science

USC

For scientists in the fields of chemistry, medicine, and physics, there is the Nobel Prize and all the accolades that come with it. But for scientists in the environmental sciences, the Tyler Prize was created by Ann and John Tyler in 1973 to recognize scientists making world-class contributions to the fields of science that most impact our understanding of the Earth's ecosystems.

NASA


In this episode, we look back in space and time to examine the life of an extraordinary pioneer of the space race and literally our place in space -- the pale blue dot image. First Dave talks to Clayton Turner, the Director of the Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia as we examine the life of the late Katherine Johnson. 

 

Made famous in the book and movie, Hidden Figures, Johnson's mathematical computations paved the way to put the first Americans into space including Alan Shepard and John Glenn and the lunar missions of the Apollo Program. Johnson passed away on February 24 at the age of 101. We also visit with Katrina Young, a NASA Public Relations specialist who got to know Johnson well during her many return visits to Langley.

Amazon

Greg Cootsona is a writer, researcher, and speaker. He teaches religious studies and humanities at California State University at Chico. He is also co-director of Science for the Church. Today, he stops by to chat about his book, Negotiating Science and Religion In America: Past, Present, and Future.

Jennifer Jewell

Dave talks to his metaphorical sister -- Jennifer Jewell, the host of Cultivating Place, which is also produced from North State Public Radio. Dave and Jennifer both began their broadcasting and podcasting careers on public radio at the same time and place and are longtime friends and supporters of one another. Jennifer Jewell has been compared to Krista Tippett, the host of On Being, but her purview is the world of gardening and the love of all things botanical. 

Titanic Facts


In this classic episode Dave visits with Stockton Rush, founder and CEO of OceanGate in Everett, Washington. The company is working on an ambitious plan to make the deep ocean accessible to paying customers as well as scientists starting with a set of expeditions next year to visit the most famous of all shipwrecks -- RMS Titanic.

 

Rush seems like a character right out of an adventure novel, getting a commercial jet pilot's license at 19 years old and working as a flight test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base before turning his attention to engineer submarines and submersibles to explore the biggest volume of our planet -- the sea beneath the waves. 

Daniel Levitin

 

Dave visits with neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist, musician and all-around amazing guy, Daniel Levitin. His book This is Your Brain On Music spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestseller list and his latest, Successful Aging is already on the top ten for this year's list. 

Levitin's biography thus far is nothing short of amazing. He's helped produce and consult on musical projects ranging from Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult and Joni Mitchell (just to name a few!) to being the music consultant for the 1997 film Good Will Hunting.

NASA


Dave talks with two of the Deputy Project Scientists deeply involved with the Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater since 2012, and the new, yet to be named, Mars 2020 Rover that will be launching this July. 

 

Abigail Fraeman is the DPS for Curiosity and explains how the mobile science laboratory has furthered our understanding of how Mars was once a planet that was suitable for primitive microbial life. 


Dave visits with some very special friends! Amy Bean, Tracy Cernan, and Gwen Griffin all grew up inside the Apollo Moon program during the late 1960s and early 70s. Amy and Tracy's Dad's were among the 12 men who are the only ones to have ever walked on another world -- The Moon. 

NASA

 

Blue Dot looks back at 51 years of the Apollo program with a look at the very first mission to the Moon -- Apollo 8. Considered by most space historians as the most dramatic and bold mission of the entire lunar program, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders became the first human beings to leave ride the powerful Saturn V rocket, leave Earth's gravitational well and see the backside of the Moon with their own eyes.

NASA


Longtime listeners to Blue Dot know that Dave has a lifelong fascination with the Moon from its exploration to its role in eclipses. But how did our companion world come to be? 

 

Since the Apollo missions brought back lunar samples, the most accepted idea is called the "Giant Impact Hypothesis" but the notion has its flaws -- mainly that if a Mars-sized object actually did hit the Earth and create the Moon, where is the evidence in the Moon rocks which are isotopically identical to Earth's?

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