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Book cover for "It's Elemental" by Kate the Chemist
Park Row / Park Row

Have you ever wondered what makes dough rise? Or how your morning coffee gives you that energy boost? Or why your shampoo is making your hair look greasy? The answer is chemistry. From the moment we wake up until the time we go to sleep (and even while we sleep), chemistry is at work—and it doesn't take a PhD in science to understand it.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf – better known as Kate the Chemist - has appeared on TV programs from the Today show to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, looking to change the face of chemistry as we know it. In her new book, “It's Elemental,” she demystifies the fundamental principles of the science that may have eluded you in high school and shows how chemistry comes alive in everything we do.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a scientist and a chemistry professor at The University of Texas.

Book cover for "The Premonition" by Michael Lewis
Norton / Norton

Bestselling author Michael Lewis’s new book, “The Premonition: A Pandemic Story,” is a non-fiction thriller that pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Book cover for "Doom" by Niall Ferguson
Penguin Press

Disasters are by their very nature hard to predict. Pandemics, earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises, and wars are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. But when disaster strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted, or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all.

Yet in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the responses of a number of developed countries, including the United States, were badly bungled. Why? In "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe," New York Times best-selling author Niall Ferguson sets the great crises of 2020 in broad historical perspective and explores why, in the face of a catastrophe, some societies fall apart and others hold together, while a few emerge stronger.

Members of the Makkah congregation - men half-bowing in a room with a tiled floor
Jonathan Young/Nutopia/PBS

Beginning tomorrow, PBS will premiere the first of a four-part series, co-hosted by Steven Johnson titled Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer. The series and the companion book are set in the context of today’s COVID-19 crisis and explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics and reveals how a public health revolution was launched.

Johnson looks at the milestones of this progress from the discoveries of vaccines and antibiotics, to the introduction of things that are now commonplace.

Johnson also turns his keen analytical eye to the present: Do we risk regressing in life expectancy as our public health systems face unprecedented challenges such as the one we’re living through? Are we overlooking any current technologies or field of research that will enable us to live even longer than we do now?

Book cover for "This is the Voice"
Simon & Schuster

There’s no shortage of books about public speaking or language or song. But until now, there has been no book about the miracle that underlies them all: the human voice itself. And there are few writers who could take on this surprisingly vast topic with more artistry and expertise than John Colapinto.

Beginning with the novel and compelling argument that our ability to speak is what made us the planet’s dominant species, he guides us from the voice’s beginnings in lungfish millions of years ago to its culmination in the talent of Pavoratti, Martin Luther King Jr., and Beyoncé—and each of us, every day.

The name of the book is "This is the Voice."

DEC Researcher Chris Bowser holds a cup of glass eels and elvers
Lucas Willard / WAMC

For the 14th season, volunteers up and down the Hudson River estuary are searching creeks and streams for juvenile American eels. It’s part an effort coordinated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University.

Book cover for "The God Equation" by Dr. Michio Kaku
Doubleday

Dr. Michio Kaku is one of the most charismatic and visible figures in science today and is beloved by his extensive fan base of millions of readers and followers.

A media mainstay as the national science contributor for CBS This Morning, he also hosts the radio programs Science Fantastic and Exploration and is the number one New York Times bestselling author of "The Future of the Mind."

His new book is "The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything."

Book cover for Genius Makers
Dutton

What does it mean to be smart? To be human? What do we really want from life and the intelligence we have, or might create?

In "Genius Makers," New York Times Silicon Valley journalist Cade Metz brings the reader into the rooms where these questions are being answered. Where an extraordinarily powerful new artificial intelligence has been built into our biggest companies, our social discourse, and our daily lives, with few of us even noticing. 

Book cover for "Nose Dive"
Penguin/Random House / Penguin/Random House

Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking. He is the author of the award-winning classic "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes," and a former columnist for The New York Times. He has been named food writer of the year by Bon Appétit magazine and to the Time 100, an annual list of the world's most influential people. Since 2010, he has been a visiting lecturer for Harvard University's course "Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science."

In his new book "Nose Dive," he takes us on a sensory-filled adventure, from the sulfurous nascent earth more than four billion years ago, to the sweetly fragrant Tian Shan mountain range north of the Himalayas, to the keyboard of your laptop, where trace notes of formaldehyde escape between the keys. We'll sniff the ordinary (wet pavement and cut grass) and extraordinary (fresh bread and chocolate), the delightful (roses and vanilla) and the unpleasant (spoiled meat and rotten eggs). We'll smell each other. We'll smell ourselves.

