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.

Ways to Connect

Herman Hollerith's census card reader machine.
U.S. Census

The 2020 census is going digital. We recently brought you a story of how this technological innovation could lead to undercounting Native Americans who live on tribal land.

Today, we’re flipping that equation and rather than looking at how computer technology is affecting the census, we’re asking how the census has affected the development of computer technology.

U.S. Air Force photo, Anthony Nin Leclerec, https://tinyurl.com/yy6quhsp

Aquaculture is currently the third-most lucrative fishery in New England after lobster and scallops. Oysters and, increasingly, kelp, are two of the most commonly grown.

Now, a new study says aquaculture could also be an important way to address issues like nutrient pollution and habitat loss. In fact, the study found that New England’s waters are among the top 20 locations in the world with the greatest opportunities for restorative aquaculture.

Michelle@TNS, https://tinyurl.com/y2j54uub

For years, the advice has been the same – for a healthy heart, eat less red meat. And then, two weeks ago, an international panel of scientists released a review of the science that they said overturned the prevailing wisdom. In fact, they said it was based on poor-quality science and that eating red meat didn’t make a significant difference.

Mike, https://tinyurl.com/y2bg5avq

  • For years, the advice has been the same – for a healthy heart, eat less red meat. And then, two weeks ago, an international panel of scientists released a review of the science that they said overturned the prevailing wisdom. In fact, they said it was based on poor-quality science and that eating red meat didn’t make a significant difference.

That study has garnered lots of headlines and sparked plenty of criticism and controversy. Scott Lear says that high-profile disagreement and conflicting advice could do more harm than any specific recommendation.

Author Bina Venkataraman understands very well the temptation to keep doing what we’ve always done, even if we’re pretty sure it’s not the best approach. She’s done it herself.

A few years ago, she was hiking in the Hudson Valley in New York just north of New York City, a place she knew was loaded with Lyme disease. She didn’t wear tick repellent. And even when she found a rash on the back of her leg, she didn’t do anything about it.

“It didn't look like the telltale bulls eye you associate with a tick bite,” she said.

Keagan Henman / unsplash

New York, London, Milan, Paris: the fall fashion weeks are over, the newest trends have been declared. And the whole cycle will repeat in a few months, with the winter - and then spring - fashion shows.

KATHARINA REBAY-SALISBURY

There are few parenting decisions that evoke more controversy - and even vitriol - than whether and how long to breastfeed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than eighty percent of American babies start out breastfed. But one in six breastfed babies gets some formula supplementation in the first days of life. By six months of age, only a quarter of babies are exclusively breastfed. Three quarters are getting their nutrition from some combination of breastmilk, formula or other milk, and foods.

KATHARINA REBAY-SALISBURY

This week on Living Lab Radio:

vaping, e-cigarette
kimilife, https://tinyurl.com/yxhacduj

More than a thousand people have suffered vaping-related lung injury and reports of vaping-related lung illness are now rising by hundreds each week. As of October 1, public health officials confirmed eighteen deaths in fifteen states.

As public concern over the health effects of vaping has intensified, researchers have scrambled to figure out what’s going on. An examination by Mayo Clinic of lung tissue from 17 patients released October 2 found evidence of what looked like chemical burns.

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette.
NOAA photo by Benjamin Richards

A U.N. special report on the impacts of climate change on the ocean sparked dire headlines such as UN report on world’ oceans is damning: We’re all in big trouble. Or, from the New York Times: The World’s Oceans are in Danger.

While true, those headlines don’t tell the whole story.

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.

Pages