Good Intentions: Stories about meaning well


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In this week’s episode, both our storytellers set out to do the right thing, but you know what they say about good intentions.

Part 1: During the pandemic, science journalist Maddie Bender signs up to be a contact tracer.

Part 2: Veterinarian Leslie Brooks decides to make an exception to the rules for one pet owner.

Maddie Bender is an innovation reporter at The Daily Beast and a science journalist whose work has appeared in STAT, Scientific American, VICE, Smithsonian Magazine, and other outlets. She holds an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health in microbial disease epidemiology and lives in Boston with her cat, Maisy.

Leslie Brooks is a veterinarian by formal training. She is a writer, humanitarian, and advocate by informal experience. Her goals as a veterinarian are to contribute to improving human relationships through enhancing the human-animal bond and promoting the concept of One Health. She worked as a “cat and dog doctor” for a decade, including volunteering much of her time working with individuals experiencing homelessness or crisis who have pets. She is currently a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development, where she is using her transferable skills as a veterinarian in the policy realm and a humanitarian context. A goal of hers is to talk more openly about mistakes and failures to change the narrative of how we view success. She lives in the DC-metro area with her husband and 5-year-old son, Mehdi. She loves to paint abstractly, bike around the city, being an amateur photographer, and dancing.

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