100 episodes

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

Town Hall Seattle Science Series Town Hall Seattle

    • Science

The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.

    Ross Bayton: The Gardener’s Botanical

    Ross Bayton: The Gardener’s Botanical

    Horticultural author Ross Bayton presented a crash course in plant history, ruminating on the origin and significance of the Latin plant names we encounter every day.
    Scientific plant names are an invaluable tool for those who understand them. Formed from Greek and, more commonly, from Latin root words, not only do they make it possible for gardeners and botanists to communicate, they also contain a wealth of hidden information. Bayton joined us with a deep dive into this intricate world, revealing a breathtaking array of botanical definitions and information.
    Drawing from his new book The Gardener’s Botanical, he unlocked the secrets of plants both everyday and obscure, offering unique facts, name etymology, gorgeous full color illustrations, and more. Unlock the secret (and not-so-secret) origins of the growing world around us with Bayton’s illuminating exploration of the plants we know, and some we don’t.
    Ross Bayton is a horticulturalist and freelance editor. His books include RHS Genealogy for Gardeners: Plant Families Explained and Explored, RHS Gardening School: Everything You Need to Know to Garden Like a Professional, and RHS Colour Companion: A Visual Dictionary of Colour for Gardeners.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on March 4, 2020. 

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Dan Esty: Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future

    Dan Esty: Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future

    Sustainability has recently skyrocketed as a global priority. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the adoption of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals through the United Nations have highlighted the need to address critical threats to our environment. But according to Daniel Esty, in the United States issues like partisan divides, regional disputes, and deep disagreements over core principles have stalled progress toward policies and initiatives that aim to build a sustainable future.
    Esty joined us with excerpts from A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future, a collection of essays on ecology, environmental justice, Big Data, public health, and climate change, all with an emphasis on sustainability. Esty offered selections that call for sustainability through actionable, bipartisan approaches based on rigorous analytical research, offered us solutions for confronting issues such as the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, water shortages, and air pollution. Sit in for a diverse exploration of the problems that face our planet, the factors stopping us from taking action, and what we can do to change them.
    Daniel C. Esty is Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale Law School. He served as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014 and in several leadership roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993. Esty is the editor of A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 13, 2020. 

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Bees, Guts, Soil, and Cancer: The Microbiome

    Bees, Guts, Soil, and Cancer: The Microbiome

    How are the health of soil, plants, bees, and humans connected? An all-star panel of experts joined us to answer this question with a discussion of the microscopic universe at the beginning and end of our food chain—the microbiome. Delve into the intricate world of microbes present in every human, the bacteria that help us digest food, regulate our immune system, and produce vitamins essential to our health. Explore unique connections that expand our everyday understanding—the decline of bees as related to the health of our soil and the quality of microbiomes within bees’ diets, the relationship of cancer to our digestive health, and more. Sit in for an enlightening discussion of the unseen but powerful factors affecting our health, our environment, and many more aspects of our lives than we could have thought possible.
    Panelists:
    Elissa Arnheim combines her health and ecology expertise in fostering robust populations and resilient terrain in children’s guts. She helps mothers reverse their children’s chronic health issues while taking care of themselves. Arnheim’s work gives moms empowered clarity by reducing stomach problems, anxiety and focus issues, and picky eating.
    Anne Biklé is a science writer and public speaker. She has over two decades of experience in field biology, natural history, and environmental planning. Her work focuses on the connections between people, plants, food, health, and the environment. Biklé is the co-author of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health.
    William DePaolo, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, recipient of the Garvey Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology, and Director of CMiST, Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics. His research centers on multidisciplinary applications of microbiology, mucosal immunology, and cancer research to study complex human diseases.
    Jenifer Walke, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Eastern Washington University. She is a microbial and disease ecologist, studying the roles of beneficial and disease-causing microorganisms on their hosts and investigating the complex interactions between honey bee hosts, their gut microbiomes, and pathogens.
    The event is moderated by Bob Redmond of Survivor Bee.
    The event is co-produced by Survivor Bee and sponsored by Big Dipper Waxworks with additional support from King County LOOP® Biosolids, The Common Acre, Rainbow Natural Remedies, and the Center for Microbiome Sciences and Therapeutics at the University of Washington.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 4, 2020. 

