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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Science and Society
5:50 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

The Method: Change In The Air

Credit http://www.tennessean.com/assets/gif/DN112759714.GIF

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.

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Science and Society
2:46 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Method: Windows To The Past And The Future

A tapir skull found at the Gray Fossil Site in Washington County. Tapirs were abundant in the Tennessee of the Miocene geologic epoch.
Credit 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.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

The Method: Science On Social Media And Going Batty With An Expert

Credit 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.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

The Method - Internal Clocks and Bright Lights From Above

Credit 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.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

The Method: Evolution Battles and Saving Species

Credit 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.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

The Method: Our 35th Annual Holiday Special

Credit 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.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

The Method: Science and Public Policy

The Tennessee River near Chattanooga. Georgia wants access to this part of the river to quench its growing thirst.
Credit 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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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

The Method: Spirits and Graves

On this edition of The Method, we examine how two researchers are putting technology to work to find and identify mass graves. Then, Christine Jessel goes in search of spirits -- the potable kind. The science behind moonshine is her story, so prepare to be jarred.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

The Method: Matters of Heaven and Earth

Images from the Spitzer Space Telescope show the asteroid 3552 Don Quixote is actually a comet.
Credit NASA/JPL

On this edition of The Method, we meet Josh Emery, a planetary scientist who just found out that not all is as it seems in the heavens above. And then, it's back down to Earth with environmental writer Bill McKibben, who argues that we either need to save the planet or start thinking about calling it something else.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

The Method: Migrating Trees, Radiochemistry and Preventing Blackouts

A TVA helicopter used to monitor power transmission lines from the air.
Credit Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

This go 'round on The Method,  a scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab is working to predict how climate change will affect Tennessee's forests and possibly the 39,000 jobs they provide. Then, Chrissy Keuper interviews the new head of the University of Tennessee's radiochemistry lab. And ten years after the nation's biggest blackout, we look at how TVA is trying to prevent the next major power failure.

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