Heather Goldstone

Science Editor and Host of Living Lab

Heather Goldstone is science editor at WCAI and host of Living Lab on The Point, a weekly show exploring how science gets done and makes its way into our daily lives. Goldstone holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as researcher before leaving the lab to pursue journalism. She has reported extensively on Woods Hole’s unique scientific community and key environmental issues on Cape Cod. Her stories have appeared in outlets ranging from Cape Cod Times and Commercial Fishery News to NPR and PBS News Hour. Most recently, Goldstone hosted Climatide.org, an NPR-sponsored blog exploring present-day impacts of climate change on coastal life.

Ways to Connect

Science fiction has always been a way to explore what our future might look like. As often as not, those imaginings are pretty dark - full of social and technological catastrophes. Hulu's new adaptation of A Handmaid's Tale has sparked renewed interest in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 clasic, with some calling it relevant, even timely.

Brave New World

Many underwater vehicles developed at WHOI have been spun off as for-profit companies.
Elsa Partan

Later this week, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will accept one of three 2017 Vision Awards given by Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest employer association.  

With about a thousand employees, WHOI is one of the largest employers on Cape Cod. But Mark Abbott, the Oceanographic’s president and director, says WHOI’s contributions go beyond the direct employment at the institution. 

In 1987, AZT was the first drug approved for use in treating HIV/AIDS.
Wellcome Images / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

It’s been thirty years since the first drug was approved to treat HIV/AIDS. That was AZT, in 1987. Since then, anti-retroviral drugs have been helping people live longer, healthier lives after their diagnosis. But just how much has treatment changed?

There's still no cure, and Philip Chan, a physician and HIV researcher at Brown University, says prevention remains a challenge. If current diagnosis rates continue, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

About two dozen researchers from Woods Hole, MA, traveled to the flagship march in Washington, D.C.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Thousands of people turned out for the first ever March for Science this past weekend. It was actually more like six hundred marches in cities and towns around the globe. This unprecedented public show of support for science was largely prompted by what many view as the anti-science stances of the Trump administration. But the attempt to organize the science community has also revealed deep divides over the role of science in government, and persistent problems when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Alecia Orsini

Massachusetts researchers turned out in force over the weekend to show support for science. Science marches across Massachusetts drew several thousand people, while others made the trip to march in Washington, D.C.

Naomi Oreskes has received death threats for stating a simple fact: that climate scientists are nearly unanimous in thinking humans are warming the planet. For the Harvard scientist and historian, the weekend’s marches were bittersweet.

Albert Kok - ma photo, CC BY-SA 3.0, / goo.gl/mLWAcJ

There's a textbook version of evolution that goes something like this: random changes to an individual's DNA are inherited by its offspring. The worst changes are weeded out by natural selection, and the process goes on. Unless you're an octopus or a squid.

New research suggests that cephalopods do something different. They change their RNA. A lot. And that may help explain why they, alone amongst all invertebrates, are so intelligent.


For conservation biologists, the growing number of gray seals in New England is a success story. For some fishermen and beachgoers, it's another story altogether. Seals can steal fish, damage fishing gear, block beach access, and attract great white sharks. For all these reasons, seals have become a touchy subject in communities across the Cape and Islands - nowhere more so than on Nantucket.

Meredith Nierman

More than 20 million Americans run regularly. Half of them get injured. Adam Tenforde, M.D., joins Living Lab Radio to talk tips for healthy running at any age.

Japanese barberry is an invasive that will likely benefit from climate change.

Surveys consistently show that a majority of Americans think climate change is happening, but that it won’t affect them. Scientists say otherwise. Researchers already are seeing impacts - often dramatic, sometimes counterintuitive - on both natural systems and human communities. And, while everyone will be affected, some will be hit sooner and harder.

EVATAR (that's 'Eve', plus 'avatar') is a model of the human female reproductive tract.
Northwestern University, funding from National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

This month's rundown of the biggest science news spans fisheries management, some mind-bending biomedical advances, and evidence that it's harder than ever to understand scientific papers. Here's the skinny from Nature Podcast co-host Kerri Smith:

Or you can read it for yourself: