Building Community in the Bayou
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
2d ago
At the age of 19, Monique Verdin picked up a camera and began documenting the lives of her relatives in the Mississippi Delta. Little did she know that she would spend the next two decades investigating and capturing the profound ways that climate, the fossil fuel industry, and the shifting waters of the Gulf of Mexico would transform the landscape that was once a refuge for her Houma ancestors. Based in Louisiana, Verdin is an artist, storyteller, videographer, and photographer, as well as a community builder and activist. She is also the director of the Land Memory Bank and Seed Exchange, a ..read more
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Zach Pirtle Explores Ethics for Mars Landings
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
1M ago
NASA’s Artemis project aims to establish a long-term human presence on the moon—and then put astronauts on Mars. So in addition to designing rockets and spacesuits, NASA is also exploring the ethical and societal implications of living in space. In the third episode of our Science Policy IRL series, Zach Pirtle, who got his undergraduate degrees in engineering and philosophy at Arizona State University, explains how he came to work in the agency’s Office of Technology Policy and Strategy, where he recently organized a seminar on space ethics. He also works as a program executive ..read more
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Turning a Policy Idea Into a Pilot Project
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
1M ago
By day, Erica Fuchs is a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. However, for the past year she’s also been running a pilot project—the National Network for Critical Technology Assessment—to give the federal government the ability to anticipate problems in supply chains and respond to them.  The trip from germ of a policy idea to pilot project in the National Science Foundation’s new Technology Implementation and Partnerships directorate has been a wild ride. And it all started when she developed her thoughts on the need for a national technology strategy into a 2021  ..read more
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Turning a Policy Idea Into Pilot Project
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
1M ago
By day, Erica Fuchs is a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. However, for the past year she’s also been running a pilot project—the National Network for Critical Technology Assessment—to give the federal government the ability to anticipate problems in supply chains and respond to them.  The trip from germ of a policy idea to pilot project in the National Science Foundation’s new Technology Implementation and Partnerships directorate has been a wild ride. And it all started when she developed her thoughts on the need for a national technology strategy into a 2021  ..read more
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Science Policy IRL: Apurva Dave Builds Connections Between National Security and Climate
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
2M ago
Early in his career, Apurva Dave was an oceanographer; now he works at the cutting edge of climate policy at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. As the director of the Academies’ Climate Security Roundtable, he convenes cross-disciplinary dialogues on “emerging, abrupt, and understudied risks” at the nexus of climate change and national security.  In this second episode in our Science Policy IRL series, Apurva joins senior editor Megan Nicholson to talk about his nonlinear path to this role, and how his hesitancy to specialize has h ..read more
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A Venture Capitalist for Better Science
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
3M ago
Stuart Buck has referred to himself as a venture capitalist for making science more efficient, reliable, and accountable. As vice president at the policy-focused philanthropy Arnold Ventures, he directed funds toward fledgling enterprises that are now major forces shaping scientific norms and infrastructure, including the Center for Open Science and Retraction Watch. He’s now executive director of the Good Science Project, a nonprofit organization working to figure out effective ways to improve science. Buck considers how to make sure that reforms are actually improvements, not performative bu ..read more
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Science Policy IRL: Quinn Spadola Develops Nanotechnology With Soft Power
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
3M ago
Since 1984, Issues in Science and Technology has been a journal for science policy—a space to discuss how to best use science for the benefit of society. But what is science policy, exactly? Our new podcast series, Science Policy IRL, explores what science policy is and how it gets done. “Science” is often caricatured as a lone person in a lab, but the work of science is supported by a community of people who engineer its funding, goals, coordination, and dissemination. They include people in legislative offices, federal agencies, national labs, universities, the National Academies, industry ..read more
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Fruitful Communities
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
4M ago
Food is an essential part of our lives, but for many people fresh food is something they find in a grocery store, not growing in their communities. How can art and advances in agricultural science create new food resources, connect communities, and create more resilient food systems? On this episode, host J. D. Talasek is joined by artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young of Fallen Fruit and professor Molly Jahn from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to explore how creativity and systems thinking can change the food system. Resources: Read about the “Subversive Beauty of Fallen Fruit” in ..read more
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Rethinking Hard Problems in Brain Science
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
4M ago
When it comes to exploring the mind-boggling complexity of living systems—ranging from the origins of human consciousness to treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s—Susan Fitzpatrick has long been a critic of reductionist thinking. In this episode we talk with Fitzpatrick, who has spent three decades supporting brain research as president of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, about new ways to understand the human brain, the difficulty of developing an effective Alzheimer’s treatment, and how scientific research can successfully confront complex problems. Further reading ..read more
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Chasing Connections in Climate Action
The Ongoing Transformation
by Issues in Science and Technology
4M ago
There is scientific consensus on climate change and its human cause, but how to understand and address global warming remains a divided topic in American life. Art and religion are two lenses through which new perspectives on climate change might be discovered. In this episode, we talk to photographer James Balog and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about how their work creates connections across different ways of knowing, such as art, science, or religion. How can these connections—along with a better understanding of influences such as personal geographies and socioeconomic backgrounds—inf ..read more
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