From physics to social studies, and paleontology to computers, science is important to our everyday lives. This page is a collection of such topics and stories.

T. cristinae comes in three colors:  green, green-striped, and brown.
Aaron Comeault / University of North Carolina

If you spend enough time poking around bushes in California, Nevada or Arizona, you’ll find stick insects, long little guys that blend in with sticks or leaves. Sometimes you only notice them when they drop out of their camouflaged environment and onto your shirt. They’re funny looking, harmless and at the center of a recent high-impact study at Utah State University describing when and how you can predict evolution.

Noctural, flightless, and solitary, kakapo are one of the most evolutionarily distinct parrots
Mnolf / Wikimedia

It’s easy to care about the wellbeing of the threatened giant panda because they’re cute.  But it’s hard to care about the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander, because they look like an enormous booger. 

Idaho National Laboratory/Flickr

Idaho lawmakers are holding public hearings Thursday and Friday on proposed science standards for Idaho public schools. 

At issue: how, or whether, those standards should address climate change. 

Photo by Ron Nichols / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Cattle digest their food through bacteria-aided fermentation, creating methane as a byproduct that’s exhaled by the animal. According to research by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the cattle industry accounts for about 20 percent of total human-associated methane emissions.

Utah's Native Bees Are Diverse In Traits And Species

Jan 11, 2018
Perdita spp. and Xylocopa spp.
Joseph S Wilson / Utah State University

In a recent survey at Utah State University, 99 percent of people described bees as either critical or important. The pollination services provided by bees are crucial for the survival of entire ecosystems. 

Scientists Make Case For Eating Less Meat In 2018

Dec 28, 2017

As the New Year approaches, many Americans will be focusing on what resolutions they'll make to do things differently in 2018. 

Andrew Kulmatiski / Utah State University

When plant ecologists are out for a walk, they see a puzzle. For almost 100 years, they’ve been trying to understand what governs the presence and abundance of a plant species in a community.  

Aimee Tallian

James Coburn works for the Physics Department at Utah State University. He’s the driving force behind a favorite Thanksgiving tradition, the November Physics Demo Show.

Documentary Shines New Light On GMO's

Oct 31, 2017

In efforts to communicate research to consumers, part of the scientific community and filmmakers worked together to help inform the public with fact-based dialogue about genetically modified organisms in our food system.

Maps: A Tool For Understanding Wildlife

Oct 13, 2017 / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Somewhere in Zakouma National Park in Africa, a large female elephant and her calf are on the move. Annie, named by the research team that collared her, moves with determination and purpose through the savannah. Traveling long distances, Annie and her calf target areas with the best food, crossing roads at night to avoid poachers. 

Mary-Ann Muffoletto

A group of scientists at Utah State University has developed a unique way to share their research with the community. Science Unwrapped is a program that teaches the public about science and how scientists learn to interact with the public.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 62% of adults get their news through social media, often from like-minded people they trust. One expert said there are a growing number of researchers who are focused on finding better ways to communicate their research.

Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones and digital “clouds” to x-ray machines and hybrid vehicles.


Thursday, Tom Williams’ guest for the hour is journalist, author and public radio broadcaster David Baron. Baron is an avid umbraphile who has witnessed five total solar eclipses; he has crossed the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia to catch the shadow of the moon. On August 21, Baron will be in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to witness the first total solar eclipse to cross the country from coast to coast in 99 years. We talked about the history and science of eclipses and share some tips for the best way to experience the upcoming eclipse.


In her memoir, "Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia,” Gerda Saunders writes: “When I was diagnosed with early- onset dementia just before my sixty- first birthday in 2010, I kept my hurt, anger, fear, and doubts under wraps. I had no choice. I had a job, a husband, children, grandchildren, friends. I had a life. However, there is nothing like a death sentence—  in my case, the premature death of my  mind—  to provoke questions about life. What, actually, is memory, personality, identity? What is a self?

Today’s program is by request. Aleq in Southern Utah emailed us to ask for more science on Access Utah and to suggest that we talk about the great work being done in Utah in paleontology.

Our guests today include State Paleontologist Jim Kirkland; and Andrew Milner and Jerald Harris, authors of “Tracks in Deep Time: The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.”

In The Evolution of Beauty, Richard O. Prum’s award-winning career as an ornithologist and his lifelong passion for bird-watching come together in a thrilling intellectual adventure. Scientific dogma holds that every detail of an animal’s mating displays—every spot on the peacock’s tail—is an advertisement of its genetic material superiority to potential mates. But thirty years of research and fieldwork around the world led Prum to question this idea.

Utah 'Amateur' Astronomer Discovers Third Supernova

May 19, 2017
Sergiy Vakulenko

Scanning the skies from his Tooele home is a nightly hobby of  Patrick Wiggins’. Most of the time, he said, the activity consists mostly of scanning through anywhere from 600 to 1200 pictures of 300 galaxies each night.

Utah Scientists Join National March

Apr 24, 2017
Emily Means

Like Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, they spoke for the trees – as well as for air quality, melting glaciers and medical research funding. Thousands of scientists, doctors and lay people marched to the Utah State Capitol Saturday, in solidarity with other marches for science around the world.


April 22nd is Earth Day, but this year it will also be the date of the March for Science. The flagship march will take place in Washington D.C., but sister marches are happening around the globe, including at least five in Utah.

D. Kinka

Demographic trends suggest that minorities may soon make-up a majority of the U.S. population. In 2014, white children made up less than 50% of the population in public schools. However these demographic trends are not represented in some academic fields, which remain overwhelmingly white.

The Best Monsters are Works of Science

Jan 24, 2017




Have you ever wondered how monsters are created? Hollywood depictions of things like dragons and aliens may seem like the farthest thing from reality, but it turns out that movie monsters are often firmly rooted in the very real sciences of paleontology and comparative anatomy.

The Science Of Beer

Dec 27, 2016

A clean, well-lit taproom just off the beaten path in Salt Lake City, UT. Behind the bar, the words “Uinta Brewing Co.” are carved neatly into the blonde-colored wood, just below the mountains that bare the same name. It’s early, but members of the American Homebrewers Association have gathered here to learn from each other how to improve their craft - the craft of making beer. I went there with a simple question: How do you make beer?

Crowdfunding: A Welcome Resource For Researchers

Dec 7, 2016


Crowdfunding is a term you have probably heard recently. The idea is to solicit a large number of small to medium donations in order to fund some kind of project or product development, and there are many online platforms that allow their users to do just that. While It’s not difficult to find crowdfunding proposals online ranging from heartwarming to ridiculous, some scientists are now looking to crowdfunding as a way to finance their research.

Wikimedia Commons

New research out of the University of Utah today examines how long it takes poached elephant tusks to reach the illegal ivory market. Researchers used a technique known as bomb-curve radiocarbon dating to age the tusks.