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Badger Talks program adds podcast to lineup of popular public discussion events

July 20, 2021 By Kristina LeVan

Following in the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea — that education should influence people’s lives beyond the classroom — Badger Talks brings the latest discoveries from UW–Madison directly to the residents of Wisconsin. The program connects faculty, staff and graduate students from across campus with communities and organizations, highlighting engaging topics that spark conversation and aim to enrich a person’s everyday life.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Badger Talks Live has been engaging with audiences virtually through weekly livestream events hosted on Facebook.

Now, fans of the popular discussion series can tune into a bi-monthly podcast featuring select Badger Talks presenters as they lead up to their public events. Hosted by Ben Rush of the Deeper Than Data podcast, each episode will run roughly 15 minutes and introduces a speaker who will be making a Badger Talks appearance in the weeks that follow.

“We are excited to bring on podcast host and engaging storyteller Ben Rush to represent the Badger Talks brand with these younger audiences,” says Fran Puleo, who heads Badger Talks as assistant director of outreach programs at UW Connects. “He is a master at casually, yet thoughtfully, presenting topics and experts who provide thought-provoking insights on topics important to listeners.”

The podcast will launch on July 20 and can be accessed from the Badger Talks website and all regular streaming platforms — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and more. The first episode will feature Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, the Sally Mead Hands-Bascom Professor of English at UW–Madison, whose full Badger Talk, “Creativity in Crisis: The Practice of Poetry,” will take place at noon on Tuesday, July 27.

Badger Talks is housed under the UW Connects umbrella in UW–Madison State Relations. For more information on these programs, or to request a service, visit