Inside the National Academy of Sciences, with Carolyn Porco

The Deepwater Horizon on fire in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: US Coast Guard, via Wikimedia Commons.
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About This Episode

What does the NAS do? StarTalk All-Stars host Carolyn Porco has invited her close friend, NAS Director Marcia McNutt, for a dive deep to discuss all aspects of the National Academy of Sciences. Along with co-host Maeve Higgins, they discuss how the NAS serves as an unbiased, science advisory to the federal government, how it deals with hot topics such as the Zika virus, gene splicing, and fracking, and what it’s doing to anticipate potential issues when new scientific advancements are introduced to society. You’ll gain insights on the importance of disruptive technology, and Marcia explains how she wants to fundamentally change the relationship Americans have with science through the Academy. You’ll also hear about the NAS’s potential involvement if Earth were ever to receive a message from an alien civilization, why Carolyn and Marcia think we shouldn’t worry about sending communication messages out into space, and why Maeve sees similarities between the NAS plan for alien communication and Snapchat. Marcia also details her role in dealing with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill when she was Director of U.S. Geological Survey, and how her background in deep-sea intervention technology and her earlier experience as President/CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute helped during that crisis. All this, plus what the NAS is doing to combat species extinction and whether scientists should run for political office.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch/listen to the entire episode ad-free here: Inside the National Academy of Sciences, with Carolyn Porco

In This Episode

  • Host

    Carolyn Porco

    Carolyn Porco
    All-Stars Host, Planetary Scientist, Cassini Imaging Science Team Leader
  • Co-Host

    Maeve Higgins

    Maeve Higgins
  • Guest

    Marcia McNutt

    Dr. Marcia McNutt
    President, National Academy of Sciences, former director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2009-2013

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