Created with Sketch.
53 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
s04e04: Lila Higgins: Connecting to Urban Nature in the Age of Extinction
Lila Higgins, Senior Manager Community Science and Co-founder of the City Nature Challenge, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The planet’s human population is rapidly expanding towards 8 billion people. More people live in cities and developed areas than in rural or non-developed areas. Around the world, we are progressively becoming more urban, and less familiar with the natural world. This trend is highlighted by the continued removal of nature words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Recently, words like acorn, fungus, fern, and willow were removed from the dictionary, and replaced with blog, MP3 player, and chatroom. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is tackling this trend head on, to connect people to their urban nature and create an environmentally literate public. Lila Higgins will speak about her leadership in the community science field, from co-founding the large global City Nature Challenge event, to her work in the local community that bring people together, in their own neighborhoods, to learn about and document nature. She will talk about the NSF, Wellcome Trust, and ESRC funded learning research she is conducting on international youth’s development of environmental science agency, and various other projects that work to communicate urban nature concepts to a wide audience. Projects such as the Museum’s Nature Gardens
56 minutes | Nov 15, 2019
s04e03: James Dickerson: Using Science for Good
James Dickerson, Consumer Reports. We expect that the products we use every day will be safe, reliable, and effective. However, that does not always occur. A computer battery can unexpectedly catch fire, bedroom furniture can be unstable and topple, and food can be contaminated. Consumer Reports (CR) is committed to revealing the truth and raising the bar for safety and fairness, and empowering consumers with trusted information. Learn how CR uses science for good, applying its scientific findings for diverse audiences—from consumers to rulemakers, industry to government, all with the goal of driving marketplace change that benefits everyone.
42 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
s04e02: Wanda Sigur: Human Lunar Exploration – Are We Really Planning to Stay?
Wanda Sigur, NAE Member, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board This year marks the semi-centennial celebration of the accomplishments of the Apollo lunar landing missions, some saying these were the crowning achievements of human space exploration. Our generation’s fingerprints on the next saga of human space exploration can surpass those amazing milestones by leveraging technology, data analytics, non-government capital and partnerships. Beyond reaching the lunar surface … again, today’s challenges include the development of a sustainable extraterrestrial ecosystem supportive of extended lunar exploration with the added goals of burning down the risks of humans to Mars. This presentation discussed systems assessments leading to strategies for making the space program of the “Artemis generation” relevant through the long cycle effort of reaching these goals.
51 minutes | Oct 18, 2019
s04e01: John All: Integrated mountain research systems
John All, PhD, JD, Western Washington University: Nepal’s Himalaya and the Cordillera Blanca of Peru have both provided ecosystem services for local people for thousands of years. However, new economic possibilities combined with climate change impacts on local resources have changed local community vulnerabilities and resilience to change. From 1996 to 2006, civil war engulfed Nepal. The insurgents used the Himalayan national parks as their bases and this had severe social and environmental consequences – consequences that have continued to this day. John All was on Everest leading an NSF-supported expedition during the 2014 icefall and subsequent closure of the mountain by the former Maoist insurgents. John’s research team was in the middle of the icefall that, at the time, had the greatest death toll in Everest history, and one member of his team was killed as they studied climate change impacts on the Everest massif. He discussed the positive and negative environmental impacts resulting from the Maoist insurgency and how these impacts have reshaped the cultural and social dynamics of the area. Dr. All then linked this project with similar work in Peru as the Mountain Environments Research Institute conducts holistic, interdisciplinary research in the world's highest mountains. The interaction of local resource decision-making and climate change impacts will continue to shape mountain landscapes as environmental and population stresses increase for the foreseeable future.
52 minutes | Oct 4, 2019
s03e15: Rachel A. Sitarz and Eric Katz: Cyber Forensics Research
Learn about research that is shaping global policies for digital forensics and redefining what is possible in cyber investigations. How do the latest solid state drives and cloud computing effect evidence recovery? How do criminologists profile online predators and understand the effects of social networking in criminal behavior?
45 minutes | Sep 20, 2019
s03e14: Jeffrey Miller: Driver's Ed: Ethics for Driverless Car Software
As driverless vehicles are on the horizon, decisions about how they react in different situations need to be determined. If a driverless vehicle is in a situation where a collision is unavoidable, should it take the option that minimizes the overall impact at the possible expense of its occupants or should it always make the decision to protect itself? Should drivers get to make the decision themselves? Should the age of the occupants, criminal history, driving record, marital status, family situation, cost of vehicle, legal liability, and potential contribution of the occupants to society be considered? These and many other questions related to the ethics and technological innovations with driverless vehicles will be discussed.
