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The organization representing more than 600 public school boards across the state says how science is taught in the classroom will influence how a generation of students think about climate change.

Starting this fall, new standards for teaching science go into effect in New York.  They put a much more specific emphasis on the role of human activity in global warming.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with Dave Albert, spokesman for the New York State School Boards Association.

Can science and faith coexist in today's politically-charged environment? A 2015 survey found that nearly 70 percent of evangelicals in the United States don't see religion and science as being totally at odds. Meanwhile, a survey cited by National Geographic says scientists may be just as likely to believe in God as those outside the scientific community.

We discuss the relationship between science and religion with our guests:

  • Rev. J. Eric Thompson, priest in charge at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Dansville
  • Dan Courtney, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and atheist activist

The March for Science happened this past weekend in Washington, and around the world. Scientists from all manner of fields declared their desire to do their work without politicization. Of course, critics said the entire idea was political. But the Trump administration has been openly hostile to several basic, scientific ideas. So where does that leave science in the United States? Our guests:

  • David Williams, professor of optics and biomedical engineering, and dean for research in arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Rochester
  • Matthew Hoffman, associate professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at RIT
  • Jason Szymanski, assistant professor of chemistry and geosciences at Monroe Community College
  • Adam Rich, associate professor of biology at the College at Brockport
  • Stephanie Gallant, chair of the organizing committee for the Rochester March for Science

For all of ways we use the term "Epicurean," here's something strange: the original works of Epicurus himself have never been found. It's only through letters and quotations that we glimpse his work. But what if a library on a seaside villa contains the lost works of Epicurus -- and dozens of others?

When Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in 79 AD, it also buried Herculaneum. That seaside estate contained a library of many scrolls, and the volcanic ash preserved the scrolls... in a manner of speaking. They look like lumps of coal, but top scientists are desperate to find a way to either unspool them without destroying them, or to use new technology to peer inside. What might we find? How could we do it? What other ancient texts are begging to be read, if we can only figure out how? Our guests:

  • Brent Seales, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, and director of the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments at the University of Kentucky
  • Roger Easton, professor of imaging science and director of the Laboratory for Imaging of Historical Artifacts at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Greg Heyworth, associate professor of English and Textual Science and director of the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester

Our Monthly Science Roundtable looks at the science of political tweeting. Specifically, Donald Trump said that Hillary Clinton would be a failed candidate if she were a man, and then tweeted that she was using the "woman card." Clinton's twitter account responded with, "If paying for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in." Who won that social media exchange?

A team of researchers from the University of Rochester has been digging for the answer, using followers and responses. They believe their work shows who has been winning the so-called "gender wars" on social media. Our guests:

  • Jiebo Luo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Rochester
  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology

Should STEM become STEAM? We look at the growing movement to add arts to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Supporters say that adding arts allows students to incorporate creativity and critical thinking, not just rote memorization. Opponents say this is a distraction, and the United States needs even more emphasis on STEM.

Our panel explores the impact of turning STEM into STEAM:

  • Dr. Hitomi Mukaibo, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester
  • Katie Maley, art teacher at Brighton High School
  • Laura Arnold, physics teacher at Brighton High School
  • Ben McLauchlin, 2014 Brighton High School graduate and currently a sophomore at SUNY Binghamton

We may not be not the universe's first advanced civilization.

University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank is the co-author of a new paper that puts some numbers on how likely it is that humans are unique. His conclusion? Other intelligent life has very likely come before us. How often?

We discuss how Frank modified the famous "Drake Equation" of 1961, and why it's so likely that other intelligent life is either out there -- or has been out there, at one time or another.

Our Monthly Science Roundtable looks at gravitational waves. The remarkable story of the first detection of gravitational waves confirms that Einstein was right, which is not exactly news, but in this case it was: Einstein figured these waves exist, but he also figured that we'd never be able to build anything sensitive enough to detect them. So in that sense, Einstein was wrong.

Our panel explains what the waves are, how we detected them, where they came from, and what we might discover next. And there happens to be local connections, which we explain as well. Our guests:

Wait, there's a ninth planet? A ninth planet that's not Pluto?

Apparently there is, according to researchers who say the evidence is mounting that a big, super-Earth sized planet is hanging out on the far corners of our solar system. So if it's real, how come no one has officially discovered it yet? How do they know it's there? What does this mean for our group of planets? Is Pluto going to sue over its status or what?

In our Monthly Science Roundtable, we explore the search for Planet Nine, and we talk all things space. Our guests:

  • Brian Koberlein, RIT senior lecturer of physics
  • Michael Richmond, RIT professor of physics and director of the RIT Observatory
  • Kevin Cooke, a Ph.D. student in the astrophysical sciences and technology program at RIT

Our Monthly Science Roundtable asks: What if science could fix one of our country's big energy mistakes?

A decade ago, government was all-in on corn-based ethanol. This produced bad results on a number of levels: environmental, energy efficiency, the impact on food and crop rotation, etc. But now a team led by a researcher at the University of Rochester is zeroing in on a method to make ethanol much more efficient, and much less corrosive. Will it work? We explore the research.

  • Bill Jones, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, University of Rochester
  • Tom Baker, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, University of Ottawa

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