|

Heading to the beach? You might actually see less of it: Water levels in Lake Michigan are rising at a record pace. We’ll talk with an expert about what’s causing the rise, how it affects the lake’s ecosystem, and what it means to nearby property owners.

|
Pluto

Pluto finally got a visitor from Earth, 85 years after the dwarf planet’s discovery. Completing a nine-year, 3-billion-mile voyage, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reached the former ninth planet of our solar system on Tuesday. We'll discuss the milestone flyby with astronomers from the Adler Planetarium.

,
|
Chicago skyline

This summer marks the 20-year anniversary of a brutal heat wave that hit Chicago and left more than 700 people dead. Tonight, WGN chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and Northeastern Illinois University professor emeritus Robert Starks join us to remember the summer of 1995.

|
Grevy’s zebra born at Brookfield Zoo on July 7 with her mom, Kali.

There's a new kid on the block at Brookfield Zoo. On Tuesday, a female zebra was born at the near west suburban zoo to mother Kali, 5, and father Nazim, 15. The birth marks the first addition of a zebra of this type at Brookfield Zoo since 1998.

|

When it comes to treating our sewage, Chicago has a history of thinking big from reversing the flow of the Chicago River to the creation of Deep Tunnel. Jay Shefsky visited the Thornton Quarry and went to the bottom of Deep Tunnel to see where the water will flow into the new reservoir later this year. We revisit that story.    

|

In 1999, a car accident left DePaul University professor Clark Elliott concussed. As a leading scientist in the field of artificial intelligence he was intrigued by the impact on his brain and kept meticulous notes documenting the effects of his traumatic brain injury. Those notes became the basis for his new book. He joins us on Chicago Tonight.

|

Pope Francis' recent views on climate change are sparking debates within the Catholic community. Joining us are Mark Potosnak, a member of the Catholic Climate Covenant and assistant professor of environmental science at DePaul University, and Mary Anne Hackett, president and CEO of Catholic Citizens of Illinois.

|

Pope Francis released an encyclical on the environment on Thursday. In the 192-page encyclical, the pope makes the case for a partnership between science and religion to fight climate change.  

|

Ahead of the annual congregation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and innovators at Techweek Chicago, we’ll talk with Techweek CEO Katy Lynch about what to expect this year and how the weeklong event has rebounded from last year’s snafu involving controversial party invites.

|

Its Tevatron particle collider may have been superseded by the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, but Fermilab remains at the cutting edge of research into the origins of the cosmos. It is now home to research focusing on neutrinos, nearly massless particles that rarely interact with anything – in fact trillions pass through our bodies every second -- but scientists believe they may have been fundamental to the formation of our universe.

|

Most scientists believe that climate change is real and man-made, but the policy debate over how to address the problem is often lacking in conservative voices. Former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican, has been an advocate for free-market solutions to climate change. Inglis joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation.

Perfect Pitch, Trap-Jaw Ants, Virgin Births & Shrinking Mount Everest

|

Once thought impossible, new research suggests people can learn perfect pitch. University of Chicago paleontologist and science explainer extraordinaire Neil Shubin is back to discuss that, the unique way trap-jaw ants avoid predators, “virgin births” in sawfish, and the shrinking of Mount Everest.

|

There's a lobbying and advertising war going on in Illinois. No, it's not related to the state budget. It pits the state's largest producer of energy, Exelon, which is asking for a rate hike to help its struggling nuclear power plants, against wind and solar energy groups that say Exelon is merely a billion dollar corporation seeking a bailout.

|

We live in a digital world. We communicate with each other through tweets and Facebook posts, upload photos to Instagram, pay our bills online, and more. But what happens to all those digital files and accounts after we die? We discuss planning for your digital afterlife.

|

Some $500 billion is spent each year by governmental entities on information technology. Now so-called “civic hackers” are taking the vast troves of data that cities like Chicago collect, and designing apps to make that data more useful to the public. From apps that track food poisoning to potholes to parking -- the city of Chicago is leading the way in the growing "govtech" sector. We find out more.

|

Chicago’s technology incubator, 1871, seeks public funding to expand for the second time in a year, following a 25,000 square foot expansion last year. The potential state-backed expansion concerns privately run co-working spaces and offices that rival 1871. We hear the latest from Crain's Chicago Business reporter John Pletz.