I don't know if you've checked out the SGU distributed computing teams
thread lately. What started out as a page for seti@home and folding@home has grown along with the number of distributed computing projects underway worldwide.
For most of us, participating in one of these projects is the most significant direct contribution to scientific research we'll ever be able to make. It seems to me that this sort of project would be a perfect fit for your audience. Through the podcast, you have to reach tens of thousands of computer users with an interest in science. Many listeners are probably unaware of these projects. Others may simply never have heard of them, but never bothered to actually join. A short segment on distributed computing would probably have the effect of recruiting many hundreds of new participants to these worthwhile projects. Alternately, a 10 second shout out whenever a related subject comes up would serve as a good reminder about the existence of these projects.
If you were to throw your support behind the SGU team by making this small effort, I bet we could become a real distributed computing powerhouse.
Current projects include:
seti@home - analyzes radio telescope data for signs of signals sent by intelligent life.
folding@home: pure research into the ways proteins fold. This research will help researchers to better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease
, and many cancers
and cancer-related syndromes
Einstein@Home - searches for spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars
) using data from the LIGO gravitational wave detector. It also searches for radio pulsars
in binary systems, using data from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
LHC@home - runs simulations that help physicists develop and exploit particle accelerators, such as CERN's Large Hadron Collider
Rosetta@home - pure research into the 3 dimensional shape of proteins. The project also does directed research into Malaria, Anthrax, HIV and other viruses, Alzheimer's disease, and Cancer
ClimatePrediction.net - produces predictions of the Earth's climate up to 2080 and to tests the accuracy of climate models.
The World Computing Grid: home to projects researching Muscular dystrophy, influenza, cancer, childhood cancer, Dengue fever,Aids, producing more nutritious rice
, and, my personal favorite,
The clean energy project - calculating the electonic properties of thousands of organic materlials to determine which candidates are most promising for developing affordable solar energy technology.