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Seeking Justice for Hidden Deaths [Rebroadcast and Update]

Original Broadcast: 2/5/2019. In the United States between 1930 and 1970 there were thousands of racially motivated homicides, a brutal continuation of the gruesome murders that African Americans had endured for decades before, even as the Civil Rights movement began to stir. Many of these homicide cases are cold cases, left unsolved and, too often, forgotten. We're joined by Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University and Founder and Director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project. She was also the First African American female judge in Massachusetts.

Watch Murder in Mobile: A Documentary Film About Race, Murder, and One Family's Search for the Truth 70 Years Later

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Season Three

Hashtag Activism

Hashtags began as a simple way to categorize social media posts, but soon became a way for people across the world to connect around shared issues and identities, and from there, slowly grew into a potent new form of activism. Brooke Foucault Welles and Moya Bailey join us on this episode to discuss their research surrounding Hashtag Activism.

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BARI Spring Conference 2020

The Road Back to Normal

The world has been upended by a novel coronavirus, and all we want to do is to return to normal. But how can that happen, and when? Today on What’s New, an expert on the resilience of societies talks about the long road back after enormous tragedies.

Northeastern University Global Resilience Institute's Covid 19: How to be Safe and Resilient Guide

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Inside the Pop Music World

Making a hit song involves inspiration, talent, and more than a little luck. How are songs created in today's modern recording studios and streamed around the world? Joining us is Bonzai Caruso, a five-time Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer. Since the 1980s, Bonzai has worked with top reggae musicians as well as dozens of pop stars, and he has helped to create dozens of gold and platinum singles and albums.

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Ethics and the Environment

This year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in history, just like last year and the year before that. Climate change is no longer a future worry, but a very present and growing challenge. We want to save our planet, but finding a coherent, ethical approach is hard. Ron Sandler, a professor of philosophy, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and Director of the Ethics Institute at Northeastern University, discusses environmental ethics on this episode, including how to save species (and which ones), and whether it is ethical to use genetic engineering.

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How Tariffs Made Modern China

Because of President Trump, the United States and China have recently waged a tariff war that has altered the economies and politics of both countries. This push and pull between China and international trade has a long and often hidden history, as tariffs, and the inevitable black market they create, played an essential role in the rise of the Chinese state. This episode features Associate Professor Philip Thai, whose recent book, China’s War on Smuggling, traces the history of the black market in China in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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Hacking Life

Millions of people now wear devices to track their daily movements and to analyze and improve their health. But some people take this idea of self-improvement through data a giant, and perhaps troubling, step further. Can you reduce your sleep to two hours, live longer through strange diets, or optimize your work or leisure time down to the minute, or is this just a disturbing cultural fad? Our guest on this episode is Joseph Reagle, an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University, who just published the book, Hacking Life: Systematized Living and Its Discontents.

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Photo by Jessica Mullen

Revealing the Human Mind

Throughout time, philosophers and scientists have debated whether the human mind is born with ideas and concepts, or instead, as John Locke famously put it, arrives in the world like a blank slate. Now new experiments have uncovered something even more remarkable: that we not only have innate ideas, but that some of those ideas ultimately blind us to the true nature of our minds. To help us understand the human mind we talk to Iris Berent, Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University and the director of the Language and Mind Lab, who has a book titled The Blind Storyteller coming out later this year.

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Photo by Micah Sittig

Intellectual Property and Social Values

For centuries, creative works and technical innovations have been protected by intellectual property laws, which grant exclusive rights to creators and innovators. But this system has been challenged by the internet, revealing many fundamental problems and tensions within IP law, leading us to ask whether the traditional concept of intellectual property truly benefits everyone in our society. Joining us on this episode is Jessica Silbey, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity at Northeastern University. She has a forthcoming book titled "Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age."

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Episode image by Daniel Foster

Self-Knowledge, Nanotech Sensors, and Hospital Flow

On this episode we talk to Summer Harvey, Davoud Hejazi, and Theresa Fuller, the winners of Northeastern Graduate Women in Science and Engineering's Three Minute Thesis Competition. These graduate students not only are doing incredible, creative work but they have been recognized in this competition for their ability to explain their research to a general audience. We'll look at an artificial eye made out of nanotechnology, how patients can have a better experience at the hospital, and can we truly know ourselves?

