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February 22, 2007

David C. Brock, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Contemporary History and Policy, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2-22-07


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David C. Brock is a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As an historian of science and technology, he specializes in oral history, the history of instrumentation, and the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University (respectively and chronologically). His most recent publication is Understanding Moore’s Law: Four Decades of Innovation (Philadelphia, Chemical Heritage Press, 2006), which he edited and to which he contributed.

With Christophe Lécuyer, Brock has co-authored two articles in 2006 on the broad subject of what he calls the “chemical history of electronics”: a paper for the journal History and Technology titled “The Materiality of Microelectronics”, and a brief biography of Gordon E. Moore for the journal Annals of the History of Computing.

Since 2004, Brock has published nine short articles in Chemical Heritage Magazine on the chemical history of electronics. In the area of public history, Brock has curated two exhibits for the Chemical Heritage Foundation: an exhibit on the history of instrumentation titled “Revolutionary Tools: Instrumentation and the Transformation of the Chemical Sciences” and a major traveling exhibit on the history of women in chemistry titled “Her Lab in Your Life”.
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Posted by David Lemberg at 07:27 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

Dr. Sarah Arsenault, Senior Research Engineer, United Technologies Corporation, 2-22-07


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Dr. Sarah Arsenault is a Senior Research Engineer involved in cutting edge industrial research at the central R&D center of United Technologies Corporation. In this capacity, she has taken on task leadership roles for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Storage technologies. She became interested in engineering from an early age, always asking the questions of “why” and “how does it work”.

The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Team and Dr. Arsenault was recognized in 2005 for innovative development of SOFC stack technology for power generation of the future, culminating in successful design and demonstration of a 1-kilowatt cell stack. Safe, effective storage of hydrogen is a critical objective for the development of automotive fuel cells. Dr. Arsenault was responsible for driving the design and development of a subscale Hydrogen Storage Prototype System for fuel cell vehicles.

When not developing next generation environmentally-friendly products, you might find Dr. Arsenault active in the local chapter of AIChE or out on the slopes. She hopes to get back to racing slalom with the Connecticut Industrial Ski Council once she finishes her MBA.

Founded in 1929, United Technologies Research Center delivers the world's most advanced technologies, innovative thinking and disciplined research to customers that are industry leaders in aerospace propulsion, building infrastructure and services, heating and air conditioning, fire and security systems, and power generation. UTRC researchers partner with all the business units of United Technologies Corporation, as well as with government agencies, independent organizations, leading universities and centers of technological excellence across the globe. UTRC employs approximately 500 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff with headquarters in East Hartford, CT, and a research facility in Shanghai, China.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008, is a professional society of more than 40,000 chemical engineers in 92 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society.

Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security.

Posted by David Lemberg at 07:23 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

Dr. Jane Tao, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, 2-22-07


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Dr. Yizhi Jane Tao earned her bachelor's degree from Peking University in China in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1999. In 2002, following postdoctoral training at Harvard, she joined the faculty at Rice University, where she is currently an Assistant Professor Of Biochemistry And Cell Biology.
Dr. Tao's scientific research efforts are focused on RNA viruses. Among her favorite subjects are the influenza A viruses, including those that cause both yearly human flu epidemics and the recent widespread H5N1 avian flu.

Influenza viruses contain an RNA genome, and they replicate their genome using a set of protein factors that are different from those used by their animal hosts. Recently, Dr. Tao's group determined the atomic structure of the influenza virus nucleoprotein, a well-conserved protein with essential roles in viral RNA replication. The atomic structure of influenza virus nucleoprotein reveals interesting features that may have important applications in the development of new anti-influenza drugs.

