Shakhashiri is a frequent guest of the Larry Meiller Show
on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio.
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November 23rd, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
On the November 23rd program, the discussion included the following topics in response to questions raised by guest host Jim Packard and to calls from listeners:
- The 1998 Christmas Lecture, its purposes, and its origins.
- The 1999 Federal Budget for science
- Nurturing interest in pursuing careers in chemistry
- Curriculum development and other efforts in science dducation
- Chemophobia and the importance of learning about chemicals, their uses, safe handling, hazards, and disposal.
October 22nd, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
On Thursday, October 22nd, Dr. Carlo Parravano, director of The Merck Institute for Science Education , joined Prof. Shakhashiri and Larry Meiller. Dr. Parravano discussed the mission of the 6-year-old Merck Institute and described its programs and results. Both he and Prof. Shakhashiri responded to callers and discussed:
- the importance of parental involvement in science education, especially at the K-12 level
- the role of computer simulations and games in nurturing and developing interest in science
- teacher qualifications and certification, and preparing for teaching as a second career
- the importance of hands-on science
September 24th, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Thursday, September 24th, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
- The 41st anniversary of Prof. Shakhashiri's arrival, with his parents and two sisters, in the United States from his native Lebanon. He celebrated the occasion with the 350 students in his first-year chemistry course.
- How much difference can a good teacher make? What constitutes good teaching? What are the ways to "evaluate" teaching? One student, who took Prof. Shakhashiri's general chemistry course almost 30 years ago at the University of Illinois, called in with her evaluation and described the influence on her family.
- Does the UW-Madison emphasize research and downplay teaching in hiring faculty and granting tenure? Does the UW-Madison take teaching seriously? Is teaching as well rewarded and recognized as research? The UW System Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy both aim to promote excellence in teaching. Nevertheless, the UW can and should do much more.
- A caller was critical of the UW policy on technology transfer. For detailed information about this policy, check the WARF website.
August 6th, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Thursday, August 6th, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
- The press release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction dealing with its recent statewide poll on public education. Conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Survey Center, the random telephone survey of 1,043 residents occurred between March 12 and May 5 of this year.
- A biannual survey conducted by the National Science Foundation for Congress shows strong support by the public of federal expenditures for scientific research. However, the survey also shows a low score on a test of fundamental scientific facts. For example, few people were able to define what is meant by "molecule."
- In September of 2002, a new law will require that 4th and 8th grade students in Wisconsin pass a test showing they have mastered certain skills before being promoted to the next grade. Critics of the new law say it is too tough, because one-quarter of all students who took the test this year flunked the math portion of the exam.
June 18th, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Thursday, June 18th, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
April 30th, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Thursday, April 30th, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
- Title IX
- Governor Thompson's announcement of a $1.5 million supplement to Genomics at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
- Summer science programs for pre-college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
March 31st, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Tuesday, March 31st, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
February 19th, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
The discussion of Thursday, February 19th, included the following topics in response to questions raised by Larry Meiller and to calls from listeners:
- President Clinton's proposed research and development budget for Fiscal Year 1999 is over $73 billion. This is the largest increase requested for science and technology. The civilian portion is just under one half of the total. Over the next five years, the total investment in civilian R&D adds up to $170 billion and is called the 21st Century Research Fund.
- Callers were urged to contact their elected representatives in Washington to convey their views on the President's proposals. Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin chairs the House Science Committee which will set budget targets and Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana chairs the Appropriations Committee which will actually determine the amounts to be used. On the Senate side, New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici chairs the Budget Committee and Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens chairs the Appropriations Committee.
- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer spoke at the 150th Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last week in Philadelphia and gave a cautious endorsement to a movement among judges to appoint neutral experts to help them sort through contentious scientific evidence.
- Space exploration is proceeding with a variety of probes, whose missions are underway. For more information, check at http://www.doe.state.in.us/space/space_probes.html.
January 22nd, 1998, Larry Meiller Show
On the January 22nd program he discussed a number of topics including:
- Chemophobia, the fear of chemistry and chemicals. Is the fear justified? Can we and should we combat it?
- A study released by Education Week of public schools in the 50 states. It says that fewer than 3 in 10 8th-grade students in Wisconsin are proficient in science and math.
- In response to a caller, the current employment situation for Ph.D. scientists and the future need for new scientists. Data are available from the National Science Foundation.
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