The 21st Show

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel; U of I Professor Fired For Fake Grant; Books Of The Year


Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel, who is retiring in December, discusses his career, climate change and the recently released National Climate Assessment. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer/Illinois News Bureau

On the 21st: Jim Angel has been watching our state’s weather and climate for more than twenty years as Illinois’ State Climatologist. During that time, the climate has changed - and it’s going to change at an even greater rate going forward. He is retiring after serving in his role for 21 years - and he joined us one more time to talk Illinois weather and take a look back at his career. Also, a University of Illinois has fired a tenured professor for just the second time since the 1960s. The reason? He had faked research data on a federal grant. Plus, there are so many kinds of holiday gifts, but there’s no substitute for a good book. We brought in some Illinois librarians with their suggestions for every kind of reader.

Over the last 20 years in Illinois we’ve had natural disasters like tornadoes, and flooding. We’ve also had weather events like El Nino back in the nineties. And of course, as we look ahead, Illinois will feel the effects of climate change in a big way.

And through it all - Jim Angel has been our state’s climatologist. He’s served in that role since 1997, and he’s been an important voice on all things Illinois climate.

Lately, you may have had him on your local public radio station when the federal government’s National Climate Assessment came out. He wrote the Midwest chapter of that report - and we know now that the Midwest is facing the biggest temperature change out of any other region in the country.

This month, Jim is officially retiring after 21 years as our state’s climatologist, and so we invited him back on The 21st one more time.

Also --

The University of Illinois has fired a tenured professor for just the second time since the 1960s. This past weekend, it also was revealed that an administrator resigned last year for sexually harassing students.

Fei Wang had been an associate professor at the U of I’s School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Urbana campus since 2005. On Friday, trustees voted to remove him by a vote of seven to zero. He had faked research data on a federal grant to the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Meanwhile, documents obtained by WILL show that Lee Waldrep -- who was head of undergraduate student services at the School of Architecture -- stepped down last August. An internal report found that eight students came forward and said that he sexually harassed them.

Brian Moline is WILL’s managing editor and he’s with us in studio to update us on both of these stories.

Plus --

The end of the year is always filled with lists - naughty and nice. And if you’re like me, it’s a chance to make note of what you want to catch up on during these cold months -- the best music, the best movies and, today, the best books.

We’ve gathered book lovers and experts to share what they think are The Best Books of 2018.

Donna Seaman joined us, she's the editor of Booklist Magazine which is put out by the American Library Association and is based in Chicago. Also over the line we had Dana Weber a librarian at the Lincoln Library, the public library of Springfield, and Javier Ramirez from the Book Table bookstore in Oak Park.

Story source: WILL