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Living Lab Radio: December 29 and 30, 2019.

E. Partan

This is the last episode of Living Lab Radio.

Heather Goldstone will be joining Woods Hole Research Center to communicate about what is possibly the most pressing issue of our time: climate change. Elsa Partan will be staying at WCAI as a news producer. 

Elsa Partan (left) and Heather Goldstone.
Credit L. Lerner
Elsa Partan (left) and Heather Goldstone.

It has been seven and a half years. We've done more than 800 interviews covering everything from black holes to sexual harassment. There’s really no way to sum all that up. Instead, today, we’re revisiting highlights from a handful of memorable interviews. 

They aren’t necessarily our newsiest or hardest-hitting reporting. They are conversations that left us with not only new knowledge but a nugget of wisdom that we still carry with us.

How Mindfulness Reduces Stress and Improves Health

Originally published May 9, 2016.

In 1971, Jon Kabat-Zinn finished his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Salvador Luria at M.I.T. Then, he took what might be considered a left turn – he went to study with Buddhist masters. Several years later, he drew on both his training in both biology and Buddhism when he founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at U. Mass. Medical School and created the first course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Mind Wandering Is Curious Daydreaming That Can Lead To Breakthroughs

Originally published March 31, 2019.

Jonathan Schooler was a daydreamer as a kid. Now a professor of psychological and brain sciences at UC Santa Barbara, Schooler says mind-wandering is -- or can be -- more than an academic tool. There’s evidence that letting our minds wander after taking in a new piece of information can aid learning.

To Create A Better Prosthetic, Lab Trips People Over And Over

Originally published July 7, 2019.

Imagine being tripped over and over again, knowing that it would keep happening, but never knowing when. Nightmarish, right?

That’s exactly what some people volunteered to do in order to help make prosthetic legs better. 

Vanderbilt University graduate student Shane King and his colleagues designed a system that would help them study the mechanics of tripping and falling. They wanted to observe how the body reacts to tripping and often manages to stay upright. In June, they published a study about their work in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 

No One-Size-Fits-All Formula for Healthy Screen Time

Originally published February 10, 2019.

How much screen time is too much? It’s a pressing question for many parents of young children and teens, who have been inundated with warnings about the negative effects of digital technology use on mental health. But new research suggests the story is not as clear—or as dire—as many think.

Social media researcher Amy Orben of Oxford University says all the concern isn’t necessarily backed up by data. In fact, the research to date has been very contradictory. And that has added to parents’ and policymakers’ dilemma.

'Every Action Matters, Every Year Matters' When It Comes To Climate Change

Originally published December 23, 2018.

One of the biggest science stories of the year has been climate change.

Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist, a professor in the Department of Political Science, and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior’s South-Central Climate Science Center. She is also the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research.

“From the Midwest to the northeast, to Florida, Massachusetts or Washington state, our lives are being affected and that's why it matters,” she said.

A Career Connecting Race and Climate Change

Originally published August 6, 2016.

Steve Curwood has spent more than 25 years reporting on environmental issues. Before that, he was an investigative journalist with a focus on human rights and social justice. Turns out, those issues aren’t as disparate as they may seem.


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Elsa Partan is a producer and newscaster with CAI. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.