Dr. Kiki is on the Loose

June 28th, 2012

I’ve been waiting to write this. I don’t know why exactly, but it felt like the right thing to do.

Last week, I posted on twis.org that our show will no longer be netcast by the TWiT.tv network. Since that announcement people have asked me about my other TWiT.tv program, Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour, but I kept quiet.

I am very sorry to say that Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour (DKSH) will no longer be a part of the TWiT.tv lineup. Although the show has many loyal fans, it just isn’t enough to contend against the belt-strap tightening currently underway at TWiT. I’ve additionally been informed that the network is trying to focus its content to give the audience more of what they want.

DKSH isn’t alone in this. There will no longer be any science shows on the TWiT network. This saddens me, but business is business. I hope that the many changes at TWiT will allow them to move forward to become even stronger, and that one day they will bring science back into their lineup.

Regardless of these actions by TWiT, I will continue to endeavor to communicate science. TWIS will continue; exactly how is uncertain, but I will not let it disappear. And, now that DKSH is done, I find myself with a bunch of extra time on my hands.

If you have ideas about how I should spend that time, please let me know. I have over a decade of experience in science communications and media, and would love to work with content creators and science educators to make science even more appealing to the world at large.

I guess it’s time to go clean up my resume…


47 Responses to “Dr. Kiki is on the Loose”

  1. Tony on June 28, 2012 5:24 pm

    Really sorry to hear this. Good luck with new endeavors!

  2. Tony on June 28, 2012 5:26 pm

    Really sorry to hear this. Good luck in future endeavors.

  3. Tom Hockman on June 28, 2012 5:44 pm

    I’m very sorry to read this. I’m not sure how the economics of netcasting work, but I hope you can find a sponsor to continue some version of your show. As a long-time Twit listener/viewer, I think Leo overreached on his dream and has been forced to be the very type of person he railed against when he started TWIT - a numbers-driven suit.

    Your science message is important and appreciated by your audience. I don’t know if high school and college students listen much, but I would love to see science teachers promote your show and generate more interest in science in the formative years. Those viewers may not be where the ad dollars are, but they sure need to hear your message.

    Now that TWIT is fading, I will keep following the hosts and new shows they produce wherever they go. Good luck whatever you do! I’ll be listening.

  4. Thomas Fors on June 28, 2012 5:48 pm

    Check out udacity.com. Maybe you can help them bring more science to their teaching.

  5. Reggie W. on June 28, 2012 7:52 pm

    Dr. Kiki, I am sad to see you go! You bring so much life to the TWiT network. Alas, the show must go on, and I am quite sure this is not goodbye. I look forward to all of your upcoming ventures. Oh, and I am quite in favor of your “science by the pint” idea. Then again, I’m ALWAYS in favor of mingling my interests with tasty alcoholic beverages!

  6. Patrick on June 28, 2012 7:53 pm

    Yep, this is probably my fault. I’ve been unable to watch either show because I get home late enough from work that I could never watch. I had so much to cram into the 4 hours before I go to bed that I could never watch. I’m sorry.

  7. Jeremy on June 28, 2012 7:58 pm

    TWIS, DKSH….and I presume by your statement FIB being canceled on TWIT makes me very sad.

    DKSH was the best in depth look at science news in any broadcast media (Maybe second to NOVA).

    Good luck. You will land somewhere that makes you very happy, I am sure of it.

  8. Clifford Hamblen on June 28, 2012 8:01 pm

    So sorry to hear this because I really enjoyed your shows on TWIT. I hope you are able to find another outlet for your show. Maybe you can get a Youtube channel. Unfortunately Science is seeing cutbacks all over. That could be why our country is falling behind.

  9. cephyn on June 28, 2012 8:09 pm

    Contact the science sort of podcast! They’re fantastic!

  10. Mitch Featherston on June 28, 2012 8:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about DKSH. Maybe you could Kickstarter a new science podcast effort.

    Whatever you do, I wish you luck.

    Mitch

  11. solak on June 28, 2012 8:20 pm

    Heck, TWiT couldn’t even keep “Game On!” going after only a baker’s dozen episodes, and that seemed like a sure hit. Sometimes the audience just isn’t there. It’s sad, but it means you can explore new options, and that is a good thing if you make it so.

    Tell us where you go next so we may follow and watch and listen.

