Science

Why do some societies thrive while others fail? What makes certain societies more vengeful, more violent, or more war-driven than others? And what can we who live in the world's modern societies learn from those who dwell in -- or have dwelled in -- the world's traditional societies? Such are the questions we explore on this edition of StudioTulsa.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Miriam Belmaker, an assistant professor of anthropology here at the University of Tulsa as well as a paleoanthropologist who studies the remains of small rodent species to determine environmental effects on human dwelling places and communities -- and on humanity's ancient ancestors. In doing so, she studies how changes in the climate over the past two million years may have affected human development and evolution.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Cat Warren, a university professor and former journalist who for several years had an admittedly strange hobby -- that is, she and her German shepherd, Solo, would often go searching for the dead. Solo, now retired, was a cadaver dog -- and what began as an effort to make the best of Solo's unruly energy and boundless enthusiasm eventually became, for our guest today, a quest to learn all she could about so-called "working" dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, a discussion with Ziva Branstetter, the Enterprise Editor at the Tulsa World, where she's also the lead reporter for a three-part series of articles called "Quake Debate." The first of these articles appeared yesterday in that newspaper, and the second is in today's World.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Anthony Barnosky, a Professor of Integrated Biology at UC-Berkeley and a leading scientist specializing on how global change affects biodiversity and ecosystem function.

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with Dr. Walter Piper of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Chapman University (in Orange, California). Dr. Piper is an expert on the common loon -- having studied these diver birds, known for their alluring and distinctive calls, for some 22 years -- and he'll present a free-to-the-public lecture on the social behavior of loons this afternoon (Friday the 14th) at 3pm in Oliphant Hall on the TU campus.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Karen M. Masterson, a journalist turned malaria researcher, whose new book is "The Malaria Project: The U.S. Government's Secret Mission to Find a Miracle Cure." It's a remarkable and sometimes unsettling story of science, medicine, and war -- at once illuminating and surprising, the book also explores the ethical perils of seeking treatments for disease while ignoring the human condition.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Robert Dudley, who's a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Prof. Dudley tells us about his interesting "drunken monkey hypothesis," which (per its Wikipedia entry) "proposes that human attraction to ethanol may have a genetic basis due to the high dependence of the primate ancestor of Homo sapiens on fruit as a food source.

On this installment of ST on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Lauren Silverman, the Health, Science, and Technology reporter at KERA, which is the NPR member-station in Dallas. Silverman is one of the creators of a newly posted, impressively researched, and decidedly multi-media "digital storytelling project" at the KERA website that focuses on hip fractures among the elderly, in both the Greater Dallas region and the United States more generally.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Craig Nelson --- who's written for Vanity Fair, Salon, Popular Science, and other periodicals, and who's the bestselling author of "Rocket Men" as well as a biography of Thomas Paine --- about his newest book, which is an engrossing cultural history of the Atomic Age. "The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era" is, as was noted by Kirkus Reviews, "no impersonal 'march of science' story.

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