The Intrinsic Podcast #1: Can science escape academia?
Guest Adam Mastroianni is a psychologist and writer
In the fruition of long-laid plans, welcome to The Intrinsic Podcast. It’s a once-a-month podcast with rotating guests, basically just people I think I can have an interesting conversation with. Today that’s Adam Mastroianni, who writes the excellent Experimental History, and who is currently a psychology researcher at Columbia University and pioneer of publishing scientific papers right here on Substack. Adam and I have a lot in common, including our belief that an important portion of intellectual work can and should migrate out of official academia. Our conversation went in many directions, from why scientists are publishing content outside of traditional journals, to how to weather criticism online, to why most literature in the United States is merely mimicking the voice of The New Yorker.
A brief note: I’m a writer, not a talker, so these podcasts (all about an hour long) will universally be casual conversations done in one take, things with their own tics and rhythms, which is my preference. The Intrinsic Podcast is in a position to be so casual, and hopefully, also so honest, because it takes place in a hermetic and protected environment: episodes will only be available to TIP paid subscribers, the ones who make the writing and research I do possible. Meaning that this podcast isn’t available on any other service, just here on Substack. And I think there’s serious value in that. When I was putting together the idea of this podcast I was reminded of a beautiful word: subnivean. It means the environment that exists underneath the snow, a series of insulated tunnelings and spaces for animals to root about in. It is a secret well-kept from human eyes, and to those above there appears only an empty white expanse of snow. They are unaware of what is moving underneath.