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.
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.
(Dr. Brundtland at a conference in 2014 (image by Luiz Munhoz))
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.
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.