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Playlist: Science

Compiled By: Jeff Conner

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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:

In Living Color

From Big Picture Science | Part of the Big Picture Science series | 54:00


The world is a colorful place, and human eyes have evolved to take it in – from vermillion red to bright tangerine to cobalt blue. But when we do, are you and I seeing the same thing?  

Find out why color perception is a trick of the brain, and why you and I may not see the same shade of green. Or blue. Or red. Also, platypuses and the growing club of fluorescent mammals, and the first new blue pigment in more than two centuries.  


Paula Anich – Associate Professor of Natural Resources, Northland College

Michaela Carlson – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Northland College

Rob DeSalle – Curator at the American Museum of Natural History, and co-author of “A Natural History of Color: the Science Behind What We See and How We See It

Mas Subramanian – Professor of Materials Science at Oregon State University

originally aired March 8, 2021

Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake

Sidedoor (Series)

Produced by Smithsonian

Most recent piece in this series:

Wild Orchid Mystery

From Smithsonian | Part of the Sidedoor series | 22:47

Side_door_logo_640x640_small You probably know orchids as the big, colorful flowers found in grocery stores and given as housewarming gifts. But those tropical beauties represent only a fraction of the estimated 25,000 orchid species worldwide. While their showy relatives fly off the shelves, North America’s more understated native orchids are disappearing in the wild. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are working to protect these orchids and their habitats, but first they need solve a surprisingly difficult problem: how to grow one.

Planetary Radio (Series)

Produced by Mat Kaplan

Most recent piece in this series:

Subsurface granite on the Moon? The anatomy of a lunar hot spot

From Mat Kaplan | Part of the Planetary Radio series | 28:50


A decades-old lunar mystery gets an update in this week's Planetary Radio. Matt Siegler from the Planetary Science Institute shares his team's surprising findings about the granite formation that might lie beneath Compton-Belkovich, a thorium-rich hot spot on the far side of the Moon. Then Bruce Betts, chief scientist of The Planetary Society, shares What's Up in the night sky.

Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2023-subsurface-granite-on-the-moon

Climate One (Series)

Produced by Climate One

Most recent piece in this series:

2023-12-01 On the Ground at COP28: What’s at Stake with the Global Stocktake?

From Climate One | Part of the Climate One series | 59:00


The 28th annual Conference of the Parties, COP28, opens this week in Dubai. For the 28th time, the nations of the world have gathered to see what progress they can make on addressing the increasingly global climate crisis. This year’s COP marks the first “Global Stocktake,” an assessment of how the nations of the world are doing compared to the emissions-cutting commitments they made at the 2015 Paris Accords. But countries small and large haven’t decarbonized at the rate they’ve promised.

“We're not on track to get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. In fact, we're very far off track,” says Dan Esty, professor of environmental law and policy at Yale. 

Every year there is renewed hope that collective international peer pressure will help accomplish major climate policy goals. 

“A problem like climate change is inescapably global in scope, you cannot get it solved by one country going on its own,” Esty says.

But after three decades we still haven’t taken the collective action necessary. And this year’s conference is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates, a major oil and gas producing nation, and led by an industry executive, Sultan Al Jaber, which many consider to be a conflict of interest. Al Gore went so far as to call Al Jaber's presidency a sign that the fossil fuel industry has “brazenly seized control of the COP process.” 

Al Jaber heads Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which is expanding its operations.

“For a lot of people the idea of a CEO being president of a COP would be completely nonsensical. It's almost beyond belief that this would happen,” says Ben Stockton, an investigative reporter working for the Center for Climate Reporting. In an article he wrote with Amy Westervelt for “The Intercept,” he made the case that Al Jaber's reputation has been shaped by some of the world's most influential public relations companies, and they've used these roles both as head of ADNOC and UAE's renewable energy company, Masdar, to make him the face of the country's fight against climate change.

Stockton says it’s noteworthy that Al Jaber has the support of a number of world leaders, including those in climate diplomacy. “Namely, John Kerry, who has come out in support of Al Jaber's presidency, despite these claims of conflict of interest.”