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Inequality and Mental Health


Americans now recognize inequality as one of the greatest challenges we face. While the news often focuses on the obvious aspects of inequality, such as large disparities in income and wealth, inequality has more hidden, but just as insidious, impacts on other critical aspects of the lives of millions. Although mental health and mental illness are shaped by a complex array of biological, genetic, environmental, behavioral, and social factors, studies have shown that inequality often exacerbates and extends serious problems. On this episode, we look at inequality's wide-ranging effects on mental health-and whether there might be ways to reverse the damage. Featuring Alisa Lincoln, an interdisciplinary Professor of Health Sciences and Sociology and the Director of the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research at Northeastern University.

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How We See


Vision is a miraculous sense that most of us with sight take for granted, and yet it consists of an incredible array of perceptive skills that nearly instantaneously work together to present our mind with a sense of the world and the objects within it. On this episode, we deconstruct human vision and then reassemble it in ways that might be transferable to machines. Our guest on "How We See" is Ennio Mingolla, a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northeastern University and the head of the Computational Vision Laboratory. (Visualization of optic flow by N. Andrew Browning.)

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The Search For Hidden Particles


In the farmland at the border of France and Switzerland, the massive Large Hadron Collider smashes subatomic particles together at the speed of light, and physicists then interpret the wreckage of those high-speed collisions. This has led to discoveries both strange and wonderful about the building blocks of our universe. Now the Large Hadron Collider is being upgraded to reveal even more about the hidden magic of our world. Today on What’s New, we'll go inside the Large Hadron Collider and explore a realm in which the physics we know no longer works. Our guide on this journey is Louise Skinnari, Assistant Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, and one of the team members for some of the key experiments and particle detectors at the Large Hadron Collider.

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Sensing Behavior

Wearable technology like smartwatches and the related digital devices that now populate our homes and workplaces are starting to change the face of medicine, as they produce data that help us diagnose health issues, and capabilities to help treat them. On this episode, we look at the rise of personal health informatics and computational approaches to behavioral science, with a special focus on caring for children with severe autism. Our guest is Matthew Goodwin, an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences.

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The Challenge of Automation

Factories and the global supply chain have become increasingly automated in the last few decades, changing the way billions of people work and live. But this process is largely hidden from us unless it is disrupted by the unexpected, by politics or weather—or by revelations about working conditions or the effects of massive corporations on small businesses. On this episode we talk to Nada Sanders, Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and author of the recently published book The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise, about the impact of automation and AI, and how humans and ethics must remain central to these processes.

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Purchase The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise

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The Magic of Human Motion

On The Magic of Human Motion, we give the question of how our brain controls our muscles a second and maybe even a third thought, looking at how we manage to move and acquire new skills. We’re joined by Dagmar Sternad, who is a Professor in the Departments of Biology, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Physics here at Northeastern. Dagmar impressively connects elements of all of these disciplines in her Action Lab, which studies human movement from many angles.

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Auditing Algorithms

Recently the hidden inner workings of internet giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have been exposed to scrutiny, by academics, the press, the public, and now legislators. Northeastern researchers have found clever ways to expose the major problems and biases that are encoded into these systems, and are starting to think about how their algorithms could be altered to be fairer and more transparent. Joining us on the first episode of What’s New season three is Christo Wilson, an Associate Professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern and part of Northeastern University’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute.

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Season Two

European Disunion [Rebroadcast and Update]

Original broadcast: 4/16/2019. Our last podcast of the spring of 2019 featured Mai'a Cross, an expert on European politics. We discussed the constant threats, really since its inception, to the unity of Europe, with Brexit being only the most recent example. Maia’s candid assessment was that Brexit was mostly a British, not a European, mess, and a giant one at that, and she has been proven even more correct in the last few months.

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The Shifting Landscape of Music [Rebroadcast and Update]

Original Broadcast: 9/10/2018. One of the first podcasts of the second season of What’s New featured David Herlihy, an intellectual property lawyer and rock musician, about the major shifts in how music is listened to and paid for over the last several decades. During that podcast, which was recorded in September of 2018, David mentioned the possibility of a new law that would provide more royalties to the songwriters who create songs in the first place. Unlike almost all legislation over the past year, that law, Music Modernization Act, finally got through Congress and was signed into law on October 11, 2018. We will explain the law’s impact on this rebroadcast and update.

