A visit with David Quammen, who confronted in COVID a story that refused to stay at a safe distance
From a detective story on the origins of Covid-19 to a narrative that imagines a fateful day for dinosaurs, these works affected us the most this year
From Omicron’s spread to a revelation made using ancient DNA, these were the biggest moments of the past year
The James Webb Space Telescope is opening an exciting new chapter in the study of exoplanets and the search for life beyond Earth
"Climate science, materials science, robotics, are going to be some of the sexiest fields in science to go work on."
Seven professors join the departments of Biology; Chemistry; Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Mathematics; and Physics.
Under future climate change, atmospheric rivers hitting the West Coast are likely to “shift from being ‘mostly or primarily beneficial’ to ‘mostly or primarily hazardous,’” according to a study published in 2020 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Register for the webinar here! https://go.nasa.gov/3uO0ez2 (Credit: NASA ARSET) “Remote sensing” is the process of acquiring information from a distance---as satellites do. NASA observes Earth and other planetary bodies via remote sensors on satellites and aircraft that detect and record reflected or emitted energy. Now you can learn more about how Remote Sensing and Citizen Science go together at an online introductory webinar series provided by NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET). The “Connecting Citizen Science with Remote Sensing” webinar series will provide attendees an overview of citizen science efforts that use Earth observations combined with ground-based information in the fields of climate change, sustainable development, ecosystem monitoring, drought, and landscape change. The three-part training will also highlight case-study examples of successful citizen science projects that are contributing to NASA science. It will be delivered in both English and Spanish. Attendees will also be provided with case-study examples of successful citizen science projects, with some examples from NASA supported projects and activities. We will highlight projects like NeMO-Net, a global coral reef classification with 2D and 3D images application combined with machine learning; Floating Forests, a Giant Kelp monitoring platform where participants can classify kelp in Landsat images; Snapshot Wisconsin, a project that uses images of wildlife from trail cameras to assist with habitat mapping; and Soundscapes to Landscapes, where bird diversity in California is monitored by identifying specific species through sound recordings. We will also highlight the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, an international science and education program, and GLOBE Observer, a citizen science app that allows volunteers to report environmental data to support understanding of our changing planet. URLS: ARSET Website Register for Training NASA’s Citizen Science Program: Learn about NASA citizen science projects Follow on Twitter Follow on Facebook News Article Type: Homepage ArticlesPublished: Monday, December 19, 2022 - 09:41
Those selected for these positions receive additional support to pursue their research and develop their careers.
Exclusive: museum in London agreed to take care not to say anything that could damage sponsor Equinor’s reputationThe Science Museum in London signed a sponsorship contract containing a gagging clause with the Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor, agreeing to take care not to say anything that could damage the firm’s reputation, it can be revealed.The agreement, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian and the investigative journalism organisation Point Source, concerned sponsorship of the museum’s current Wonderlab exhibition. Continue reading...
From moon missions to fast-charging batteries and AI-sourced antibiotics, in no particular order, the year’s significant scientific developmentsThe year opened with a bang. Or rather, it didn’t. The successful film Don’t Look Up, in which a comet is found to be on a collision course with Earth, had been released just before Christmas 2021. In the bleak days of post-festive gloom, the news media were on an adrenaline high, chasing any and every story about potential asteroid collisions to cheer us all up. Five asteroids were to pass close to the Earth in January alone! Happily for the health and wellbeing of humanity, none was predicted to come within a whisker of hitting the planet. Nonetheless, the possibility of an asteroid colliding with Earth is a reality – the globe is covered in craters from previous impacts, and it is well known that 65m years ago, dinosaurs became extinct following the impact of an asteroid about 10km across. Can anything be done about saving us from this existential extraterrestrial threat? Fortunately, the international space community has taken the first steps towards reducing the risk of an asteroid catching us unawares. The joint Nasa- Esa mission Dart (Double Asteroid Re-Direction Test) was an ambitious attempt to alter the trajectory of a small asteroid (Dimorphos) as it orbited a slightly larger asteroid (Didymos), by sending a spacecraft to crash into it. In October, we learned that the mission had been even more successful than anticipated, and that the orbit of Dimorphos had changed – showing that we could, if given sufficient time, alter the path of an asteroid if it were on a collision course with Earth. Continue reading...
Fifteen MIT students traveled to Washington to speak to representatives from several federal executive agencies.
Editor's note: This essay originally published San Francisco Marin Medicine journal. After Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and I published Our Stolen Future in 1996, we got "slapped" by one of the most prominent science journalists of the day, Gina Kolata writing for the New York Times. Among her criticisms was that one chemical can't cause a plethora of diseases. It was one chemical, one disease, like asbestos and mesothelioma. Talk about progress. That "paradigm" is so broken now it's hard to imagine how any science editor who has been following advances in the environmental health sciences, including endocrine disruption, would allow an argument like that to pass the editorial laugh test. Yes, there are examples other than asbestos that do follow that pattern, but especially in endocrine disruption, they are the exception, not the rule. As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), current scientific paradigms have enormous inertia. This is still true. And that's even without the active dissembling focused on resisting change funded purposefully and heavily by vested interests, a fact of life in work on the environmental health consequences of chemical exposures. Despite strong and wily opposition, the environmental health science community using science and communication over the past two decades has shattered multiple paradigms that for decades if not centuries medicine had held dear, preventing its practitioners from embracing the opportunities to prevent diseases by reducing exposures, instead of merely treating them (usually with pharmaceutical chemicals). Some of my favorite broken paradigms? "The dose makes the poison." (We now know that high dose exposures do not predict low dose impacts.)"Nature vs. Nurture" becomes "Nature and Nurture." "Those statistically significant adverse effects are not toxicologically relevant because they aren't the same in both sexes." Actually, for endocrine-disrupting compounds, the default expectation now is that there will be differences between how the sexes respond to exposure. And then there's the still ubiquitous practice among regulatory agencies of testing chemicals one at a time, instead of in the mixtures in which they always occur.The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) community has played a pivotal role over the last two decades in breaking down these outdated paradigms. How? It has created, purposefully and steadfastly, multiple real and virtual safe spaces where new ideas and results can be examined, discussed and debated, not just by people throwing bricks at the old paradigms, but by thoughtful scientists willing to listen to new ideas, new data, new hypotheses that challenge some of their most cherished notions.More, these spaces by design have welcomed advocates with serious commitments to carry the discussions into the real world, to share this ongoing thunder of scientific understandings with the media, policy advocates, and even, provocateurs. Those safe spaces have been immeasurably valuable for progress. They might not be the flashiest new shiny objects on the block, but they have helped us get beyond old, outdated and sometimes even harmful ideas.CHE has done all that as waves of new scientific results have been published and as the media landscape has changed enormously. The CHE community has embraced the new results and adapted to sweeping revolutions in communication challenges and opportunities. And that's what the next two decades of environmental health science and communication needs more of, turbocharged.Pete Myers is the founder and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of EHN.org and DailyClimate.org.This essay originally published San Francisco Marin Medicine journal.
A newly discovered type of transferrable DNA structure with a sci-fi name appears to play a role in balancing atmospheric methane. In Star Trek, the...
