1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »News
  4. »Radio Network
  5. »Perspective

K-State Research and Extension News

Perspective banner


Perspective is a 27-minute weekly public affairs program hosted by Richard Baker and distributed to radio stations throughout the state. Below are recordings of recent programs.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

To subscribe to Perspective and have each new episode download to your smartphone or tablet automatically, use any of these services (podcast episodes are released every Monday):

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher  |  TuneIn





Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

Listen and Download



THE ROLE OF SHORT LINE RAILROADS– Most of us have absolutely no idea what a short line railroad is – or its importance to the economy. According to Dr. Michael Babcock, an economist at Kansas State University, short line railroads have historically played an important role in the transportation of agricultural products.  PER 09-14


RACE IN THE SCHOOLYARD– A professor of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Dr. Amanda Lewis, says something happens in schools – especially elementary schools – that forms and changes people in racial terms. And those changes lead to some interesting questions, such as “why are there racial gaps in achievement, despite the fact that racist theories of genetic inferiority have been disproven?” She takes a closer look at what goes on inside school buildings and in schoolyards.PER 09-07


WHITE KIDS GROWING UP– Have you ever wondered how we learn about race or where our perceptions and understandings about race, racial differences, and racial problems come from? More specifically, what do white parents teach, or not teach, their children about race? And just how all of that goes into how white kids come to see black and brown people as different? Margaret Hagerman, an assistant professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University offers some thoughts and answers from a study of white children in upper-middle-class white families in a medium-sized mid-western city…thoughts and answers that may surprise you. PER 08-31


WHITE SUPREMACY– In 1846, James McCune Smith, an African-American physician, abolitionist and author, told a white friend what had to be done to convince Americans of, as he put it, “the eternal equality of the Human race.” However, Katharine Gerbner, an assistant professor of history at the University of Minnesota, says that simply hasn’t happened. PER 08-24 


A LOOK BACK AT CHERNOBYL– In April of 1986, a devastating explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant laid the groundwork for many problems that continue to haunt us today. According to Harvard professor Serhii Plokhii, the immediate cause of the Chernobyl accident was a turbine test gone wrong. But he says the roots of that disaster lay in the interaction between major flaws in the Soviet political system, as well as in the nuclear power industry.PER 08-17 


THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE– Everyday, countless numbers of us use devices incorporating artificial intelligence, or A-I, such as Siri. Tatyana El-Kour, a technical officer at the Office of the Regional Director in the World health Organization Regional Office in Cairo, Egypt, says we need to realize that more and more we are immersing ourselves in technologies that are changing how we live, learn, work and engage…and that A-I is at the heart of that change.PER 08-10


KIDS COUNT DATA BOOK (Part 2)– Education is one of four areas covered in the 2017 Kids Count Data Book. And even though Kansas ranks 13th nationally in the overall well-being of kids, it ranked 21st in educational outcomes, and 23rd in family and community. The advocacy group, Kansas Action for Kids, says it is a good news-bad news scenario for the state. John Wilson, vice president of Advocacy for Kansas Action for Children, looks at what put Kansas at 13th nationally. PER 08-03


KIDS COUNT DATA BOOK (Part 1)– For some time, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been keeping track of just how well the United States takes care of its kids through their Kids Count Data Book, in which they annually rank the states on overall child well-being. In the first of a two-part series, Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and advocacy at the Foundation discusses what the Kids Count Data Book says about how Americans are currently taking care of their children.PER 07-27


THE ROLE OF SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE U.S.– According to the Pew Research Center, the United States is undergoing some major changes. Not only is the country growing in numbers, it is also becoming more diverse, both ethnically and racially. Kim Parker, director of social trends at the Pew Research Center, and Juliana Horowitz , associate  director of social trends at the Center, look at not only the trends, but what they may portend for our country.PER 07-20


POWER, RACE AND HIGHER EDUCATION– For far too long the subject of race has been a thorn in the side of mankind…and even today, it seems little closer to being solved. One of the difficulties surrounding race is that it carries with it privilege and power. And keep in mind, there is only one race…the human race. Kansas State University professor in the College of Education, Kakali Bhattacharya, who earlier this year was honored by Diverse Magazine as one of the 25 influential women in higher education, offers some thoughts on race.PER 07-13


THE FARM BILL– The Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill June 28th. That follows the House effort which passed earlier in the month. The end result is that Congress appears headed for fights over farm subsidies, food stamps, and conservation. Despite appearances, Kansas State University agricultural economist Art Barnaby feels Congress will be forced into getting the next Farm Bill passed…and passed on time.PER 07-06


IS GOVERNMENT BROKEN?– The Electoral College is one of a litany of problems many see confronting a United States government that is floundering. The two main political parties, grassroots institutions and special interest groups, along with the media are also viewed as potential problems which have led to confrontations between conservatives and liberals, legislative gridlock, threats of government shutdowns, and a mistrust of those running the country. John Lawrence, a historian and visiting professor at the University of California's Washington Center, offers his thoughts and insights on today's government.PER 06-29 