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Privacy in the Facebook Age [Rebroadcast and Update]

Original broadcast: 4/10/2018. Last year, professor Woody Hartzog was interviewed on What's New about his new book related to digital privacy followed by a discussion about the then recent revelation of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where a research firm got access to tens of millions of personal profiles through Facebook. If anything, the privacy issues around Facebook, Google, and other internet sites have only gotten much worse over the last year, and it seems as if legislation may be possible in the United States, following the passing last year of some privacy legislation in Europe. Woody has come out in support of newly introduced legislation from Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, a bill called the Data Care Act. It's one of the first and most significant moves to establish a new American privacy identity online, with strict obligations for companies that use the Internet to collect personal information.

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European Disunion

For the last two years, Brexit has threatened to sever one of Europe’s largest countries from the rest, a divorce that has now become a gigantic crisis. But it is far from the first existential crisis for Europe. The continent and its countries have regularly encountered discord and the threat of dissolution. This episode features Mai'a Cross, Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and associate professor of political science and international affairs at Northeastern University. She is also currently a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Photo by Martin Hearn

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Controlling Killer Robots

Science fiction is filled with examples of robots advancing in intelligence enough to become unrelenting killing machines, from the Terminator to Black Mirror’s metalhead. Now with advances in artificial intelligence that frightening imagined future is rapidly approaching, and we humans need to figure out right now how to prevent the worst from happening. Episode 30 features Professor Denise Garcia, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the International Affairs program here at Northeastern University in Boston, and a Nobel Peace Institute Fellow in Oslo. She is also the vice-chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, as a member of the Academic Council of the United Nations.

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Watch Slaughterbots

Foreign Affairs Article "The Case Against Killer Robots" by Denise Garcia

The Web at 30

The World Wide Web just turned 30 years old, and so much has changed over those three decades because of this powerful new medium. Books, music, and video are beamed instantly around the globe, and authors, artists, and the giant industries around them have reacted in excited, complicated and sometimes fearful ways. Joining us on episode 29 is Kyle Courtney, a legal scholar and lecturer here at Northeastern University, and the copyright advisor for Harvard University. Kyle is a leading expert on intellectual property and copyright law during the era of the Web, and someone who has thought actively and creatively about the past present and future of what we do and say online.

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How College Students Get the News

Last year on this podcast, we told you about a large study of the news consumption habits of college students that had just gotten underway. Now the results of that study are in and on today’s What’s New you will discover the many often surprising channels, formats, and apps that inform today’s youth and shape their perspectives. On this episode, we welcome back John Wihbey, assistant professor of journalism and media innovation, and the author of the forthcoming book The Social Fact: News and Knowledge in a Networked World. John is with me in the studio in Northeastern University’s Snell Library, and joining us remotely from California is Alison Head, the Founder and Director ​of Project Information Literacy.

Preorder The Social Fact: News and Knowledge in a Networked World

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Tracing the Spread of Fake News

Two years after a presidential election that shocked so many, we are still trying to understand the role that fake news sources played, and how a swarm of propaganda clouded social media. Now a comprehensive study has looked carefully at the impact of untrustworthy online sources in the election, with some surprising results, and some suggestions for how to avoid problems in the future. In the studio for this episode is David Lazer, Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. He is one of the authors of Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which was just published in Science Magazine.

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Seeking Justice for Hidden Deaths

In the United States between 1930 and 1970 there were thousands of racially motivated homicides, a brutal continuation of the gruesome murders that African Americans had endured for decades before, even as the Civil Rights movement began to stir. Many of these homicide cases are cold cases, left unsolved and, too often, forgotten. We're joined by Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University and Founder and Director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project. She was also the First African American female judge in Massachusetts.

