Ricardo Castrillón BA’17 and Danyelle Gates BA’17, employees in UT Dallas’ Office of Communications, often find themselves faced with complicated, unfamiliar topics. As the voices behind “Could We Ever,” the Comets enlist the help of University experts to break down a wide range of complex issues and relevant topics, from science to art and beyond. So far, Castrillón and Gates have covered robotic surgery, diet culture and using science to fight crime.
Both UTD graduates, the hosts shared their current favorite podcasts, their dream guests and what listeners can expect from future episodes.
What are your current favorite podcasts?
RC: The five weekly podcasts I never miss are “Reply All,” “RadioLab,” “My Favorite Murder,” “Dynamic Banter” and “Views.”
DG: My favorite podcast is “The Guilty Feminist.” I really enjoy how much I learn and grow as a person from the show. It includes a wide variety of topics and guests under the feminism umbrella, and I feel like I’m introduced to a lot of intersections I wouldn’t encounter in real life. The host, Deborah Frances-White, isn’t afraid to mess up and learn as she goes, which I find really admirable.
What was the inspiration behind “Could We Ever”?
RC: As a videographer working on a campus that is very heavy in engineering and sciences, there were a lot of topics I had to cover that were way over my head. I was very interested in them, but had to translate most of the conversations back to simple English. I found that it was the same the other way around as well. I think there is a need for different topics to be out in the world. But if only people in their field can understand it, what good does that do for the rest of us? Having complex conversations discussed in layperson’s terms is very useful to make the information accessible to a wider audience.
DG: I have a real curiosity about the topics we’ve covered on the show. Some are ones I wouldn’t have typically pursued, and our conversations have changed my perspective.
What topics are you most excited to explore?
RC: I’d like to see what we as a society could do to get rid of mundane daily tasks, if that is even possible. From topics like how autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence make our lives easier, to how we can move toward a more tolerant and accepting society and bettering the world we live in.
DG: I’m excited to dig into topics that explore how our society will change. Robots and AI are interesting, but I’m really interested in how these changes will affect people and humanity!
What do you hope listeners take away from each episode?
DG: We want listeners to come away with the knowledge to form their own opinions about oftentimes complex topics and unintended consequences. Having the experts we have on the show may open a whole new world for the listener.
Who is your dream podcast guest?
RC: Joaquin Phoenix. He has been my favorite actor since “The Master,” “Her” and “You Were Never Really Here.” Every time he does an interview, he surprises me on a whole new level.
DG: Deborah Frances-White, the host of my favorite podcast! I would love to pick her brain about how she’s built a community around her show, and what she thinks the future of podcasting will be.
What can listeners expect from upcoming episodes of “Could We Ever”?
RC: There are very intelligent and involved Comets that we can all learn from. We think future episodes will only get more in depth. Our episodes are strong because of the people who are excited about their work being given a fresh approach and making it into the feeds of people that are otherwise unfamiliar with the topic.