Think Science | Texas Public Radio

Think Science

Think Science is a live event held quarterly. These panel discussions and mini-lectures on a variety of topics in the fiend of science feature researchers, innovators, and practitioners from South Texas discussing their field of work, often sharing the latest developments.

 Gregg Dimmick, left, and Sol Garza shift through dirt for artifacts from one dig site at the Long Barrack.
Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio

At TPR’s next Think Science event, we will explore how the use of forensic science can lead to startling discoveries; helping to solve crimes, or unearthing previously hidden evidence and details about people and places that came before us. Learn from experts in the field about how forensic science works, including a virtual tour of an outdoor “body ranch” in central Texas that serves as a research laboratory. 

Flickr user Thompson Rivers University / cc

Over 100 years after Louis Pasteur developed vaccines for diseases such as chicken cholera and anthrax, modern science has been able to eliminate or greatly lessen many communicable diseases through the use of vaccines. But even today, some people are unclear on how vaccines work. At our next Think Science event, we’ll learn about the vaccination process, and about the search for a new vaccine to fight COVID-19. 

Because of the need for current physical distancing, this event was held online via GoToMeeting, rather than as a live, in-person event.


Think Science: Repopulating Native Areas

Mar 3, 2020
Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

For decades, American cities paved the way for population growth with more … pavement. But in recent years, planners have recognized the importance of native species in the ecosystem, leading to the restoration of rivers, creeks, and other areas toward a more natural state. The reintroduction of a species is the latest step in the effort to preserve plants, animals, birds, and insects that are endangered. 

CC0 Public Domain

A hard childhood leaves behind more than just painful memories. Chronic health issues like heart disease, depression, substance abuse, and even cancer have been linked to  adverse childhood experiences such as divorce, parental death, abuse, absentee parents, or a family member’s incarceration. Researchers today are making the connections, and looking for ways to help children along the way before they reach adulthood, such as teaching and building resilience early in life.

Cyle Perez / TPR

It’s no secret that the U.S. population is aging rapidly. No one is immune. And with aging comes frailty, disease, disabilities, memory loss and more. But what if life could be lived with vigor and vitality throughout your lifespan? What if you could grow older in a healthy and wholesome manner? That’s the goal of UT Health’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and the subject of this Think Science presentation, held on August 16, 2019. Dr.

Cyle Perez / TPR

Ah-choo! If there’s one thing we can all get behind in South Texas, it’s our hatred of allergies. For many, the sneezing and wheezing that comes with “cedar fever” is an annoyance, but for some people, allergies are a serious health issue. Allergies can be triggered by food, pollen, dander… all manner of substance that come into contact with our bodies.


For a quarter of a century, humans have been interacting online through the World Wide Web, and along with the easy access to information have been sea changes in the way we do business, converse, and even fall in love. What influence has the Internet had on the way our minds work? Have we become a nation of “skimmers” that can no longer find time to read a novel? What about the addictive nature of social media, gaming, gambling or even online pornography? How has the Internet changed us?

Cyle Perez / TPR

Those nacho-flavored chips you're eating? They probably taste that way because of micro-flavor particles covering the surface. Engines that burn cleaner fuel? Thank nanotechnology. Sports equipment that lasts longer, flies faster... lighter weight material for aerospace and engineering, even biological machines within the human body... Even a decade ago there were over 800 publicly available products that could be classified as using nanotechnology, which is defined as science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.


Think Science: Bees

Aug 20, 2018

Many people have some understanding of why bees (and other pollinators) are important. So at our last Think Science event on August 17, we opened by asking, “Do you like to eat?” This leds to a discussion of the importance of bees in pollination and our food supply, why bees are in trouble, and what we as consumers can do to ensure the health of both the insect population, as well as humans.

Think Science: Medical Marijuana

May 18, 2018

As the opioid crisis worsens, more Americans are looking toward alternative sources of pain relief, one of which is marijuana. Cannabis has been reported to alleviate pain and anxiety, and may benefit glaucoma and epilepsy patients.

At this Think Science event, TPR reporter Ryan Poppe moderates a discussion on medical marijuana, with special emphasis on CBD oil and other non-psychoactive properties of cannabis that may benefit patients.