Heather Goldstone | WCAI

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.

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A crater discovered in Siberia in July, 2014 - and several found subsequently - have been attributed to methane released when permafrost thaws.
Press Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Governor

In July of 2014, images of an enormous crater in the Siberian tundra captivated scientists and the public, alike. Others were soon found, and a cause proposed: climate change. Specifically, the finger was pointed at an underground build-up of methane released as permafrost thaws. But this was not a climate change impact that anyone had anticipated.

Public Domain

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” – Max Planck

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck articulated what has come to be known as Planck’s Principle in his 1950 Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers. The idea was born out of his frustration that eminent colleagues, notably Albert Einstein, were resistant to the revolutionary ideas of quantum mechanics that he had introduced.

Sebastien Wiertz / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A new meta-analysis of dozens of studies finds evidence that mind-body therapies, like meditation, can reduce not only pain, but also opioid use.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Before heading home for turkey, the Supreme Court this week declined to hear a case pitting a prominent climate scientist against a conservative news outlet and a free-market think tank. To be clear, this is considered a win for the climate scientist as it allows his defamation case to go forward.

Living Lab Radio: December 1, 2019

Dec 1, 2019

"I didn't expect it then and I still don't expect it now. It's not something that any Arctic scientists talk about for this to happen on land - to have land explode because of a buildup of methane below the ground. It still surprises me now." - Sue Natali

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Stargazing and storytelling are universal, age-old past-times. For millenia, people have looked to the sky, seen shapes in the stars, and attached stories to them. Constellations and their movements have been used to navigate the seas, predict personalities and major events, and to teach moral lessons.

Karish Kobal, https://tinyurl.com/uzo2xxc

Cranberries are a staple on the American Thanksgiving table, but they used to be much more than a once-a-year novelty. They were a staple of Native American diets, and later, of early colonial diets.

The ways that cranberries have been grown and eaten have changed a lot over the centuries.

mjmonty, https://tinyurl.com/rrgvntt

For many, the country's political divide has become intensely personal – dividing families and even breaking up Thanksgiving traditions.

We all know the old adage about avoiding politics and religion at the dinner table, but it seems harder to do these days. And frankly, it doesn't seem to be helping.

The first global geologic map of Titan is based on radar and visible-light images from NASA's Cassini mission, which orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017.

Our monthly rundown of science headlines from Nature News, this time with video and podcast editor Benjamin Thompson as tour guide:

The constellation Pleiades is recognized in many cultures, and its appearance in Northern skies in the fall has made it a signal for harvest festivals.
Boris.stromar/Wikimedia Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

“The sky was always there; the sky was the storyboard, filled with tales about the meaning of life and social relations. And people were making patterns on this storyboard even before they were painting on the walls of caves. Certainly, prehistoric people were doing it. And the story depends so much on who's the teller - the teller who has to make the story have legs. It's got to be a story that means something and that you can transfer from one culture to another as time changes.” – Anthony Aveni

This week on Living Lab Radio:

  • Nature's Benjamin Thompson shares recent headlines, from a new, global map of Saturn’s largest moon, to some science funders’ experiments with lottery systems to increase diversity in the research pool.

A new book by Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University.
Princeton University Press

We don’t tend to acknowledge this, but at the heart of Living Lab Radio lies the belief that science can provide factual information that can help us make better decisions as individuals, as communities, and as societies.

But why should we trust science? How can we be sure that what we hear today won’t be proved wrong in the future?

Naomi Oreskes addresses these questions in her new book Why Trust Science?

Artificial intellegence could assist in making farming more efficient.
Don Graham, https://tinyurl.com/uksmlzb

Climate change is complicated. Every part of our daily lives can play a role in causing it, from electricity, to transportation, the homes we live in, the food we eat, even the healthcare services we rely on. And all of those aspects of our lives are also affected by climate change.

Dr. Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA Science Advisor and Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science, testified before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Public Domain

A proposed rule change at the EPA is back in the news almost a year and a half after it was first proposed – and met with strong pushback from the science community. It’s called the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science Rule,” and members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee heard testimony on the proposal this week.

Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images / CC BY-SA 3.0

"That's the kind of backdrop for me in terms of thinking about science, is to think about the risks of rejecting science that's true versus the risks of accepting science that's false. And I argue that in our current world, with the threat of climate change bearing down upon us, the risk of ignoring what scientists are telling us is very, very grave indeed." - Naomi Oreskes

White nose syndrome is a fungus that affects several bat species.
NPS photo/von Linden / Public Domain

In 2007, a mysterious disease killed thousands of bats in a handful of caves in upstate New York. The culprit, dubbed white nose syndrome, was soon found to be a fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that thrives in cold, dark, humid environments and can kill entire bat colonies.