enthusiasts amid regulations that have cancelled most in-person events, organizers of the Oxford Science Cafe have created a way to bring the science to them.

The program is called “Ssippin’ Science” and can be heard on SpotifyApple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Organizers of the podcasts are Jake Bennett, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Mississippi and faculty adviser, and Ole Miss graduate students Sumeet Kulkarni and Lorena Magaña Zertuche.

Ssippin' Science logo

Kulkarni recorded the first episode for Comscicon-Atlanta, a conference on science communication for graduate students. The conference had experts review any multimedia science communication piece that they could create.

“I took the opportunity to pick this longstanding idea of making a podcast out of stories that our speakers tell at the science cafe,” Kulkarni said. “The first episode covered a really fascinating tale of how and why crickets on a tiny island in Hawaii suddenly stopped chirping.”

Zertuche said that while the idea for the podcast preceded the COVID-19 situation, her team looks forward to bringing new and interesting content that anyone can enjoy from home.

“One of our speakers, Dr. Maria Weber, an astronomer at Delta State University, graciously joined us to record a podcast episode called ‘Quarantine Skies,'” she said. “We also plan to host a virtual discussion on issues concerning the well-being and sustainability of our planet on Earth Day.

“We also have audio recorded from previous cafes, with topics including particle physics, microplastics and the evolution of bacteria.”

For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit


Written by University of Mississippi

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi, affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi's flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. With more than 24,000 students, Ole Miss is the state's largest university and is ranked among the nation's fastest-growing institutions.


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