Cool Science Radio

Thursday, 9-10AM

Credit Mark Maziarz

From the discovery of new dinosaurs to the science of an avalanche.

From the secret technology behind Facebook, to nanotechnology.

Deciphering science and technology in an entertaining, amusing and accessible way.

If we can understand it, so can you. 

For questions and inquiries, contact the hosts directly at coolscience@kpcw.org.

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 Today’s first guest is Ashwin Vasavada who was the project scientist of the Mars Curiosity project. There is evidence that the Red Planet once had a climate that could have supported life billions of years ago – and more evidence unearthed last week. 

The second guest is author J. Kenji Lopez, who wrote the book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.  In the Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American   dishes, delving into interactions between heat, energy and molecules that create great food.

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Today’s first guest is Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Associate Professor, School of Computing, University of Utah. Software may appear to operate without bias because it strictly uses computer code to reach conclusions. That’s why many companies use algorithms to help weed out job applicants when hiring for a new position.

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Hosts Lynn Ware Peek and John Wells speak with  Guru Madhaven, author of Applied Minds: How Engineers ThinkApplied Minds explores the unique visions and mental tools of engineers to reveal the enormous ― and often understated ― influence they wield in transforming problems into opportunities.       

courtesy Matthew Cobb

Lynn Ware Peek and John Wells first host  Megan Prelinger, author of Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age. Inside the Machine is a visual history of the electronic age which captures the collision of technology and art. A hidden history of the twentieth century’s brilliant innovations — as seen through art and images of electronics that fed the dreams of so many.

courtesy Jerry Kaplan

Lynn Ware Peek and John Wells talk with Jerry Kaplan, author of Humans Need Not Apply. After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities.

Today in the program, John Wells and Lynn Ware Peek speak with Marc Lewis, PHD, author of the book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease.  Lewis is a neuroscientist and former addict who argues that addiction is  not a disease  and why we should view it as changeable through the brain's particular plasticity and ability to adapt.  It will help, he says with overcoming addition and pave a smoother path to recovery.

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On this episode of Cool Science Radio, hosts John Wells and Lynn Ware Peek spoke with author Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter with the New York Times. They talked about his book A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age. The book tells the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Author Jordan Ellenburg also joined the show to talk about his book How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.

Lynn Ware Peek and guest co-host Chris Cherniak speak with pilot, writer, former historian and management consultant, Mark Vanhoenacker  takes us on a journey of human flight. He says, the 21 century has relegated airplane flight – a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity – to the realm of the mundane.  He’ll ask us to re imagine what – as both pilots and passengers – we do when we enter the world of human flight. 

The development of quantum computers has been limited by the ability to increase the number of quantum bits, or qubits, that encode, store and access large amounts of data.  We speak with Dr. Jason Amini of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, about a new device that allows more electrodes to be placed on a chip - an important step that could help increase qubit densities and bring the world one step closer to a quantum computer. 

John Wells and Lynn Ware Peek speak with Sue Armstrong, author of the book, "P53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code."  Her book tells the story of the discovery of a most remarkable gene - p53 - and of medical science's mission to unravel its mysteries to get to the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. 

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