The Pulse
The Pulse
Oct 16, 2020
The Hidden Costs of Science
49 min

In science, we tend to focus on the destination, not the journey. But for every big breakthrough, every historic discovery, there are countless contributions that no one notices: the forgotten grunt workers, research that came to nothing, even lives lost in the pursuit of progress. Today’s episode is about the hidden cost of science — the price of doing business that we rarely think about. We hear stories about the mental health toll of graduate school, the literal cost of research, and the environmental impact of scientific progress.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • J’Nese Williams — a historian of Modern Britain and lecturer at Stanford University — tells the story of the enslaved workforce that built the botanical garden on the tropical island of St. Vincent. She did some of her research on this topic during a fellowship at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • We talk with diabetes researcher Antentor Hinton Jr. about learning to say no, and his tips for succeeding and thriving in graduate school.
  • Each year, universities spend millions of dollars on a hidden cost: access to research and scientific journals. But that’s starting to change thanks to the Open Access movement. Reporter Liz Tung talks with University of California librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason about what’s changing and why.
  • Many scientists are passionate about the use of animals in their research. They feel empathy for the animals, but they also believe that this work is necessary, and serves a greater purpose. Reporter Jad Sleiman explores this complicated relationship.
The Field
The Field
The New York Times
On Election Day, 'Two Different Worlds'
This episode contains strong language. At the heart of one race for the Wisconsin State Assembly are some of the same political cracks splitting the U.S. as a whole. Some believe keeping businesses running is a priority during the coronavirus pandemic; others think keeping people safe and healthy should be given precedence. Rob Swearingen is a four-time Republican assemblyman and owner of a local restaurant. He challenged the lockdown imposed by Wisconsin’s governor and, since reopening his business, has taken a loose interpretation of the mask mandate. His Democratic challenger, Kirk Bangstad, has strictly followed statewide edicts, opening his restaurant outdoors in the summer and, when there were coronavirus infections among his staff, closing down until all could be tested. What do the different approaches reveal about Wisconsin politics and about broader American divisions? Reid J. Epstein, a politics reporter for The New York Times, and Andy Mills and Luke Vander Ploeg, audio producers for The Times, went to the state to find out. Guests: Reid J. Epstein, who covers campaigns and elections for The New York Times; Andy Mills, a senior audio producer for The Times; Luke Vander Ploeg, an audio producer for The Times.  Bonus Election Day special: The Daily is going LIVE today. Listen to Michael Barbaro and Carolyn Ryan, a deputy managing editor at The Times, as they call our correspondents for the latest on a history-making day.  Tune in from 4 - 8 p.m. Eastern, only on nytimes.com/thedaily and on the The New York Times iPhone app. Click here for more information.  Background reading:  * Here’s Reid’s story about how the virus has divided the conservative town of Minocqua, Wis. * President Trump and Joe Biden barnstormed through battleground states, concluding an extraordinary campaign conducted amid a health crisis and deep economic anxiety.
37 min
Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking
Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking
The Long Now Foundation
Roman Krznaric: Becoming a Better Ancestor
Tune in at 11:00am PT on 10/28/20 to watch & share the live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Long Now Live. Human beings have an astonishing evolutionary gift: agile imaginations that can shift in an instant from thinking on a scale of seconds to a scale of years or even centuries. The need to draw on our capacity to think long-term has never been more urgent, whether in areas such as public health care, to deal with technological risks, or to confront the threats of an ecological crisis. What can we do to overcome the tyranny of the now? The drivers of short-termism threaten to drag us over the edge of civilizational breakdown, while ways to think long-term are drawing us towards a culture of longer time horizons and responsibility for the future of humankind. Creating a cognitive toolkit for challenging our obsession with the here and now offers conceptual scaffolding for answering one of the most important questions of our time: How can we be good ancestors? ---Roman Krznaric Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His newest book on the history and future of long-term thinking is The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking. Other books include Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained, which have been published in more than 20 languages. Krznaric founded the traveling Empathy Museum and is especially interested in the challenges of how we extend empathy to future generations. Roman Krznaric is also a Long Now Research Fellow.
1 hr 24 min
Boston Public Radio Podcast
Boston Public Radio Podcast
WGBH Educational Foundation
BPR Full Show 11/25/20: Breaking With Tradition
Today on Boston Public Radio: M.I.T. economist Jon Gruber talked about shifting attitudes around the decriminalization of cannabis, and discussed the economic, public health, and social justice implications of marijuana legalization. We opened up the lines to talk with listeners about this year’s Black Friday, getting your takes on pandemic-era shopping sprees. National security expert Juliette Kayyem dove into the logistics of COVID vaccine distribution, and talked about a "rolling recovery” through the final months of the pandemic. She also talked about questions of presidential pardons during the final months of the Trump administration, and weighed in on President-elect Biden’s latest string of cabinet picks. Behavioral economist Michael Norton broke down his research on why human beings have such a hard time breaking from tradition, ahead of this COVID-era Thanksgiving. He also took some time to respond to questions and comments from listeners on the subject. Former DNC chairman Steve Grossman talked about his work with his organization The Initiative for Competitive Inner City, and their first-ever report ranking concentrated poverty in 450 American cities. He also discussed means of encouraging and stimulating growth in inner city economies, reflecting on the initiatives he'd like to see on a federal and state level. TV expert Bob Thompson discussed news that former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings is temporarily taking on Jeopardy hosting duties in the wake of Alex Trebek’s passing. He also reviewed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, and HBO’s “Between the World And Me.” We closed out Wednesday’s show by returning to listeners, to talk about the Thanksgiving Day traditions you’re holding onto this year – and maybe some ones you’ve invented in the time of coronavirus.
2 hr 46 min
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