Big Picture Science – This Land is Island

by Gary Niederhoff on June 9, 2013

There are many kinds of islands. There’s your iconic sandy speck of land topped with a palm tree, but there’s also our home planet – an island in the vast seas of space. You might think of yourself as a biological island … until you tally the number of microbes living outside – and inside – your body.

We go island hopping, and consider the Scottish definition of an island – one man, one sheep – as well as the swelling threat of high water to island nations. Also, how species populate islands … and tricks for communicating with extraterrestrial islanders hanging out elsewhere in the cosmos.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Edward Chamberlin on what defines an island
Part 2: Bill McKibben on islands amidst climate change
Part 3: Justin Sonnenburg on our microbiome
Part 4: Guy Consolmagno and Margaret Race explain how humans might react to the real ET

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