Big Picture Science – Surviving the Anthropocene

by Gary Niederhoff on February 22, 2015


Big Picture Science – Surviving the Anthropocene

The world is hot, and getting hotter. But higher temperatures aren’t the only impact our species is having on mother Earth. Urbanization, deforestation, and dumping millions of tons of plastic into the oceans … these are all ways in which humans are leaving their mark.

So are we still in the Holocene, the geological epoch that started a mere 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age? Some say we’ve moved on to the age of man – the Anthropocene.

It’s the dawn of an era, but can we survive this new phase in the history of our planet?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Jonathan Amos / Human Influence
Part 2: David Grinspoon / Biological Inevitability
Part 3: Francisco Valero / DSCOVR
Part 4: Gaia Vince / Adaptation

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Big Picture Science – Sesquicentennial Science

by Gary Niederhoff on February 15, 2015


Big Picture Science – Sesquicentennial Science

Today, scientists are familiar to us, but they weren’t always. Even the word “scientist” is relatively modern, dating from the Victorian Era.

And it is to that era we turn as we travel to the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its College of Science with a show recorded in front of a live audience.

Find out how the modern hunt for planets around other stars compares to our knowledge of the cosmos a century and a half ago. Also how faster computers have ushered in the realm of Big Data.

And a science historian describes us what major science frontiers were being crossed during the era of Charles Darwin and germ theory.

It’s then versus now on Sesquicentennial Science!

Recorded at the Eck Center at the University of Notre Dame, February 4th, 2015

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: John Durant / Victorian Science
Part 2: Justin Crepp / Kepler 186f
Part 3: Nitesh Chawla / Big Data

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

February 9, 2015

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally – like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly logical from the most famous sleuth on Baker Street. Plus, discover why animal trackers 100,000 years ago may have been the […]

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Big Picture Science – Digging Our Past

February 1, 2015

Big Picture Science – Digging Our Past What’s past is prologue. For centuries, researchers have studied buried evidence – bones, teeth, or artifacts – to learn about murky human history, or even to investigate vanished species. But today’s hi-tech forensics allows us to analyze samples dug from the ground faster and at a far more […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest

January 25, 2015

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearestclick to listen Shh …mummy’s the word! We don’t want to provoke the curse of King Tut. Except that there are many curses associated with this fossilized pharaoh – from evil spirits to alien malevolence. So it’s hard to keep know which one we’d face. We’ll unravel secrets […]

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Big Picture Science – Big Questions Somewhat Answered

January 19, 2015

Big Picture Science – Big Questions Somewhat Answered Here are questions that give a cosmologist – and maybe even you – insomnia: What happened after the Big Bang? What is dark matter? Will dark energy tear the universe apart? Let us help you catch those zzzzs. We’re going to provide answers to the biggest cosmic […]

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Big Picture Science – How To Talk To Aliens

January 11, 2015

Big Picture Science – How To Talk To Aliens “Dear E.T. …” So far, so good. But now what? Writing is never easy, but what if your task was to craft a message to aliens living elsewhere in the universe, and your prose would represent all humankind? Got writer’s block yet? What to say to […]

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Big Picture Science – Meet Your Replacements

January 4, 2015

Big Picture Science – Meet Your Replacements There’s no one like you. At least, not yet. But in some visions of the future, androids can do just about everything, computers will hook directly into your brain, and genetic human-hybrids with exotic traits will be walking the streets. So could humans become an endangered species? Be […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Got a Sweet Truth?

December 28, 2014

Big Picture Science – Got a Sweet Truth? The sweet stuff is getting sour press. Some researchers say sugar is toxic. A new study seems to support that idea: mice fed the human equivalent of an extra three sodas a day become infertile or die. But should cupcakes be regulated like alcohol? Hear both sides […]

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Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True

December 21, 2014

Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the movies. Science fiction is just a guide to how our future might unfold. It can be misleading, as anyone who yearns for a flying car can tell you. And yet, sometimes fantasy becomes fact. Think of the prototype cellphones […]

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