Elsa Partan

Producer for Living Lab

Elsa Partan is a producer for Living Lab Radio. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.
 

Ways to Connect

jim gade / unsplash

For at least two decades, scientists have been working to understand what our world would be like if it were – on average – two degrees Celsius warmer than before the industrial revolution. It’s a somewhat arbitrary number – that two degrees - but it came from analyses suggesting it might be a feasible target that would avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Wikicommons, https://tinyurl.com/y8mnnnh7

Nobel Week for scientists -- it's like the World Series and Super Bowl Sunday all wrapped into one. In recent years the excitement has been surrounded by controversy: about who does and who doesn't end up on the winner's list.

Tevaprapas, https://tinyurl.com/ya55qwxd

Meditation is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years. In its original form, it requires nothing more than a place to sit.

But meditation and mindfulness have gained newfound popularity in recent years. And, as with everything else in our lives, technology seems to be creeping in -- from meditation apps to experiments with brain-stimulating electronic signals.  

Fall is a beautiful time of year. But it is – unfortunately – also the start of cold and flu season. 

captaincinema, https://tinyurl.com/yawjpx2j

We’ve often heard that Facebook and Twitter are making it too easy to encase ourselves in bubbles of like-mindedness. We’ve been told that these echo chambers are fueling political polarization and that we should be exposed to differing opinions.

New research shows that idea might be wrong.

Flavio Gasperini / unsplash

Over the past few years, breakthroughs in quantum physics and astrophysics have been making international headlines. (Think Higgs boson and gravitational waves.)

But many of us struggle to understand what these advances mean or why we should even care.

A new book attempts to explain elements of quantum physics with the help of heavy metal.

Martha Dominguez de Gouveia / unsplash

Sustainability has become a major buzzword in the corporate world. In 2015-2016, eighty percent of Fortune 500 companies produced sustainability reports, and seventy percent reported their carbon footprints last year.

Greg Skomal shares his approach to staying safe around white sharks.
hermanusbackpackers https://tinyurl.com/qcr6mw4

The death of a 26-year-old man off the coast of Wellfleet September 15th marked the first deadly shark attack in Massachusetts in more than 80 years.

But it was also the second shark attack here in a month. Sixty-one-year-old William Lytton was bitten by a great white off of Truro on August 15. He survived.

Ben Hershey / unsplash

Each year, more than 450,000 kids show up in the emergency room to be evaluated and treated for head injuries. Now, no parent relishes the idea of taking their child to the hospital with a concussion. But growing concern about the long-term effects of head injuries have made that already stressful situation even more fraught. And the best course of action isn’t always clear.

NOAA

A year ago, hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico with winds so strong that some wondered whether the Saffir-Simpson scale for rating hurricanes needed a category 6 added to it. Now, hurricane Florence has reignited that discussion – but with a twist.

Two weeks ago, we brought you a conversation with Julie Libarkin - a researcher at Michigan State University who has spent two years compiling a database of more than seven hundred cases of sexual misconduct in academia. That database contains some shocking stories, as well as evidence that serial abusers are a prevalent problem in academic settings. But the database is far from comprehensive.

Kerstin Forsberg is a Peruvian marine scientist and the champion of conserving the giant manta ray
Courtesy New England Aquarium

Just off the coast of Peru, there's a huge amount of sea life. There are whales, a robust fishing industry, and a strange, gentle creature the size of a car called the giant manta ray.

"Re-engineering Humanity" is about how information technology is making us act like machines.
Courtesy Cambridge University Press

We know that smart phones and other information technology are changing the way we live and the way we relate to other people, but could they actually be making us dumber?

Fifty years after discovering pulsars, astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded one of the most lucrative prizes in science.
DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock

Each month, we check in with the writers at Nature News to talk about the stories they've been following. This time we speak with Nisha Gaind, Nature News European bureau chief.

NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

As hurricane Florence approached the east coast this past week, weather forecasters warned of an historic disaster. But, they didn’t say a lot about why this storm had gotten so big or so powerful.

Pages