The Method

The Method was a series that explored 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 looked at science through a different lens. How does scientific research affect you and your community? That's the story we shared with you.

Mike Carlucci/via Flickr Creative Commons

Cold brew coffee is about four hundred years old, but right now, it’s enjoying its latest renaissance. Exactly why cold brew is back en vogue isn’t clear – theories range from young consumers who want to replicate the experiences of cold sodas to the influence of international coffee growers.

Rob Travis, University of Tennessee

On December 14, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 was on the long homebound leg of their journey to the Moon. Astronaut Harrison Schmitt and mission commander Gene Cernan had just completed an intense, three-day exploration of a lunar valley called Taurus-Littrow. As they and command module pilot Ron Evans settled in for the comparative monotony of the three-day trip back to Earth, Mission Control in Houston radioed up a message from President Richard Nixon.

Micolo J/via Flickr Creative Commons

You probably remember from your grade-school science classes the tidbit that the growth of a tree is recorded in concentric rings visible when the tree is cut down. University of Tennessee scientist Henri Grissino-Mayer will tell you there's a lot more information encoded in those rings. The layers record climate change, forest fires, pollution and more. He talks about his research with WUOT's Megan Jamerson.

SYSTERS

On a recent Saturday morning, girls from high schools across East Tennessee gathered at the University of Tennessee. They were there to learn about careers in electrical engineering and computer science, fields that are historically male-dominated. The event was the brainchild of SYSTERS, a group of female STEM students at UT. Some of the girls that participated say they're now leaning toward careers in engineering and related fields. WUOT's Megan Jamerson has the story.

SpaceX

On Sunday, February 19, a group of students from Bearden Middle School watched as a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster lifted off from a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The children had a vested interest in the launch, because the rocket carried a science experiment they designed for use on the International Space Station.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Forty-seven years ago, filmgoers got a taste of the dark side of the burgeoning field of computer technology. In Colossus: The Forbin Project, a supercomputer gains sentience and turns on its creators – and humanity. The idea that supercomputers will eventually overwhelm the humans that created them is a common theme in science fiction and fantasy. And it usually doesn't end well for the humans.

In in the early 1950s, a girl named June Kent borrowed an encyclopedia volume – the letter A. Reading that volume, she learned about astronomy, aeronautics and a new field called astronautics – sending machines and people into space. Years later, June Kent would marry test pilot Dick Scobee, and the two of them shared an excitement about Dick’s role in the space shuttle program.

Megan Jamerson, WUOT News

This week’s rain wasn’t enough to reverse the effects of a long drought in the Tennessee River basin. James Everett monitors river levels for the Tennessee Valley Authority. His job is only getting tougher as the drought lingers. WUOT’s Megan Jamerson checks in with Everett to see how TVA is keeping an eye on water levels.

Brandon Hollingsworth/WUOT News

Imagine being in the hospital, but unable to tell your doctor what’s wrong. WUOT’s Megan Jamerson visits Rebecca Kosalinski, a University of Tennessee nursing professor who helped invent Speak for Myself, an app that helps patients give doctors, nurses and caregivers important information.

UK Department of Transportation

More than fifty years ago, The Jetsons predicted life in the 21st century would be defined by homes in the sky and flying cars. History, of course, took a different path. Today's prognosticators say the highways of the future will be filled with automated, driverless vehicles. Nineteen companies say they're working to get models to the market around 2020.

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