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

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.

Peter Miller/via Flickr

Today, The Method is going batty. First up, we look at the mammalian kind of bat. There are more than 1,300 bat species, and some biologists think climate change may be the reason certain varieties are turning up in new places—including in and around Knoxville. Matt Shafer Powell reaches out to University of Tennessee Ecology and Evolutionary Biology professor Gary McCracken to see if a new habitat area might be one by-product of climate change.

Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT News

This month, four new elements added to the periodic table received provisional names. One of those elements, number 117, was bestowed a name that got our attention, and perhaps yours, too: tennessine. If approved by an international body in November, Tennessine will join oxygen, carbon, helium and 114 other names on the periodic table of the elements.

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