Shawn Fitzmaurice

Host and Producer of SciWorks Radio

Shawn Fitzmaurice works at SciWorks with a primary role as the Planetarium Technician. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Guilford College  and is an official GIT (Geologist in Training).

Shawn is originally from Massachusetts where he worked at the Museum of Science in Boston. After a twenty-two year career, he and his family relocated to North Carolina for a change in scenery and to further his education.

Shawn’s experience with radio dates back to 2006. Since then he has been hosting a specialized college radio show focusing on Independent music from Ireland. The show continues to operate out of WQFS, Guilford College radio in Greensboro.

SciWorks Radio is presented by SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem. The goal of this program is to encourage and extend scientific understanding and literacy within the community.

Pages

SciWorks Radio
10:01 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Be A Citizen Scientist...

Credit Jackie Karsten, National Geographic

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Many of us don’t have a Masters in chemistry or a doctorate in physics. We don’t even have an archeological dig on our property, though my garage floor comes close. If you’re listening to this program, you probably do have an interest in science. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
5:27 pm
Fri August 21, 2015

Online Marketing Tool May Improve Patient Centered Care

Screenshot of a treatment decision choice. Two different treatments are shown on the left and right, and each is described in terms of the type of treatment, chance of success, level of response, durability, and risk. The solid line around the treatment on the left indicates that the patient chosen it as the preferred option. Tasks like this are used within the app to help doctors understand the patient’s goals, values, and priorities when making treatment decisions.
Credit The Iconfactory

    

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

We’ve all been to see the doctor. Frequently, there is a short window of time available for the doctor to see and diagnose you, often based upon what you tell them at that time. This makes it difficult at best to provide a good patient-centered care model. That can be frustrating to both you and your doctor.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
11:59 am
Fri August 14, 2015

Salem College Professor Helping to Save Local Bats

Little Brown Bat with White Nose Syndrome (Greeley Mine, cropped)" by Marvin Moriarty/USFWS - This image originates from the National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

From superheroes to vampires, bats have become icons in our popular culture. But look to the sky at twilight and you’ll see the real deal; skilled and nimble predators flying jagged paths, hunting for insects with their echolocating sonar.

SciWorks Radio
1:21 pm
Fri August 7, 2015

A Virus That Kills Cancer

The wild poliovirus as seen through a microscope. The virus invades the nervous system, causing paralysis in one out of every 200 children.
Credit polioeradication.org

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

The holy grail of health care, arguably, is a cure for cancer. For decades we’ve relied on treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which don’t always work and can have some horrible side-effects. After all, chemotherapy was inspired by mustard gas around the time of World War I. But cancer cells are part of our own bodies so they are always with us, and our immune system recognizes them and kills them. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
2:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

The Barrier Islands: Islands in Motion

Aerial view of the Outer Banks (looking North), with ocean on the right and sound on the left.
Credit NOAA.gov

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

It’s summertime and maybe you’re planning to head for the coast. Or maybe you’ve already been. After all, North Carolina is famous for its beautiful set of coastal barrier islands. But did you know that those islands are mobile? Around 14 thousand years ago, as the last ice age was coming to a close, sea level began to rise as water was released from the glaciers. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:56 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

New Discoveries From NASA’s New Horizons Mission to Pluto

Credit NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

On July 14th, NASA’s New Horizons space probe raced past the dwarf planet Pluto at 44 thousand miles per hour. Loaded with an array of science instruments, the sturdy little probe gathered data which will be sent to us over the next 16 months. This episode was recorded before NASA’s recent press conference, but keep an eye on http://sciworks.org/pluto for up-to-date mission information. You’ll also find a special web-only episode about the mission, and details specifically for this episode. What have we learned from New Horizons since the encounter?

Read more
SciWorks Radio
1:40 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

How We Got To Pluto

Spacecraft and Instruments
Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Launched in 2006, NASA’s New Horizons space probe made its historic fly-by of the dwarf planet Pluto on July 14th. For regularly updated information about Pluto and its moons, check out http://scioworks.org/pluto. There you'll find a companion blog to this recording with links and details. For an update about the science coming in from New Horizons, check out SciWorks Radio on July 26th, to be archived at wfdd.org. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
2:27 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

Urgent Choices

SciWorks Note: On Tuesday, July 14th, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft successfully completed its historic Pluto flyby. Tune in to SciWorks Radio next Sunday to find out what we’ve learned so far about the dwarf planet. Until then go to http://sciworks.org/pluto for up to date mission information.

