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Introducing Joel Werner’s ‘Sum Of All Parts’

New podcast tells extraordinary stories from the world of numbers

Friday, September 29, 2017 — The latest addition to ABC RN’s chart-topping range of Science podcasts is a thrilling collision of stories, characters, drama, humour and… numbers. Sum Of All Parts unearths extraordinary narratives driven by numbers, measurements and data, and traces the effects of those numbers on real human lives.

From sporting triumphs and superstitions to pop stars and hackers, producer-presenter Joel Werner brings the skills he honed with some of the world’s top podcasts (99% Invisible, Radiolab, Freakonomics) to a brand new concept with a distinctly Australian flavour.

“I noticed that, whenever I tried talking to people about maths, or stats, or data – their eyes would glaze over. Maybe they’d had a bad experience with maths in high school, or maybe they weren’t that comfortable with numbers – but they were missing out on all the amazing stories from that world!” says Joel.

“What I wanted to do with Sum Of All Parts was bring these fantastical stories to everyone. Season 1 is a celebration of, in my opinion, super cool stories, each of which is in some way connected to the world of numbers.”

ABC RN’s Science Editor Jonathan Webb, who already oversees some of Australia’s most established and popular science shows, such as All in the Mind and The Science Show with Robyn Williams, said he was impatient to see Sum Of All Parts out in the world.

“This is Joel’s brainchild and he’s been working towards it for a long time now. I keep teasing him that it’s a maths podcast – because it’s definitely not that. It’s so much more! It’s about people and places, ecstasy and calamity, mischief and heroism. These are real, ripsnorting stories – and importantly, they sound amazing. It’s genuinely something new and I’m really excited about it.”

The first two episodes of the season are now live. Shoal Attack! tells the story of how a school of fish helped the Australian netball team win a gold medal. And a musician gives up the rock n’ roll dream for number theory, and a glimpse of the infinite, in The Infinite God.

Joel Werner is a producer with the ABC RN Science Unit. Joel was almost lost to a career in health and medical research before joining the ABC in 2011. In 2012, he created RN’s environment/outdoors program, Off Track, which he hosted for two years before moving to the U.S. Based in New York City, Joel worked for some of your favourite podcasts, including Radiolab, On The Media, Freakonomics, and 99% Invisible, with whom he won the Best Documentary (Bronze Award) at the Third Coast International Audio Festival 2015. He’s also worked for BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and FiveThirtyEight. Joel currently produces the ABC RN Health Report, and the science podcasts Cosmic Vertigo, and Sum Of All Parts. Joel Werner is available for interview.

Listen to Sum Of All Parts now: abc.net.au/soap

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, iTunes or the ABC listen app.

For more information: contact Carlin Beattie beattie.carlin@abc.net.au

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