Monkey Mind

Because we were never going to stick to just one topic

About the show

We jump around from topic to topic with the discipline of a monkey mind. Birds, linguistics, computing and grad school may feature disproportionately.


  • Episode 038: Dirty Data

    October 18th, 2023  |  1 hr 15 mins
    data, fraud, science

    Grace and David talk about fudging data, data illiteracy, misaligned incentives, and all the ways in which data is used and misused in science.

    Note: this will be our last episode.

  • Episode 037: An Episode about Wild Things

    September 3rd, 2023  |  2 hrs 1 min
    breath of the wild, gaming, nintendo

    This episode is also two months late. Includes discussion about wild weather, Breath of the Wild, wild speedruns of Breath of the Wild, and wild things you can do in Breath of the Wild.

  • Episode 036: This Episode Is Two Months Late

    May 17th, 2023  |  1 hr 6 mins
    collecting, curation, retro

    This episode was recorded sometime in March, and I somehow forgot to post it until now. We talk about old Pokémon games, the impulse to collect things, and curation inside and outside of museums.

  • Episode 035: Pokémon and Singaporean cultural history

    March 10th, 2023  |  1 hr 57 mins
    cultural history, culture, pokemon, singapore

    Grace and David do surprise trades in Pokémon Violet, and somehow end up talking about cultural institutions in Singapore.

  • Episode 034: ChatGPT and Natural History

    January 28th, 2023  |  1 hr 8 secs
    academia, chatgpt, natural history

    We discuss ChatGPT, professional subreddits, natural history in Singapore, and more ChatGPT.

  • Episode 033: Migration Assistant

    September 23rd, 2022  |  58 mins 19 secs
    computing, conversation, macos, technology

    Grace and David talk about what happens when an operating system is so old, macOS doesn't know how to migrate from it. And some other stuff.

  • Episode 032: Teaching 101 courses

    March 13th, 2022  |  45 mins 16 secs
    college, teaching, university, writing

    David and Grace discuss the challenges of teaching introductory courses and developing students' writing skills.

  • Episode 031: Weird travels and mice

    February 22nd, 2022  |  37 mins 11 secs
    lockdown, netherlands, trackball, travel

    David survived a lockdown while travelling and tells the tale. Random diversion to 3D-printed mice.

  • Episode 030: Travel? Travel!

    November 18th, 2021  |  52 mins 50 secs
    academia, ecology, europe, travel

    David plans to travel.

  • Episode 029: Stable Isotopes and Computer Systems

    October 19th, 2021  |  49 mins 12 secs
    biology, chemistry, computer engineering, computer science, school

    David is taking a class on stable isotopes and talks about it. Grace is taking a class on computer systems and talks about it.

  • Episode 028: This episode has no theme

    September 22nd, 2021  |  45 mins 14 secs

    David is back in Albuquerque and is making Singaporean food. Grace switched from Brave to Firefox.

  • Episode 027: Camera Obscura

    August 13th, 2021  |  40 mins 11 secs
    birds, cameras, travel

    David and Grace debate the relative merits of cameras of all shapes, sizes and ages, but only after discussing ways to cross borders with dead bodies.

  • Episode 026: Covid Vaccination Talk

    July 26th, 2021  |  48 mins 32 secs
    public health, science, science communication

    We talk about Covid vaccines, efficacy vs effectiveness, and how on earth to get vaccination rates up.

  • Episode 025: Maps and Models

    June 16th, 2021  |  43 mins 57 secs

    David took the opportunity of a soft lockdown to add 98,000-ish buildings' worth of height data to his bird-building collision data set, one building at a time.

  • Episode 024: Protein Folding, Artificial Intelligence, and SkyNet

    June 11th, 2021  |  1 hr 3 mins

    In typical Monkey Mind fashion, David and Grace talk about vaccinations, then folding proteins, then using computers and gamers to fold proteins, then things computers can't do and things computers can't do yet, and things computers might never be able to do.

  • Episode 023: On the Economics of Science

    June 11th, 2021  |  1 hr 22 mins

    David and Grace discuss the problem of finding money to pay for science, and unsurprisingly end up talking about economics.