Ep 10. Why Were Plastic Mirobeads Banned? Marine Debris and Sustainable Plastics
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Ep 10. Why Were Plastic Mirobeads Banned? Marine Debris and Sustainable Plastics

Plastic debris in our water is a huge pollution problem, and just one source of that pollution is the tiny microbeads that have been widely used in personal care products. In this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Richard Thompson, a Professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University and an expert on the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment. We discuss the recent federal ban on microbeads and what consumers can do to be more sustainable in our day-to-day use of plastics. Continue reading

Ep 9. Seven Stages of Technological Adaptation
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Ep 9. Seven Stages of Technological Adaptation

This episode of the podcast features an interview with University of Minnesota graduate student Peter Clement, discussing the book The War on Science by Shawn Otto. We focus on Otto’s explanation of the Seven Stages of Technological Adaptation — an observation that how our society adapts new technology has generally repeated the same sequence of steps over and over, from discovery through crisis and adaptation, especially since the mid-20th Century. Continue reading

Ep 8. How Nanomaterials Can Build Better Bikes
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Ep 8. How Nanomaterials Can Build Better Bikes

On this episode of the Sustainable Nano podcast, we talk about one example of how nanotechnology is changing something many people use every day: bikes! Margy Robinson, a graduate student in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and a competitive cyclist, explains how carbon nanotubes and graphene are currently being incorporated into some high-end bicycles. Continue reading

Ep 7. What Do Glaciers Have to Do With Nanoscience?
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Ep 7. What Do Glaciers Have to Do With Nanoscience?

Why do glaciers sometimes look blue? Hint: it’s not for the same reason we see blue as the color of the sky!

On this episode of the podcast, we have an interview with Dr. Robert Hamers, following up on his recent blog post. Bob is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and he tells us about a recent family trip to Alaska that got him wondering about why some glaciers have an amazing blue color. Continue reading