Listen and learn with the College of Science over your winter break! Enjoy this roundup of #UNTScience community members who have been featured on-the-air recently.
Chemistry for Your Life: Science for Everyone
If you haven't already, meet UNT Chemistry graduate student Melissa Collini, who has been running her podcast, Chemistry for Your Life, for a year and a half now, recently garnering the attention of 16-18,000 listeners from more than 150 countries across the globe monthly.
"We are having so much fun and we're expanding our listener base by a lot," said Melissa, whose PhD focus at UNT is in Chemistry Education Research. "I feel like I'm living my science communication dreams!"
Thanks to the knowledge and flexibility of her audio engineer and podcast partner, Jam Robinson, COVID-19 hasn't slowed production of the podcast. "We can safely record two separate audio files, and then Jam combines them in post-production," said Melissa. "This means we aren't sacrificing safety or sound quality while we continue to create the show. I am thankful to have a co-host who is so talented."
Melissa noticed an increase in downloads around the time schools went virtual, and even heard from several teachers who mentioned they are using Chemistry for Your Life material in their classrooms. Melissa and her co-host were even invited to speak to virtual high school classes in Illinois.
"It feels more important than ever to make science accessible to people in the age of a pandemic. There's so much science jargon and confusion floating around that I think it is really important to help people know they can understand science," said Melissa. "It is just so cool to know that we're helping people learn in the middle of such a weird time."
Melissa included some recommendations for first-time listeners of the podcast.
"I want to help people know that science is for them. We did an episode called 'Is science always right?' inspired by that idea." Listen to the episode at: https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/episodes/is-science-always-right
The duo also did a COVID-related episode that has been popular. Listen to "How does soap kill covid-19?" here: https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/episodes/how-does-soap-kill-covid-19
To keep up with fresh episode and science news, Follow Chemistry for You Life on Twitter at @ChemForYourLife. Chemistry for Your Life is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and most other major podcast streams.
Lifetime Learning with the UNT at OLLI Podcast
The OLLI at UNT Podcast gives a deeper look into the professional and personal lives of various members of our community. In each episode, host Susan Supak showcases her talent for bringing out interesting facts about fellow members and faculty who volunteer to teach their courses.
Professor Emeritus of the UNT Chemistry Department, Dr. Diana Mason has crossed the globe as an advocate for the sciences, inspiring audiences of all ages with her explosive live demonstrations. Since retiring from her faculty position at UNT, Dr. Mason has remained active in the field of chemical education, and her current research focuses on the correlation between students' basic arithmetic skills and their success in general chemistry courses.
Stream the podcast episode featuring Dr. Diana Mason at: https://soundcloud.com/ollipod/episode-54-lone-star-chemistry-with-dr-diana-mason
In July, the UNT at OLLI podcast explored astrophysics with Dr. Ohad Shemmer, Associate Professor in UNT's Physics Department. Last year, Dr. Shemmer and his colleagues reported their discovery of the oldest black hole known to astronomers. On this episode Professor Shemmer defines the basics of his research, discusses quasars and how they are related to black holes, and talks about the importance of recent discoveries in these fields, most importantly: how they allow scientists to better understand the history of our universe.
Listen to the episode at: https://soundcloud.com/ollipod/episode-51-the-search-for-black-holes-and-quasars-with-dr-ohad-shemmer
Diabetes Awareness: UNT POD
Episode 17 of UNT POD, the official University of North Texas podcast, featured the NIH-funded diabetes research happening in Dr. Pamela Padilla's lab, involving a highly collaborative project involving three PhD students, a UNT Math professor, and a lot of roundworms.
Listen to the episode here: https://anchor.fm/unt-pod/episodes/Episode-17---Diabetes-Awareness-eltl6m