Sci on the Fly

PODCAST | From Food Waste and Wasted Food to Resource Recovery

Americans waste 40% of their food. How did we become so wasteful and what can we do about it? Dr. Ariela Zycherman is joined by Dr. Irina Feygina of Climate Central, Jason Turgeon of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Maria Rose Belding and Grant Nelson from the MEANS database for a discussion about what parts of food we waste, why we waste, and what we can do to reduce waste across a variety of social, natural and built systems.

PODCAST | Scientists are People Too, Episode 1

This is the first episode in a new series called “Scientists are People Too.” In each episode, we will ask scientists about their work and their daily lives. This episode asks scientists “What is the biggest mistake you have made in science or the most expensive piece of equipment you have broken?”


Host: Danielle Friend, Ph.D. Neuroscience 2016-2017 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Institutes of Health

The President Should Heed the Business Community on Climate Change

This post was written with the assistance of Lauren Smith-Ramesh (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis) and Susan Kalisz (University of Tennessee)

President Trump is a businessman. His goals have included minimizing risk where possible and maximizing profits for himself and his associates. Mr. Trump’s success has been at least partly determined by his ability to take advantage of opportunities and anticipate problems better than his competitors.

Feedback: Turning on Directions

This is the first post in a mini-series on Sci on the Fly that will explore questions about feedback. This post asks: How can real-time feedback fail us and what makes it potent?

The hit television show, The Office, has a laughable scene that reveals a potential limitation of real-time feedback. In it, Michael is driving Dwight across the state to drum up business. He comes to an intersection, and his Global Positioning System (GPS) unit instructs him in real-time to make a right turn. Michael then proceeds, and the following dialogue ensues:

Spa Day for Your Brain

Alzheimer's is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that slowly erases the very thing that makes us who we are—our minds. While major advances in neuroimaging have allowed us to visualize structural, functional and temporal features of the brain in great detail, researchers are limited in their abilities to target specific brain functions. Current interdisciplinary research combining techniques from genetics, biochemistry and photonics to control the functions of single neurons, however, may be the key to unlocking targeted treatments and much more.

Marching for Science: The Blurry Line Between Values and Facts

Scientists of all backgrounds are fighting back against anti-science rhetoric sweeping American politics. They are speaking out, planning runs for office, and organizing a worldwide March for Science on Earth Day 2017. One point of particular focus is anthropogenic climate change, a settled fact in the scientific community, but an issue that remains subject to partisan debate.

PODCAST | What makes a data scientist?

"Data Scientist" is listed as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” by the Harvard Business Review, but what is data science and what do data scientists do? Claire Schulkey investigated the question at International Data Week speaking with Amy Nurnberger and Sarah Callaghan, two data professionals, and she heard from the chief data scientist at the New York Times to figure out what makes a data professional, how people get into the field, and what they do all day.


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