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Loyola biology professor presents weekly show on science matters

Loyola press release - September 28, 2009

Each week, Internet listeners can tune in to "Science Matters" to learn about emerging discoveries in science and the researchers behind them on Loyola University New Orleans' online radio, Crescent City Radio.

Craig Hood, Ph.D., professor and chair of Loyola's biology department, hosts the weekly show that discusses how science discovers and interprets our world.

The program, “Science Matters,” airs Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and can be heard by logging onto Crescent City Radio’s website at http://www.crescentcityradio.com.

Hood began the program in January 2009 as a way to bring today’s emerging scientific discoveries to the public through Loyola faculty and students. In doing so, he believes that these groups can make it clear why science matters in today’s society.

“The overall goal is to empower Loyola science faculty and students to communicate their scientific knowledge, skills and creativity,” said Hood. “This program seeks to build recognition of the natural sciences both on-campus and externally. The general public would find this program to be an incredible and unique communication of not only science, but becoming an educated and productive person in our society.”

“Science Matters” typically features Loyola science faculty and students. Occasionally, on-campus guest speakers visit the program to lend their expertise on science issues. Past shows have featured guests such as Dr. Patricia Dorn, biology professor; Br. Robert Novak, astrobiologist from Iona College; chemistry students Michelle Chatelain, Brian Hays and Hunter Fontenot, who spoke about their biodiesel project; and famous chemist and Loyola alumnus Dr. Gregory Choppin.

“I get topics and guests from all natural science disciplines that are represented here at Loyola—biology, chemistry, math, physics and psychology,” said Hood. “Many of our initial programs to date have been opportunities for the faculty to discuss the research they do, how they came to enter their field and how they came to Loyola.”

Faculty members also typically discuss how their research can be done here at Loyola, as an undergraduate institution, and how students are involved.

“The faculty scholar/teachers give the public insight into what their personal journeys were to becoming a scientist/professor,” said Hood. “Anyone hearing these programs has to say to himself, 'this isn't a mystery; these scientists are real people, who made their way into science by being curious, recognizing their passions and skills intellectually and following their dreams.' I don't think any other science talk show does these things.”

According to Hood, the show is not only for those who love science issues, but also for those who are concerned about day-to-day issues and want to know how science can play a role in them.

“This is a science radio talk show like some other national programs, but rest assured that the science described is very accessible,” said Hood. “I think it helps that the faculty visiting the program are not just great researchers, but have much more teaching experience than 90 percent of the scientists on national programs. Our faculty know how to speak and describe what they are doing and how it is relevant to the public.”

For more information about “Science Matters,” visit their website www.sciencemattersatloyola.com or contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or 504-861-5882.