With AI becoming mainstream, how will it affect the way we interact with our devices and how we communicate with each other? My name is Rana el Kaliouby, and I’m an Egyptian-American scientist and entrepreneur on a mission to humanize technology. I care deeply about ethics and trust in AI, from considering algorithmic bias to ensuring consent and data privacy. As Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an MIT spin-off that builds artificial emotional intelligence (“Emotion AI”), my company uses cutting-edge software that analyzes complex and nuanced emotional and cognitive states from the human face and voice, ultimately engineering empathy. For me, teaching machines to measure and interpret human emotions has the potential to enhance consumer experiences, engage students and personalize their learning, allow doctors and nurses to deliver better care, increase road safety by tracking driver alertness, and enable people with autism to better communicate with their families and peers. I consider myself a role-model for young scientists who are considering careers in technology and entrepreneurship. As a female Muslim scientist who’s one of a handful of women CEOs in the tech industry, I’m a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion—- not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the only way we can design and build smart technologies for an increasingly global world. Today, I’m also a co-host on PBS NOVA’s new series “NOVA Wonders,” in which incredible scientists from all walks of life tackle some of the biggest questions about life and the cosmos. I believe that science is the vehicle for innovation, so I’m truly excited to be a part of “NOVA Wonders”—- I especially love how NOVA shows that scientists come in all shapes, colors and sizes, thus providing diverse role-models that aspiring scientists can relate to and be encouraged by. I’m a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader and I served on WEF’s Global Future Council on AI and Robotics. I’m also a member of the Partnership on AI, which is concerned with ensuring that AI benefits society and is applied for good. A former research scientist at the MIT Media Lab with a PhD in computer vision and machine learning from the University of Cambridge, I use my voice to advocate for women in tech and for beneficial uses of AI—- I’m often cited in and interviewed by top business and mainstream outlets, including The New Yorker, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and TIME Magazine. Check out my TED talk and my Inc. column, and do make sure to watch PBS NOVA’s episode on Can we Build a Brain, which premieres May 16 on PBS! Ask me anything about being a computer scientist, deep learning, building artificial emotional intelligence, the applications of it, ethics in AI or how its like to be a woman leader in tech. Thank you!
Hi there, I work in the graphics department at the Financial Times website/newspaper where I have worked for over 22 years and have seen many changes in this industry over my career. My main area of interest is in cartography but you can ask me anything you want with regards to visualising data, telling stories with data, processes, software, working in a newsroom, how I got into data visualisation. Check out these links of previous work China’s polluted skies Air pollution: why London struggles to breathe Japan: the next big quake Sand castles on Jersey shore: property boom defies US flood risk Data visualisation: how the FT newsroom designs maps Global M＆A exceeds $3tn for fourth straight year Apple tests new iPhone price threshold at $999 Germany’s election results in charts and maps Due to the overwhelming response to a few of my recent posts on r/dataisbeautiful I thought it would be a good time to host an AMA Pollution in London 3D animation of pollution in China Animation of flooding caused by Ilisu Dam Proof: https://i.redd.it/dc6ab3noa9o11.jpg
Hi Reddit, We are graduate students and postdocs in Professor Frances Arnold’s research group at Caltech. We use directed evolution, the algorithm for which Frances won the Nobel Prize last week, as a tool to engineer proteins. Directed evolution, like Darwinian evolution, is about “survival of the fittest” by selecting beneficial mutations that enhance a desired function. The key difference is that in directed evolution the person running the experiment chooses which mutations are beneficial – in other words, we choose the definition of “fittest” in “survival of the fittest.” Understanding how a protein’s sequence connects to its structure is challenging (relevant XKCD), and understanding how that structure confers function is another significant challenge. A strength of directed evolution is that one does not need to know a lot about the protein to use it; all one needs is the genetic information (the DNA that encodes the protein of interest) and a way of testing each variant for the function of interest. We don’t need to know exactly how or why the protein is able to catalyze a reaction or understand why a mutation enhances that activity. Proteins have been engineered using directed evolution for myriad uses, from higher stability for use in your laundry detergent to remove stains to producing blockbuster pharmaceutical compounds in