Huh? Not all engineers work on trains?

If you’re anything like millions of other adult Americans, you were of legal drinking age before you learned that all engineers do not work on trains.

Engineers are the source of technology. They take scientists’ basic (and critical) research and they figure out ways to apply that research. The common terms used to describe these two actions are “Basic Research” and “Applied Technology.” Each needs the other.

Society gives lots of credit to scientists but we often neglect the engineers. (Until recently, it should be noted, science and engineers neglected us, our input, our opinions.) In the spirit of teamwork–in my crusade to kick-start dialogue between scientists, engineers, and citizens–I reached out to a friend, Randy Atkins. Randy is the Senior Program Officer for Media and Public Relations at the National Academy of Engineering. He filled me in on some terrific public outreach programs his group is creating.

Here’s one I’d like to highlight today. More will follow.

Randy does weekly radio reports on Washington, D.C.’s most listened-to station, WTOP. You can listen online, here to some fascinating interviews including one with the creator of a new, Heart Attack Saliva Test–a quick test that looks at protein biomarkers in a patient’s saliva to rule out or diagnose a heart attack.

If you like what you hear, consider contacting your favorite news-format radio station to request they run his show.

Have an idea for a story topic? Randy wants to hear from you: Considering posting your suggestions on this site–I’d like to hear them, too. (How about a radio version of Survivor? A smackdown between scientists and engineers!)