Living Lab Radio: October 20 & 21, 2019.

Oct 20, 2019
  • 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.

Lear is professor and chair of cardiovascular prevention research at Simon Fraser University, and he wrote about the perils of flip-flopping nutrition science for TheConversation.com.

  • 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, that study found that New England’s waters are among the top twenty locations in the world with the greatest opportunities for restorative aquaculture.

    Seth Theuerkauf is an aquaculture scientist with The Nature Conservancy and lead author of that global assessment.

  • 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.

    Herman Hollerith is considered one of the forefathers of modern computing. He invented the first punch card reader. He did that to make analyzing census data easier.

    David Lindsay Roberts is an adjunct professor of mathematics at Prince George's Community College. The story of Herman Hollerith is one of nearly two dozen featured in his new book “Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans through History.”

  • Think climate change is too serious to joke about? Consider this.

    With each new scientific report, the situation seems more dire. But the social and political will to address the issue has lagged.

    For years, scientists and communicators thought the problem was that the facts weren’t getting through to the public. But years of research suggests the obstacle may be a more fundamental issue of how we talk about climate change and science, more broadly.

    And that has led some researchers to experiment with some pretty unorthodox ways to break through the inertia and polarization surrounding climate change.

    Comedy is just one of several approaches Max Boykoff discusses in his new book Creative (Climate) Communications. He is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado Boulder.