place of less environmentally friendly syntheses. Unfortunately Frances is not able to join us for the discussion, but we are happy to answer any questions you have about directed evolution, proteins, Caltech, and beyond! Useful links on directed evolution: “What is directed evolution and why did it win the chemistry Nobel prize?” from Chemistry World C&EN Online explanation of directed evolution and phage display Frances discussing the Nobel Prize on NPR’s Science Friday TEDxUSC talk by Frances: “Sex, Evolution, and Innovation” Learn more about the Arnold Group: http://fhalab.caltech.edu/ Follow Dr. Arnold on Twitter: https://twitter.com/francesarnold Our discussion panel guests today are: Anders Knight ( /u/AndersKnight ): Anders is a fourth-year bioengineering graduate student in the Arnold lab. He works on engineering heme proteins to do carbene transfer reactions not found in nature. An open-access paper on these kinds of reactions is available here. Kari Hernandez ( /u/Kari_Hernandez ): Kari is in the 4th year of her Ph.D. and received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. Her work focuses on making useful molecules by evolving heme proteins to do non-natural reactions. Jennifer Kan ( /u/JennyKan ): Jenny is a postdoc in Frances Arnold’s lab at Caltech. Her favourite thing to do is to teach proteins to make cool bonds. Twitter: @sbjennykan Tina Boville ( /u/TinaBoville ): Tina is a postdoc in the Arnold lab evolving enzymes to make chemical building blocks called noncanonical amino acids. She is very interested in green chemistry and lab sustainability and is a fellow at the Resnick Institute. Patrick Almhjell ( /u/PatrickAlmhjell ): Patrick is a second-year graduate student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics program at Caltech, working on the same project as /u/TinaBoville. Patrick loves chemistry but not the chemistry lab, so he appreciates being able to use enzymes in water instead. An open-access review on noncanonical amino acid synthesis is available here. Kevin Yang ( /u/KevinKYang ): Kevin is a 5th year PhD student in Frances Arnold’s lab. His research focuses on using machine learning to accelerate directed evolution. Read his open-access paper on using machine learning in protein engineering. Zach Wu ( /u/zvxywu ): Zach is a 4th year graduate student in Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on developing methods for engineering proteins efficiently and understanding the sequence function relationship. Our guests will begin answering questions starting at 1:00PM PST.
Hi reddit! We’re medical doctors who specialize in sexual and reproductive health. We are here to provide honest and judgement-free answers to your questions about sex, sexual health, your body, reproduction, and more. Have a question you were too embarrassed to ask your doctor or bring up in health class? Read something online but unsure if it is medically accurate? Concerned about pain, discharge, smell or safety? Ask us here! Our discussion panel guests today are: Carrie Link (u/Carrie_Link): I’m Carrie Link, MD, faculty member University of Minnesota and the medical director at Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis Minnesota. I care for people throughout the entire spectrum of life, so I address sexual health frequently, from one’s sex-assigned-at-birth, through puberty and gender expression, and to the development of sexual practices. Julie Schultz (u/juschultz): I’m a Family medicine doctor working in New York City with a passion for providing comprehensive women’s health care in addition to providing full scope primary care services for children, adolescents, and adults. Ivonne McLean (u/Ivonne_McLean): Hi reddit, I am a Family Medicine physician at the Institute for Family Health in New York, where I completed a Reproductive Health Care and Advocacy Fellowship. I work with patients of all ages, provides contraception, prenatal, and miscarriage care, and have worked in rural, urban and international settings. Gillian Morris (u/gisforill): I am a family medicine trained physician with specific interests in sexual and reproductive health working in student health at a university. Shayne Poulin (u/Shayne_Poulin): My name is Shayne Poulin, I’m a family medicine doctor who provides primary care at Planned Parenthood. In my spare time I work with the Reproductive Health Access Project to integrate reproductive health into routine health care. Danielle O’Banion (u/glassesdani): I am a practicing family physician at Fenway Health in Boston, MA, where I deliver gender- and sexuality-affirming health care to people of all ages. I have particular interest in reducing stigma around STIs and sexual dysfunction, particularly sexual pain. Laura Korin (u/Laura_Korin): Hi reddit, my name is Laura Korin, MD, MPH. I was a sexual and reproductive health educator before becoming a family and preventive medicine physician and now I integrate this into both my own patient practice and in teaching family medicine residents at Montefiore Medical Center. I am also an independent physician partner to Twentyeight Health, a new online service expanding access to health care, particularly around birth control. Our guests will be answering questions throughout the day, primarily afternoon EST.
