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.
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 in 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.
(Dr. Ira Bennett, Dr. Jamey Wetmore, and the ASU Center for Nanotechnology in Society)
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.
What if car tires could be made from renewable resources instead of petroleum? In this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Paul Dauenhauer, part of a research team from the Center for Sustainable Polymers who have developed a new chemical process to make isoprene (one of the key ingredients in car tires) from biomass such as grass or corn.
Dr. Hope Jahren is a geobiologist who studies fossil organisms and the global environment, and is also the New York Times-bestelling author of the memoir Lab Girl. We interview Dr. Jahren about communicating science with the public, the joys and challenges of writing academic articles, and her thoughts on sexism in science.
Nanoparticles are widely used in a variety of technologies, and some researchers are looking for ways to make those nanoparticles more environmentally friendly. In this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Mike Curry about his research making nanoparticles from cellulose, a very common molecule found in plants.
Art and science are often though of as completely separate pursuits, but what happens when artists and scientists actually talk to each other? In this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Cathy Murphy about her experiences inviting art students to spend time in her chemistry lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Plastic debris in our water is a huge pollution problem, and just one source of that pollution is the tiny microbeads that have been widely used in personal care products. In this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Richard Thompson, a Professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University and an expert on the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment. We discuss the recent federal ban on microbeads and what consumers can do to be more sustainable in our day-to-day use of plastics.
This episode of the podcast features an interview with University of Minnesota graduate student Peter Clement, discussing the book The War on Science by Shawn Otto. We focus on Otto's explanation of the Seven Stages of Technological Adaptation -- an observation that how our society adapts new technology has generally repeated the same sequence of steps over and over, from discovery through crisis and adaptation, especially since the mid-20th Century.
On this episode of the Sustainable Nano podcast, we talk about one example of how nanotechnology is changing something many people use every day: bikes! Margy Robinson, a graduate student in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and a competitive cyclist, explains how carbon nanotubes and graphene are currently being incorporated into some high-end bicycles.
Why do glaciers sometimes look blue? Hint: it's not for the same reason we see blue as the color of the sky! On this episode of the podcast, we have an interview with Dr. Robert Hamers, following up on his recent blog post. Bob is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and he tells us about a recent family trip to Alaska that got him wondering about why some glaciers have an amazing blue color.