59 minutes | Sep 6, 2019
s03e13: E.O. Wilson: Evolution and the Future of the Earth
The Darwinian revolution began in a new understanding of how species change through time by means of natural selection, and affirms that each species, including our own, is genetically adapted in exquisite detail for life in a particular environment. The studies of adaptation through time and the diversity of the millions of other species are the core of evolutionary biology. Functional biology, including medical research, will do well to incorporate the study of biodiversity and the process of evolution that has created it. Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants. Wilson is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. He is known for his career as a scientist, his advocacy for environmentalism, and his secular-humanist and deist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. As of 2007, he is Pellegrino University Research Professor in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism.
59 minutes | Aug 23, 2019
s03e12: Alan E. Waltar: The Future of Nuclear Technology ... After Fukushima
Nuclear technology, the basis for well-known energy production via nuclear power, has also been harnessed to serve a plethora of humanitarian functions in the fields of in agriculture, medicine, electricity generation, modern industry, transportation, public safety, environmental protection, space exploration, and even archeology and the arts. This talk explores continuous improvement in many areas of science, industry, and medicine through tapping the incredible potential of nuclear technology.
67 minutes | Jun 27, 2019
s03e11: Alex Filippenko: Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe
Observations of very distant exploding stars show that the expansion of the Universe is now speeding up, rather than slowing down due to gravity as expected. Over the largest distances, our Universe seems to be dominated by a repulsive "dark energy" of unknown origin that stretches the very fabric of space itself faster and faster with time. Alex Filippenko (NAS), University of California, Berkeley, was a member of both teams that discovered in 1998 the accelerating expansion of the Universe, driven by "dark energy."
52 minutes | Jun 20, 2019
s03e10: John Villasenor: Bitcoin and Beyond: Cryptocurrencies Explained
Non-state-backed, decentralized “cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin have introduced new paradigms for money movement in which transfers are public but the identities of the individuals behind the transfers are masked. This presents both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, cryptocurrencies have important speed, efficiency and (in some respects) security advantages over traditional approaches. Yet, all mechanisms for moving and storing money—new and old—involve risks and the potential for misuse. This presentation will discuss what bitcoin is, how it works, and the broader implications of systems built on the concept of decentralized trust. John Villasenor is a professor of electrical engineering and public policy at UCLA, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a national fellow at the Hoover Institution.
53 minutes | May 31, 2019
s03e09: Beth Shapiro: How (and why) to Clone a Mammoth
What if extinction is not forever? Recent advances in ancient DNA research and genome engineering technologies have opened the door to turning this idea from science fiction into science fact. But, how close are we to actually making de-extinction happen, and, are there compelling reasons to do so? In this talk, ancient DNA scientist Beth Shapiro discussed the science and ethics of de-extinction, including what is and what is not technically possible today and how scientists might overcome the existing barriers to bringing extinct species back to life.
52 minutes | May 24, 2019
s03e08: Rebecca Saxe: How the Brain Invents the Mind
One of the most striking creations of the brain is the mind … of other people. What I mean is: each human brain faces the critical challenge of predicting and explaining the choices and behaviours of other human brains. Because the true full causal story of how brains work is preposterously complicated, our brains invent simplified causal models of other people, that are not exactly true, but nevertheless very useful. This simplified, useful model of other's brain is called our “theory of mind”. This talk will give an introduction to how theory of mind works in the brain. We’ll see that each of us has whole patches of brain cortex dedicated to the puzzle of understanding others, and that we use these patches not just to predict and explain but also to evaluate others actions. We’ll see that understanding others is not the same as empathizing with them. The final lesson is that our brain’s models of other minds is imperfect, but not immutable or limited to minds similar to our own. It is up to us to learn enough, to listen enough, to model the minds that matter.
53 minutes | May 17, 2019
s03e07: Jevin West: The Rise of Misinformation in and about Science
In 2017, Jevin West and a colleague developed a course titled “Calling BS.” The goal is to teach students how to spot and refute BS, especially the kind wrapped in numbers, data, figures, and statistics. The class discusses the role that social media and misdirected algorithms play in spreading this and other forms of misinformation, and how the breakdown of communication systems in science and journalism have made it more difficult to combat it. Since the inception of the class, more than 70 universities have shown interest in adopting some version of the course. The content is now expanding into into high schools and middle schools (sans “BS”). Hear what has been learned teaching the class, and, more broadly, the rise of misinformation, specifically within and about science, and what can be done in education, policy, and technology to address this threat to democracy and the integrity of science.
62 minutes | May 10, 2019
s03e06: Anthony Wagner: The Minds and Brains of Media Multitaskers
Media and technology are ubiquitous elements of modern life, and their use can offer benefits and rewards. At the same time, decisions about how we structure our use of media can be informed by consideration of whether and, if so, how the mind and brain are shaped by different media use patterns. Anthony Wagner will discuss seminal findings from psychological science that demonstrate that humans cannot multitask—rather, attempts at multitasking result in frequent task switching— and how task switching creates performance costs. There is a growing body of research into the cognitive and neural profiles of individuals who differ in the extent to which they "simultaneously" engage with multiple media streams, or ‘media multitasking’, in everyday life. Evidence suggests that, relative to lighter media multitaskers, heavier media multitaskers exhibit poorer performance in a number of cognitive domains, including working memory and sustained goal-directed attention, even when they are performing such tasks in isolation. Given the potential implications of these findings, there is a critical need for further research that uncovers the mechanistic underpinnings of the observed differences, including determining the direction of causality. Through psychological science and neuroscience, we ultimately aim to inform decisions about how to minimize the potential costs and maximize the many benefits of our ever-evolving media landscape.