Hi reddit! In honor of the Super Bowl yesterday, we have assembled a panel of clinicians and researchers who specialize in the study of traumatic brain injury (often referred to as concussions). TBI is of growing interest to researchers, especially with questions surrounding the effects of chronic (repeated) injuries. Recent autopsies of deceased professional football players have found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease thought to be caused by chronic TBI. TBI is also a problem in other groups as well. Military members are often at risk of TBI– between 2000 and 2012, there were over 310,000 reported TBIs in active duty military serving in Middle Eastern combat theaters. Likewise, in the general population, children and older adults experience the highest rates of TBI (according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control). If you have ever had questions about head injury, or some of the long-term outcomes of head injury, now is the time to ask! The panel we have assembled represent expertise in pediatric, sports-related, military-related, and chronic brain injury. Our panel includes: Dr. Robert Stern (u/RobertAStern) - I am a Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University (BU) School of Medicine, where I am also Director of the Clinical Core of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. My primary area of research is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the long-term effects of repetitive head impacts in athletes. I am Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research for the BU CTE Center, and I am proud to be the lead investigator of the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project, a $16 million, 7-year grant (funded by the National Institutes of Health) for a multi-center, longitudinal study to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life as well as examining potential risk factors of the disease. I have published over 160 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as two new textbooks, including Sports Neurology. As a clinical neuropsychologist, I have also developed several commonly used cognitive, including the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB). Dr. Keith Yeates (u/KeithYeates) - Keith Yeates: I am a pediatric neuropsychologist by training. I hold the Ronald and Irene Ward Chair in Pediatric Brain Injury and am Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. I head the University’s Integrated Concussion Research Program. I have been doing clinical and research work on TBI in children for about 30 years. Dr. Elisabeth Wilde (u/LisaWildePhD) - I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology and Radiology at Baylor College of Medicine. I also hold an appointment as a Health Research Scientist in the US Veterans Affairs Health System (VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System). My research interests include the use of advanced forms of neuroimaging to enhance diagnosis and prognosis, monitor recovery and neurodegeneration, evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic intervention, and elucidate aspects of neuroplasticity in traumatic brain injury. As a clinical neuropsychologist, I have an interest in brain-behavior relationships involving cognitive, neurological, and functional outcome and clinical trials in traumatic brain injury and associated comorbidities. For the last 20 years, I have worked with patients with traumatic brain injury and concussion across a spectrum of age, severity, and acuity, with particular interests in children and adolescents, athletes, and Veteran and Active Duty Service Members with concussion or traumatic brain injury. I have participated in over 40 federally-funded clinical projects in TBI, and authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications. I am currently the Director of the Neuroimaging Core for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs co-funded Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) Neuroimaging Core and has been actively involved in the International Common Data Elements (CDE) initiative and co-leads the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics Meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Working Group for TBI. Dr. Vicki Anderson (u/VickiAndersonPhD) - I am a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia. My work spans clinical practice, research and teaching, with my focus being on children with acquired brain injury and their families. In particular, I am interested in the impact of environment and family on socio-emotional recovery, and on developing parent-based psychosocial interventions to optimise child recovery. Dr. Chris Giza (u/grizwon) - I graduated from Dartmouth College, received my M.D. from West Virginia University and completed my training in Neurology at UCLA. Then I worked on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team before joining the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center in 1998. I served on the California State Athletic Commission from 2005-2015, and traveled to Afghanistan in 2011 as a civilian advisor to the Department of Defense. I founded and direct the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT program, and serve as Medical Director for the Operation MEND-Wounded Warrior Project mild TBI program. I co-authored concussion / mild TBI guidelines for the American Academy of Neurology, Centers for Disease Control and the Concussion in Sport Group (Berlin guidelines), and have been a clinical consultant for the NFL, NHL/NHLPA, NBA, MLB and Major League Soccer. I am a Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Hi, I’m Alan Smith, Data visualisation editor at the Financial Times. I’ve just finished an experimental project at the FT to both visualise and sonify the historical yield curve - a large dataset of over 100,000 data points. I’ve filmed a step-by-step walkthrough of the project. And the end product, a combined animated data visualisation and sonification of four decades of the US yield curve, is available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoQBWcNw6IU . My full article is on the FT, website: ft.com/music-from-data My work has also coincided with the the release of a new open source tool funded by Google* that allows users to make music from spreadsheets. So - is data sonification ready to be the next big thing in data presentation? Can it bring data to new audiences such as including the blind/visually impaired, podcast listeners, and those accessing the web via screenless devices with voice interfaces. Or is it a simple novelty? Ask me anything! TwoTone app funded by Google (https://app.twotone.io/) Proof: https://i.redd.it/pmafgrjd94n21.jpg
