This month has been marked by protests and rallies across the country. Americans are calling for racial justice, and scientists and scholars in academia are talking about how to dismantle systemic racism in their fields of study.
A multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics has started a movement called #ShutDownSTEM.
To learn more about this movement, Candice Limper spoke with Graduate Student Jeff Pea. We’ll hear their conversation at the beginning of the show.
Butterfly being struck by raindrop (video courtesy of Dr. Sunny Jung)
In the second part of today’s show, Dr. Scarlett Lee speaks with Dr. Sunghwan “Sunny” Jung. His laboratory studies how insects, birds and plants survive pounding forces experienced during hard rains. Dr. Jung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering in the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His journal article can be found at: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/25/13901
We close out the show with the science news.
Show Host: Marty Alani
Show Producer: Esther Racoosin
Interview of Jeff Pea: Candice Limper
Interview of Dr. Sunghwan “Sunny” Jung: Scarlett Lee
On today’s show, we will be covering different scientific topics
relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, Dr. Scarlett Lee interviews Doug Olsen, Vice President of operations at Ithaca-based Rheonix, Inc., about his company’s COVID-19 MDx Assay using their Encompass workstation. Rheonix recently received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for their machine that quickly analyzes nasopharyngeal swab test samples.
Sadly, it was postponed due to COVID-19. We decided to bring the spirit of the conference (that wasn’t) to you through interviews we conducted at the previous PCST conference that was held in Dunedin, New Zealand in 2018. In Dunedin, we spoke with attendees who have/had connections to the Finger Lakes region, especially to Cornell University.
Bruce Lewenstein has been on this show many times before. He is one of the founders of the PCST network. He is a Professor of Science Communication at Cornell University and the Chair of the Department of Science and Technology studies. He talked to us about the importance of the PCST network.
We also interviewed two of his former students, who are both well-established professors now: Dominique Brossard is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and John Besley is the Ellis N. Brandt professor of Public relations at Michigan State University.
Two other conference attendees with Cornell ties were Christine O’Connell, who at the time was a professor at Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and School of Journalism. Since then she became the Executive Director of a nonprofit foundation called Riley’s Way. She talked to us about the workshop she has developed, that focused on women in STEM fields and bias in science communication. Christine received her bachelor’s degree at Cornell.
We also spoke to Vicki Martin about how Citizen Science fits into Public Communication. Vicki was a Research Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Future Environments at the Queensland University of Technology.
In today’s episode, we observe the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day by exploring soil bacteria and volcanology. We also learn about how to observe the natural world that surrounds us.
We start off with a brief history of Earth Day presented by Candice Limper.
In our feature interview, Janani Harihanan speaks with soil scientist Dr. Roland Wilhelm. They discuss the newly discovered and characterized soil bacterium Paraburkholderia madseniana, which is named after the late Cornell scientist Eugene Madsen. Dr. Wilhelm also talks about the fascinating ways that plants and soil bacteria interact with each other.
Later on in the show, Liz Mahood presents an overview of one of Earth’s most iconic features, the volcano. She talks about some current volcano research and what scientists are learning about the causes of some eruptions.
We also hear from local educator Laurie Rubin about the benefits of getting outside and observing the natural world.
We close out the show with a poetry reading, in observance of National Poetry Month. Local author Jay Leeming reads “At the Falls”, from his book Miracle Atlas.