The World Science podcast/forum: May Berenbaum - DDT vs. Malaria: The Lesser of Two Evils?

The World is a radio show co-produced by WGBH Boston, Public Radio International and BBC. You can probably hear it on your local NPR station - if not, you can find all the shows recorded on the website.

You may remember that I went to Boston a few months ago, as a part of a team of people helping the show do something special: use the NSF grant they recently received to expand their science coverage and, in collaboration with Sigma Xi and NOVA, tie their radio science coverage to their online offerings.

The result is The World: Science website, a series of weekly science podcasts with Elsa Youngsteadt and David Kohn (subscribe to the RSS feed) and, starting this week, something new.

First, the radio show will have a brief segment on a science topic that includes an interview with a science-related person. A longer version of that story/interview will be on the website as a podcast, with additional links to outside sources. And, most exciting, the person who was interviewed for the show will come by the online forum for a week after the show and answer readers/listeners' questions. Like an online version of a Science Cafe.

Today, the guest will be entomologist May Berenbaum. In the podcast and in the forum she will address the DDT debate: Is it really as bad as the critics say? (Even Rachel Carson thought it had value.) Is it really as good as the proponents say? (Sure, it may help with malaria control for a while, but eventually the mosquitoes will develop resistance.) Here's an op/ed May had in the Washington Post a few years ago: If Malaria's the Problem, DDT's Not the Only Answer.

So, listen to the podcast and join the conversation which has already started and will be ongoing until next Friday. We hope that, with all of you checking in and spreading the word, the discussion will grow.

You should also follow the news about this endeavor on Twitter, in the FriendFeed room and a Facebook page. Join, friend, follow, subscribe. And come back next week and next and next. And don't feel shy to give feedback as this is just in the early stages of development and we are open to suggestions.

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Cool! I listen to The World through my local public broadcasting station, and I think their topics are fascinating. I'll go check this latest endeavor out, thanks :)