Science

From physics to social studies, and paleontology to computers, science is important to our everyday lives. This page is a collection of such topics and stories.

Amazon

In their new book “Breakpoint: Reckoning with America's Environmental Crises,” eminent ecologist Jeremy B. C. Jackson and award-winning journalist Steve Chapple examine the looming threats from recent hurricanes and fires, industrial agriculture, river mismanagement, extreme weather events, drought, and rising sea levels that, they say, are pushing the country toward the breaking point of ecological and economic collapse.

 

Patrick Alexander / Flickr

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about the intersection of science and personal decision-making — and, of course, we're looking at it from two very different perspectives. 

Daphne Zaras / NSSL

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about climate, but at two very different scales. 

Amazon

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Getty Images

In UnDisciplined's first ever monthly science news roundup, we're joined by three researchers, plus a fellow science enthusiast, to take a look at recent science news through a bunch of different perspectives. 

National Institutes of Health

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about why we don't do the things we know we should do. Why, for instance, don't we get as much sleep as we're supposed to? And why do we often withhold information from our doctors? 

Utah Pulbic Radio

2018 is going to be remembered as a huge year in science. 

It was the year we took tremendous leaps forward in aritificial intelligence. It was when we faced the contorversial case of the world's first gene-edited babies. And,  it was the year we shot a billionaire's car into space. 

But here at Utah Public Radio, we're hoping 2018 is remembered for another reason: as they year we first started broadcasting UnDisciplined. 

Genetic Literacy Project

This week on UnDisciplined, we're joined by a scientist who helped create a transgenic mouse that can help us understand the human relationship with a vital molecule. We'll also chat with a researcher who just announced the discovery of nearly 50 new species right here in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

NASA

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking to a researcher whose work is going to change the way you think about the red planet. Then, we're going to talk to a scientist who is changing the way we think about how to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases. 

Wikipedia

At a recent Climate Change Town Hall in Logan, USU physicist and climate researcher Dr. Rob Davies invited audience members to share their stories of environmental change and activism. He encouraged brainstorming possible solutions to climate change and acknowledged the power of an individual to effect change in the world, even though “often we’re paralyzed, we’re passive because we don’t see the whole path to the finish line.”

kobo.com

Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?

Reimagining Geology's Role In The Cosmos

Nov 28, 2018
galaxy planets stars dwarf
National Geographic

Dr. Carol Dehler is an associate professor in the geology department at Utah State University.  In preparation for a talk she’s giving Friday she explains in brief how geologists fit in with other sciences.

Flickr: USFWS

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. We’ve lost 50% of the world’s coral in the last 30 years. Scientists say that climate change is now their greatest threat and it is estimated that only 10% can survive past 2050. In a new documentary film, “Chasing Coral,” a team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why coral are vanishing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Laurie Sparham/Miramax Films/Reuters

What do Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson have to do with ending crime waves and curing blindness? We'll find out this week when we're joined by guests Elizabeth Vargis and Sherry Towers. 

Planning For The Future, A Bioregional Approach

Nov 19, 2018
natural  resources undeveloped viewshed
Aubin Douglas


While winter may not boast the caravans of tourists we often see in the summer, there are still noticeable seasonal influxes in cities across the country. So, how does a city plan for this? A recent study by researchers at Utah State University highlights the use of bioregional planning for this purpose.

Alan Levine / Flickr

Each week on UnDisciplined, we bring two researchers together to talk about their recent work. 

This week, we're joined first by Karen Lloyd, whose research suggests microbial dark matter may be all around us. Then, we talked to Jacob Freeman, who uses trash to study the synchronous rise and fall of societies. 

Utah State University

Paul Rogers is racing to save a one-tree forest. Lisa Berreau is trying to prove that carbon monoxide can be good for us. Like we do every week, we'll try to draw connections between these two very different areas of work. 

Peter Forest / Getty Images (via NPR)

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about how evolving research impacts health recommendations. 

First, we're joined by Sarah Hartz, who believes that what you've been told about alcohol consumption is probably wrong. 

Then, we'll talk to Theo Ross, whose work shows that the health advice that comes from personal genetic testing often turns out to be wrong, too. 

Joseph S Wilson / Utah State University

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about measuring wildlife — but at two very different scales.

Emily Sadler uses microscopes to measure insect stingers.

David Stoner uses satellites to measure populations of mountain lions, plants and mule deer.

How will they measure up to one another? We'll find out. 

University of Utah

Clement Chow studies how—and why—two people can get the same disease and have very different outcomes. Josh Tewksbury's research team has developed a model indicating how human-caused climate change stands to make insects much hungrier. Together, we'll try and build some bridges between those two very different areas of research.

USU English Department

It’s a pledge drive special edition of Access Utah today. My special guest for the hour is Dr. Lynne McNeill, assistant professor of English at Utah State University. We’ll reach into the archives for parts of some of our favorite episodes of the program. We’ll hear a segment from our conversation on Slender Man, with Amanda Brennan, Dr. Elizabeth Tucker, and Dr. Trevor J.

Bipolar Network News

Ana Clara Bobadilla is a behavioral neuroscientist who discovered how a molecule may be able to help public health workers help people experiencing cocaine addiction. Rachael Kaspar is an evolutionary biologist who studies how bees work together to cool their hives. Together, we'll talk about bees and rats, and what we can learn about ourselves from both.

On The Streets Of New York

James Cutting studies the way moviemakers exploit human emotions to tell stories. Zach Gompert examines fundamental questions about evolutionary genetics. Together, we talk about how things change over time and whether we can predict those changes.

Close up of honey bee on purple aster flower with yellow center.
John Severns/Wikipedia Commons

The biblical tale says Noah rescued species from the flood by building an ark and loading it with a male and female of each species. In modern conservation, a literal ark won’t work. But USU scientists have determined a method that could help protect threatened species.

mkaku.org

Physicist and futurist Michio Kaku says that moving human civilization to the stars, formerly the domain of fiction, is increasingly becoming a scientific possibility–and a necessity.

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