Science And Technology
Monday, March 04, 2013
The Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin and government prosecutor Lt. Col. Stuart Crouch talk about the courts at Guantanamo Bay, where suspected Al Qaeda terrorists are tried. Rita Moreno looks back at her career on stage and screen. She’s one of the few artists to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. We’ll look at the underground network of “phone phreaks” who managed to hack into the country’s telephone system. Plus, the political and moral dilemmas posed by the technological efficiencies of the digital age.
Friday, February 22, 2013
There’s growing concern that endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to health problems in humans, and this month a report issued by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme called these chemicals a "global threat" that should be addressed. Heather Patisaul, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, and Urvashi Rangan, director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group at Consumer Reports, explain what endocrine disruptors—like BPA, phthalates, some pesticides and fire retardants—are, where they’re found, and how they affect human development and health.
Friday, February 08, 2013
How will Obama Address the Looming Budget Crisis? | John O. Brennan, Drones and the Future of the CIA | Super Computer Watson Goes to School | Robots Come and Go, But Some Trades May Always Be Manual | Telling Stories of Love and Loss — in Just Six Words | New Movie Releases: 'Side Effects,' 'Identity Theft,' and 'Top Gun 3D'
Friday, February 08, 2013
On today’s show: Judith and Bill Moyers are joined by their son, William Cope Moyers, to discuss how families deal with addiction. Mike Daisey talks about his latest show, about how life on-line is influencing life off-line; he’ll also address the controversy surrounding his This American Life piece on Foxconn factories in China. Directors Jon Alpert and Matt O’Neill on the Academy Award-nominated short “Redemption,” about people who survive by collecting bottles and cans. Plus, Please Explain is all about the role hearing plays in shaping our memories and our brains.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Peter Yost talks about his NOVA documentary “Rise of the Drones.” Drones are the next chapter in aviation history and are revolutionizing warfare. NOVA gains unprecedented access to engineers and labs, military experts, pilot training facilities to show how engineers are taking the pilot out of the cockpit with stunning new advances in this game-changing technology to explore if these could become part of our everyday lives here at home. “Rise of the Drones” airs on PBS at 9 pm January 23.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Corey S. Powell, Editor at Large of Discover magazine, talks about the biggest stories in science last year—including the new Mars rover; the discovery of the Higgs boson; the Human Microbiome Project; climate change, storms, and melting polar ice; private space flight; self-driving cars; the comeback of measles, mumps, and whooping cough; and more!
Friday, January 11, 2013
Andy Borowitz fills in for Leonard Lopate. We start the show with a Please Explain look at the top science stories of 2012! George Saunders talks about his new short story collection, Tenth of December. Michael Cannell tells the story of a California mechanic who became the first American-born driver to win the Grand Prix. And the Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin discusses the new powers given to the National Counterterrorism Center to collect information on Americans, even if they have not been suspected of a crime.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Jesse Prinz discusses how nurture can supplement and supplant nature, allowing us to be influenced by experience and culture rather than just by our DNA. Drawing on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology in his book Beyond Human Nature, Prinz shows that we can’t always blame mental illness or addiction on our genes, and that societal factors shape gender differences in cognitive ability and sexual behavior.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Science writer Neil Shubin discusses a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us? In The Universe Within, Shubin explains how fossils, the Earth’s position, and the universe’s fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in the human body.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Alicia Menendez, in today for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Journalist Jonathan Katz gives a firsthand account of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 and the monumental—but rocky—recovery effort there. Then, we’ll find out how habits are made and broken. And science writer Neil Shubin explains there’s evidence of the Big Bang inside all of us. Plus, Wenonah Hauter, organic farmer and executive director of Food & Water Watch, takes a look at the effects of corporate consolidation of our food supply on public health.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the use of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for thousands of years. But growing evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections have also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. Science journalist Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest research into the prevalence of allergies and autoimmune disorders, explores new treatments, and looks at the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. His book is An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
As The Takeaway explores stories of gift giving and gift receiving all this hour, a rare act of generosity changed Beth Gonzalez’s perspective on the notion of presents. Beth tells the story of her three-year-old son Lucas who was born with a rare genetic immune disorder, and how donations from all over the world saved his life.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Michael Ruse, professor of zoology and philosophy at Florida State University and contributor to the Brainstorm blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education, talks about a proposal from Florida Governor Rick Scott about a sliding scale for tuition in the state. Under the proposal, majoring in the liberal arts would cost more than majoring in science, technology, engineering or math.
Monday, December 10, 2012
John Glassie tells the unconventional story of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary 17th-century priest-scientist whose interests ranged from optics to music to magnetism to medicine. His inventions and theories for everything made him famous across Europe. Glassie’s book A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change traces Kircher's rise, success, and eventual fall as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.
Friday, December 07, 2012
The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, prompting some to believe the world will end on that date. For this week’s Please Explain, we thought we’d find out about that calendar and the many others used through history by different cultures to account for the days and months that make up the year. Joining us are John Pratt and Ken Seidelmann, Research Professor at the University of Virginia’s Department of Astronomy.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Susannah Cahalan tells the story of coming down with a mysterious illness that caused hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability, and how it was diagnosed and finally treated. Her memoir Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is an account of her struggle to recapture her identity and to piece together the story of her “lost month” and how a celebrated neurologist saved her life.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Mold is a common household nuisance—it can appear on shower curtains and in damp basements and on aging foods in the refrigerator, but it’s a major concern in the aftermath of flooding caused by Sandy. Industrial hygienist and environmental health expert Monona Rossol and microbiologist Chin Yang, of Prestige EnviroMicrobiology, explain what mold is, where it comes from, how it grows, what it can do to your home and health, and how to get rid of it.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Gerard Lordahl, the greening director of GrowNYC, offers tips on how to deal with indoor plants and how to help your garden recover from Sandy and survive the winter. New York Times food writers Julia Moskin and Kim Severson discuss their 12-month-long head-to-head kitchen duel. We’ll look at a wrongful conviction case—and the effort to overturn it. Plus, physicist Sean Carroll discusses the search for the Higgs boson.