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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.

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.

David K. Randall is a senior reporter at Reuters and The New York Times best-selling author of "Dreamland" and "The King and Queen of Malibu."

For Chinese immigrant Wong Chut King, surviving in San Francisco meant a life in the shadows. His passing on March 6, 1900, would have been unremarkable if a city health officer hadn’t noticed a swollen black lymph node on his groin: a sign of bubonic plague.

Empowered by racist pseudoscience, officials rushed to quarantine Chinatown while doctors examined Wong’s tissue for telltale bacteria. If the devastating disease was not contained, San Francisco would become the American epicenter of an outbreak that had already claimed ten million lives worldwide.

In "Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague," Randall shares this little known story of an avoided epidemic.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed the nation spend twenty billion dollars to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Based on eyewitness accounts and newly discovered archival material, "Chasing the Moon" by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, reveals for the first time the unknown stories of the fascinating individuals whose imaginative work across several decades culminated in America’s momentous achievement.

More than a story of engineers and astronauts, the moon landing, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, grew out of the dreams of science fiction writers, filmmakers, military geniuses, and rule-breaking scientists.

In the U.S., 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day; by the time a person reaches 85, their chances of having dementia approach 50 percent. And the truth is, there is no cure, and none coming soon, despite the perpetual promises by pharmaceutical companies that they are just one more expensive study away from a pill.

Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn't prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia; not to mention confronting the hard truth that her own odds aren't great.

With her book, "Dementia Reimagined," Dr. Powell's goal is to move the conversation away from an exclusive focus on cure to a genuine appreciation of care, what we can do for those who have dementia, and how to keep life meaningful and even joyful.

Anne Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and faculty dean of Pforzheimer House at Harvard University.

In "Mind Fixers," Harrington, explores psychiatry’s repeatedly frustrated struggle to understand mental disorder in biomedical terms. She shows how the stalling of early twentieth century efforts in this direction allowed Freudians and social scientists to insist, with some justification, that they had better ways of analyzing and fixing minds.

During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab. Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.

In March of 2012 she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe. She tells the story in her new book, "The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey Into The Alaskan Wilds."

The 11th annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival will take place on Saturday, May 4th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Hudson Junior/Senior High School in Hudson, New York. Over 75 children’s and young adult authors and illustrators will be in attendance to meet and greet and purchase signed copies of their books.

They will also celebrate their 2nd annual Literary Lion - science author, Seymour Simon, who has written over 300 science books for children.

An exhibitor hall will be bustling with tons of community organizations providing activities and giveaways. To learn more, we welcome: Festival Co-Director Lisa Dolan and "Literary Lion" Seymour Simon. 

You use software nearly every instant you’re awake. It powers everything from social media, video games, and email to credit card fraud monitoring, smart home systems, and the brakes in your car. All of this software is written by computer programmers, and through their work, coders have become the most quietly influential people on the planet. If we want to understand how today’s world works, we ought to understand something about these digital architects.

In "Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World," tech journalist Clive Thompson draws on his access to today’s tech world to dive into the enigmatic world of coding and examine the consequences of the “programmer mentality.”

To join in on the conversation, we welcome our tech guru, app developer and author Jesse Feiler.

The dawn of genetic engineering has opened new doorways of possibility for both medical researchers and patients once thought long beyond help. But there is a dark side to the radical frontiers of science.

In his new medical thriller, "Pandemic," Robin Cook proves once again why he is the master of medical suspense with a timely, terrifyingly believable novel of great suspense.

Doctor and writer Robin Cook started his medical career as a general surgical resident and finished with an ophthalmology residency at Harvard. He is the author of thirty-four bestsellers including: "Coma," which was published 40 years ago, and most recently: "Host," "Cell," "Death Benefit," "Cure," and "Charlatans."

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

The science panel returns to Vox Pop to answer your inquiries. Today we welcome back Barbara Brabetz, Ed Stander and Jim Pickett. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Susan Hand Shetterly has written about wildlife and wetlands for more than thirty years, in both articles and books, including "Settled in the Wild," a collection of essays.

In "Seaweed Chronicles," Shetterly takes readers deep into the world of this essential organism by providing an immersive, often poetic look at life on the rugged shores of her beloved Gulf of Maine, where the growth and harvesting of seaweed is becoming a major industry.

While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made.

Christopher White has written numerous books, including "Skipjack: The Story of America’s Last Sailing Oystermen" and "The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers." His articles have appeared in Audubon, The Baltimore Sun, The New Mexican, National Geographic, and Exploration.

In his new book, "The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine's Greatest Fishery?" he follows three lobster captains: Frank, Jason, and Julie (one the few female skippers in Maine), as they haul and set thousands of traps.

For the past five years, the lobster population along the coast of Maine has boomed, resulting in a lobster harvest six times the size of the record catch from the 1980s an event unheard of in fisheries. In a detective story, scientists and fishermen explore various theories for the glut. Leading contenders are a sudden lack of predators and a recent wedge of warming waters, which may disrupt the reproductive cycle, a consequence of climate change. Unexpectedly, boom may turn to bust, as the captains must fight a warming ocean, volatile prices, and rough weather to keep their livelihood afloat.

Wikimedia Commons/Daderot

The science panel returns to Vox Pop to answer your inquiries. Today we welcome back Barbara Brabetz, Ed Stander and Jim Pickett. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center's Out of This World Festival features the first speaker series on the SPAC Stage. Attendees will sit in the orchestra chairs on the main stage of the SPAC amphitheater while renowned guest speakers lead captivating talks from the conductor’s podium on a variety of topics that bridge the worlds of art, science, and nature.

Speakers @ SPAC: Earth and Other Worlds is presented in cooperation with the Academy of American Poets. Science writer Dava Sobel ("Galileo’s Daughter;" "The Glass Universe") will be in conversation with poet, science writer, and author Diane Ackerman ("A Natural History of the Senses;" "The Human Age;" "The Zookeeper’s Wife"). Dava Sobel joined us.

Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature.

Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it’s not a social or cultural theory of everything. In "The Human Instinct," he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will.

Richard M. Cohen is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: a memoir, "Blindsided," detailing his struggles with MS and cancer and his controversial career in the news business; and "Strong at the Broken Places," following the lives of five individuals living with serious chronic illnesses. His distinguished career in network news earned him numerous awards, including three Emmys and a Peabody.

After more than four decades living with multiple sclerosis, New York Times bestselling author Richard M. Cohen finds a flicker of hope in a groundbreaking medical procedure. His new book is "Chasing Hope."

"Typhoid Mary" - a new play by Mark St. Germain - is playing at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA through June 16.

The play tells the true story of Mary Mallon, one of the most infamous women in America, she was incredibly stubborn, ambitious, and in fierce denial of any wrongdoing. Master storyteller Mark St. Germain ("Freud’s Last Session" and "Dancing Lessons") has captured the woman behind the myths while exploring the battle between science and religion.

St. Germain has another play running in our region. "Relativity" is running at Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, NY through June 10.

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