Mountaineer and scientist Will Steffen said climbing was similar to science: “That’s the buzz you get in science when you solve a big problem and suddenly see how it all fits together”
Global emissions of methane from existing gas infrastructure may be up to five times higher than had been believed, a new study has found. Existing measures to burn off the powerful greenhouse gas — which is dozens of times more potent than carbon dioxide — allow far more to slip by than had been believed,...
The teams will work toward sustainable microchips and topological materials as well as socioresilient materials design.
Bolsonaro "derided Indigenous people, environmentalists and science" while weakening environmental protections
Valued mentor was known for research in intensity perception, hearing-impairment characterization, and aids for the deaf.
After a long hiatus, the epic Ocean Race is back – but this year, as well as dodging icebergs, cracking masts and suffering the occasional ‘hull sandwich failure’, the teams are gathering crucial data from places even research vessels rarely reachThe Southern Ocean is not somewhere most people choose to spend an hour, let alone a month. Circling the icy continent of Antarctica, it is the planet’s wildest and most remote ocean. Point Nemo – just to the north in the South Pacific – is the farthest location from land on Earth, 1,670 miles (2,688km) away from the closest shore. The nearest humans are generally those in the International Space Station when it passes overhead.But on 21 March, four sailing teams came through here – part of a marathon race round the bottom of the Earth, from Cape Town in South Africa to Itajaí in Brazil. Continue reading...
The Western diet is a triple threat for causing obesity: the diet itself, the additives used in the food processing and the chemicals used in the food packaging are all culprits, according to a new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The center is a science-based consumer advocacy organization that studies nutrition and health, so the focus on nutrition’s role in obesity is not surprising. What is surprising is a report on the role of environmental chemicals, obesogens, in causing obesity. Obesogen science proposes that humans are exposed to chemicals (obesogens) that stimulate the formation of fat cells and fat disposition, disrupt metabolism and energy, and regulate appetite and weight gain, which results in obesity. While obesogens can act across the lifespan, they have their greatest effects in utero and during early life when the metabolic system is developing.The new report examined how much evidence supports the obesogen hypothesis, and how researchers, health advocates and government should respond.And unfortunately it found the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is failing us. What food chemicals are obesogens? The Center for Science in the Public Interest examined all the data supporting the obesogen hypothesis. While the Western diet is obesogenic due to its high fat, high sugar, low fiber, low fruits and vegetables and high content of highly processed foods, the study examined the possible obesogenic effects of chemicals intentionally added to food as preservatives, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers or antioxidants. Data analysis indicated that the preservatives benzoates, propionic acid and parabens, the emulsifier dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), the psychoactive drug caffeine, the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG, and the antioxidant 3-tert butyl hydroxyanisole (3-BHA) are suspected obesogens. Further, they noted ethyl butyrate and methyl salicylate (flavorings) and the color additives red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6 are potential obesogens, pending confirmation in animal studies. Carboxymethylcellulose, an emulsifier, is also an obesogen via alterations in the gut microbiota, and fructose and low-calorie sweeteners acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and stevia leaf extracts are also obesogenic. In addition, bisphenol A (BPA), perfluorooctanoic acid, and di-ethylhexyl phthalate, known obesogens, are used in food packaging and can be released into the food. There are also pesticide residues used in producing fruits and vegetables, some of which are also obesogens. FDA failures Despite this data, the report noted that the FDA “lacks a framework for identifying and evaluating possible metabolic disruptors and obesogens.” The public relies on the FDA to guide the safety of food and food additives. The FDA has dropped the ball. Consumer health is suffering. The report notes that FDA could greatly benefit from expert input as it seeks to improve its assessments of chemicals added to food. It recommended that the FDA, in collaboration with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences or the Endocrine Society, should fund the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to develop recommendations for incorporating information on metabolic disruption into its assessments of food chemicals and guidance for companies that seek to introduce substances into the food supply. Furthermore, for substances already on the market, FDA should prioritize substances for reevaluation, taking information on metabolic disruption into account.The FDA’s Redbook — the agency’s guide for toxicological testing — was last updated in 2007 and does “not reflect the current scientific understanding of metabolic disruption and more generally endocrine disruption,” according to the new report. Changes suggested to toxicological testing include: examining a wider range of doses, longer testing to determine adult-onset obesity, more disease-related and modern molecular endpoints, determination of cumulative exposures and consideration of sensitive populations.I applaud the Center for Science in the Public Interest and support the call for the FDA to examine chemicals in food that can lead to obesity. I hope someone at FDA is listening — the health of Americans depends on it.Jerrold J. Heindel is the Director of Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies, a program of Environmental Health Sciences. His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.
Plastic is overwhelming our planet and this pollution is spurring developmental and reproductive problems in people — but there are ways we can reduce this harmful waste.That is the message Environmental Health Science founder and chief scientist Dr. Pete Myers will bring to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works on Dec. 15 at 10 AM ET. Myers will testify along with three others — former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator and current Beyond Plastics president Judith Enck, CEO of the Plastics Industry Association Matt Seaholm and co-founder and president of Nexus Circular Eric Hartz — at the hearing, “Examining the Impact of Plastic Use and Identifying Solutions for Reducing Plastic Waste.”“Plastic cannot be considered ‘safe’ until it is thoroughly tested,” Myers writes in his testimony. “And no plastic has ever been thoroughly tested using the tools of modern, 21st century medical science.”Myers is a leading voice linking plastic to harmful chemicals that can block, mimic, increase or decrease our body’s hormones. The compounds, often added to plastics as additives, are dubbed endocrine-disrupting chemicals and include bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, fluorinated compounds and others. Properly functioning hormones are vital for our health, and exposure to these chemicals is linked to a host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, impaired brain development and reproductive issues, among others. Myers has spoken extensively about how the rate of plastic production increases the prevalence of these toxics in our environment and bodies. Myers has also worked to chart a healthier future, championing a new set of “3 R’s” — rethink, redesign and reform — to replace the old reduce, reuse and recycle messaging. Myers co-founded the Sudoc company, which aims to reduce and replace harmful chemicals in many different types of products. The company won the On the Rise category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.Watch the livestream of the hearing on Thursday Dec. 15, 2022, at 10 AM ET. About EHS: Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news and science organization dedicated to driving good science into public policy and public discussion on our environment and health, including climate change. The organization, founded in 2002, has helped drive science-based changes to policy that led to a moratorium on PBDE flame retardants by several states, a ban on the plastic additive BPA in children’s products by the federal government, and science-based chemical reform in Europe. Contact:Douglas FischerExecutive Directordfischer@ehsciences.orgAngela Marie HutchinsonEngagement Directorangela@ehsciences.org
The term suggests women became less capable mentally postpartum — but science says otherwise
A new paper explores how a carefully controlled fuel reduction burn killed 17 critically endangered western ringtail possums.
Fourteen faculty members have been granted tenure in five departments across the MIT School of Engineering.
MIT community members lent their voices to news articles read globally, and described their work to make a better world.
A simple 19th Century tool is still useful to ocean scientists in the age of satellites, new research published in Frontiers in Marine Science shows....
