Living Lab Radio on WCAI

Mondays at 9am and 7pm

Living Lab Radio brings you conversations at the intersection of science and culture. Connect with scientists for fresh perspectives on the week's news - science and otherwise - and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Do you have a question, story, or photo to share? Email us at livinglabradio@capeandislands.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Host and producer Dr. Heather Goldstone.
Credit Maura Longueil

Living Lab Radio is produced by Heather Goldstone and Elsa Partan.

Major support for Living Lab Radio is provided by The Kendeda Fund.

NOAA

Minke whales may not be New England's best known or most charismatic whales, but some Massachusetts residents have gotten an up close look at them in recent months as several dead minkes have washed up on shore. 

NOAA

On the heels of the U.N. report released last weekend, Hurricane Michael rekindled the conversation about hurricanes and climate change – transforming in two days from a tropical storm to the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since 1851. There is no question that such rapid intensification is fed by warm ocean temperatures, and that the ocean is warmer now, and will continue to get warmer as a result of our greenhouse gas emissions.  

Humberto Chavez / unsplash

The latest report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that we could cross the threshold of one point five degrees Celsius of global warming as soon as 2030 – just twelve years from now – and besides the devastating impacts of heat waves, droughts, and extreme precipitation, that much warming could trigger irreversible and escalating changes in Artic permafrost and Antarctic ice sheets.

On August 13, 2018, NASA published this mosaic of photos taken by Cassini.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini space probe spent 13 years circling Saturn, sending back data and stunning images of the planet and its moons.

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.

Pages