Seth Shostak is an American astronomer, currently Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute and former Director of Center for SETI Research when it was a separate department. Shostak is an active participant in the Institute's observation programs and has been hosting SETI's weekly radio show Big Picture Science.
Water is essential for life – that we know. But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life. Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise raise sea levels. It’s part of Earth’s cooling system, a barrier preventing decaying organic matter from releasing methane gas, and a vault entombing ancient bacteria and other microbes.  From the Arctic to the Antarctic, global ice is disappearing. Find out what’s at stake as atmospheric CO2 threatens frozen H2O.  Guests: Peter Wadhams- Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University in the U.K. and the author of A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic Eric Rignot- Earth systems scientist, University of California, Irving, senior research scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Åsmund Asdal- Biologist, Nordic Genetic Resource Center, coordinator for operations and management of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Svalbard, Norway John Priscu- Polar biologist, Montana State University Originally aired August 14, 2017  
Think you’re some kind of expert? Join the club. It’s one thing to question authority; another to offer up your untrained self as its replacement. Rebellion may be a cherished expression of American individualism, but, from sidelining Dr. Fauci to hiding public health data, find out what we lose when we silence health experts and “go with our gut” during a pandemic. Plus, from ancestors to algorithms: how we’ve replaced credentialed experts with sketchy web sites and social media posts. Guests: Charles Piller – Investigative reporter for Science magazine Alison Galvani – Epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, at Yale University  Tom Nichols – Professor, international affairs, U.S. Naval War College, and author of “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters” Alex Bentley – Anthropologist, University of Tennessee and author of “The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms”
Inhale. Now exhale. Notice anything different? Our response to the virus is changing the air in unexpected ways. A pandemic-driven pause on travel has produced clear skies and a world-wide air quality experiment. And a new study reveals that hundreds of tons of microplastics are raining down on us each day.  But we can improve the quality of the breaths we do take; engineers have devised a high-tech mask that may kill coronavirus on contact. Plus, although you do it 25,000 times a day, you may not be breathing properly. Nose-breathing vs mouth breathing: getting the ins-and-outs of respiration. Guests: Janice Brahney - Environmental biogeochemist at Utah State University Sally Ng - Atmospheric scientist, chemical engineer at Georgia Tech. Chandan Sen - Professor, department of surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine. James Nestor - Author of “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.”
COVID Curiosities Some dogs and cats have become sick with COVID. But it’s not just domestic critters that are vulnerable: zoo animals have fallen ill too. There’s more strange news about the pandemic, for example scientists who track the coronavirus in our sewage, and computer models that show that flushing the toilet can launch persistent, pathogenic plumes into the room. And scientists have warned the WHO that infectious virus remains airborne. Also, how a shortage of glass vials could delay the deployment of a vaccine. Guests: Yvette Johnson-Walker - Epidemiologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and affiliate faculty with the University of Chicago Illinois School of Public Health. Rolf Halden - Professor and Director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University. Bryan Bzdek - Chemist, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, U.K. Megan Molteni - Staff writer, “Wired.”  
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Creator Details

Jul 20th, 1943
Mountain View, CA, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 weeks, 3 hours
Podchaser Creator ID logo 592478