In a way, having an oil executive leading COP28 means that certain conversations can't and won't be avoided. Oil-producing countries in the Persian Gulf region see the West as hypocritical for pushing to phase out fossil fuel production even as they continue to use those same fuels to further their own prosperity. Meanwhile, environmentalists in the West see oil-producing states like the UAE as having a conflict of interest for even hosting an international climate conference.

At last year’s climate summit, COP27, rich nations for the first time agreed to create a loss and damage fund. The idea is to help poorer nations who have not contributed much to global greenhouse gas emissions weather the increasingly severe impacts of climate disruption – bigger floods, higher sea levels, more intense storms. Aisha Khan, chief executive of the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change in Pakistan, says there was a lot of euphoria when the loss and damage fund was finally accepted. But since then, “The divide between the developed and developing countries has increased because of the resistance from the developed countries to own responsibility for emissions and provide support for loss and damage at the scale that is needed to everyone,” she says.

“We need to shift people's focus from thinking that climate change is some long term deterministic event that will unpack slowly. It is already unpacking. It is already affecting the lives of people in many parts of the world,” Khan says. “We have to start making people see that it's related directly to your food, water, energy security, it's connected to lives, livelihoods, it is connected to the future of the next generation. Because at some point or the other, it's going to catch up with everyone.”

Sound Ecology (Series)

Produced by Jessica Eden

Most recent piece in this series:

Sound Ecology: Diablotin (Black-capped petrel)

From Jessica Eden | Part of the Sound Ecology series | 01:45

Sound_ecology_logo_small A rare little seabird nests in the rugged mountains between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We learn about conservation efforts that seek to foster a healthy ecosystem for local communities and for this endangered "Diablotin".

Got Science? (Series)

Produced by This Is Science With Jess Phoenix

Most recent piece in this series:

Lean, Clean, Green Machines

From This Is Science With Jess Phoenix | Part of the Got Science? series | 29:01


In this episode

Colleen talks to Bridget and Paula about:

  • the modeling and analysis that shows how states can reach 100% renewable energy by 2035
  • what policies are needed to reach an equitable transition
  • what a just and sustainable future could look like

A Moment of Science (Series)

Produced by WFIU

Most recent piece in this series:

AMOS 23-250: Tardigrades, 12/15/2023

From WFIU | Part of the A Moment of Science series | 02:00

Mos-fullcolor-rgb-stacked_small Tardigrades

Bioneers - Revolution From the Heart of Nature (Series)

Produced by Bioneers

Most recent piece in this series:

10-16: The Path Home: Restoring Native Lands and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, 12/6/2023

From Bioneers | Part of the Bioneers - Revolution From the Heart of Nature series | 28:30

Deranger_eriel_small Although colonial systems of oppression have radically damaged relationships between tribal communities and their traditional lands, a new generation of First Nations activists is working to restore those connections and safeguard Indigenous identity for future generations. They’re protecting traditional territories and sacred sites from harm, and renewing Indigenous land stewardship. With: Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, and Cara Romero, from the Mohave-based Chemehuevi Tribe.

The 90-Second Naturalist (Series)

Produced by WGUC/ WVXU

Most recent piece in this series:

90 Second Naturalist – December 2023 Modules

From WGUC/ WVXU | Part of the The 90-Second Naturalist series | 31:30

Nsn_podcast_logo_small 90-second modules that celebrate the natural world and bring the wonder of nature into daily life.

This Week in Water (Series)

Produced by H2O Radio

Most recent piece in this series:

This Week in Water for November 26, 2023

From H2O Radio | Part of the This Week in Water series | 06:00

H2o_logo_240_small Blue whales are thriving thanks to this country’s “debt-for-nature” swap.

They’re the most invasive animal on the planet and are roaming close to the U.S.-Canada border, where their populations are exploding.

Could skunks lose their stripes? Yes, and that would make them happy.

How “koala corridors” could save the iconic endangered animals.