Posted by David Lemberg at 07:20 AM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

February 14, 2007

Dr. Katie Hunt, 2007 President, American Chemical Society, 2-15-07


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Read the transcript of the SCIENCE AND SOCIETY interview with Dr. Katie Hunt

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Catherine T. (Katie) Hunt is the 2007 President of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. She is also an employee of Rohm and Haas in Spring House, PA. She is Leader of Technology Partnerships (Emerging Technologies) for Rohm and Haas and her background is in catalysis and inorganic chemistry. In her 23 years in industry, Dr. Hunt has applied her background in these two areas across a broad range of electronics, materials, catalysis, hydrogen, coatings and health care.

Dr. Hunt received an A.B. degree in chemistry (cum laude with honors) in 1977 from Smith College in Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in 1981. An ACS member since 1977, Dr. Hunt has been involved in numerous Society activities, including membership in the Philadelphia Local Section and the Divisions of Analytical Chemistry, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. ACS publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, OH.

ACS is a strong and successful advocate for the chemical sciences from education to legislation; an important hub of technical activities from meetings to publications and from divisions to websites; and a growing pool of resources from networks to workshops.

Posted by David Lemberg at 04:18 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

John Horning, Executive Director, Forest Guardians, 2-15-07


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Founded in 1989, Forest Guardians has emerged as a results-driven group with a proven record of defending and preserving threatened southwestern wildlife and ecosystems. The organization's approach to conservation features a potent combination of scientific analysis, strategic litigation to enforce existing environmental laws, and efforts to reform public polices.

Forest Guardians' goals are to

  • Protect and restore the native biological diversity and watersheds of the American Southwest

  • Educate and enlist citizens to support protection of the forests, rivers, deserts and grasslands of this arid region

  • Advocate for the principles of conservation biology in plans to restore degraded ecosystems and watersheds

  • Enforce and strengthen environmental laws

  • Support communities in efforts to protect their land

  • Practice and promote sustainable use of natural resources
  • John Horning has been with Forest Guardians since 1994 and became the Executive Director in April 2002. During his tenure, he has worked in a variety of positions including grazing program director, watershed protection program director and conservation director. He has had extensive campaign and litigation experience working on western water, grazing, endangered species and land-use management issues in addition to his development and administrative responsibilities. The Wilburforce Foundation recently recognized him with its annual outstanding conservation leadership award.

    mmediately prior to coming to New Mexico, Mr. Horning worked for 2.5 years in Washington D.C. for the National Wildlife Federation on public lands and western resource issues.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 04:14 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    Dr. Gabriella Petrick, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, 2-15-07


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    Dr. Gabriella M. Petrick is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health where she is working to develop a new program on the food system. She has a background in economics and history and holds degrees from the College of the Holy Cross (A.B.), the Culinary Institute of American (A.O.S.), Cornell University (M.M.H.), and Carnegie Mellon University (M.A.). Her Ph.D. is in U.S. History from the University of Delaware where she was a Hagley Fellow in the History of Technology and Industrialization.

    Some of the fellowships Dr. Petrick has held include a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, the Henry Belin Du Pont Dissertation Fellowship, the Deans Fellowship in the History of Home Economics, Cornell University, the Edelstein Studentship, Chemical Heritage Foundation, in addition to being a University Fellow at the University of Delaware. Dr. Petrick’s current research focuses on the scientific and technological development of the food industry and consumer adoption of these new technologies.

    Early in her career, Dr. Petrick worked with Gary Danko of Danko’s in San Francisco, Johnathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York, and Madeline Kamman at Beringer Vineyards where she developed an expertise in food and wine pairing. She brought this expertise in the organoleptic evaluation of foods into her historical research by developing the concept of the industrialization of taste in an effort to understand how consumers adopt new food technologies into their diets.

