Heather Goldstone

Science Editor and Host of Living Lab

Heather Goldstone is science editor at WCAI and host of Living Lab on The Point, a weekly show exploring how science gets done and makes its way into our daily lives. Goldstone holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as researcher before leaving the lab to pursue journalism. She has reported extensively on Woods Hole’s unique scientific community and key environmental issues on Cape Cod. Her stories have appeared in outlets ranging from Cape Cod Times and Commercial Fishery News to NPR and PBS News Hour. Most recently, Goldstone hosted Climatide.org, an NPR-sponsored blog exploring present-day impacts of climate change on coastal life.

Ways to Connect

The dead North Atlantic right whale found off the coast of New York has been identified as Snake Eyes, seen here on July 16, 2019.
Northeast Fisheries Science Center

More than a dozen scientists have signed a letter defending the science behind proposed measures to protect North Atlantic right whales. There are only about 400 of the critically endangered whales remaining, and their numbers are falling.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai island, January 2017
Landsat 8, NASA, https://tinyurl.com/y4okdbfe

Meet the world’s newest island. It was born in a volcanic eruption in 2015 and connected two existing islands, Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai in Polynesia. Once it cooled off, fishermen and scientists started taking a closer look at the new land mass.

Drew Beamer / unsplash

Two years ago, a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano with the hashtag #MeToo set off a landslide of women sharing their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment. As the #MeToo movement gained steam, prominent men in positions of power were toppled by public accusations. But did the movement change behavior? Is sexual harassment less prevalent than it used to be?

rperlin83, https://tinyurl.com/y2fafqgh

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas--many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It is also the main ingredient in the natural gas that we use for heating and cooking.

EPA officials have known for some time that leaks from natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure are a major source of methane emissions.

ikayama, https://tinyurl.com/y66exfp3

Each month we check in with the reporters and editors at Nature News for a roundup of recent science headlines. This month, we hear from senior reporter Heidi Ledford.

Nearly two years after actress Alyssa Milano's tweet, studies are showing the impacts of the #MeToo movement.
Screenshot 09/13/2019

"What we're seeing in terms of social movements is just that with Twitter, and the Internet, and social media we have so much more power to share information like this, and to really create change. To me, it really shows how important people's voices are, and the strength in numbers and the power in supporting women." - Stephanie Johnson

Christina Koch, NASA

Hurricanes that stall are becoming more common. They can dump more rain than a faster-moving hurricane and often follow a less predictable path.

Dorian is just the latest example. One study found that over the past 70 years Atlantic hurricanes have gotten more likely to stall.

Linus Mimietz / unsplash

We all use physics every day. Every time we pick something up, throw a ball, charge our cell phones, or drive a car, physics is involved. But most of us never choose to ignore how those things actually work.

An artist's rendering of what chronic fatigue syndrome feels like. Researchers are beginning to understand the biology responsible for the experience.
Jem Yoshioka/Wikimedia Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Chronic fatigue syndrome (now known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) was first described in the early 1980s, and it affects an estimated two and a half million Americans. For many years, doctors’ tests couldn’t find an explanation for patients’ symptoms, so they were dismissed as “nothing wrong.” But a growing body of research reveals plenty of things going wrong in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Elsa Partan

We've seen about a 60 percent increase in the frequency of events like Dorian stalling near the coast...The culprit is related to a slowdown in large scale atmospheric wind patterns likely due to a warming climate. -Timothy Hall of NASA

This week on Living Lab Radio:

LOUISE DOCKER, WIKICOMMONS, HTTPS://TINYURL.COM/YBKZPALO

This week on Living Lab Radio, we’re revisiting some of our favorite conversations of 2019.

Frank Paul, University of Zurich

How an issue is portrayed in the media can have a huge effect on how it is perceived by the public. When it comes to climate change, a lot of attention has been dedicated to how much the issue is covered. And whether that coverage is scientifically accurate.

Matthew Might created an algorithim to help doctors come up with an emergency treatment that saved his son Bertrand's life. He is photograhed here at home with his wife, Cristina, and with Bertrand, age 11.
Courtesy UAB

An artificial intelligence developer races against time to create a computer program that can save his son from the mysterious illness that seems to be killing him.

It sounds like the premise for a science fiction novel. But it’s a true story.

It’s been just over two years since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area – dumping up to five feet of rain in some places, and causing unprecedented flooding. 

David Johnson, https://tinyurl.com/y4zyne8y

An American convicted of a federal crime is seven percent more likely to be sentenced to jail time if they are black than if they are white. That jail time is likely to be eight months longer if the person is black.

That’s a major disparity, but it’s also a major improvement over where we were 20 years ago. 

Pages