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Monday, March 27, 2006


Snacks 30--Vickie Hannig and Melinda Cohen!

Genetic counseling is a field that is currently limited to a fairly exclusive range of professionals.

According to the website of the National Association of Genetics Counselors, "Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.

This process integrates:

I met with working Genetic Counselors Vickie Hannig and Melinda Cohen at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital to talk with them about DNA, the ethics of genetic testing, and their work introducing the concept of genetics counseling to K12 students worldwide, utilizing IVC technology. We had a fun and interesting dialogue; and this, the 30th episode of S4theB!, is its record. It's my first double interview, too! Download S4theB!30 here. Music today is from the Podsafe Music Network and me, I'm Scott Merrick. Thank you, gentle listener, for tuning into our modest share-share. More Links: National Association of Genetics Counselors FAQ DNA from the Beginning--a rich online resource that's "an animated primer on the basics of DNA, genes, and heredity."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Spring Break Time, Ya'll!

Hey, ya'll, Just wanted to say hi from sunny Florida. I'm taking a break from the world this week, Spring Breaking down on the panhandle with my family. Have a grrrrreeat week and we'll be back next week with an interview with Dr. Randy Reiserer, an expert on evolution and a biomedical researcher! Cheers!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Snacks 29 -- Highlights from Ginny Shepherd's "Thinking Out of the Lunchbox" Talk, March 1, 2006

I did, I know, post a special BLAST last week when the entire audio file of Dr. Ginny Shepherd's Nashville Public Library lunchtime talk (part of the "Thinking Outside the Lunchbox" series-- jointly sponsored by the library and the Vanderbilt Office of Public Affairs) became available on the Vanderbilt Media site; but I'm well aware that many of us might not have the time to click on over, download, and listen to the entire presentation. That said, this special Snacks! episode will share some excerpts from that talk, in which Dr. Shepherd reiterates alarms repeatedly raised (by prominent scientists, educators, politicians, and others) which calls attention to America's lagging production of scientists, researchers, and science educators. Those who know me must know that I'm not a jingoist, by any means. But I do have a great pride in our national history of creativity, innovation, and invention. What I offer "hear" is some indication of that, hopefully. I know of no other earthling more dedicated to promoting the reclamation of our national scientific leadership role that is Dr. Ginny Shepherd. Listen to her and you will agree. The PowerPoint presentation accompanying Dr. S's remarks can be downloaded here and will make a very tidy accompaniment to your listening to this S4theB! Download the show here, gather some teaching buddies around you, pull out your brown-bagged lunches, and enjoy! Music provided by the Podsafe Music Network, a song called "Intro-Song of LoveODub...," from a wonderfully quirky Pennsylvania band called Trap Door. Thanks, Trappies!!! You can pick up Dr. Shepherd's entire talk from the Vanderbilt Media website! I highly recommend listening to the whole thing!!! Links: A Nation at Risk Rising Above the Gathering Storm Before It's Too Late--The Glenn Report PACE Act now before Congress

Friday, March 10, 2006


Special Snacks4theBrain! BLAST--Dr. Ginny Shepherd Addresses Nashville Community

"Science Education in the 21st Century" was the topic of discussion between Virginia Shepherd, Vanderbilt professor of pathology and medicine, and approximately 300 members of the Nashville community at the Nashville Public Library March 1, 2006. The lecture/conversation was part of the popular "Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box" lecture series co-hosted by the library and Vanderbilt University. Our friends at the Vanderbilt University News and Media Office have posted the entire presentation for download. It's big, ya'll, approximately 56 Mb, but it's sooooooo well worth the download time and the time to listen. Dr. Shepherd succinctly states everything we are about at the Center for Science Outreach. Don't be shy! Pick it up here! And also read and listen to other Vanderbilt News at the Vanderbilt News Service webpage, today and anytime you like! Dr. Shepherd, CSO Director and Professor of Pathology and Medicine, was the guest on Snacks4theBrain! episode number 7. Check that out here!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Snacks 28 -- Podcasting in Education!

