science


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?

Sasha Sagan


In this very special episode, Dave talks to the daughter of the man he likes to call "the patron saint of Blue Dot," Carl Sagan.

 

Sasha Sagan was only 14 when her father passed away in 1996 and his loss is central to the theme of her new book For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World

Lauren E. Oakes

Dr. Lauren E. Oakes is a conservation and adaptation scientist working to model and communicate how people can adapt at local levels to the GLOBAL climate crisis. Her book In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress and a Changing World is the chosen Book in Common for Chico and California State University, Chico this coming academic year. We revisit our BEST OF conversation with Lauren this week, sharing her journey story and other thoughts on resilience in our changing world, in advance of her appearing at CSU Chico this coming April. Listen in!

TylerPrize.Org

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.

Dave Schlom


In this episode, Dave is going to the dogs. Literally. But that's OK with him because Dave loves dogs and dogs love him and now, thanks to Dr. Clive Wynne, he can prove it. Dr. Wynne, a researcher in animal behavior at Arizona State University, is the author of the new book, Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.

From Pavlov's dogs (you'll find out there's more to that story than wringing a bell) to modern research using MRI machines, Wynne's book is an exploration of a simple and compelling question that he asked himself, "What is it that makes dogs special?" 

 


Dave visits with James Zimring, author of the new book What Science is and How it Really Works. In a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from the methodology of science, news flash, there really isn't a "Scientific Method" like the version you saw in your high school biology textbook, to some of the most important social issues of our day like the anti-vaccination movement and climate change science denial. 

Port Townsend Shipwrights


In this episode, we explore the amazing story of the Western Flyer, the fishing boat immortalized by John Steinbeck in his 1940 book The Log From The Sea of Cortez. Fresh off the success and controversy surrounding The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck and his best friend and mentor in the newly emerging science of ecology, marine biologist Ed Ricketts (the model for the character of "Doc" in the novel Cannery Row) set off to explore the Baja California coast and the Gulf of California (more romantically referred to as "The Sea of Cortez") in 1940. 

Josh Willis


Dave talks to longtime friend of the program, Josh Willis, the Principal Investigator for NASA's OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) program. 

 

Josh was flying missions over the places where the glacial ice sheets meet the sea all summer and was joined by several major media outlets (like NBC with Al Roker pictured above) that highlighted the pace at which Greenlands glaciers are melting.

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