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59 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
SSC #22: Stanford’s Entanglement with Fossil Fuel Divestment by Ruby Gates and Vrinda Suresh
Stanford University knows it needs to take bold action on environmental issues—it’s creating a new school focused on sustainability and climate change, it has plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050… So, why is it so hesitant to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, your hosts Ruby Gates and Vrinda Suresh unpack Stanford’s sustainability commitments, and its resistance to fossil fuel divestment, through conversations with student organizers and experts on climate science, climate denial, and the fossil fuel industry. *Note: Ben Franta and Paul Edwards’ interviews were conducted on May 24 and May 27, respectively. When they reference court rulings that came out “today” or “the last couple of days,” they are referring to rulings that happened the week of May 23. Additional Info: Check out Fossil Free’s open letter to Stanford’s president: https://www.stanforddaily.com/2021/03/30/letter-to-the-university-president-the-school-of-sustainability-and-climate-should-refuse-funding-from-fossil-fuel-companies/ Sign their petition here: http://bit.ly/refuseffmoney Dr. Ben Franta’s work on fossil fuel companies: Early oil industry disinformation on global warming - Environmental Politics Early oil industry knowledge of CO2 and global warming - Nature Climate Change Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings - The Guardian The Daily Brew Podcast Episode with Stephan Graham and Kam Moler: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6VnPO17tkJ7GNI3vQK8T5q Noam Bergman’s Paper Bergman, Noam. 2018. "Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement: Effects on Finance, Policy and Public Discourse" Sustainability 10, no. 7: 2529. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072529 Music and Sounds: Flutterbee by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 Elephants on Parade by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 Releasing the Sculpture by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 New Skin by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 Caterpillar Brigade by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 Love Song #1 by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 Record Scratch by luffy, licensed under CC BY 3.0 Drumroll by ddohler, licensed under CC BY 3.0 Image: Photo by Dean Chahim/Fossil Free Stanford, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
33 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
SSC #21: The Sixth Mass Extinction by Trevor Cambron and Keren Perla
Does it really matter if we're in the sixth mass extinction? Short answer: no. But it’s actually a little more complicated. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Trevor Cambron and Keren Perla discuss the debate about whether or not we are currently in the sixth mass extinction, and what it would mean to be in one. We talk to Stanford’s own Dr. Jonathan Payne, paleobiologist in the Department of Geological Sciences, about what the geologic record tells us about our current loss of biodiversity, and how knowledge of the past can influence our actions in the present. We also talk to Peter Brannen, award-winning science journalist and author of “Earth Is Not In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction” about how to communicate the current unprecedented human-caused destruction of biodiversity, and what you can do to help prevent it. The big picture: ignore the sensationalist headlines, but take serious action against biodiversity loss. Resources: “Earth is Not In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction,” Peter Brannen Jonathan Payne on Mass Extinction, Museum of Science, Boston “How Humans Cause Mass Extinctions,” Paul and Anne Elrich Credits: Image - Yuri_B, via Pixabay “Les Portes Du Futur,” Bill Vortex “Andante,” Dee Yan Kee “Waterfall,” Metre “Blessed Horizons,” Ketsa “Summer Rain,” Bio Unit “Submersible.mp3,” Xylo-Ziko “MidGrey Morning,” Niteffect “Bam,” BioUnit “Forces of Attraction,” Scott Holmes “Missing,” Scott Holmes “Space,” Chad Crouch “Pterodactyl”, Tony Phillips “Bomb Exploding”, Sound Explorer “Tree Frogs and Birds”, Mike Koenig
25 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
SSC #20: Fake Meat Real Solution by Citlali and Ismael