Book cover for "The Code Breaker"
Simon & Schuster

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the author of "Leonardo da Vinci;" "The Innovators;" "Steve Jobs;" "Einstein: His Life and Universe;" "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life;" and "Kissinger: A Biography."

His latest is "The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race."

In the spring of 2012, the Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. 

Book cover for "Life's Edge"
Dutton

We all assume we know what life is, but the more scientists learn about the living world, the harder it is to define. Whether it’s a fertilized egg or a tree, scientists have had a hard time agreeing on a definition that would universally apply.

In his new book, "Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive," New York Times bestselling author and columnist Carl Zimmer takes readers on a journey from Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring creations to the most cutting-edge research in search of an answer.

Book cover for "Women in White Coats'
Park Row

Medical journalist Olivia Campbell joins us this morning to discuss her new book, "Women in White Coats," the little-known true story of three pioneering Victorian women who fought to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing healthcare forever.

Olivia Campbell is a journalist and author specializing in medicine and women; her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine, among others.

Book cover for "Cosmic Queries"
National Geographic

How did life begin? Are we alone in the universe? How will it all end? In his new book, "Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going," world-renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down challenging philosophical conundrums with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of more than a dozen books —many of them international bestsellers — and numerous articles, both scholarly and for the general public.

He is the host of "StarTalk," a podcast, and two seasons of "Cosmos," televised by Fox and National Geographic. He has received 21 honorary doctorates as well as NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Book cover for "An Amatomy of Pain"
Simon & Schuster

Pain is a universal yet unique experience, not only to those undergoing it but to caretakers and loved ones of those suffering—even medical practitioners themselves often fail to grasp the complexities between our minds and bodies and how they interact when dealing with pain.

Throughout history we’ve tried to prevent and eradicate the effects of pain, which has resulted in a highly medicated population and a booming opiates industry.

To get to the root of pain, the new book "An Anatomy of Pain: How the Body and the Mind Experience and Endure Physical Suffering" by Dr. Abdul-Ghaaliq Lalkhen, a Visiting Professor at the Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Faculty of Pain Medicine affiliated to the Royal College of Anesthetists. In his book, Laklhen explains and clarifies pain and pain treatments in their many forms.

Book cover for "The Misson"
Custom House / Custom House

Acclaimed journalist David Brown's new book "The Mission" tells how one of America's boldest and potentially most revolutionary space missions came to be.

It was the most ambitious science project ever conceived NASA's Deep Space mission to Europa, the Jovian moon, where might swim the first known alien life in our solar system, yet it almost didn't happen. By focusing on the key men and women involved, Brown reveals the amazing combination of passion, persistence, imagination, science, engineering and political savvy that it takes to get a major space project off the ground.

NYS Congratulates 2020 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Finalists
Courtesy of the NYS Education Department

Finalists have been selected for the presidential awards for excellence in teaching math and science. And the two from New York teach in the Hudson Valley.

Book cover for "The Saint Makers"
Hachette Books / Hachette Books

Joe Drape is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen" and "American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise." His book "Black Maestro" was the inaugural winner of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.

In his new book "The Saint Makers," chronicles the unlikely alliance between Father Hotze and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, a country priest and a cosmopolitan Italian canon lawyer, as the two piece together the life of a long dead Korean War hero and military chaplain and fashion it into a case for eternal divinity.

Joe Drape offers a front row seat to the Catholic Church's saint-making machinery-which, in many ways, has changed little in two thousand years-and examines how, or if, faith and science can co-exist.

Nolan Gasser is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist. Most notably, he is the architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project and the chief musicologist from its founding in 2000. Dr. Gasser lectures widely on the nature of musical taste and the intersections of music, science, and culture. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford.

His new book is "Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste."

MGM Studio Chief Louis B. Mayer called it the most important story he would ever film. ‘The Beginning or the End’ was a big budget dramatization of the Manhattan Project and the invention and use of the revolutionary new weapon.

Now published, as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the bombings, "The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood―and America―Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" is a book from award winning author Greg Mitchell, which chronicles the never before told story behind Hollywood's historic flop and the secret campaign to silence the scientists who tried to warn the world about a nuclear arms race. 

Over billions of years, ancient fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and ape-like primates evolved into humans that walk on two legs, talk, and write. For more than a century, paleontologists have traveled the globe to find fossils that show how such changes have happened.

