science

What in the world is a Monad? Why does Leibniz care so much about the so-called Principle of Sufficient Reason? And how could he claim that this is the Best of all Possible Worlds? 

Courtesy of blackgirlscode.com

Electrical engineer and computer programmer Kimberly Bryant says that when she was in college, she was one of only a few women, and the only black woman, in her graduating class. When she had her own daughter, Kai, she wondered what she could do to get more young girls of color into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math-- known as STEM.

There’s a science to happiness. And one of the centers for its study is right here in the Bay Area.

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley studies human happiness, compassion and altruism. KALW's Hana Baba wanted to find out the formula, so she went to the center and sat down with its co-director Dacher Keltner, author of the book, Born To Be Good.

Sea Slugs & "Science, Neat"

Oct 23, 2014
Shayle Matsuda

  

Shayle Matsuda is a graduate student studying sea slugs at the California Academy of Sciences. Out of the lab, he creates research experiences for high school students and hosts an interactive happy hour series at San Francisco's El Rio bar called "Science, Neat." He draws by hand, water-colors and uses digital media to make science more accessible. (His hand-drawn "Science, Neat" whale illustration is pictured here.) At a Bay Area Science Festival event Oct. 28, Shayle will talk about the challenges and rewards of being in transition from female to male while in the close quarters of a scientific expedition. He shares these and other highlights of his personal journey and his passion for science on tonight's Out in the Bay with host Eric Jansen.  7pm Thursday, Oct. 23, 91.7 FM + kalw.org

Prakash Lab


I am in a lab tucked away in the basement of a Stanford University engineering building. Bioengineering professor Manu Prakash is showing me a tiny music box which plays the song “Happy Birthday.” 

The Fog Harvester

Sep 17, 2014
Leila Day

John Lovell is holding onto a rope, easing himself down a steep drop-off.

“I’ve already fallen off it once!” Lovell yells, looking down a steep canyon called Avalon in Daly City. It’s a gusty place, with planes constantly overhead. Lovell is here to check on his harvest.    

“People ask me what I do, and I say, ‘[I] harvest fog,’ they say, ‘Harvest frogs?’” Lovell laughs.

Courtesy of blackgirlscode.com

Electrical engineer and computer programmer Kimberly Bryant says that when she was in college, she was one of only a few women, and the only black woman, in her class. When she had her own daughter, Kai, she wondered what she could do to get more young girls of color into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The answer came in April of 2011, when she launched a company called Black Girls Code to teach girls how to build their own websites, make computer games, and train them for careers in the tech industry. Kimberly Bryant and her daughter, Kai, who has been through the program, joined KALW’s Hana Baba in the studio.

Back in 1992, toy company Mattel nearly had to recall its “Teen Talk” Barbie. Women’s groups protested the doll’s use of the phrase “Math class is tough.” They called it out for indirectly perpetuating a harmful stereotype-- that boys and men are better at math than girls and women. Research -- especially over the last 10 years -- has shown there is no innate difference in math ability between males and females. And yet the stereotype persists. Women earn 43% of all college math degrees, yet their presence is scarce in the higher echelons of mathematics.

What does gender have to do with science? The obvious answer is ‘nothing.’ Science is the epitome of an objective, rational, and disinterested enterprise. But has male dominance in science contributed certain unfounded assumptions or cognitive biases to the ‘objectivity’ of scientific inquiry? Is there any possibility of achieving a gender-neutral science, and if so, what would that look like?

Philosophy Talk Live at the Marsh Berkeley 2/16

Feb 14, 2014

This Sunday, join John Perry and Ken Taylor, along with Ian Shoales the Sixty-Second Philosopher, the Roving Philosophical Reporter, and musical guests The Plāto'nes, for two brand-new live recordings of Philosophy Talk.

The Changing Face of What is Normal from Angela Penny

What is the definition of normal? Over 25 percent of the US population over age 18 suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.

Biohacking project a glowing controversy

Sep 24, 2013
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antonyevans/glowing-plants-natural-lighting-with-no-electricit

When we think of garage scientists, eccentric, gray-haired Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future might come to mind. But these days, garages seem a little old-fashioned -- especially when you can work in a tricked out DIY Bio Lab. DIY, or Do It Yourself, labs are for citizen scientists to collaborate. Rather than for profit, the projects are for learning -- things like building robots and printing live cells from 3-D printers. Collective membership dues make the fancy lab equipment affordable. And that’s the goal: make science more accessible, and less intimidating. 

Alyssa Kapnik

Yesterday was opening day for the new and improved Exploratorium over in San Francisco's Embarcadero. Right around Pier 15, the new space boasts 330,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, 150 of them brand new. It also hopes to become the largest net-zero energy museum in the United States — if not the world.

The Bay Area is home to some of the smartest people on the planet. So, it makes sense that our brainy nature would demand the occasional brainy entertainment. That's where Brian Malow, the science comedian, comes in.  Malow spoke with Roman Mars, host of the radio design show 99 Percent Invisible. His latest CD is called Rational Comedy for an Irrational Planet.

Listen to the full story above.

Commentary: A state on fire

Sep 4, 2012

Here in California, the wildfire is an emblem of catastrophic carelessness. A single cigarette butt, dropped in moronic innocence, can easily set off something like the fires we've seen this summer in Lake, Shasta, Tehama, San Diego, Mendocino and Riverside Counties; Joshua Tree, Plumas National Forest, Yosemite, etc.

Restoring John Muir's Hetch Hetchy: Is It Worth It?

Aug 8, 2012

It’s been nearly 100 years since Congress authorized the City of San Francisco to build the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park. This is the dam that turned Hetch Hetchy Valley into Hetch Hetchy reservoir, providing water and electricity to San Francisco and surrounding cities. John Muir and a emerging Sierra Club fought against this project proposal for nearly 12 years before Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913, giving San Francisco the authority to build the dam, power generators, and delivery system to the Bay Area.

Last week, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park launched a major new exhibit called “Earthquake.” It has a walk-through model of the earth, an interactive space to teach earthquake preparedness, and even live ostriches. (Apparently, there’s a connection.) There’s also an earthquake simulator resembling an old Victorian home, bringing us right back to the big one in 1906.

On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the role of women in computer technology.  The proportion of undergraduate Computer Science degrees received by women in the US declined from 37% in 1985 to 22% in 2005.  Are women more afraid of technology?  Is it affecting their job prospects?  How are women innovating with computer science?  What would it take for more to get involved?  Join us at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org.  Who are the women in the computer world that you admire?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.