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
11:14 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Dr. Daniel Lidar, University of Southern California – Diamonds and Quantum Computing

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Daniel Lidar of the University of Southern California explains why diamonds may be the key to quantum computing.

Daniel Lidar is a professor of chemistry and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California. His research is focused on various aspects of quantum information theory, including quantum algorithms, the theory of open quantum systems, quantum phase transitions and entanglement. He holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Dr. Sora Kim, University of Wyoming – Great White Shark Diet

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sora Kim of the University of Wyoming reveals how scientists are using advanced technology to understand the diet of the elusive white shark.


Sora Kim is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming where her research interest include paleoecology, marine ecology, and isotope biogeochemistry. Her current project seeks to better understand the diet and habitat preferences of early whales. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Cruz.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Dr. Zachary Blount, Michigan State University – Evolving Bacteria

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Zachary Blount of Michigan State University explains how scientists have observed bacteria evolve new capabilities over thousands of generations.


Zachary Blount is a postdoctoral researcher in the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University. Blount is a research associate in the Lenski lab, where evolutionary biologists have observed and recorded changes in E. coli bacteria over more than 50,000 generations.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Dr. Michael Sayette, University of Pittsburgh – Psychology of Social Drinking

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Michael Sayette of the University of Pittsburgh explains how alcohol influences social interactions between strangers.


Michael Sayette is a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh where his research interests include the psychological theories of alcohol use and abuse, cigarette smoking, drug craving, and social processes in addiction, alcohol and stress. His findings have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and he holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Dr. Thomas Emerson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Ritual at Cahokia

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Thomas Emerson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explains a microscopic discovery that reveals big things about culture and ritual at one of North America’s largest pre-Columbian settlements.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Dr. Walter Piper, Chapman University – Loons and Deadly Combat

In today’s Academic Minute, Walter Piper of Chapman University explains why territorial disputes among loons can become a battle to the death.

Walter Piper is a professor of biology at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has studied the territoriality of Common Loons since 1993 in Oneida County, Wisconsin. His Loon Project seeks to understand how young animals acquire a breeding territory and how older, established breeders hold onto their territories for as long as possible. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa, Northern Arizona University – Stability and Prosthetic Limbs

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa of Northern Arizona University explains how advanced materials are leading to an increase in the mobility and stability of prosthetic limbs.

Kiisa Nishikawa is a Regents’ Professor of biology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Through her lab, she has overseen projects investigating the elastic properties of muscles and the neuromechanics of how frogs capture prey. Her work has been widely published and she holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Dr. Nicholas Lynchard, SUNY Ulster – Age and Positive Memory

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Nicholas Lynchard of SUNY Ulster reveals why the elderly are better at recalling positive information.


Nicholas Lynchard is an assistant professor of psychology at the State University of New York – Ulster where he teaches courses in psychology, memory and learning, and lifespan development. His work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

About Dr. Lynchard

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Dr. Quincy Gibson, University of North Florida – Noise Pollution and Dolphin Behavior

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Quincy Gibson of the University of North Florida reveals the connection between manmade noises and aggressive behavior in dolphins.

Quincy Gibson is a research scientist at the University of North Florida where her primary research interests are behavioral development, maternal care strategies, individual variation, and social complexity of marine mammals. She is currently conducting boat-based photo-identification and behavioral surveys of bottlenose dolphins in the Jacksonville area. She holds a Ph. D. from Georgetown University.

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Academic Minute
5:00 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Dr. Claire Fraser, University of Maryland – Microbes and Human Health

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Claire Fraser of the University of Maryland explains the growing understanding of how microbes influence overall human health.

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