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The UCI Podcast
24 minutes | a day ago
Solving climate change with clean hydrogen fuel
Wind and solar energy, necessary as they are to reversing climate change, won’t be enough for society to completely wean itself from fossil fuels. Something else is needed for particularly energy-intensive sectors such as heavy duty trucking and to replace ubiquitous natural gas appliances. Enter hydrogen. Clean hydrogen fuel will be a crucial part of the renewable energy mix going forward, according to Jack Brouwer, a UCI professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and the director of both the National Fuel Cell Research Center and the Advanced Power and Energy Program. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Brouwer discusses the unique advantages of hydrogen and why he believes it will soon be cheaper than gasoline.
22 minutes | 15 days ago
Running for city council as a 24-year-old UCI PhD student
It takes gumption to run for political office — especially when you’re just 24 years old. But that’s exactly what UCI PhD student Dylan Green did last year when he registered his candidacy for Irvine City Council and then took on the challenge of campaigning during the pandemic. Green earned his bachelor's degree at UCI and is now studying the origin of the universe in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, using machine learning on images to filter out pixels corrupted by cosmic rays. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, he discusses what he learned about running for office and why he thinks more scientists and young people should get involved in politics.
19 minutes | 22 days ago
The arts respond to COVID-19
Few elements of society suffered as much as live music and theater productions when COVID-19 struck. At the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, a whole season’s worth of scheduled productions went out the window as performers and professors adapted to an online-only reality. But while in-person performances are impossible, the need for the arts is greater than ever to provide a salve for the crisis. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Dean Stephen Barker discusses how the School of the Arts answered the pandemic, and why the arts have such power to heal.
20 minutes | a month ago
Undoing Trump’s environmental regulation rollbacks
Clean air standards, water pollution rules and public lands protections have all been scaled back under the Trump administration, which aggressively attacked the administrative state. Under the Biden administration, environmentalists hope to reverse the tide by reviving regulations. But rolling back the rollbacks won’t be easy. Though the Biden administration may be able to quickly implement executive orders and ramp up environmental enforcement, changes to regulations must go through extensive review processes — that could take years to complete. Alex Camacho is a Chancellor’s professor of law at UCI and the Faculty Director of the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources at the UCI Law School, and he studies environmental regulations. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Professor Camacho discusses how regulations are made and unmade, and the ways the Biden administration can advance its environmental agenda.
23 minutes | 2 months ago
COVID-19's long-term economic and health impacts
COVID-19’s disastrous impacts are obvious: a quarter million deaths in the U.S., millions of jobs lost and a financial downturn that prompted a $2 trillion economic stimulus. These impacts are front and center in the public consciousness, especially as people mourn lost loved ones and worry about how lost wages threaten their ability to pay rent. But what about two, three or four decades down the line? What will be the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on individuals’ health and finances — and the economy as a whole? Vellore Arthi, an assistant professor of economics at UCI, has examined the long-term health and economic consequences of previous pandemics and financial crises, including the Black Death of the 14th century, the 1918 influenza pandemic and the Great Depression of the 1930s. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Arthi discusses what these previous pandemics and downturns can teach us about today’s crisis — and how we can prevent the worst results.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
Diary of a Med Student
Burnout and stress have been on the rise among medical students for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse. Helping their fellow medical students cope inspired UCI's Ajay Nair Sharma and Daniel Azzam to publish Diary of a Med Student, a book that collects stories from 100+ students from over 50 medical schools across the country. Some are heart-wrenching, some uplifting, and some good for a chuckle, but all stories paint a picture of what life is like in medical school today. Learn more about the book, and read an excerpt: https://news.uci.edu/2020/12/01/alleviating-med-school-angst.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
UCI Podcast: The frontline view of COVID-19’s disparate impact
Dr. José Mayorga has witnessed firsthand the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on different communities in Orange County. As executive director of the Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center that is part of UCI Health, he serves the low-income and Latinx patients who have been disproportionately exposed to the virus. “These workers are people who are working in food industries, such as fast food places, housekeeping, janitorial services. So they have no choice,” Mayorga says on this episode of the UCI Podcast. “They have to come into work. And, you know, on top of that, they're getting exposed. There’s no ability for them to socially distance in some of these workspaces.” Virus cases are surging, and local leaders continue to face choices about how to respond. Dr. Mayorga urges decision-makers to consider these most vulnerable communities as they formulate plans and policies. “This pandemic is impacting every aspect of our community, and it will eventually impact them as well,” Dr. Mayorga says.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
UCI Podcast: Orange County election analysis and social justice under Biden
A wave of Democratic victories in Orange County during the 2018 midterm election — including four Congressional seats that flipped from red to blue — convinced many that Republicans’ days here were numbered. But this year, the trend reversed, and Republicans reclaimed two of those seats. Demographic changes in the last few decades have resulted in a political reorienting in Orange County, according to Louis DeSipio, a professor of political science and Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, DeSipio talks about how the mixed results of the last few years demonstrate Orange County’s purple identity — and the reasons behind it. He also discusses national voting trends this year among Latino voters, and offers some predictions for how President-elect Joe Biden will address social justice issues such as immigration.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
UCI Podcast: What’s next with COVID
Andrew Noymer is an associate professor of public health at UCI, and he’s an expert on public health responses to pandemics like COVID-19 and their long-term consequences. In this special UCI Podcast, he discusses what we’ve learned over the last eight months of the pandemic and what we can expect next with the novel coronavirus. For instance, we need to be prepared for a harsh winter with a surge of infections. Also, he talks about the impact a vaccine can make for having the general population reach herd immunity levels, and our realistic future living with a virus that won’t be going away anytime soon. And don’t forget, wearing a face covering works.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
UCI Podcast: COVID-19 Testing and Tracing
With a student resident population of 7,000 for Fall Quarter, UCI embarked on an ambitious combined effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus on campus: weekly asymptomatic testing for resident students, and a contact tracing program unique to the UCI community. Dr. Albert Chang, the Medical Director of the UCI Student Health Center; and David Souleles, the Director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team, together join the UCI Podcast to discuss these two programs and how the two initiatives work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
24 minutes | 3 months ago
UCI Podcast: Slowing the spread of election misinformation
The clouds of misinformation swirling on the internet have only thickened this election season, with unfounded allegations of rampant voter fraud and online conspiracy theories that severely strain credulity. To learn more, the UCI Podcast spoke with Cailin O’Connor, an associate professor in the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at UCI, is an expert on misinformation, and, along with fellow UCI professor James Weatherall, the co-author of the book, The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread (2019). In this interview, O’Connor discusses the most consequential pieces of misinformation this election season and the ways people can slow their spread.
