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From geckos to gum: we explore the science of stickiness

Close-up view of gecko feet clinging on glass
StephanHoerold/Getty Images
Geckos have a special ability to stick to surfaces.

Stickiness: we know it when we see it-- or when we feel it under our feet at the movie theater. But what is stickiness, scientifically speaking? How do geckos climb? Why don't post-it notes ruin our books? On today's show we'll ask scientist Laurie Winkless about her new book, "Sticky," and figure out what holds it all together.


  • Laurie Winkless - A science writer, physicist, and author of the new book, “Sticky: the Secret Science of Stickiness”
  • Dr. Alyssa Stark - A professor at Villanova University. She runs a lab that studies biological adhesion.
  • Will Coldwell - A freelance writer and regular contributor to the Guardian, Economist and Financial Times. He is the writer of the Economist article “Bursting the Bubble: How Gum Lost Its Cool.”

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Lily Tyson, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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Julia Pistell is a freelance producer for Connecticut Public Radio, the host of the podcast 'Literary Disco,' and the Managing Director of Sea Tea Improv. She also worked on Connecticut Public Radio's 'The Radius Project,' an exploration of history and culture in Hartford's neighborhoods.
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