Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

UnDisciplined: Science News Roundup - September 2019

Heiko Kiera / Fotalia
This week, among other science news stories, we'll discuss New Zealand's "rat-pocalypse," and what dramatic scientific solutions are being discussed to solve it.

This week on the show, we're talking about the science behind Hurricane Dorian, a "rat-pocalypse," a new human ancestor, and poison dart frogs. Everybody on the show is an expert on something, but none of them is an expert on those things. 

We're joined this week by Safeez Safarian, an associate professor of physics and atronomy and adjunct assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Utah; Rodrigo Noriega, an assistant professor of physical and material chemistry at the University of Utah; Susan Matt, a social and cultural historian at Weber State University who last joined us to talk about a recent book, "Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Changing Feelings About Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter;" and last but not least: Danielle Lemmon, a doctoral candidate in Boulder, Colo. working on the diversity of El Nino events.  

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.