With the world’s population expected to reach about 10 billion people by 2050, many are wondering what is the most sustainable way to feed the world. Also, as we are currently going through the worst pandemic in 100 years, many people are wondering what can be done to prevent the threat of another large pandemic. Surprisingly, a solution for both these problems, amongst others, may lie at our fingertips. It can be switching to a mostly plant based diet. However, getting people on board is a challenge. This is where alternative proteins, like plant-based meat, eggs and dairy come in. In this episode we are talking about alternative meat. We will cover various topics including the need for alternative protein sources, the history of alternative meats in the United States, and the future of meat alternatives. We are also joined by the lovely Amy Huang, University Research Manager at the Good Food Institute. She will talk directly to college students about their important role in the growing field of alternative proteins. So stick around, we hope that by the end of this episode, you will see your plate a little bit differently. For more Information on the resources and research labs that Amy mentioned visit: The Good Food Institute You can subscribe to the Stanford Alt. Protein Project mailing list at: Stanford Alt. Protein Project Image from: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/grilled-seitan-1639825
32 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
SSC #19: Exploring Protein Design: the Next Frontier of Biomedicine by Foster Birnbaum and Jack Ryan
Our bodies are powered by proteins. They convert the food we eat into energy, convert that energy into motion, and keep our cells, and therefore ourselves, alive and healthy. Proteins can also pose a danger to our wellbeing -- the proteins surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 virus are particularly well suited to recognize and bind to human cells, allowing the virus to infect us. Given that proteins underlie so many biological processes, researchers have been attempting to create new proteins that accomplish a specific function since the 1940s. In this episode of Stanford SciCast, seniors Foster Birnbaum and Jack Ryan explore this decades-old challenge, known as the protein design problem. They explain how proteins fold, why that folding is important to a protein’s function, and how researchers use computational models of protein folding to facilitate protein design. Also, they interview Dr. Possu Huang, a professor in Stanford’s Department of Bioengineering, to discuss how his lab is applying artificial intelligence to protein folding and how solving the protein folding problem would affect society. To learn more about protein design, visit Dr. Huang’s lab website at http://www.proteindesign.org/ or check out one of his most recent publications at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.06.895466v1. Music credits: Upbeat Whistle - Unknown artist (https://freemusicarchive.org/track/Upbeat_Whistle/download) Awake - Scott Holmes (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Holmes/cinematic-background-music/awake) Space Travel - Borrtex (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Borrtex/Distant_Sphere/5_Space_Travel) Algorithms - Chad Crouch (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chad_Crouch/Arps/Algorithms) Pretty Simple - Podington Bear (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/Background/Pretty_Simple) Firestorm - Sputnik Booster (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Sputnik_Booster/Robot_Science/04_-_Firestorm) Beads was scattered - urupin (https://freesound.org/people/urupin/sounds/157688/) Happy Theme - maxmakessounds (https://freesound.org/people/maxmakessounds/sounds/353543/)
26 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
SSC #18: Marine Heat Waves Threaten Kelp Forests by Erin Cole and May Aye
We’re all familiar with heat waves on land, but did you know they can happen in the ocean as well? Marine heat waves, where ocean temperatures spike unusually high for a period of time, are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. They can impact a range of ecosystems, including kelp forests—beautiful, biodiverse, productive ecosystems that are often overlooked in discussions about climate change’s effect on the ocean. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, the hosts, Erin Cole and May Aye, dive into further details of exactly how marine heat waves impact kelp forests as they learn from their two guests. Jessica Benthuysen, a world-leading physical oceanographer based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, helps us understand the physics of marine heat waves. Fiorenza Micheli, a marine ecologist based at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, explains the effects of marine heat waves on kelp forests and the importance of protecting these ecosystems. To read the inspiration for this podcast topic, visit https://science-sciencemag-org.stanford.idm.oclc.org/content/367/6478/635.1. You can learn more about Dr. Micheli’s research at https://michelilab.stanford.edu/ and about Dr. Benthuysen’s research at https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/dr-jessica-benthuysen. Image Credit: "Kelp Forest" by NOAA's National Ocean Service is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Music Credit: “Little Mermaids Tune” by Eardeer is licensed under CC BY 3.0. “Curious Process” by Podington Bear is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. “Epiphany” by Podington Bear is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. “Playmate” by Podington Bear is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. All audio clips used for educational purposes under Fair Use.
