UCI partners with Sandra Tsing Loh to produce popular radio show “The Loh Down on Science”

Affiliation advances shared mission of public service, science education

Irvine, Calif., Aug.  22, 2013 – UC Irvine and Sandra Tsing Loh’s LDOS Media Lab Inc. are partnering to produce the “Loh Down on Science,” bringing witty science lessons and the university’s world-class research to a wide national audience.

Loh describes her 90-second LDOS radio pieces as capsules of intriguing scientific research presented in an amusing way, because, “We believe humor makes knowledge sticky.” The popular daily module is carried on 140 public radio stations across the U.S., including Armed Forces Radio, which broadcasts the show to 40 countries. As an adjunct professor at UC Irvine, Loh will teach graduate-level courses on science communication in the School of Physical Sciences and courses in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Originally co-created by California Institute of Technology and Southern California Public Radio in 2005, the “Loh Down on Science” has been produced by Loh’s non-profit LDOS Media Lab, through a generous three-year grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, since July 2012. Production and distribution of the show will be supported by UC Irvine and by the existing funding from the Moore Foundation.

Loh said she is excited to be part of UC Irvine, which was recently ranked – for the second year in a row – the #1 university in the nation under 50 years old by London-based Times Higher Education.

“This is a perfect partnership,” said Loh. “I am especially excited to be involved with the UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences, whose faculty includes some ‘rock stars’ of the academic science world. I believe this alliance will allow us to more effectively pursue our common mission of public service by providing science education to all.”

Kenneth C. Janda, physical sciences dean, said he looks forward to working with Loh in these efforts. Already active in programs such as Cal Teach, which allows students to earn a math or science degree and teaching credential concurrently; and MathCounts, designed to boost the math competency of middle school students in public schools, the physical sciences faculty takes seriously its mission of public service, Janda said.

“We are delighted to partner with Sandra Tsing Loh to fuel interest in science among the public at large, and to attract young people into science careers,” he said. “Leadership in innovation has helped fuel the U.S. economy for decades and has improved the quality of life here and around the world. To maintain that leadership, we need to nurture the next generation of scientists. We believe that sharing some of our work through the “Loh Down on Science” and other projects is a great way to do that.”

In addition to teaching a graduate course in science communication, Loh will draw on her earlier career as a performance artist to teach courses in UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. She once played piano on a Los Angeles freeway overpass and has written and performed several successful solo shows, which have toured nationally, two of which were produced off-Broadway by Second Stage Theatre.

“We are delighted to welcome Sandra Tsing Loh to our art department faculty,” said Joe Lewis, arts school dean, “and know she will provide a fresh perspective on topics of interest to our undergraduate students.”

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in physics from California Institute of Technology, Loh is a graduate of the Master in Professional Writing Program at USC. She is a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and American Public Media’s Marketplace, and she has written five books, including the New York Times notable Mother on Fire, which reflects her passionate commitment to quality public education. She is also a contributing editor to the Atlantic Monthly. Her new book, The Mad Woman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, which explores her own experience – as well as the science – of menopause will be published by W.W. Norton in spring 2014.

Loh lives in Pasadena with her two “tween” daughters.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving high-tech hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.

Media access: UC Irvine maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media at today.uci.edu/experts. Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

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