Okay, I know I'm a rep from the Dark Side. The reason I use Windows machines isn't because Bill Gates has done anything more for me than has Steve Job--it's just what I'm used to. I whip out a Dell Axim x50v to record my interviews and I do all my post-production on my trusty Dell Inspiron 600m laptop using Adobe Audition. That said, I'm posting this entry on a yummy-tasty PowerBook G4 at a table in the Faye and Ed Wyatt Education Center at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. This week's S4theB!, an intentional departure from the weekly interviews with scientists that I so love doing, will feature audio from the workshop I'm attending today, March 2, 2006. My intention is to fuel, perhaps, the imaginations of some of my educator/listeners toward investigating the use of podcasting in their own settings. Check the links at the end of the post for relevant resources, including some not mentioned at the workshop! Photo by moi, Dr. James Kelly, Apple I'm eternally indebted to Apple for my iPod and iTunes and, one could effortlessly argue, the very phenomenon of podcasting. And at this conference I ran into a number of like minded educators and friends--Ralph Knapp, Brian Smokler, Julene Reed, Brandon Herrenbruck, Amy Dortch, and Diane Bennett, to name a few. We were all aboard for the "Podcasting in Education: iTunes, GarageBand, iWeb & iPod" professional development workshop. 'K. Nice stuff, I must say. The iLife interfaces appear to work reallyreally nicely, and I do like (make that love!) the Garage Band podcasting interface. That said, I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired, so very tired, of the constant battle-to-dominate-market-share which keeps good programs from, as an elementary teacher might say, "playing well with others." Why can't Garage Band marry Adobe Audition and offer end users one really good program everyone can use to create easily accessible and readily listenable audio editing programs for students (as well as for the rest of us)? Why? Why? Because our economic system favors competition over collaboration. I don't think that's the way we will hope to survive and thrive in the long run, ya'll, but I've been wrong before. Hmmmmmm...This post is rapidly disintegrating into the realm of political economics, now, isn't it? That's not my job, now, is it? At any rate, there's a lot going on with educational podcasting, and I only serve up a few examples here. They're fun ones, though! Listen up to S4theB! 28, right here! Music for today's podcast is courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, a groovy little techno-ditty called "New Millenium" from a group called "Xenotoxin." Enjoy. One other note: NASA has turned some already existing digital video into "podcasts," using these Apple tools--not strictly true to the original intentions of the media, but with very interesting results. See their "Ask an Astronomer" video podcast for that, and ask yourself, pilgrim, "do I have any good digital video laying around that would serve educational purposes?" Hmmmm...... And a final, final note: I recently found the very best video for introducing potential podcasters to how it all is done. This is really much more for those of us on the PC side of the fence. Amy Dortch just opined in the hallway that "with Garage Band anyone can do it," which is true. For the PC user, at least so far, it's not at all that difficult if you approach it with a learn-by-doing attitude, and the video to watch is from the good folks at system. A 40 minute watch, you'll want to save it for future viewings and also bookmark it to share it with your friends. Really. It's located here. More Links: student and faculty podcasts University of Nebraska admissions podcasts Stanford iTunes U Radio WillowWeb David Warlick's Education Podcast Network RECAP student-safe education podcasts

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Episode Guide:

1 Joe Lopez interview
2 S4theB! Introduction
3 Keystone PSA Announcement
4 Kathy Schrock interview
5 Todd Lamitina IVC
6 Charles Brau IVC
7 Ginny Shepherd interview
8 Jeannie Tuschl interview
9 Keystone Conference
10 Scott Merrick on IVC K12
11 Vicki Metzgar interview
12 Jerry Wilmink IVC
13 Louise Rollins-Smith interview
14 Louise Rollins-Smith interview 2
15 Keystone Conference
16 Keivan Stassun interview
17 William Schaffner interview
18 Science Songs
19 Geek Gift List
20 Rocky Alvey interview
21 Bill Snyder interview
22 Biomedical Engineering Forum
23 Rick Chappell IVC
24 Bob O'Dell and Arnie Heiser IVC
25 Glenn McCombs IVC
26 Charles Brau interview
27 Jerry Wilmink interview
28 Educational Podcasting
29 Ginny Shepherd "Out of the Lunchbox" talk
30 Vickie Hannig and Melinda Cohen interview
31 David Warlick interview
32 Highlights from past shows
33 Randy Reiserer interview
34 Arnie Heiser interview
35 Overview of CSO
36 Overview of CSO 2
37 Glenn McCombs interview
38 Albert Reynolds interview
39 David Salisbury
40 NECC 2006 Highlights
41 Ian Jukes interview
42 GAS Camp (Girls and Science Camp)
43 Stephen Camarata interview
44 Jeff Ray interview
45 Kyle Butler interview
46 RIP (Research Internship Program)
47 Ig Nobel Awards
48 Dyer Star Chamber
49 Steve Spangler Science

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