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

How is your brain wired to process decisions? You can make important decisions, like whether to listen to SciWorks Radio, which require time to think. But whether or not you realize it, you make split-second decisions more than a hundred thousand times every day. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
3:31 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Camera Traps & Killer Housecats

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Domestic house cats have an important role in our hearts and in their outdoor habitats. In general, one problem with habitat management is an incomplete picture of what animal species are present. One way to discover elusive species is through camera trapping.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
9:00 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Are We Alone, In The Universe?

Credit galleryhip.com

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Are we alone in the universe? Last week I spoke with Dr. Rachel Smith, Director of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and Assistant Professor in the Deptartment of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University, about the formation of solar systems. This week we’ll learn what it takes for life to evolve in one.

All life that we know of is water-based and that is why the scientific search for life is looking for water. And it has to be liquid water.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
9:50 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Meteorites and Distant Forming Solar Systems

Artist’s conception of the view towards the young star Beta Pictoris from the outer edge of its disk.
Credit NASA - nasa.gov

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

One benefit of living in a galaxy, as we do, is that there are stars in our sky at different stages of their lives. The frustrating thing is that we can’t get up close for a visit, but we have gotten good at exploring them from here.

We can understand the formation of planetary systems that also tell us about our own solar system.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
8:43 am
Sun June 21, 2015

Patient Care During A Terminal Pregancy

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Learning of a pregnancy is usually a joyful experience, but learning of a “lethal fetal diagnosis,” a baby with no chance of survival, can be devastating. For various reasons, some parents make the usually-painful choice of keeping the pregnancy. To help improve patients’ experience, Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor and Department Chair of Family and Community Nursing at the UNCG School of Nursing, conducted a psychiatric phenomenological study of 16 sets of these parents. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:36 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

The Carolina Butcher...

Credit Jorge Gonzalez 2015

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Crocodiles and their ancestors were around a hundred million years before the dinosaurs. One of the largest of the early crocodile family was discovered right here in North Carolina.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:29 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Tech Evolution

Credit "Roue primitive" by John O'Neill, (User:Jjron) - (wikimedia). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

For consideration on SciWorks Radio, submit your research or specialty to sciworks.org/radio.

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

The pace at which technology is advancing is incredible, and is increasing exponentially. From the stone tool to the Apple Watch, new conveniences compound with one another, integrate and as a whole work to bring about newer technology. Like the evolutionary process, this can involve punctuated equilibrium. For example the advent of the microprocessor rapidly accelerated the evolution of computing. But there have been other giant technological leaps, and to learn more about them I spoke with Joe Magno, Executive Director of the North Carolina Center of Innovation Network (NC COIN).

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:46 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Fracking & The Forces That Create Petroleum

Well heads hooked up in preparation for a hydraulic fracturing operation at a drill pad in the Fayetteville Shale gas play of Arkansas.
Credit Bill Cunningham, USGS

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of extracting petroleum trapped in solid rock layers that were previously inaccessible. But how do they do it and how is it different from standard drilling? The politics and environmental planning involved in fracking are beyond the scope of this show, but we will explore what fracking is, and how the petroleum resources got there in the first place.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
12:52 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Nepal Earthquakes and Mountain Building in North Carolina

Collision of Indian plate with Tibetan plate and formation of Himalaya (modified after USGS, 1999)

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

On April 15th and May 12th 2015, Nepal was hit with two large earthquakes, killing and injuring thousands. The Himalayas are in this region, and include Mt. Everest, the highest point on Earth. They are still growing due to the forces of plate tectonics. At the same time, due to gravity and erosion, they are trying to reach equilibrium, ultimately becoming gently rolling hills like the North Carolina Piedmont. To learn more

Read more
SciWorks Radio
2:22 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

New NASA Space Engine Defies Physics

Credit nasaspaceflight.com

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

The internet buzzed recently with news that NASA is developing a Star Trek-like warp drive engine. That sounded neat, so I checked it out. It turns out we are not ready to fold space, but we may be a hair closer -- by developing new kinds of propulsion systems. To learn more, 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
10:02 am
Fri May 8, 2015

The Virus That Kills Cancer

The wild poliovirus as seen through a microscope. The virus invades the nervous system, causing paralysis in one out of every 200 children.
Credit polioeradication.org

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

The holy grail of health care, arguably, is a cure for cancer. For decades we’ve relied on treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which don’t always work and can have some horrible side-effects. After all, chemotherapy was inspired by mustard gas around the time of World War I. But cancer cells are part of our own bodies so they are always with us, and our immune system recognizes them and kills them. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
12:28 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Early Childhood Brain Development

    

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:07 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

The Carolina Butcher

Credit Jorge Gonzalez 2015

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Crocodiles and their ancestors were around a hundred million years before the dinosaurs. One of the largest of the early crocodile family was discovered right here in North Carolina.