Hi Reddit! Today’s discussion is coming to us from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and is a collaboration between r/science, LabX, and the Water, Science and Technology Board! We are panel of diverse water science professionals ready to answer your questions about all things related to drinking water. Water is a ubiquitous phenomenon! But its visual abundance—from its constant flow out of taps and fountains to the immensity of our oceans—can mask the fact that 1 in 7 people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water (that’s over 1 billion people!). Furthermore, in places like New Orleans or The Netherlands, water can seem like an impending threat without the proper means to safely contain it, or productively incorporate it into our daily lives. The broader water/society interface raises questions about drinking water’s vulnerability to climate change and society’s vulnerability to ageing infrastructure for adequate and safe sourcing, treatment, and distribution. Poor drinking water quality can result from pollution from sources such as industrial waste, agricultural runoff, corrosion of lead from distribution pipes, or treatment facility contamination by man-made materials such as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Emerging innovations in grey/green infrastructure, stewardship programs to reduce man-made contaminants, desalination technology, and international efforts to increase access to safe water on a global scale might help preserve and increase Earth’s water supply and society’s value of it. All of these issues, and more, are on our collective radar and we look forward to discussing them with you. Ask us anything! Our discussion panel guests today are: Will Logan (u/Will_Logan_ICIWaRM) is currently the Director at the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), which is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Previously, Will was the Science Attaché for the US Mission to UNESCO and he served for almost a decade on the Water, Science, and Technology Board at the National Academies of Sciences. Will holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences/Hydro-geology from Waterloo University and was an Assistant Professor of Hydro-geology at George Washington University. Ellen de Guzman (u/Ellen_de_Guzman) is currently the Senior Water Officer in the Middle East and North Africa Bureau at USAID. Ellen has managed projects spanning rural reconstruction, humanitarian and disaster response, alternative livelihoods, food security, agriculture, water and sanitation. Prior to USAID, Ellen worked for the National Academies of Sciences, where she provided policy research support to develop federal policies on managing subsurface water contamination, the Clean Water Act, sustainable water and environmental management in the California Bay-Delta, and invasive species in ballast water. Jin Shin (u/Jin_Shin_WSSC) is currently the Water Quality Division Manager at WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission), where he has worked for nearly 15 years. The WSSC is one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, with a service area that spans nearly 1,000 square miles in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Jin holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from John Hopkins University, where he was also a lecturer and visiting professor for 6 years. Teddi Ann Galligan (u/Teddi_Ann_Galligan) is a community science educator. She draws from firsthand experience living in conditions where safe drinking water was a daily issue, as well as substantial laboratory experience, which includes wastewater analysis for a sustainable sanitation digestion technology, water quality analysis, and clinical laboratory work in low-resource settings. Currently Director of Covalence Science Education, Ms. Galligan has designed and delivered hands-on programs in a wide variety of environments, ranging from classrooms in the United States to open-air community science workshops in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Teddi Ann was an educator and consultant at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences for more than a decade, helping visitors use science to address real world community resilience issues associated with climate change. Our guests will be answering questions starting at 8:30 PM EST.
Hello Reddit! We are a group of scientists and engineers in academia and industry working on batteries and energy storage. Batteries are ubiquitous in our daily lives and we all have complained about them when using our favorite portable electronic devices. They are also critical in enabling the next generation of electric vehicles, such as electric cars and electric airplanes, and large-scale stationary energy storage. Let’s discuss anything regarding batteries and other energy storage technologies! Our guests today are: Kristin Persson (u/KPatBerkeley): I am an Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley, and I direct the Materials Project which is a multi-institution, multi-national effort to compute the properties of all inorganic materials and provide the data and associated analysis algorithms to the world. The Persson group uses their expertise in materials informatics and the high-throughput infrastructure of the Materials Project to design novel photocatalysts, multi-valent battery electrode materials, Li-ion battery electrode materials and electrolytes for beyond-Li energy storage solutions. Twitter: @KPatBerkeley Shirley Meng (u/ShirleyMeng): I received my Ph.D. in Advance Materials for Micro & Nano Systems from the Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2005, after which I worked as a postdoc research fellow and became a research scientist at MIT. I currently hold the Zable Chair Professor in Energy Technologies and professor in NanoEngineering at University