Science

Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

MoonMail Raises Questions About Commercial Space Flight and Space Freight

Credit Astrobotic / www.astrobotic.com

So, your life's dream has always been to send something to the moon? You may soon have your chance. A Pittsburgh company called Astrobotic is introducing a new service called MoonMail that will allow individuals to send their keepsakes to the surface of the moon. 

But with whose permission, and for what purpose? Astrobotic CEO John Thornton joins us to talk about the future of space freight.

Thornton describes Astrobotic as a “lunar logistics company” -- something like FedEx or UPS but with service to the moon. There’s been a great amount of interest in lunar freight, explains Thornton, including a plan to put a tiny house on the moon’s surface.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:27 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Isabella Rossellini Performs "Green Porno" in Pittsburgh

Credit Warhol Museum

Iconic actress, performer and model Isabella Rossellini comes to Pittsburgh Friday for a special presentation of her one-woman show, "Green Porno."

Adapted from the Sundance Channel series of the same name, Rossellini has created a unique performance-lecture focusing on the mating rituals of a variety of species.

She joins us to discuss her interest in animals and biodiversity and how it led to this show at Carnegie Music Hall, presented in conjunction with The Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art & Natural History.

Rossellini says that her interest in animals began when she was just a girl, and later in life -- after many years as a model and actress -- she went back to school to study animal behavior.

When she started writing “Green Porno,” Rossellini explains that she worked hard to take dry scientific information and inject humor, create bold costumes and stage visually compelling scenarios to get accurate scientific information across in an entertaining way.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:24 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

George Takei Talks Sci-Fi, Social Change and Democracy

Credit Ryan Loew / WESA

George Takei, who originated the character of Hikaru Sulu on “Star Trek,” joins us in studio. This weekend, Takei will host the PNC Pops "Sci-Fi Spectacular” at Heinz Hall. Takei talks about that event, his acting career, his history of activism and the upcoming Broadway musical "Allegiance," in which he has a starring role.

Read more
Community
12:17 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Carnegie Science Center To Get Spooky With 'Spirits And Spirits' Event This Halloween

If you’re the type of person to leave a bowl of candy on your porch and head out to party on Halloween, you may want to consider the Carnegie Science Center’s special adults-only event this Friday evening.

The center hosts 21+ events on the last Friday of each month, and this month’s Halloween theme is “Spirits and Spirits,” presented in collaboration with Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum and Independent Brewing Company.

Read more
Science and Technology
7:30 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Following An Online Dust-Up, Science Center And Others See A Conversation Starter

This April 8, 2014 photo shows the Carnegie Science Center at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers in downtown Pittsburgh.
Credit AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

A recent story about the disparity in Boy and Girl Scouts course offerings at the Carnegie Science Center caught fire online. The outrage was made all the more contentious because the seemingly single course offered for Girl Scouts centered on creating beauty products.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

How to Encourage Women in Bio Sciences?

Credit Women in Bio--Pittsburgh

Next week Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally (P.O.W.E.R.) will host a conference promoting leadership for women in life sciences. Susan Catalano, chapter chair of Women in Bio Pittsburgh, and Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, talk about the economic breakthroughs that are being made by women in these fields.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:30 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The View from Inside the Allegheny Observatory

Andy Conte Looking through the Thaw Refractor
Marcus Charleston WESA

Some of the nicest views of Pittsburgh and the night sky can be found at the Allegheny Observatory. Electronic technician and administrator Lou Coban takes guest host Andy Conte on a behind the scenes tour of the building from the rooftop to the telescopes to something you might not expect to find in the basement.

Coban reveals the Allegheny Observatory as one of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:23 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Science Friday's Ira Flatow Talks Pocket Protectors and YouTube Hits

Ira Flatow has been the host of the weekly public radio program Science Friday for 25 years.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Just as it would be difficult for TV viewers to imagine Saturdays without Saturday Night Live, it would be equally challenging for public radio listeners to contemplate Fridays without Science Friday.

The weekly public radio show has engaged listeners and scientists in all things science, every Friday for the past 25 years and can be heard weekly on 90.5WESA from 2-4 PM.

Founder and host, Ira Flatow is an award winning NPR host and science correspondent who spent six years writing for the Emmy-award-winning program Newton’s Apple on PBS as well as reporting on science for CBS.

Read more
Science & Technology
5:29 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Local Students Compete at World's Largest High School Science Fair

Songela Chen, a junior at North Allegheny High School, says foods like fish, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, may be beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients.
Credit Flickr user Mark Teasdale

Can you use math to calm traffic and prescribe fish dinners to help patients with multiple sclerosis?

Those are just a couple of the questions being asked by some of the brightest high school students in the world at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this week.

Approximately 1,700 young scientists and engineers from nearly 70 countries are showcasing their science and engineering projects and vying for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships.

Read more
Science
3:30 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

State Awards Grant to Assess Atom Smasher Site

The site of the world’s first industrial atom smasher will be environmentally assessed and remediated for future development.

An $88,000 grant given to Forest Hills Borough from the state will help pay for the study of the Westinghouse Atom Smasher, the light bulb-shaped building situated near Chalfant Borough.

State Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said there is a lot of work to be done before remediation can take place.

Read more
Science
11:29 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Look Up! Comet ISON Starts Its Pass Around the Sun

It might not live up to its hype as the “Comet of the Century,” but Comet ISON could still light up the night sky this December.

Comet ISON — named after the Russian-based organization that discovered it in 2012 — was originally predicted by the astronomy community to possibly be as bright as the moon, giving it the title “Comet of the Century.” According to Dan Malerbo, program coordinator of the Buhl Planetarium, the three-mile wide comet has not brightened at its expected rate and now might not even survive it’s trip around the sun.

Read more
Science
1:57 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Scientists Discover the Oldest-Known Fossil Primate Skeleton

The oldest-known fossil primate was found encased in layers of rock near the course of the modern Yangtze River.
Credit Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A team of international scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of the oldest-known fossil primate skeleton, Archicebus achilles, uncovered in an ancient lake bed near the modern Yangtze River in China’s Hubei province.

Christopher Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said the fossil’s discovery has profound implications for understanding eras of human evolution that remain shrouded in mystery.

Read more
Community
3:01 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Two Pittsburgh Institutions Join Forces to Host Butterfly Celebration

Two very different Pittsburgh icons are finding common ground in an insect.

The Carnegie Science Center and Phipps Conservatory are teaming up to host Butterfly Weekend, a two-day event that will give the public a chance to learn about the butterfly’s life cycle and natural habitat.

Susan Zimecki, director of marketing and community affairs at the Carnegie Science Center, points to a film as the inspiration behind the event.

Read more