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Climate Change Migration, Curved Universe, Vietnam War

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • May 7, 2020
  • 01:40:15

Climate Change Likely to Spur Mass Migration in Coming Decades (0:32) Guest: Quinn Mecham, PhD, Professor of Political Science, BYU One of the reasons disease outbreaks like the current coronavirus are becoming more common and more dangerous is climate change. Here’s the connection: animals and insects that carry these diseases are sensitive to changes in temperature and climate – if their typical habitat gets too hot or dry, they’ll move elsewhere in search of food, which brings new opportunity to encounter – and infect – humans. Well, it also turns out humans are sensitive to temperature, too. A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week suggests that billions of people will be on the move in search of more habitable climate as temperatures continue to rise over the coming decades.  Lowering the Bar for Lawyers? (21:13) Guest: Sara Berman, Director of Programs for Academic and Bar Success, AccessLex Institute Center for Legal Education Excellence Passing the bar exam is the final hurdle between a law school graduate and a new career. It’s a notoriously difficult test that takes months of preparation and many people don’t pass on the first try. But the class of 2020 will not have a chance to take the bar exam this summer, because of the pandemic. Some states are postponing the test. Utah recently became the first to completely waive the bar exam requirement for this year’s grads, which some previous graduates say is unfair: “If they had to suffer, everyone should suffer.” Others say this just proves the bar exam is draconian and ought to be eliminated permanently. All of which has us wondering – what is the point of the bar exam? And why is the industry so worried about one class of law school graduates not being able to start practicing right away? It’s not like they’re nurses heading to the front lines of the pandemic. The Shape of the Universe (35:15) Guest: Joseph Silk, Homewood Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University I’m going to be honest, thinking about the universe too much kind of freaks me out. It’s dark, cold, and goes on forever in all directions. But my understanding of the universe could be totally wrong. Just like how we realized the earth wasn’t flat, some researchers are now thinking the same thing about the universe. It could be curved. Yeah, try to wrap your mind around that one. “The Mountains Sing”: Trauma, Resilience and the Legacy of War in Vietnam (50:41) Guest: Nguyen Phan Que Mai, Author of “The Mountains Sing” The Vietnam War ended 45 years ago. At that time, American troops had already withdrawn from Vietnam, but April 30, 1975 was the day Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. American civilians, diplomats and South Vietnamese who’d supported the US in the war scrambled to evacuate on one of the helicopters leaving the embassy compound. Most of the books and movies about the Vietnam War we’re familiar with, tell the story of the war from the perspective of America and its allies. Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s new novel is the rare exception. It tracks the effects of war on four generations of a family in North Vietnam, where the conflict was called “the Resistance War against America to Save the Nation.” The novel, which is called, “The Mountains Sing,” draws from the real experiences of Que Mai’s family. How to Decide Who to Treat During a Pandemic (1:29:49) Guest: Jim Tabery, PhD, Associate Professor in the University of Utah Department of Philosophy and the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities. Hospitals faced with a crush of COVID-19 and a limited supply of ventilators to treat the sickest patients have been forced to make difficult decisions about who gets one and who doesn’t, which could be interpreted as hospitals deciding who lives and who dies. Show More...

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