About Joel Parker


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Joel Parker has written 76 articles so far, you can find them below.


Science Education, Evolution & Creationism

the book “Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails)" by Matt Young and Paul Strode

At its most basic level, science can be considered as non-political or at least politically neutral: science is dedicated to the collection of facts and interpreting them to help us understand the universe and how it works. For that reason, many people – one may even say our culture in general – places a high value in being scientifically literate. Or at least we pay lip service to that idea. But when the results of science end up contradicting and conflicting with other ideals such as religious beliefs, personal behaviors, or vested interests, then science can become very political. Perhaps the two most visible examples of this politicization of science are in the areas of climate change and evolution, where the discussion ranges from the White House and Congress to local school boards and textbooks. Our guest today has front line experience in several aspects of science and education. Dr. Paul Strode is a biology teacher in the Boulder Valley School District, and has been an instructor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado. Dr. Strode is co-author of the book: “Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails)” – also available and reviews here and here.

Hosts: Susan Moran and Joel Parker
Producer & Engineer: Joel Parker

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Cell Phone Safety

The World Health Organization has officially listed cells phones as a possible carcinogen. One expert who’s not surprised at the designation is University of Colorado, distinguished professor Frank Barnes. For decades, Barnes has cobbled together hard-to-find research dollars to study the biological effects of magnetic fields and radiation, including cell phone radiation. In 2008, he chaired a National Research Council report that called for more research into the health effects of all kinds of wireless technologies, including laptop computers, wireless phones, and cell phones. In today’s show, Frank Barnes talks with How on Earth’s Shelley Schlender about cell phone safety.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Tom McKinnon
Producer: Joel Parker
Engineer: Tom McKinnon

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Moonwalking with Einstein (Part 2) // Brain Evolution

We present the second part of Joel Parker’s interview of Joshua Foer, author of the book “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” (the full interview can be found here).  To round out the “brain theme” of the show, we also include an excerpt of BBC’s Science in Action where Jon Stuart talks with paleontologist Timothy Rowe about how our brains evolved and how scientists can study brains from long dead, ancient mammals.

Producer: Joel Parker
Hosts: Joel Parker, Susan Moran, Breanna Draxler
Engineer: Ted Burnham

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Pseudoscience // Conservation

Welcome to a special edition of How on Earth, done in conjunction with the Conference on World Affairs, which is being held this week on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus.  Our two guests are participants in the Conference on World Affairs.  This first part of the show is Conference Panel 2051 titled “Pseudoscience”, with guest Seth Shostak.  Dr. Shostak is a Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California.  Our second guest is Larry Schweiger is president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, the largest conservation organization in the U.S.  We talk with him about conservation and environmental policy.

Hosts: Joel Parker and Susan Moran
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker

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Scientific Citizen Astronauts // Scientific Performance Art

Scientists may soon ride along on "tourist" suborbital flights to do research.

This week on How On Earth, we talk with two Boulder researchers, Dan Durda and Cathy Olkin, who are training to become “scientist astronauts” on some of the first suborbital space flights provided by private companies in the post-shuttle era (extended interview available here).  We also hear about a show performed by Michelle Ellsworth, and developed in collaboration with scientist Rob Guralnick,that presents science using dance and theater performance art.

 

Hosts: Joel Parker, Breanna Draxler

Producer: Joel Parker

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From Jars to the Stars / Plants moving uphill

Artist's rendering of the Deep Impact spacecraft encountering a comet

Artist's rendering of the Deep Impact spacecraft encountering a comet. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/UMD/Pat Rawlings.

Our guest this week is Todd Neff, who was a science reporter for Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper and is author of a new book, From Jars to the Stars: How Ball Came to Build a Comet-Hunting Machine, about the history of Ball Aerospace. Neff joins us to speak about that history and the challenges Ball faced when designing and building the Deep Impact spacecraft that intentionally collided with a comet in 2005. We also hear from Jon Stewart of the BBC’s Science in Action about how climate change is actually driving plants downhill.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Ted Burnham

Producer: Joel Parker

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