Science

It's scary, but by now it's also obvious -- our environment today contains thousands (literally, thousands) of toxic chemicals that it did NOT contain just a few decades ago. How are these chemicals affecting our health? And what can we, as individuals, do about this? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the co-author of a new book called "Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World." Dr. Aly Cohen is a board certified rheumatologist and integrative medicine specialist, as well as an environmental health expert based in Princeton, New Jersey.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the science writer Riley Black, who writes under the pen name of Brian Switek. Black tells us about her newest book, which is just out in paperback, "Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone." It offers, per The Wall Street Journal, "a provocative and entertaining magical mineral tour through the life and afterlife of bone." And further, per the journal Nature: "A thoughtful, engaging meditation on the origins of the human skeleton, how it functions (or malfunctions), and how we come to terms with our essential but unsettling osseous framework."

How do we learn? And how do we learn best? What are the most effective ways of educating today? Our guest on ST is Dr. Sanjay Sarma, who's the leader of the Open Learning program at MIT. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Grasp." This pioneering work looks at the science of learning -- i.e., how the acquisition of knowledge works both in the mind and in the classroom. The book also explores which teaching techniques are most effective -- and why -- and how schools should (and should not) use instructional technology, including online teaching apps and programs.

Our guest is Pam Fessler, an award-winning correspondent with NPR News who mainly covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Carville's Cure," which is tells the fascinating and little-known story of the only leprosy colony in the continental United States. This facility, located in remote Carville, Louisiana, somehow became -- over the course of the 20th century -- much more of a refuge than a prison.

Our guest is Robert Kolker, a bestselling author and journalist who has written for New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and other publications. He joins us to discuss his fascinating new book, "Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family." It's a page-turning profile -- as much a detailed group biography as it is a keen work of science journalism -- of a certain post-WWII American family in which several of the family's twelve children suffered from acute schizophrenia.

Our guest is Zach St. George, a science reporter who has written for The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Outside, among other publications. He joins us to discuss his new book, "The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future." The book offers an up-close examination of forest migration, and moreover presents a sort of "group portrait" of the people studying the forests of the past, those protecting the forests of the present, and those planting the forests of the future.

Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and other outlets. Her new book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. The book is called "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." This work, per The New York Times Book Review, focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

Today, in labs and clinics all over the globe, the search for a COVID-19 vaccine is moving incredibly fast. On this edition of ST, we offer an interesting and optimistic account from the vaccine-related annals of American history as we revisit a 2015 interview from our archives. At that time, we spoke with Dr. Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs about her biography, "Jonas Salk: A Life." The book also offers a fascinating cultural hitory of polio in the US.

(Note: This interview first aired back in October.) Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

If fracking leads to more frequent earthquakes, then why do some states that've experienced widespread fracking (like Oklahoma) have so many more earthquakes than do certain other states (like Ohio) that've also experienced widespread fracking? The answer might be in the "basement," so to speak. Our guest is Dr. Brett Carpenter, an Assistant Professor of Geology and Geophysics at The University of Oklahoma.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Lori Melichar, a labor economist with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Per the RWJF website, Lori is "a senior director [who] focuses on discovering, exploring, and learning from cutting-edge ideas with the potential to help create a Culture of Health. She is also the host of the Foundation's Pioneering Ideas podcast.

Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written new book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

Our guest is the gardening expert Benjamin Vogt, who grew up in Oklahoma and Minnesota and is now based in Nebraska, and who is also the author of "A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." Vogt will deliver the keynote address at a day-long gathering happening in OKC on Wednesday the 28th called "Rewilding Oklahoma: A Symposium for People, Places, and Pollinators." This event will highlight statewide successes in pollinator conservation, and you can learn more about it here.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is a Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur whose new book examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run just about every single aspect of our lives.  Kartik Hosanagar is our guest, he's the author of "A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control." Hosanagar says algorithms are doing more than shaping our Netflix and Amazon recommendations. They're assisting HR executives in who gets a job interview, or criminal justice officials on who gets probation or parole.

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) Our guest is Frans de Waal, a professor in Emory University's Psychology Department as well as the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He joins us to discuss his book, "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves." Per The New York Times Book Review, the book is "game-changing.... For too long, emotion has been cognitive researchers' third rail.... But nothing could be more essential to understanding how people and animals behave.

Our guest for this installment of Found@TU is Dr. Erin Iski, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry here at the University of Tulsa. She describes her research in nanoscale surface chemistry, in which she uses an innovative Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to study the interaction of atoms and molecules on surfaces. Dr.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in November.) News flash: Cats do not meow at random. Nor do they hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds do have a purpose -- and they can carry important messages. But what ARE those messages? Our guest has some interesting answers: Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University in Sweden, is part of a long-standing research program exploring how and why cats use vocal communication...with each other and with their human caretakers.

