Science

Science
5:27 am
Wed June 25, 2014

WKU Researcher Co-Winner of National Science Contest

Dr. Jill Maples

A Western Kentucky University researcher has been chosen as a co-winner in a "Science Idol" competition in Washington, D.C.

Jill Maples shared the award as a recent symposium on biomedical research excellence. Maples is an assistant professor in WKU's department of kinesiology, recreation and sport.

The symposium was sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

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Science
1:11 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Impressive Meteor Shower Expected Early Saturday Morning

The director of WKU's Hardin Planetarium says a meteor show early Saturday morning could be the best of the decade
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

WKU's Dr. Richard Gelderman explains what might be visible early Saturday morning

If you’re up late Friday night – or early Saturday morning, you could be in store for a dramatic light show in the sky.  Dr. Richard Gelderman, director of WKU’s Hardin Planetarium says we could see the best meteor shower of the year – possibly the decade.

“A comet has just passed near the sun and we are about to run into its trail,” said Gelderman.  “That’s going to probably be a whole lot of dust. It’s going to come when the moon is not going to be in the sky, so it will be nice and dark and it will come when our part of the earth is slamming right into the dust stream.”

Gelderman says the best time to view the comet will likely be between midnight and 2 a.m. central time Saturday morning, but he notes those time estimates aren’t always precise.

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Science
4:24 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

WKU Professor Who Served on Climate Panel Says Kentucky Can't Afford Complacency

WKU Professor of Geography and Geology Rezaul Mahmood
Credit Abbey Oldham

WKU Prof. Rezaul Mahmood talks about the National Climate Assessment.

A WKU professor who served on the panel behind the recently released national climate change report says Kentucky hasn’t been as impacted by climate change as several other states.

But Dr. Rezaul Mahmood says that could change in the coming years.

The WKU Geography and Geology Professor is one of about 60 members of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. The group’s 1,100 page report, released Tuesday, says the impacts of climate change are being seen across the country.

While Kentucky hasn’t seen the degree of temperature change that some western and east-coast states have experienced, the WKU Professor says policy makers and residents in the commonwealth shouldn’t be complacent.

“If changes in other regions happen, that will eventually impact Kentucky, Dr. Mahmood said. "For example, if watersheds in other states are getting lots of rain, or not enough rain, eventually our water supply is going to be affected."

Dr. Mahmood says one way Kentucky has been proactive about climate change has been the creation of a comprehensive drought plan that coordinates efforts at the state and local levels.

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Science
8:33 am
Wed February 5, 2014

"Science Guy" Debates Evolution with CEO of Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky

One of TV’s best known science educators, Bill Nye, wrapped up this week’s visit to Kentucky by debating the founder of the Creation Museum Tuesday evening.

Ken Ham, the founder and CEO of the museum in Northern Kentucky, challenged Nye to debate the topic, “Is Creationism a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era.”  

Ham believes science can be reconciled with a belief that the world was created in six days and is only six thousand years old, a view that comes from a literal interpretation of the Bible.

“I don’t know of any other religion that has a book that starts off by telling you there’s an infinite God and talks about the origin of the universe and the origin of matter and the origin of light and the origin of darkness and the origin of day and night," Ham said during the debate.

Ham invited Nye to debate following Nye’s 2012 YouTube video in which he stated that teaching divine creation was harmful to children and to American society.

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Science
8:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Kentucky Creation Museum Debate Tickets Already Sold Out

Adam and Eve are depicted in an exhibit at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky.

Tickets to an evolution debate with science advocate Bill Nye at Kentucky's Creation Museum have sold out on the first day.

The Creation Museum said in a news release Monday that tickets for the debate in its 900-seat auditorium sold out just minutes after they were offered online in the morning. Nye, a former TV star known as "The Science Guy," has agreed to visit the museum and debate founder Ken Ham.

As a creationist, Ham is a critic of evolution and says the Bible's Old Testament provides the answers to the Earth's beginnings. Nye spoke out against teaching creationism to kids in a YouTube video that went viral last year.

The debate is set for 7 p.m. EST Feb. 4.

Science
12:36 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Bill Nye, "Science Guy", to Debate at Creation Museum in Kentucky

Adam and Eve are depicted in an exhibit at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky.

Science guy Bill Nye is set to visit Kentucky next month for a debate on science and creation with Creation Museum founder Ken Ham.

Ham wrote on his Facebook page that the museum will play host to Nye, the former host of a popular youth science show, on Feb. 4.

Nye has been critical of creationists for their opposition to evolution and asserting that the Old Testament is a literal account of the earth’s beginnings. Last year in an online video that drew nearly six million views, Nye said teaching creationism was bad for children.

The video prompted a response video from the Creation Museum and Ham later challenged him to a debate.

The event will be titled “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?” The museum is planning to charge admission.

Science
2:52 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Look Up And Smile: NASA's Taking More Photos Of Earth

That little blue dot is how Earth will likely appear in a photo shot from a spacecraft that is studying Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech simulation

As Robert Krulwich says, "it's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it — all trillions of us on Earth."

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Science
5:00 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Indiana's Mitch Daniels to Co-Chair Panel Reviewing Space Program

Mitch Daniels

Former Indiana governor, now Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, has joined a panel that will make recommendations about the future of the nation's space program. 

The Committee on Human Spaceflight is part of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. Its purpose is to review the space program's long-term goals and direction and suggest ways to sustain it. 

Daniels says Purdue has a long history with the space program and that he's honored to serve on the panel. Purdue's alumni include astronauts Virgil `Gus' Grissom, Roger Chaffee, Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan. Armstrong was the first man on the moon, and Cernan was the last. 

Daniels will serve as co-chairman of the committee through June 30, 2014.

Science
8:31 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Scientists Claim No Link Between Meteor that Hit Russia Friday, Asteroid Flying By Earth

Update at 9:04 a.m.:

NPR just reported that at least 900 people in one Russian community have sought medical help following Friday's meteor hit.

Original post:

A meteor slammed into the Ural Mountains in Russia Friday, reportedly injuring hundreds. The Associated Press says at least three people are hospitalized in serious condition.

This comes on the same day NASA is tracking an asteroid the size of an office building that will fly by Earth today.

Still, scientists say there is no link between the two events.

Science
3:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Tennessee School to Help Military Study Use of Robots, Drones

An unmanned aeriel drone

Middle Tennessee State University has signed a deal with the Army and Marine Corps to study how to coordinate robots on the ground with unmanned vehicles in the air.

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