Science

Science news

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. 

The average person has about 4,000 thoughts a day. Most are fleeting snippets, some are banal, and sometimes, they can be disruptive. But when most people question whether they left the coffee maker or imagine something bizarre like jumping out into traffic, they shake it off. A person with OCD though can’t let it go, and may spend as many as 6 hours a day obsessing over that one idea. Friday, Doug’s guest is the science writer David Adam. He’s written a book about OCD and his own life lost in thought. (Rebroadcast)

Why Men Fight

Jun 2, 2015
Gilberto Tadday

  When a mixed martial arts studio moved in across the street from literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall’s office, the timing couldn’t have been better. Gottschall was in a mid-life crisis; he was out of shape and his academic career was stalling. So joining the gym was personal, but he was also fascinated by these questions: Why do men fight and why do we like to watch? Tuesday, Gottschall joins Doug to talk about his experience in the cage, and about violence and the rituals that contain it.

Can everyone be creative? The psychologist James Kaufman says yes, with a caveat. Not many people are going to be a Mozart or a Frida Kahlo. But you can nurture your creative side, and research shows it can make you happier, funnier, and even sexier. Thursday, we’re kicking off a series of short #creativeutah challenges in partnership with the Utah Arts Festival. Kaufman will join us to explain what science says about our creative potential. (Hint: it does require follow-through and hard work.)

The New Wild

May 19, 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 it would 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.

Ray Troll, www.trollart.com

For centuries, wild salmon runs around the world have been disappearing, due largely to industrial development and dam construction. So when you see salmon on a restaurant menu, it’s likely the meat came from a fish farm. Filmmaker and fisherman Mark Titus went on a personal journey to learn what’s happening to America’s salmon and figure out what can be done to restore them and their waters to better health. He joins us Tuesday to talk about his new documentary about the future of wild salmon.

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