Scientists share their cutting-edge research with K-12 educators in this series created by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy at the University of Wisconsin Madison partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District and Edgewood College Sonderegger Science Center.

Conversations in Science: Chimeras and the Edges of the Human

Current representations of transplantation reflect colonial taxonomies of race, gender, and sex, with colonial hierarchies of what is 'human' and what counts as 'culture,' and with early modern practices of what Michel Foucault called 'biopower'. Exploring this history helps to recast concerns about the new forms of biological power and the seemingly monstrous possibilities for cross-species hybridization and transformation.

Conversations in Science: Using Ultrasound to Evaluate Arterial Age

UW-Madison's Dr. James Stein reviews the current state of cardiovascular disease risk prediction and its limitations, focusing on the use of carotid ultrasound as a potential tool to help improve risk prediction.

Conversations in Science: The Moral Tales of Nature Films

New media technologies have opened up the possibilities for new material, new voices, and new points of view. Outside the powerful networks of film distribution and promotion, new relationships across art, science, and activism are being forged, helping to create media that matters in the lives of people and animals throughout the world.

Conversations in Science: What Babies Know

A review of child development research of interest to educators including early language and social development and an examination how this research can be helpful to classroom teachers. Professor Lewis Leavitt, Department of Pedatrics, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison presents "What Babies Know".

Conversations in Science: Sleep and the Brain

Recent evidence suggests that sleep has a core function involving the brain, and might be identifiable at the cellular level. Hear more from Prof. Chiara Cirelli, UW Department of Psychiatry.

Conversations in Science: Antiloguous Harmony in Chemistry and Music

Find out how Art & Science inspire each other, through a study of 'antilogous harmony' or the juxtaposition of two dissimilar things. Hear what happens when tuba and piano are combined in a sonata.

Conversations in Science: Science, Religion & Jewish Thought

What does Judaism have to say about the relationship between science and religion? This lecture by Prof. Steven Nadler, UW Dept. of Philosophy, considers Maimonides attempts to resolve the perplexity of someone who is both religiously devout and scientifically informed, and discusses how the Jewish worldview can be understood in naturalistic and rationalistic terms.

Conversations in Science: Science in Theatre

This conversation is presented by Professor Norma Saldivar, the Director of the Arts Institute at UW Madison.

Conversations in Science: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Photochemistry

An overview on the nature of atmospheric aerosols and their influence on human health and climate. This conversation is presented by Professor Frank Keutsch from the Department of Chemistry at UW Madison.

Conversations in Science: Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

New minimally invasive, video and robotic surgical techniques, while technically more challenging for surgeons, may ease patient recovery. In the past 5 years proof of their positive impact on long term outcomes for patient survival has emerged. Professor Tracey Weigel, Chief Thoracic Surgery for UW Hospitals, tells us more.

Conversations in Science: Burning Questions About Forest Fires in the West

The frequency of large fires in the western US is increasing. The 1988 Yellowstone fires provided an opportunity to study a large, natural disturbance in an ecological system minimally affected by humans, offering new insights about the nature of change and how fires may affect future climate. Professor Monica Turner from the University of Wisconsin's Department of Zoology discusses these insights.

Conversations in Science: Building the Next Generation of Biofuels

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is an emerging leader in using interdisciplinary, genomics-based methods to build a biofuels economy. To function as a center of excellence, the GLBRC will develop programs to bring bioenergy breakthroughs to members of the agricultural and private sector; stakeholders in the scientific, business, or academic community; and the public. This conversation with Professor Tim Donohue tells us more about the GLBRC goals.

Conversations in Science: Babies, Testosterone, and Type 2 Diabetes and Infertility

Testosterone is a well-known male hormone crucial in the differentiation and maintenance of male characteristics. This presentation will examine a potential fetal origin for Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that was discovered when female monkeys were exposed to fetal male levels of testosterone before birth. Understanding the developmental origins of PCOS provides the potential for clinical intervention before adulthood to prevent expression of the syndrome’s multiple signs and symptoms. Professor David Abbott of the University of Wisconsin Deptartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Wisconsin National Primate Research Center tells us more about this disorder.

Conversations in Science: Self-Organization: Nature's Intelligent Design

Complex patterns are common throughout nature, from the distribution of the galaxies in the Universe to the organization of neurons in the human brain. It is generally assumed that such complex structure must have a complex cause, but it may be that the patterns spontaneously arise through the repeated application of simple rules. Professor Clint Sprott from the University of Wisconsin Department of Physics will talk and provide examples of self-organization in nature and will describe six simple computer models that can replicate the features of these patterns.

Conversations in Science: Science vs. the Media on Gender Differences

The mass media are full of messages implying that women and men are, psychologically, extremely different from each other. One example is John Gray's book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. In this talk Janet Shibley Hyde, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin, examines the scientific data to see whether these claims are accurate.