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Category: Science & Medicine
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Mission Carnegie Science Center delights, educates, and inspires through interactive experiences in science and technology. ...


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April 10, 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Margee Kerr, "Scare-ologist" at ScareHouse

Using her background in sociology, Margee Kerr will explain why we enjoy fear. She will focus on the biological, psychological, and sociological reasons we can, and do, enjoy thrilling and scary activities and material. From roller coasters and haunted attractions to scary movies and video games, her talk will explain the many upsides to fear and how our consumption of and engagement with scary material has changed over the last 100 years.

Margee Kerr currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she teaches courses in sociology for the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up outside of Baltimore and attended Hollins University in Roanoke, VA where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in 2002. Moving to Pittsburgh for graduate school, she studied Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh completing her Masters degree in 2004 and her PhD in 2009. Margee has extensive experience in research, co-authoring scholarly articles on the history of medicine and doctor/patient communication. She is also a nationally recognized expert on professional haunted houses. She was a featured presenter at The American Sociology Association's annual meeting in 2005, HauntCon (National Haunted Attraction Convention) in 2012, and at TransWorld (the largest national haunted attraction convention in the world) in 2013.

Margee works year-round for ScareHouse consulting with the creators and owners on how to be scientifically scary and in developing, implementing, and analyzing data on customers and employees. In 2012 Margee helped to create, write, and host the Scare U web series with the ScareHouse which aired in October of 2012. Scare U presents fast-paced and entertaining lessons all about fear, covering everything from the evolution of the fight or flight response to the fear of zombies and clowns, to why people love to be scared. Margee is turning her research into why people enjoy fear into a book with PublicAffairs Press, tentatively titled SCREAM: Adventures in the upside of fear due for publication in 2015.

Follow Margee's adventures researching fear on her blog at www.margeekerr.com.

Recorded Monday, April 7th, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

April 10, 2014 12:05 PM PDT

This is the Q&A portion of Margee Kerr's talk.

Margee Kerr, "Scare-ologist" at ScareHouse

Using her background in sociology, Margee Kerr will explain why we enjoy fear. She will focus on the biological, psychological, and sociological reasons we can, and do, enjoy thrilling and scary activities and material. From roller coasters and haunted attractions to scary movies and video games, her talk will explain the many upsides to fear and how our consumption of and engagement with scary material has changed over the last 100 years.

Margee Kerr currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she teaches courses in sociology for the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up outside of Baltimore and attended Hollins University in Roanoke, VA where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in 2002. Moving to Pittsburgh for graduate school, she studied Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh completing her Masters degree in 2004 and her PhD in 2009. Margee has extensive experience in research, co-authoring scholarly articles on the history of medicine and doctor/patient communication. She is also a nationally recognized expert on professional haunted houses. She was a featured presenter at The American Sociology Association's annual meeting in 2005, HauntCon (National Haunted Attraction Convention) in 2012, and at TransWorld (the largest national haunted attraction convention in the world) in 2013.

Margee works year-round for ScareHouse consulting with the creators and owners on how to be scientifically scary and in developing, implementing, and analyzing data on customers and employees. In 2012 Margee helped to create, write, and host the Scare U web series with the ScareHouse which aired in October of 2012. Scare U presents fast-paced and entertaining lessons all about fear, covering everything from the evolution of the fight or flight response to the fear of zombies and clowns, to why people love to be scared. Margee is turning her research into why people enjoy fear into a book with PublicAffairs Press, tentatively titled SCREAM: Adventures in the upside of fear due for publication in 2015.

Follow Margee's adventures researching fear on her blog at www.margeekerr.com.

Recorded Monday, April 7, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA

March 19, 2014 07:22 AM PDT

In his first story, "Ouch! Let Me See Where It Hurts," Dr. Pollock will explore aspects of the basic biology of chronic pain and how in some cases, it arises from a dynamic interplay of the nervous system and the immune system. Along with his colleagues he has found that specially formulated nano-particles can be used to label immune cells that can then be visualized in live animals revealing where the pain is originating. He'll look at some of the data that demonstrates this technique and discuss how such techniques may be able to deliver drug therapy precisely to the site of pain in the future.