Futuristic food science technology could finally bring plant-based salmon filets and tuna steaks to the table
The popular YouTuber, engineer, and inventor works to engage young people in science and technology while encouraging curiosity and resilience.
With the selection of 16 inaugural postdocs, the program seeks to develop the next generation of faculty leaders and help guide the school toward a more diverse and inclusive culture.
‘The 1990s called. They want their scientific misinformation back.’
In 2020, I unintentionally started a tradition of celebrating the holiday by thanking American environmental journalists and fellow travelers who deserve to be thanked. Last year, I did a dozen more.So here are the third annual Clean Dozen of men and women who do (or did) their jobs extraordinarily well.Cynthia BarnettAuthor of remarkable books about water in its most indelible forms: Rain, seashells, and water crises in the U.S., especially in her home state, Florida.Rebecca Byerly A Force of Nature you’ve probably never heard of. A “backpack journalist” and ultramarathoner who’s traipsed through Libya and the Himalayas in search of stories about shrinking glaciers and the growing empowerment of women. This story about Kashmiri glaciers is a dozen years old, but you get the picture.Tom Henry Henry started warning about Lake Erie’s impending toxic algae crisis in 1993. It hit home for Henry’s Toledo Blade readership in 2014 when half a million people temporarily lost their drinking water source. I profiled him and several other prophets of eco-doom for Ensia in 2017.Yasir KhanSo I cheated a little to include Khan, a Canadian national and Editor-in-Chief of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. They’re the charitable arm of a major news organization devoted to diversity in both staffing and content. Not bad for a former CNN intern of mine.Jay Letto Letto is the final third of a leadership triumvirate who guided the Society of Environmental Journalists through its successful first quarter century. If Beth Parke and Chris Bruggers, both now in well-deserved retirement, were interchangeably SEJ’s heroic Kirk and Spock, Letto continues to be its irascible Dr. Leonard McCoy, staging valuable annual conferences. May he continue to live long and (non-financially) prosper.Michael Mann and Katharine HayhoeOk, maybe not journalists, but these two have destroyed the myth that scientists working in politically contentious realms like climate science must not only avoid any discussion of the real world but be deadly dull about it. These two have led an overhaul of public science discussions, from social media and lecture halls to talkshows and courtrooms to book tours.Miles O’BrienThe inevitable full disclosure is that O’Brien and I worked together on many a CNN project over the years and despite it all, remain good friends. His extraordinary talents in space, aviation, science, climate and environment reporting are on full display on marquee programs like Nova, Frontline, and NewsHour.John PlattEditor of The Revelator, a prolific news arm of the Center for Biological Diversity.Sammy Roth and Ian JamesI’m not sure which one is Batman and which one is Robin, but Roth and James have worked their way up the Western media food chain to superheroes on the water crisis. At the L.A. Times, they’ve reached ninja status on the I-Told-You-So scale.Charles Seabrook Seabrook served for years as beat reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He wrote a Saturday column on Georgia wildlife for years more. His crowning achievement may have been a mostly-forgotten 1995 book, Red Clay, White Gold and Pink Cadillacs. Kaolin is the “white gold” at the heart of a ruthless billion-dollar mining industry in central Georgia.I’m not just thankful for these people for their work and work ethic. They make my list because they’re people I admire.What journalists or science communicators are YOU thankful for? Let Peter know at firstname.lastname@example.org or @pdykstra.Peter Dykstra is our weekend editor and columnist. His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.
On Sunday it was time for another episode of the hit HBO series "The Last Of Us." In this take on the zombie apocalypse, we see a post-pandemic world that's been taken over by zombies. But these are not the typical zombies we're used to seeing in movies and TV shows like "The Walking Dead,"...
The University of Florida is hosting a Hackathon in collaboration with IBM that began Sep. 13 until Nov. 29. Teams will present technology solutions to address one of six environmental challenges, including power consumption and agriculture.
Invasive species experts urge scientists and the media to avoid sensationalizing Jorō spiders—and wait for science to catch up.
Past Presentation | In the tendency to assume that science-based conclusions are objective and reliable, public health tragedies are allowed to occur repeatedly.
Now Playing | A film to provide an awareness of climate change and the individual measures we can take to combat it. The production process of Rise and Fall began as your stereotypical documentary meant to showcase various aspects of the Earth and Ocean Sciences Department at UNCW. Still, as the interview process was underway, it was quickly decided to move in another direction. It is an essay film about the science of climate change, what we can do in our day-to-day lives to combat it, and its impacts. Without using talking heads, the images of the natural world provide a sensual look at what will be affected by climate change.
Past Presentation | Coral bleaching from rising sea temperatures has grown from isolated, regional events to a global threat. Duane began documenting increasing degradation of the ocean and he brought the issue to a larger audience with the hope that science and governments could save coral reefs, like a team of scientists working in Hawaii.
The Science Advisory Board "strongly recommends that EPA develop a strategy for systematic, quantitative evaluation of the environmental justice (EJ) impacts of air pollution regulations."
NASA is awarding $11.7 million to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through the new Data Science Equity, Access, and Priority in Research and...
Past Presentation | As fire seasons grow longer, more destructive and more deadly, it is clear that our approach to reducing wildfire risk is failing. This film brings cutting edge science and indigenous knowledge into focus. It forces us, from city dwellers to seasoned fire professionals to rural citizens , to question what we believe and offers a science based way forward to live and thrive with fire.
Past Presentation | One Degree Matters follows social and business leaders as they travel to Greenland and experience for themselves the dramatic effects of the melting of the ice cap and come to understand the planetary effects of climate change and the impacts these will have on society and the economy. The film brings to the screen the latest science from the Arctic and shows why a further rise in global temperature of one degree matters for the future of humankind.
Now Playing | One Day We Will Dance with You tells the story of two women creating a dance to celebrate water. They imagine dance moves, and argue about science and whether a celebration can still be sad. As the community around them comes together to dance, they begin to imagine a future where the Water Molecule Dance and the celebration of water becomes a part of all our lives.
A new study recently published in Science reveals that the Amazon rainforest has been damaged to a much greater extent than previously thought, with over...
Geoengineering our atmosphere to cool the planet has long been a taboo subject. But as the earth keeps heating up, that may now be changing.
Past Presentation | Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic and intriguing exploration of the miraculous substance that is soil. We come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource through illustrations of the elaborate relationships soil has with water, atmosphere, plants and animals. Filmed on four continents and featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil highlights the possibility of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on – and re-creating – a healthy planet.
