The Reno Family Foundation Symposium presents a live episode of the popular Sing for Science Podcast

BOSTON, MA — Today, the Museum of Science, Boston’s Center for the Environment announced it will host a live episode recording of the Sing for Science podcast, featuring a conversation between iconic musician David Byrne and culture journalist and author Patrik Svensson. Byrne will discuss his interest in “the eel question” with Svensson, the author of The Book of Eels and a leading cultural authority on the subject. The conversation will be moderated by Matt Whyte, musician and creator of the Sing for Science podcast.

David Byrne's curiosity about eels adds even more dimension to the music icon’s eclectic pursuits, which include two Broadway shows and an interactive neuroscience exhibit at Denver’s Center for the Performing Arts. Meanwhile, Patrik Svensson's The Book of Eels has garnered widespread acclaim for its profound exploration of humanity's enduring fascination with the mysterious creatures. “The eel question” —how, when, and where eels reproduce—has baffled scientists and philosophers for centuries, as well as their inexplicable migration from freshwater to the ocean.

“I started Sing for Science to inspire bigger conversations among musicians and scientists. Whether we’re talking about metal, pop, physics, or psychiatry, I always leave these conversations with a greater appreciation of how everything, no matter how disparate, is connected,” said Matt Whyte, creator and host of Sing for Science. “We are all far more alike than we are different. Being invited by a prestigious institution like the Museum of Science to showcase an artist of David Byrne’s stature in a talk on as seemingly unlikely a topic as eel ecology, is as great a validation of this claim I could hope for.”

Sing for Science, produced by Talkhouse, is a groundbreaking, multidisciplinary podcast that pairs an acclaimed recording artist with a specially chosen scientist, using one of the musician's most beloved songs or interests as the launching pad for a discussion about a specific topic in a connected field.

“I have long admired the work of the Sing for Science podcast and their ability to merge conversations of science with pop culture by finding unexpected connections between the wonders of STEM and some of the most influential musicians of our time,” said James Monroe, creative director of programming for the Centers for Public Science Learning at the Museum of Science. “We are thrilled to be kicking off a partnership with the podcast through our Center for the Environment and to be doing so with musical titan David Byrne, whose curiosity for how the world works is as inspiring as his legacy of music.”

The live podcast recording will be hosted by the Museum of Science on Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $30 and include a copy of The Book of Eels. Museum of Science members get first access to tickets on Tuesday, April 16, at 11:00 a.m. and will open to the public at 1:00 p.m.

About Sing for Science
Sing for Science is an award-winning, Top 10 Music Interview Podcast on Apple’s charts where musicians talk about science with scientists, scholars and science journalists. Past episodes include Korn frontman Jonathan Davis and science writer Mary Roach on mortuary science, SIA and sex therapist Alex Katehakis on attachment theory, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Python creator Guido Van Rossum on coding and dozens more that engage science-curious fans of music like no other podcast. The show is hosted by New York musician Matt Whyte, whose credits include composing for Netflix’s "Tiger King," "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened," and fronting the mid-aughts band Earl Greyhound. Matt cites his participation in a Pete Seeger memorial concert at NYC’s Joe’s Pub as the podcast’s inspiration; it was there that he became acutely aware of the breadth of issues to which Pete applied the power of song in his pursuit of change.

About David Byrne
David Byrne (b. 1952, Dumbarton, Scotland) was raised in Baltimore where he briefly attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 1971 after transferring from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Byrne studied photography, performance, and video production at MICA. In 1975 Byrne co-founded the group Talking Heads, who in the 1980s introduced an innovative visual approach to their performances. 

Byrne has been involved with photography, drawing, installations, performance, and design since college and has been publishing and exhibiting his work since the 1990s. Like his music, Byrne’s visual work has the capacity to elevate and transform ordinary elements into iconic ones and challenges our fundamental notions of what can be classified as art. Recent works include music for the immersive disco pop musical Here Lies Love (2023); Theater of the Mind (2022), an immersive journey co-created by Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar at Denver Center for Performing Arts; SOCIAL! at The Park Avenue Armory (2021); the Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia (2019), as well as the Spike Lee directed film version (2020); the launch of his Reasons to be Cheerful online magazine (2019), and the solo album American Utopia (2018). Byrne was the guitarist and lead singer for Talking Heads and established the record labels Luaka Bop (1988) and Todo Mundo (2008). Other artistic achievements include the theatrical piece Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (2017), a series of interactive environments questioning human perception and bias; The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY (2016); the theatrical production Here Lies Love (2013); the public installation Tight Spot (2011) at Pace Gallery; the audio installation Playing the Building (2005); and the public installation Everything is Connected (2002) at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. 

Byrne wrote, directed, and starred in True Stories, a musical collage of discordant Americana released in 1986. For his contribution to The Last Emperor’s soundtrack, Byrne received an Academy Award for Best Original Score and in 2004, Byrne won the Wired Award for Art for his project Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (EEEI) that used the presentation software PowerPoint as an art medium. 

Most recently, Byrne joined forces with Mitski and Son Lux and released This Is A Life, which was featured on the Everything Everywhere All At Once soundtrack and is nominated for Best Original Song at the 2023 Academy Awards.  His book projects include True Stories (1986); Strange Ritual (1995); Your Action World (1998, 1999); The New Sins/Los Nuevos Pecados (2001); David Byrne Asks You: What Is It? (2002); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (2003); Arboretum (2006) and How Music Works (2012). Byrne lives and works in New York City.

About Patrik Svensson 
Patrik Svensson is an arts and culture journalist. He lives with his family in Malmö, Sweden. The Book of Eels is his first book.