Biology professor hits the airwaves to take on science misconceptions

November 15, 2018


A Bellarmine University biology professor has taken to the airwaves to talk about science's impact on our daily lives.
In August, Dr. David Robinson - a self-described lifelong radio addict - launched “Bench Talk: The Week in Science” on Forward Radio, a low power Louisville radio station broadcasting as WFMP 106.5-FM.
Robinson, who founded the weekly show, has rounded out his team with three additional contributors:
  • Dr. Ashley Best, a microbiologist
  • Dr. Trent Garrison, an assistant professor of geology at Northern Kentucky University. 
  • Scott Miller, who teaches physics, astronomy and mathematics at Maysville Community and Technical College
Each contributor records their own magazine-like stories, and Robinson — working on weekends and academic breaks — assembles them into episodes to broadcast.
"Bench Talk: The Week in Science" airs weekly on Forward Radio 106.5-FM in Louisville. Can't catch it live? Hear episodes online.   

“I think the general public has three misconceptions about science that we are trying to dispel,” said Robinson. “First, people think that science is too difficult to understand. Second, they think that science is dull and uninteresting. Third, they think science is not important to their daily lives.”
This week’s episode is a recap of last weekend’s Kentucky Academy of Science conference. Topics include the sinkhole that swallowed several cars at Kentucky’s Corvette Museum in 2014, the heat island effect, zoology, botany, bush honeysuckle and more. Robinson notes that some of his Bellarmine students presented at the conference and won awards.
“We peruse the latest research publications for interesting and relevant peer-reviewed articles in any scientific discipline, be it natural science or social science,” said Robinson. “We also discuss science policy, STEM education and the larger issues or controversies associated with science. We try to describe it to a general audience in a way that is understandable, interesting and accurate.”
Robinson says preparing for the show by reading research has also helped him in an unexpected way -- he is better-prepared to answer some of the more off-the-wall science questions that his students ask him in class.
“Scientists study the craziest things,” he said. “And I always thought that laypeople would be interested if we could just break through their prejudices about science. When I heard that Forward Radio was looking for new broadcasters, I recruited Ashley Best and we submitted our proposal for this science show. Luckily, they took a chance on us.”
Episodes of ‘Bench Talk: The Week in Science’ air three times every week on 106.5 FM in Louisville:
  • Monday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.
The station’s signal is strongest near downtown and starts to fade as you go beyond the Watterson Expressway or into Indiana, so you can also listen live online at Episodes are also available as podcasts.


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