Let's look back at people we lost in 2022 who left their mark on the planet (for better or worse).Joe HazelwoodUntil one night in March 1989, Joe Hazelwood was at the pinnacle of his profession, bringing in the big bucks as a supertanker skipper.After a night of what the captain later admitted was heavy drinking, he retired to his cabin, leaving a third mate to skipper the 986-foot Exxon Valdez out of port and on its way to an 11 million gallon disaster. Hazelwood died in July.Hazel Henderson and Herman DalyEconomics is called the “dismal science,” and the environmental field often yields dismal news. This year we lost the only two economists brilliant enough to marry the dismal science to the dismal news and have it make sense. Hazel Henderson died in May. She popularized the phrase “think globally, act locally,” and advocated redefining a strong economy as embracing good health and quality of life, and not just a healthy bank balance and stock portfolio. Herman Daly developed the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) with fellow economist John Cobb. It’s meant to challenge the standard of Gross Domestic Product, the rather coldhearted means of measuring wealth by dollars only. Health, happiness and ethics be damned. Daly died in October.Pat MichaelsPat Michaels is arguably the most ironic Nobel Peace Prize laureate ever. He shared the 2007 prize with Al Gore and 1,500 other scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change despite his status as the go-to scientist for climate change deniers.Garrulous and always available, Michaels bristled at the term “denier,” but he filled the role nicely for groups like the Western Fuels Association, a coal industry trade group. He died in July.Dave ForemanDisillusioned by his job as a lobbyist for the Wilderness Society and inspired by novelist Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, Dave Foreman and Mike Roselle founded Earth First! in 1980. They were the consummate eco-hellraisers, rolling a huge plastic “crack” down the face of the Glen Canyon Dam. In later years, he founded The Rewilding Institute to advocate for turning developed land back to nature. Foreman died in September.Mike DavisOctober saw the passing of author Mike Davis, whose 1990 book Los Angeles, City of Quartz took L.A.’s growth from desert mission to megalopolis, and what it all means for the future.Dom Phillips and Bruno PereiraIn June, journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira were murdered deep in the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian authorities arrested three men a month later.Donald McEachin and Don YoungTwo members of Congress who were respectively stalwarts for and against environmental regulation died in 2022. A. Donald McEachin, (D-Va.) died in November shortly after winning his fourth term. An ardent environmentalist from the low-lying Hampton Roads area, McEachin scored 96% on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard in 2021. Don Young, the gruff Alaskan, made 36% on LCV’s 2021 card. That’s positively angelic for a Republican. But he remained a fierce defender of the fossil fuel, mining and timber industries till his death in March.Sheila O’DonnellSheila O’Donnell died in October after a long battle with cancer. As a hellraiser for various progressive causes, she became a licensed private investigator – a rarity in a field long dominated by men. “Dick-less Tracy,” as she was affectionately known by many colleagues, took on mostly pro bono cases for the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance, Greenpeace and the animal rights group PETA.In 1995, she worked for Earth First! activists Judy Bari and Darrell Cherney, who were accused of blowing themselves up with a pipe bomb. The two eventually won a lawsuit against the Oakland, California, Police Department and the FBI.O’Donnell also wrote “Common Sense Security,” a frequently-updated to-do list for activist groups who may be subject to surveillance or infiltration.Gary Strieker My friend and CNN colleague Gary Strieker was a disenchanted banker in Nairobi whose epic mid-life epiphany found him learning how to shoot and edit video about the plundering of a beautiful continent. His work, and audience, went global on CNN for the better part of two decades.Nichelle NicholsThe last, but not least, is the passing of a fictional character who won’t be born for another 200 years. Lt. Nyota Uhura, aka actress Nichelle Nichols, graced the bridge of the Starship Enterprise for the three-year run of the original Star Trek series. As the show ascended to cult status, Nichols became an evangelist and recruiter for science, space and NASA.NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and at least five Space Shuttle astronauts credit Nichols with helping launch their careers. She died in July.Peter Dykstra is our weekend editor and columnist and can be reached at email@example.com or @pdykstra.His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.
Accurate climate models play a critical role in climate science and policy, helping to inform policy- and decision-makers throughout the world as they consider ways...
The beauty of the Amazon rainforest and its peoples, and the threats facing them, emerge in a Sebastião Salgado photo show at the California Science Center.
How does one discover their life's work in environmental health? The paths are numerous, but Dr. Nunez provides a compelling example.Dr. Nunez’s family migrated to the United States looking for job opportunities and a better life when she was a teenager. The transition from living in a small rural town in southern Mexico to San Diego, California, sparked in her an interest in learning about how our environments shape us and influence our lifestyles and health. In this video, learn how this first-generation college student discovered her passion for environmental health sciences and about her mission to contribute to creating healthy and sustainable communities where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. Yanelli Nunez, Ph.D.; Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Health EnergyYanelli Nunez earned her Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from Columbia University in 2020 after graduating with a Bachelor’s in biological sciences from San Diego State University and serving as a public health Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. During her graduate studies, Dr. Nunez examined the effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on the aggravation of neurodegenerative diseases. She also worked on studies evaluating co-exposure to multiple environmental pollutants to more comprehensively characterize the totality of environmental stressors and their impact on health. During her graduate training, Dr. Nunez learned about the pronounced racial and social inequities in environmental exposures and the resulting health disparities, which drove her to focus her postdoctoral training on environmental equity. In the summer of 2022, Dr. Nunez completed her postdoctoral training at Columbia University, analyzing air pollution emissions trends to investigate whether improvements in air quality throughout the United States have been equitable across racial and economic groups. Dr. Nunez is currently a scientist in PSE Healthy Energy, working in close collaboration with community-based organizations, policymakers and stakeholders. She is expanding her environmental health research in the areas of climate resilience, energy equity and environmental justice. Dr. Nunez is an avid runner and hiker. She loves the outdoors, trying new food and exploring new cultures. Learn moreFind Dr. Nunez on Twitter @yanelli_nunezExplore her website here.Cutting Edge of ScienceDiscover what exciting research other early-career scientists are up to in our exclusive series in partnership with the Science Communication Network.Learn more here.
Harnessing these protective molecules may offer a new way to treat the disease, which spreads through contaminated water.
Airline industry claimed science not ‘robust’ enough to implement new controls to combat climate warming caused by vapour trailsAirlines and airports opposed measures to combat global warming caused by jet vapour trails that evidence suggests account for more than half of the aviation industry’s climate impact, new documents reveal.The industry argued in government submissions that the science was not “robust” enough to justify reduction targets for these non-CO2 emissions. Scientists say the climate impact of vapour trails, or contrails, has been known for more than two decades, with one accusing the industry of a “typical climate denialist strategy”. Continue reading...
This ultrafast infrared spectroscopy method would fulfill many unmet needs in experimental molecular science, revealing various high-speed phenomena in detail. Infrared spectroscopy is a non-invasive...
Scientists of color are disrupting the rules of historically colonial institutions in Stem and academia. For Earyn McGee, that means engaging with her public through gamesFor five years now, obscure amphibians and reptiles have been scurrying on to the internet as part of a wildly popular social media science challenge, #FindThatLizard.The Twitter and Instagram campaign, created by Earyn McGee, a 27-year-old Los Angeles-based herpetologist, does more than just share McGee’s obsession with lizards and their kin; it seeks to inspire a passion for science, particularly ecology, in Black and brown communities. Continue reading...
