Kristi Wheeler Published

WVPB’s Us & Them Podcast to Host Taping at Marshall University

Updated on Oct. 17, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.

Join us Thursday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Atrium of Marshall University’s Drinko Library

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA — The public is invited to join Us & Them podcast host Trey Kay for a deep discussion on trust in science.

“Diminished Trust: How Do We Restore Faith in Science?” Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Atrium of Marshall University’s Drinko Library. Kay will talk with Dr. Jonathan Zimmerman, University of Pennsylvania’s education historian and author of “Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools”; Dr. Habiba Chichir, Marshall University’s biological anthropologist; and Dr. Adam Franks, MD, Associate Residency Director for Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The event is free and open to the public and includes an audience Q&A segment with preference given to students. The live event will be taped for use in a future episode of Us & Them. The event is co-sponsored by Marshall University’s John Deaver Drinko Academy, the West Virginia Humanities Council and West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the broadcasting home of Us & Them.

Last month, Kay and his team hosted a “Diminished Trust” event at West Virginia University that focused on waning public trust in journalism and the news media. Kay says, “Trust is in short supply in America these days. Across the board and across the political spectrum people seem to lack trust in our government… in many of our agencies and organizations – even in each other. That’s why our Us & Them team is staging these conversations to encourage citizens to consider how long our society can sustain this erosion of trust.”

“The current diminishment of trust in science is one expression of anti-intellectualism, a longer trend in our culture, and one which waxes and wanes,” says Dr. Monserrat Miller, Executive Director of Marshall’s John Deaver Drinko Academy. “Diminishing trust in science, though, is something that we need to explore and discuss because it poses a range of dangers from public health to cynicism about the idea of truth itself.”

Us & Them’s guests for this event include:

Dr. Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of History of Education and the Berkowitz Professor in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher, Zimmerman is the author of “Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools” (University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed.) and eight other books. Zimmerman is also a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and other popular publications. Zimmerman taught for 20 years at New York University, where he received its Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.

Dr. Habiba Chirchir is a biological anthropologist and anatomist. Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between changes in skeletal anatomy and behavior by investigating trabecular and cortical bone. She conducts comparative analyses of anatomical features in fossil human ancestors, modern humans, other primates and non-primate animals including dogs and big cats using CT imaging. Chirchir earned a BA from the University of Nairobi, an MA from New York University, and a PhD from George Washington University. Chirchir is a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Adam M. Franks is a family medicine physician at Marshall Health, and a professor and vice chair of the department of family and community health at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Franks’ practice provides full-spectrum care for children and adults, including obstetric and gynecologic care. His research areas include COVID-19 protocols, opioid monitoring protocols, and blood borne pathogen exposure monitoring protocol adherence.

Trey Kay is the creator and host of Us & Them, a podcast/radio program distributed by PRX that airs on West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Kay’s passion for reporting on culture wars began in his hometown of Charleston, W.Va., with “The Great Textbook War” (2009), a radio documentary. He followed that award winning work with “The Long Game: Texas’ Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom” (2013), which he researched as a Spencer Fellow for Education Reporting at the Columbia Journalism School. He’s produced for This American Life, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Marketplace, American RadioWorks, Morning Edition, Inside Appalachia and PBS Frontline. Kay also taught at the Columbia Journalism School, Marist College and at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He splits his time between New York’s Hudson Valley and West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley.


Kristi Morey, WVPB Marketing Communications

***Editor’s note: A previous version of this news release incorrectly stated the Marshall event would be a discussion on journalism and trust in the news media. The Marshall event will be a deep discussion on trust in science.