Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 7:45 am
Don't wait to be invited or encouraged to make a career in science, engineering or technology, Frances Arnold advises the young women she teaches at the California Institute of Technology. If you're a scientist, she says, you should know how to solve a problem.
"Bemoaning your fate is not going to solve the problem," she says. "One has to move forward."
Bill Nye's interview with WKU Public Radio ahead of his visit on Oct. 15.
The man known as “The Science Guy” is coming to WKU Wednesday evening. Scientist, author, and former PBS show host Bill Nye will speak at E.A. Diddle Arena as part of the WKU Cultural Enhancement Series.
Nye is a passionate spokesman for science education in the U.S., and he often warns his audiences that the country faces the threat of losing its reputation as the leading global innovator unless it starts putting greater emphasis on teaching young people science and math.
In February, Nye made headlines when he came to northern Kentucky to debate Ken Ham, the president of the group “Answers in Genesis” that operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg.
Ahead of his appearance in Bowling Green, Nye spoke to WKU Public Radio about science and religion, and what he thinks is the biggest long-term impact of the U.S. underperforming in science and math education.
WKU Public Radio: What do you think will happen to the U.S. if we don’t put greater emphasis on science education?
Nye: The U.S. economy will flag. It will fail. What keeps the United States in the game economically is not our manufacturing, as such—it’s our innovation. It’s our new ideas. This is the reason the U.S. is still doing very well economically around the world, even though all the stuff we wear is made somewhere else, and the cars we drive are largely made elsewhere.
School districts throughout Kentucky will spend the summer putting the finishing touches on new science curriculum. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday announced this week that what’s known as the Next Generation Science Standards will be implemented this fall.
Kentucky is one of 26 states that recently worked to develop the new standards.
Next Generation puts greater emphasis on subjects such as physical science, life sciences, earth science, and engineering.
Some school districts across the state have gotten a head start in getting the new standards in place.
“In Barren County, we have already started the implementation, with about half of our grades having made the transition last year, and the other half to make the transition this year,” said Scott Harper, director of instruction and technology for Barren County Schools.
Jennifer Davis, director of elementary and secondary programs for Bowing Green Independent Schools, says the content that students will experience next school year goes beyond learning basic scientific concepts.
“With the new standards, it’s not just a focus on core ideas, but also engineering practices, concepts as to how science is applied in the real world,” Davis told WKU Public Radio. “It’s really about how to teach kids to think scientifically.”
One of Kentucky’s most well-known cancer treatment centers is receiving a multi-million dollar grant to find new treatments and vaccines.
The James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville announced Friday that they have been given a three-year, $5.5 million dollar grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The Center’s director, Doctor Donald Miller, says the grant will help continue a partnership between U of L and Owensboro Health that is exploring the use of plant-based pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
“We have two vaccines--one for cervical cancer, one for colon cancer that are ready to move forward into early phase clinical trials, and this grant will primarily support the testing of those vaccines over the next three years,” Dr. Miller said.
The grant will also seek to further develop plant-based drugs that would allow a higher concentration of anti-cancer drugs to be delivered to tumors.
A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism.
The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm
Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.
Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:07 pm
Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the event is driving an online conversation. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being aired and disputed. And some wonder what the debate accomplished.
The video of the more than two-hour debate, in which Nye and Ham presented their views on how the Earth and its surroundings were created, has been viewed more than 830,000 times on YouTube. At one point, the live event drew more than 500,000 viewers.
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.