The Jupiter moon, Europa is 390 million miles away from Earth. In 2025, the NASA Europa Clipper mission launches and is estimated to arrive in Jupiter’s orbit by 2031. Why Europa? Underneath its radiated surface, the icy moon is believed to host a vast ocean similar to Earth’s that has ample conditions for complex life. Author David W. Brown joins Viewpoints this week to shed some light on the Jovian moon and some of the challenges that came with the lengthy approval of this deep space mission.
Who do you think of when you read or hear the word, psychopath? Rarely does anyone think of the mild-mannered neuroscientist next door. We speak to two experts about what the term actually means in the medical world, how it’s tested for in various people and why many people who have psychopathic tendencies are able to function in a non-violent, productive manner.
Black holes have always intrigued and captured the imagination of millions since they were first theorized and coined by German physicist Karl Schwarzschild in 1916. For decades, scientists have worked to learn more about these mysterious objects in space. However, even today, there’s still much we have yet to learn.
Before the pandemic, roughly 4 in 10 people across the world believed that if science didn’t exist their lives would be no different, according to a global survey conducted by 3M Corporation. We dig into this staggering statistic and how COVID-19 has altered people’s perception of the field.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere leading to a warmer planet. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities is from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas for electricity, heat and transportation. In recent years, the increasingly dry and warm climate in the U.S. has led to extreme fires, record drought and more severe hurricanes. So, what can be done to alter the path we’re currently on and make renewable energy (that results in less emissions) widely accessible for everyone?
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a quick and affordable saliva-based test that makes it possible for students, faculty and staff to get checked twice a week for COVID-19. We speak with one of its creators, Dr. Martin Burke about the largescale implementation of this method and the upcoming challenges with flu season quickly approaching.
Hurricane Laura ramped up to a Category 4 hurricane late last month and was the strongest storm to hit the Louisiana coast in more than a hundred and sixty years. Each year, the most powerful storms during the Atlantic hurricane season typically form between the end of August and early October. We speak with two experts to better understand the history of hurricanes and the destruction they wreak each year.
It’s only September and this year’s wildfires in California are already worse than last year with still months left in peak fire season. We explore the growing challenges facing Californians and what the future holds for The Golden State.
Imagine finding a rough, circular rock-like object and spending many minutes, if not hours, trying to pry it open to see what’s inside. Once you finally cracked it open, who would slurp down the slimy, raw interior of an oyster, praying that it wouldn’t kill them? We discuss the many firsts throughout history and the bold civilizations who uncovered these discoveries.
Complex ingredients like maltodextrin and ferrous sulfate can seem scary, but are they actually bad for you in the long-term? We speak with chemist and author, George Zaidan about how food processing took hold in early human history and what to keep in mind when it comes to keeping a healthy diet.
With billions across the world staying home right now due to coronavirus, air pollution in many major cities has cleared making way for blue skies and new views of nature. This week, Viewpoints speaks with journalist and author Thomas Kostigen about the role of geoengineering in tackling another approaching global crisis: climate change.
Imagine finding out at 54-years-old that the father who raised you wasn’t actually your biological dad. Novelist Dani Shapiro found herself in this position after she and her husband sent in an at-home DNA test to Ancestry.com and it came back with some unexpected results.
What exactly classifies a person as a genius? Are there biological differences between male and female geniuses? Viewpoints’ explores these questions and highlights a few overlooked female scientists throughout history.
The field of mathematics is still seen as a boring and overly complex field by many. But Matt Parker, a former math teacher turned popular YouTuber, is working to fix that stubborn mindset. In his new book, he illustrates the powerful and interesting side of math through real-life examples that have failed because someone’s calculations were just slightly off.
In 1881, Lt. Adolphus Greely and 24 men set out on a voyage to explore the northernmost Polar Arctic where few had ventured before. The goal was to collect vast amounts of scientific data of the unknown region and hopefully reach the North Pole. But the expedition soon went awry when no resupply made it to the camp for two years and the men were left to fend for themselves. Starvation, frostbite and even tales of cannibalism soon followed in this historic tale of exploration and survival.
It’s almost 2020. While many more Americans have grown to be increasingly eco-conscious, some things still remain the same. It seems like almost everyday a smoker can be seen stomping on a cigarette on the pavement or chucking a lighted butt out their car window. Did you know that more than one-third of all collected litter is cigarette butts? We speak with an expert about how this type of litter permanently affects the environment and its ecosystems.
Did you know that dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than the average person? Most of us are familiar with service or police dogs using their nose to sniff out a particular scent, but researchers have been recently harnessing the power of a dogs nose to find malaria, diabetes and even some of the hardest-to-detect cancers.
What it’s like to swim inside of an iceberg the size of a small country? World-renowned cave diver Jill Heinerth led a team of divers inside the massive B-15 iceberg in Antarctica, and throughout her career has completed hundreds of other underwater dives across the globe. We speak with Heinerth about the beauty and dangers of cave diving and the importance of her work in helping scientists, biologists and researchers uncover more about the Earth’s oceans and ecosystems.
For many, learning about mathematics can be a terrifying and daunting task. Steven Strogatz discusses the importance of learning the basics of calculus and not only the math itself, but also understanding its historical prevalence and everyday use in our world.
Journalist and author Dahr Jamail exposes how climate change is affecting our ecosystems and natural landscape, including the melting and disappearance of massive ice glaciers. We discuss the long-term consequences of global warming and what we can do as a society to reverse the damage.