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Playlist: Science Saturday

Compiled By: Tom Maloney

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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:


From Big Picture Science | Part of the Big Picture Science series | 54:00


Above the Arctic Circle, much of the land is underlaid by permafrost. But climate change is causing it to thaw. This is not good news for the planet. 

As the carbon rich ground warms, microbes start to feast… releasing greenhouse gases that will warm the Earth even more.

Another possible downside was envisioned by a science-fiction author. Could ancient pathogens–released from the permafrost’s icy grip–cause new pandemics? We investigate what happens when the far north defrosts.


  • Jacquelyn Gill – Associate professor of paleoecology at the University of Maine.
  • Jim Shepard – Novelist and short story writer, and teacher of English at Williams College, and author of “Phase Six.”
  • Scott Saleska – Global change ecologist, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, and co-founder of IsoGenie.

Originally aired September 6, 2021

Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake

Big Picture Science is part of the Airwave Media podcast network. Please contact sales@advertisecast.com to inquire about advertising on Big Picture Science.

You can get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!


Climate One- Weekly Feed (Series)

Produced by Climate One

Most recent piece in this series:

20220923: The Inflation Reduction Act Passed. Now What?, 9/23/2022

From Climate One | Part of the Climate One- Weekly Feed series | 59:00


In August, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The IRA allocates around $370 billion over ten years to invest in renewable energy, make EVs more affordable, address climate inequities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the climate crisis. 

The IRA follows the passage of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Taken together, the Biden administration hopes to jump-start a new era of U.S.-led innovation, research and economic growth. Carla Frisch, Principal Deputy Director at the Office of Policy for the U.S. Department of Energy, paints the picture of how the three bills work together:

The analogy there we’ve been thinking about is the backbone, the brain and the lungs. So, the backbone being the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law...Then there's the brain, the CHIPS and Science Act and chips being the semiconductors that are in our cars, our computers, our cellphones. And then the third piece is the lung. So, breathing into that clean energy economy, the Inflation Reduction Act incentivizes deployment of clean technologies and really focus on lowering costs for American families.”

But like any law, the way the money is doled out matters, and the law’s implementation will ultimately determine its success. Frisch explains, “It does take time but I can tell you we’ve got a very committed team in the federal government right now and civil servants who are digging in and been waiting for the opportunity to rent some of these programs and already really moving forward quickly.”

Ryan Panchadsaram is adviser to the chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, co-author of Speed & Scale, and also served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States during the Obama Administration. He says, “One thing to think about is actually as a series of laws that have passed that are going to make a lot of the climate realities we want to come to bear. So, in the earlier laws you have demonstration projects you have funding from things like the loan program office now they can support the building out of factories and facilities. And then you have really demand oriented incentives to make the purchasing of it cheaper in the market, right. So, you actually can get not only the factories created the supply there and actually the demand flowing.”

The Inflation Reduction Act promises to pour a ton of money into electrifying transportation. But new rules now restrict which electric vehicles qualify for a $7500 tax credit, limiting the cash back to models made in North America. But that’s only until January, then there are even more rules. Dan Bowerson, Senior Director of Energy & Environment at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the car industry trade group, explains: 

“It gets much more complicated starting in January 1, 2023. So, the first thing that happens is that 200,000 vehicle cap is gone. So, for companies that had already hits that cap General Motors and Tesla that cap is no longer in play. It also implements a MSRP cap. So, it's $80,000 for vans, SUVs and pickups and $55,000 for cars. We also see the implementation of income cap. So, for couples filing jointly if you make over $300,000 you would not be eligible for a tax credit. And for individuals making over 150,000 you would be ineligible.”

In addition to all of the money and programs written into the IRA, legislators also defined carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses as pollutants. This is seen as an attempt to mitigate the damage done by the Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. EPA ruling, which severely limited the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Dean of Berkeley Law Erwin Chemerinsky explains how the Congressional clarification might affect the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling:

 “I think it changes the impact in that it makes clear that greenhouse gas emissions. Are pollutants. On the other hand, I don't know that that addresses the concern that the Supreme court had in West Virginia versus EPA, West Virginia versus EPA said the Congress hadn't been sufficiently specific in giving EPA the authority to regulate power plants in a certain way. So as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to put it most simply, I think it goes part of the way to addressing what the Supreme court said, but it doesn't go all the way.”

World Ocean Radio: The Sea Connects All Things (Series)

Produced by World Ocean Observatory

Most recent piece in this series:

New Ocean Challenges

From World Ocean Observatory | Part of the World Ocean Radio: The Sea Connects All Things series | 10:28


This week on World Ocean Radio: a summary of fifteen new ocean challenges as identified by the conclusions of thirty conservation experts around the world, published in a July 2022 report in the journal "Nature Ecology and Evolution."

About World Ocean Radio
5-minute weekly insights dive into ocean science, advocacy and education hosted by Peter Neill, lifelong ocean advocate and maritime expert. Episodes offer perspectives on global ocean issues and viable solutions, and celebrate exemplary projects. Available for syndicated use at no cost by college and community radio stations worldwide.