    • 1 hr 18 min
    We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea

    We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea

    Puget Sound is a magnificent and intricate estuary, supporting an abundance of resident and migrating life—notably two iconic, interdependent endangered species: Southern Resident orcas and chinook salmon. Town Hall Seattle and Braided River presented an evening celebrating a new multimedia book and campaign We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea to protect and restore Puget Sound.
    Hear from book contributors such as Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman and Mindy Roberts, Director of Washington Environmental Council People for Puget Sound—as well as Orca Recovery Task Force co-chair Les Purce, and other regional Puget Sound protectors. Experience a stunning visual journey through the complex web of marine and terrestrial wildlife, regional economies of fishing and agriculture, and learn how each of us can join in protecting our common home in the Salish Sea.
    Mindy Roberts leads the People For Puget Sound program at Washington Environmental Council, where she focuses on improving and maintaining the health of our unique ecosystem. WEC’s mission is to protect, restore, and sustain Washington’s environment for all. Mindy’s previous work focused on identifying sources of pollution to Washington’s waters – streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound – and developing management actions to clean them up.
    Leonard Forsman has served as tribal chairman of the Suquamish Tribe since 2005 and is president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. His interests include cultural preservation, sustainable economic development, and habitat protection.
    Les Purce serves as the co-chair for the Orca Recovery Task Force, appointed by Governor Inslee to lead representatives of nearly fifty government entities, native tribes, coalitions, and industry groups to take aggressive action to protect and recover the Southern Resident killer whale population.
    This event is supported by Braided River and Washington Environmental Coalition, in collaboration with dozens of regional partners.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in the The Forum on November 19, 2019. 

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Susannah Cahalan: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

    Susannah Cahalan: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

    For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness—how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? Author Susanah Calahan made her way to Town Hall to explore the history of psychological understanding in our country with her book The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness. Cahalan chronicled the 1970’s story of David Rosenhan, a Stanford psychologist who took himself and seven other people—sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society—on an undercover study into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry’s labels. Forced to remain inside until they’d “proven” themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment.
    Cahalan presented new research showing that very little in Rosenhan’s watershed study is exactly as it seems. She examined interviews with Rosenhan’s colleagues and peers, searches for the anonymous participants or “pseudo-patients,” uncovers new never-reported material and information, and unravels the mystery surrounding Rosenhan’s research. Sit in for an explosive investigation that sheds new light on the findings reported in Rosenhan’s landmark study—and unpacks what this new information means for our understanding of mental illness today.
    Susannah Cahalan is an author and journalist who has become a leading voice on the treatment of mental illness in America since her bestselling memoir Brain on Fire, where she chronicles her own struggles with modern medicine after being misdiagnosed with a serious mental illness. Brain on Fire has sold over a million copies, spent 52 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a feature film.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on November 18, 2019. 

    • 56 min
    Azra Raza with Leroy Hood: The Human Costs of Treating Cancer

    Azra Raza with Leroy Hood: The Human Costs of Treating Cancer

    According to oncologist Azra Raza, we have lost the war on cancer. We spend $150 billion each year treating it, yet—a few innovations notwithstanding—a patient with cancer is as likely to die of it as one was fifty years ago. Most new drugs add mere months to one’s life at agonizing physical and financial cost. In her book The First Cell, Raza offered a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, and how we can do better. In conversation with Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology, Raza presented a deeply moving account of the terrible burden of being her own husband’s oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. Raza delved into the difficulties of treating cancer, offering every perspective from medical to scientific, cultural to personal. Listen in with Raza and Hood for a world-class oncologist’s devastating and deeply personal examination of cancer, and perspectives from an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.
    Azra Raza, MD is the Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine and Director, MDS Center at Columbia University. In addition to publishing widely in basic and clinical cancer research, Raza is also the co-editor of the highly acclaimed website 3QuarksDaily.com.
    Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, is Chief Strategy Officer, Co-founder, and Professor at the Institute for Systems Biology. He has made many seminal discoveries in the fields of immunology, neurobiology, cancer biology and biotechnology, and has been a leader in the development of systems biology and its applications to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on November 12, 2019. 

    • 1 hr 12 min

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