Past Presentation | 1928, 81st parallel North, the Italia Airship, under the command of general Umberto Nobile, crashes into the North Pole icepack. Nine crew members survive. One dies on impact. Six crew members are trapped inside the airship envelope. They will never be found, and, as of today, their destiny is unknown. Paola Catapano, director of audio-visual communications at the CERN center in Geneva, begins to seek the relic of the Italia airship, and to put together an international team of scientists, explorers and science communicators to pay homage to a lost past and give hope to a future which is in serious danger because of humanity’s irresponsible behavior. In the most remote seas lies the memory of the wreck of the Italia airship, rediscovered and remembered through a voyage which is driven by the need for discovery, commemoration, and knowledge, against the backdrop of a present characterized by uncertainty and nostalgia for a lost past, an alternative present, and a future which may be lost.
There is a critical need for stories about Africa to be told by and from the perspective of African people. To address this, National Geographic Explorers Noel Kok and Pragna Parsotam-Kok co-founded Nature, Environment, and Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF) and collaborated with the National Geographic Society to develop Africa Refocused to create a space for African...
I am filled with grief at losing my friend at a time when we need his calm, direct voice more than everThis week science lost one of its greatest Earth system experts, Australia lost a skilled, passionate communicator of climate science and the world lost a humble soul of the highest humanity, kindness and integrity. As did scores of others, I lost a colleague and friend when Will Steffen left us on Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.It is impossible to overstate Will’s impact on science. The many tributes to his work can only scratch the surface of his legacy. He led the effort to map the Great Acceleration of human impact on the physical and biological systems of our planet, culminating in consideration of the geological age of humans – the Anthropocene, first proposed by Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen.As the climate system continues to spiral towards a potentially uncontrollable state, I am struck with an increasing sense of both anger and apprehension. I’m angry because the lack of effective action on climate change, despite the wealth not of only scientific information but also of solutions to reduce emissions, has now created a climate emergency. The students are right. Their future is now being threatened by the greed of the wealthy fossil fuel elite, the lies of the Murdoch press, and the weakness of our political leaders. These people have no right to destroy my daughter’s future and that of her generation.I’m apprehensive because the more we learn about climate change, the riskier it looks. Even at a 1 degree C rise in global temperature, extreme weather events are becoming more violent and dangerous than models have predicted. Over the last 5 years, our knowledge of tipping points in the Earth System has advanced rapidly, with many already showing signs of instability. Worse yet, they can interact like a row of dominoes to set off a tipping cascade, driving the Earth to hotter and more unstable conditions. That is my worst fear – that we may reach a ‘point of no return’ where we commit our children to a future of hell on Earth. Continue reading...
Gabriel Gadsden joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss the intersection of rodent infestations and energy justice and how we can simultaneously tackle both issues.Gadsden, a current fellow and Ph.D. student of Environmental Sciences at Yale University’s School of the Environment, also talks about getting researchers to break out of siloed thinking, tips for science communicators and how his golf game is going. The Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast is a biweekly podcast featuring the stories and big ideas from past and present fellows, as well as others in the field. You can see all of the past episodes here.Listen below to our discussion with Gadsden, and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.Agents of Change in Environmental Justice · Gabriel Gadsden on the rodent infestation and energy justice connectionTranscriptBrian Bienkowski Gabriel, how are you doing today?Gabriel Gadsden I'm doing great. It's very exciting to be on the podcast. Also, we've gotten some time to hang out with each other and learn a little bit about each other. And so to bridge that conversation further is exciting. And hopefully, you know, people listen to it and take something away from our conversation today.Brian Bienkowski Yes, hopefully people do listen to it. That's an important part of this. And I know that people will and are listening right now. So that's, that's good to know. And Gabriel, where are you today? Where are you talking to us from?Gabriel Gadsden I'm in New Haven, Connecticut. In the basement, in my office, my advisor said that doesn't look like I live in ... which I don't know if is a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your take on academia being a grad student. Funny or not even funny. But we just had our first snowstorm in New Haven. But it's already gone.Brian Bienkowski Came and went, heyGabriel Gadsden yeah, already gone, indeed.Brian Bienkowski When our snow comes here, it doesn't leave 'till May. So we just keep, we just keep stacking it, and stacking it on top of old snow, which I like it is a good, it is a good thing for us to have that. So speaking of place, if you've listened to the podcast, you know, I'd like to go back to the beginning, before we talk about the exciting stuff you're working on now. So tell me about Hayti. I hope I'm pronouncing that right. But historically Black community in Durham, North Carolina where you grew up.Gabriel Gadsden Yeah, no. So Hayti. And don't feel bad because I feel like everybody gets it wrong when they first read it. It does read like Haiti, but it's Hayti. It is the Black section of I would say more like center-southerner. There's actually a Hayti historic center, which kind of documents both a congregation space but also a area that documents the history of that area. So it kind of runs between Fable street and Highway 55, in North Carolina. The Center is around there. A lot of Black businesses, the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company is kind of connected to the Hayti center, a lot of Black elementary and middle schools ... Shepherd Middle School is around there. So a hub of you know, Black entrepreneurs and academia educators kind of in that areas, putting roots down. And that's where a lot of my family grew up in North Carolina.Brian Bienkowski And I'm guessing that Hayti, since you grew up there as a child, you don't know any difference, right? I mean, when you're a child, wherever you grow up, that's what you know. But what can you pieced together from growing up there? maybe it is how it affected you now or in your youth?Gabriel Gadsden you know, but maybe not outside so much of Hayti in my family. I... my dad was always big on you know, understanding the history of where we're coming from, you know, ancestors and whatnot. Understand the history of Durham. He was there when he was a child while his mother was in grad school at UNC in public health while his dad was in law school as well. And so, you know, he got to see Durham and Hayti in a very different light. And so, you're just kind of understanding that, you know, by the time that I was being reared in North Carolina, North Carolina Mutual had closed down its doors. And so that's kind of, you know, you can see in a lot of black areas of cities, you know, there's this really steep incline of entrepreneurship and whatnot, and then there's a decline, for whatever reason, whether there's a highway being built, you know, just kind of distant disinvestment into an area, it still had a lot of the history and the roots was still there, but it wasn't maybe as bustling as, as it would have been in maybe the 50s, 60s.Brian Bienkowski And where and how did science enter your life?Gabriel Gadsden Yeah, you know, I was most excited about this question. And I kind of molded over it and thinking about it. I think that for me, science was always a part of my trajectory, as it was a part of my life. And so I'll say this: growing up, I was diagnosed with a speech impediment that was in part because I couldn't hear, and I still can't hear out of my right ear. And so, you know, not being able to talk to kids, and not really being able to hear anybody, I kind of stayed in my own head, stayed to myself, but, you know, when you're wandering, you know, devoid of interaction with other kids, you find other things to interact with. And so my first thing was rocks, loved them loved how they looked, clean them, you know, put them in buckets, and had this rock collection. So you know, first thing was geology for me. And then I got a little bit older, and then it became PBS. So I was watching Zoom. And learning about chemistry didn't know it was chemistry at the time. But they were adding baking soda and sodium chloride and making gases. And so I would go into my parents’ bathroom probably wasted about $200 worth of product throughout that time period. And I was mixing Vitalis, and Listerine, and