The Academic Minute

Weekdays, 7:34am and 3:56pm

The Academic Minute features researchers from colleges and universities around the world, keeping listeners abreast of what's new and exciting in the academy.

Hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College, The Academic Minute features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions. You'll enjoy updates on groundbreaking scientific research, an explanation of the accidental discovery of chocolate and an analysis of how social media is transforming the workplace, to name a few.

The Academic Minute airs each weekday at 7:34 a.m and 3:56 p.m.  You can also stay connected by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

If you have a pitch for a segment, or any questions or comments about the segment, please e-mail us.

The Academic Minute opens with a selection by WAMC contributor and renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, who appears on Classical Music According to Yehuda during WAMC's Roundtable program. The piece is Bach's Suite No. 2 in D Minor.

Production support for The Academic Minute comes from Newman's Own, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and from Mount Holyoke College.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Dr. Hannah Dugdale, University of Sheffield – Women and Academic Conferences

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Hannah Dugdale of the University of Sheffield explores the underrepresentation of women as presenters at top-tier academic conferences. 



Hannah Dugdale is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield where her research interests include the evolution of social behavior, sexual selection and mate choice, and the evolution of personalities. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Oxford.

About Dr. Dugdale

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Dr. Angie Willey, University of Massachusetts Amherst – Biology and Pair Bonding

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Angie Willey of the University of Massachusetts Amherst discusses the assumptions behind current interpretations of how biology influences monogamy and pair bonding. 

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Dr. Richard Borowsky, New York University - Sleep and Blind Cave Fish

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Richard Borowsky of New York University explains the connection between sleep and the loss of vision in cave-dwelling fish species. 


Richard Borowsky is a professor of biology at New York University where he studies the evolution and genetics of cave fish with an emphasis on understanding the molecular and developmental bases of adaptation and the "eyeless" condition. He holds a Ph.D. in biology of Yale University.

About Dr. Borowsky

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Vanderbilt University – The Milky Way’s Violent Merger

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann of Vanderbilt University reveals the evidence for a violent merger of the Milky Way with another galaxy.


Kelly Holley-Bockelmann is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her research interests include galaxy dynamics, N-body simulations, supermassive black holes, and gravitational waves.

About Dr. Holley-Bockelmann

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Dr. Alan Willner, University of Southern California – Faster Data Transmission

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Alan Willner of the University of Southern California reveals how twisting light could drastically increase data transmission speeds.


Alan Willner is a professor of electrical engineering and the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research is focused on high-speed optical fiber communication systems, with emphasis on optical amplification and wavelength-division-multiplexed technologies and networks. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Dr. Rafael Verduzco, Rice University – Stiffening Silicone

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Rafael Verduzco of Rice University explains the development of a new silicone material that becomes stronger with repeated use. 

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Prof. Timothy Lytton, Albany Law School – History of the Kosher Food Industry

In today’s Academic Minute, Professor Timothy Lytton of Albany Law School reveals how stringent self-regulation has allowed the kosher food industry to thrive over the past century.

Timothy Lytton is the Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School where he teaches courses on administrative law, the philosophy of law, and regulatory law. His latest publication is Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food. He earned his law degree at Yale Law School.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Dr. Catrinel Haught, Rider University – Constraint and Creativity

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Catrinel Haught of Rider University explores the importance constraint plays in fostering creative thought. 

Catrinel Haught is an assistant professor of psychology at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. As a cognitive psychologist, her main research interest is the psychology of language and she has conducted research projects focused on creativity, reasoning, and organizational behavior.  She holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

About Dr. Haught

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Dr. Anne Gerritsen, University of Warwick – The Rise of Globalization

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Anne Gerritsen of the University of Warwick traces globalization to its sixteenth-century roots. 


Anne Gerritsen is an associate professor of history at the University of Warwick where her research is focused on understanding early connections between European markets and Chinese manufactures.  Her work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals and she earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University.

About Dr. Gerritsen

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Dr. Ernest Williams, Hamilton College – Weeds and Monarch Butterflies

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Ernest Williams of Hamilton College reveals the importance weeds play in the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly. 


Ernest Williams is the William R. Kenan Professor of Biology at Hamilton College where his research is focused on the population biology, chemical ecology, and conservation of butterflies. His research has been widely published and he holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

About Dr. Williams

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