28 minutes | Aug 11, 2021
SSC #17: Not Just a Brain in a Dish by Joshua Buchi and Emily Gardner
A new technology is redefining the way biologists approach science. Moving beyond simple cell cultures, scientists can now use human cells to create miniature models of organs. Dubbed organoids, these models can emulate any organ in the body. Organoids come closer to replicating the context and complexity of a human body than ever before–opening the door to more effective research for scientists and medical testing for everyone in the future. In this episode of Stanford Science Podcast, Emily and Josh introduce this emergent technology, and dive into its capabilities, limitations, and future possibilities. Katarina Klett and Julien Roth, PhD students in the Heilshorn Lab in the Stanford Material Science Department, help give context to the current capabilities of organoids and address the potential ethical concerns. If you're an organoid expert or novice, this episode will give you a new appreciation for this interdisciplinary scientific technique. Articles to give further context on organoids: https://hsci.harvard.edu/organoids https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01395-z https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-018-0051-9 Image: "Brain Organoid" is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Music: Night Vibes by JBlanked is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
25 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
SSC #16: Future of Money by Alan Brantley
As crypto-currency meets meme-culture, sensationalist headlines and bold claims by bitcoin-bros drive mainstream perception of the space. But there is much more to the blockchain than market speculation and bitcoin billionaires. In reality, most legitimate coins exist to accomplish specific objectives. Many have huge aspirations for improving societal access to resources. The Stellar Lumen is such a coin. In this podcast, we’ll talk to Stellar co-founder and Chief Scientist, David Mazierez to learn about Stellar. Additionally, we’ll discuss Bitcoin’s blockchain, see how Stellar is different, and understand Stellars’ vision for a world where sending money is as easy as sending an email. Mazieres et. al. “Fast and Secured Global Payments with Stellar” Nakamoto, Satoshi. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Stellar.org is an excellent resource for understanding more about Stellar, what it is, and how it works.
40 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
SSC #15: Covid Impacts on Student Athletes by Floranne Carroll and Abby Converse
When the world shut down this past year, sports came to a halt as well. Without the sport they love, what did the day to day life of these athletes look like? How did athletes adapt and find new ways to train? Most importantly, what did altered training regimens mean for their mental health? In this episode, hosts Abby Converse and Floranne Carroll break down the impact of the pandemic on high-level athletes. They are joined by fellow Stanford student-athlete Amelia Smith, beach volleyball Olympian Lauren Fendrick, and future water polo Olympian and Stanford alumna Gurpreet Sohi. The hosts will also discuss a Stanford study on effects of the pandemic on the well-being of high-level athletes through Strava, an organization that connects athletes around the world, tracking their training. Dr. Megan Roche, a researcher who conducted the joint study this fall, stops by to share her findings and explore the study’s impacts on future training in collegiate and professional athletics. Strava and Stanford Survey Study: https://1n4rcn88bk4ziht713dla5ub-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Strava_OnePager_FINAL.pdf NCAA Well-Being Study: https://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/ncaa-student-athlete-well-being-study More on Our Guests: Amelia Smith: https://gostanford.com/sports/womens-beach-volleyball/roster/amelia-smith/17864 Lauren Fendrick: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-volleyball/athletes/lauren-fendrick Dr. Megan Roche: https://longevity.stanford.edu/lifestyle-medicine-2/lifestyle-team/lifestyle-medicine-2-roche/ https://open.spotify.com/show/3AaJYZngimocFf8aztKTcO Gurpreet Sohi: https://www.waterpolo.ca/TeamPlayerBio46.aspx Music: Man Outta Town (Instrumental) by Forget the Whale, licensed under CC BY-NC SA 4.0 10 Days by Forget the Whale, licensed under CC BY-NC SA 4.0 Ghost (Instrumental) by Forget the Whale, licensed under CC BY-NC SA 4.0 Dream Guitar Loop by YellowTree, licensed under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) Soft Echo Sweep by Rob_Marion Echo Chromatic Riser by Suburbanwizard Image Credit: Lauren Fendrick licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
1 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
SSC Season 4 Preview
New episodes of the Stanford Science Podcast will be released starting Wednesday, July 28 and continuing every week through September 15th. These podcasts are reported, written, and produced by students taking a course offered by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University. Music credit: Basketliner by Blue Dot Sessions
19 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
SSC #14: Juul - A Case Of Ethics In Design
Nicotine addiction is coming back with a vengeance. With e-cigarette companies like Juul capturing the attention of teens, we are experiencing the second wave of Big Tobacco through vaping. But what happens when a company’s mission statement and its actions are at odds? James Monsees and Adam Bowen, founders of Juul, were once Product Design Masters students here at Stanford. They claimed to have created a product that can transition smokers to their less harmful alternative, Juul. Although the product is used by ex-smokers, it is also used frequently by almost one million teens in the U.S. In this episode of Stanford SciCast, Ruth Adu-Daako, MBA-MS student and Brook Getachew, a former researcher on Juul, explore the relationship between design and ethics by using Juul as a case study. To understand this link, they interview Dr. Robert Jackler, head of the Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising, James Patell, a Herbert Hoover Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ken Shotts, a professor of Ethics and Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a teen Juul user. Through these interviews, Ruth and Brook explore the balance between innovation and creating a product that, whether intentional or not, harms younger users. To learn more about the history of Juul, visit http://tobacco.stanford.edu/tobacco_main/publications/JUUL_Marketing_Stanford.pdf *Note: This episode was produced before the recent illnesses and deaths linked to vaping. Image Credit: Holding a juul device up close by Sarah Johnson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
