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

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. 

Texas National Guard soldiers conduct rescue operations in flooded areas around Houston, Texas on August 27, 2017. New research is looking into the health impacts on the disaster.
Photo by 1Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD

Here are the stories on Living Lab Radio for August 25 and 26, 2019. 

NASA/Kathryn Hansen

There’s record low Arctic sea ice. There’s record melting of Greenland’s glaciers. There’s unprecedented permafrost melting. And more than a million acres has been burned by wildfires in Alaska.

Each of these stories has garnered headlines this summer, but they have tended to be presented as separate events. In actuality, they are all part of the broader phenomenon of extreme Arctic warming, and they are intimately linked to each other.

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) near Tucson, Arizona.
Courtesy DESI

It’s time for our monthly tour of science headlines from our friends at the Journal Nature and the Nature podcast. 

Pexels/Pixabay

Looking for good book - maybe something a little different - to see you through those final days of summer?

LabLit is different than science fiction. It's fiction that features realistic science and scientists. LabLit.com founder and editor, Jenny Rohn, is prone to getting excited over "hard-core lab scenes." But she's more focused on finding a good story than making sure the science is perfect.

There’s an entire laboratory dedicated to the practice of discussing challenging topics.
thebarrowboy, https://tinyurl.com/y4vs6f32

Many of us steer around difficult political conversations to avoid conflict with people with whom we disagree. Among people we know, we employ the tried-and-true method of staying away from politics and religion.

But there’s an entire laboratory dedicated to the practice of discussing challenging topics. It’s the Difficult Conversations Lab at Columbia University.

Runoff from the Greenland ice sheet near the Greenland capital of Nuuk.
Irina Overeem / National Snow and Ice Data Center

"The changes that are happening in the Arctic can feel very far away, but we can now recognize that all of these changes we've talked about together have been fundamentally caused by human action. But the good news is that the future of these changes will also be fundamentally determined by human action. So, we can be really active players in what the future holds." - Twila Moon

Solving the world’s climate problems will require many kinds of brain power.
UC Irvine School of Humanities / CC BY-ND

Steven D. Allison, University of California, Irvine and Tyrus Miller, University of California, Irvine

Large wildfires in the Arctic and intense heat waves in Europe are just the latest evidence that climate change is becoming the defining event of our time. Unlike other periods that came and went, such as the 1960s or the dot-com boom, an era of unchecked climate change will lead to complex and irreversible changes in Earth’s life support systems.

Pages