23 minutes | 4 months ago
UCI Podcast: How Amy Coney Barrett could reshape the Supreme Court
With just weeks to go before the election, the Senate has launched confirmation hearings for President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Conservatives have praised her judicial approach, while liberals are worried that she could contribute to undoing the gains they’ve made on social issues in recent decades — and especially on women’s reproductive rights. The one thing both sides seem to agree on is that at stake are some of the most contentious cultural issues of this era. On this episode of the UCI Podcast, Michele Goodwin, a Chancellor’s professor of law at UCI, discusses how Judge Barrett, if confirmed, could affect the Supreme Court.
15 minutes | 4 months ago
UCI Podcast: At the intersection of economics and political philosophy
What is the Federal Reserve? What does it do? When is debt not a bad thing? Is a universal basic income economically sustainable? Why would you take financial advice from philosopher? Aaron James, UCI professor of philosophy works at the intersection of economics and political philosophy and is co-author of a new book, “Money from Nothing: Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying About Debt and Learn to Love the Federal Reserve,” published by Melville House. He answers those questions and more in this conversation with UCI Podcast.
16 minutes | 4 months ago
UCI Podcast: At the forefront of digital learning
The pandemic-induced pivot to remote instruction has made digital learning the most important issue in education today, for students from pre-K to Ph.D. In 2015, the UCI Paul Merage School of Business launched an in-house Digital Learning Program that designs, develops and produces meaningful online learning experiences. Here, Program Director Natalie Blair tells UCI Podcast what she recognized five years ago that most of academia missed, what makes this program unique and what she sees for the future of digital learning.
20 minutes | 5 months ago
UCI Podcast: College access and choice in the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted college education, including the campus experience, how classes are delivered and, crucially, how students even decide to go to college. Constance Iloh, an assistant professor in UCI’s School of Education, has developed a framework to understand people’s college-going trajectories, and she recently earned a grant to examine how the pandemic is affecting the way Black and Latinx students look at college, using her Iloh Model of College-Going Decisions and Trajectories. Iloh speaks with the UCI Podcast about the factors that contribute to a person’s college trajectory, why the concept of “college choice” excludes many people and how her model can help leaders in higher education to provide access to more diverse students.
24 minutes | 5 months ago
UCI Podcast: Amal Alachkar from leaving Syria to preventing psychiatric disorders
Since 2011, 13 million Syrians have fled the nation's civil war. Amal Alachkar and her family were among them. Alachkar tells the UCI podcast how she went from establishing Syria's first neuroscience research lab to an associate professor of teaching in pharmaceutical sciences at UCI to helping establish an online master's in pharmacology and working to prevent psychiatric disorders for the children of her fellow refugees. For more information on Alachkar's work with schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer's, visit https://bit.ly/2EQte2S.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
UCI Podcast: The future of social justice
The Aug. 28 Black Lives Matters March on Washington D.C. marks three months of nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. The movement has raised awareness to myriad issues related to racism and inequality, but where does it go now? In this edition of the UCI Podcast, Doug Haynes, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and a professor of history at UCI, offers his perspectives on this pivotal time in U.S. history and discusses what’s happening on campus, such as with the UCI Black Thriving Initiative he’s leading.
15 minutes | 5 months ago
UCI Podcast: The cultural significance of visual representation
Major consumer brands across the country, from Disneyland to Quaker Oats, have announced plans to retire, evolve or review images used for marketing purposes, in response to complaints they perpetuate racial stereotypes. In today’s climate of heightened public awareness of the impact and legacy of images, Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor of African American studies and art history at UCI, speaks to the need for comprehensive, widespread change.
22 minutes | 6 months ago
UCI Podcast: Michelle Deutchman on the pandemic's effect on campus free speech
The free speech movement was born on college campuses in the 1960s as students protested the Vietnam War and voiced their support for civil rights. But what will happen as the COVID-19 pandemic suppresses in-person campus gatherings, and as discourse increasingly moves online? The University of California's National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement was formed in 2017 to foster dialogue about these kinds of free speech issues, and it's housed at UC’s Washington, D.C. location. UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman is the co-chair and Executive Director Michelle Deutchman is based here at UCI. The UCI Podcast spoke with her to get her take on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting campus free speech.
20 minutes | 6 months ago
UCI Podcast: A prescription to reshape healthcare
UCI is writing the prescription that will reshape healthcare for the 21st century. Last week, the University of California Board of Regents approved the establishment of a new school of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCI. As part of the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, the school will approach patient health holistically, conducting research and educating students on the entire continuum from drug discovery to clinical practice. On this episode of the UCI Podcast, founding dean Jan Hirsch discusses what differentiates the new school and how it will help solve healthcare's $528.4 billion problem.
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