Goggles Optional is a podcast where scientists from Stanford University provide their professional yet humorous takes from the world of science. Join us as our hosts explore the significant news and discoveries of the week using a combination of wit, analogies, and words with less than four syllables. Goggles Optional has been featured as a New and Noteworthy science podcast on iTunes and by the Stanford School of Medicine blog. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a scientist to listen. The Goggles are Optional!


Emily C. Glassberg


Emily is a PhD student in the Biology Department at Stanford University and received her bachelor’s in Computational Biology and Genomics from Dartmouth College. Emily started doing science because that’s what nerds do (amiright?) and never found a good reason to stop. She loves learning about everything, but is especially intrigued by the evolution of human societies. Because how else will we avoid getting fooled by the Matrix? Or getting taken over by Google? Think about it. [episodes] founder


Nora Brackbill


Nora is a PhD student in the Department of Physics at Stanford. She grew up in Santa Cruz, where she became interested in science while exploring the tide pools and marine life of the Monterey Bay, and went on to study physics at UCLA. She is a bit of scientific wanderer, having worked on everything from modeling of stellar systems to building super fast cameras to quantum information processing, but never did learn practical things like how to avoid the LA traffic by quantum tunneling or why headphones get so tangled in pockets. She has recently settled in a neurobiology lab studying how visual information is encoded in the retina, so keep an eye out for that! She also particularly likes bad puns and science jokes (What did Donald Duck say in his physics class? QUARK QUARK).[episodes] joined 5/2014


Chelsea Schmaltz


Chelsea is currently a physics graduate at Stanford University and she received her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Waterloo. She grew up in a suburb of Seattle, and it was here that she first discovered physics. Ever since high school Chelsea has been exploring the many riches and surprises that physics has to offer. This path has lead her to study atomic molecular and optical physics, a field that studies how molecules and atoms interact with light, and what these interactions can tell us about the fundamental qualities of matter. It is Chelsea’s goal that by joining Goggles Optional she can bring some of physics’ mysteries to the public and inspire the next generation of scientists.[episodes] joined 8/2014


Maulik Kamdar

Web Developer

Maulik is a PhD student in the Biomedical Informatics Program at Stanford University. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur with a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s in Biotechnology. Apart from extracting proteins and engineering storage lipids, he developed a keen interest in web design and information visualization. After graduation, he worked at the world’s largest semantic web institute DERI, in a small, musical town named Galway, Ireland. He is interested to research at the intersection of biosciences, big data and the semantic web, and dreams to launch his own start-up in semantic search or personalized medicine one day. When he is not daydreaming, you would find him painting (he painted his entire dorm room!), traveling or cooking (only vegetarian!). [episodes] [website] [twitter] joined 3/2015


Natalie Telis


Natalie is a PhD student in the Biomedical Informatics program at Stanford University. She began her first foray into science at the age of 10 by inventing (nearly) unpoppable bubbles, but went on to get bachelor’s degrees in Cell Biology and Mathematics at the University of California, Davis. In the lab, she works on evolutionary biology on very short or very long time-scales, depending on her mood and how much coffee she’s had. Outside of the lab, she enjoys biking, drawing, writing musical parodies, and — of course — blowing bubbles.[episodes] joined 6/2015


Dr. Nadine R. Martinez


Nadine is a postdoctoral scholar in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Stanford School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Microbiology and Biology/Immunology from California State University, Los Angeles. She received her doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in conjunction with the Chemical Engineering Department from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her current projects focus on studying preeclampsia and the amelioration of Rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy. When Nadine’s not in running experiments, she is practicing karate or creating another art piece. [episodes] joined 8/2015


Dr. Rupa Lalchandani


Rupa is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Neurosurgery and loves trying to understand science. Rupa grew up in Sacramento, CA, went to UCLA for undergrad (go Bruins!) and then decided to test out the east coast for graduate school. Georgetown University is closest to the Arctic circle she had ever been, and while DC has a certain charm (and seasons), she came back to California as soon as she finished her PhD. Rupa enjoys swimming in large bodies of water, running outdoors, and really corny jokes (ie: How do you make a kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it). [episodes] joined 5/2016


Dr. Charlie Hogg


Charlie is a postdoc in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Lab at Stanford University. He is currently working on where to locate seawater desalination plants so that they can make drinking water but not destroy coastal habitats with their salty discharges. Outside the lab, Charlie enjoys exploring his new home of California. [episodes] joined 5/2016


Shoshana Berleant


Shoshana is a software engineer at the Stanford Center For Reproducible Neuroscience, where she builds neuroimaging workflow tools. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in computer science, tried the whole Silicon Valley thing for a while, then decided science is a lot more fun. When productive, she teaches kids how to build robots, debunks pseudo-science, and writes research software. When not productive, she watches television and plays with her dog, Beowuff. [episodes] joined 5/2016


Nicole Davis


Nicole is a PhD student in Microbiology & Immunology. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in biology and botany, where she learned a lot about leaf-cutter ants and the friendly bacteria that lived on their chests. Nicole thinks it’s really cool that people are walking ecosystems, and gets to spend most of her time studying how we cooperate with our bacteria to keep those ecosystems healthy. This is great because it often involves playing with poop! Outside the lab, she enjoys Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, The Lord of the Rings, exploring, rock climbing, and growing ferns in her backyard. [episodes] joined 10/2016


Jonathan Wosen


Jonathan is a PhD student in Immunology. When he’s in lab, Jonathan studies MHC class 2, a set of immune proteins that display fragments of normal and germ molecules for immune cells to inspect. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, read, listen to the radio (mostly NPR), and spend time with loved ones.  [episodes] joined 10/2016


Paul Bump

Sound Editor

Paul is a PhD student in Biology Department and is based primarily at the Hopkins Marine Station. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in Marine Biology and then went to work for two years at Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. He now merges those two interest trying to understand the wacky regenerative powers of marine invertebrates. Outside of the lab, you can probably find Paul under the water or out on the ultimate frisbee field.  [episodes] joined 11/2016


Derrick Boone


Derrick is a fourth year PhD candidate in the department of Applied Physics at Stanford. After being a boy scout, a band nerd, and a lifeguard, he decided to study chemical-biological engineering and physics at MIT. Post-graduation, he spent five years in the US Navy as a staff nuclear power officer before committing to graduate school. His research focuses on electron-electron interactions in two-dimensional systems at low temperature. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and memes.  [episodes] joined 12/2016


Nicole Ferraro


Nicole is a first year PhD student in the Biomedical Informatics program. Originally from small-town central Pennsylvania, she spent the five years prior to Stanford in Philadelphia studying biomedical engineering. Always missing the city, when traveling around campus she prefers to imagine the trees as tall buildings. Her research interests include methods development to improve the interpretability of the genome. In her spare time, she enjoys stand-up comedy, vegan restaurants, and lively happy hour debates about whether we only exist in a simulation.  [episodes] joined 4/2017


Dr. Marina Radulaski


Marina is a postdoctoral fellow in Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford University. She got interested in quantum optics in high school in Serbia and has since been on a quest to fully understand quantum phenomena. Marina’s favorite method is to point lasers onto semiconductor structures she had nano-patterned, which is how she obtained a PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University. If you attend events like Bay Area Maker Faire or Belgrade Science Festival, Marina may invite you to play a Laser Harp or gently push you into a Laser Maze.  [episodes] joined 4/2017


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