Bioneers - Revolution From the Heart of Nature (Series)

Produced by Bioneers

Most recent piece in this series:

03-18: Climbing Out of the Man Box: What Does Healthy Manhood Look Like?, 9/28/2022

From Bioneers | Part of the Bioneers - Revolution From the Heart of Nature series | 28:30

Kevin_powell_075_-_wo_small There is a growing movement to redefine manhood, and to address ways that violence is baked into our cultural expectations of masculinity. Courageous, visionary men are rising to the challenge. One of those men is activist, writer and public speaker Kevin Powell. In this half-hour, Powell boldly and bravely discusses his experiences with toxic masculinity and his journey to redefine what it means to be a man.

A Moment of Science (Series)

Produced by WFIU

Most recent piece in this series:

AMOS 22.200: Super Bats, 10/7/2022

From WFIU | Part of the A Moment of Science series | 02:00

Mos-fullcolor-rgb-stacked_small Super Bats

This Week in Water (Series)

Produced by H2O Radio

Most recent piece in this series:

This Week in Water for September 18, 2022

From H2O Radio | Part of the This Week in Water series | 06:07

H2o_logo_240_small “Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we’re ‘going purpose.’”

Using fish bones and shells as “fingerprints” to stop illegal and unsustainable fishing.

Blue diets—those based on seafood—have more nutrients than beef, pork, or chicken and generate fewer greenhouse gases than livestock.

prototype car developed in the Netherlands sucks—carbon dioxide that is.

Solitary basking sharks find romance in the ocean’s vast expanse through “speed-dating.”

Spectrum: World of Science & Technology ~ from DW (Series)

Produced by DW - Deutsche Welle

Most recent piece in this series:

Science unscripted 09/20/22

From DW - Deutsche Welle | Part of the Spectrum: World of Science & Technology ~ from DW series | 30:00

52861946_403_small There's a chance (based on early data) that we'll be able to avoid COVID-19 infections altogether if 'mucosal vaccines' live up to their promise. Until then, though, get a good night's sleep (even if it's short).

Living Planet: Environment Matters ~ from DW (Series)

Produced by DW - Deutsche Welle

Most recent piece in this series:

Living Planet 09/23/22

From DW - Deutsche Welle | Part of the Living Planet: Environment Matters ~ from DW series | 30:00


Glaciers may only exist in certain cold corners of the world, but just like tropical rainforests, peatlands, wetlands and oceans, they support life on Earth hundreds of thousands of kilometres away — by regulating ocean temperature, freshwater supply and our climate. In this episode, we hear why ice is so integral to the planet as a functioning global ecosystem, and some radical ideas to stop it from melting.

Switzerland's glacial loss (ARD)
Mathias Zahn (sp. Shola Lawal)

Emmons: The only glacier in the world that's getting bigger
Ashli Blow

Interview: Can we stop the world's ice sheets from melting? w/Adam Levy
Charli Shield

How Essen turned from industrial heartland city to green capital (ex-IE)
Natalie CarneySwitzerland's glacial loss (ARD)
Mathias Zahn (sp. Shola Lawal)

Emmons: The only glacier in the world that's getting bigger
Ashli Blow

Interview: Can we stop the world's ice sheets from melting? w/Adam Levy
Charli Shield

How Essen turned from industrial heartland city to green capital (ex-IE)
Natalie Carney

The Pulse (Series)

Produced by WHYY

Most recent piece in this series:

458: The Evolution of Plastic Surgery, 9/23/2022

From WHYY | Part of the The Pulse series | 59:01

3000x3000_itunes_thepulse_1_small During World War I, thousands of soldiers suffered catastrophic facial injuries. If these soldiers survived their injuries, they were often shunned once they got back home. Some were forced to sit on brightly painted blue benches so that the public knew not to look at them. Many became isolated — sometimes their fiancées broke off their engagements, or their families rejected them — and came to feel that their lives were no longer worth living. But then a daring surgeon entered the picture — one who was determined to repair and even rebuild these men’s injured faces: Harold Gillies. On this episode, we talk with medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris about her new book “The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I,” which traces Gillies’ pioneering mission to reconstruct faces. We hear about how he gathered together artists, radiographers, dental surgeons, and more for novel collaborations, their miraculous results, and how Gillies’ efforts led to the birth of modern reconstructive surgery.

Constant Wonder (Series)

Produced by BYUradio/KUMT/KBYU-FM

Most recent piece in this series:

Constant Wonder - Hyperpedestrian

From BYUradio/KUMT/KBYU-FM | Part of the Constant Wonder series | 52:50

Cw_badge_small One day in 1901, a young farmer from Croatia set out on a walk. Decades later, he was still walking, had traversed six continents, and had stood face-to-face with the most famous people of the age. His mammoth autograph book, lost to history for nearly a century, has resurfaced to tell the tale of Joseph Mikulec and his eccentric quest.

Rebecca Rego Barry, author of "Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places" and editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine. She wrote about Mikulec's odyssey for "Smithsonian Magazine."
Nathan Raab, rare book collector, Philadelphia, PA

Planetary Radio (Series)

Produced by Mat Kaplan

Most recent piece in this series:

Countdown to DART: Will We Move an Asteroid?

From Mat Kaplan | Part of the Planetary Radio series | 28:50

Dart_artist_concept_with_asteroid_small_small We are less than a week from the DART spacecraft’s impact on asteroid moonlet Dimorphos as this episode is published. Mission Coordination Lead Nancy Chabot gives us a status update and a preview of what to expect during the September 26 encounter. Bruce Betts’ new What’s Up space trivia contest reminds us of another cosmic impact back in 2005.  Hear and discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-dart-impact-preview-nancy-chabot