  12. Dave on June 28, 2012 8:27 pm

    Create a donate button for TWIS I would happily kick in some (modest) cash. I wish Leo had a pay option for some of the niche podcasts.

  13. Sylvain Racicot on June 28, 2012 8:28 pm

    So the TWiT audience likes tech but not science? That sucks. Good luck in your future projects, I will be following you. @humanoide

  14. James W Mitchell on June 28, 2012 8:47 pm

    As a fan and supporter of TWIT from the very beginning, I too, hope for their continued success. I am currently subscribed to five of the network shows. My undeniable favorite: DKSH !!! I usually end up reading whatever books your guests have written from the library, sometimes buying them, often the audible version and subscribing to whatever presents the have on the internet. You have made me a science fan boy and since I am 56 years old who had little interest in the subject in my school days: that’s quite the deal. Anyway, my only advice, which is more of a promise is if you decide to and find a way to sell it (one hour of dedicated science talk), I will buy it. I contribute to several internet netcasts now but none of them provide the quality content that challenges this old aging brain like DKSH. Please, keep up the good work.

  15. MissYou on June 28, 2012 10:25 pm

    I just wanted to say that I enjoyed TWIS and am depressed by this news. I wish you much success in the future, and hope I get the opportunity to hear you speak about science again soon.

  16. Dave Friedel on June 28, 2012 10:57 pm

    “Dr. Kiki’s Book of Sciency Goodness”

    I hope there are a lot of pictures, and popup sections.

  17. chris on June 28, 2012 10:58 pm

    Thank you for all the time and effort that went into doing these shows. I learned many things thanks entirely to you. Your shows were my favorite on that network.
    You will be missed by everyone who watched and/or listened. We will all be waiting for the announcement titled “the return of kiki”. Until then, we will all have to find our own weekly science meditation.
    Anyway, take care of yourself and the family.

  18. Debra Oliver on June 28, 2012 11:16 pm

    I am sure that many of your fans, including me, would follow you wherever you land. There is a great podcast that I listen to that has a premium service for $1.99 per month that you may be able to modify and use this format through libsyn. Give them a peek and see what you think. It would help get you the equipment you need to grow and gather more viewers. Then, I would be happy to help do some social marketing to bring in eyes and ears. Keep us posted or feel free me directly. I am an educator and lover of science. Best of luck!

  19. Rick on June 29, 2012 12:14 am

    Why don’t you approach Foxnews to see if they are interested in short science topic clips. I know that CNN uses a person (seen often on the Brooke Baldwin segment) for Nasa, extreme weather, and other science topics.

  20. Emil on June 29, 2012 1:15 am

    Too bad, but I can see from where Leo’s coming from. Keep us posted; we need new URL to feed our podcasting machines. :-)

  21. Bradley Groot on June 29, 2012 3:19 am

    Sad, I really enjoyed the podcast but I will say once you and Justin started doing everything via skype, I think the show lost a lot of energy. You guys got me much more interested in emerging sciences, but after a while I just converted entirely to books and audio books.

    TWiT network around that time made some sort of cultural change that really turned me off in general, a shift from science and technology and towards global social media. Drives me nuts even with their photography podcast, they won’t talk about the tech and just want to discuss “how it affects peoples lives” ‘bleh’

    I think you needed a more engaging production staff behind you, need to have people to interact with in front of you(not just on webcam).

    Your original radio show was truly a pleasure. Like a free drug that arrived on my computer, made me happy and left me eager and engaged(no hangover though!). Coming into my twenties you guys were great role models. You helped point me in a direction towards making positive change in myself, during a time it was most likely to stick.

    Thanks you, I wish you the best luck and opportunity.

  22. Chris Gammell on June 29, 2012 7:54 am

    I’m sorry to hear about this, Dr Kiki. I enjoyed your show and enjoyed that TWiT was hosting non gadget based content. That is something they obviously enjoy and do well, but I always figured their audience enjoyed the diversity. I fear this means that HamNation and the other shows will have the same fate.

    I have to imagine you’d be able to continue doing your podcast on your own? The technical side would be a challenge, especially if TWiT was taking care of all of that. But with the advent of Google Hangouts, doing simultaneous video chat is easier than ever. With your large following on Twitter, I can only imagine this would be successful. Or perhaps it’s time to start a scientific analog to TWiT? Why not have a network where people can go and get in depth science (and engineering!) content? I know I’m trying it on the engineering side.

    Good luck in your future ventures! Please keep us all up to date with what you plan to do!

    ~Chris Gammell
    The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast

  23. Atnevon on June 29, 2012 8:42 am

    I might not speak for the majority here, but I’d love to listen to something like DKSH, even if it weren’t hosted on TWiT. Since the resources for doing audio podcasts are much easier to handle than those of video, I was wondering if you had considered exploring that avenue? There are certain to be quite a few networks that would love to have your show.

    For the past year or so, I’ve been doing a Skype based podcast that is both live streamed and sent out in standard podcast form. If you wanted any advice on the more technical end of linking everything together to make something like that work, I’d be happy to help.

  24. nethound on June 29, 2012 10:19 am

    This saddens me. While I love the TWIT Network, it was great to have some shows that were about something more important than Facebook, Twitter, and the latest gadget from Apple. I really looked forward to DKSH every week.

    Keep us posted. I will happily follow TWIS wherever it lands, and any other projects you endeavor to pursue.

    Maybe you should contact The Naked Scientist at Cambridge University in the UK and see if they would like to add you to their lineup of podcasts. They could use a US branch to their operation.

  25. Ola on June 29, 2012 1:05 pm

    OMG. The worst news ever. . . I will miss dksh. I hope that you will keep doind science shows .
    Poland loves Dr. Kiki. x3
    greetings

  26. James Williams on June 29, 2012 4:31 pm

    Please keep me posted on your upcoming new show.

  27. Phillip Porch on June 30, 2012 5:45 am

    You will be missed. I hope that life has something better in store for you.

  28. wowmir on June 30, 2012 12:07 pm

    Dear Dr

    I loved your show. I hope great things are ahead of you. I wish you all the best.

    Yours

    Wowmir

  29. Jenny on June 30, 2012 6:09 pm

    I’m finding the changes at TWIT rather disturbing to say the least. The Science Hour is gone, but a priest is getting his own show.

    Maybe you can do the science shows as audio podcasts? You don’t need a studio to do that, just a good mike and skype, and you can put links to videos of note in the weekly show notes.

    Its a step back from video, but it can keep things going until TWIT gets its act together.

  30. Ichiro on June 30, 2012 11:00 pm

    Sorry to hear about DKSH. I have always enjoyed your show and hope it returns some day!

  31. monk on July 1, 2012 3:42 am

    Sad news for us listeners! This is coming from someone that discovered the TWIT network via their science shows.

    Do you know if the old shows will continue to be hosted by them or is it time to go download for prosperity? There are some shows that I’ve missed and have been meaning to go back to when I have some time.

    monk

  32. Brian on July 2, 2012 10:35 pm

    Kirsten, you’ve already laid the groundwork for your next move. You don’t have to ask anyone for permission.

    Create a TWIS-branded science education network. No, not on the scale of TWiT, but something more akin to http://amatuerscientist.org. You only need two things:

    1) Adopt other podcasters or mentor new talent (how about student hosts!) so you can provide at least one podcast in your feed each day of the week.

    2) Create content targeting the classroom at various levels of education (basic science, topics for researchers, careers in science, etc.)

    The strategy for growth should be evident here. I follow 100+ podcasts. There is no one I’m currently aware of practicing this model. You have the necessary media and tech expertise. Most of the additional labor will fall to the other podcast hosts. There are many opportunities to create new revenue streams. Carpe diem.

  33. Agam Shah on July 3, 2012 6:12 pm

    I’m sure you’ll be busy again in no time. If you’re into fellowships, I’d look at the Knight Science Journalism fellowship at MIT, Nieman at Harvard, or the Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford.

  34. Brad on July 4, 2012 8:49 pm

    I will miss your show and keep watching this space to see where you go next.

  35. Steve Boland on July 5, 2012 9:29 pm

    Dr. Kiki,

    So very sorry to hear this news, but please do know the minions all support you, the TWiS team and what you do for making science accessible. Let me know what I can do, and I’ll be happy to help keep TWiS moving forward.

    Thanks!

    Steve

  36. Julian on July 6, 2012 2:24 am

    This is very sad.

    I hope that relations between you and the twits are still good; perhaps you can be a guest on some of the other shows? A segment on tech news today?

    Maybe revision3/Discovery?

    The 5×5 network?

