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

Image by Ian Montgomery from Pixabay / https://pixabay.com/service/license/

On October 10th, the twenty scientists who make up the Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel will meet to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards for particulate matter. The only catch is, EPA disbanded the panel a year ago.

Public Domain

When the 2020 census gets underway in April, it won’t be with the traditional questionnaires in the mail. Instead, for the first time, most households will receive an invitation to participate in the census online.

The switch is billed by the Census Bureau as both a technological innovation and a cost-saving measure. But it could leave communities with limited internet access significantly under-counted.

“I would just think we shouldn't vape until we clear this clear this up. And you know the debate in some of the some of the physician community is “Well, I don’t want my patient to go back to smoking cigarettes.” You know, no one wants that - an activity that’s responsible for killing half of people who do it. But this is until we sort out this acute epidemic, and then, once we do, we need to get back to looking at the chronic effects of all vaping.” -David Christiani

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Vaping360.com/flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Vaping has now been linked to at least 11 deaths, and more than 500 people have hospitalized with vaping-related lung illness.

Here in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker has declared a public health emergency and a four month ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes.

Physics is one of the oldest fields of scientific study, with some of the most mature theories and laws about how the world works. But those theories don’t always match up perfectly with each other.

 When people feel threatened, they’re more receptive to politicians who espouse xenophobic rhetoric.

By Joshua Conrad Jackson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland

Two trends have defined the past decade and both have been on display at this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

Measles outbreaks around the country this year focused public attention on the risks of non-vaccination. In many places, anti-vaccine sentiment based on religious beliefs or fears about vaccine safety has been on the rise. And that has many public health researchers concerned.

L Lerner

"What's disconcerting is that not only the companies are making these claims that the products are safer or could be good for cessation, but FDA itself has made statements that imply - if not outright state - that these products are safer and could be used for cessation. But there is no proof that that's true."  -Lauren Lempert

This week on Living Lab Radio:

  • Tobacco law and policy specialist Lauren Lempert explains what FDA has, hasn't, and could do to regulate e-cigarettes, and why many tiptoe around their possible use as a way to quit smoking.


Government officials have warned people to avoid e-cigarettes after several people have died and hundreds of otherwise healthy people have ended up in emergency rooms across the country with lung damage that appears to be linked to vaping.

Culiseta Mosquito / wikipedia

It’s officially fall, and temperatures have turned cooler but one unwelcome part of summer continues to linger – and that’s the risk of the mosquito-borne EEE virus.

Dr.Pierre-Yves Dumont collects samples from a dead right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in June 2017.
The Canadian Press/HO- Marine Animal Response Society / The Canadian Press/HO- Marine Animal Response Society

North Atlantic right whale conservationists have ended up exactly where they didn’t want to be – in an escalating battle between lobstermen and scientists.

Climate change is real, it’s human-caused, and it will affect everyone. But the impacts will vary from place to place and person to person. And, already, there are major disparities in climate impacts. Women are disproportionately impacted, as are those with limited financial resources.

The North Atlantic right whale population has a chance at recovery if entanglement & ship strikes can be avoided.
NOAA Photo Library / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Living Lab Radio for September 22 and 23, 2019.

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.