The Periodic Table On

Science & Health


Advances in science can benefit everyone, everywhere. WISL aims to help narrow the huge gap between what is known scientifically about health and wellness, and what individuals and society actually practice. This includes advocating steps we can all take to maintain and improve personal and community health: learning about the nutrients we gain from specific foods, knowing what to consume carefully and in moderation, and participating in activities that will help keep our bodies healthy. Understanding the links between science and health is an important part of being science literate. What is more important is to act wisely on what we learn. For example, perhaps we can modify Wisconsin's cultural addiction to brats, beer, and brandy by accepting the scientific findings about obesity and alcoholism, thereby enjoying these local traditions in moderation.

A General Feeling of Disorder by Oliver Sacks

Alcohol, Caffeine, and Nicotine

What Advocates of Legalizing Pot Don't Want You to Know
The New York Times

Your Liver Doesn't Know It's the Holidays
The New York Times

A Guide for Parents on Talking to Kids About Alcohol
"Delaying That First Drink: A Parents' Guide"
Produced by the AAAS Science Inside Alcohol Project

Comparative Epidemiology of Dependence on Tobacco, Alcohol, Controlled Substances, and Inhalants
This 25-page PDF file contains an article from Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology which aims to report basic descriptive findings from new research on the epidemiology of drug dependence syndromes, conducted as part of the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS).

After the smoke clears
Chemical & Engineering News

Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free, experts say

Ethanol: The Dose, Effects and Side-Effects of the World's Second-Most Popular Drug Conversations in Science Series
Introductory Chemistry Class Guest Lecture

Uncorked: The Science of Champagne
Recommended Reading

Sports and Fitness

From scientist to salesman
How Bennet Omalu, doctor of ‘Concussion’ fame, built a career on distorted science
The Washington Post

How Did Eliud Kipchoge Break the Marathon Record So Soon?
The New York Times

Think L.S.U.’s Locker Room Was Crazy? It Also Has a Centrifuge
The New York Times

Football May Take a Toll on the Brain, Even Without Concussions
The New York Times

At Colorado, A Breach In Football's Wall
The New York Times

The Concussion Question: Ex-UW players find unconventional methods for improving brain health
Wisconsin State Journal

University of Wisconsin football players downplay warnings while proof of brain injury piles up
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, at

Posture Affects Standing, and Not Just the Physical Kind
Slouching can have ill effects on body and state of mind. But with some solid effort, and sometimes exercises, muscular imbalances can be corrected.

Science of the Olympic Summer Games
A collaboration between NBC and the NSF

Science of the Olympic Winter Games
A collaboration between NBC and the NSF

Performance Enhancement: Beyond the Work, Sweat and Tears
Conversations in Science Series

Health Care

Will Science Take the Field?
A New York Times op-ed piece by UW-Madison's Deborah Blum

You Don’t Look a Day Over 50-Do Your Arteries? Using Ultrasound to Evaluate Arterial Age
Conversations in Science Series
View the Presentation Slides (13MB PDF)

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Oncology Surgery at UW: Technically More Difficult,
But Easier for the Patient

Conversations in Science Series
Watch the Video

Transforming Healthcare: Visions for the Future
Conversations in Science Series

Current Thinking About Skin Cancer and Sun Screens
Conversations in Science Series

Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy: What's Hot and What's Not
Conversations in Science Series


How ‘Fast Carbs’ May Undermine Your Health
The New York Times

How to Boil the Perfect Egg
The New York Times

Susan Nitzke, professor emerita and former chair of nutritional sciences, dies at 71
UW-Madison News


Prof. Nitzke lent her expertise to several WISL programs, including the
University Summer Forum on Chemistry & Society

She presented a Conversations in Science for Teachers talk as well:

       Fruits and Vegetables Aren't Nutritious Until Somebody Eats Them

The Toll of America's Obesity
The New York Times

What's ice cream, and why do we scream for it?
Chemical and Engineering News

How to Get America on the Mediterranean Diet
The New York Times

The Dangers of Belly Fat
The New York Times

The Germs That Love Diet Soda
The New York Times

Big Sugar Versus Your Body
The New York Times

After 'The Biggest Loser' Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight
Why You Can't Lose Weight on a Diet

The New York Times

Science that is hard to swallow
The Washington Post

Will calorie listings curb our fast food habits?
UW Health News & Events

Calories, Cancer and Aging
Conversations in Science Series

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Recommended Reading



An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep
The New York Times

Seeking the Gears of Our Inner Clock
Neuroscientists have struggled to understand exactly how the mind's cycles affect us. Studies of donated brains provide some answers.

Sleep and the Brain
Conversations in Science Series
Watch the Video

Biology of Sleep
Conversations in Science Series





For more information contact