All Your Idols Have Clay Feet


Many scientists are inspired by other scientists – people whose work and careers they admire and want to emulate. But sometimes our idols turn out to be flawed as scientists or as people. How do you cope when that happens? Is it a problem to even have idols at all – and what would be the alternative? Plus: We respond to a letter about getting help for your psychological struggles when your classmates work at the counseling center. And should first-time teachers tell their students that they are new?

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 17. It was recorded September 1, 2017.