Convective storms are Dr. Howard Bluestein’s thing. While he is typically depicted as a “storm chaser” (and he has three decades of severe-storm intercept projects to his credit, plus six sorties into the eyes of hurricanes), Dr. Bluestein could also be described as an explorer. He has described the tornado as “one of meteorology’s last frontiers.” His research interests are the observation and physical understanding of weather phenomena on convective, mesoscale, and synoptic scales. Forecasting and nowcasting using modern observing systems are also among of his intense interests.
Dr. Bluestein is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (1971), Master’s of Science degrees in electrical engineering and meteorology in 1972, and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. Bluestein has been a professor at the University of Oklahoma since 1976.
He has also been a long-term scientific visitor in the Mesoscale Microscale Meteorology Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO; an instructor at Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET) in Boulder, CO; a scientific visitor at the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Miami, FL; and the Houghton Lecturer at MIT.
Lera Boroditsky is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Symbolic Systems at Stanford University. Dr. Boroditsky grew up in Minsk in the former Soviet Union. After earning (well, receiving anyway) a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University in 2001, Boroditsky served on the faculty at MIT in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences. In 2004 she returned to California and took a faculty position at Stanford.
Dr. Boroditsky’s empirical research centers on the nature of mental representation (what thoughts are made of), and on how knowledge emerges out of the interactions of mind, world and language (how we get so smart). One focus has been to investigate the ways that languages and cultures shape human thinking. To this end, Dr. Boroditsky’s laboratory has collected data around the world, from Indonesia to Chile to Turkey to Aboriginal Australia. Boroditsky’s research has been broadly featured in the media and has won multiple awards, including the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and the Searle Scholars award. She has also won awards for her innovative and imaginative teaching, and has high hopes for her apple cake recipe.
Ira Flatow, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday describes his work as the challenge “to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table.” His early science career undoubtedly set the scene for this professional goal, as Ira reports that he almost burned down his mother’s bathroom trying to recreate a biology class experiment, and was the proverbial kid who spent hours in the basement experimenting with electronic gizmos.
Flatow earned a B.S. in Engineering from State University of New York, Buffalo. His recent honors include: National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award (2007), National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), World Economic Forum Media Fellowshipo (2005), Harvard Media Fellow (2005), Elizabeth Wood Writing (2002), AAAS Journalism award (2000), Brady Washburn Award (2000), and the Carl Sagan Award (1999).
Ira Flatow has shared his interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology with the public for more than 35 years using radio, TV, Internet, and print media. His numerous TV credits include: six years as host and writer for the Emmy-award-winning Newton’s Apple on PBS and science reporter for CBS: This Morning. Ira has shared his knowledge about science and media as a guest on numerous television shows including Oprah, The Merv Griffin Show, Today, Regis and Kathy Lee, and CNN. He wrote, produced and hosted Transistorized!, an hour-long PBS documentary about the history of the transistor, which aired on PBS. He is also host of the four-part PBS series Big Ideas.
Ira is also founder and president of TalkingScience, a non-profit company dedicated to creating radio, TV, and internet projects that make science “user friendly.” He is member of the National Association of Science Writers and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
(Spoiler alert: if you tend to think of baseball as a metaphor for life, a mythological realm, an example of the importance of games, or an illustration of the role of heroes in American culture, this bio and Dr. Alan Nathan’s sessions may have a science-based impact on those tendencies.)
Dr. Alan Nathan is a Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He engages in experimental medium energy physics and studies the physics of sports. When Dr. Nathan isn’t exploring the structure of the proton using a particle accelerator, he’s contemplating the physical forces involved in interaction of bat and ball, gyroballs, bat vibration, and swing speed. Conservation of energy, angular momentum — he sees the same basic principles of physics at work in subatomic physics and baseball.
Dr. Nathan earned a B.S. in Physics from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. He has been on the faculty of the University of Illinois since 1977.
Dr. Angelica de Oliveira-Costa is a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research. Her current research is focused on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), combining theoretical work with new measurements to do data mining and constrain cosmological models.
Dr. de Oliveira-Costa earned a B.Sc. from the University of Sao Paulo, an M.Sc. from National Space Science Institute of Brazil (INPE), and a Ph.D. from the INPE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She did post-doctoral studies at Princeton University/Institute for Advanced Study. She was a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Research Faculty from 2000 to 2004. She joined MIT as a Principal Research Scientist in September 2004.
In 1985–1987, de Oliveira-Costa was the recipient of an INPE undergraduate fellowship in Astrophysics. She was recognized by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil with a M.Sc. fellowship in Astrophysics, and a Ph.D. fellowship. Dr. de Oliveira-Costa has contributed to the NASA Long Term Space Astrophysics program from 1997 to the present. She has been awarded National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants from 2006 to the present.
Max Tegmark, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tegmark’s research has focused on cosmology theory and phenomenology, but has also included diverse topics such as interpretations of quantum mechanics, predictions of inflation, and parallel universes.
A native Swede, from his initial American foray in Berkeley, California. Dr. Tegmark has tended eastward. Max Tegmark earned a B.A. in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, and received a B.Sc. in Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He earned an M.A. Physics, and subsequently a Ph.D. in Physics, from the University of California, Berkeley. Tegmark then served as a research associate with the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik in Munich. In 1996 he headed back to the U.S. as a Hubble Fellow and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Dr. Tegmark next sampled the environs of the City of Brotherly Love as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received tenure in 2003. Forsaking the delights of Philadelphia, he moved to MIT in September 2004.
Lisa M. Schwartz, M.D. and Steven Woloshin, M.D. are general internists who discovered during their residencies that they had many professional interests in common. Nothing unusual in that. What is unusual is the synergy that arose from the depth of their shared interests, their mutual commitment to these areas of healthcare, and their collaboration skills. Building on this synergy, Drs. Woloshin and Schwartz have forged a career as collaborative authorities on improving the communication of medical information to patients, physicians, journalists and policymakers.
The good doctors are Associate Professors of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School; Dr. Schwartz is Co-Director of the White River Junction Outcomes Group (WRJOG), and Dr. Woloshin a faculty member of WRJOG. Dr. Woloshin completed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored career development grants Generalist Physican Faculty Scholars Program in 2006; Dr. Schwartz completed this program in 2007. They were instrumental in establishing an annual workshop for journalists “Medicine in the Media: The Challenge of Reporting on Medical Research,” sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. They author an episodic column in the Washington Post entitled “Healthy Skepticism: Dissecting the Medical News.” Woloshin and Schwartz have each been the recipient of a VA Health Services Research & Development Service Career Development Awards and have received project grants from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, and the National Cancer Institute. They have served as Associate Editors and Interim Editors of Effective Clinical Practice, a journal formerly published by the American College of Physicians.
Drs. Woloshin and Schwartz find two important barriers to good communication: (1) many patients and providers are limited in their ability to interpret medical data; and (2) exaggerated and incomplete health messages are common. Consequently, their work in medical decision making and risk communication has two main approaches: improving the quality of messages presenting health information to people, and preparing audiences to make sense of the messages they receive.
Their career has been devoted to creating and testing practical solutions to enhance the communication of medical data (E.g. the “Medicine in Media” NIH-sponsored workshop for journalists, working with the FDA to improve the data in direct-to-consumer drug advertisements, and developing a materials for patients to help them understand “numbers in health” such as those involved with the benefits and harms of screening and prescription drugs.).
Dr. Schwartz earned a B.A. from SUNY-Binghamton, an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine, and a Master’s of Science from Dartmouth Medical School.
561 Windsor Dr., Menlo Park, CA 94025 • 650-787-5665 • Copyright 2008 © InSight Cruises