In his second story, "So, This Is How We Learn," Dr. Pollock will talk about why science literacy is so important and how he uses stories to reveal fundamental principles of science in museum exhibits, video games, Apps, digital dome animated shows and television dramas for kids. Through these productions, Dr. Pollock, along with his team of experts, have specifically tested how well people learn and what they learn. He'll look at some of the data and discuss how he thinks some of our learning will be happening in the not so distant future.

Dr. John Archie Pollock is a graduate of Syracuse University with a B.S in Physics and a second major in Philosophy, an M.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in biophysics. During his time at CALTECH in Pasadena CA, Dr. Pollock established a research program that focused on studying the developmental biology of the nervous system, work that he continues to the present. After nearly six years at CALTECH, Dr. Pollock moved to Carnegie Mellon University in 1989 to serve as assistant, then associate professor of biological sciences and director of graduate programs. In 2001, Dr. Pollock moved his research laboratory to Duquesne University to serve as an associate professor of biological sciences. At Duquesne University, he has continued his research on neural development and has initiated a new basic science research program investigating chronic pain.

Another dimension of Dr. Pollock's work has been development of a broad collection of STEM and health literacy teaching resources for children and the general public that are used in museums, schools and broadcast television. His scholarly work on the assessment and evaluation of these pieces explores how people learn from multimedia.

Recorded Monday, March 10, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

March 11, 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Jake Marsico, Master of Tangible Interaction Design Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University steps in to answer the questions, what is computational design and what is the CoDe Lab?

What do craft, tectonics, aesthetics, interaction, and architecture techniques that navigate between digital and analog have in common?

SciTech Days are a special kind of field trip for middle and high school students that features the growth areas of Pittsburgh: biotech & health, nanotechnology & advanced materials/processes, information technology & robotics, and eco-tech (think environment & energy).

Recorded Friday, March 7, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

March 13, 2014 11:19 AM PDT

In his first story, "Ouch! Let Me See Where It Hurts," Dr. Pollock will explore aspects of the basic biology of chronic pain and how in some cases, it arises from a dynamic interplay of the nervous system and the immune system. Along with his colleagues he has found that specially formulated nano-particles can be used to label immune cells that can then be visualized in live animals revealing where the pain is originating. He'll look at some of the data that demonstrates this technique and discuss how such techniques may be able to deliver drug therapy precisely to the site of pain in the future.

In his second story, "So, This Is How We Learn," Dr. Pollock will talk about why science literacy is so important and how he uses stories to reveal fundamental principles of science in museum exhibits, video games, Apps, digital dome animated shows and television dramas for kids. Through these productions, Dr. Pollock, along with his team of experts, have specifically tested how well people learn and what they learn. He'll look at some of the data and discuss how he thinks some of our learning will be happening in the not so distant future.

Dr. John Archie Pollock is a graduate of Syracuse University with a B.S in Physics and a second major in Philosophy, an M.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in biophysics. During his time at CALTECH in Pasadena CA, Dr. Pollock established a research program that focused on studying the developmental biology of the nervous system, work that he continues to the present. After nearly six years at CALTECH, Dr. Pollock moved to Carnegie Mellon University in 1989 to serve as assistant, then associate professor of biological sciences and director of graduate programs. In 2001, Dr. Pollock moved his research laboratory to Duquesne University to serve as an associate professor of biological sciences. At Duquesne University, he has continued his research on neural development and has initiated a new basic science research program investigating chronic pain.

Another dimension of Dr. Pollock's work has been development of a broad collection of STEM and health literacy teaching resources for children and the general public that are used in museums, schools and broadcast television. His scholarly work on the assessment and evaluation of these pieces explores how people learn from multimedia.

