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
9:58 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Dr. Jason Keller, Chapman University – Bogs and the Carbon Cycle

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Jason Keller of Chapman University explains how organisms alter one of life’s most fundamental processes in oxygen-poor environments.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Dr. Ben Horton, University of Pennsylvania – Historic Sea Level Change

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Ben Horton of the University of Pennsylvania reveals what we know about sea level change over the past two millennia.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Dr. Mike Wheatland, University of Sydney – Physics of a Falling Slinky

Credit University of Sydney

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Mike Wheatland of the University of Sydney explains the gravity-defying physics of a falling Slinky.

Mike Wheatland is an associate professor of physics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include solar flares and solar activity, the statistics of that activity, coronal magnetic fields, solar-terrestrial relations, and Bayesian probability. He has also worked on a project to model the physics of a falling slinky.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Dr. Howard Lasker, University at Buffalo – Coral Damage and Growth

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Howard Lasker of the University at Buffalo explores how coral reefs respond to natural and man-made damage.


Howard Lasker is a professor of evolutionary biology and ecology at the University at Buffalo. His current research project seeks to identify parameters for identifying coral populations that should be highly protected as well as those for which managed harvesting is ecologically sound. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

About Dr. Lasker

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Dr. Sarah Benson-Amram, University of St. Andrews – Measuring Intelligence in Wild Animals

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sarah Benson-Amram of the University of St. Andrews compares the intelligence of wild animals to those socialized to human contact.

Sarah Benson-Amram is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of St. Andrews where she works on the Laland Lab. Her research interests are focused on animal social behavior, cognition, and the use of acoustic communication to understand social complexity in mammals. She earned her Ph.D. at Michigan State University.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Dr. Andrew Francis, Emory University – Penicillin and the Sexual Revolution

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Andrew Francis of Emory University explores the role antibiotics played in fueling the sexual revolution.

Andrew Francis is an associate professor of economics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His research interests include the economics of marriage, family, education, human rights, law, health, and sexuality. In particular, recent projects on sexuality have examined the ways in which sexual behavior responded to the AIDS epidemic.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Dr. Stephen Pirog, Seton Hall University – Smartphone Addiction

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Stephen Pirog of Seton Hall University explains the strong bond between many young people and their smartphones.


Stephen Pirog is Associate Professor of Marketing and Chair of the Department of Marketing at Seton Hall University.  His research interests are focused on the economic and social impacts of marketing practice, as well as marketing history. He earned his Ph.D. at Temple University.

About Dr. Pirog

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Dr. A. David Lewis, Merrimack College – The Afterlife in Comic Books

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. A. David Lewis of Merrimack College explores what the depiction of the afterlife in comic books says about how we view human nature.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Dr. Sanya Carley, Indiana University – Consumer Attitude and Electric Cars

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sanya Carley of Indiana University explains attitudes about electric cars that are keeping many of the vehicles off of the streets.

Sanya Carley is an assistant professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University where her teaching and research interests include energy policy, electricity technology innovation policy, and applied econometrics. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About Dr. Carley

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Academic Minute
9:18 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Dr. Rebecca Fisher, University of Arizona – Lizard Tail Regeneration

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Rebecca Fisher of the University of Arizona explains how a species of lizard is able to regenerate their self-amputated tails.


Rebecca Fisher is an associate professor of medical science at the University of Arizona and an associate professor of life sciences at Arizona State University. Her research lab studies the anatomy and evolution of vertebrates. She is currently analyzing the functional anatomy of the tail in green anoles. She holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.

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