Beth Herbert

Beth Herbert came to Northwestern University in 2005 as an administrator in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, where the Science in Society intiative originated. She came to the Center for Genetic Medicine in 2007, where she is currently the associate director of communications. At Science in Society, she serves as the associate editor, which involves working closely with faculty, staff and students to develop content for the site, and overseeing the Science in Society Blog.

Beth graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in English and a minor in journalism. She is currently an MFA student in Northwestern's creative writing program.

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(312) 503-2072

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303 E. Superior St., Lurie 6-125, Chicago, IL 60611

Content by Beth Herbert

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In 1991, researchers led by archaeologist and anthropologist David Lordkipanidze unearthed a primitive hominid jaw in Dmanisi, Georgia. They estimated its age at approximately 1.77 million years old, almost 800,000 years before our early ancestors were thought to have migrated out of Africa. Since then, a wealth of similar fossils and primitive tools have been uncovered at the site, surprising the scientific community and shedding new light on how man first spread throughout the world.

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Tod Machover, named “the world’s most wired composer” by the Los Angeles Times, is also an accomplished performer, professor of music and media at MIT, and all-around innovator. His projects bridge the gap between tradition and technology, many with the aim of making music more accessible to all audiences.

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When it comes to weight loss, it’s not as simple as eating right and working out. It’s really about a complicated combination of biology, personality, and lifestyle, and the right approach might be unique to each one of us. We spoke with Robert Kushner, clinical director of Northwestern’s Comprehensive Center on Obesity and author of numerous book and articles on weight management, about the obesity epidemic in the US, and an individualized way to fight it.

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This week I interviewed Francesca Valsecchi, a graduate student at Northwestern in physics and astronomy, to preview her upcoming

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The stars in the sky are doing a lot more than twinkle. They're constantly evolving, burning nuclear fuel, and sometimes even interacting with other celestial objects. Francesca Valsecchi, Northwestern University graduate student in physics and astronomy, studies the lives of massive stars and their final fate – becoming a black hole. Valsecchi will talk about her work at a Junior Science Cafe event on Friday February 18 at the Evanston Public Library.

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I just finished up a really great interview with Aaron Stebner, a PhD fellow here at Northwestern.

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The idea of an airplane changing shape mid-flight probably sounds farfetched to just about everyone, even fans of the Transformers movies and classic cartoons. However, new technologies that use metals called shape memory alloys (SMAs) are allowing researchers to develop components of aircraft, cars, and even medical devices that can change and then regain their original shapes to perform different functions. Science in Society spoke with Aaron Stebner, PhD fellow and SMA expert at Northwestern, to learn more.

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New Year’s is almost upon us, and for many it brings the usual resolutions – eating healthy, getting active, and ultimately losing weight. In this spirit, We talked to Arlene Hankinson, MD, instructor in preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author on a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It tracked the eating habits, physical activity and general health of more than 3,000 individuals over 20 years to gain insight into the development of heart disease over time.

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Ralph Keeling knows as well as anyone what it’s like to have big shoes to fill. His father, Charles Keeling, began tracking the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere at regular intervals in the 1950’s, showing an obvious and steady increase over time. These results, graphically accessible as the now well-known ”Keeling Curve,” sparked scientific interest in the effects of CO2 on our climate in the 1970s, and continue to serve as an invaluable resource for scientists today.

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How do you define yourself? By gender? Race? What about sexuality, origin, or even income?