The Road to Appomattox

Stephen Kantrowitz, Professor, Department of History, UW-Madison, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss the surrender by Robert E. Lee to Ulysses Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse, ending the Civil War. Kantrowitz explains the political situation surrounding the war and discusses the circumstances which led to the surrender.

Sanitation in Developing Countries

Norm Doll, Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison, discusses water and sanitation issues in the slums of developing countries around the world. Doll highlights work being done in Nejapa, El Salvador to create a sanitation system.

Living in the Extreme in Sierra Leone

Thierry Cruvellier, Journalist and Author, discusses history, politics, civil war, reconstruction and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Cruvellier delves into how humans behave in times of crisis when faced with difficult choices.

Winter Hardy Wine Grapes for Wisconsin

Dave Schreiner, Graduate Student, Department of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison, explores issues with viticulture in the Midwest. Concerns include cold winter temperatures, newer grape hybrids which are less well known and marketing the wines made from lesser known grapes.

Living Kidney Donation and Transplantation

Didier Mandelbrot, Medical Director, Kidney Transplantation, UW Health, Christine Lillesand, Kidney Transplant Coordinator, UW Health, Rebecca Hays, Independent Living Donor Advocate, UW Health, explore the process for living kidney donation and transplant, discuss the trends in kidney transplantation and answer questions for those needing transplants and those considering donating kidneys.

Forensic DNA

Josh Hyman, Director, Biotechnology DNA- Sequencing Facility, UW Madison, tells the story of PFC Lawrence Gordon, a Canadian fighting for the U.S. who was killed in World War II. Gordon’s remains were mislabeled and missing for years. Eventually the remains were found and using forensic DNA sequencing were verified as belonging to Gordon.

WI Fermentation Initiative

James Steele, Professor, Department of Food Science, UW-Madison, discusses the basics of fermentation and talks about the foods and beverages that Wisconsin grows and ferments.

Fermentation Science

Dave Nelson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry, UW-Madison, explains how penicillin was discovered, how it works and how the penicillin was produced in large quantities to treat soldiers during World War II.

Paramount Records: Beyond the Blues

Tom Caw, Music Public Services Librarian, Mills Music Library, UW-Madison, and Dean Blackwood, Founder, Revenant Records, share the stories behind the music made by Wisconsin musicians and recorded by Paramount Records in the 1920s and early 1930s. Although Paramount Records was known for its recording of blues, gospel and jazz, Caw highlights some of the other musical styles they released.

Ancient DNA

Jesse Dabney, Research Associate, Biotechnology, UW-Madison, discusses the characteristics of ancient DNA, the sources the DNA is extracted from and what can be learned from the information.


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