Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́: Why Would Anybody Write an Ode to Palm Trees?

Dr. Adélékè Adéèkó, Humanities Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University, discusses his book Arts of Being Yorùbá. Dr. Adéèkó delves into the cultural significance of Yorùbá proverbs, praise poetry, and fiction. He explains how these forms of expression define Yorùbá identity and addresses their use in modern forms like pictorial magazines. The conversation also touches on orature, a term coined to describe oral literature, and its impact on written texts. Dr. Adéèkó reveals his interest in 20th-century literary theory and how he integrates Derrida’s deconstruction into his work.

Tanya Berger·Wolf: Why You Should Go to See Zebras

Tanya Berger·Wolf directs The Ohio State University’s Translational Data Analytics Institute and is a professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. She discusses translational data analytics, interdisciplinary research, and the intersection of computer science with ecology and biology. Berger Wolf describes the importance of data analytics in addressing societal challenges, the role of computational ecology in understanding animal behavior and conservation, and the development of imageomics as a new field of science.

David Brakke Explains How the Gnostics Influenced “The Matrix”

David Brakke, Professor and Joe R. Engle Chair in the History of Christianity in the Department of History, studies and teaches the history and literature of ancient Christianity from its origins through the fifth century, with special interest in asceticism monasticism, Gnosticism, biblical interpretation, and Egyptian Christianity. He discusses why the Gnostics and their views were considered so dangerous and what the Gospel of Judas reveals about these beliefs.

How To Be Curious, With Doug Alsdorf

Doug Alsdorf, Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, researches satellite hydrology, large tropical wetlands, and geophysics. He describes himself as driven by curiosity, to ask “why is that there?” or “what is that over there?” Join him as he discusses the value of scientific curiosity and more with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Siri, Which OSU Researcher Is On This Week’s Voice of Excellence? “It’s Michael White”

Michael White, Professor of Linguistics, researches how to enable computers to usefully converse with people in natural language. He’s seen the ability of predictive text become so good that it’s created concerns about the ethical uses of it. He discusses this and more with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence

Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Mental and Physical Health, Says Ruchika Prakash

Ruchika Prakash, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Brain Imaging, researches neuroplasticity in the context of healthy aging, and neurological disorders, specifically, multiple sclerosis. Her lab’s findings include ways that meditation can improve your behavioral and neural functioning.

What Can Minions Reveal About Child Language Acquisition? John Grinstead Explains

John Grinstead, Professor and Interim Chair in Spanish and Portuguese, researches developmental linguistics, developmental semantics and pragmatics, and children’s comprehension of syntax. Ten years ago, he began using stop-motion movies in his experiments on language development, and the Despicable Me “minions” were a well-known and experimentally useful choice. For more about how minions reveal the workings of language acquisition, listen to his discussion with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

A Passage Through India: How Scott Levi’s Study Abroad Trip Led to a Career Studying Central Asia

Scott Levi, Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Interim Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, specializes in the social and economic history of Central Asia. His most recent book is The Bukharan Crisis: A Connected History of 18th-Century Central Asia, which he describes as “the first time I’ve ever written a book by accident.”

Sedentary Versus Pastoralist Logic With Mark Moritz

Mark Moritz, Professor and Graduate Studies Chair in Anthropology, studies the transformation of African pastoral systems, specifically examining how pastoralists adapt to changing ecological, political, and institutional conditions. He shares some of the results of his research with pastoralists in the far north region of Cameroon with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

How Did Humans Evolve? Scott McGraw Explores This and More

Scott McGraw, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, is a researcher, biological anthropologist, evolutionary anatomist, and primate behavior analyst. He observes animals in the wild to see how their physical movements, for example, result from bone structures. Biological anthropologists then use this information to understand how extinct animals might have moved, such as our human ancestors.

Robert Holub Explains Nietzsche’s Jewish Problem

Robert Holub, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor and Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, studies 19th and 20th century intellectual, cultural, and literary history, especially Friedrich Nietzsche, Heinrich Heine, German realism, and literary and aesthetic theory. He discusses the historical setting of Nietzsche and how this impacts the ways we understand his writing.

Making the Inner Ear Cool: Eric Bielefeld

Eric Bielefeld, Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, studies auditory physiology, especially inner ear pathology. His most recent work involves modeling how exposure to HIV medications during pregnancy influences the development of auditory systems and the impact of cooling the inner ear on chemotherapy efficacy.

How a Highly Advanced Microscope is Like a Record Player, Jay Gupta

Jay Gupta, Professor of Physics, explores the properties of novel materials at the atomic scale to address problems in energy conversion and advanced computing. Via scanning tunneling microscopy, his group examine items that are a billionth of a meter. For more of his discussion of nanomaterials, semiconductors and how to spell your name in atoms, listen to this week’s Voices of Excellence.

