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Previous Episodes

Taking Ohio’s Temperature: Assessing Local Health Impacts of Climate Change

Production Date: 2/19/2015

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that 2014 was globally among the top three warmest years since record-keeping began. However, what does this change in global climate mean locally for Ohio and Ohioans in the long-term?

According to 2014 US National Climate Assessment, Ohio is likely to experience more extreme heatwaves, increased heavy rain downpours, and flooding that will significantly worsen both local air and water quality.  Climate change will also likely worsen existing environmental problems to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

How will these environmental changes impact human health in Ohio? Scientists and health experts warn that lower air quality may worsen asthma and increase respiratory diseases and infections. Lower water quality may also boost rates of infectious insect and water-borne diseases.  Drinking water supplies may also be threatened, as recently happened in Toledo last year, as toxic algal blooms occurring in Lake Erie and inland water reservoirs occur more frequently.

So how do we adapt to these new climate conditions? What health precautions do we need to take? How do we communicate and educate Ohioans about these health risks? Please join us for a public conversation on these topics and more with a panel of local and national health, risk, and climate experts, on February 19 at the WOSU@COSI studios from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The panel will be moderated by a WOSU journalist. The event is free and open to the general public with seating beginning at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will be able to participate in the panel discussion during the Q&A session. Free parking vouchers will be distributed at the event.

Please RSVP your attendance to science_forum@osu.edu by February 18, 2015.

Panel Experts

Dr. Edward Maibach
Professor and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University

Dr. David Bromwich
Professor of Geography and Senior Research Scientist at the OSU Byrd Polar Research Center

Dr. Jeffrey Reutter
Director, OSU Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Richard Hicks
Director, Office of Health Planning at Columbus Public Health

Tackling Our Infant Mortality Crisis: How Do We Reduce Infant Deaths in Central Ohio?

Production Date: 11/13/2014

Columbus and Ohio have one of the worst rates of infant mortality in the country, and by comparison, the developed world. In Central Ohio, 3 families lose a baby EVERY WEEK – a death rate not seen in fifty years. Why are the most precious and vulnerable members of our community dying at such an alarming rates? Why are nearly 60% of these deaths disproportionately from racial and ethnic minority groups? How can we end this blight on our community? Do we need more access to prenatal care for mothers? Improved health education and communication to families? Initiatives designed to address root social and economic factors driving these infant death trends?

Please join us for a public conversation on these topics and more with a panel of local and national health and risk experts, including members of the Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Taskforce, on November 13th at the WOSU@COSI studios from 7pm to 8:30pm. The panel will be moderated by Mandle Trimble of WOSU NPR News. The event is free and open to the general public with seating beginning at 6:30pm. Attendees will be able to participate in the panel discussion during the Q&A session. Free parking vouchers will be distributed at the event.

Please RSVP your attendance to science_forum@osu.edu by November 12th, 2014.

Panel Experts

Dr. Kelly Kelleher, Pediatrician and Community Health Specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Dr. David Norris, Senior Researcher at the OSU Kirwan Institute

Dr. Jeff Niederdeppe, Associate Professor of Health Communication, Cornell University

Ebola Pandemic? Bird Flu? Zombie Virus? Viral Flows of Information and Health Risks from Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Production Date: 10/16/2014

WOSU TV Air Date: 10/24/2014

Populations have been exposed to several major disease outbreaks in recent years, both globally and nationally. The bird flu, swine flu and now major Ebola pandemic in Africa have swept over the world within a few years. More recently, the United States has experienced a resurgence of disease outbreaks, such as the mumps and measles, in many American communities and college campuses — including in Ohio. Our entertainment media has not gone uninfluenced by these health threats, producing multiple television programs and movies focused on deadly disease outbreaks ranging from bird flu to zombie viruses.

But what are the actual health risks from these infectious diseases, both major and minor? What are the factors driving this spread of old and new viruses? Has the public been well served by our media when reporting on these cases? Are they accurately reporting the risks and how to address the outbreaks, or are they feeding public fears and panic for ratings? What do we need to know to be best prepared?

Please join us for a public conversation, moderated by former WOSU radio host Fred Andrle, exploring these topics and more with a panel of local and national medical, media, and risk communication experts on October 16th at the WOSU@COSI studios from 7pm to 8:30pm. The event is free and open to the general public with seating beginning at 6:30pm. Attendees will be able to participate in the panel discussion during the Q&A session.

Panel Experts

Dr. Larry S. Schlesinger, Chair, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity at the OSU College of Medicine

Dr. Vicki Friemuth, Director of the Southern Center for Communication, Health, & Poverty at the University of Georgia

Richard Harrris, Science Correspondent, National Public Radio

Please RSVP your attendance to science_forum@osu.edu by October 15th, 2014.

The Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Who Owns It?