Watch Murder in Mobile: A Documentary Film About Race, Murder, and One Family's Search for the Truth 70 Years Later

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Touch This Page

Reading is one of the most profound things we humans do, a way for our minds to encounter new ideas, and our imaginations to run wild with stories. For many of us, reading means words in black ink on a white page, or pixels on a screen, but for some who have visual impairments, it involves feeling raised fonts, a multisensory act that is both remarkable, and poorly understood by the sighted. Joining us today is Sari Altschuler, who is an Assistant Professor of English and Associate Director of the Northeastern Humanities Center at Northeastern University. Along with Dave Wimer at Harvard and Perkins School for the Blind and Waleed Meleis, who you may remember from an earlier episode, Enabling Engineering, Sari is the co-creator of the Touch This Page project, opening February 1st in our library and three others in the Boston area.

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The Urban Commons

Everyone knows that 911 is the number to call in an emergency, but more recently, cities have set up 311, a number for citizens to call to highlight problems in their neighborhood and to request municipal services. Who calls these numbers and why? And what does the 311 system tell us about the way that people and governments can create better communities together? Featured on this episode is Dan O’Brien, who is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, and co-director of the Boston Area Research Initiative. Dan has a new book out from Harvard University Press titled The Urban Commons: How Data and Technology Can Rebuild Our Communities.

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The Regeneration of Body Parts

Every year, thousands of graduate students write theses on topics at the frontiers of research. Many of those topics remain obscure, but there’s a new movement to have students explain their complex and exciting research in plainspoken, succinct ways. Joining us on episode 23 are Anastasiya Yandulskaya, Brian Ruliffson, and Alex Lovely who are the winners of the 3 Minute Thesis competition at Northeastern University to talk about their cutting-edge studies, all of which deal with the regeneration of body parts.

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Bridging the Academic-Public Divide Through Podcasts

There is something unusual and powerful about hearing someone’s ideas vocalized in an unscripted way. Because informal speech communicates ambivalence, effort, and excitement much better than traditional academic writing and media coverage of research, podcasts present a unique opportunity to show the public how the expertise of the academy is relatable and valuable. This communication is especially important right now.

In this episode our host, Dan Cohen gives the opening keynote at the Sound Education Conference, which brought together hundreds of educational and academic podcasters and podcast listeners and held at Harvard on November 2nd. Special thanks to Doug Metzger for his opening remarks, Joseph Fridman for recording the keynote, Blair Hodges for the episode image, and to the whole Sound Education Conference team for putting on a great conference.

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Election Day Special: Michael Dukakis

Joining us on Episode 21 is three-term governor, presidential candidate, and public transportation advocate Michael Dukakis.

Images of Michael Dukakis provided by FayFoto Collection, Northeastern University Library Archives and Special Collections (L) and Brooks Canaday, Northeastern University (R)

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A New Way to Scan the Human Body

Modern medicine has given us revolutionary ways of seeing inside our bodies, from the Xray to the MRI and CT scan. But the images they provide are of structures like arteries, bones, or tissue, rather than the very chemistry at the core of human life. We're joined on this episode by Heather Clark, who is a Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Chemistry at Northeastern University. Her lab is pioneering the use of nanosensors within body, and the potential applications of this work are truly amazing.

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The Shifting Landscape of Music

In the past 30 years, the music industry has moved from vinyl records to cassettes to CDs, downloads, and streaming, all radical changes to the production, and consumption, of popular music. The recent passing of the Music Modernization Act will further alter the industry. This means an even more radical shift for musicians themselves, and their livelihoods. We're joined today by David Herlihy, a lawyer who teaches copyright law and the music industry, and runs Northeastern University’s record label, Green Line.

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Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Making Artificial Intelligence Fairer

After decades of research, artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming a major force in our lives, uncannily understanding our language and our photographs, and even starting to take some of our jobs. Since this transformative technology is made by human beings, it has also exposed the biases of its creators and could reinforce those biases in our world. We’re joined by Tina Eliassi-Rad, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern and also a faculty of Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. Her work focuses on machine learning, a centerpiece of Al.

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Remaking the News

Newspapers used to an essential part of the daily lives of Americans, informing a shared consciousness of local, national and international events, shaping public opinion, and uncovering the worst abuses of the privileged and powerful. Consolidation in the industry and the rise of the internet sharply reduced the number, reach, and impact of those papers but professional journalism still plays a critical role in our society. We are joined by Dan Kennedy, a nationally known media commentator, professor at Northeastern University, and author of the recent book, Return of the Moguls.

