Stories by Paul Caine

Scientific Chicago with Neil Shubin

| Sean Keenehan
(Courtesy of Science@NASA)

What can a mutant fruit fly can tell us about sleep? Why might forests in Alaska be contributing to climate change? And is Jupiter's Great Red Spot shrinking? University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin is back to discuss these stories and more.

Lucas Museum Appears a Done Deal, But Legal Battle Continues

| Sean Keenehan

Plans to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art along the Chicago lakefront seem like a done deal, but not everyone is on board. Friends of the Parks, a Chicago nonprofit that advocates for the protection of public parks and spaces, has renewed its efforts to halt the development.

New Brain Initiative Aims to Fully Map the Human Brain

An ambitious new government-led research initiative aims to fully map the human brain. The goal is to advance understanding of how the brain works and develop treatments for crippling neurological diseases. But for researchers, the Holy Grail is to understand the origins of human consciousness. Two leading neuroscientists join us to talk about this potentially groundbreaking project.

George Archibald on His Work Saving Cranes from Extinction

Conservationist George Archibald and a crane named Tex. (Photo courtesy of the International Crane Foundation)

Conservationist George Archibald has spent his life working to bring cranes back from the brink of extinction. He joins “Chicago Tonight” to talk about his groundbreaking work which has been recognized around the world.

Steppenwolf's Terry Kinney, Jonathan Berry on 'East of Eden'

'East of Eden' rehearsal photo

Steppenwolf Theatre Company celebrated 40 years Sunday night with the world premiere of Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden." Here to discuss the play are director Terry Kinney and Steppenwolf's new artistic producer Jonathan Berry.

A Potential Cure for Sickle Cell Anemia

| Kristen Thometz

A promising new treatment for sickle cell anemia, developed by the National Institutes for Health and validated by a new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago, holds out the prospect of a cure for this chronic disease. Dr. Santosh Saraf, one of the co-authors of the UIC study, joins us to discuss these groundbreaking developments.

Summer Crops Still Thriving

Approach of Fall Does Little to Deter Garden’s Growth

With fall right around the corner, The Organic Gardener founder Jeanne Nolan visits the WTTW organic garden to check on our summer crops.

Dyett High School Hunger Strike Continues, Despite CPS Announcement

| Sean Keenehan

It's day 31 of the Dyett High School hunger strike and there's still no sign of a deal that could end the standoff. Two activists participating in the strike explain what triggered their actions and why the arts-themed school that CPS has in mind for their neighborhood falls short of their demands.

Pension Payments for Some Government Workers Continued After Death

An investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Better Government Association finds that pension funds for government workers are continuing to pay benefits to some retirees long after the retiree and their spouse have died. One of the lead investigators on the story breaks it down for us.

Debating the Iran Nuclear Deal

| Kristen Thometz

The Iran Nuclear Deal: To its proponents it's a comprehensive agreement that will keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, to its detractors it's a naive and flawed deal that undermines the United States' closest ally in the region. Tonight, Israeli Consul General Roey Gilad and Loyola University professor of political science and national security specialist John Allen Williams debate the merits of the deal.

From Weird Science to Strange Brews, Emily Graslie Has the Scoop

| Sean Keenehan
Emily Graslie

Emily Graslie may just have the coolest job in the world. She's the Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum and the driving force behind the popular YouTube channel The Brain Scoop. Graslie joins Chicago Tonight to discuss her work popularizing science.

Preview: The Week Ahead in Springfield

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois House lawmakers will soon consider whether to override a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner that could send negotiations with state employee unions to binding arbitration. And with no state budget in place, just how do lawmakers plan on maintaining critical state services? Amanda Vinicky joins Chicago Tonight with a preview of the week ahead in Springfield. 

A Closer Look at the NLRB Decision to Keep NU Athletes from Unionizing

| Sean Keenehan

The National Labor Relations Board on Monday announced that Northwestern University’s scholarship football athletes would not be allowed to form a union, despite a 2014 NLRB ruling that states the players are university employees. Joining us to discuss the details of the NLRB decision is Eldon Ham, a Chicago-Kent College of Law professor and sports legal analyst for WSCR 670 The Score.

Professor's Success Required Squashing Fear of Insects

May Berenbaum and Barack Obama

National Medal of Science recipient May Berenbaum is an expert in the interaction of insects with plants, the founder of an annual insect-themed film festival, and the namesake of an X-Files character and new species of cockroach. She joins us on Chicago Tonight.

Scientific Chicago with Rabiah Mayas

Printing 3-D Food, Health Benefits of Trees, & Smartphones' Impact on Commuting

| Rebecca Palmore

Is food printing tipped to become the killer app that puts 3-D printers in every kitchen? Rabiah Mayas is back to discuss printed pizza and other developments in the world of science.

Harvesting of Summer Crops Continues

| Kristen Thometz

The WTTW organic vegetable garden is thriving this summer despite all the rain and fluctuations in temperature. The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan joins us to harvest mid-summer crops. She’ll also give us some tips on what vegetables can still be planted at this point in the season.

Life of Fashion Icon Diane von Furstenberg Focus of New Book

We sit down with local author Gioia Diliberto to discuss her sweeping new biography of a fashion icon and trailblazer. Join us to learn about her just-released book, Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped.

Brookfield Zoo Welcomes Baby Zebra

| Rebecca Palmore
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.

CPS to Issue Schools' Budgets Monday

Chicago Public Schools says it will issue budgets for schools on Monday. As reported by Chicago Tonight on Wednesday, many principals throughout CPS are growing increasingly frustrated that they are expected to plan for the new school year and finalize hiring decisions with little idea of how much money they will have to spend. It now appears principals will soon get some clarity.

Preparing for the New School Year Amid Financial Uncertainty

Chicago school principals are faced with the unenviable task of trying to plan for the new school year amid massive financial uncertainty. At a time when most would be hoping to finalize hiring decisions, they have no idea what their budget will be and how many teachers and other support staff they can afford. We learn what it's like to try and plan for the new school year with so many unknown factors.

Local Author Discusses New Book 'The Ghost In My Brain'

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.

Chase Won't Take Change Anymore

Chase bank will no longer take more than a little loose change from customers -- a move they say is in the name of customer service. But some customers are outraged, including Robert Reed, who wrote a column for Crain's Chicago Business. He joins us to lament the decline of banking services for retail customers. 

The Head of the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund

| Charles Jefferson

Today was deadline day for a $634 million payment due to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, and this afternoon the payment was made. But school finances remain in a perilous state. We talk with the head of the pension fund, Charles Burbridge, on what happens next.

Wet Start to Summer Does Little to Dampen Growth in WTTW Garden

The unseasonably wet start to the summer has done little to dampen growth in the WTTW garden. The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan is back with an update from our vegetable patch and some answers to viewer questions.

Neutrino Research Focuses on Fermilab

| Kristen Thometz

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.