Posted January 25, 2016

Temple faculty offer expertise on WHYY

Five faculty members have appeared on the 'Radio Times' program in recent weeks.

A microphone in a radio recording studio.
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Temple faculty have joined Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY’s ‛Radio Times’ to share their expertise on a variety of topics.

Weighing in on issues such as crime, citizenship and concussions, five Temple faculty members have been experts featured on WHYY’s Radio Times in recent weeks. Here’s a wrap-up of the Owls who have taken to the airwaves.

  • Ryan Tierney, EDU ’00, CHP ’04, associate professor of kinesiology and director of Temple’s Sports Concussion Laboratory, appeared on the show Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, to discuss concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that has been linked to repetitive brain trauma. Tierney shared his expertise in light of the release of Concussion, a motion picture that focuses on the head trauma faced by professional football players.

    In addition to discussing concussions in youth sports and efforts to minimize impact on the head, he helped explain the signs and symptoms of concussion—such as balance problems, blurred vision, confusion, headache, and others—and dispel myths. “You certainly don’t need to have loss of consciousness to be diagnosed with a concussion,” said Tierney.
  • Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Psychology Department, offered her take on child development and toys on the program Tuesday, Jan. 5.

    Talking about children’s use of tablet devices, she noted: “As parents, I think we just have to find the balance. It’s not that these things are horrible—they have many wonderful features. But we also have to be careful how we use [them], the same way we have to be careful about dessert.”
  • With presidential candidate Donald Trump calling into question U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s exact citizenship and eligibility for president, Peter Spiro, Charles Weiner Chair in international law, participated in the show Monday, Jan. 11, to discuss interpretations and intents of the term “natural-born citizen.” Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother.

    “The question here is whether a citizen born outside of the United States qualifies as natural born for constitutional purposes?” Spiro said. “The Constitution reads no person except a natural-born citizen shall be eligible for the office of the president. And there’s enough ambiguity in that archaic phrase to allow for these kinds of arguments to be made.”
  • Ralph Taylor, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, helped explain fear and reactions to crime on the show Tuesday, Jan. 12. The program highlighted topics such as media coverage, perceptions of crime, police shootings and the relationship between law enforcement and communities.

    “There are some events that happen that have a huge impact in terms of how people interpret what’s happening around them,” Taylor said. “Not all crimes are created equal, and so some crimes are going to have a much bigger effect on perceived risk, and therefore fear, than others.”
  • Mathematician John Allen Paulos was invited on the show Friday, Jan. 22, to talk about his memoir, A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours. He discussed writing the book and how math empowered him as a child.

    He said, “I realized that a little bit of math, a little bit of logic, and you could vanquish blowhards. And to some extent, that’s more motivating than learning how to estimate the height of the flagpole across the river.”

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