98 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.

    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
    Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth with Eric Horvitz: Designing Ethical Algorithms

    Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth with Eric Horvitz: Designing Ethical Algorithms

    Over the course of a generation, algorithms have gone from mathematical abstractions to powerful mediators of daily life. Algorithms have made our lives more efficient, but some experts contend that they are increasingly violating the basic rights of individual citizens. Professors Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth delved into the complexities of this topic with insight from their book The Ethical Algorithm. Joined by moderator Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research Labs, Kearns and Roth contended that understanding and improving the science behind the algorithms that run our lives is rapidly becoming one of the most pressing issues of this century, yet traditional fixes such as laws, regulations, and watchdog groups have proven woefully inadequate.
    With reporting from the cutting edge of scientific research, Kearns and Roth offered a set of principled solutions based on the emerging and exciting science of socially aware algorithm design. They explored the future of responsible algorithm design. with strategies for combating data leaks and eliminating models with racial and gender biases. Kearns, Roth, and Horvitz invited us to a conversation about how we can better embed human principles into machine code—without halting the advance of data-driven scientific exploration.
    Michael Kearns is Professor and the National Center Chair in the Computer and Information Science department of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Founding Director of Penn’s Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences. Together with U.V. Vazirani, he is the author of An Introduction to Computational Learning Theory.
    Aaron Roth is the class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor in the Computer and Information Science department at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-directs Penn’s program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering. Together with Cynthia Dwork, he is the author of The Algorithmic Foundations of Differential Privacy.
    Eric Horvitz is Technical Fellow and Director at Microsoft Research Labs. He works to pursue research on principles of machine intelligence and on leveraging the complementarities of human and machine reasoning. He chairs the Aether Committee, Microsoft’s advisory board on the responsible fielding of AI technologies. He co-founded the Partnership on AI, a multiparty stakeholder organization that brings together leading tech companies and civil society groups on best practices with uses of AI in the open world.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on November 11, 2019. 

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Dan Hooper: Our Universe’s First Seconds

    Dan Hooper: Our Universe’s First Seconds

    Scientists in the past few decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But there remains a critical gap in our knowledge: we still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. Astrophysicist Dan Hooper revealed new understanding about this mysterious period of time at the beginning of cosmic history with his book At the Edge of Time.
    Hooper grappled with the extraordinary and perplexing questions that scientists are asking about the origin and nature of our world. Hooper examined how we are using the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang and test promising theories for how and why our universe came to contain so much matter and so little antimatter. He shared insight from the precipice of new discoveries about how dark matter was formed during our universe’s first moments, and how new telescopes are allowing us to lift the veil on the era of cosmic inflation which led to the creation of our world as we know it. Join Hooper for a chance to wrestle with the mysteries surrounding the Big Bang, and an accessible investigation of our universe and its origin.
    Dan Hooper is a senior scientist and the head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Dark Cosmos and Nature’s Blueprint.
    Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on November 8, 2019. 

    • 1 hr 15 min

Customer Reviews

CC_onTheMtn ,

Such great topics!

Thought provoking talks, great Q&A, a worthy dialog. It’s almost as good as being there. So glad THS is broadcasting these good discussions.

(tim jack) ,

Cool Beans & Rad Podcast

Solid, professional, and entertaining! Tons of great material in here. My morning commute just a little more educational.

msa1912 ,

Large selection of interesting speakers

I really enjoy this podcast. It includes an ecclectic mix of speakers. Very well produced.

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