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. 

Ed Yourdon

In this edition of The Method:

You might use social media to tell your friends what you had for lunch, or share photos of your dog. But scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using social media and other datasets to track infectious and chronic diseases. WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper spoke with Laura Pullum, a senior researcher working on this effort.

Heather Fritts, McClung Museum

This month on The Method, Brandon Hollingsworth meets a group of kids studying rocks, fossils and geologic time at the McClung Museum. What's it like to be dinosaur? We'll find out from the children themselves.

Then, Chrissy Keuper speaks with Jerry Tuskan, an ORNL scientist studying ways to extract fuel from eucalyptus plants. He'll tell us how the process might work.

Point Five Digital

Imagine walking through your local mall and finding, amid the stores and food courts, a science museum. That's what happened to Brandon Hollingsworth recently. For this month's edition of The Method, Brandon returned to that exhibit, called SPECTRUM, and went inside this portable museum of solar power.

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In this month's edition of The Method, Matt Shafer Powell looks at how the Tennessee Valley Authority's effort to adjust to new realities of the energy market is also helping clean up East Tennessee's air.

Then, Chrissy Keuper marks the silver anniversary of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

East Tennessee State University

This month's edition of The Method involves a little time travel. But don't worry; we'll take only eight minutes of your time.

First, Brandon's off to the Gray Fossil Site in Washington County. Miocene-epoch fossils found there have painted an incredible picture of life in East Tennessee five million years ago. Two paleontologists will tell us what makes Gray special.

Jason Howie, via Flickr/Creative Commons

Did you know nearly a quarter of all mammal species on Earth are bats? WUOT's Chrissy Keuper learned this and more when she spoke with Dr. Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International.

Via Matt Szczur/Flickr

On Sunday, March 9, there's a good chance you'll wake up feeling a little jetlagged. And for good reason - without the aid of a flux capacitor, you'll have traveled one hour into the future, thanks to daylight saving time. University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences dean Teresa Lee speaks with Brandon Hollingsworth about the mental and physical effects of the twice-yearly time shift.

Then, Matt Shafer Powell finds out how the new LED lights illuminating Thompson-Boling Arena are breaking new ground for sports facilities.

Jeremy Wilburn, via Flickr

In this edition of The Method: Tennessee legislators are considering changing the ten-member panel that evaluates school textbooks. Brandon Hollingsworth asks University of Tennessee professor of journalism Ed Caudill about the risks of political pressure seeping into science education. Then, Chrissy Keuper reports on a fascinating program at the Knoxville Zoo that seeks to ensure the protection and survival of animal species.

Crude photo illustration by Brandon Hollingsworth

It's holiday time here at The Method! Join Brandon, Chrissy and Christine around the fireplace as they reminisce on the most memorable science stories from the past year. Our stocking stuffers include the world invented by Thomas Edison, cave art from Tennessee's first residents, and the science of moonshine. So pour a mug of hot cider and join us for a holly jolly salute to the year in science.

Charlene Simmons, via Flickr/Creative Commons

The November edition of The Method looks at some current issues facing lawmakers as they try to marry science and policy.

First up, Chrissy Keuper speaks with Bill Colglazier, Science and Technology Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry. Then, Brandon Hollingsworth talks about the sometimes-heated debate over water use with Terry Tyler, an energy expert lending his services to the Howard Baker Center in Knoxville.

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