Read more
SciWorksRadio
5:08 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

What Is Evolution?

Credit Image from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates (www.sinauer.com) and WH Freeman (www.whfreeman.com).

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

The theory of evolution describes the process by which species change over many generations. Basically, an organism is born with a mutation that gives it an advantage for survival. The trait gets passed down until the descendants out-compete or diverge from the original species. We don’t usually get to witness this gradual change with our own eyes. But there are some ways we can see evolution in action.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
3:12 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Are We Alone In The Universe?

Credit galleryhip.com

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Are we alone in the universe? Last week I spoke with Dr. Rachel Smith, Director of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and Assistant Professor in the Deptartment of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University, about the formation of solar systems. This week we’ll learn what it takes for life to evolve in one.

All life that we know of is water-based and that is why the scientific search for life is looking for water. And it has to be liquid water.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
11:07 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Science Sometimes Disproves Common Knowledge . . .

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.  

It's the job of a scientist to collect data and examine evidence. But what do you do when your dinosaur research leads to a discovery that isn’t possible according to conventional wisdom? Dr. Mary Higby Schweitzer, Biology faculty at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, made this kind of discovery. But instead of giving up and leaving it a mystery, she set out to disprove our common knowledge.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
3:47 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Meteorites and Distant Forming Solar-systems

Artist’s conception of the view towards the young star Beta Pictoris from the outer edge of its disk.
Credit NASA - nasa.gov

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

One benefit of living in a galaxy, as we do, is that there are stars in our sky at different stages of their lives. The frustrating thing is that we can’t get up close for a visit, but we have gotten good at exploring them from here.

We can understand the formation of planetary systems that also tell us about our own solar system.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Alzheimer’s Disease & Lifestyle Intervention

Credit Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s National Memory Screening Day Survey, 2010

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Dementia is a brain condition that causes problems with thinking and memory. There are many different types, but the most prevalent is Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, over 5 million Americans may be suffering from this incurable disease. To learn more about it and some possible preventable measures, I spoke with Dr. Laura Baker, Associate Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Alzheimers Disease is a progressive loss of brain capacity that affects a person’s ability to remember, think, problem solve and organize. And the hallmark cognitive symptom is the inability to remember events in the recent past.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
5:01 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Celebrate Water

Credit Molly Davis

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Water is vital. Without it there would be no life on Earth. It’s not very reactive, so a molecule of a chemical can drift around in it and have a reaction with another molecule it would never have met. This was key to the evolution of life because chemicals had 4 billion years to party in the water before they sparked life. With that in mind, when was the last time you celebrated water?

Read more
SciWorks Radio
5:01 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Simple Innovations Make Huge Impacts

Credit Wake Forest Innovations

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Innovation is the introduction of new ideas, devices, or methods that will simplify and improve our lives. An obvious example is the smartphone. At any moment I can listen to music and make a citizen science entry, right after I waste an hour on social media. I can even make phone calls, but I prefer to text. But not all innovations are so complex, 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
1:29 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Be A Citizen Scientist

Credit Jackie Karsten, National Geographic

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Many of us don’t have a Masters in chemistry or a doctorate in physics. We don’t even have an archeological dig on our property, though my garage floor comes close. If you’re listening to this program, you probably do have an interest in science. 

Read more
SciWorks Radio
8:05 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Biomimicry . . . Nature May Already Have The Solution . . .

A rough prototype of the watch.
Credit Wake Forest University/Ken Bennett

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem.

Read more
SciWorks Radio
4:48 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Vapor Intrusion: Risks and Mitigation

Credit Horia Varian via Flickr

SciWorks Radio is a production of 88.5 WFDD and SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, located in Winston-Salem. 

Recently it has come to the public’s attention that two Winston-Salem middle schools are situated within range of a toxic groundwater waste plume. The concern is not the water itself, but the chemical entering the buildings in the form of gas. This is called vapor intrusion. 

Read more

Pages