Sanden Totten

Host, Brains On

Contact Sanden Totten

Sanden Totten is a host and co-producer of American Public Media's Brains On!, a podcast for kids and curious adults about the scientific mysteries of the universe. Prior to that he was KPCC's Science Reporter, where he covered everything from space exploration and medical technology to endangered species and the latest earthquake research.

Before joining KPCC's Science Desk, Sanden was a producer for Take Two and the Madeleine Brand Show. He began his career in journalism at Minnesota Public Radio where he co-created the show "In The Loop," and helped develop the Public Insight Network, a crowd-sourcing tool designed to bring unique perspectives to the news.

Sanden is the winner of several honors, including the Radio and TV News Association’s Golden Mike for “Best Radio Medical and Science Reporting” and the National Entertainment Journalism's award for “Best Radio News Story.” In 2011 he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, he graduated from Oberlin College in 2004 with a BA in Psychology and English.

Sanden has lived in Sweden and Japan and speaks both languages. He's a fan of comics, fast music and movies about time travel.

Stories by Sanden Totten

Flying ambulances, space robots and the ethics of artificial intelligence

AirTalk goes inside Caltech’s cutting-edge, new robotics center.

Pine trees struggle to regrow after severe fires

New research from UC Davis and the US Forest Service finds that pine trees often struggle to regrow in an area after a high intensity fire.

New study uses Pokemon game to look at memory

The research from UC Riverside shows working memory is more effective when people are learning material related to something they already know a lot about.

Volunteers comb deserts along the border for missing migrants

Every year, thousands of people attempt to enter the United States illegally through the deserts of California, Arizona and Texas.

How the Orange County jail informants scandal unfolded

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a federal civil rights investigation into the Orange County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office.

Study: Inland Empire leads the state in tenant evictions

The Inland Empire, which includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties, has more than double the eviction rate of Los Angeles.

Climate scientists seek support in an uncertain Trump era

Climate scientists from around the world are gathered in San Francisco for the annual AGU conferences to talk science and politics.

Stopping the spread of fake news is a complicated challenge

Fake news has gone from the underbelly of the internet to a highly politicized issue, making consumer education a difficult task.

What are the effects of a 'puny' La Niña?

It's possible the region could see some storms this winter, but it's unlikely to be enough to put a significant dent in the ongoing drought.

Caltech finds link between Parkinson's and gut bacteria

A new study highlights the role bacteria in the gut seem to play in the development of certain symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease.

This NASA spacecraft is about to skim Saturn's rings

NASA's Saturn-orbiting spacecraft, Cassini, has begun an unprecedented mission to skim the planet's rings.

Climate change could cut Sierra snowpack in half by century's end

A new climate model predicts that if greenhouse gas emissions aren't curbed, temperatures in the Sierra Nevada mountains will jump and the snowpack will shrink.

Stress may be contagious among family members

Research from USC has shown that levels of a stress hormone called cortisol seem to spread through families almost like a virus.

Recent quake in Japan might be aftershock from 2011

The recent quake in Japan might be an aftershock from the magnitude 9.0 temblor that struck five years ago on the same fault, says US Geological Survey scientists.

Brain boost: USC launches cutting-edge neuroscience center

In recent years, USC has been trying to raise its reputation as one of the region's foremost centers for neuroscience. This building is part of that effort.