Ologies podcast and the art of interviewing

Alie Ward is the best interviewer and you can’t change my mind.

You know that phenomenon where a documentary is about mushrooms, or air guitar, or tightrope walking, but by the end you realize it was actually about the universe, or the human condition, or beauty? That’s an interview by Alie Ward.

Each episode of Ologies begins with the premise of a featured “-ology” (a branch of science), but by the end is so much more. The joy and curiosity that Ward brings to every topic, and to every scientist interviewed, is something we can all learn from– especially those of us who write or interview.

Here’s a round-up (in no particular order) of a few of my favourite episodes, and a sneak peek of what they’re really about.


About: Carob trees, a drought-resistant “fake chocolate” tree common in suburbs.

Really about: Food security. Science and disability. Mindfulness. 

Experimental Archeology

About: Testing archaeological theories by recreating ancient tools, activities, food, etc.

Really about: Colonialism. Community. Unbridled enthusiasm.


About: Pelicans.

Really about: Dinosaurs. Racism. Mentorship.

Urban Rodentology

About: Rats. But not just any rats– Sewer rats.

Really about: Animal relatives. Shared histories. Joy.


About: Mortuary make-up.

Really about: Love. Redefining family. Following your dreams.


About: Tasmanian devils, and their biological family, Dasyuridae.

Really about: Queerness. Laughter. Home.

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