Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Police Body Cameras / TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Mar 9, 2017 8:00 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk - Friday, March 10th, 2017:

Many Americans have questions about the policies of regional and municipal police departments following high profile cases involving deadly force in recent years.  Names like Eric Gardner, Philandro Castile and Oscar Grant have become ubiquitous with perceptions of heavy-handed law enforcement, the legitimacy of 'use-of-force' and the integrity of officers and their agencies.

Dr. Jennifer Gibbs, a Penn State Harrisburg researcher and assistant professor of criminal justice, collated data from phone surveys to determine that citizens view police integrity in terms of morality, as opposed to adherence to the word of law.  In addition, 88% of respondents expressed that they "would feel safer if a police officer was wearing a video camera."  

"The primary implication of these findings is that police and academicians alike should take heed of the public voice" says Gibbs; communication between law enforcement agencies and the public are key.

Dr. Gibbs will participate in a panel discussion regarding the use of body cameras on March 14th on the Penn State Harrisburg campus.

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Dr. Jennifer Gibbs - Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State Harrisburg

Dr. Gibbs joins us on Friday's Smart Talk to discuss the findings and how the research could be useful in helping bridge the divide between law enforcement and the citizenry.


Also, the recent discovery of seven Earth-seized planets orbiting the ultra-cool dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, has scientist speculating about the possibility of habitable planets just 40 light years away.  Astronomer Dr. Paul Robertson, a Sagan Fellow at the Center for Penn State's Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds joins Smart Talk to discuss the discovery, the possibility of life existing on those planets and why 40 light years isn't exactly around the corner for humans.

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Dr. Paul Robertson - Sagan Fellow, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Eberly College of Science, Penn State University


on exoplanets:

- Were the exoplanets actually seen by a telescope or did scientists determine they are there due to gravitational wobble and they think they are planets?       - anon

-  I'd like to ask the guest if the James Webb Space Telescope might be able to see absorption spectra of the atmosphere of these planets? If so, what we like to see in the atmospheres?                                   - Andrew

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