55 episodes

A program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine which presents innovations, discoveries, and emerging issues in an exciting public forum.

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    • Education

A program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine which presents innovations, discoveries, and emerging issues in an exciting public forum.

    s04e06: James L. Wayman: An Open Discussion on Facial Recognition Technology

    s04e06: James L. Wayman: An Open Discussion on Facial Recognition Technology

    James L. Wayman, Ph.D., FIEEE, FIET, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer:
    For nearly 60 years, the U.S. government has been investing in the development, testing and standardization of automated technologies for recognizing persons by their faces. In this talk, Dr. James Wayman will gave a brief history of the development of automated facial recognition, explained how the computer algorithms really work, showed recent government test results on system accuracies, looked at current state and local legislation limiting both government and private applications, then explored criticisms of racial bias and function creep.

    s04e05: Tracy Drain: Psyche: Mission to a Metal Asteroid

    s04e05: Tracy Drain: Psyche: Mission to a Metal Asteroid

    Tracy Drain, Systems Engineer working at NASA’s JPL
    Do you ever wonder what the heart of a baby planet is like? NASA does, too! Psyche is an orbiter mission now in development to visit the asteroid named Psyche, one of our solar system’s most unique objects. As far as scientists can tell by examining it from the Earth, it is a large, perhaps mostly-metal asteroid big enough to span the distance from Los Angeles to San Diego... and it may be the now-exposed core of a protoplanet. Come learn about the details from Tracy Drain, the mission’s Deputy Project System Engineer.

    s04e04: Lila Higgins: Connecting to Urban Nature in the Age of Extinction

    s04e04: Lila Higgins: Connecting to Urban Nature in the Age of Extinction

    Lila Higgins, Senior Manager Community Science and Co-founder of the City Nature Challenge, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
    The planet’s human population is rapidly expanding towards 8 billion people. More people live in cities and developed areas than in rural or non-developed areas. Around the world, we are progressively becoming more urban, and less familiar with the natural world. This trend is highlighted by the continued removal of nature words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Recently, words like acorn, fungus, fern, and willow were removed from the dictionary, and replaced with blog, MP3 player, and chatroom. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is tackling this trend head on, to connect people to their urban nature and create an environmentally literate public. Lila Higgins will speak about her leadership in the community science field, from co-founding the large global City Nature Challenge event, to her work in the local community that bring people together, in their own neighborhoods, to learn about and document nature. She will talk about the NSF, Wellcome Trust, and ESRC funded learning research she is conducting on international youth’s development of environmental science agency, and various other projects that work to communicate urban nature concepts to a wide audience. Projects such as the Museum’s Nature Gardens & Nature Lab exhibits, the recently published Wild LA book, and use of novel social media practices with @NatureinLA.

    s04e03: James Dickerson: Using Science for Good

    s04e03: James Dickerson: Using Science for Good

    James Dickerson, Consumer Reports.
    We expect that the products we use every day will be safe, reliable, and effective. However, that does not always occur. A computer battery can unexpectedly catch fire, bedroom furniture can be unstable and topple, and food can be contaminated. Consumer Reports (CR) is committed to revealing the truth and raising the bar for safety and fairness, and empowering consumers with trusted information. Learn how CR uses science for good, applying its scientific findings for diverse audiences—from consumers to rulemakers, industry to government, all with the goal of driving marketplace change that benefits everyone.

    s04e02: Wanda Sigur: Human Lunar Exploration – Are We Really Planning to Stay?

    s04e02: Wanda Sigur: Human Lunar Exploration – Are We Really Planning to Stay?

    Wanda Sigur, NAE Member, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
    This year marks the semi-centennial celebration of the accomplishments of the Apollo lunar landing missions, some saying these were the crowning achievements of human space exploration. Our generation’s fingerprints on the next saga of human space exploration can surpass those amazing milestones by leveraging technology, data analytics, non-government capital and partnerships. Beyond reaching the lunar surface … again, today’s challenges include the development of a sustainable extraterrestrial ecosystem supportive of extended lunar exploration with the added goals of burning down the risks of humans to Mars. This presentation discussed systems assessments leading to strategies for making the space program of the “Artemis generation” relevant through the long cycle effort of reaching these goals.

    s04e01: John All: Integrated mountain research systems

    s04e01: John All: Integrated mountain research systems

    John All, PhD, JD, Western Washington University: Nepal’s Himalaya and the Cordillera Blanca of Peru have both provided ecosystem services for local people for thousands of years. However, new economic possibilities combined with climate change impacts on local resources have changed local community vulnerabilities and resilience to change. From 1996 to 2006, civil war engulfed Nepal. The insurgents used the Himalayan national parks as their bases and this had severe social and environmental consequences – consequences that have continued to this day. John All was on Everest leading an NSF-supported expedition during the 2014 icefall and subsequent closure of the mountain by the former Maoist insurgents. John’s research team was in the middle of the icefall that, at the time, had the greatest death toll in Everest history, and one member of his team was killed as they studied climate change impacts on the Everest massif. He discussed the positive and negative environmental impacts resulting from the Maoist insurgency and how these impacts have reshaped the cultural and social dynamics of the area. Dr. All then linked this project with similar work in Peru as the Mountain Environments Research Institute conducts holistic, interdisciplinary research in the world's highest mountains. The interaction of local resource decision-making and climate change impacts will continue to shape mountain landscapes as environmental and population stresses increase for the foreseeable future.

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