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Kurt Vonnegut’s contribution to science, and tunas and sharks as ecosystem indicators

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On this week’s show: How sci-fi writer Kurt Vonnegut foresaw many of today’s ethical dilemmas, and 70 years of tunas, billfishes, and sharks as sentinels of global ocean health

First up this week on the podcast, we revisit the works of science fiction author Kurt Vonneugt on what would have been his 100th birthday. News Intern Zack Savitsky and host Sarah Crespi discuss the work of ethicists, philosophers, and Vonnegut scholars on his influence on the ethics and practice of science.

Researchers featured in this segment:

Next, producer Kevin McLean discusses the connection between fishing pressure and extinction risk for large predatory fish such as tunas and sharks. He’s joined by Maria José Juan Jordá, a postdoc at the Spanish Institute for Oceanography, to learn what a new continuous Red List Index using the past 70 years of fisheries data can tell us about the effectiveness and limits of fishing regulations.

Finally, in a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for custom publishing, interviews Joseph Hyser, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine about his use of wide-field fluorescence live cell microscopy to track intercellular calcium waves created following rotavirus infection. This segment is sponsored by Nikon.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: richcarey/istock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: underwater photo of a swirling mass of tunas, with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kevin McLean; Zack Savitsky

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf7398

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

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