The Point

9:00am and 7:00pm

WCAI's award-winning public affairs program. Every Monday The Point features Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, examining the stories behind science headlines. Tuesday through Thursday, Mindy Todd hosts a lively and informative discussion on critical issues for Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. Every Friday is the News Roundup, as WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran speaks with news editors and reporters from around the region.

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The Point hosts: Mindy Todd, Heather Goldstone, and Sean Corcoran.
Credit Maura Longueil

Research has determined that the immune system directly affects and even controls social behavior. Scientists are looking at how problems with the immune system may effect social interactions. Recent findings could have implications for neurological diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. On The Point, Mindy Todd talks with psychologist Michael Abbruzzese and psychiatrist Marc Whaley.

As wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving First Lady. She was also a leader in her own right, championing humanitarian and social reform issues. Much has been written about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life and activism, but the new book Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady sheds light on another aspect of her life; the 30-year relationship she had with journalist Lorena Hickok. Author  Susan Quinn joins Mindy Todd in The Point studio for this interview.

Wiki Commons

Over the past several years, climate change has gained a reputation as a liberal agenda item. It wasn't always that way; it was President George H. W. Bush who brought the U.S. into international climate negotiations in 1992. Today, many GOP legislators reject the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. But that science is clear – human activities are disrupting the global climate system, and that poses risks to people and institutions of all political persuasions.

File photo, Wikimedia Commons

WCAI News Director Sean Corcoran hosts a weekly roundup of regional news with several local journalists. Joining Sean this week are Sean Driscoll of the Cape Cod Times; Sara Brown of the Vineyard Gazette; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times; Ed Miller of the Provincetown Banner; Joshua Balling of the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror; and Bill Chaisson of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

When we think of slavery in the United States, images of southern plantations most likely come to mind. But northern states, including New England, played a substantial role in the slave trade. Starting in the seventeen hundreds more than half of the slaving voyages left the US from ports in Rhode Island, including Providence, Bristol, and Newport.  Rhode Island is beginning to confront that history with the creation of The Center for Reconciliation at the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island in Providence. 


Pamela Chatterton-Purdy and David Purdy have been active in the civil rights movement on multiple fronts since the 1960’s. They are parents of a racially mixed family and have written a new book titled Icons of the Civil Rights Movement: Dispelling White Privilege.  The book intertwines their story with the stories of others in the civil rights movement and features Pam’s original artwork.

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They’ve been on the planet for over a hundred million years, but nearly all of the seven sea turtle species are now on the brink of extinction due to human causes. Their numbers have dwindled to historic lows. Each fall, cold stunned sea turtles wash up on Cape Cod, many of them critically endangered Kemps Ridley turtles. Volunteers coordinated by Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary patrol the beaches day and night to rescue them. 

J. Junker

This month the birds of our region are dealing with winter in its greatest intensity. Some flocks are living on the remaining local fruit such as rose hips, berries and crab apples. At this time of year water fowl can be seen in abundance. Mark Faherty, ornithologist and science coordinator at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary joins Mindy Todd on The Point to talk about birds, and also other creatures such as fishers and turtles. 

By Professor Ken Miller - Professor Ken Miller, Public Domain,

On certain issues – not all, but some – the science is clear: evolution gave rise to the diversity of life on Earth; climate change is happening, and humans are largely responsible; and vaccines do not cause autism. And yet, significant portions of the American public reject these scientific realities. 

“No one looks at scientific findings, scientific results from a completely objective point of view,” said Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God, and Only a Theory – Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.

File photo, Wikimedia Commons

WCAI's Sean Corcoran hosts a roundup of local news stories with several area journalists. His guests this week include Cindy McCormick of the Cape Cod Times; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times; Ann Wood of the Provincetown Banner; Sara Brown of the Vineyard Gazette; and Bill Chaisson of the Martha's Vineyard Times.