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Public Affairs

2016 IgNobel Awards

2016 IgNobel prizes awarded--research that first makes you laugh, then makes you think

The IgNobels are awarded every year at Harvard University for research that first makes people laugh, then makes them think. Mike Reeves chatted with Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, about this year's awards, the incredible prizes involved, and why the whole thing got started. Nature (magazine) calls the IgNobel awards "the highlight of the scientific calendar." Celebrating research like the effect of wearing trousers on the sex life of rats, or assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, who could argue?

courtesy Hands for Humanity

Hands for Humanity, Minnesota-based nonprofit serving children & families in Ecuador

Kate Welp, a surgical cardiac nurse at Mayo Clinic and regular Grand Marais Rec Park guest, founded Hands for Humanity in 2002, a few years after adopting her daughter from Ecuador. She joined Dave to explain the conditions and needs in Ecuador, what kinds of projects they do, and how volunteers are involved. You can learn more here.


Restorative justice: A different approach to addressing crime and harm between people

Restorative justice is an approach to repairing harm that considers all parties involved and focuses more on healing and rebuilding than it does on punishment. Kay Pranis, senior associate at the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University in Boston, will give a talk about the process at Cook County Higher Education Thursday, July 28 at 7 p.m. She joined Dick to explain what restorative justice is and give a preview of her talk.


Renewable energy projects could add many jobs to NE Minnesota economy

A recent report from the U of MN's Energy Transition Lab indicates that biomass and solar energy expansion could add over 2,000 jobs to the NE Minnesota economy. Ellen Anderson, executive director of the lab, joined Dave to talk about the study and the projects involved. You can learn more about the Energy Transition Lab's work here. 

courtesy Dr. Anton Treuer

Dr. Anton Treuer touring state answering questions, dispelling myths on Indian people and culture

Dr. Anton Treuer is professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, and author of 14 books, including "Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask." He stopped by the studio on his way to the Grand Marais Public Library to give a talk based on the book. He chatted with Dick about common cultural myths, and about the importance of creating a safe space for people to ask questions. You can learn more about Dr. Treuer and his work here.


Five Minnesota cities chosen for climate-smart exchange program with Germany

Five Minnesota cities are partnering with five award-winning German cities to explore and implement economically beneficial, climate-smart energy strategies for both. Dr. Sabine Engel, of the U of MN Institute on the Environment, is the project leader. She spoke with Dave about the project, how it works, and why it's important for both countries. You can learn more about the project and the Institute here.


What does the future hold for driverless cars? Transportation expert weighs in

Following the recent crash of a driverless car, there's been a lot of talk about these vehicles. Frank Douma is a transportation policy expert and director of the state and local policy program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the U of MN. He chatted with Dave recently about the challenges and advantages of driverless cars, and what the future might hold for this technology.


Aaron Brown, author/creator of Minnesota Brown, on the current legislative session

Author, radio producer, and college instructor Aaron Brown writes about life and politics on the Iron Range on his website, He joined Dave recently to discuss what we can expect from this year's unusually short Minnesota legislative session.

Don Ness

Duluth Mayor Don Ness talks about his new book "Hillsider"

"Hillsider: Snapshots of a Curious Political Journey" is the new book from Duluth Mayor Don Ness. He joins Ann Possis on the Roadhouse to talk about his experiences as mayor and how they are chronicled in the book.


First data from neutrino experiment based in northern Minnesota: Physicist explains

Physicists just released the first data from the neutrino experiment based at the NOvA lab near International Falls. Prof. Dan Cronin-Hennessy of the U of MN joined Dave TerSteeg Aug. 14 to explain the study and why neutrinos are so important. You can see a 7-minute overview of the experiment by watching this video. And visit the Fermilab website here.