The Method

The Method is a series that explores the intersection of science and society. In modern journalism, science reporting often repeats the material in press releases or studies without engaging in the critical thinking that defines the scientific method. The Method will look at science through a different lens. How does scientific research affect you and your community? That's the story we hope to share with you. 

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In in the early 1950s, a girl named June Kent borrowed an encyclopedia volume – the letter A. Reading that volume, she learned about astronomy, aeronautics and a new field called astronautics – sending machines and people into space. Years later, June Kent would marry test pilot Dick Scobee, and the two of them shared an excitement about Dick’s role in the space shuttle program.

Megan Jamerson, WUOT News

This week’s rain wasn’t enough to reverse the effects of a long drought in the Tennessee River basin. James Everett monitors river levels for the Tennessee Valley Authority. His job is only getting tougher as the drought lingers. WUOT’s Megan Jamerson checks in with Everett to see how TVA is keeping an eye on water levels.

Brandon Hollingsworth/WUOT News

Imagine being in the hospital, but unable to tell your doctor what’s wrong. WUOT’s Megan Jamerson visits Rebecca Kosalinski, a University of Tennessee nursing professor who helped invent Speak for Myself, an app that helps patients give doctors, nurses and caregivers important information.

UK Department of Transportation

More than fifty years ago, The Jetsons predicted life in the 21st century would be defined by homes in the sky and flying cars. History, of course, took a different path. Today's prognosticators say the highways of the future will be filled with automated, driverless vehicles. Nineteen companies say they're working to get models to the market around 2020.

Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT News

Unmanned space probes and rovers are impressive feats of engineering, and they take great photos, but there’s something missing. The last time humans brought back a piece of the place they visited was during the Apollo program, nearly 45 years ago. Now, NASA is ready to embark on a mission that will swoop down close to the surface of an asteroid called Bennu. A long arm of the spacecraft will scoop up soil and rocks, and fly back to Earth.

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