25 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
SSC #13: Acid-loving Archaea - Past, Present and Future by Annika Brakebill and Nana Ansuah Peterson
Picture an active, bubbling volcano, or, if you can, a hydrothermal vent, or even perhaps a cauldron full of boiling hot water into which you now add some acid. Do you particularly associate this imagery with life? It’s hard to imagine that there could be living things in these conditions, yet there are microbes that eat, breathe, and flourish in these places. These bugs are extremophiles, literally, lovers of the extreme. How do they survive and thrive in their intense home environments? In this podcast episode, Annika and Nana Ansuah interview Dr. Paula Welander, a Stanford professor whose research lies at the intersection of geology and microbiology, about her recently published paper on extremophiles called Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Her group showed for the first time that a modification in the membranes of Sulfolobus allows it to live in its extreme home--the hot acid soup you pictured above--and to survive when these conditions fluctuate. Dr. Welander also takes us through her path to geomicrobiology and how her work can inform investigations about life on the ancient earth. Many thanks to Dr. Welander for the interview! Image credit: “Microbial mat” by Supercarwaar is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 Music credits: “Vivaldi Winter mvt 1 Allegro non molto - The USAF Concert.ogg” by Antonio Vivaldi performed by The USAF Concert Band and Singing Sergeants is licensed under CC-PD-Mark. “jazzy whatever” by Annika Brakebill.
34 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
SSC #12: The Origin of Everything by Micah Cash and Jiren Zhu
One of humankind’s most enduring and exciting mysteries is the origin of our universe. For most of history, we could only look up to the skies and speculate on how the world came into existence. Now, modern technology has given us astonishing insight into the universe’s beginnings, inspiring groundbreaking new theories. But what if all this knowledge has only produced deeper, philosophical questions about the world’s oldest question? Renata Kallosh, a leading theoretical physicist at Stanford, spends her days peering into the early universe searching for the elusive theory of quantum gravity. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Micah and Jiren talk to Kallosh about what cosmology and physics can tell us about the origins of the universe, and what scientists hope to find in the future. Next, Stanford philosopher of science Thomas Ryckman tells us about the challenges faced by those trying answering the deepest questions about the world. It turns out that trying to understand every aspect of nature is forcing philosophers and physicists to turn to creative and sometimes unsatisfying answers. This episode is an interstellar journey both backward and forward in time. Along the way, we will discover that the origins of the universe are both more complex and more beautiful than we imagined. Image of Helix Nebula, credit to NASA, NOAO, ESA, the Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner (STScI), and T.A. Rector (NRAO)
31 minutes | Oct 30, 2019
SSC #11: Preterm Birth by Margot Bellon and Nomi Ringach
Do you know the story of when you were born? Was it a perfectly planned out day that culminated in your unblemished birth? Or, was it riddled with unexpected curveballs. Maybe you surprised your parents a few weeks early? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Nomi and Margot discuss the causes and consequences of premature births through the lenses of microbiology, preeclampsia, and women’s health. Today, they clear the air of any icky gut reactions you may have to discussing the vaginal microbiome. After explaining how it influences pregnancy health, they dive into the hot topic of women’s health research, analyzing its main driving forces and mysterious angles, including the not yet understood disease of preeclampsia. Nomi and Margot were able to gather a diversity of perspectives on pregnancy and pinpoint the areas of research that merit more awareness and funding. Dr. Relman, Stanford Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Virginia Winn, Stanford Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Marcia Stefanick, Professor of Health Research and Policy, and Kellie Loretz all generously contributed to the body of knowledge that made this podcast possible. Image Credit: sleeping baby by is Azfar Ahmad is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
29 minutes | Oct 23, 2019
SSC #10: Brain Balls: Effective Communication or Misinformed Hype? by Robel Daniel and Amanda Urke
In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Robel Daniel and Amanda Urke explore the many factors influencing how complicated and often controversial science is conducted, communicated to non-expert audiences, and perceived by the public. Through conversations with Stanford Bioengineering Professor Drew Endy and Stanford science writer Bruce Goldman, Robel and Amanda explore the philosophical basis and limitations of scientific communication and how it is achieved in today’s media. Thank you to Stanford Bioengineering Professor Drew Endy and Stanford science writer Bruce Goldman for sharing their perspectives on science and how it’s communicated, and to Professor Jennifer Stonaker for her guidance in the production of this podcast. To learn more about Dr. Pasca’s research, visit his lab website at https://www.pascalab.org/. Image credit: “Brain Human Anatomy” by sbtlneet is is licensed under the Pixabay license. Music credit: “Perihelion” by Arvind Ranganathan, used with personal and explicit permission. His current SoundCloud is https://soundcloud.com/vinceranga/tracks, and “Perihelion” was retrieved from his older SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/maestroarvind/tracks.
