January 16, 2007

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars

Guest: James Kaler.

Emeritus Professor of Astronomy James Kaler joins Focus today to discuss the infinite study of stars in our universe: how they form, how they age, and how they are charted and recorded by human astronomers on our own humble planet.

January 10, 2007

Earth’s Sustainability: Good News and Bad

Guest: Jonathan Andrew Foley.

Today, more people than ever before face real threats from food shortages, water scarcity, and environmental pollution. As the world's population continues to grow, will changes in the global environment mean even more people will find their health and well-being threatened? Today on Focus, we'll talk human health and security with Jonathan Andrew Foley, Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin.

January 09, 2007

Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest

Guest: Gerard DeGroot.

The massive moon craze of the 1960s was sold on a promise of a positive influence on the economy, on politics, and on American culture. It certainly made a considerable cultural impact at the time, but since that first step the American space program has been as barren as the satellite it landed on. Today on Focus, professor of modern history Gerard DeGroot joins us to discuss whether it was as big a leap for mankind as Armstrong suggested.

January 08, 2007

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

Guest: Francis Collins, M.D.

Many people would say it's impossible to be both religious and a scientist, but one world-renowned geneticist thinks otherwise. Today on Focus we'll talk science and faith and how the two complement each other with Francis Collins, M.D., Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

December 01, 2006

Stem Cell Wars: Inside Stories from the Frontlines

Guest: Eve Herold.

Many diseases involve the degeneration and death of cells in the body. Advocates in stem cell research claim that these cells could be replaced by healthy, functioning ones—but it would come at a controversial cost. This morning on Focus we'll talk the pros and cons of stem cell research with Eve Herold, author of Stem Cell Wars.

November 22, 2006

The Honey Bee Genome Project

Guest: Gene Robinson.

The honey bee not only plays a crucial role in our economy and food supply, but has also become an important research tool for scientists studying disease, development, and social behavior. Today on Focus, University of Illinois biologist Gene Robinson joins the show to talk about the effort to decode the DNA of the honey bee and the light its study could cast on human health and behavior as well.

October 24, 2006

The Immortal Game

Guest: David Shenk.

Almost everyone has played chess at least once in their lives. It has influenced fields from artificial intelligence to military strategy to literature. Today on Focus, we talk to writer David Shenk about the game that has been embraced by cultures the world over for centuries and the roles it has played in history, as he further discusses in his new book, The Immortal Game: A History of Chess.

October 13, 2006

The Politicization Of Science

Guest: Francesca Grifo.

Scientists are often called on to advise the government in the process of making policies, but a growing number of scientists complain that the Bush administration has suppressed and distorted scientific findings when they conflict with the administration's political agenda. Today on Focus, Dr. Francesca Grifo joins us to discuss the potential consequences of this clash between science and politics.

October 05, 2006

Bioethical Challenges in a Twenty-First Century World

Guest: Mark Siegler, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Chicago.

The forebears of today's doctors could have only dreamed of the modern medical technology commonly in use today. But even as these tools have generated ethical challenges as fast as they simplify physical ones. When do we start and stop treatment? How do we decide whether we are doing more harm than good? Today on Focus, we're joined by Dr. Mark Siegler to discuss ethics in today's medicine.

October 03, 2006

Revenge of the Microbes: Are Antibiotics in Danger?

Guest: Abigail Salyers, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Illinois.

Have we come to take antibiotics for granted? Microbiologist Abigail Salyers says yes. In fact, she says, many of us willingly participate in their misuse without thinking about the potentially disastrous consequences. Today on Focus we'll tackle the issue of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, what it means for the future of human health, and possible solutions to the problem.

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