Curious about nanotechnology, sustainability, and life in science? The Sustainable Nano podcast is produced by the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, a chemistry research center funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
In the second interview from our visit to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, graduate students Natalie Hudson-Smith and Jaya Borgatta interview Dr. Wade Elmer, Chief Scientist for the Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology. They discuss everything from everyday garden fertilizers to cutting-edge nanoparticle experiments on watermelon.
Dr. Wade Elmer with eggplant seedlings at the Connecticut Agricultural Research Station. (image by Jan Ellen Spiegel, used with permission from Undark Magazine)
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ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Interviewee: Dr. Wade Elmer
Interviewers: Natalie Hudson-Smith and Jaya Borgatta
Producer/Host: Miriam Krause
How do we "see" nanoparticles when they're too small to view with a normal microscope? In this episode we interview Kelly Zhang, a graduate student in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology who recently published a paper about a new way to use NMR technology (like MRI for chemistry) to study the behavior of molecules that form a shell on diamond nanoparticles. We also talk about how watching anime as a kid inspired Kelly to become a chemist.
What does food blogging have to do with genetics research? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Ahna Skop, an associate professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about how art, science, and cooking intersect, as well as some of the benefits and challenges she has experienced being dyslexic.
At last summer's American Chemical Society national meeting, Dr. Margaret Schott of Northwestern University took the unusual step of giving her history division presentation as her subject, Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett. In this episode we interview Dr. Schott about her own path in life and chemistry, as well as that of Dr. Blodgett, including the debate about whether this pioneer of thin film technology was overlooked for a Nobel Prize.
Does gender bias matter? You can see for yourself thanks to an interactive app created by software engineer Penelope Hill at [doesgenderbiasmatter.com]. In this episode, we interview Penelope about what prompted her to create the app, some of the research behind it, and a few of the ways people in science and technology fields are working to overcome bias.
What does "sustainability" mean? Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland is famous for serving three terms as the Prime Minister of Norway and chairing the World Commission on Environment and Development -- the Brundtland Commission -- which defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In this episode we discuss Dr. Brundtland's autobiography, Madam Prime Minister, her life and accomplishments, and her contribution to our modern understanding of sustainability.
You may have heard of "impostor syndrome" or "imposter phenomenon," when perfectly competent people have the feeling that they don't belong or are faking it in their professional lives. It can lead sufferers to hold back their ideas and self-reject from opportunities, and it is surprisingly common among high-achieving people. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Valerie Young, an expert on impostor syndrome with both research and personal experience. She discusses one common factor across all people who experience impostor syndrome, and three things you can do about it if you experience the phenomenon yourself.
As the Director of the Great Lakes Genomics Center in the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Professor Rebecca Klaper researches emerging contaminants such as nanomaterials and pharmaceuticals and how they affect freshwater organisms. In this episode we interview Dr. Klaper about the future of emerging contaminants and how her work relates to the development of sustainable nanomaterials.
Chemistry at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station ranges from testing how nanoparticles help plants grow to determining what kind of poison was placed in someone's coffee. In this episode we interview Dr. Jason White, Vice Director of Analytical Chemistry at the CAES and the newest collaborator in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.
A lot has changed in the last 10-15 years about our hopes and fears around nanotechnology. Ira Bennett and Jameson Wetmore are professors in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, and on this episode of the Sustainable Nano podcast we interview them about the complexities of understanding the ethical and societal implications of brand new innovations like nanotechnology.
Artist Peter Krsko uses his background in physics and materials science to study and communicate about nature. He is described as a "bioinspired artist whose approach combines science and art, participatory, interactive and community arts, and play with hands-on education." On this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Krsko about art, science, community building, and spending this semester as Artist in Residence at the UW-Madison Arts Institute's Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program.