Mission Statement

What we do

Palaeo After Dark is first and foremost a podcast where three scientist friends sit down and discuss some scientific papers. Sometimes drinks are involved. Our core aims are twofold. First, to show scientists as people; opinionated, flawed, sometimes infuriating, people. Ordinary people, that just happen to do a bit of a weird job. We want to share some of our everyday discussions, and show that we have interests beyond just our jobs. Conversations will be focused around scientific papers, topics and concepts, but there’ll be many digressions into films, video games, music, television – whatever catches our interest. Occasionally we’ll do something extra that’s completely different – we have to keep ourselves amused.

Secondly, we want to present papers from a slightly more balanced, critical, standpoint. Most science outreach involving actual scientists tends to act as a form of promotion: scientists talk about their own work. We rather pointedly talk about our own projects as little as possible, and prefer to talk about things other people have done. Think of us as scientists that are also looking at things from a journalistic standpoint. But rather than focus on the usual hype and spin of science in the media, we give our honest opinion.

And that’s what it is: our opinion. Depending on the paper, it could be a more or less informed standpoint. We try to be clear about what we do and do not know. But what you’ll get are thoughts on science by scientists, presented in an informal and hopefully somewhat amusing manner. There are also many good, interesting papers that never get a media push. A great deal of important, fundamentally wide-reaching papers are never in the public eye. It’s these papers that we find of particular interest, and it’s these papers that we enjoy bringing to you the most.


How we pick the papers

The long and short of it is that papers are chosen largely based on what catches our eye. Sometimes it will be the latest big release you’ve seen in the news, other times it’ll be something a few decades old. We try to build some variety into the papers we look at, but inevitably we’ll have our biases and we’ll pick things that we find interesting in some way. This in itself is not a bad thing – if we’re not enthused about what we’re talking about, we’re not going to be very interesting to listen to. We really only have one rule: we never pick a paper with the idea of attacking it. We will sometimes pick a paper that initially seems interesting but we end up disliking for some reason, or pick a paper that we may disagree with but think raises interesting points, but we’ll never chose a paper simply to tear it down. We want to share cool studies, interesting ideas, and intriguing debates, not cast aspersions or throw shade around at fellow scientists. Even if we end up thinking that a paper is flawed in some way, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. And hey, maybe you disagree. That’s cool too.

Announcing A New Feature: The Palaeo Film Club Commentary Tracks

We are happy to announce a new feature in association with Palaeocast’s Dave Marshall, the Palaeo Film Club. Palaeo Film Club is a science audio commentary track series we will be producing for films that prominently feature paleontology, biology, and/or geology in their plots. In short, we will likely be watching a lot of rubber puppet monster movies.

If you’re not sure about what a commentary track is or how it works, fear not. Essentially, the commentary will be an audio track that you begin playing at a fixed point in the film (which you will be told in the write up for each commentary) which allows you to watch the movie in sync with our comments and lame jokes. This sort of thing is very much done in the style of RiffTrax/Mystery Science Theater and Red Letter Media. While I wouldn’t expect this project to be as amusing as the former nor as well informed as the latter, we hope you will still enjoy our attempt to make terrible movies just a little bit worse.

While this feature will be intermittent, we hope to upload at least one new commentary every month.  These commentary tracks can be streamed/downloaded directly from the website www.palaeoafterdark.com/pfc or you can also get them by subscribing to The Palaeo After Dark Junk Drawer podcast feed on iTunes. Feel free to like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalaeoFilmClubWe’ll be launching with commentaries for two films about killer ancient arthropods, “Amphibious 3D” and “DeepStar Six”. We hope you enjoy them!

New PAD Website Now Not Quite As On Fire

Since none of us have any real webdesign background, we apologize for some of the incessant tweaking and rearranging that came immediately after launching the site. However, we think we're finally settled into the way the site is going to look from here on out (or at least for a long time). That being said, we're always interested to know if there is anything we can add to make site better, so if you guys have any features you'd like to see here, please drop us a line on twitter (@palaeoafterdark), facebook, or e-mail us at palaeoafterdark@gmail.com. 

New PAD Website

In a moment of bizarre professionalism, the gang has decided to get a "real" website and design it to look basically like the old one. Hope you all enjoy the new page which will have links to both the official PAD episodes and our sister podcast of random brick-a-brac that we record on the side called the Junk Drawer. Also, we'll try and update this news section whenever interesting things are going on.