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UnDisciplined: The Sociologist And The Bioengineer

This week on UnDisciplined, we're going to chat with a scientist who is trying to solve a big challenge: engineering blood vessels for transplantation into human bodies. After that, we'll talk to a researcher who is trying to solve a challenge that might be even bigger: reducing gender pay disparities in corporate America. 

Joining us in the studios of Utah Public Radio is Christy Glass, a professor of sociology at Utah State University. Her team's recent study in the journal Human Relations suggests — perhaps surprisingly — that integrating women into the boards of directors and compensation committees at Fortune 500 companies isn't enough to impact gender pay disparities. But, giving those women influence on those boards and committees as the chair, does. 

With us on the line from North Carolina, where he is the associate director of new product development at Humacyte, Inc. is Robert Kirkton. His team's recent study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, describes a process for bioengineering blood vessels that, when installed into the arms of dialysis patients, were successfully integrated into their circulatory systems. 

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.