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UnDisciplined: The Climatologist, The Political Scientist, And The Cultural Historian

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This week on UnDisciplined, we talked to a researcher who helped author a recent paper that adds a startling data point to the link between precipitation and fatal car crashes.

Usually on UnDisciplined, we bring together two scientists to build interdisciplinary connections — but one of the research efforts we're talking about is already really interdisciplinary. So this week, we're going rogue. 

We're going to talk about the intersection of human nature and technology. 

Joining us by phone from the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies is Scott Stevens. He was the first author on a recent paperfor the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society that adds a startling data point to something that we've all sort of known, but for which there just hasn't been that much research in the past: The link between precipitation and fatal car accidents. 

With is in studio are Luke Fernandez and Susan Matt, both of Weber State University. He is a political scientist in the Department of Computer Sciene; she is a social and cultural historian. Together they're the authors of a recent book called "Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Changing Feelings about Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter."

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.