Science And Technology
Monday, March 21, 2011
Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and cofounder of string field theory, describes the revolutionary developments taking place in the fields of medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy, and astronautics. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 describes future advances in science and how they will change our way of life. Kaku also tells us who the winners and losers of the future will be, who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper.
Friday, March 18, 2011
The first digital camera came on the market in 1986. In only a quarter century, the technology has fundamentally revolutionized the way we conceive of and take pictures. From camera phones to the latest digital SLR technology, the plethora of digital cameras on the market has made taking a picture both easier and more complicated than ever. David Pogue, tech columnist for the New York Times, and Katrin Eismann, chair of the Digital Photography Department at the School of Visual Arts, look into the history of digital photography, explain how digital photography works, and tell us which cameras are the best on the market. Katrin Eismann's latest book is Real World Digital Photography and David Pogue is the author of David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Last year, New York City's 4th and 8th graders scored below both the state and national averages on a nationwide science exam. Every day over the next week, we'll take a few minutes to get to the bottom of some common science questions.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Chemist Monona Rossol, talks about how the chemicals in everyday products are harming us—scientists have started linking our increased rates of cancer, autism, obesity, and asthma to chemicals—and what the government is not doing about it. In her new book, Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia is Making Lab Rats of Us All, she explains how everyday toxins get into our bodies and accumulate over time and provides us with inspiration to make changes.
Friday, February 25, 2011
The first silk textiles were created some 5000 years ago. This week's Please Explain is all about silk, and how fibers made by worms create versatile fabrics and have helped shape the culture of much of the world. Mark Norell, Chair of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, who is currently finishing a book on the Silk Road, talks about the history of silk; Ingrid Johnson, professor of Textile Development and Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology; and Rebecca Robertson, Decorating and Home Editor for Martha Stewart Living join us to discuss how silk is produced, processed, used, and how it should be cared for.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
This week’s Please Explain investigates a common phenomenon that’s mysterious to many of us: sneezing! Dr. Marjorie Slankard, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Director of the Allergy Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Dr.Neil Kao, allergy and asthma specialist with the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, South Carolina, join us.
Friday, February 04, 2011
Polytetrafluoroethylene—also known as Teflon—is slippery, water resistant, stable at high temperatures, and used in hundreds of ways in everything from fabrics to frying pans. Today's Please Explain is all about Teflon—what it's made of, how it works, and the safety concerns about it. Bob Kenworthy, a chemist who, after working for four decades in the chemical industry, now works at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, joins us.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Physician and researcher Dr. V. S. Ramachandran draws on strange case studies to offer insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain. In The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human, he reveals what these cases teach us about how language developed, what the origins of art are, what causes autism, and how we develop self-awareness.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Chloe G. K. Atkins tells us about her decades-long battle with a mysterious illness that doctors called imaginary. Her memoir My Imaginary Illness: A Journey into Uncertainty and Prejudice in Medical Diagnosis gives an account of being struck at 21 with a disease that paralyzed her for months at a time, and led her to become quadriplegic. Doctors refused to believe there was anything physically wrong with her and pronounced her symptoms psychosomatic. Atkins critiques contemporary medicine and talks about her frustration with doctors and diagnoses, psychotherapy, and her physical and emotional journey back to wellness.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Physicist Brian Greene discusses whether our universe is the only universe and explains recent science that shows our universe may be just one among many. His book The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos is a far-reaching survey of cutting-edge physics and a remarkable journey to the very edge of reality. He shows the range of different “multiverse” theories developed to explain the most refined observations of both subatomic particles and the dark depths of space.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Oceanographer Scott Glenn and Dena Seidel, Director of Digital Storytelling for Writers House, Rutgers English and producer of the film “Atlantic Crossing,” talk about the Glen’s adventure: leading a team of Rutgers ocean scientists to launch the first transatlantic autonomous underwater robot. The film tells the story of the 8-foot yellow robot named RU27, or "Scarlet," which was launched off the coast of New Jersey into the Atlantic, and the challenges it faces—extreme weather conditions, ship traffic, and aggressive sea life.
Friday, January 21, 2011
This week’s Please Explain is about computer worms and viruses. Richard Ford, from the Center for Security Science at the Florida Institute of Technology, and Lance Ulanoff, Editor in Chief of PC Magazine, tell us how viruses and worms are created, how they infiltrate individual computers, explain the damage they can wreak and how we can best protect our machines.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Richard Panek explains how we know that only 4 percent of the universe consists of the matter that makes up people, planets, stars, and galaxy. The other 96 percent of the universe is completely unknown. The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality tells the story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what they’re doing to find dark matter, dark energy, and to help paint a complete picture of the universe.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Salt is found on most dining tables and in most kitchens—but this ubiquitous household item has a long and curious history. It’s a flavor enhancer, an ice melter, has been used as a currency, and has shaped civilization. Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History, and Dr. Sonia Angell, Director, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Health Department, explain what salt is, where it comes from, and discusses its influence on history and on our health.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Dr. Paul A. Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation, discusses the debate over vaccines and why the link between autism and vaccines has been discredited. His book Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All explains the origins of the anti-vaccine movement and how it has affected public health.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
According to the UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the world is hurtling towards population overload, putting billions of people at risk from hunger and thirst. And the global population is expected to keep growing with a predicted rise of 2.5 billion people by the end of the century. How will the planet and its citizens cope with this explosion?
Monday, January 10, 2011
Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that the idea that China and India are crushing the United States in business, education, and technology doesn't account for the US's role as the leader of innovation. He outlines the reasons the US should focus on innovation in Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Mike Brown, Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, talks about the firestorm of controversy ignited when the planet Pluto was demoted to a "dwarf" planet. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is an account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy-which he inadvertently caused--and explains important scientific concepts and inspires us to think about our place in the cosmos.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter John Woestendiek discusses the questions about the boundaries of science, commerce, and ethics that arise with the cloning of pets. Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend takes readers behind the scenes of this industry.