of California San Diego (UCSD), and am the principal investigator of the Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (LESC) research group. The LESC research focuses on the direct integration of experimental techniques with first principles computation modeling for developing new materials and architectures for electrochemical energy storage. I am the founding Director of Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC), consisting faculty members from interdisciplinary fields, who all focus on making breakthroughs in distributed energy generation, storage and the accompanying integration-management systems. I have received several prestigious awards, including International Battery Association Research Award (2019), Blavatnik National Awards Finalist (2018), American Chemical Society ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award (2018), International Coalition for Energy Storage and Innovation (ICESI) Inaugural Young Career Award (2018), IUMRS-Singapore Young Scientist Research Award (2017), C.W. Tobias Young Investigator Award of the Electrochemical Society (2016), BASF Volkswagen Electrochemistry Science Award (2015) and NSF CAREER Award (2011). I’ve published more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters and eight patents, and am the elected Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. Ray Smith (u/thatkindofcell): I did a PhD in battery modeling at MIT focusing on active materials that exhibit phase changes during the charging and discharging process. Now, I do battery modeling research and development work at a San Francisco Bay Area company with particular focus on cell design, charging, and degradation processes. Matt Lacey (u/MattLacey): I graduated from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, with a Master of Chemistry degree in 2008 and completed my PhD at the same university in 2012 under the supervision of Prof John R. Owen. I joined the Ångström Advanced Battery Centre in 2012 as a postdoc working on lithium-sulfur batteries, and in 2016 became a researcher in the same group. Since 2018 I am also a thematic researcher with the Swedish Electromobility Centre. My research interests centre on the electrochemistry of lithium batteries, particularly on ageing mechanisms. Twitter: @mjlacey Venkat Viswanathan (u/venkvis): I am faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, working on batteries for electrifying cars, trucks and planes. Find out more – Twitter: @venkvis; website: http://andrew.cmu.edu/~venkatv Dan Steingart (u/steingart): I am the Stanley Thompson Associate Professor of Chemical Metallurgy in the Departments of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Columbia University, and the co-director of the Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center. My group studies the systematic behavior of electrochemical cells. You may be familiar with my study on the (on-linear) bouncing behavior of AA cells. Twitter: @steingart; websites: https://dansteingart.com/, https://ceec.engineering.columbia.edu/ Thank you so much for joining us! We will be around throughout the day, though mostly in the afternoon EST, to discuss energy storage with you!
Hi reddit! We’ve known since the 1800’s that pathogenic microbes are the cause of contagious diseases that have plagued humankind. However, it has only been over the last two decades that we have gained an appreciation that the “normal” microbes that live on and around us dramatically impact many chronic and non-contagious diseases that are now the leading causes of death in the world. This is most obvious in the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, where the community of microbes that lives within our guts can affect the likelihood of developing Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and gastrointestinal cancers. These gut microbes also contribute to metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. In this discussion, a panel of scientists and infectious disease doctors representing the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation (VI4) will answer questions regarding how the microbes in your gut can impact your health and how this information is being used to design potential treatments for a variety of diseases. Mariana Byndloss, DVM, PhD (u/Mariana_Byndloss): I have extensive experience studying the interactions between the host and intestinal microbiota during microbiota imbalance (dysbiosis). I’m particularly interested in how inflammation-mediated changes in gut epithelial metabolism lead to gut dysbiosis and increased risk of non-communicable diseases (namely IBD, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer). Jim Cassat, MD, PhD (u/Jim_Cassat): I am a pediatric infectious diseases physician. My research program focuses on the following: Staph aureus pathogenesis, bone infection (osteomyelitis), osteo-immune crosstalk, and how inflammatory bowel disease impacts bone health. Jane Ferguson, PhD (u/Jane_Ferguson): I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. I’m particularly interested in how environment and genetics combine to determine risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. My group studies how the microbiome interacts with diet, genetic background, and other factors to influence cardiometabolic disease. Maria Hadjifrangiskou, PhD (u/M_Hadjifrangiskou): I am fascinated by how bacteria understand their environment and respond to it and to each other. My lab works to understand mechanisms used by bacteria to sample the environment and use the info to subvert insults (like antibiotics) and persist in the host. The bacteria we study are uropathogenic E. coli, the primary cause of urinary tract infections worldwide. We have identified bacterial information systems that mediate intrinsic antibiotic resistance in this microbe, as well as mechanisms that lead to division of labor in the bacterial community in the gut, the vaginal space and the bladder. In my spare time, I spend time with my husband and 3 little girls, run, play MTG, as well as other nerdy strategy games. Follow me @BacterialTalk You can follow our work and the work of all the researchers at VI4 on twitter: @VI4Research We’ll be around to answer your questions between 1-4 pm EST. Thanks for joining us in this discussion today!