Recorded Monday, March 10, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

February 04, 2014 12:56 PM PST

Amidst great fanfare, three American racing airplanes were shipped to France to fly in the prestigious Gordon Bennett Race in the fall of 1920. None completed a single lap of the race. American aviation plunged to a nadir. The Pulitzer Trophy Air Races, endowed by his sons in memory of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, lifted American aviation to the top. In 1923, after the first three of six Pulitzers and an American racer setting world speed records, a French magazine lamented American "pilots have broken the records which we, here in France, considered as our own for so long." Winning speeds increased 60 percent to 249 mph, and Pulitzer racers set closed course and straightaway speed records in 1922, 23, and 25. The winning racers in the 1922 and 25 Pulitzers, mounted on floats, won the most prestigious international air race – the Schneider Trophy Race for seaplanes in 1923 and 25. More than a million people saw the Pulitzers; millions more read about them and watched them in newsreels. Commercially, the Pulitzer racers’ successes promoted sales of American airplanes, engines, propellers, and other equipment both domestically and internationally. This first book about the Pulitzers highlights businessmen, generals and admirals who saw racing as a way to drive aviation progress, designers and manufacturers who produced record-breaking racers, and dashing pilots who gave the races their public face. It emphasizes the roles played by the communities that hosted the races - Garden City (Long Island), Omaha, Detroit and Mt. Clemens, Michigan, St. Louis, and Dayton. The book concludes with an analysis of the Pulitzers' importance, their end, and why their story has languished in obscurity for 85 years.

Michael Gough (PhD, Brown University, biology) was a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a program manager at the Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress, served on and chaired national committees dealing with various risk assessment controversies in the White House, at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and testified before congressional committees 30 times. Before his retirement, he worked at middle-of-the road and libertarian think tanks and consulted in toxic substances legal proceedings.

He published 30 papers in basic science, about the same number of articles about technology assessment and health risk assessment in technical journals, and two dozen newspaper op-eds. His book Dioxin, Agent Orange [Plenum Press, 1986] sold about 6,000 copies, and he has co-authored and edited other books.

Since his retirement, he has volunteered at aviation museums and as a teacher of English as a Second Language. He has written articles about airplane racing in the 1910s and 20s and presented talks about them. His book, The Pulitzer Air Races: American Aviation and Speed Supremacy, 1920-1925 [McFarland & Co] was published in May 2013.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/078647100X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Recorded Monday, February 3, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

February 04, 2014 08:22 AM PST

This is the Q&A portion of the talk with Michael Gough.

Amidst great fanfare, three American racing airplanes were shipped to France to fly in the prestigious Gordon Bennett Race in the fall of 1920. None completed a single lap of the race. American aviation plunged to a nadir. The Pulitzer Trophy Air Races, endowed by his sons in memory of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, lifted American aviation to the top. In 1923, after the first three of six Pulitzers and an American racer setting world speed records, a French magazine lamented American "pilots have broken the records which we, here in France, considered as our own for so long." Winning speeds increased 60 percent to 249 mph, and Pulitzer racers set closed course and straightaway speed records in 1922, 23, and 25. The winning racers in the 1922 and 25 Pulitzers, mounted on floats, won the most prestigious international air race – the Schneider Trophy Race for seaplanes in 1923 and 25. More than a million people saw the Pulitzers; millions more read about them and watched them in newsreels. Commercially, the Pulitzer racers’ successes promoted sales of American airplanes, engines, propellers, and other equipment both domestically and internationally. This first book about the Pulitzers highlights businessmen, generals and admirals who saw racing as a way to drive aviation progress, designers and manufacturers who produced record-breaking racers, and dashing pilots who gave the races their public face. It emphasizes the roles played by the communities that hosted the races - Garden City (Long Island), Omaha, Detroit and Mt. Clemens, Michigan, St. Louis, and Dayton. The book concludes with an analysis of the Pulitzers' importance, their end, and why their story has languished in obscurity for 85 years.

Michael Gough (PhD, Brown University, biology) was a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a program manager at the Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress, served on and chaired national committees dealing with various risk assessment controversies in the White House, at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and testified before congressional committees 30 times. Before his retirement, he worked at middle-of-the road and libertarian think tanks and consulted in toxic substances legal proceedings.

He published 30 papers in basic science, about the same number of articles about technology assessment and health risk assessment in technical journals, and two dozen newspaper op-eds. His book Dioxin, Agent Orange [Plenum Press, 1986] sold about 6,000 copies, and he has co-authored and edited other books.

Since his retirement, he has volunteered at aviation museums and as a teacher of English as a Second Language. He has written articles about airplane racing in the 1910s and 20s and presented talks about them. His book, The Pulitzer Air Races: American Aviation and Speed Supremacy, 1920-1925 [McFarland & Co] was published in May 2013.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/078647100X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Recorded Monday, February 3, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

December 06, 2013 10:34 AM PST

Anca Dragan
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

A unique aspect of the Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) Center is its strength in all the relevant disciplines, which include robotics, rehabilitation science, human computer interaction, geriatrics, social sciences, and health care policy. Through their people, QoLT is connected to some of the world’s leading health systems, and technological and clinical research facilities.