    Dr. Petrick has published in the Cornell Quarterly, Agricultural History and has an article forthcoming in the Journal of American History. She is currently working on a book on the industrialization of taste in twentieth-century America.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 04:09 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    February 07, 2007

    Dr. Al Kolb, President, The Society for Biomolecular Sciences, 2-8-07


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    Read the transcript of the SCIENCE AND SOCIETY interview with Dr. Al Kolb

    Dr. Al Kolb is President of The Society for Biomolecular Sciences and President of the drug discovery consulting firm KeyTech Solutions. He has worked for Beckman, Packard and a number of smaller companies specializing in assay technologies and automation. Dr. Kolb received his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, in molecular biology and biochemistry, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Kolb has been involved with high-throughput screening—specifically, in the development of assay technologies, microplates, readers, imagers, liquid handling and automation, with a special interest in assay miniaturization. As a consultant, he has continued working in these areas to assist companies in evaluating, developing and launching new drug discovery technologies.

    Dr. Kolb was one of the organizers of SBS and served twice on the society’s Board of Directors, including the first Board He has continued to support and serve the Society in various capacities, including the annual conference, his current tenure as President, and as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening.

    # The Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of biomolecular screening internationally. Incorporated in September 1994, SBS is focused on promoting contacts, education and professionalism among the specialists that comprise this new multidisciplinary field. In 12 years SBS has succeeded in building membership to over 2000 scientists and specialists from over 24 countries. Members are kept abreast of new developments related to

  • The design and implementation of assay systems, computer applications and data management systems, instrumentation and robotics systems

  • The acquisition of test substance resources, including traditional, natural product, and combinatorial chemistry synthesis

  • Functional genomics and proteomics in biomolecular screening

  • High-throughput toxicology/ADME
  • Posted by David Lemberg at 02:15 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    Tracy Mehan, Principal, The Cadmus Group, 2-8-07


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    G. Tracy Mehan, III, is Principal with The Cadmus Group, an environmental consulting firm, with offices in Arlington, VA.

    Mr. Mehan served as Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2001-2003 pursuant to presidential nomination and senate confirmation. In that capacity he directed both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts programs including permitting, infrastructure finance, wetlands regulation, standards and watershed management. During his tenure as Assistant Administrator, Mr. Mehan developed new policies and guidances on watershed-based permitting and water quality trading. He also promoted expanded ambient water quality monitoring and innovative approaches to meeting the challenge of the infrastructure financing gap. He served as Environmental Stewardship Counselor to the 2004 G-8 Summit Planning Organization (2004).

    Mr. Mehan also served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes and a member of then Governor John Engler’s Cabinet (1993-2001). He represented the State of Michigan in all matters relating to Great Lakes Water diversions under the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 and the Great Lakes Charter, and led the Michigan negotiating team during the mediation of disputes relating to exceedances of Supreme Court mandated limits on the Chicago Diversion of Lake Michigan water. He also was Michigan’s representative on the Great Lakes Commission and the Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the U.S. and Canada. In addition, he chaired the Michigan Mercury Pollution Prevention Task Force which, among other things, negotiated a phase out of 9.8 metric tons of mercury used in auto switches, annually, by the Big Three auto companies.

    Mr. Mehan also served, briefly, as Associate Deputy Administrator of EPA in 1992. He served as director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and member of the Cabinet of then Governor John Ashcroft from 1989 to 1992. In that capacity he managed the state’s environmental, parks, historic preservation, geology and other programs. He represented the State of Missouri in all negotiations over the management of the Missouri River and the development of a proposed Master Manual as well as matters pertaining to water diversions including tribal reserved water rights potentially impacting main stem flows downstream. He negotiated the Times Beach cleanup settlement and implemented what was then the largest rails-to-trails conversion in the country, the 200 mile long KATY Trail.

    He is the recipient of the 2004 Environment Award from the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the 2003 Elizabeth Jester Fellows Environmental Partnership Award from the Association of State & Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASWIPCA). Presently, Mr. Mehan is serving on the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act for the National Research Council of the National Academies.

    Mr. Mehan is a graduate of Saint Louis University and its School of Law. He is an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Law at George Mason University School of Law. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation and the Environmental Law Institute.

