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Playlist: Science

Compiled By: Jeff Conner

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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:

Yule Like This

From Big Picture Science | Part of the Big Picture Science series | 54:00

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(repeat)  Fir tree needles embedded in carpet are a holiday headache.  Why not decorate a genetically-modified, needle-retaining tree instead?  It’s just another way that science is relevant to the holidays.  We have more.

How about science experiments on fruitcake?  There’s a competition that includes launching it with a pneumatic device, running a heavy electric current though it, or blasting it with a blowtorch.  Meanwhile, physics provides insight into those tricky how-does-he-do-it questions about Santa’s delivery rounds.   

Finally, step away from the relatives and consider the implications of the winter solstice. 

Enjoy a better holiday through science!

Guests:

Sidedoor (Series)

Produced by Smithsonian

Most recent piece in this series:

Wild Orchid Mystery

From Smithsonian | Part of the Sidedoor series | 22:47

Side_door_logo_640x640_small You probably know orchids as the big, colorful flowers found in grocery stores and given as housewarming gifts. But those tropical beauties represent only a fraction of the estimated 25,000 orchid species worldwide. While their showy relatives fly off the shelves, North America’s more understated native orchids are disappearing in the wild. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are working to protect these orchids and their habitats, but first they need solve a surprisingly difficult problem: how to grow one.

Planetary Radio (Series)

Produced by Mat Kaplan

Most recent piece in this series:

A Toast to Alcohol in Space

From Mat Kaplan | Part of the Planetary Radio series | 28:50

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They are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt that alcoholic beverages have been part of human culture for as long as there has been human culture. And there’s no reason to think booze won’t follow us across the solar system. Host Mat Kaplan talks with Chris Carberry about his eye-opening book, Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future. The December Solstice edition of The Planetary Report is now online. Editor-in-chief Emily Lakdawalla provides an enticing overview of its contents. We’ve also got headlines from The Downlink, and a glance at the crowded night sky in What’s Up. Hear and learn more at:  https://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/1204-2019-chris-carberry-alcohol.html

Climate One (Series)

Produced by Climate One

Most recent piece in this series:

2019-12-06 High Risks, High Hopes: A Year of Climate Conversations

From Climate One | Part of the Climate One series | 58:58

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In this special episode we look back at the climate stories of 2019 by listening to excerpts from a year of climate conversations.

Although many climate conversations talk about impacts on future generations, all too often those younger generations are not at the table or in the room. So how are young people taking charge of their climate future? For Isha Clarke, a high school student and activist from Oakland, California, by speaking truth to the senior U.S. Senator from her state.

The climate conversation in Washington has changed enough that Democrats and Republicans are talking climate deals. A lot of that change can be attributed to the Green New Deal, a Democratic resolution co-sponsored Sen. Ed Markey, who has served over 40 years in Congress and co-authored the last big legislative push for national climate policy a decade ago.

What does a former advisor to Richard Nixon think about the climate crisis? Political analyst David Gergen, who served in four presidential administrations, favors urgent action on climate but is skeptical of the all-encompassing vision of the Green New Deal.

Shortly after the U.S. Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Greg Dalton sat down for a rare interview with the new EPA chief at a conference on the future of personal mobility.

In 2018, Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida, proposed legislation that would impose a carbon tax, which garnered the support of many of his GOP colleagues. What inspired him to act on an unpopular cause? 

Would you vote for the candidate who says he’ll declare climate change a national emergency on Day One of his presidency? Businessman and activist Tom Steyer says his willingness to use emergency powers to deal with the climate crisis sets him apart from the crowded field of Democratic candidates.

As people are attracted to areas of lower vulnerability, developers see an opportunity to make a killing. Valencia Gunder, a community organizer and climate educator in Miami, recognizes the irony. As longtime residents are being priced out of their community, climate change isn’t helping matters.

In his new book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells explores how climate change will impact not just the planet, but human lives – including how a five degree increase in temperatures would make parts of the planet unsurvivable.

Many of us find it daunting to talk with our neighbors, colleagues and family members about climate change. But climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says that having those difficult conversations is the first step towards solving the problem.

Sound Ecology (Series)

Produced by Jessica Eden

Most recent piece in this series:

Sound Ecology: Northern Harrier

From Jessica Eden | Part of the Sound Ecology series | 01:59

Sound_ecology_logo_small An audio postcard featuring the northern harrier. Formerly called a marsh hawk, naturalist Ken Burton shares some life history about this easily identified raptor.

Got Science? (Series)

Produced by Got Science

Most recent piece in this series:

How “Evidence-Based” Became a Dirty Word

From Got Science | Part of the Got Science? series | 28:30

Got-science-podcast_small Dr. Jacob Carter explores the consequences of the Trump administration’s attacks on science.