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.

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

It's a very special Thanksgiving edition of WUOT's signature science series. First up, your Thanksgiving meal might include a stout ale or a nice IPA. But before you take a sip, think about the shape of your beer glass, and the temperature of the beverage. Glassmaker Matthew Cummings has studied both, and he says the way you drink your favorite brew might be hurting, instead of helping, the experience. Cummings talks with Method host Brandon Hollingsworth.

Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT News

At Maryville College, two of the picnic tables outside the student dining hall might look a little odd to you. It's because they've been outfitted with umbrella-like shades that contain solar panels.

The energy the panels produce goes into charging stations built into the picnic shelters, so students have the opportunity to soak up the sun while their devices charge. But students have been getting way more out of the picnic tables than a fully-charged smartphone.

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

Tennessee’s state park rangers aren’t in the business just because they get to wear cool hats. Many of them are trained in the natural sciences, such as biology or geology. Method host Brandon Hollingsworth visits with Fall Creek Falls State Park ranger Matt Brown. He talks about sharing his love of science with the public.

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

 Early this year, virologist Colleen Jonsson moved from Kentucky to Knoxville, to become the new director of NIMBioS. That’s the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, located on the University of Tennessee campus. WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper spoke with Jonsson about the institute and her plans for its future.


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.


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.