November 16, 2021

EP. 239 — What’s The Deal With Tear Gas? with Professor Anna Feigenbaum

You may have seen tear gas marketed as a “non-lethal” or “less lethal” weapon. The truth is more dangerous. This week, Professor Anna Feigenbaum breaks down what’s in tear gas, who manufactures it, and what its poisonous history reveals about profit motivation and modern policing.

Professor Anna Feigenbaum works at Bournemouth University in the South of England. She is the author of Tear Gas (Verso 2017). Her recent project The Data Storytelling Workbook (Routledge 2020) provides a guide to telling more effective, empathetic and evidence-based data stories.


You can follow Professor Feigenbaum on Twitter @drfigtree.


Want to learn more about tear gas? Here are some recommended resources:


Tear Gas: An Investigation — Amnesty International


RiotID (@RiotID on Twitter)


Welcome to Omega Research Foundation | Omega Research Foundation


Chemical Weapons Research Consortium




Physicians for Human Rights: Through evidence, change is possible.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Check out Getting Curious merch at

Listen to more music from Quiñ by heading over to

Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Professor Anna Feigenbaum JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Anna Feigenbaum, where I ask her: What’s the deal with tear gas? Welcome to Getting Curious, I’m Jonathan Van Ness, I am so excited for this week’s episode. Welcome to the show Anna Feigenbaum, who is an associate professor of communication and digital media at Bournemouth University in the south west of England. She is the author of Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War One to The Streets of Today, published by Verso. Welcome, Anna, how are you? ANNA FEIGENBAUM [00:00:43] I’m good. How are you? Thank you for having me. JVN [00:00:46] Do you watch figure skating at all? Are you, like, familiar with figure skating terms? ANNA FEIGENBAUM [00:00:50] Ehh, some o

Recent Episodes

May 31, 2023

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States will hand down decisions that could have major implications for LGBTQIA+ rights, racial justice, tribal sovereignty, and beyond.

May 24, 2023

We’re dripping in jewels this week on Getting Curious! What does it mean for a diamond to be “hard”? Are lab-grown gems made to perfection? What’s the difference between rubies and pink sapphires?

May 18, 2023

New Orleans was one of America’s most important cities in the early 1800s. It was also one of the most deadly. This week, to mark the new season of Queer Eye, we’re exploring New Orleans history with Dr. Kathryn Olivarius in a special two-part episode.