Our guest is the Yale- and Cambridge-trained space archaeologist, Egyptologist, and satellite-imagery pioneer, Sarah Parcak. She's known for employing infrared imaging -- i.e., hi-tech images captured by a satellite orbiting the Earth -- in order to locate thousands of undiscovered archaeological sites worldwide. Dr. Parcak is also known for developing the ongoing GlobalXplorer project, which is an online community whereby "citizen scientists" can assist in the search for lost civilizations.

Our guest is Frans de Waal, a professor in Emory University's Psychology Department as well as the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He joins us to discuss his new book, the bestselling "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves." Per The New York Times Book Review, the book is "game-changing.... For too long, emotion has been cognitive researchers' third rail.... But nothing could be more essential to understanding how people and animals behave.

Our guest is the well-known hacker, inventor, entrepreneur, and technology futurist, Pablos Holman. An internationally recognized expert in 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, automated manufacturing, and cryptocurrency, Holman has contributed to our vision of tomorrow in a way that few others have. At The Intellectual Ventures Lab, he's worked on a brain-surgery tool, a machine to suppress hurricanes, 3D food printers, and a laser that can shoot down mosquitos (in order to help eradicate malaria).

Our guest is the science journalist, author, and editor Katherine Harmon Courage, whose new book -- which she tells us about -- is "Cultured: How Ancient Foods Can Feed Our Microbiome." What is the best way for us to feed, and to care for, our all-important microbiome -- and what is a microbiome, anyway? Courage investigates such questions by way of ancient food traditions as well as the latest research for maintaining a healthy gut. (Please note that Katherine Harmon Courage will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing on Wednesday the 20th at Magic City Books.)

Our guests are Mike Appel and Emily Oakley, the husband-and-wife team behind Three Springs Farm, a small but active organic farm in Oaks, Oklahoma (about an hour east of Tulsa). Mike and Emily are well-known for their long-standing gig at the Cherry Street Farmers' Market, where they sell their produce on Saturdays from April to September. They join us on ST Medical Monday for a detailed chat about growing and selling organic food -- and about, more generally, farming at the grassroots scale.

(Note: This program originally aired in December.) Our guest is Anna Leahy, director of the Creative Writing Program at Chapman University. She joins us to discuss her book, "Tumor." A brief yet thoughtful volume that is part memoir, part study, and part history, the book was thus praised by Prof. Kristen Iversen at the University of Cincinnati: "In clear, compelling language, Leahy writes with insight and empathy about cancer and the social and cultural dimensions of one of our greatest fears.

The earth's climate has warmed significantly since the late 19th century, and the activities of humankind -- primarily greenhouse-gas emissions -- are the main cause behind this warming. Such is the consensus view of the world's climate scientists. On today's ST, we explore the issue of climate change with a noted **political** scientist. Joshua Busby is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs and a Distinguished Scholar at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas.

(Note: This program originally aired back in October.) On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., who is an adjunct professor at Columbia and a lecturer at Yale. She joins us to discuss her book, "Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything." Per Publishers Weekly: "Science writer Epstein gives readers a lucid and entertaining look at the social and scientific history of endocrinology.

Our guest is Anna Leahy, director of the Creative Writing Program at Chapman University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Tumor." A brief yet thoughtful volume that is part memoir, part study, and part history, the book was thus praised by Prof. Kristen Iversen at the University of Cincinnati: "In clear, compelling language, Leahy writes with insight and empathy about cancer and the social and cultural dimensions of one of our greatest fears.

News flash: Cats do not meow at random. Nor do they hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds do have a purpose -- and they can carry important messages. But what ARE those messages? Our guest on ST has some very interesting answers: Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University in Sweden, is part of a long-standing research program exploring how and why cats use vocal communication...with each other and with their human caretakers. Schötz has a new book out called "The Secret Language of Cats: How to Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship."

Our guest is Janna Levin, the noted scientist and author who's also a Guggenheim Fellow and a professor of physics and astronomy at Columbia University's Barnard College. On Tuesday night, October 2nd, she will deliver a University of Tulsa Presidential Lecture at 7:30pm in the TU Reynolds Center. Levin's latest book, now out in paperback, is "Black Hole Blues" -- and she'll draw from this book (musing on everything from the characteristics of black holes to the ageless union of art and science to the very nature of reality) when she gives her free-to-the-public talk at TU.

On this edition of ST, we learn about a free-to-the-public event happening tomorrow (Saturday the 22nd) at the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area in Tulsa (at 6850 South Elwood Avenue). Tulsa's River Parks Authority will present "Monarchs on the Mountain," a festival celebrating the vital role that Eastern Oklahoma plays in the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration, every autumn, from Canada to Mexico.

The Judy O. Berry Honorary Lecture Series is an annual symposium presented by the TU Department of Psychology; the series features topics related to risk and resilience in children and in families. This year's keynote speaker is our guest on StudioTulsa: Dr. Courtney Stevens is Associate Professor and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

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