November 1, 2023
Launching Our ‘Here’s Why’ Podcast: Science We All Should Know
“I don't want to believe in a world where we stop teaching science,” said Megan O’Keeffe, former science teacher now working as a senior education specialist at ULRI’s Office of Research Experiences and Education.
Such is the sentiment often expressed in UL Research Institute’s (ULRI) Here’s Why podcast series, which launched Nov. 1. It’s an idea suited to our times: Solving humanity’s complex problems requires curiosity and scientific reasoning.
Hosted by Kristen Delphos, vice president of Communications and Public Affairs at ULRI, Here’s Why explores the scientific foundations of modern life.
Below are highlights of our first three episodes:
- In Episode 1, titled “Science in Schools Is More Important Than Ever … Here’s Why,” Kelly Keena, Ph.D., senior director of ULRI’s Office of Research Experiences and Education (OREE), sets the context for the podcast series. For society to progress, children must learn basic scientific principles beginning in elementary school, Keena says, since it’s the only way to inspire the next generation of engineers and researchers.
- In Episode 2, titled “Airlines Ask You About Lithium-Ion Batteries … Here’s Why,” Judy Jeevarajan, Ph.D., vice president and executive director of ULRI’s Electrochemical Safety Research Institute (ESRI), exemplifies the goal of the podcast series by breaking down complex topics in a concise and simple way. She explains the concept of “thermal runaway,” which happens when lithium-ion batteries found in everyday products — from smartphones and laptops to flashlights and e-bikes — overheat or are crushed.
- While OREE and ESRI tackle contemporary issues related to education and product safety, Stuart Miller, Ph.D., vice president and executive director of ULRI’s Materials Discovery Research Institute leads a team that aims to discover new materials that enable a sustainable future. In Episode 3, titled “Materials Matter in Our Climate Change Fight … Here’s Why,” Miller discusses the search for future forms of energy that may one day replace lithium-ion batteries and make our world safer.