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

Ben Hershey / bit.ly/2DHo4R0

The conventional wisdom in sports is that offense may get the glory, but defense wins championships. That’s not great news for the Patriots, who are a stronger offensive team. But Mark Otten, who heads the sports psychology laboratory at California State University at Northridge, says “Pats fans should not despair.”

The White House / bit.ly/2EjwQWj

The federal government employs a surprising number of scientists. In addition to the thousands of researchers at federal laboratories, there are hundreds of scientific advisory committees, and eighty-three high-level science appointees. At the one year mark, President Trump is way behind his predecessors - either Obama or G.W. Bush – in filling those.

Jerry Kiesewetter / bit.ly/2EjOCZE

It’s not every day that protests actually change people’s minds. In fact, social scientists say it’s pretty rare. But that’s exactly what happened a year ago, after President Trump announced the first executive order barring entry into the U.S. for individuals from certain countries.

creativecommons.org

Economists have long suspected that the Olympics can induce a feel-good effect that results in an economic boost. But a new study suggests there’s something else going on, as well.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/USGS

We’ve known for a decade or more that there is water, albeit frozen, on Mars. Now, a new analysis of satellite images reveals the whereabouts of eight substantial ice deposits. The US Geological Survey has published the findings in the journal Science, saying that there’s ice under a third of the surface of Mars. Some of the ice is just a few feet below the surface, while other deposits are under 300 feet of rocks and dust. This is important information for those who are working on sending humans to Mars.

Fredrik Ohlander bit.ly/2FZe72W

New England’s fishery managers have released a sweeping new plan for managing the ocean ecosystems off New England’s coasts. Habitat Omnibus Amendment 2 has been fourteen years in the making and, as with any new fishing rule, it’s been controversial, with critics among the fishing industry and environmental advocates.

 

It has also been hailed as a groundbreaking application of ocean science.

 

Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Pro Football Hall of Famers are among those touting a new Flag Football Under 14 campaign, highlighting the risk of a degenerative brain disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. CTE is caused by repeated head trauma, and it can cause memory loss, aggression, and eventually, dementia. There’s currently no treatment or cure. The only sure prevention is to avoid repeated hits to the head, as in tackle football.

 

Scott Pruitt sued the EPA 13 times as Oklahoma's attorney general. Now he runs the EPA.
Gage Skidmore / http://bit.ly/2raEDD3

It’s been almost a year since President Trump took office. For some, it has been a year spent tallying what they say are attacks by the administration on science – ranging from nominating non-scientists to lead science-heavy agencies, to changing the data and language presented on federal websites. 

Road salt is causing freshwater rivers and streams to become noticably saltier.
Wikicommons/ http://bit.ly/2DjoLTw

A new study highlights a side-effect of winter weather that is, on one hand, totally logical and, on the other hand, rather shocking. The U.S. uses some 19 million tons of salt each year for de-icing roads and other infrastructure. Now, that practice has been linked to widespread changes in the chemistry of American rivers and streams, particularly their salinity and alkalinity. 

whoi.edu/oceanus

 During the summer of 2012, a raft of newly formed volcanic rock one and a half times the size of Boston appeared in the Pacific Ocean near New Zealand. It was scientists’ clue that a volcano was erupting deep below the sea surface. Five years later, scientists have released their first in-depth analysis of what appears to have been the largest eruption of its kind in the past century.

L. Brian Stauffer kateclancy.com

Allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and misconduct rocked one industry after another in recent months. It usually doesn’t garner the same headlines as Hollywood stars or federal legislators, but several high profile scientists have been the subject of these kinds of accusations. And sexual abuse and harassment appear to be prevalent in academia.

December 31, 2017. The University of Maine's Climate Reanalyzer shows the global temperature and temperature anonmalies.
University of Maine. http://bit.ly/2CQEzgd

First came the cold.

The last week of December and the first week of January brought a prolonged stretch of unusually cold temperatures across the northeast. Looking at the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, it looks like the Arctic spilled all its cold down onto the eastern side of North America. 

A computer-generated image of the international prototype kilogram. The General Conference on Weights and Measures could vote on a more modern standard for the kilogram.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Greg_L / https://goo.gl/u4kikm

2017 brought a new president, a second gravitational wave detection, and advances in human gene editing. What science headlines might 2018 hold? Jane Lee, news editor for Nature News, talks through some of the likely candidates – from moon missions, to the spread of early humans, to the redefinition of the kilogram.

Finding alternatives to antibiotic treatment for ear infections and other mild infections could help reduce antibiotic resistance overall.
U.S. Navy / public domain

More than 20,000 Americans die of antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and that number is expected to rise. Efforts to overcome antibiotic resistance have largely focused on finding new ways to treat the most deadly infections. But a new analysis suggests that focusing on alternative treatments for mild infections might actually be more fruitful, and could reduce antibiotic resistance overall.

E-cigarettes now account for nearly half of U.S. cigarette sales.
http://vaping360.com/ / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:Creative_Commons

We’re one week into the New Year, and there are no doubt plenty of people struggling with their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking. A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology suggests that electronic cigarettes could help. The small pilot study found that smokers who were provided with e-cigarettes smoked fewer cigarettes and were more likely to quit smoking.

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