Introducing the Beyond Data Podcast

This month, I launched the first episode in the first season of the Beyond Data Podcast, and I hope you’ll give it (and the rest of season one) a listen.


As many of you know as readers of my work, I’ve been a freelance journalist and science writer reporting on fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability for much of the past decade. I frequently use the hashtag #datamatter because, well, they do. But what happens when the data simply don’t exist, are insufficient or unavailable? What happens when so-called alternative facts are considered just facts and people operate under the impression that the plural of anecdote is indeed data? How do we reach consensus when everyone espouses his or her own data—his or her own facts? In the Beyond Data Podcast, my guests and I go where I’ve often been unwilling to go in my reporting–beyond data.

In the inaugural episode of the podcast, you’ll join me in a deep dive into New York’s oyster toadfish fishery. In the 1990s, commercial landings of this data deficient, unregulated species in New York waters increased by more than 300 percent in a single year without fisheries managers taking note and assessing the sustainability of the fishery or its effects on other fisheries. How did this happen, and could it happen again in the face of climate change, the culinary trash fish movement and developing international markets? My guests and I go beyond the data in a quest to answer these and other questions. You can check out links and images from the episode on the episode’s homepage, or you can listen to the whole thing below.


There are eight episodes–one per month–of the Beyond Data Podcast planned for season one. The episodes will generally release during the last week of the month, with a Follow-Up Friday episode released two weeks later. At the end of season one, we’ll take a few months off and work on season two.

If you like what you’re hearing in the first season, please consider subscribing on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts (the podcast is also available through Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, and YouTube). If you want to help the show grow, please consider rating and reviewing it on Apples Podcasts–that really does make a big difference!

About Ret Talbot

Ret Talbot is a freelance writer who covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Mongabay, Discover Magazine, Ocean Geographic and Coral Magazine. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.
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