alcohol and hoping that I was making and make a discovery of some new chemical, some new gas. My mom had a bachelor's degree from North Carolina Central University. That was her first degree from there. And, you know, she said to me, "don't mix ammonia and bleach." As you know, she saw what I was doing, but they kind of let me stay off for myself after that it was Zaboomafoo. And, you know, I won't sing the catchphrase. But you know, you know, who do you see? Can you identify this mystery? What was this animal? and loved Animal Planet, "Top 10 dangerous," and all of these other shows just really captivated me when I was younger. And so you know, taking that into the classroom, being generally curious, not really having the foundations. And I think we'll get into that a little bit more. But in the last thing, I'll say, and why I say that science was just kind of always the part of me, was that I grew up and still am religious. And so in Christianity, what is my religion that I identify with, but you know, whether it's Judaism, Buddhism, Muslim, you will find environmentalism, ecology in the roots of them. And that's something that I've kind of come back to now here at Yale School of the Environment, a lot of connections with the Divinity School, and recognizing the similarities and recognizing that our morality is tied to the environment. And obviously, with traditional ecological knowledge, TEK, I think kind of making a resurgence in people's psyche, and the paradigm shift that we need to really get back to, quote-unquote, "roots" is something that I've always carried with me. There's tons of verses in the Bible that a lot more knowledgeable people could spout off in terms of connecting those two. And so I was filled with wonder when I was a kid, and it carried me to here.Brian Bienkowski Excellent. And you just alluded to this; you said, I remember this in your application. You mentioned that your primary education left you woefully unprepared to conduct research, which I don't think is an uncommon thing. I know I hadn't seen a scientific paper until graduate school. I didn't know what they were. So I don't think you're alone. But can you talk about this obstacle? And how you overcame it to go on to, right now, one of the most prestigious universities in the country?Gabriel Gadsden Absolutely, I'll start with this. I don't want that statement. You know, people hear it to say that I had bad instructors or teachers. My elementary school was filled, filled with amazing educators. I could name them, and some of them are still friends with me now. These were incredible people. But when it came to specialists, we had computer PE, art, and music. There was no science special. It was, there was one teacher at the school at the time, Mrs. Daniels, who had a classroom filled with animals and that was probably the closest thing we got to true science education at that time. Then I went to middle school and so obviously I've been watching these shows and asking my own questions, reading my own books. But it's just another step up now you're just learning about tectonic plates and geology, you know, kind of periods and whatnot, the Paleocene or Jurassic, kind of understanding that. But that stuff there I had already read. It wasn't fascinating to me. It was nice to be able to raise my hand and know that, you know, the question that kind of kept my interest in science. But we weren't learning the scientific method, we weren't looking at two different species and asking, Why is this one different, and whether or not we could change in the laboratory, we weren't getting any kind of hands-on experience. Same thing in high school. I didn't see science shown to a younger audience until I was a TA, and teaching assistant for Duke TIP, which is a talent program run by Duke University. And there I saw, you know, true scientific method building, trying things, failing, going back, you know, iterative process, that's kind of part of the science experiments that you see in laboratories. You know, went to a high school college. And so, I did get some early science classroom experience before going off to the UNC. But when I got there, you know, understanding how to navigate those classrooms, but also recognizing that there was a world outside of chemistry and biology, which just was not something that clicked to me, I think about it now, and I probably should have should have been an environmental science major, I would have had an easier time. You know, it wasn't until sophomore year that I realized that I was taking classes that were for pre-med, you know, doctors, and that's not what I wanted to do. I knew that going in. But I didn't know of other majors. And so it's it's kind of a multi-tier thing, both from the kind of primary education getting students prepped for the many fields that are going to be available to you as a college student, but also colleges recognizing and you know, I've seen I have some friends now who are in like STEM education, at the kind of academic level, and are trying to write papers and trying to understand what fails when they make that jump from high school to college. I think that there's some really good progress going on. But I think it's kind of a two-fold issue. One, a lot of the primary education, particularly in Black communities, don't have the money to bring in science instructors to do specials, or science Fridays and stuff like that. But then two, when you get to the university level, universities just aren't understanding that students are coming in from very different standpoints, and maybe have very different interest and maybe only thinks that biology is the only way to get into science, which isn't the case.Brian Bienkowski It's a great point. And I like to think that this program, not only is... the point is to show that scientists themselves are from diverse backgrounds and can be diverse people. But also that science itself is diverse. I think I grew up thinking that science; maybe, I think you were saying this kind of too, I thought of chemists, chemistry, beakers, and you know, the lab experience experiments and didn't think of social scientists or, you know, even forestry and fisheries to a certain extent, were things that I think if I would have been exposed to at a younger age, I would have said, "Oh, my goodness, yes, I want to do that! That's excellent" So yeah, those are excellent points. And I hope I hope some of this program is opening people's eyes to different types of cool science. So before we get into that cool science that you are doing right now, what is the defining moment or event that shaped your identity?Gabriel Gadsden So from a science standpoint, when I was an intern with the Applied Wildlife Ecology Lab, with Dr. Harris, Sam Harris at the University of Michigan, at the time, was the first time going and doing kind of forested wildlife ecology fieldwork. And I remember going into the forest and kind of seeing the light beams, and hot and sweaty – and had just climbed a hill and gone through the thicket– and I kind of emerged into this field and felt a spiritual connection, a birthing. You know, it was, it was truly a moment of great pleasure for me to knowing that I had finally done that, what I felt like my life was supposed to be, like was going out and collecting data and trying to then come back and share that data with with people. From a more personal standpoint... Maybe, man, my parents would have a different story. I know the story my dad would tell. For me, it was maybe a bit of a devotional, I was actually dedicated to God when I was seven. And I felt like I was always a good kid, I felt like I always had this connection, you know, we talked about a little bit earlier. But for me, it was this recognition that... humbling experience to know that I am just a small dot in this great big world, and a lot of it that we don't understand and that we have faith in it. We have faith in science, right, that we'll learn some of our answers, and we have faith in our religions. We have faith in humanity and our people. I think that was a moment, you know, being very young and actually just realizing that I'm just a dot in this, you know, kind of vastness, but I could make a difference. Clearly, people felt like I was making a difference in their lives within that, that congregation. And so I think, "oh, I can make a difference in this world. And whatever capacity I am," I've tried to carry that with me.Brian Bienkowski Excellent. That's an excellent, excellent couple of moments. And let's get into some of the research you're doing now in making that difference. And so I've had the good fortune to not only talk to you when you applied for this program, but we met in Philadelphia and talked about your research. So some of this I know, but some I don't. And I find it fascinating. So as you put it, it's kind of at the intersection of human health, wildlife, and energy justice. So can you, just off the top, tell us how these three fields merge in your research?Gabriel Gadsden How does it merge? It started when I was back an intern, and walking through the forest with with my advisor, Dr. Harrison, starting to ask questions about society, and how all this what it really meant, when it boiled down to it. Again, my dad and mom had instilled in me, you know, we need to stand up for what we think is right. You know, being just and being fair, and morality. Science was the path that I was taking. It