Science On Tap

A scientist walks into a bar, sits down with a former producer of 60 Minutes, Steven Reiner, orders a beer and talks to a live audience. No punch line here! This is Science on Tap, a live, award-winning show and web series produced by Graham Chedd, a Visiting Professor at the Alda Center and producer of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers.

Science On Tap: Tailoring Genes

Biomedical scientists like Chris Vakoc have recently gained an unprecedented ability to edit life’s instruction manual – DNA – with a new tool whose ungainly name – CRISPR-cas9 – is (thankfully) usually shortened to “crisper.” Chris will share with host Graham Chedd and our audience how the technology was discovered, how it works and some of the astonishing things it can do.

Science On Tap: Down Among the Penguins

The first penguin Heather Lynch saw in Antarctica fell on its head. Happily it was quickly back on its feet -- testament to penguins' resilience. Since then, Heather has counted many thousands of penguins (she loves math) as she tries to figure out how global climate change is affecting penguin populations in one of the most rapidly warming regions of the planet.

Science On Tap: Green Chemistry

John Warner is the founder of the Warner Babcock Institute of Green Chemistry. In conversation with Steven Reiner, he explains how Green Chemistry – making products that are non-toxic and environmentally safe – is inspired by the chemistry of nature. In 2014 he received the Perkin Medal, the highest honor in American industrial chemistry.

Science On Tap: Back to the Stone Age

Hosted by Journalism School professor and 60 Minutes alumnus Steven Reiner with guest scientist, John Shea, a professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University and world expert in Stone Age hi-tech weaponry. 

Science On Tap: In the Beginning...

As a boy growing up in the mountains near Portland, Oregon, Paul Sorensen would look up into the night sky and wonder where all those thousands upon thousands of stars came from. Using the atom smasher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Sorensen and his colleagues create fireballs of matter that exist for only an instant – but that mimic the instant the universe was born 13.5 billion years ago.

Science On Tap: For Darwin's Sake

David Jablonski is the William R. Kenan, Jr. professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology (a multi-institutional PhD program) at the University of Chicago. He combines data on living and fossil marine organisms to ask large-scale evolutionary questions about origins, extinctions and geographic distributions.

Science on Tap: Shark Night

Demian D. Chapman, PhD combines molecular and field-based approaches to better understand the population biology, evolution and ecology of large marine vertebrates, particularly sharks and their relatives. His projects are designed to answer interesting biological questions and often address pressing conservation issues. Dr. Chapman also develops resources to aid in wildlife forensics applications, in particular for monitoring the global shark fin trade.

Science On Tap: What Animals Think and Feel

Carl Safina’s work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.  He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University.

Science on Tap: Can You Handle the Stress?

Stony Brook University researcher Lilianne Mujica-Parodi has an unusual way of measuring stress: She asks volunteers to jump out of an airplane. In her conversation with Science on Tap host and former 60 Minutes producer Steven Reiner, Dr. Mujica-Parodi explains why the emotional stress experienced by novice skydivers helps her understand how the brain’s internal chatter regulates our response to scary situations.

Science on Tap: The Science of Big Data

Steven Skiena is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook University. He is a co-founder and the Chief Science Officer of General Sentiment, a social media and news analytics company. His research interests include algorithm design and its applications to biology. Skiena is the author of several popular books in the fields of algorithms, programming, and mathematics.