The Science of Sustainability

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Be Moved by "Earthquake": A New E-book and iTunes U Course

Be Moved by "Earthquake": A New E-book and iTunes U Course

What are earthquakes? Gain a new perspective on these powerful phenomena with an e-book and iTunes U course co-produced by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED.

Continue Reading

Your Photos on QUEST: Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Your Photos on QUEST: Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Astrophotographer Rogelio Bernal Andreo's colorful wide field images of deep sky objects like galaxies, nebulae, star clusters has garnered him dozens of photography awards including the Royal Observatory of Greenwich's 2010 Best Astrophotographer of the Year.

Continue Reading

Scientific Whimsy: The Magical Art of Tiffany Bozic

Scientific Whimsy: The Magical Art of Tiffany Bozic

Tiffany Bozic, the first Artist-in-Residence at the California Academy of Sciences, named her first child after a rare bird found in Southeast Asia: Tesia olivea.

Continue Reading

The Results Are In For My Genetics Quiz

The Results Are In For My Genetics Quiz

In my last blog entry, I wrote a quiz that tested some basic knowledge about genetics that experts have found the public struggles with. What I found from the responses I received is that the QUEST public doesn’t struggle with them or, more likely, people only answer quizzes like this if they are pretty confident […]

Continue Reading

California's Prop. 37: Are GMO Labels a Scarlet Letter?

California's Prop. 37: Are GMO Labels a Scarlet Letter?

Proposition 37 could make California the first state in the country to require "Made with GMO" labels on genetically-engineered foods. But would the labels inform people? Or scare them?

Continue Reading

Will the Asteroid Apophis Rock Our World?

Will the Asteroid Apophis Rock Our World?

With all of the giant rocks flying around in space that can cross Earth's orbit and therefore be a impact threat, what are the odds of one hitting us?

Continue Reading

Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Griffith Quarry in Penryn

Geological Side Trips from Interstate 80: Griffith Quarry in Penryn

Sometimes you need a break when you're taking Interstate 80 to or from the Sierra. Try this historic quarry in the foothills.

Continue Reading

Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

The endangered Ohlone tiger beetle, found only in Santa Cruz County, depends on disturbed landscapes to hunt and breed. Migrating woolly mammoths and more recently grazing elk helped maintain that habitat. Recreational trails might prove a good replacement–as long as mountain bikers follow rules to reduce beetle casualties.

Continue Reading

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design its new building. Why? If the 'book wanted a green building (and who'd dare to build in the Bay Area without "a big emphasis on being eco-friendly"?), Gehry is a less than obvious choice.

Continue Reading

The Heat is On For California Wines

The Heat is On For California Wines

You’ve probably heard of the wines that made Napa and Sonoma famous, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. But what about Negroamaro or Nero d’Avola? They’re wine grapes that are well-adapted to hotter temperatures — the kind of conditions that California may be facing as the climate continues to warm.

Continue Reading

Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Medical experts disagree on whether prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are an effective screening technique for prostate cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against PSA screening for men of any age, but recent research disagrees with this assessment.

Continue Reading

Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

San Francisco Bay's watershed extends to the Sierras. Ponder the waterways of the largest estuary in western North America.

Continue Reading

Outdoor Labs: The UC Natural Reserve System

Outdoor Labs: The UC Natural Reserve System

The University of California runs a unique set of 38 pristine properties around the state for scientific research.

Continue Reading

Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Most of our plastics come from petroleum-based chemicals. Now, thanks to engineered microbes, similar materials might be made using food waste from Starbucks.

Continue Reading

Squid Skin: Why Pigment (But Not Glitter) Will Dance to the Beat

Squid Skin: Why Pigment (But Not Glitter) Will Dance to the Beat

Squid and their relatives–a group of animals known as cephalopods–have the world's best skin. And it's not because they moisturize, lack pimples, or tan without ever burning. It's because their skin is a canvas of endless possibilities.

Continue Reading

California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California Considers Giving Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California is considering rules that would allow self-driving cars on the road, but making rules for robots is no simple task.

Continue Reading

NASA's New Mars Rover: Armed and Curious

NASA's New Mars Rover: Armed and Curious

Space exploration has caught up with science fiction (again): we have deployed laser-armed nuclear-powered robot on Mars, and nearly two weeks after landing, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, the rover Curiosity, has fired that weapon on a Martian rock.

Continue Reading

Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Every two years the staff of the magazine I edit, Home Energy, is invited down to the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, to publish a daily newsletter for the biennial ACEEE Summer Study of Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

Continue Reading

Geoscientists Without Borders

Geoscientists Without Borders

The chance to do good with their tools draws geoscientists to humanitarian projects around the world.

Continue Reading

In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

Eugenie Scott, longtime director of Oakland's National Center for Science Education, has won numerous awards for helping the public understand science and defending evolution, especially against threats to replace it with “creation science” in public schools. She shares her thoughts on the challenges of communicating science in a climate of denial.

Continue Reading