wasn't like I was gonna go to law school, though my dad might still think that's a possibility. And the questions in ecology just weren't there. At that time, I don't think ecology –this was, you know, back in 2016, 2017– I don't think that they had really kind of saw that ecology could really be tied to social justice or social equity. And at that point, I'm really grateful that Dr. Harris kind of saw that and wants people to be great. So it's like, well, you should probably go into environmental science, try to find Dr. Tony Reams, who was at the time taking on students who does energy justice work. And I kind of made that pivot and knew at the time that it was a hard pivot. But it worked out. And I just had a text message kind of chat with Tony and just, you know, still believes in me, He still thinks that the ideas are great, and going to continue to do good things. But there, I was able to actually collect data that was directly tied or more visceral for people doing air quality data in an efficient housing. And so environmental justice is, you know, public health, public health is epidemiology, and you know, all these things kind of merge and mix together. And so recognizing that people were living in inefficient housing, and then had bad health, having this background in ecology with wildlife, and you know, how as a story goes, I was reading energy justice papers, and I was reading wildlife papers. And I thought to myself, "Oh, foxes, and other things like raccoons and bats live in people's homes. How do they get into those homes, though?" And then, you know, I just, you know, the literature, you know, they talk about these gaps in the foundation and inefficient walls. And so there's no insolation. So it becomes, basically just a nesting place for wildlife. And I thought, "Oh, wow, this is, it's pretty interesting." And, you know, lo and behold, there wasn't a lot of data on it. Now, I can certainly talk more about the literature that is there. But at the time, and still to a large degree, there is not any hard data about housing quality and wildlife and health and putting those two together, even though you know, wildlife, they carry zoonotic diseases that can be, you know, obviously transmissible to humans, that make us sick. And so, you know, it's kind of becomes this double jeopardy of if you have wildlife that are in your house carrying diseases and you're already in poor health because of your inefficient housing, what that could mean for public health crises? and kind of being cost effective. If there's a solution to multiple things, we should probably champion that solution. And I have to thank Dr. Grove for that, in the urban ecology class that I just was a teaching fellow for, understanding this complex nature of problems. And if we don't think complex, you know that they are complex problems, and there's multiple ways of entering the issue, then we're not going to get very far.Brian Bienkowski And just on the ground level, what does this research look like? How do you conduct a study that examines both energy inefficiency and rodents?Gabriel Gadsden Yeah, so, as a first year, as then, last year, first-year Ph.D. student or someone trying to get into grad school, I thought I was going to save the world and then realized, no, it wasn't realistic. But you know, we have an unlimited supply of plunder, right? Um, I thought I was going to talk to some people in Philadelphia; they were going to let me into the house, we were going to get all this money and do home interview scores. ATS is, and then we're going to trap inside. And then we were going to retrofit with another $15,000. And then do a before-and-after controlled trial. None of that happened or didn't happen yet. We were still optimistic that some of those things would happen in time. And hopefully, you know, the funders who are listening to this will recognize the importance of this. But the reality is that we're starting outside, you know, Philadelphia. While they do have vector control, Philadelphia has not kind of systematically kept ties with, you know, what the pathogens are, and where the rodents are in the city outside of 311 calls. And so hopefully working with them to get them just kind of more data, where the rodents in the city, I think it's kind of the first question and what environmental variables, you know, both, you know, trash receptacles, Park size, you know, trash on the street, housing, type of housing stock, is attributing rodent populations, or is increasing or decreasing rodent populations, excuse me. I think that’s, so that's the first step. And then the second step is to then, you know, ask for in these neighborhoods, collecting rodents making contacts, hopefully, we have a meeting tomorrow with 57 Blocks, which is a gun violence advocacy kind of research group out at the DA office in Philadelphia, recognizing that some of these issues with what is attracting rodents in cities, also could mitigate or increased gun violence. And so I say that to say, you, you work with people who are already doing great work in the city on different issues – Philly Thrive and other folks that are doing EJ work – And hopefully, by those connections and those collaborations, then they will say, "Oh, yes, this person, it would love to talk to you about this research." And that's how we're going to get into homes.Brian Bienkowski So to zoom out, we're talking about cracks in the foundation are problems in the home that are first leading to energy inefficiency. So maybe your bills are higher, your house isn't as warm, your house isn't as cool. And then the second part of that is rodents are able to get in. And what kinds of diseases or health problems are we talking about when we think about rodents getting into people's homes?Gabriel Gadsden So first is childhood asthma, allergens that are already so if you're in a low income area, you likely maybe have some type of power plant or some type of industry that's near you. So you already have those pollutants getting into your home more because it's inefficient, or for whatever reason, you have higher rates of asthma, and now you add on allergen load from mice and rats, so that's going to be exacerbated. So, you know, more ER trips, more money spent on inhalers and other types of treatments. There's also the issue of leptospirosis, which, and hantavirus, s more in the west right now. And I'm not going to get into kind of the debacle of funding that research in cities or in other areas outside of the West. But but certainly those are kind of the two main ones. There's also typhus –plague is still in Detroit.Brian Bienkowski and I have to imagine that there's a mental health, stress component to this. There's social stress, I mean, the idea of maybe you don't want to invite people into your home when you know you have an infestation. So I can see this kind of spider webbing outside of the very acute, physical, physical illnesses into mental and social struggles. So I don't want to place blame here and I know this is probably a large issue with some historical roots. But who's to blame? What is the... why is this historically been a blind spot for regulators, housing officials and others?Gabriel Gadsden 1950s was a really big time. I don't know the researcher's first name but Davies, I believe it's his last name, did a lot of work in Baltimore. There's a lot of really great case studies in Budapest and some other cities of like kind of rat-proof towns that brought population levels of rats down to less than 1% of their historic numbers. Even in Philadelphia in the 1940s, they have their first really big campaign about getting rid of rodents. And then in the 1960s, the mayor kind of created the rat control group, and that rat control group, you know, said, you know, that we will not take the job, if you do not seal up all the cracks in any, you know, in your home, you know, essentially, you know, back then maybe they didn't think about is energy efficiency of sealing up your envelope and the energy inside it, you know, get that, but it makes sense. But life happens, policy change, you know, turnover, it's a lot easier to say, you know, put out bait blocks, and rodent trapping, than to actually do systemic change. We see that time and time again. Actually, solving an issue takes coordinated efforts between many different factors from public health, to housing and development, to parks and rec, all coming together at that table. And cities are not willing to make that choice, at least in America right now, major cities, I'm not going to bash on any politician. But if you follow New York politics, you would have received like a rat czar job posting recently. And the reality is, you know, all the memes where, you know, Charlie Day from Always Sunny Philadelphia, kind of what's his kind of mace-bat-like situation that's gonna go, get rid of all the rodents. And that's not going to work. You know, it’s, and it's not just sanitation, is not just sealing up the home. And it's not just getting rid of vacant lots. It's all of those things at once, across a large scale in a city. And so until we're ready to put up that money, allow natural predators into our cities and kind of coexist with nature in a healthy way. And I don't think that you know, so, you know, really, really comes down to is political will and resource allocation. I mean, most researchers will say, you know, that's a lot of the issues. And if you throw money out enough, it'll