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Image by Matt Modoono/Northeastern University

Season One

Engineering the Future: Boston's Big Dig

Boston’s Big Dig was one of largest engineering projects in history. It created a massive system of tunnels where an elevated highway once stood in the heart of the city, and added a new tunnel to Logan Airport to the east and a stunning new bridge to Charlestown to the north. It completely transformed the City of Boston and made it more walkable and livable. On this episode of What’s New, hear the story of how a giant engineering project like the Big Dig came together and listen to a rare interview with Fred Salvucci, the transportation engineer who made it happen.

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Explore more about Fred and The Big Dig in this oral history from Northeastern's Archives

Addressing Neglected Diseases

In the United States we are familiar with common illnesses like the cold and flu, but we only hear about many diseases from beyond our shores, like the Ebola virus, when a case unexpectedly appears here. How can we create drugs to cure these illnesses, which often affect the poorest countries first, when there is little economic incentive for drug companies to treat them? And what will happen when a disease like Ebola suddenly becomes common here too? In this episode, Mike Pollastri helps us understand how to address these neglected diseases in Episode 15. Pollastri is a Professor and Chair of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology department in the College of Science at Northeastern University. He is also the director of the Laboratory for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery

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Privacy in the Facebook Age


Recently 50 million Facebook users had their personal information extracted and used for political and commercial purposes. In the wake of this scandal, we’ve all become much more aware of how our use of social media clashes with our desire for privacy. Are technical fixes and awareness enough, or is it time for Facebook and other online services to be regulated? Our guest Woodrow Hartzog is a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University and discusses the battle and future of our personal information. He has a new book out from Harvard University Press entitled Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies.

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The Evolution of Cities

80% of Americans now live in cities, which are areas of profound change, as well as great tension. How do cities change over time? How does planning, community input, social justice, and activism affect that change? On this episode, we’re joined by Ted Landsmark, who will be discussing the collision of people, transportation, and buildings in the evolution of cities. Ted is a distinguished professor and director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities here at Northeastern University. Ted has had a storied career as an educator, activist, and leader.

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In the last twenty years, hydraulic fracking has transformed energy production across the United States and has made America the world's largest producer of natural gas. Now a presence in 32 states, fracking also has registered thousands of environmental and health complaints, making it as controversial as it is transformative. How can people and communities understand what is going on a mile beneath their feet, with so many effects above ground? Joining us in Episode 12 is Sara Wylie, who is an assistant professor of Sociology and Anthropology, as well as Health Sciences, as part of Northeastern's Social Science and Environmental Health Research Institute. Her new book, just published, is entitled Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds explores the effects of fracking above and below the ground.

Explore Public Lab, a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.

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Episode photo by Daniel Foster: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielfoster/11586288744

The Future of Energy

We use energy drawn from sources largely beyond our view, and the massive energy industry has had a similarly massive impact on our economy and the environment. But the twenty-first century has seen the rise of new forms of green energy that are upending the energy business and giving us the chance to develop a more just system. What will tomorrow’s energy system look like, and how can we shape it? This episode features Shalanda Baker, Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs in the Law School at Northeastern University, who not only studies the energy industry and its finance and regulations, but has lived in and done field work in communities impacted by the energy industry.

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Designing for Diversity

Inside all computers are ones and zeros, a binary world that excels in calculation and speed, but has difficulty with nuance, uncertainty, and complexity. And too often, we humans use these binary machines in black and white ways. How can we account for the great diversity of our society in the digital realm? Julia Flanders, director of the Digital Scholarship Group in the library and Professor of the Practice in the English Department and Amanda Rust, Assistant Director of the Digital Scholarship Group and a Digital Humanities Librarian explain how to design digital systems to be more attentive to the true diversity of humanity.

More information about the Colored Conventions Project Transcribathon.

More information about Design for Diversity and The Women Writers Project.

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The Hidden Universe of Comics

Comics are often viewed as a lesser form of storytelling, colored as they are by the superhero movies that fill multiplexes in the summer. But in the unique way they combine hand-drawn images with equally flexible lettering, comics can also convey profound expressions of humanity. Joining us in Episode 9 is Hillary Chute, Professor of English and Art & Design at Northeastern University and author multiple books, her most recent being Why Comics?

