Health & Science

Science news

Sea turtle ensnared in plastic netting.
Photograph by Jordi Chias / National Geographic

Plastics. They’ve changed medicine, transportation, and food and water safety. But they've also become a global headache. There's more than six billion tons of plastic trash in the world. What can be done about the problem of plastics?

Quackery

Oct 26, 2018
Photo by Wayne S. Grazio, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/2DVg7uK

Friday, we’re talking about some of the weirdest ways we’ve tried to cure our bodies and minds through the ages. Doctor and author Lydia Kang is our guide and she says we still need to be saved from quacks.

Atlantic Magazine. Used with permission.

What do we expect from our virtual assistants and what happens when we let them be teacher, therapist, and friend? Journalist Judith Shulevitz joins us to talk about how much we should trust Alexa.

American Wolf

Oct 19, 2018
Doug McLaughlin

The 1995 reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone was controversial, and added more fuel to the blazing feud between conservationists and the ranchers and hunters who wish wolves had never returned.

Open pea pod showing four peas.
Isabel Eyre / Flickr CC

Tuesday, science writer Carl Zimmer joins us to talk about the power of heredity. The traits we share with our parents or kids, how does that work exactly? Zimmer says it can be a gift or a curse.

The End Of Night

Oct 5, 2018

Artificial light devours energy, disrupts our sleep patterns, and has even been linked to cancer. Yet eight in ten Americans born today won't ever live where they can see the Milky Way.

Huffington Post/Highline

Nearly 80 percent of American adults are clinically overweight or obese. Journalist Michael Hobbes says the medical community has responded to this crisis by shaming people for being fat rather than helping them.

A honeybee flying towards a flower
Public domain

A lot of people hate bugs, but even most bug haters have a soft spot for bees. The biologist Thor Hanson has written a new book that explores the natural history of bees. It's about where they come from, how they work and how we can help them.

The Happiness Curve

Sep 11, 2018
National Gallery of Art / Public Domain

Around our 40s, there's a feeling of malaise and discontentment that can hit us all, even when we're at the top of our game. It turns out it is part of a natural cycle and life gets better after 50.

Psychedelic flax landscape.
AK Rockefeller / CC via Flickr

The writer Michael Pollan is with us to talk about his book on psychedelics. It’s about their potential to heal mental illnesses, and to explore the subject, Pollan took a few trips himself.

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