This week we are covering the Science special issue on mass incarceration. Can a dog find a body? Sometimes. Can a dog indicate a body was in a spot a few months ago, even though it’s not there now?
There’s not much scientific evidence to back up such claims. But in the United States, people are being sent to prison based on this type of evidence. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Andrey Smith, a reporter and researcher based in Maine, about the science—or lack thereof—behind dog-sniff evidence.
With 2 million people in jail or prison in the United States, it has become incredibly common to have a close relative behind bars. Sarah talks with Hedwig Lee, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis, about the consequences of mass incarceration for families of the incarcerated, from economic to social.
For millennia, bright lights sprinkled across our celestial sphere have guided great explorers, passed on storied traditions, and lent insight into the nature of our universe. Now, they have competition: thousands of satellites circling the globe in low orbit. Read the story: https://www.science.org/content/artic…
Today, most newborns get some biochemical screens of their blood, but whole-genome sequencing is a much more comprehensive look at an infant—maybe too comprehensive?
Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ethical ins and outs of whole-genome screening for newborns, and the kinds of infrastructure needed to use these screens more widely. Sarah also talks with three contributors to a series of vignettes on the importance of active learning for students in science, technology, engineering, and math. Yuko Munakata, professor in the department of psychology and Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, talks about how the amount of unstructured time and active learning contributes to developing executive function—the way our brains keep us on task. Nesra Yannier, special faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and inventor of NoRILLA, discusses an artificial intelligence–driven learning platform that helps children explore and learn about the real world. Finally, Louis Deslauriers, senior preceptor in the department of physics and director of science teaching and learning at Harvard University, laments lectures: why we like them so much, why we think we learn more from lectures than inquiry-based learning, and why we’re wrong.
Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the health and environmental benefits of potty training cows.
Next, Peter Teske, a professor in the department of zoology at the University of Johannesburg, joins us to talk about his Science Advances paper on origins of the sardine run—a massive annual fish migration off the coast of South Africa.