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. 

NEW! The Method is now available as a podcast.  Click here to subscribe.

NASA

Back on our April show, University of Tennessee planetary scientist Josh Emery came by to brief us on the big questions about Pluto and its moons ahead of New Horizon's historic flyby. That encounter, the primary goal of the New Horizons mission, happened on July 14. Scientists here on Earth are just getting their first glimpses at the results, and Dr. Emery is back to tell us what they're learning.

OK, you don't have to be a nerd, nor do you have to love science to enjoy The Method with Brandon Hollingsworth.  On the last Wednesday of each month, The Method examines the intersection of science and society.  It's science for all of us!

Kathryn King/Y-12

Sending humans into space is a relatively recent achievement of the species. Yet, the half-century since Yuri Gagarin's historic one-orbit flight has seen manned space flight go from extraordinary to routine, a startling evolution.

In this edition of The Method, we examine what we can learn from the space program, even in its less-glorious years.

The focus of each edition of The Method is how science affects our lives. We give that theme special focus this month, with three stories that show how people use science and related fields to tackle interesting issues in their lives, and ours.

Chrissy Keuper speaks with two researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They study the state of America's hydroelectric power sources.

Brandon Hollingsworth meets Vinny Cevasco, an Ohio high schooler who came to Knoxville last week to learn how to tackle problems using science, technology and design.

NASA

If all you know about the dwarf planet Pluto is that it’s small, cold and very far away, well, you’re not alone. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has refused to give up much information. Even the best images from the Hubble Space Telescope show little more than a small dot with orange and black smudges on it.

Scientific American

National Public Radio science correspondent Joe Palca was in Knoxville this week, explaining the universe in just two minutes. He also found a few minutes to come by our studios to speak with WUOT's Chrissy Keuper.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

Today, a map is something you look at on a tiny smartphone screen, showing where you are and what's within fifty feet. But for most of cartography's history, maps took a broader view, showing not only political and geographic boundaries, but culture and art. Cartography is a melding of science and art, as Matt Shafer Powell learned while looking through the McClung Museum's newest acquisitions.

National Park Service

The edition of The Method focuses on issues surrounding children’s health.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a temporary depression that often shows up in the winter. You may think of it as a problem only for adults. But the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates three percent of children between the ages of 9 and 17 suffer from it. Child and adolescent psychiatrist John Kupfner of Peninsula Lighthouse in East Tennessee says  he believes the condition is under-diagnosed in children.

NASA

And just like that, another year is in the books. 2014 marked The Method's first full year on the air, and twelve times, Brandon, Chrissy and Matt brought you stories of the ways science affects our lives. In this special look back on the year that was, Brandon and Chrissy share some of their favorite stories from 2014.

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Department of Energy’s reservation in Oak Ridge is home to a variety of wild animals, including turkeys. But it wasn’t always that way. Matt Shafer Powell talks with a man who helped bring the turkeys back.

And Chrissy Keuper speaks with ORNL researcher Raymond Borges about his work designing cybersecurity systems.

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