“I Fell in Love with Mountain Glaciers as a Mountaineer,” Bryan Mark

Bryan Mark, Professor of Geography, studies climate-glacier-hydrologic dynamics over different time scales and serves as State Climatologist of Ohio. He joins David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Meg Daly On Why Animals Choose Their Habitat

Meg Daly, Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, studies animal systematics and ecology, serving as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. She’s particularly interested in studying how and why marine animals live where they do, most recently looking at sea anemones that live in temperate marine intertidal ecosystems.

Ludmila Isurin On the Production of Collective Memory Versus History

Ludmila Isurin, Professor in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, is an interdisciplinary scholar with multiple affiliations within Ohio State. Her latest book is Collective Remembering: Memory in the World and in the Mind, which she discusses with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Mari Noda: Learning a New Language is Performing as a Believable, Intelligent Person in a Culture

Mari Noda, Professor in Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, is a specialist in East Asian language pedagogy and is primarily interested in curriculum, material development, and assessment. She seeks to help students not only understand a language, but to use that language as a mechanism to participate in the culture.

Different Languages Follow Similar Evolutions, Says Brian Joseph

Brian Joseph, Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics and the Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Languages and Linguistics, studies historical linguistics, the history of the Greek language, language contact, Greek, Albanian, and Balkan linguistics, and Sanskrit. He’s especially interested in the way that the similar experiences that cultures have with language influence how their language develops.

Think You Know the Classical World? Think Again, Says Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

Carolina Lopez-Ruiz, Professor of Classics, studies ancient Greek literature and classical mythology, and Greek and Near Eastern interaction and colonization. She strives to show that this period was more than just traditional Greek influences, with many cultures interacting and influencing each other.

Prof. Zhengyu Liu on Using the Past to Predict the Future of Climate Dynamics

Zhengyu Liu is the Max Thomas Professor of Climate Dynamics in the Department of Geography. His areas of expertise include climate change, Earth systems modeling, and climate dynamics. He discusses how scientists can have confidence in their predictions about the future of climate on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

The Tension Between the Practical and the Impractical: Reitter Describes the Crisis in Humanities

Paul Reitter, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, studies German-Jewish culture, the history of higher education, modernism, and critical theory, among other areas. His most recent book, co-authored with Chad Wellmon, is Permanent Crisis: The Humanities in a Disenchanted Age, which examines the long history of the Humanities being described in terms of crisis.

What Is It to Know Something, and Do Dogs Have Knowledge? Declan Smithies knows

Declan Smithies, Professor and Director of Philosophy Graduate Studies, researches what it means to know something and to have consciousness. His book, The Epistemic Role of Consciousness, argues that consciousness gives humans knowledge of the external world and that without consciousness, we wouldn’t know anything. Since a dog can know whether there’s food in its bowl by perceiving its bowl, Smithies says, “it’s very plausible that the conscious experience of seeing or smelling the food in the bowl can give dogs knowledge.”

From Florida to the Antarctic: W. Berry Lyons’ Scientific Journey

W. Berry Lyons, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Ohio State School of Earth Sciences, was born and raised in the sunny state of Florida, but much of his career has been focused on the decidedly colder Antarctic, where he’s researched the impact of climate and climate change on the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the continent’s largest ice-free area. 

Who Were the First Americans? Mark Hubbe Has Some Suggestions

Professor of Anthropology Mark Hubbe studies modern human dispersion with a special emphasis on the settlement of South America. He joins host David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence to discuss how the Americas were inhabited, what makes archeological evidence for human settlements controversial, and what methods are used to explore these questions.

What Makes Us Sick? Daniel Wozniak Looks at the Causes

Daniel Wozniak, Professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity and Microbiology, studies bacterial pathogenesis and gene regulation. He joins David Staley to discuss his research that seeks to determine how bacteria live in human hosts and what kinds of treatment can stop their growth.

An Economist and a Geographer Meet in a Forest…: Research by Darla Munroe

Professor Darla Munroe, Chair of the Department of Geography, studies land economics and human geography, with a focus on human environment interactions at a landscape level. She joins David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence to discuss her work on the forests of southeast Ohio and the methodological distinctions between economists and geographers, among other topics.

The Quirks of Quarks and Other Aspects of Quantum Mechanics with Yuri Kovchegov

Yuri Kovchegov, Professor of Physics at The Ohio State University, studies quantum chromodynamics at high energy and nuclear theory, and was recently named to the 2020 class of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He breaks down some of the intricacies of quantum mechanics with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Professor Susan Van Pelt Petry on turning COVID-19 into 19ChoreOVIDs

When Dance Professor Susan Van Pelt Petry began working from home due to the pandemic, her interest in staying hopeful as an artist led her to begin creating 19 choreographed videos, aka 19ChoreOVIDs, a play on COVID-19. She describes these videos and more of her work with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.