You can purchase Why Comics from Harper Collins.

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The Algorithms That Shape Our Lives

The digital tools that we use to communicate with each other, shop and travel collect enormous amounts of data about our opinions, moods, preferences, and desires. In turn, these services, like Facebook, Amazon, and Uber, use algorithms on that mass of data to predict what we will want to see and do and buy. How can we understand those algorithms, hidden behind the walls of these internet giants? Joining us for Episode 8 is Alan Mislove, an Associate Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, who has used clever methods to analyze how the big internet companies work.

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Tracking the Invisible Infrastructure of Our Cities

Every day we see the buildings and roads and people that make up our city. But just beneath the surface is another realm which is just as important: the pathways and systems that take away our trash, recycle our devices and keep our modern life functioning. If we could trace those systems, what would we find, and what would it tell us about our society? In Episode 7, we’re joined in this episode by Dietmar Offenhuber, who has a provocative new book out entitled Waste Is Information. Dietmar is also an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the departments of Art + Design and Public Policy and leads the Information Design and Visualization graduate program.

You can purchase Waste is Information from MIT Press

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The Secrets of Hollywood Storytelling

For over a hundred years, movies have been synonymous with entertainment. But outside of the film industry, few people really understand how they are made, and especially how the best movies engross us through careful attention to good storytelling, encoded in dialogue and images, and, less obviously, sound. Joining us in Episode Six is Bobette Buster, a screenwriter and film producer who has also worked as a story consultant with major studios such as Disney, Pixar, and Sony. Bobette has just been appointed Professor of the Practice of Digital Storytelling at Northeastern.  The image for this episode is the recording Pooh-the-bear who loved bread soaked in milk and would vocalize mightily when presented with it. Voila! The voice of Chewbacca was born. To learn more about Chewbacca’s voice and other movie sound design, check out Bobette’s feature-length documentary,  Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound.

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Inventing Writing

The Cherokee language was one of hundreds of indigenous languages in America prior to the arrival of Europeans. It is also one of the few languages that has made the transition from a completely oral tradition to a specific written form, through the use of an entirely new set of characters created by one citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Ellen Cushman joins us in Episode 5, who is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Diversity, and Inclusion in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities here at Northeastern. She is also the Dean’s Professor of Civic Sustainability and Professor of English, and a Cherokee Nation citizen.

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Enabling Engineering

Modern lives are filled with devices and environments that assume we have all of our senses and full mobility. But for hundreds of millions of people, this is a poor assumption. Globally, a quarter of a billion people have some impairment of their vision, and hundreds of millions more have trouble navigating spaces in ways the rest of us take for granted. How do we design for that large part of the population with varying abilities? Featuring Waleed Meleis, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. Waleed also leads the Enabling Engineering group on campus, which designs and builds low-cost devices for those with physical and cognitive disabilities.

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The Steamship Revolution

Imagine if cars could suddenly go four times as fast, allowing you to drive from New York to Los Angeles in just a day. And imagine that trucks carrying goods could also speed at 300 miles an hour. How would our world change, how would it shift how we lived and worked, what we bought and consumed? Two centuries ago this kind of radical transformation occurred on the high seas. This episode features Dr. Bill Fowler, Honorary Professor of History at Northeastern University and author of Steam Titans.

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Steam Titans is published by Bloomsbury Press

Fake News and the Next Generation

It's been a decade since the rise of Facebook and Twitter began to replace our shared news consciousness with personalized social media. Today’s college freshmen were just eight when the iPhone was released, destined to become a constant companion with these new sources of information. What is next generation's view of the news like? How good are they at separating fact from fiction? This episode features John Wihbey, Assistant Professor of Journalism and New Media at Northeastern and Alison Head, Project Information Literacy's Executive Director and Lead Researcher.

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How We Respond to Disaster

How do people and cities respond during and after major disasters such as terrorist attacks or the destructive hurricanes so many communities have recently endured? Stephen Flynn, Professor of Political Science and the Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, talks about what happens during the worst of times, and how the best of humanity sometimes emerges in the most stressful moments.

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