Soybeans engineered by RIPE to better adapt to excess light are tested at the University of Illinois Energy Farm.

Amanda De Souza/RIPE project

Can we make photosynthesis more efficient?

What if, actually, in some ways nature isn’t really as good at finding its way as we once thought? An Illinois research project is aiming to make photosynthesis more efficient. To talk about the project and its potential ramifications, we were joined by its director. 

Visitors paddle down the African American Heritage Water Trail on the Little Calumet River.

Courtesy of Openlands

The 21st Show - January 27, 2022

The Little Calumet River: A hidden gem of Black history

Located in the southeast region of Chicago and flowing through the suburbs, the Little Calumet River once played an important role as part of the Underground Railroad. Recently, conservation efforts have worked to establish a new, seven-mile African American Heritage Water trail where canoers and kayakers can learn about the history of the river.

An Adams County judge's decision to reverse his ruling on a sexual assault case has ignited a firestorm of controversy and has victim advocates outraged.

Courtesy of WGEM-TV via WIFR-TV

The 21st Show - January 26, 2022

Conviction, reversal and outrage: The aftermath of a sexual assault

After an Adams County judge overturned a conviction for a sexual assault case of a 16-year-old girl, he’s been accused of making comments many classify as victim-blaming. Today, we were joined by a journalist covering the story, the executive director of an anti-domestic abuse organization, and an associate professor of law to unpack the details of the case.

IL State Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park)

Courtesy of WGLT Radio

The 21st Show - January 26, 2022

Interview: Illinois Senate President Don Harmon

Today on The 21st, we began with a conversation about Illinois state government. The president of the Illinois state Senate, Don Harmon, joined us to talk about criminal justice, education, taxes, spending, and so much more that affects all of our lives.

The 21st Show - January 25, 2022

Mental health check-in: 2 years after Illinois’ first COVID case

Many are asking when this pandemic will really end, when we'll get back to normal, and what would “normal” even look like in a post-pandemic world. No one has answers to those questions, and for many, that uncertainty can take a toll on our mental health, which has already taken hits from the onset of the pandemic. The 21st was joined by a psychiatric professor to talk about ways the pandemic has been affecting our mental health and what we can do about it. 

Project developers plan to build carbon capture pipelines connecting dozens of Midwestern ethanol refineries. Poet, the country's largest producer of biofuels, operates this refinery in Chancellor, South Dakota, shown on Thursday, July 22, 2021. The company has not indicated whether it will connect its ethanol refineries to the carbon capture pipelines.

AP Photo/Stephen Groves

The 21st Show - January 25, 2022

Carbon pipeline proposal in Illinois

In order to curb carbon emissions, some are proposing that we capture carbon from ethanol plants in the Midwest and ship the gas via pipelines into the sandstone in Illinois, but not everyone is on board. The 21st was joined by a reporter covering this issue and a geologist to talk about how these pipelines would work and the possible concerns.

21st Host Brian Mackey (left) and travel author Rick Steves talk during Illinois Public Media's virtual event.

The 21st Show - January 24, 2022

Rick Steves on travel during the pandemic

For longtime fans and friends of public broadcasting, Rick Steves needs very little introduction. Brian Mackey recently talked with Steves about traveling in the pandemic, where in Europe to go with children, and much more.

In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, landscaping is maintained at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill.

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

The 21st Show - January 24, 2022

Big money behind the Illinois governor’s race

The Illinois governor’s race is heating up.  We’re now five months away from the primaries which take place June 28th, and 10 months until the election on November 8th, and over the past week, money has begun to pour in. Today, The 21st was joined by two statehouse reporters from central Illinois to bring us up to speed on the latest developments.

Kevin Bickner soars through the air during the men's ski jumping competition at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021. Bickner won the U.S. trials last month, helping him earn a trip to the Olympics for the second time. The 25-year-old Bickner, who learned how to jump in suburban Chicago at the Norge Ski Club, finished 18th on the normal hill and 20th on the large hill at the Pyeongchang Games.

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The 21st Show - January 20, 2022

How does an Illinoisan become one of America’s best ski jumpers?

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are two weeks and a day away, and there are several olympians from Illinois who will be competing in the games, including ski jumper Kevin Bickner from Wauconda, Illinois.  He joined The 21st to talk about preparing for the games, how he got his start, and more.

AIDS quilt panel on display at Spurlock Museum in Urbana.

Reginald Hardwick/IPM News

The 21st Show - January 20, 2022

Quilt exhibit showcases men who lived with AIDS

Now until July, the Spurlock Museum in Urbana is exhibiting of local AIDS quilt panels made during the midst of the AIDS pandemic. University of Illinois journalism students teamed up with Illinois Public Media to create short videos about the panels and the men the memorialize.

A player finished a Rubik's Magic Cube at the international game fair 'SPIEL' in Essen, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Around 1100 exhibitors from around 50 nations attend the annual four-day game fair.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The 21st Show - January 19, 2022

Growing Up Gen X

Generation X sometimes known as the "Forgotten Generation," but the Illinois State Musuem is planning to give Gen X their day in the sun with an exhibit that opens this fall. The 21st was joined by the museum's curator of history to talk about growing up in the '70s, '80s and '90s, designing the exhibit, and more.

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