Short Wave: Latino Excellence In STEM Diversity, equity and inclusion are core to the Short Wave mission. We know that everything is science, and science is for everyone. Here, we're highlighting the Latino researchers changing and challenging the STEM fields.
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Short Wave: Latino Excellence In STEM

Microbiologist Monsi Roman stands next to an ISS Life Support test module at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Monsi Roman hide caption

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Monsi Roman

The microbiologist studying the giant floating petri dish in space

Microbiologist Monsi Roman joined NASA in 1989 to help design the International Space Station. As the chief microbiologist for life support systems on the ISS, Roman was tasked with building air and water systems to support crews in space. That meant predicting how microbes would behave and preventing them from disrupting missions. And so, on today's show, host Aaron Scott talks to Roman about microbes in space: the risks they pose and where they might take us in the future of space travel.

The microbiologist studying the giant floating petri dish in space

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'Choose Your Own Adventure' gets a real-world math rebrand

Ever read those Choose Your Own Adventure books of the '80s and '90s? As a kid, mathematician Pamela Harris was hooked on them. Years later she realized how much those books have in common with her field, combinatorics, the branch of math concerned with counting. It, too, depends on thinking through endless, branching possibilities. So, she and several of her students set out to write a scholarly paper in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure books. In this encore episode, Dr. Harris tells host Regina G. Barber all about how the project began, how it gets complicated when you throw in wormholes and clowns, and why math is fundamentally a creative act.

'Choose Your Own Adventure' gets a real-world math rebrand

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Since its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope has sent back detailed images and spectra of galaxies from when the universe was just 900 million years old. NASA, ESA, CSA, Simon Lilly (ETH Zurich), Daichi Kashino (Nagoya University), Jorryt Matthee (ETH Zurich), Christina Eilers (MIT), Rongmon Bordoloi (NCSU), Ruari Mackenzie (ETH Zurich) hide caption

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NASA, ESA, CSA, Simon Lilly (ETH Zurich), Daichi Kashino (Nagoya University), Jorryt Matthee (ETH Zurich), Christina Eilers (MIT), Rongmon Bordoloi (NCSU), Ruari Mackenzie (ETH Zurich)

Harper Forbes (left), Prakrit Jain (right), and Academy Curator of Arachnology Lauren Esposito, PhD, (center) search for scorpions. Gayle Laird/California Academy of Sciences hide caption

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Gayle Laird/California Academy of Sciences

A diver in the Revillagigedo Archipelago interacts with giant mantas as part of a citizen science cruise led by Dr. Alfredo Giron. Alfredo Giron hide caption

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Alfredo Giron

A late Triassic-era rausuchian, one of the rival reptile lineages who lost out to the dinosaurs. Dmitry Bogdonav/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Dmitry Bogdonav/Wikimedia Commons

Physicist Desiré Whitmore teaches workshops to help teachers better communicate science. As part of that, Desiré uses optical illusions to explain how social blind spots come into play in the classroom. Boris SV/Getty Images hide caption

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Boris SV/Getty Images

Do You See What I See?

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