Hello r/dataisbeautiful! We are Steven Rich, Aaron Williams and Andrew Ba Tran of The Washington Post’s data and design team! We’ve compiled a comprehensive database on the sale of pain pills which fueled the opioid epidemic. The Post team sifted through almost 380 million transactions from 2006 through 2012 in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s database and made the data available at state and county levels to help the public understand the national crisisWe’re here to talk about the methodology, tracking, how they’ve seen people use their data, and how you can too! Want to take a peek at the data? Here’s how to do it. “The Opioid Files” is an investigative effort to analyze an epidemic that’s claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people since 1996. All of our past coverage can be found here. We start at 1 p.m. Looking forward to answering your questions, and special thanks to the mods for inviting us here!
Hello, Reddit! We are a team of conservationists and scientists here to discuss artisanal and small-scale mining, its surprising importance to some of our most beloved possessions, and its effects on biodiversity. Let’s discuss! Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)—the mining of metals and minerals by hand, often using tools as simple as a hammer and a pick—-is an enormous part of our industrial supply chain. In fact, ASM is the main source of income for over 40 million people world wide, and is responsible for between 15–20% of all the world’s mineral and metal production. ASM produces huge percentages of the world’s gold, tin, and cobalt supplies, which, as you may know, are all absolutely crucial ingredients to one of our most important possessions- our smart phones. As things stand, there are some serious drawbacks to artisanal and small scale mining. Notably, ASM requires a lot of water to clean the mined materials before they’re ready for sale, and in some cases, numerous poisonous solvents must be used as well. What results is contaminated water, decreased biodiversity, and birth defects—and these are just some of the problems. For these reasons, we’ve been extremely interested lately in potential technological, logistical, and political solutions that could improve the lives of ASM workers and protect their environments. We’re here today with some ideas of our own, but certainly not all the answers. We hope that we can have a lively discussion about artisanal mining, really dig into the issues surrounding it, and maybe even unearth some possible solutions. Today’s discussion is in collaboration with Conservation X Labs, a D.C. based conservation non-profit that acts as an incubator to help innovators and organizations bring great conservation ideas to life and get them out into the world where they can make a difference for the people who need them. Conservation X Labs is putting up $750,000 dollars in prize money in hopes of finding solutions to improve lives of ASM workers and protect their environments. Our discussion-panel guests today are: Alex Dehgan (u/Alex_Dehgan): I am CEO and co-founder of Conservation X Labs. I recently served as the Chief Scientist at USAID, with rank of Assistant Administrator, and co-founded the Global Development Lab. I am also the Chanler Innovator at Duke University and served as Duke’s inaugural David Rubenstein Fellow. Prior to USAID, I worked in multiple positions within the Office of the Secretary, and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, at the Dept. of State, where I used science and conservation as a diplomatic tool for engagement with countries in the Islamic world, including Iran. I also hold a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings, and a B.S. from Duke University, and am the author of The Snow Leopard Project and Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation. Luis E. Fernandez (u/Luis_E_Fernandez): I am the Executive Director of the Amazon Scientific Innovation Center (CINCIA) and an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Biology at Wake Forest University. I am a tropical ecologist, as well as an expert in the dynamics and impact of environmental mercury in areas where artisanal mining is common. I have held positions at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Agency. Nicole M. Smith (u/Nicole_M_Smith): I am a cultural anthropologist with research interests in artisanal and small-scale mining; sustainability and social responsibility, as well as engineering education. I am an Assistant Professor in the Mining Engineering Department at the the Colorado School of Mines. I am currently the PI for a U.S. Department of State-funded project addressing mercury use among Peruvian artisanal and small-scale gold miners, as well as the Co-PI on a National Science Foundation-funded project that applies an interdisciplinary, community-centered approach to understanding ASM systems in Colombia and Peru. I am also a research fellow at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland and a scholarly affiliate with the Gemstone and Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub. James McQuilken (u/James_McQuilken): I am a Program Officer in Pact’s Mines to Markets program, and the Project Manager and Technical Lead on DELVE, a global data initiative between the World Bank and Pact to develop an online platform on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Based in Kigali, Rwanda, I am also the ASM specialist on Sustainable Development of Mining in Rwanda (SDMR). Based on over a year of fieldwork in Ghana, my PhD thesis maps small-scale mining networks of gold and diamond production and develops policy recommendations to improve mineral certification and formalization initiatives in the region. We’ll be around ~1pm EST to answer your questions and discuss artisanal and small-scale mining with you!