Globalizing American Psyche, Reburying Copernicus
This week: We have a new discussion going on in our World Science Forum. Our guest is Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. He contends that Americans are “homogenizing the way the world goes mad.” Come join the conversation with Watters after you hear our interview with him in this podcast. Also in today’s show, polio reemerges in Russia and Tajikistan, a mystery about a 16th century astronomer’s earthly remains, and a marine biologist’s musical soundtrack to a science cruise.
Polio Reappears in Russia: The battle to eradicate polio is suffering some setbacks, including new cases in Russia and Tajikistan. The recent reemergence of the disease is making some experts rethink the war on polio.
Report by: The World’s Katy Clark
The BBC’s polio resource page.
Responding to Mental Illness: In New York’s West African immigrant communities, friends and families take it upon themselves to deal with an individual who shows signs of mental illness. Rather than encouraging the patient to see a doctor or therapist, the community sometimes pools its money to buy plane fare and pressures the person to return to Africa. Some say this is a compassionate response, but others say it is driven by shame and does not serve the best interest of the sick individual.
Report by: Laura Starecheski
Exporting Concepts of Mental Illness: Author Ethan Watters argues that America has exported its ideas of mental health, and mental illness, sometimes to the detriment of other countries. In his book Crazy Like Us, he contends that mental disorders have a strong cultural component that is often ignored by Western psychiatrists. He’s the guest in our World Science Forum.
Guest: Ethan Watters
Join the conversation with Ethan Watters in The World Science Forum.
Read an essay by Watters in the New York Times Magazine.
Where Copernicus Rests: Sixteenth-century Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus figured out that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way round. Copernicus died in 1543, but the location of his earthly remains remained a mystery — until now. Find out where his grave is located.
Guest: Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
Watch the documentary “Copernicus Tomb Mystery.”
Music in Science: Miriam Goldstein is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Goldstein is trying to understand how plastic in our oceans affects the health of marine microrganisms. Last summer she led a three-week expedition on an oceanographic research vessel, sampling plastic and animals from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She’s still working through the samples.
Song: “I’m on a Boat,” by The Lonely Island
Miriam Goldstein’s website.
More about the expedition to the Garbage Patch.
Watch the music video of I’m on a Boat.