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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beaverton, from women in politics to women in leadership, from history to artificial intelligence, and from entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Nov 2, 2018

Disability can change everything, and many of us have a hard time understanding what it means for a curb to be too high, or an electrical socket too low. For Rossana Pasquino, who has spent most of her life in a wheelchair, disability has presented some steep challenges, but it has also opened up some unexpected opportunities. She is not only a respected chemical engineer from Naples in Italy, but a Paralympic wheelchair fencer -- a sport that requires intense focus, intelligence, physical prowess and mastery of the 'appeal'.

Ben sits down with Dr. Pasquino for a wide-ranging conversation about fencing, chemistry and the exchange between Italy and Canada during her temporary posting to Queen's University in Kingston.

Read the blog post for this episode.

About the Guest

Rossana Pasquino currently works at the Department of Chemical, Materials and Industrial Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II. Rossana does research in Materials Physics, Materials Science and Surface Chemistry. Their most recent publication is 'Effect of polymer concentration and thermal history on the inverse thermogelation of HydroxyPropylCellulose aqueous solutions'.

Learn more about Rossana.