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In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with biologist Michael Angilletta about his collaborative work building virtual reality science labs with Hollywood-born Dreamscape Immersive, student engagement through story, and the power of immersion— as well as Amanda’s aphantasia and Mike’s hard-learned rules of surviving the Zoom era.

Michael Angilletta is President's Professor and Director of the Center for Science Learning Innovation at Arizona State University. Mike established an international reputation first as an evolutionary biologist studying adaptation to climate change, which resulted in an award winning book called Thermal Adaptation. Now, Mike works at expanding the use of digital learning technologies, such as adaptive courseware and virtual reality. And his team has launched the first online program to confer a Bachelor of Science in Biology, which now serves more than 2300 students. Mike is working with corporate partners such as Cogbooks, Labster, Google, and Dreamscape Immersive to promote evidence-based practices in cutting edge technology.

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The Science Write Now (SWN) Podcast is a monthly podcast for people who love science and the arts. If you’re interested in learning more about great books, plays, and films; writing, research or editing; the lives of scientists; and creative insights into contemporary science … then you’ve come to the right place!

The SWN Podcast is hosted by Amanda Niehaus and Jessica White and produced by Taylor Mitchell with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts.

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Our opening song is 'Balmain' by Pure Milk: