Science

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The New Wild

Aug 18, 2015
"Tamarisk Forest" by Rachel Zurer, CC via Flickr

When journalist Fred Pearce set out to write a book about the role invasive species play in our environment, he imagined itwould be about the havoc they cause. What he found surprised him though. He says the horror stories are overblown and that these resourceful plants and animals are often responding to the damage that humans have wrought. They push their way through concrete and thrive in pollution. Tuesday, Pearce joins Doug to explain why he says invasive species could be nature’s salvation.(Rebroadcast)

As the writer Peter Moore points out, we’re never far from a weather forecast. It’s become a quotidian component of modern life. But were it not for a host of daring experiments in the 19th century, we might not know that Wednesday is sunny with a chance of t-storms. In a new book, Moore tells the stories of the sailors, artists, astronomers, adventurers, and others who laid the foundations of today’s meteorological sciences. He joins us Thursday to explore the experiments that helped us divine the weather.

The Big Fat Surprise

Jul 28, 2015

Since the 1950s, a war has been waged in America against an accused dietary culprit: fat. Avoid fat, we were told, and you’ll live longer and healthier. However, as the investigative journalist Nina Teicholz discovered, there isn’t solid evidence of the benefits of a low-fat diet nor of the dangers of fat. In a new book, Teicholz reviews the science and history of the war on fat and Tuesday we're rebroadcasting a conversation about how America’s nutrition was derailed by a bunch of bad science. [Rebroadcast]

Nature Needs Half

Jul 27, 2015

For centuries, humans have used technology to alter the planet, with dramatic consequences for the environment. Some think technology can also be used to manage our way out of these problems. It’s an approach that places humans at the center of everything. But conservationist Harvey Locke builds his work around a different idea: we do not control the world; we are part of it. Locke advocates a "wiser" relationship with nature, and Monday, he joins Doug in studio to talk about his goal to conserve half the world’s land and water. (Rebroadcast)

Natural Born Heroes

Jul 14, 2015

 

Tuesday, our guest is journalist Christopher McDougall who wrote the book that kicked off the barefoot running movement. While he was writing, McDougall came across the story of a Greek foot messenger who accomplished remarkable athletic feats during World War II. It got him thinking about what makes a hero, and he learned it’s not chance and you don’t have to be superhuman. McDougall joins us to explore how normal people can develop their natural skills to be ready in a crisis. [Rebroadcast]

Between Earth and Sky

Jun 26, 2015

Whether you are sitting at your desk, in the kitchen, or walking down the street, you’re likely near something that came from a tree. But biologist and world-renowned tree expert Nalini Nadkarni says that our relationship with trees goes much deeper than the resources they provide. From spirituality and recreation to medicine and the arts, trees play many roles in our lives. Friday, Nadkarni joins Doug to discuss what trees can teach us about our place in the world. (Rebroadcast)

A Climate for Change

Jun 19, 2015

Why is it that conservative Christians are more likely to be climate change skeptics than any other religious group in America?  Katharine Hayhoe doesn’t see any reason why science and religion should be mutually exclusive. She’s a leading climate scientist, but she’s also an evangelical who’s married to a minister. She says part of the problem is that we’ve confused politics with faith. Friday, Hayhoe joins us to talk about religion, the environment, and bridging the divide between them. (Rebroadcast)

Honeybee Democracy

Jun 15, 2015
Eran Finkle, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/1kXvHTG

 

Over millions of years, honeybees have evolved to act collectively. Together, they identify and deliberate new nest locations and then navigate there as a swarm. Thomas Seeley loves honey bees, and he knows a lot about them. But there's one thing that's still a mystery to him: how do bees know when to swarm? As he searches for answers, Seeley's learning what these insects can teach humans about decision making. Seeley joins us Monday to talk about the lives of bees and their democratic nature. [Rebroadcast]

Photo by Travis Swan, CC via Flickr

Scott Sampson grew up outdoors: family camping trips … exploring the forest near his home. He says it’s part of the reason he’s a paleontologist and science educator today. Sampson cites studies that show how nature can combat obesity, reduce bullying, and boost grades for kids. So, here’s the question at the heart of his new book: why are American children staring at screens and not getting out into nature? Friday, Scott Sampson joins Doug to talk about How to Raise a Wild Child. (Rebroadcast)

Bad Faith

Jun 9, 2015

Tuesday, our guest is Dr. Paul Offit, whose new book examines the uneasy relationship between religion and medicine in America. Offit tells the stories of children who have died from treatable ailments because their parents put their faith in scripture over medical intervention. He says his message isn’t anti-religious, but that medical neglect is itself un-Christian. We’ll talk about the choices some parents make and why he says the legal system is failing our most vulnerable. 

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