About The Pulse

Heard weekly on WHYY and other NPR member stations, The Pulse tells stories at the heart of health, science and innovation.

Why do you wait forever in your doctor’s office? Can we stop asteroids from smashing into Earth? What’s with people’s love of round numbers? Why do some of us cry after anesthesia? How much should an MRI cost, really?

The Pulse explores the questions that make people go, “Yeah, why is that?” It tells stories from ground level, where illness, healing and discovery are personal. The Pulse celebrates science, and covers breakthroughs with healthy skepticism.

Radio: A weekly hour-long audio experience that fits the standard NPR clock

Podcast: New sonic adventures every week available on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Web: A hub for stories, audio segments, photos, videos, and audience engagement. Find us at WHYY.org/ThePulse, on Facebook, on Twitter @WHYYThePulse, or on Instagram @WHYYThePulse.

Have a story idea? Send it to thepulse@whyy.org.

The Pulse Team

Maiken Scott – Host and Behavioral Health Reporter, mscott@whyy.org, @MaikenScott

“Hosting a Health and Science show allows me to talk about everything – from baking a perfect dinner roll to freezing kidneys, or finding a giant dinosaur. What else could a woman ask for?”

Maiken has covered behavioral health since 2008, and has hosted The Pulse since its launch in 2013. Before that, she produced several weekly radio shows for WHYY.

Maiken is originally from Germany and remains passionate about soccer. Other than working in radio, she’s owned a music rehearsal studio and tried her hand (for a few miserable years) in booking Indie Rock shows. She spent her first three months in this country sleeping on a box spring because she didn’t know it wasn’t a mattress.

Taunya English – Managing Editor, tenglish@whyy.org@taunyaenglish

Taunya’s audio and web series “Designs on Health” explored the influence of neighborhood and the power of place. She also produced “In the Gap,” stories about the divide that separates African Americans from better health.

Before joining WHYY, she worked from the statehouse in Harrisburg, for public radio in Baltimore, and as a science writer in Washington, D.C.

Elana Gordon – Health and Science Reporter, egordon@whyy.org, @Elana_Gordon

Elana loves medical history, discovering ghosts of the past. Sometimes that involves hanging out with leeches at the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia’s reknown spot for all this medically odd. Elana has a knack for health policy but has covered everything from the business of end-of-life counseling to the science of a popular overdose antidote to how the MRI machine can be a source of musical inspiration. She’s a fellow with the NPR and Kaiser Health News Reporting Project on Health Care in the States.

Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Elana covered the health beat at KCUR 89.3FM in Kansas City, Mo.

Alan Yu – Health and Science Reporter, ayu@whyy.org@alan_yu039

Alan was all set on majoring in biology, but then he realized he liked writing about science more than doing research, so he left Hong Kong and went to study journalism in the U.S. After interning at NPR and WBEZ in Chicago, he has never wanted to work anywhere outside of public radio. He covers space and all other kinds of innovation. He enjoys comic books, LEGO, and dragon boating.

Irina Zhorov – Health and Science Reporter, izhorov@whyy.org@zhorovir

Irina Zhorov reports on the environment and science for WHYY’s The Pulse. Previously, she reported on distressed cities in Pennsylvania for Keystone Crossroadsand covered energy, the Wind River Indian Reservation, and all things cowboy for Wyoming Public Radio.

When not logging tape and writing too-long scripts, Irina is lounging with a book or hiking up a mountain with a camera.


Paige Pfleger – Associate Producer, ppfleger@whyy.org, @PaigePfleger

Paige was bitten by the public radio bug during college when she started working for member station Michigan Radio. After graduating she interned at NPR headquarters, where she reported for NPR.org. She wears many hats at The Pulse: she’s the lady behind all the social media accounts, she’s the web producer, she edits audio and she occassionally reports on biology and critters.

Charlie Kaier – Broadcast Engineer, ckaier@whyy.org, @charliekaier

Charlie enjoys fixing things for The Pulse. Sometimes he makes it worse and that usually sounds better. Before joining the show, he recorded orchestras, archived NPR tape from the 70s and canoed the length of the Delaware river.

Alex Stern– Temporary Producer, astern@whyy.org, @alexraestern

Alex Stern has been a radio nerd since childhood, when she used to listen to NPR from the car backseat. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an English degree in 2015 and worked as an immigration paralegal for a year before realizing she wanted to produce radio. She interned with The Pulse for six months before becoming a temporary producer. Alex likes podcasts, biking, books, and cooking.

Our Partners

The Scientist
is the magazine for life science professionals, dedicated to covering a wide range of topics central to the study of cell and molecular biology, genetics, and other life-science fields. Through innovative print articles, online stories, and multimedia features, the magazine explores the latest scientific discoveries, trends in research, innovative techniques, new technology, business, and careers. Written by prominent scientists and professional journalists, articles in The Scientist are concise, accurate, accessible, and entertaining. Kerry Grens, an associate editor at The Scientist and WHYY/Newsworks alum, will join the Pulse regularly to update you on the latest in research.

Side Effects Public Media 
is a health journalism collaborative exploring the impacts of place, policy and economics on Americans’ health. Their reporting sheds light on root causes of community-wide health problems—from chronic disease, to mental health and addiction, to infant mortality—and on new efforts to solve them.

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