Indigenous researchers call for ethical genomics projects

Navajo geneticist Krystal Tsosie thought she would target her career toward cancer biology. She studied nano- and microparticle research but soon faced a dilemma in her research trajectory. “There are very few Native Americans in STEM fields and in research in general,” said Tsosie, a bioethicist with the Native BioData Consortium. “I felt like if I were to stay in cancer biology, that if one of my inventions or innovations were ever going to go from bench-to-bedside, chances are, unfortunately

Environmental education in Chicago has room to improve, teachers say

Chicago-area educators see increased flooding, intense cold and beach erosion all around their city. They see these issues as paramount to their climate change teaching and better environmental learning. Ayesha Qazi, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaches Advanced Placement environmental science and honors biology at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago. She and her students study climate change from a multitude of angles, including the science, poli

Chicago area erupts into cheers after news breaks for Biden/Harris

By Caroline Catherman, Natalie Eilbert, Carlyn Kranking, Emily Little, Grace Rodgers, and Marisa Sloan Medill Reports Following days of uncertainty, former Vice President Joseph Biden was named the projected winner of the presidency on Nov. 7. In the hours following the announcement of Biden’s win, Chicagoans swarmed the streets in celebration. From the Loop to Evanston, honks, cheers and clever signage turned business as usual into a party. Caroline Catherman, Natalie Eilbert, Carlyn Kran

George Washington High School rallies against their new toxic neighbors

When yet one more industrial facility planned to move operations to the Southeast Side, they likely didn’t think their main opponents would be high schoolers. But the students of George Washington High School weren’t going to back down. After Lincoln Park residents fought for its removal, General Iron, a scrap metal recycling facility responsible for toxic dust and air pollution, plans to move to the Southeast Side of Chicago in early 2021. The new location is only two blocks away from George W

Ready for 100 Coordinator calls for equitable energy transition in Chicago

Clean energy is no small feat for a city like Chicago. It’s not enough to move homes and businesses to renewable power; there must be an equitable transition that addresses systemic discrimination in marginalized communities all over the city. Kyra Woods is the Ready for 100 Coordinator for the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. She works to develop partnerships across the city of Chicago to ensure a just and equitable energy transition. In 2017, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a

Biologist Phillip Willink keeps tabs on Illinois endangered species

Conservation policy doesn’t just happen overnight. Fish biologist Phillip Willink is proof of that. His months of field research, reports and discussions eventually lead to some form of conservation action. Willink, who formerly worked in the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium, has found a way to bridge that gap between research and action. Today, Willink is still involved in research but works with policymakers as well. Now with the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board, he compiles a

Resilient Hockettes bounce back during COVID-19

Synchronized skating is all about adjustments. It’s making tiny changes in response to the rhythm of other skaters so that all the choreography works together. This year, teams are making these adjustments on a much larger scale — a pandemic scale. When COVID-19 closed ice rinks in March, the Hockettes junior team, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, didn’t let this halt plans to move forward into the skating season. The coaches and skaters used every possible opportunity to practice together, whethe

Artists and scientists combine forces at Third Coast Disrupted

Seven artists and seven scientists met in 2019 to discuss how to make Chicago aware of climate change in its own backyard. The result was a series of art pieces reflecting the science and the devastation of this crisis. Third Coast Disrupted, an art exhibit at Columbia College, is a science-inspired installation featuring sculptures, collages, paintings and other visual mediums. Sponsored by Terracom, Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University, the exhibit is the culmination of the year-lon