    Founded in 1983, employee-owned The Cadmus Group helps government, nonprofit, and corporate clients address critical challenges in the environmental and energy sectors. Cadmus provides an array of research and analytical services in the United States and abroad, specializing in solving complex problems that demand innovative, multidisciplinary thinking. Among Cadmus’ major practice areas are Drinking Water and Water Quality, Communications and Social Marketing, Energy Services (including energy efficiency and renewable energy), Risk Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmentally Sound Design, and Environmental Management.

    The Cadmus staff includes scientists; engineers; statisticians; economists; MBAs; marketing, public relations, and communications professionals; attorneys; information technology specialists; and public policy analysts. Many of our senior consultants are nationally recognized experts in their fields and several serve on high-level U.S. government science advisory boards.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 02:12 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    Dr. Summer Johnson, Director, Ethics in Novel Technologies, Research, and Innovation Program, Alden March Bioethics Institute, 2-8-07


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    Dr. Summer Johnson is the Director of the Ethics in Novel Technologies, Research, and Innovation Program at the Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI) in Albany, NY. Dr. Johnson is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Albany Medical College as well as Interim Director of Graduate Studies at AMBI, where she runs an online Masters of Science degree in Bioethics.

    The Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI) is a multi-institutional bioethics research institute based at the Albany Medical College and its Medical Center, and directed by Dr. Glenn McGee. AMBI was founded in 2005 to conduct state-of-the-art research, teaching and outreach concerning ethical issues in the health sciences.

    AMBI conducts a comprehensive and innovative bioethics research and education program through Faculty and Fellows representing the unique educational, research and government institutions in New York's capital district.

    Institute faculty receive in excess of $3 million in bioethics research dollars, and produce and disseminate widely cited scholarship in medical, legal, philosophical and scientific journals and books. AMBI offers a unique online masters program in bioethics as well joint degree programs in law, medicine, pastoral care, public health and social work.

    The Institute is home to the leading peer-reviewed journal in bioethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, and to the world's most utilized bioethics resource on the Internet, bioethics.net. It publishes the most-read bioethics news and opinion resource, The Editors Blog of The American Journal of Bioethics, better known as blog.bioethics.net.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 02:06 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    February 01, 2007

    Dr. John Theibault, Education Manager, Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2-1-07


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    Dr. John Theibault is Education Manager in the Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. He has a BA in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an MBA from the University of Delaware, and an MA and PhD in history from the Johns Hopkins University. He has taught history at Loyola College of Maryland, Princeton University, the University of Oregon, and Lehigh University. He has received fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Max-Planck-Institut-für-Geschichte in Göttingen. He is the author of two books and more than a dozen articles in early modern European history. Before coming to CHF, he was Managing Director of Content Development for Digital Learning Interactive/iLrn, a pioneer in the development of online textbooks for the college market.

    As Education Manager in the Roy Eddleman Institute, John oversees the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s portfolio of online resources for students and teachers, (Science Alive!, Her Lab in Your Life: Women in Chemistry, Chemical Achievers, Pharmaceutical Achievers, and Explore Chemical History), workshops and conferences for stakeholders in science education (Leadership Initiative in Science Education – LISE), and collaborative projects with other content developers and educators.

    On February 6, 2007 at 8:00PM EST, NOVA will present Forgotten Genius: Percy Julian. CHF contributed background research to the program and has its own educational module Science Alive! The Life and Science of Percy Julian also based on that research.

    The Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education is the outreach arm of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The Institute’s outreach efforts are shared among two programs—collections and education. The Institute broadly serves CHF’s mission of treasuring the past, educating the present, and inspiring the future.

