science and technology

U.S. Air Force

NASA is naming a spacecraft after a Bradley University graduate who was the first African American chosen to be an astronaut.

Minnesota Public Radio

Sportfish in the Illinois River are dying younger.

Photo by Christopher Korose for the Illinois State Geological Survey. \ Used With Permission

New research on a central Illinois crater suggests possible links to an Ice Age about 455 million years ago. 

weak_hope / Flickr/Creative Commons

Four Central Illinois coal plants and a southern Illinois coal mine are slated to close by year’s end.

Environmental advocates say the Clean Energy Jobs Act would create new programs to help workers and communities impacted by the coal facility closures. And they say movement on the legislation is needed now. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said earlier this month he does not expect action on the legislation during this year’s veto session. 

But State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) says that is unacceptable. 

Connie Kuntz / WNIJ

Wild Ones of the Rock River Valley and Natural Land Institute (NLI) have partnered to help people create yards that are environmentally friendly. Zach Grycan is the director of stewardship with the NLI. He spoke to a packed classroom at Rock Valley College in Rockford about establishing natural areas at home, work, school or church. He said the first step is to get inspired:

Ian Sane / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A Hanna City farm will soon serve as a model for how to incorporate trees into agriculture.

Bradley University

An expert on whistleblowing said the way the president’s Ukraine phone call scandal is playing out in public is undermining the investigation process.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit is on permanent display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. But Peoria Riverfront Museum officials say the next best thing is right here in Central Illinois. 

Bradley University

A Bradley University cybersecurity expert is leading research aimed at shielding whistleblower anonymity. 

Dr. Jacob Young will serve as the Senior Advisor on Cybersecurity for the National Whistleblower Center. He's the director of the Bradley University Center for Cybersecurity in Peoria. 

Young said with modern technology, it’s harder than ever for whistleblowers to stay anonymous and avoid retaliation for speaking out. 

Illinois’ recent innovation bump could be a sign of bigger trends to come. 

Rusty Clark / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A team of Illinois chemists are developing a more environmentally friendly form of polyurethane, a hard-to-recycle polymer that’s used in a variety of everyday products.


Environmentalists are blasting Vistra Energy’s coal-burning power plant closure announcement as a cynical cost-cutting move. 

Rene Begay / SING workshop

Many scientists are interested in studying the DNA of Indigenous populations in an effort to reveal the "human migration story" and contribute to our understanding about the genetic basis of disease.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin via Twitter

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants to spend more money on agricultural research. 

WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

Illinois American Water is touting its technology as the utility celebrates its 130th year of service in greater Peoria.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

It’s been half a century since Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon.

The Apollo 11 program was the only time the U.S. put astronauts on the surface of another planet.

Armstrong is one of just 12 people in all of human history to do so. But NASA is using the 50th anniversary to promote it’s new project, called Artemis. 

Justin McGrath / University of Illinois

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Plants shows that plants genetically engineered to create large amounts of useful industrial enzymes can be grown under field conditions without hurting their yield.

Illinois business leaders say they want the state to invest more money in early education to meet the demands of a growing job market centered on math and science.