    Going to miss your voice, opinion, and intellect- hopefully for only a short time

    Good luck!

  37. Michael on July 10, 2012 6:24 am

    Very sad to hear that happen - I almost fell over when I heard it on the podcast. Thank you for all the education and entertainment. Only found you a couple of months ago and have been an enthusiastic listener since. All the best for the future.

  38. Christopher Schmidt on July 11, 2012 5:22 am

    This is sad news. Leo must have a brain tumor to cancel your show and Futures in Biotech. How many rumor shows about the iPhone 5 can the market bear?

    Good luck finding a new home– An hour a week is all I ask!

  39. Dalton on July 24, 2012 11:02 am

    It really doesn’t bother me so much to see TWIS go, but the alternate Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour, I will miss. I have to wonder where Leo’s head is at and the cancellation of all the science shows just doesn’t sound like Leo, so I have to wonder if there was some other sort of administrative change that axed the programming. I’ve seen this before when accountant types have been put in charge and view everything in terms of the bottom line - they budget you to death without regard to marketing …. a slow death.

    Video is nice, but never really added anything to your broadcasts, so let me suggest you pursue audio podcasts as your medium and continue on until something else comes your way. I see FIB has found a new home on Microbe.TV - they might also be interested in you too.

    Best of luck in the future.

  40. johan on July 30, 2012 10:53 am

    why restrict yourself to a local network when you’re already are a part of a global one? ;)

  41. Chad on August 3, 2012 12:52 am

    This is further proof of the widening void of the acceptance of science and pop culture beliefs and desires. Kiki - I have a great idea for you…one that I’ve been thinking about for several years and hoped to do one day, but I have too many other projects taking my time.

    There is a tremendous void in the communication of the scientific and technological achievements and discoveries made at U.S. gov’t sponsored research labs. I’m referring to Lawrence Berkeley Labs, stealthy outfits like the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) as well as more traditional university research labs. My thought was to focus on current to near-term (6-18 months) possibilities for technology transfer/commercialization.

    My motivation was to provide a glimmer of hope to children and adults alike that there are positive things going on in the world of scientific research. We’re bombarded by so much negative news that our brains shut out the ability to process positive stimuli. Kiki - you could be a voice of hope.

    As a former practicing scientist I feel an obligation to do more to promote science learning in society. Email me if you care to discuss further. Your show will be sorely missed. I’m completely tuning out of TWiT after this one. Take care and hope to see you back on the air soon.

  42. ed on August 3, 2012 4:58 pm

    Hi Kiki,

    I miss your shows so much. Glad I have recordings of them
    all. I listen over and over and over again. I have also learned a lot from following your guests web sites.
    Just ordered Calculus Diaries today!

    Ed

  43. Jim Murry on August 13, 2012 7:17 pm

    There were quite a few episodes that I didn’t think I would be interested in hearing. I was wrong everytime!
    Combine a one-on-one format, with a smart host that is obviously interested in the subject, and dang! I am really going to miss
    DKSH.
    ;<

  44. Jim Murry on August 13, 2012 7:21 pm

    I just read this post:
    “Dave on June 28, 2012 8:27 pm

    Create a donate button for TWIS I would happily kick in some (modest) cash. I wish Leo had a pay option for some of the niche podcasts.”

    Brilliant idea! Anyone have Leo’s ear? I’d pay.

    BTW-someone should start a Save Kiki website.

  45. jay cawley on August 14, 2012 9:35 am

    As an old (89 years) fan of yours I am sorry to see/hear that you are no longer on Twit
    TV . Will miss the enlightening programs you brought to us. Enjoyed every show both before your newborn child, and after and will miss your refreshing attitude toward scientific inquiry. Keep on doing what you do and perhaps YouTube is the better outlet for you now….maybe even a larger audience once they catch on to your amazing wit and curiosity. Again, good luck, god speed.

  46. Charles on August 29, 2012 2:55 pm

    I do hope you’ll be back soon. Some of the comments above suggest an audio-only podcast, and perhaps you could consider that. DKSH was one of the best podcasts I’ve come across, and was a great achievement.

    All the best for the future!

  47. Craig on September 13, 2012 11:53 am

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    What is wrong with America when they don’t want to listento/watch hot scientist talk about…science! ARGH! Hopefully you will be capable of self publishing the show….what about a kickstarter campaign?

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