We have now arrived at a remarkable moment—prehistoric fossils coupled with new DNA technology have given us the tools to answer some of the basic questions of our existence: How do big changes in evolution happen? Is our presence on Earth the product of mere chance? This new science reveals a multibillion-year evolutionary history filled with twists and turns, trial and error, accident and invention.

Now, Neil Shubin, gives us a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth in "Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA."

Dr. James Hansen
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/

**We weren't able to conduct the scheduled interview with Dr. James Hansen but leave this post on our site to provide information about the summit.**

The Woodstock Day School and the Ashokan Center have teamed up to co-sponsor The Youth Empowerment & Sustainability Summit (YESS!); a global climate solution and leadership summit for young people who are ready to change their lives and their communities by working towards climate resilience.

The three-day summit is designed to empower students from middle school through college by teaching them to develop solutions-based thinking and civic engagement skills.

Dr. James Hansen, the renowned climate scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm of global climate change.

He delivered the summit’s keynote address this morning at Ashokan Center and tonight he’ll present a “Catskill Conversations” talk sponsored by the Ashokan Center at Kingston High School at 7 p.m. Tonight’s talk is open to the public.

Amy Gutmann the University of Pennsylvania’s eighth president, is an award-winning political theorist. Jonathan D. Moreno is a Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor at the university. They both served on President Obama’s bioethics commission.

Together they've written the book "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die: Bioethics and the Transformation of Health Care in America."

Jonathan Moreno joined us.

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.” His new book, “Letters From An Astrophysicist,” shares his correspondence with people who have sought his perspective on questions about science, faith, philosophy and, of course, Pluto.

Dr. Matt McCarthy is the author of two national bestsellers, "The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly" and "Odd Man Out." He is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell and a staff physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he serves on the Ethics Committee.

In his new book "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic," McCarthy shares the story of cutting-edge science and the race against the clock to find new treatments in the fight against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.

McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal superbugs, bacteria that have built up resistance to the life-saving drugs in our rapidly dwindling arsenal.

Why spend countless hours indoors in front of screens when being in nature feels so good? In learning why and how to nurture our emotional connection with nature, we can also regenerate the ecosystems on which we depend for our survival.

"Renewal: How Nature Awakens Our Creativity, Compassion, and Joy" by Andrés R. Edwards explores the science behind why being in nature makes us feel alive and helps us thrive.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise … see more progress.

This morning we’ll learn about the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology in the Rensselaer Technology Park from Executive Director Catherine Gilbert and Director of Education and Discovery Sarah Smith.

The majority of celestial space is inactive and will remain forever unruffled. But when cosmic violence does unfold, it changes the very fabric of the universe, with mega-explosions and ripple effects that reach the near limits of human comprehension. In his new book “Earth-Shattering,” astronomy writer Bob Berman investigates these instances of violence both mammoth and microscopic.

With the publication of her bestselling books "Inside of a Dog" and "Being a Dog," Alexandra Horowitz established herself as the foremost authority on dog behavior, and offered owners new insights into the lives of their beloved pets.

Now, Horowitz turns her observant eye and incomparable wit to the owners themselves in "Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond," an exploration of the relationship between dogs and humans, and how that relationship affects both species. From what we name them to how we talk to them to the essential question of whether or not our dogs love us too.

Senior Research Fellow, Alexandra Horowitz heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College.

Neil Gifford and a Pine Bush volunteer study a Prarie Warbler
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a unique and important habitat for several native species.

On a cool summer morning, as the sun rises over the barrens, some volunteers are among the brush removing birds from several hanging nets.

Special Events At MiSci

Jul 16, 2019

MiSci - Museum of Innovation & Science in Schenectady, New York presents exhibits, programs, and events designed to inspire people to celebrate and explore science and technology, past present, and future. This morning we learned about MiSci’s special events – including After Dark events and Family Day experiences.

The After Dark series is a social event for adults 21+ featuring full museum access, adult beverages, planetarium shows, and exciting science demonstrations. This summer, MiSci presents the exhibition “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” and this Friday’s “After Dark” event is “After Dark: Pints and Pups.”

Saturday’s Family Day event is a Lunar Engagement Day - an Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Event.

Dan Beck is the Director of Membership & Special Events at MiSci and he joins us along with Vice President of Marketing & Communications Tara Burnham.

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