University of Michigan Museum of Natural History Podcast
Science Café: Oil and Soil: The Forces of Climate Change

Science Café: Oil and Soil: The Forces of Climate Change

December 18, 2019

A discussion on the politics of oil, water, and food production and how they are deeply intertwined with human-caused climate change and political upheaval, especially in the Middle East.  

  • Jennifer Blesh, Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability, U-M School for Environment and Sustainability
  • Juan Cole, Professor of History and Director for U-M Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies 

Sponsored by Science for the People and MC²: Michigan & the Climate Crisis which is presented in conjunction with the Bicentennial LSA Theme Semester.

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Lecture: The Human Era: Living in the Anthropocene

Lecture: The Human Era: Living in the Anthropocene

December 18, 2019

Today's geologic era—the Anthropocene—is dominated by human activity. In this talk, Ben van der Pluijm explored the impacts of a growing human population and our increasing needs for resources, such as food, water and energy, and solutions toward a thriving human society in this new era.

  • Ben van der Pluijm, B.R. Clark Collegiate Professor, U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: Safeguarding Science: Expanding Access to Public Data

Science Café: Safeguarding Science: Expanding Access to Public Data

December 18, 2019

A discussion with U-M faculty and librarians participating in the national DataRefuge project, which looks to preserve, organize, and increase access to publicly-funded research data.

  • Jake Carlson, Research Data Services Manager, U-M Library
  • Paul Edwards, Professor of Information, School of Information and Professor of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Catherine Morse, Government Information, Law and Political Science Librarian
  • Justin Schell, Director, Shapiro Design Lab, U-M Library

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: Can Nutrition, Stress, and Environmental Exposures Change Your DNA?

Science Café: Can Nutrition, Stress, and Environmental Exposures Change Your DNA?

December 18, 2019

A discussion on the biological effects of past nutrition, stress, and toxicant exposures on our health and well-being. Are these changes heritable? Can diet and exercise protect our DNA?

  • Kelly Bakulski and Dana Dolinoy of the U-M School of Public Health
  • Srijan Sen of the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: Ancient Climates, Future Climates: What Can the Deep Past Tell Us?

Science Café: Ancient Climates, Future Climates: What Can the Deep Past Tell Us?

December 18, 2019

A discussion on how the Earth's climate has changed many times, and the mechanisms of these changes may shed light on what we can expect in the future.  

  • Chris Poulsen, Professor and Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Nathan Sheldon, Associate Professor Earth and Environmental Sciences, Associate Director of the Program in the Environment

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: Has Particle Physics Fizzled?

Science Café: Has Particle Physics Fizzled?

December 18, 2019

In 2012, physicists at large particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found evidence of the Higgs boson, long predicted by the Standard Model in physics. But since then, they have yet to find evidence of other predicted particles.

  • Dante Amidei, U-M Professor of Physics 
  • Aaron Pierce, U-M Professor of Physics and Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: The Bristle Mammoth Discovery

Science Café: The Bristle Mammoth Discovery

December 18, 2019

In the fall of 2015, a farmer near Chelsea discovered part of a mammoth skeleton and donated it to U-M.  U-M scientists discussed the excavation and early research on the Bristle Mammoth -- named for Jim and Melody Bristle on whose land it was found.

  • Professor Daniel C. Fisher, Director of the U-M Museum of Paleontology
  • Adam Rountrey, Collection Manager for Vertebrate Fossils, U-M Museum of Paleontology

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

Science Café: Cyanobacteria: Toxic tide or treasure?

Science Café: Cyanobacteria: Toxic tide or treasure?

July 30, 2019

You've probably heard of the harmful "algal" blooms in Lake Erie. These are caused by cyanobacteria (the organisms formerly known as blue-green algae), which grow in nutrient-rich water, often overpopulating due to fertilizer run-off. But did you know that cyanobacteria also absorb CO2 and that researchers are studying whether they might affect, or even mitigate, global warming? Learn about water quality and the carbon cycle, and discuss the possible policy implications. Join Vincent Denef of the University of Michigan's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Anthony Vecchiarelli of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. 

  • Vincent Denef of the University of Michigan’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Anthony Vecchiarelli of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

For more information on future Science Cafes, please visit our website

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