48 minutes | Apr 26, 2019
s03e05: Kimberly Prather - Ocean-Atmosphere Studies Aimed at Understanding Mother Nature's Control of Climate
Nearly 50 years ago, it was proposed that microbes in the ocean can regulate planetary health by maintaining a homeostatic balance through the exchange of chemical species with the atmosphere. Ocean microbes including phytoplankton, viruses, and bacteria have been coined the canaries in the coal mine as they show faster adaptive responses to our changing climate than other organisms. When waves break, these microbes are transferred into the atmosphere and profoundly influence human and planetary health. This presentation will focus on recent studies aimed at advancing the understanding of the control of ocean biology on the atmosphere, clouds, and climate. Highlights will be presented of a novel laboratory mesocosm approach developed in the NSF Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE) that transfers the physical, chemical, and biological complexity of the ocean/atmosphere system into the laboratory. A discussion is presented on new insights that have been obtained using this approach as well as next steps, and a future vision for how to unravel human versus microbial impacts on the changing Earth’s system.
52 minutes | Apr 19, 2019
s03e04: Michelle Mello - Why Ensuring Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Is the Hardest Problem in Health Policy
Prescription drug costs in the United States have risen to an unsustainable level, accounting for 1 in 6 dollars spent on health care and compromising many patients’ ability to afford the medications they need. Although there is broad, bipartisan agreement that policy action is required, several aspects of the problem make it unusually hard to solve. Drawing on a recent report by a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Dr. Mello will discuss those problems and paths forward recommended by the committee.
47 minutes | Apr 12, 2019
s03e03: 9th Annual Seymour Benzer Lecture - Yaniv Erlich - Genetic privacy: friend or foe?
We generate genetic information for research, clinical care and personal curiosity at exponential rates. Sharing these genetic datasets is vital for accelerating the pace of biomedical discoveries and for fully realizing the promises of the genetic revolution. However, one of the key issues of broad dissemination of genetic data is finding an adequate balance that ensures data privacy. Yaniv Erlich will present several strategies to breach genetic privacy using open internet tools, including a systematic analysis of the strategy that implicated the Golden State Killer. Our analyses show that these strategies can identify major parts of the U.S. population from their allegedly anonymous genetic information by anyone in the world. The talk will conclude with practical suggestions to reconcile genetic privacy with the need to share genetic information.
73 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
s03e01: Thomas Heaton: Physics of the Collapse of High-Rises in Large Earthquakes
There is a building boom for tall buildings for West Coast Cities; daring architectural designs trumpet that they are designed to withstand the 2,500-yr earthquake shaking. In this talk, Dr. Heaton will explore whether or not these claims are scientifically based; or are scientists being used as “useful idiots” to facilitate the ambitions of developers? Cutting through the claims of current high-rise development is surprisingly difficult. Technical reports describing the attributes of real buildings are mostly proprietary and the deliberations of peer-review committees are secret. To help better understand the collapse resistance of typical tall buildings Dr. Heaton has worked with his colleagues and students to simulate the response of steel buildings designed to meet building codes that have evolved considerably since the 1950’s.
43 minutes | Mar 1, 2019
s02e20: Thomas Barclay: In Search of Alien Worlds
Are we alone in the Universe? This is a question that has puzzled countless generations. While we are still unable to say whether there is life out there we are beginning to think about whether there are planets that remind us of home. The Kepler spacecraft has been used to identify several planets in the habitable zone of other star - a region around a star where a planet could host liquid water at its surface given an appropriate atmosphere. Of particular note is Kepler-186f which is an Earth-sized planet that orbits within the habitable zone of a star that is smaller and cooler than the Sun. This talk will focus on the search for Earth-like worlds, discuss what we know about the planets we have found and look at what we don't know right now but hope to learn from future NASA missions.
50 minutes | Feb 22, 2019
s02e19: Gregory Asner: Exploring and Managing Earth from the Sky
Earth’s ecosystems are changing faster now than any time since the last ice age. Ironically we know little about most ecosystems, especially those in remote areas unexplored by scientists. To address this challenge, Greg Asner’s team combines laser and spectral instrumentation aboard a fixed-wing aircraft, the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, to produce detailed, 3-D imagery revealing the composition and health of ecosystems. Dr. Asner will discuss the Observatory’s revolutionary capabilities, and how it is yielding new scientific discoveries while accelerating conservation and management of our planet’s resources.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021