    While many organizations promote science or chemistry education, CHF is distinguished from them by basing outreach programs on its unparalleled collections of books and journals, archives, oral histories, artworks, instruments, and apparatuses. These collective resources constitute the material record of the human endeavor to investigate and shape nature through discovery and invention, a record that touches every aspect of life. Interpreting that record through a wide range of activities is the mission of the Institute. Through its outreach programs, the Institute conveys to a broad audience the excitement and implications of chemical innovation through time.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 12:21 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    Dr. Michael Fernandez, Executive Director, Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, 2-1-07


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    Michael Fernandez, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. Since joining the Initiative when it launched in early 2001, Dr. Fernandez has served as the Initiative’s Director of Science. In that role, he oversaw the Initiative’s research into scientific questions generated by agricultural biotechnology, including the reports, workshops and conferences prepared by Initiative staff.

    Previously, Dr. Fernandez served as the Associate Administrator for the Agricultural Marketing Service at the United States Department of Agriculture where he was responsible for all science and technology programs, including agricultural biotechnology and the implementation of the National Organic Standards Program.

    The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology was established in 2001 to be an independent and objective source of credible information on agricultural biotechnology for the public, media and policymakers. Funded through a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the University of Richmond, the Initiative advocates neither for, nor against, agricultural biotechnology. Instead, the Initiative is committed to providing information and encouraging debate and dialogue so that consumers and policymakers can make their own informed decisions.

    Consumer confidence in the ability of the regulatory system to ensure food safety and protect the environment is critical to the success or failure of agricultural biotechnology. For that reason, the Initiative supports informed public dialogue on ways that the regulatory system may need to evolve to address the issues posed by the continued development of this new technology and the growing body of scientific knowledge.

    The Initiative produces reports and sponsors workshops and conferences to showcase the diverse points of view that recognized experts have on the broad array of topics relevant to the debate about agricultural biotechnology. The reports and workshop products are disseminated widely and are made available through the Initiative’s web site so the public, the media and policymakers can have equal access to information. Through collaborations with other organizations, the Initiative also aims to encourage debate and dialogue about the scientific, economic, marketing, and regulatory issues relevant to agricultural biotechnology.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 12:18 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index

    Dr. Richard Gomer, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Dr. Darrell Pilling, Faculty Fellow in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, 2-1-07


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    Dr. Richard Gomer is Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University in Houston. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Pomona College and his doctorate in biology from the California Institute of Technology. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Firtel at the University of California, San Diego, Gomer began more than two decades of research using the simple eukaryote Dictyostelium as a model system to investigate the following: how a set of undifferentiated cells can break symmetry and differentiate into distinct cell types; how the cells in a group or tissue can sense what percentage of themselves are cell type 'a¹ and thus sense the composition of the tissue; and how the size of a group of cells or a tissue is sensed and maintained. Gomer joined Rice's faculty in 1988 and became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in 2000.

    Dr. Darrell Pilling, an immunologist, is a Faculty Fellow in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham in England. In postdoctoral training at Birmingham, Pilling investigated the proteins that prevent leukocytes from dying in the joints of arthritis patients, and he helped identify peptides that could kill inflammatory cells in inflamed joints.

    In 2001, while Pilling was on a traveling fellowship at Rice, Gomer and Pilling discovered that a naturally occurring protein in human blood called serum amyloid P (SAP) prevented a subset of human blood monocytes from differentiating into cells called fibrocytes. Fibrocytes participate in both wound healing and fibrotic lesions, and they play a central role in fibrotic diseases, including scleroderma, pulmonary fibrosis, renal fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver, airway wall thickening in asthma, and cardiac fibrosis, which is associated with many, if not most, of the U.S.'s 450,000 deaths per year from heart disease. There are currently no FDA-approved therapeutics for fibrotic diseases.

    In collaboration with Dr. Mark Entman at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine, Gomer and Pilling have found that SAP injections prevent ischemia/reperfusion-induced cardiac fibrosis in mice. Gomer and Pilling have applied for patents on the technology and co-founded the company Promedior, which is working to develop SAP as an anti-fibrotic therapy.

    Posted by David Lemberg at 12:14 PM Return to Science and Society Podcasts Main Index