Ep. 37 – Monica Gagliano on plant intelligence and human imagination



Are plants intelligent? Can they think? Can they hear, see, feel, smell and taste? Throughout history, most Western philosophers and scientists answered those questions with a resounding “no.” Plants have long been treated as passive, inanimate objects that form the backdrop to our active lives, rather than highly sensitive organisms with intelligence and agency of their own. But on the cutting edge of modern science, this orthodoxy is being questioned by a group of daring and imaginative scientists — including our guest, Monica Gagliano — who think that plants are radically more sophisticated and sensitive than we’ve been giving them credit for. Gagliano pioneered the field of “plant bioacoustics,” the study of sounds produced by and affecting plants. The results of her groundbreaking experiments suggest that plants may perceive, solve problems, remember, and learn via mechanisms that differ from our own. In this episode, we speak with Gagliano about the profound implications of her discoveries and how listening to plants changed her understanding of the world.


Skin Episode 1: Non-Human Skin



How do animals use their skin? Why can their skin be so weird? And why can lizards regrow their tails? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this episode of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine Podcast, where hosts Elizabeth Nand, Kelsie Cassell, Carrie Ann Davison, and Devon Wasche discuss the skin of non-human animals. This episode of the YJBM Podcast is part of our series related to the March 2020 YJBM issue on skin. Visit medicine.yale.edu/yjbm for more information on YJBM and the YJBM Podcast.


Engaging Communities Through Art with Hannah Jacobson Blumenfeld



Hannah Jacobson Blumenfeld, a consultant for a variety of creative and community-based organizations, including Creative Forces: National Endowment for the Arts Military Healing Arts Network, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, and Serve Your City, discusses how art can be used to create public good and build community partnership.


(Good) Judgment Day



Nkonye Iwerebon (Columbia Law School) joins Miriam and Kristi to dig into addenda, character and fitness issues, contacting admissions offices, and all things judgment related. Good judgment is a key to every application and this episode will talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.


Founders Day: Building a stronger and more inclusive Yale



To commemorate Founders Day, President Peter Salovey discusses Yale’s responsibility to lead the change needed in society through education, scholarship, research, preservation, and practice. He is joined by the co-chairs of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging: Kimberly Goff-Crews, university secretary and vice president for university life, and Gary Desir, vice provost for faculty development and diversity, Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine, and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.


Supplementary Materials



Applicants to Yale who have highly-developed artistic talents or experience with advanced STEM research have the option to include supplementary material with their application. Admissions Officer John joins Hannah and Mark to discuss Yale’s evaluation process for these submissions. Although most successful applicants do not submit supplementary materials, the officers share how evaluators rate submissions and who can benefit from including an arts or STEM supplement with the application.


Recommendation Letters



Every application to Yale includes three letters of recommendation – two from classroom teachers and one from a counselor. Admissions Officer Moira joins Hannah and Mark to share advice on selecting recommenders and tips for educators when writing on behalf of applicants. The officers share how effective letters can bolster and enhance an application, and they express their gratitude to the educators who write for their students.


Interviews



Many applicants have an evaluative interview with a Yale student or alum as part of the application process. Hannah and Mark talk with Dara, the director Yale’s interviewing program, about how interviews work and what applicants can expect. They share do’s and don’ts for the interview and discuss how interview reports are considered Yale’s holistic review process.