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Mae Jemison and the 100 Year Starship, Germophobes, and Wings of the City: Houston Matters for Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The 100 Year Starship is an initiative to make sure progress continues toward human interstellar space travel. Its annual public symposium begins Thursday, and continues through the weekend at the George R. Brown Convention Center. One of the key figures behind the initiative is Dr. Mae Jemison. She’s a former astronaut — the first African-American woman […]

The 100 Year Starship is an initiative to make sure progress continues toward human interstellar space travel. Its annual public symposium begins Thursday, and continues through the weekend at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

One of the key figures behind the initiative is Dr. Mae Jemison. She’s a former astronaut — the first African-American woman in space — as well as a physician, engineer, and educator.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we hear Dr. Jemison’s views on interstellar space travel, what it would take to head into deep space, both scientifically and culturally, and why Houston is — and in her view, should be — at the epicenter of the endeavor.

Also this hour: Germophobes of the world unite! Now, technically, “germophobia” is not a real word. The actual word is mysophobia. It’s an abnormal fear of or distaste for uncleanliness or contamination. If germs give you the creepy-crawlies, well, then, either this is the absolute best or worst conversation for you. We talk about why some of us are so deathly afraid of germs, while others give little or no notice to them (hint: the second group may help explain the first), as we talk with behavioral psychologist Dr. Stacey Bourland, and Dr. Luis Ostrosky, a Professor of Infectious Diseases at UT Health, and the the Medical Director for Epidemiology at Memorial Hermann.

Plus: Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse talks with Elena Catalán, the Director of Expositions and Special Projects for artist Jorge Marín, whose temporary exhibition of sculptures called “Wings of the City” can be found scattered across Discovery Green.

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