People design robots to make our lives better, often in unique ways. Your presenter Anca Dragan (who is part of QoLT) is a doctorate student at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and a member of the Personal Robotics Lab.

Her research lies at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.

SciTech Days are a special kind of field trip for middle and high school students that features the growth areas of Pittsburgh: biotech & health, nanotechnology & advanced materials/processes, information technology & robotics, and eco-tech (think environment & energy).

Recorded November 5, 2013 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

December 04, 2013 02:32 PM PST

Eric J. Beckman
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Pittsburgh

Many consumers would agree that using truly environmentally friendly products is a good thing. However, having to wade through a sea of less-than-accurate "green" advertising claims as well as the perception that greener products don't work as well or are more expensive than their conventional cousins has left customers feeling blue. The widespread use of misleading green claims has produced rampant skepticism regarding industry’s ability to design truly greener products leading some economists to conclude that without government support, greener products can't survive.

Eric Beckman hopes to change that. Beckman believes it is possible to achieve real eco-innovation, where performance is enhanced even as the environmental footprint of a product is reduced.

Beckman will discuss some of what he describes as the fundamental guiding principles of eco-innovation including developing and marketing products in a way that leaves customers saying, "It's green too? Cool!"

Eric Beckman received his BS in chemical engineering from MIT in 1980, and a PhD in polymer science from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. Dr. Beckman assumed his faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, was promoted to associate professor in 1994, and full professor in 1997. He received a Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1992, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2002. He previously served as Associate Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Chairman of Chemical Engineering. In 2003, Dr. Beckman co-founded the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, a school of engineering institute that examines the design of more sustainable infrastructure. In 2005, he co-founded Cohera Medical Inc. to commercialize surgical adhesive technology developed at the University. Dr. Beckman took an entrepreneurial leave of absence from the University in 2007-2009 to help move the products to market. Dr. Beckman's research group examines the use of molecular design to solve problems in green product formulation and in the design of materials for use in tissue engineering. He has published over 175 papers and has received more than 40 US patents.

Recorded at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA on Monday, December 2, 2013.

December 04, 2013 11:27 AM PST

This is the Q&A portion of the evening.

*A correction from the Q&A: Zipcar's IPO was in April 2011. Zipcar common stock traded on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ZIP" until 14 March 2013, when Avis Budget Group acquired Zipcar for US$500 million in cash.

Eric J. Beckman
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Pittsburgh

Many consumers would agree that using truly environmentally friendly products is a good thing. However, having to wade through a sea of less-than-accurate "green" advertising claims as well as the perception that greener products don't work as well or are more expensive than their conventional cousins has left customers feeling blue. The widespread use of misleading green claims has produced rampant skepticism regarding industry’s ability to design truly greener products leading some economists to conclude that without government support, greener products can't survive.

Eric Beckman hopes to change that. Beckman believes it is possible to achieve real eco-innovation, where performance is enhanced even as the environmental footprint of a product is reduced.

Beckman will discuss some of what he describes as the fundamental guiding principles of eco-innovation including developing and marketing products in a way that leaves customers saying, "It's green too? Cool!"

Eric Beckman received his BS in chemical engineering from MIT in 1980, and a PhD in polymer science from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. Dr. Beckman assumed his faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, was promoted to associate professor in 1994, and full professor in 1997. He received a Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1992, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2002. He previously served as Associate Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Chairman of Chemical Engineering. In 2003, Dr. Beckman co-founded the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, a school of engineering institute that examines the design of more sustainable infrastructure. In 2005, he co-founded Cohera Medical Inc. to commercialize surgical adhesive technology developed at the University. Dr. Beckman took an entrepreneurial leave of absence from the University in 2007-2009 to help move the products to market. Dr. Beckman's research group examines the use of molecular design to solve problems in green product formulation and in the design of materials for use in tissue engineering. He has published over 175 papers and has received more than 40 US patents.

Recorded at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA on Monday, December 2, 2013.

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