fix itself, and you get the right people in the room. But right now, we just, there's really great researchers. Jason Munchie. I'm drawing a blank. But even Merkin Rosenbaum. These are people who are doing rodent research right now. And certainly know more than I do. But I think would advocate the same thing that is a, you know, you have to have this team of teams. To quote Dr. Grove, Morton Grove, if you don't have this team of teams, you're not going to solve the issue. And so cities have to really be ready to sit down and bring people together and spend the money.Brian Bienkowski What makes you hopeful about this? you mentioned some researchers who are doing very good work. Are you seeing any on-the-ground movement in Philadelphia or beyond? What makes you hopeful and optimistic?Gabriel Gadsden Yeah, I mean, Matt Fryer, another researcher, just trying to create like this really handy, simple rodent tool you can kind of put into cracks and understand whether, you know, it is susceptible to being infested by rodents. So you have this, you know, research-entrepreneurship, kind of burgeoning space, you also have new sensors, with Rat Mo, there are different technologies that are trying to get up, you know, making sure that we spend money in an efficient manner. As much as I don't think the idea of a rat czar going to work, the fact that, that that is a possibility that, you know, maybe the right person that's in that position could really make a change if they're kind of advocating for all of these different methods and allocating funds in the right spaces. I also think that there's maybe a little bit of a change in public perception... I kind of write and so I'm working on, you know, Environmental Health News with you and Maria, that, you know, it's time that people stop accepting this as the normal and I'm seeing that more and more maybe that's because I'm in this space. But I certainly think that as it gets out of hand again, I think COVID-19, and this kind of increase in route and sightings people at home are recognizing that, you know, they're out during the daytime, they're out during the night time, they're, you know that the squeaky wheel is going to get squeakier. And so I think I'm seeing a little bit more of that. I certainly know all of my friends know about it more. And so they send me a lot of papers and different articles from different fields, kind of hinting at this as well. And so I think that does make me optimistic. You know, I certainly have gotten some great responses for my work and so recognizing that people see this as a, as a serious issue, I think it will only get easier to advocate for true rodent exclusion or reduction of populations in an impactful way.Brian Bienkowski Yeah, sometimes a big first step for any of these kinds of wicked issues is just awareness. It's a good, it's a good first step. And speaking of that, so I know after I talked to you about your research, it seemed very intuitive, that these problems would be linked, but it is different and intersectional. And I'm sure you've had to explain it to folks, I'm wondering if you just have any tips for scientists interested in learning to better communicate.Gabriel Gadsden After just giving two presentations, two final presentations, I should have practiced more and everybody in my lab as a practice, you know? giving a talk to very different fields also helps. You know, most people don't study rodents, particularly in ecology, or at least well, urban ecology, just because they're not considered wildlife. And so you have to talk to the epidemiologists who are in a very public health, atmosphere or medical research. And so you have to link these things, even this idea of, you know, retrofitting versus, you know, sealing up the envelope, what word you use? those choice words, getting rid of the jargon, paring it down writing different grants, and then writing research talks, and then writing an academic article about it, you're putting it in very different ways. And you find out what works and what clicks with people. Just keep harping on it, if you believe in it, you know, the right words are going to come. And, you know, the same thing as you're reading widely talk to as many different groups. Because they know, someone in social science may say, "this is a word that would really clicked with people."Brian Bienkowski I also think starting off, as you as I've heard you do, with just kind of how this affects people is a very tangible way to make these issues click with people. I mean, we've all, most of us – I had a mouse in the house the other day – I mean, this is, this is common, this is a common thing that a lot of people have dealt with, maybe not on the scale that you're researching. But I think starting with, how does this impact people and their health is a really good starting point. And I've seen you do that. So of course, you can't be out there chasing rodents and looking at foundations all of the time. I happen to know you're a golfer. So what is... I don't know if it's golf weather out there if you're getting a bunch of snow, but when you are able to golf, do you get out much, and what's your handicap these days?Gabriel Gadsden I do get, I get out as much as I can. Yale is really generous and allows students to play at a discounted rate after turn hours. And so I'll go over there, it's a great golf course. And handicap, you know, I'll say this, there are no pictures on a scorecard. And that can work in a good way or a bad way. What I'll say is that I can get some pars most of the time. I'm shooting bogey, every now and again. I'll get a double bogey or triple bogey more often than I'd like. But if I were doing like a two-man scramble, I wouldn't hold you down as badly as you would think.Brian Bienkowski Before we get you out of here today, I have three rapid-fire questions that are supposed to be fun. Hopefully they are fun, where you can just answer with one word or a phrase. So the first one is, what was the highlight of the past year for youGabriel Gadsden was able to go to... see my family. You know, I don't get to see them often. And so in spending any time with my dad and playing golf with my brother. It's always a treat seeing my nieces and my nephews is always fun; being with themBrian Bienkowski For sure. The best concert I've ever been to was Gabriel Gadsden Oh, two. So Mick Jenkins not maybe a conscious rapper but a little bit less conscious. Really fun and authentic feeling, and then Jidenna, the '85 to Africa tour was really great. I'm a small concert like... I'm huge I love going to concerts. I like going to the smaller ones. I don't think I'll ever go see Beyonce or Drake. But the 30,000 people do It doesn't seem fun.Brian Bienkowski That makes, that makes two of us this, the more intimate concerts are, well, they're more intimate. You get to see and feel things in a much different way. I totally agree. And last question every day I look forward to blank.Gabriel Gadsden Being a good person, trying to be a genuine and caring person, I think, sometimes can throw people off. Like, what's up with this guy? But I hope that I hope that people who know me and or will meet me now this is just as genuine as I can to be nice.Brian Bienkowski But I sure hope being kind doesn't spark too much skepticism among people in your life or beyond. Because it's, it's something I felt from you, and I think it's it's a good thing. We should all be kind and genuine. So last question. I've been asking everybody, what is the last book that you read for fun?Gabriel Gadsden Cool. The last book I read for fun. I have to I pulled them off-site, so I won’t butcher their name. So the one I actually just finished was The Age disaster, the failure of organizations in New York and the nation. Great book, quite old, at this point. 1990 was published, but still is very salient, particularly because of the COVID-19, the climate disaster, I mean, you name it, there's a lack of, of coordination and whatnot. So yeah, go go get that. And that was like a free book lying around that I had just picked up from the department. And then, the other book is Fighting the good fight: The militarization of the civil rights movement. And so I'm currently reading that, and I've had some really good conversations because there's something to be said about whether or not we should be using this language. Is it helpful? Is it actually more harmful because of traumatic kind of imagery that comes with militarization? I'm still debating that myself, but I certainly find it a thought-provoking book, if not a bit challenging for a person to kind of wrap their heads around. So I've been asking people, you know, that's my question now at talks. Hey, should we be using this language? Is that hopeful to take that militarization of civil rights to the militarization of climate justice, and whether or not these campaigns and precision and training and communications, those types of things that make campaigns go well, should be co-opted?Brian Bienkowski Excellent. Sounds like a thought-provoking book. And speaking of thought-provoking, you can find Gabriel's essay soon out on ehn.org, where you can learn more about his research. And we'll be sure to get that in front of readers and listeners, Gabriel, thank you so much. We're doing this today. It's a pleasure having you in the program.Gabriel Gadsden Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day. And thank you to everybody who's listening.