Episode Description

Today we tell the story of Mária Telkes, one of the developers of solar thermal storage systems. Telkes was so dedicated to the world of solar energy that while she was working at MIT, she earned the nickname,The Sun Queen. Over her lifetime, she registered more than 20 patents, nearly all related to harnessing the power of the sun. Her inventions included an oven, a desalination device, and one of the first solar-heated houses in 1948: the Dover Sun House. We heard about Mária Telkes from Erin Twamley, a children's book author who shares the stories, careers, and the superpowers of everyday women. She said she would love to see Dr. Mária Telkes in every fifth grade classroom to inspire young people.


  • Erin Twamley
  • Michelle Addington


  • Johanna Mayer


Johanna Mayer


Johanna Mayer is a writer, producer, and sometimes-host working in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared on Science Friday, The Atlas Obscura Podcast, and The Sporkful, among other outlets.

Erica Huang

Senior Producer

Erica is a sound designer, producer, and mix engineer for podcasts and radio. She’s contributed to shows for PRX, The Atlantic, Prologue Projects, Vox, Pushkin, Audible, LWC Studios, CNN, and TED. Erica is also the studio manager at Good Studio, where she’s recorded for Radiolab & This American Life. Ask her about analog synths and mechanical keyboards. Or don’t.


Episode Transcript

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