Elsa Partan

Producer for Living Lab

Elsa Partan is a producer for Living Lab Radio. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.
 

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Mid-March is when many in southern New England would usually get their gardens started. With the weather we’ve been having, that may seem a distant dream right now. That just leaves us extra time for planning.

L. Lerner

Southern New England has been battered by three major winter storms in as many weeks. Severe coastal flooding and widespread power outages have prompted many to ask if it's a new normal brought on by climate change. A growing body of research suggests it may be, and extreme warming in the Arctic may be responsible.

Ione Fine

Scientific journals don’t track the gender of their authors. That made it that much trickier for University of Washington psychology professor Ione Fine and her colleagues to uncover a surprising fact: that women scientists are significantly under-represented among authors of studies published in top-tier journals. 

wikimedia commons

For almost a decade, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper slashed science funding and restricted government researchers’ ability to speak to the public. The Trudeau administration has worked to reverse their predecessors’ anti-science policies, but many Canadian scientists still say they don’t feel free to speak to the public. Science librarian and blogger John Dupuis of York University, told Living Lab Radio he isn’t surprised. Rebuilding is slow. 

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Medicine has changed radically in the past century, but one thing that flies under the radar is how much our concept of illness, itself, has changed. 

Johannes Plenio / unsplash

When it comes to artificial intelligence, a lot of attention has been focused on issues of privacy and economics – what happens if AI makes human workers obsolete. Now, a new report from the non-profit Environmental Law Institute highlights the potential environmental impacts of AI-driven technologies, from autonomous cars to smart thermostats.

Wikicommons

In the weeks since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the national debate about guns has begun to shift. One issue that has come to the fore is funding for research on gun violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a program focused on injury prevention and control, but gun safety research has not been part of their work for more than twenty years. 

Two different forms of light have showed up in recent science headlines. Nature multi-media editor Shamini Bundell explains: light from first stars hints at dark matter. Astronomers have detected the fingerprint of light from a period known as the Cosmic Dawn, when the earliest stars were forming.

MarkStevenson.org

President Trump's long-anticipated infrastructure plan now seems dead on arrival, but few would argue with the need for widespread infrastructure upgrades.

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Many of us certainly feel drawn to our electronic devices, and the array of information and activities they offer, in a way we feel uncomfortable admitting. And while there's some controversy about whether or not the term "addiction" is appropriate, there is growing evidence that things like posting on Facebook can elicit the same brain response as an addictive substance.

usc.edu

Black Panther is making headlines as a box office hit that's also a superhero movie starring black actors. But it could also be the biggest science movie of the year. 

When we think about the impacts of climate change in New England, our minds often go to the ocean and coasts. But a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that New England’s forests are vulnerable, as well. In New England, average yearly temperature has already increased by 2.4 °F, with even greater warming during winter.

wikipedia

If you’ve ever been annoyed by those little stickers on your apples, or wished for a sensor that would tell you whether that cantaloupe is actually ripe, we have news for you: researchers at Rice University have developed a technique that they say could solve both of those problems. The key is using lasers to print tiny tags made of graphene, a substance that is stable even in a single-molecule layer. 

Alex Knight / bit.ly/2HrMhgq

The PyeongChang Olympics are likely to be remembered for the joint Korean team, wind delays, and robots. Yes, robots. South Korea is taking advantage of the international spotlight to show off its leadership in robotics, with eleven different types of robots – eighty five, in all – in action at the Olympics. And that’s not counting the swarm of drones featured in the Opening Ceremonies.

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A news organization called Climate Home News this week obtained, and then published, a draft of a UN climate science report. The report assesses the feasibility and likely benefits of achieving the most ambitious goal set by the Paris climate agreement – which is to hold total global average warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The conclusion is that it will be difficult to cut emissions quickly enough.

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