Production Date: 5/15/2014

WOSU TV Air Date: 6/18/2014

There is a health epidemic amongst our children creating a substantial impact on their health, life satisfaction, and lifespan, yet nothing has effectively stemmed the tide. Obesity has flourished amongst the youngest members of our society with nearly 13 million children in the United States ranking as obese, and rates among children tripling over the last 40 years. In turn, four out of five of these children will grow up to be obese adults with a substantially increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and a shortened life expectancy by 6-7 years. Ohio has the 14th highest obesity rate in the country among children 10-17 years old. Yet Ohio has not addressed this problem as aggressively as other states. Where does the responsibility lie for combatting childhood obesity? Fingers have been pointed in all directions, including parents, schools, doctors, daycare providers, food producers, the restaurant industry, and public policies. But what role does each of these authorities have in making sure that our youngest have the fullest lives possible? What are the best means to prevent our children from becoming obese, or to help them if they already are? What resources are available for parents and others? WOSU and NPR News Reporter Mandie Trimble moderates a panel of health and communication experts who explore how educators, health practitioners, scientists, and journalists are best able to accurately communicate the causes and effects of childhood obesity.

Panel Experts

Dr. Ihuoma U. Eneli, M.D., Medical Director, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition

Dr. Daniel Remley, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Jacqueline Broderick-Patton, M.A., R.N., B.S.N., Wellness Initiative Coordinator, Columbus City Schools

Autumn Trombetta, M.S., R.D., L.D., Chronic Disease Prevention, Columbus Public Health

Fracking Our Health? A Discussion on Public Understanding of the Risks and Benefits of Fracking

 

Production Date: 3/6/2014

WOSU TV Air Date: 6/25/2014

Hydraulic fracking and the health risks that possibly accompany it has become a national topic of conversation. Advocates and activists on both sides attempt to influence public opinion about fracking using media like advertisements, documentary films, and targeted campaigns. In Ohio, there are currently over 250 Utica Shale fracking wells producing natural gas, with the number expected to almost double in the next few years out of the more than 1000 permits issued for future development. With this surge of fracking come many questions and concerns about the potential risks and benefits of the process. What information is most vital for the public to best understand the situation? What does the health science say about public health risks surrounding fracking? Have health and regulatory experts effectively communicated these issues to the public? What inaccuracies or misinformation has been presented from both sides of the debate? Why has fracking become such a polarized issue for many in Ohio? WOSU News Director Mike Thompson moderates a panel of health and communication experts who explore how educators, health practitioners, scientists, and journalists are best able to accurately communicate the benefits and risks of fracking.

Panel Experts

Dr. Mike Bisesi, PhD, Professor of Health Science at the OSU College of Public Health

Dr. Daniel Kahan, J.D., Professor of Law & Psychology at Yale University

Mark Somerson, Health and Environment Editor, The Columbus Dispatch

Boosting our Health? A Conversation about the Risks and Benefits Surrounding Childhood Vaccinations

 

Production Date: 11/7/2013

WOSU TV Air Date: 6/18/2014

The risks and benefits surrounding childhood vaccinations have been in the public spotlight of late. What does the latest health science tell us about this issue? Why are there public misperceptions about vaccinations and how best can we communicate them to the general public? What are the public health concerns for central Ohio and what policy options are being explored locally? Fred Andrle moderates a panel of health and communication experts who explore how educators, health practitioners, scientists, and journalists are best able to accurately communicate the benefits and risks of childhood vaccinations.

Panel Experts

Dr. Dennis Cunningham, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Dr. Teresa Long, M.D., Health Commissioner at Columbus Public Health

Dr. Kathryn McComas, Associate Professor of Risk Communication at Cornell University

Misti Crane, Medical Reporter at the Columbus Dispatch

Nanomedicine: The Risks and Potential

 

Nanomedicine has the potential to revolutionize health care delivery but remains a deeply unfamiliar science to most of the American public. PBS News Hour‘s Miles O’Brien moderates a panel of health and communication experts who explore how educators, health practitioners, scientists, and journalists are best able to accurately communicate the benefits and risks of nanomedicine.

Panel Experts

Gang Bao, PhD, Robert A. Milton Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology

David B. Resnik, JD, PhD, Bioethicist and IRB Chair at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Dietram Scheufele, PhD, John E. Ross Professor of Science Communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mark D. Somerson, Science and Health Editor and Assistant Metro Editor at The Columbus Dispatch

Communicating Personalized Genomics: A Deliberative Forum

Personalized genomics has the potential to revolutionize health care delivery but remains a deeply unfamiliar science to most of the American public.  NPR science correspondent Joe Palca moderates a panel of health and communication experts who explore how educators, health practitioners, scientists, and journalists are best able to accurately communicate the benefits and risks of personalized genomics.

Panel Experts

Misti Crane, Medical Reporter for The Columbus Dispatch

Gail Herman, MD, PhD, Investigator for the Center for Molecular and Human Genetics, Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Suzanne Johnson, PhD, President of the American Psychological Association

Matthew C. Nisbet, PhD, Associate Professor of Communication at American University

Richard Sharp, PhD, Director of Bioethics Research at The Cleveland Clinic