WHYY’s ‘The Pulse’ celebrates 10 years on the air

Supporters leaned in to watch host Maiken Scott interview guests live for her weekly science and health show.

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Maiken Scott

Maiken Scott at the 10th anniversary party for "The Pulse." (Joe Kaczmarek for WHYY)

Philadelphia native Fran Shore has been an avid listener to WHYY’s award-winning program “The Pulse” each week for the past five years.

Shore said she enjoys the show, which explores the intersection between health, science and innovation, because it blends the “human element with science.”

Her favorite episode explored the science of human attraction when using online dating apps.

“Somehow [the show] is always relevant to my life,” Shore said.

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For the first time, Shore was able to put a face to the voice of host Maiken Scott while she interviewed guests in front of a live audience at WHYY Studios on Wednesday night.

"The Pulse" host Maiken Scott has her brain stimulated during a live taping.
“The Pulse” host Maiken Scott has her brain stimulated during a live taping. (Joe Kaczmarek for WHYY)

Scott has hosted “The Pulse” since its launch in 2013 and has been reporting on behavioral health for the past 16 years.

She remembers early discussions about the concept of a health program.

“The entire region is teeming with universities and research centers,” Scott said. “We felt like we’re sitting in the right place to do this. Our listeners want this kind of information, so let’s do it.”

She didn’t realize that the show would last 10 years back then. Sometimes it was a struggle.

“Every week we were hanging on for dear life,” she laughed.

Scott winced as she played the first show episode for the audience, saying it took the team weeks and weeks to produce.

“Along the way, what we discovered was things worked out the best when we followed our curiosity,” she said.

Now Scott works with a team of six journalists, one dedicated audio engineer and an editor to produce the weekly show.

Scott wouldn’t divulge a favorite episode, but she loves research about human behavior and the science behind consumer products.

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In the coming weeks, she’ll delve into what it takes to produce laundry detergents.

“That is so fascinating to me. It’s something we use every day, and to understand how hard it is to make that laundry detergent is mind-blowing,” she said.

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