Science

An organization called ‘500 Women Scientists’ got its start in the Mountain West. Now, it has gone global with a database of experts who are also women.

It all started when members of the group noticed a pattern: an overabundance of something they call ‘manels.’

“They are all-male panels,” says Liz McCullagh, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado and a member of 500 Women Scientists. “And in particular in fields where we know there’s a lot of representation of women, it’s incredibly frustrating.”

On March 27th, the City Club of Boise welcomed Kendra Pierre-Louis to discuss reporting on climate for the New York Times on the climate desk where she reports on climate science and the social impacts of climate change. 

This encore interview originally aired in October, 2018.

America in 1859 was a country on the verge of Civil War. Abolitionists and pro-slavery forces battled it out in the nation’s newspapers, activists were advocating revolts while southerners were talking secession, political parties were splitting down the middle, and a little-known senator named Abraham Lincoln was just coming into prominence. Against this backdrop, Charles Darwin’s pioneering work of evolutionary theory, The Origin of Species, landed like a bomb.


Boise State University

The Physics Department at Boise State University wants to buy a digital planetarium to help teach kids about STEM. And they’re hoping to raise money to pay for the project.

Sigma Pi Sigma National Office / Flickr

A famous experimental physicist who lived in eastern Idaho has died. Leon Lederman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on subatomic particles.


NASA/CXC/M.Weiss / Flickr

They're weird and they're hard to find. Boise State University's Physics Department hosts a talk about black holes Friday at 8 p.m. at the Education Building. Michigan State University Mark Peacock joins Idaho Matters to talk about the study of black holes. 

Twitter

Kevin Davenport has been covering science content for the Idaho Statesman this summer. He joins Idaho Matters to talk about algae blooms, bee colony collapse and a plague affecting humans and pets alike.

This interview was originally broadcast in January, 2018.

Over thousands of years, dogs have earned the title of man’s best friend. Yet even as their companionship brings us personal joy and satisfaction, we may wonder what’s going on inside their heads. Do they adore us as much as we adore them, or do they just see us as reliable dispensers of food?

  

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

A new satellite from NASA launching soon will look for exoplanets in our universe. One of the scientists involved in the search is coming to Boise.

Boise State University

Boise State’s physics department is opening up its newly refurbished observatory for some stargazing Friday night, along with an evening of research into how galaxies form.

A science class at Boise State University is hosting its own storytelling podcast. Part of the goal is to show that science nerds are people too.

curtesy of Anna Peterson

One Treasure Valley high schooler has turned her love of farming into her senior project, which could affect students across Idaho.

Bill Ingalls / NASA

This Sunday, Idahoans will be treated to a bigger, brighter moon in the evening sky. It's called a supermoon and it only happens once this year.

Dr. Stephen Parke / Northwest Nazarene University

A satellite built by Northwest Nazarene University students will launch into space in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. The experiment will help NASA find out the best kind of plastics to use on future satellites.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

Courtney Conway had a big ask for a handful of Idaho ranchers in sage grouse country.

 


John Thurston / College of Idaho

Hikers and backpackers are often familiar with giardia, a nasty parasite that can contaminate water sources. Now researchers at the College of Idaho and Boise State University are working on new drugs to fight or kill the bug that can leave campers in intense intestinal distress.


C. C. Chapman / Flickr Creative Commons

When we think of finite resources, it’s not likely that sand comes to mind. But according to new research from Jodi Brandt at Boise State, a global sand shortage could have big implications for growing communities like the Treasure Valley.

NASA/JPL

Last month, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft disappeared into Saturn’s atmosphere in the grand finale of a 20-year mission to study the giant planet. 

This episode originally was broadcast in March, 2017.

Humans think, feel and plan for the future. We say hello, and goodbye. We design and use tools to our advantage. But what if animals can do these things, too? What if we’ve just never really understood how to discern animal intelligence? Biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal challenges us to think more like an animal in his new book, “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”

LM Otero / AP Images

The struggle to save the embattled greater sage grouse — while keeping the ground-dwelling bird off the Endangered Species List — has been going on for decades. Its population has plummeted from millions of birds to less than 500,000 in recent years.

Key to the fight is identifying and attacking what’s killing the bird, a challenge complicated by the fact that the threats vary depending on the state.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Monday's solar eclipse was at about 99 percent of totality in Boise. About 250 people in the Capital City took in the unique experience at the top of Table Rock. Some set up their chairs and blankets on the east side of the hilltop, facing the Boise River Wildlife Management Area as the moon slowly moved across the sun.

With the 2017 total solar eclipse less than two weeks away, excitement is reaching a fever pitch in Idaho and other places across the country where this stunning celestial event will be visible.

Katy Mersmann / NASA

In the latest installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we asked what you've been wondering about the August 21 solar eclipse in Idaho. We got a lot of great questions, and because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, Samantha Wright decided to answer all 17 of them.

Jerry Mathes

The August 21 total solar eclipse is less than three weeks away. Towns around Idaho are expecting big crowds of people coming from all over the world to watch the moon cross in front of the sun. Unofficial estimates run as high as 250,000 visitors flooding into the Gem State.

The two-minute blackout is an event that appeals to people for many reasons. Some are coming to be part of a once in a lifetime event. Others are interested in astronomy. What is it about the eclipse that could motivate a quarter million people to come here?

The Exploratorium / NASA

Most hotels and campgrounds in Idaho along the path of the total solar eclipse this August have been sold out for months if not years. But one group still has campsites available near Stanley. They plan to stream the eclipse to those who can’t make it into the backcountry.

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