37 minutes | Jun 1, 2019
SSC #9: Sea-ing the Environment: Virtual Reality and Ocean Education by Andrew, Hanna and Laura
Can you imagine a reality where you could explore the ocean without getting wet? How about flying through the clouds without leaving the ground? How might your perspective of swimming or flying change? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Andrew Pollack, a CS major, and Hanna Payne and Laura Anderson, two marine scientists, explore the world of virtual reality and the impact of technology on environmental education. What are the benefits of VR experiences and can virtual “dives” increase care and understanding of the ocean? As the team learns about the VR industry with Megan O’Connor of Unity Technologies and environmental education with Indira Phukan from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, they see how technology and education can intersect. They also experience ocean VR with Talia Weiss and Geraldine Fauville at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab and Erika Woolsey, an Ocean Design Fellow and CEO of The Hydrous. From coral reefs to kelp forests, dive into the world of virtual reality and its potential as an environmental education tool. Learn more about the Stanford SciCast at https://stanfordscicast.wordpress.com Image and Music Credits: vr by Mello is licensed under CC BY 3.0 “Orange Sunshine” by Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0 “What’s Later?” by Apache Tomcat is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 “Mission Bucharest” by Pharaos is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 “Admin” by A.A. Aalto is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0 “Music Box and Chill” by Daniel Birch is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 “Underwater” by Meydan is licensed under CC BY 4.0 “Evening Journey” by TRG Banks is licensed under CCO 1.0
6 minutes | May 31, 2019
SciCast Season3 Preview
Preview for season 3 of the Stanford SciCast, the podcast bringing cardinal research news from Stanford scientists to you. This podcast is produced by students in a course offered by Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric.
17 minutes | Aug 5, 2015
SSC #8: Understanding Water In The West by Kira Minehart and Nate Nunez
In this episode of Stanford SciCast, Nate Nunez and Kira Minehart break down the inner workings of California’s water management systems. They interview Leon Szeptycki, director of Stanford’s Water in the West research program. Szeptycki discusses the necessity of modernizing the state’s antiquated water management systems, some of which date back to the Gold Rush. For more information visit stanfordscicast.wordpress.com
33 minutes | Jul 28, 2015
SSC #7: Social Media: A Mirror To The Self? by Raga Ayyagari and Skylar Cohen
In this episode, Skylar Cohen and Raga Ayyagari discuss how scientists use big data analysis to predict and understand patterns in personality. They explore the science behind big data, its applications in personality analysis, and how this information changes how we interact with ourselves and others. For more information visit stanfordscicast.wordpress.com
22 minutes | Jul 20, 2015
SSC #6: Climate Change And The Ticking Clock by Maria Doerr and Emma Hutchinson
In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Emma Hutchinson and Maria Doerr explore what it means to be a scientist studying issues relating to climate change. How did they start working on climate change? How do they see their role in the public sphere? How do they deal with opposition to the results of their studies? Image Credit: Time is ticking out. by mao_lini is licensed under CC BY-SA-2.0; Music Credit: Podington Bear is licensed under CC BY-NC-3.0
20 minutes | Jul 14, 2015
SSC #5: Altruism Dissected by Laurie Rumker and James Spicer
In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, James Spicer and Laurie Rumker explore the nature of human altruism: how we define it, whether it is innate or learned, and what makes humans behave altruistically. For more information visit stanfordscicast.wordpress.com
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