THE DILEMMA OF GENDER (Part 2)– Few of us can imagine the stress involved in being a transgender child. Think for a moment about what it is like to be asked again and again, “Are you a boy or a girl?” Or think about what it means to have your deepest sense of self questioned by many of the adults in your life. Ann Travers, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, explores  that dilemma in the conclusion of a two-part series on what it means to be transgender.PER 06-22


THE DILEMMA OF GENDER (Part 1)– At one time, gender structure was a stable fact of life. Boys were boys and girls were girls. No questions asked. Each sex was raised differently, depending on their gender, and they were expected to live their lives differently, depending on that gender. Now, for the first time, many young people are pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate behavior for females and for males. Some are even asking to be identified without gender at all. Barbara Risman, distinguished professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago, says the very meaning of gender is up for grabs. PER 06-15


THE DANGERS OF SUMMER PESTS– The drabness of winter has given way to the green lushness of late spring and summer. It has also given way to the many pests of summer…like fleas, mosquitos, ticks, and mites. According to Kansas State University entomologist Raymond Cloyd, not only are these pests aggravating, they can present some very real dangers. PER 06-08


ROBERT KENNEDY (Part 2)– In the second of a two-part series, author , journalist and Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Larry Tye, explores some of what drove U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy to evolve from a hard-driving conservative to a fiery liberalPER 06-01


ROBERT KENNEDY (Part 1)– About a year before he was shot and killed, U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy traveled to the Mississippi Delta to confront the face of hunger. During that trip, he saw children so malnourished that most would have thought such a thing was not possible in the United States. In the first of a two-part series on Robert Kennedy, author and journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi, Ellen Meacham, looks at some of the changes he went through…from counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy to fiery liberal presidential candidate. PER 05-25


PRESERVING LOCAL NEWS– A former media executive and Knight chair in journalism and digital media economics at the University of North Carolina, Penelope Abernathy, says this country faces the growing threat of news deserts – areas that are not served by any kind of news outlet. She discusses the impact that would have on the community, news availability and media literacy.PER 05-18 


THE LEGACY OF DINOSAURS– Countless dinosaur movies have been made over the years. Movies where dinosaurs were roped by cowboys, lived side-by-side with humans, and where dinosaurs lunched on humans. Beyond the movies, there are natural history museums to awe the young and old. But after all that, what is really known about dinosaurs and their place in history? Even though most scientists know quite a bit, Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, says the average person is not that knowledgeable.PER 05-11


KANSAS WATER CONCERNS– In early April, over 200 people gathered in Garden City to examine some of the concerns about the Ogallala Aquifer, a source of groundwater that underlies some 112 million acres in parts of eight states, including Kansas. The Ogallala supports around 30 percent of all U.S. crop and livestock production – and that translates to an estimated 35-billion dollars in agricultural products every year. Dan Devlin, director of the Kansas Water Research Institute at Kansas State University, looks at the future of the Ogallala Aquifer and water in general in the state of Kansas.PER 05-04


THE IMPORTANCE OF SCIENCEManhattan recently saw a march for science by a diverse, nonpartisan group that was not only calling for science that upholds the common good, but also for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest. Kansas State university scientists, Brett DePaola and Chris Sorensen, look at science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.     PER 04-27


WHERE IS COMMON CORE?– In a speech earlier this year, the U.S. Secretary of Education called Common Core a disaster. In addition, Secretary Betsy DeVos said, “at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead.” Despite that proclamation, Nicholas Tampio, associate professor of political science at Fordham University, says Common Core is very much alive, with 24 states reviewing and revising their English and math standards under Common Core.PER 04-20


NAVIGATING DIFFERENCES– Some 15 years ago, Kansas State Research and Extension became part of a national effort to increase its audience base. Nozella Brown, Director of Wyandotte County Extension and Charlotte Shoup Olsen, a family systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension, say the idea was not simply to increase numbers but to learn how to effectively interact with the many ethnic, cultural, racial, and religious groups across the state by navigating differences.PER 04-13 


POVERTY AND INEQUALITY OF GOING TO COLLEGE– For far too long there has been a belief that kids who grow up in poverty or kids who grew up confronting inequality can overcome the obstacles of getting into college if they just work at it…if they simply persevere. But Dr. Linda Nathan, executive director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship in Boston, says that is a myth…a myth about equality and opportunity!PER 04-06 


Kansas State University is committed to providing equal access opportunity and reasonable accommodation to campus programs and services for faculty, staff and students. If you require accommodation to view or hear a video live stream or archive, please submit a request for accommodation. Students should make their request to the Student Access Center. All others should request accommodation through Human Capital Services.