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.
 

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UMass Boston

Severe coastal flooding during storms in January and March of this year jolted Massachusetts residents and officials into an unwelcome awareness of just how vulnerable we are to rising sea levels. Last month, Governor Baker announced a 1.4 billion dollar bond bill to finance climate resilience efforts.

baa.org

Not all marathoners are twenty-somethings, or even forty-somethings. Last year, the oldest finisher in the Boston Marathon was eighty four years old. This year, a seventy-nine year old three-time cancer survivor is running the race. What is the secret of these older athletes?

William & Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The severe coastal flooding brought by storms in January and March has drawn renewed attention to the issue of sea level rise, and how prepared or unprepared we are for it.  

Official poster from the March for Science

Last April, tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of scientists and science enthusiasts took to the streets in the first March for Science. This year, there will again be marches. But the March for Science has changed – from a volunteer-led protest to a global network of science advocacy groups. 

An 18th-century woodcut from a religious tract

New England isn’t exactly a major earthquake hotspot, but we do get small earthquakes every year. A magnitude 2.7 rattled New Hampshire and parts of Massachusetts in mid-February just this year.

northwestern.edu

There’s new evidence that gender stereotypes of scientists are changing. Researchers looked at drawings of scientists made by more than 20,000 children and found that 28 percent drew their scientist as a woman. That’s a dramatic increase from the .6 percent researchers saw 50 years ago, but there’s still room for growth.

noaa.gov

The ocean has a plastic problem. And it’s growing. Several million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, and much of it ends up swirling around in the middle of ocean basins.

There is a long and troubling history of science – or at least pseudoscience – being used to justify racism and discrimination. The nineteenth century practice of phrenology is a commonly cited – and thoroughly debunked – example.

Millions of people use social media, many overuse it, and some are actually clinically addicted. Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor at the Binghamton University School of Management, says that about fifteen to twenty percent of the college students he works with fall into the problematic category. But who is most likely to develop a social media problem?

Northeastern Illinois University

Cindy Voisine grew up in Fort Kent, Maine – a small town with a strong French Canadian influence. Her family is bilingual, and she was the first in her family to go to college. She grew up thinking she would become a medical doctor, the only career she knew of that would satisfy her interest in biology. But her ideas changed when she got to Bates College.

Solar energy is one of the most contentious topics out there. Some see it as the way to a carbon-neutral energy system, while others say it’s a boondoggle. Varun Sivaram has worked in the ivory tower of academia, the nitty gritty of municipal governance, and the high-risk, high-reward world of tech start-ups. Along the way, he’s come face to face with the differing views of solar, and he attempts to pull them all together and put them in perspective in his new book, Taming the Sun.

 

 

We know we have an opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental deaths for Americans under the age of 50. But the problem is far worse in some places than in others. A new county-by-county analysis of deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse highlights just how enormous the disparities can be.

L. Lerner

There’s been a steady decline in mental health among teens and young adults in recent decades. Since 1960, anxiety, depression, and addiction have increased, as as has the number of young people who say they aren’t the ones in control of their lives. That lack (or perceived lack) of control may be at the heart of the problem.

Viet Vang / unsplash

Mid-March is when many in southern New England would usually get their gardens started. With the weather we’ve been having, that may seem a distant dream right now. That just leaves us extra time for planning.

L. Lerner

Southern New England has been battered by three major winter storms in as many weeks. Severe coastal flooding and widespread power outages have prompted many to ask if it's a new normal brought on by climate change. A growing body of research suggests it may be, and extreme warming in the Arctic may be responsible.

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