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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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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, 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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, 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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SciWorks Radio
1:37 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

An Innovative Way to Save Lives

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

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Science
5:12 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Discover A New Feeding Strategy...

Mexican free-tailed bats and ultrasonic signature.
Credit N. Hristov

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

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SciWorks Radio
10:26 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Innovation vs. Invention

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

In April of 2014, Winston-Salem was officially given the title of the City of Arts and Innovation. Thanks to WFDD’s David Ford, we are familiar with local arts, but what about local innovation? As you may know, the city has an entire area dedicated to innovation.

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SciWorks Radio
4:00 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Microbes

Staphylococcus aureus biofilm on an indwelling catheter
Credit wikipedia.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.

With biotechnology, we can harness the power of the smallest living things on the Earth to fight disease or even to manufacture products. Microbes are organisms made of a single cell, and are by far more abundant than any other form of life. To learn more about them we spoke with Dr. Patricia Dos Santos, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Wake Forest University.

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SciWorks Radio
5:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

The Potential of 3D Printing

3D Printing on display at SciWorks in Winston-Salem, NC
Credit Christy Ferguson.

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

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SciWorks Radio
2:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Preserving Fertility For Young Cancer Patients

Summer scholars work on research projects in the lab.
Credit Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

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

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SciWorks Radio
2:34 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Rosetta: Space probe drops robotic lander on comet 67P

Rosetta selfie from 10 miles out
Credit 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.

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SciWorks Radio
6:48 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

"Houston, We Have A Problem"

A diagram of the Apollo 13 module assembly. From left to right the lunar module, the command module and the service module. Note the damage from the explosion on the service module.
Credit 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.

Every kid ‘gets’ that when you let go of the open end of an inflated balloon and it flies around the room, its speed is determined by the amount of air in the balloon. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist. 

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SciWorks Radio
4:12 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Countering The Effects of Aging

Credit Sticht Center on Aging - Wake Forest School of Medicine

 

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 process of aging affects everyone, whether it be ourselves or the people we love. Some of us age in good health, while others can succumb to a variety of health problems, the most frightening of which can be the loss of brain function. This week, we speak with Dr. Stephen Kritchevsky, the Director of the Sticht Center on Aging at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, here in Winston Salem, where research is being done to understand and counter the effects of the aging process.

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