Before the embargo - U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba were worth about $600 million a year - in today’s prices. Others estimate Cuba is a $1.2 billion market for agricultural exports if the embargo and other trade barriers are lifted. Today on The 21st we explored what an open Cuba would mean for Illinois. Also, how a team of Illinois State University researchers and a turtle are changing STEM education.
The CEO of Ebert Companies - Chaz Ebert - gave us a preview of what films will be featured at EbertFest next month and spoke with us about the role of politics and diversity in Hollywood. We also learned about an effort to get rural schoolgirls more excited about math and science, via MakerGirl’s 3D-printing workshops.
Welcome to our first edition of The 21st show! On March 14, 2016, we talked about our country's political divide and the consequences of what that means for Illinois. We also spoke with two student entrepreneurs who have co-founded an Illinois company working to create a new generation of prosthetic hands for amputees around the world.
We know that drinking to excess is not good, but that small amounts of alcohol can have health benefits. It turns out - there can also be social rewards from alcohol. That’s the focus of Catharine Fairbairn’s research. She’s an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois.
In the State of the Union address last month, President Obama announced a “moonshot to cure cancer.” We still haven’t heard many details of what this will entail - other than Congressional budget requests of $755 million in the 2017 budget. Closer to home here in Illinois, Dr. Stephen Boppart is one of the many people who could help make that “moonshoot to cure cancer” a reality. Wednesday morning, the University of Illinois announced he will be the university director of the new GSK Center for Optical Molecular Imaging.
With the Super Bowl on Sunday, all eyes are on football. The sport also happens to be Kevin Jackson’s area of scientific expertise. He came to the University of Illinois to play football while pursuing a career in science, and now he’s developing a cooling helmet that may help with athletes’ head injuries. Through his research with the University’s Beckman Institute and the Athletics Department, Jackson wants to reduce the side effects of concussions and other brain injuries for athletes.
Like the fault lines they stem from, earthquakes are often little thought of until they actually happen. But Tim Larson, a senior geophysicist at the Illinois State Geological Survey, is bringing them back to mind with his presentation - “Earthquakes: Fact and Fiction” at Parkland's Staerkel Planetarium tonight.