Living Lab on The Point

Series produced by WCAI / WNAN

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Image by: Jennifer Junker 

Living Lab is intelligent conversation at the intersection of science and culture. Host Dr. Heather Goldstone is keenly interested in the connections between science, art, religion, and culture. Living Lab explores those themes with scientists, authors, artists, educators, and, of course, listeners.

Living Lab runs 48 minutes, intended to fill a one-hour slot with two floating internal breaks, plus station I.D. and news headlines at the top of the hour. The show broadcasts weekly and is posted on Tuesday of each week.


24 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Helen & Klytaimestra, Credit: Glynnis Fawkes
Did ancient women view virgin sacrifices as belittling or empowering? What did ancient music sound like? An emerging field of archaeology attempts ...

  • Added: Feb 25, 2014
  • Length: 49:31
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In the 1950s and 60s, oceanographer Dean Bumpus filled hundreds of thousands of bottles with pleas for help and threw them into the ocean. Bumpus d...

  • Added: Mar 05, 2014
  • Length: 49:30
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In the late 1800s, Louis Agassiz founded the Anderson School of Natural History on Penikese Island, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, a...

  • Added: Mar 12, 2014
  • Length: 49:30
Caption: The depletion of Peru's guano islands lay at the heart of the War of the Pacific. , Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It enabled the industrialization of agriculture, led to the discovery of El Nino, helped spawn the modern environmental movement, and lay at the he...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2014
  • Length: 49:30
Caption: The Andromeda galaxy is our largest galactic neighbor, measuring 260,000 light-years across., Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
What is the nature of our universe? Accidental, gargantuan, temporary, lawful, and spiritual are just a handful of the possibilities.

  • Added: Apr 08, 2014
  • Length: 48:13
Caption: Jelle Atema's collection of bone flutes., Credit: Jenny Junker
Whether or not Neanderthals made and played musical instruments is still up for debate. But if they did, it may have sounded like this.

  • Added: Apr 17, 2014
  • Length: 48:32
Caption: NOAA Okeanos Explorer
High-speed communications technology is helping scientists explore the deep sea without ever leaving the comfort of home.

  • Added: May 01, 2014
  • Length: 49:28
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Writing and drawing came easily for Jill McDermott. Chemistry, on the other hand, presented a challenge. That's why she chose to make it her career.

  • Added: May 13, 2014
  • Length: 49:31
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Every life is full of twists and turns, dead ends and fortuitous opportunities. Scientists are no exception.

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: May 13, 2014
  • Length: 49:30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Citizen scientists documenting invasive plant species on Nantucket., Credit: Sarah Bois / Linda Loring Nature Foundation
Amateur naturalists have played a significant role in environmental research for over a century. The internet makes it possible to organize on a wh...

  • Added: May 20, 2014
  • Length: 49:18
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You can think of groundwater as a big, black box connecting life on land to ocean ecosystems. We have a decent handle on what goes in, but scientis...

  • Added: Jun 13, 2014
  • Length: 49:22
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Climate change poses a real and present danger to our modern way of life, but modern civilization likely would not have arisen without agriculture ...

  • Added: Jun 13, 2014
  • Length: 48:38
Caption: Jason Padgett's rendering of how he sees his own hand. , Credit: Jason Padgett
Jason Padgett got hit on the head, and now he’s a math genius. Seriously.

  • Added: Jun 20, 2014
  • Length: 49:17
Caption: Sidhartha Gautama - the Buddha - in meditation., Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The ancient teachings of Buddhism and cutting-edge discoveries in neuroscience lead to the same conclusion: our minds shape our individual realities.

  • Added: Jul 03, 2014
  • Length: 49:28
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A simple mistake can derail the best planned experiments. But sometimes – just sometimes – such an error can lead to an even bigger discovery.

  • Added: Jul 16, 2014
  • Length: 48:39
Caption: A slightly reduced reproduction of James Prosek's watercolor of a swordfish features in the Ocean Fishes exhibit at Woods Hole Historical Museum through July 31st, 2014., Credit: Jennifer Gaines / Woods Hole Historical Museum
Few will ever see firsthand the true, glorious colors of a giant bluefin tuna as it emerges from the ocean. James Prosek's watercolors come close.

  • Added: Jul 24, 2014
  • Length: 49:27
Caption: A sketch of the human brain by sixteenth century anatomist Andreas Vesalius., Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Consciousness is what makes us human, and it remains one of the greatest mysteries. Some say this is the century scientists will finally unravel th...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2014
  • Length: 48:29
Caption: BEAR, or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, is designed to help soldiers in need. But other robots could take on roles as combatants., Credit: Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center
Giving robots morals may sound like a good idea, but it's a pursuit fraught with its own moral dilemmas. Like, whose morals?

  • Added: Sep 26, 2014
  • Length: 49:27
Caption: FoldIt is an online game in which players try to fold proteins into the functional forms., Credit: foldit.wikia.com
Americans spend billions - in both dollars and hours - on video games each year. What if all that time and money produced knowledge that could bene...

  • Added: Oct 02, 2014
  • Length: 48:37
Caption: More than thirty years after being added to the EPA's National Priorities List of toxic cleanup sites, much of New Bedford Harbor remains off-limits for fishing., Credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New Bedford’s role in both whaling and electrical manufacturing took a toll that city’s Harbor. The history of pollution is recorded in the mud at...

  • Added: Oct 31, 2014
  • Length: 48:38