In-studio guests Jeff King, Director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines, and Len Ackland, Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, discuss the recent nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. We look at the accident itself and how it might impact the future of nuclear power in the United States.
Producer: Tom McKinnon
Co-hosts: Tom McKinnon and Tom Yulsman
Engineer: Ted Burnham
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.
In honor of KGNU’s Kid’s Week, we go to the Boulder County Science Fair with How on Earth’s Tom McKinnon. In turns out three of the five students Tom interviewed before the judging began ended up as winners at the science show! Then, we look at CSAPs-Colorado’s Student Assessment Program. That style of standardized test for Reading, Writing, Math and Science is being phased out, in favor of The Colorado Growth Model that’s so innovative, it’s being adopted in several other states. How on Earth’s Shelley Schlender interviews cognitive scientist Bill Bonk, who’s on the team developing the Colorado Growth Model, which you can see at schoolview.org.
Ted Burnham inteviews CU PhD student Christine Fanchiang on her role in helping the BioServe program prepare experiments for a ride on the Space Shuttle.
Tom McKinnon talks to Beth Beckel, an Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Specialist with Boulder County EnergySmart Service. Beth tells us how this new county program can help homeowners and renters save money, increase indoor comfort, and help the environment. Click here for the EnergySmart portion of HOE.
This week we’ll feature CU Medical School Immunologist John Cohen, who has just received the American Association for the Advancement of Science top award for promoting public understanding of Science. In addition to teaching at the Medical School, Cohen is the founder of Mini Med and the lead “disorganizer” of the Denver Cafe Sci. We’ll also talk with Emory University researcher Zixu Mao about a new link between Parkinson’s disease and the health of the mitochondria within a cell, and we’ll hear from BBC Science in Action about some top choices in Europe for new Astronomy pursuits.
Our two features for this week’s show: Susan Moran interviewed Joel Smith, principal at Stratus Consulting in Boulder, who has been helping the city adapt to climate change—in particular, by smartly managing its water supply; and Tom Yulsman interviewed John Troeltzsch, the Kepler mission program manager for Boulder-based Ball Aerospace, which built one of the key instruments for the mission, as well as the spacecraft itself.
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.
This week on How On Earth, University of Colorado earth scientist Roger Bilham joins us in the studio to talk about his latest study, which shows a correlation between the prevalence of corruption in a country and the likelihood of civilian deaths during an earthquake. And Shelley Schlender talks to HOE contributor and astrophysicist Joel Parker about how the science of astronomy can have an impact on the pseudoscientific world of astrology.
On this week’s How On Earth, we’re joined by the University of Colorado’s Bruce Jakosky, principle investigator on the MAVEN satellite mission that will investigate Mars’ upper atmosphere. NASA granted final approval to MAVEN last fall, and the spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2013. Also, Ted Burnham speaks with Carol Finn, incoming president of the American Geophysical Union, about the need for scientists to communicate better with the public.
Hosts: Joel Parker, Ted Burnham Producer: Shelley Schlender