Transcripts

Jack Gilbert: Jack and the Microbiome.  How do you study the Earth’s microbiome and what influence do these bacteria have on our daily lives? Read | Listen

John Markoff: Computers and the 60s Counterculture.  The massive social upheaval that took place during the 60s laid important groundwork for the development of the personal computer.   Read | Listen

Roger Penrose: Secrets of the Old One. While superstring theory dominates the landscape of unified field theories, alternative theories exist, such as twister theory. On this program, Sir Roger Penrose joined us to discuss the structure of the universe.  Read | Listen

Brian Greene: An Elegant Hypothesis. Physicists are constantly searching for ‘elegant’ theories that describe the universe. The professor from Columbia University discusses how one such theory, string theory, has the potential to unify the disparate theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity.  Read | Listen

Andy Hertzfeld: Creating Like a God. How did the world’s most iconic computer get started? The co-creator of the Apple Macintosh talks about his days at Apple Computer and his new book Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was MadeRead | Listen

Anne Foerst: Deus ex Machina. Robotics and theology may seem to be incompatible disciplines, but robots may reflect our humanity more than our technological prowess. Prof. Anne Foerst discusses these issues in her book, God in the Machine: What Robots Teach Us About Humanity and GodRead | Listen

Charles Townes: How the Laser Happened. How do the world’s greatest inventions get started? The Nobel Prize winner in Physics and inventor of the laser discusses the nature of scientific discovery and the development of this now nearly ubiquitous device.  Read | Listen

Jean-Philippe Avouac: Earth Shaking Advances in Plate Techtonics. Is the 40 year old theory of plate techtonics outdated? Professor Avouac talks about the limitations of this theory and some of the current models used for describing the motion of plates.  Read | Listen

Wil Wheaton: No Ordinary Geek. Astronomers are interested in the fate of stars, but what happens to stars of the Hollywood variety? The actor from StarTrek: The Next Generation and author of Just a Geek discusses life as a writer, blogger, and poker player.  Read | Listen

Hiroo Kanamori: Introduction to Geophysics. The Caltech Professor and winner of the Japan Academy Prize discusses current developments in earthquake science and the dynamics of the planet.  Read | Listen

Gerald Edelman: Science of Consciousness. What are the methods used to study the neural circuitry that underpins consciousness? The Nobel Laureate and author of Wider Than the Sky discusses the origins of this complex and mysterious phenomena of consciousness.  Read | Listen

David MacMillan: Asymmetric Chemistry and Sugar Synthesis. The Caltech researcher discusses advanced methods of synthesizing carbon-based organic molecules and their recent development of techniques for the efficient synthesis of carbohydrate molecules.  Read | Listen

Donald Norman: Why We Love Everyday Things. The author of Emotional Design talks about designing user-friendly devices and the trend toward human-centric appliances.  Read | Listen

John Derbyshire: The Ultimate Hypothesis. The author of Prime Obsession talks about what may be the single greatest problem in mathematics today: proving the Riemann Hypothesis.  Read | Listen

Lawrence Lessig: Creative Commons and Free Culture. Communicating ideas to a mass audience is quickly becoming democratized by the internet. However, this is being stifled by the ever stringent copyright protection that big media is imposing. The Professor of Law from Stanford discusses his fight against this trend.  Read | Listen

Gary Marcus: Genes and Behavior. While most would readily accept that the brain controls behavior, few would acknowledge the role that genes play in shaping our actions. The Professor of Psychology from New York University investigates the link between genes and behavior.  Read | Listen

Shunsuke Shimojo: In the Eye of Beholder. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or can it be induced? The Professor of Biology from Caltech investigates the link between psychology and neurobiology.  Read | Listen

Richard Francis: Why Men Won’t Ask for Directions author talks the complex relationship between evolution and social behavior and defines the context for studying these fields.  Read | Listen

Duncan Watts : It’s a Small World After All. The Professor of Sociology and author of Six Degrees talks about the small world problem and the emergent behaviour from the inter-relationships between people.  Read | Listen

Curt Suplee: The New Everyday Science author talks about his new book, the science behind our current issues, and his concerns for science education.  Read | Listen

Christof Koch: The Quest for Consciousness. The Caltech Professor of Biology and author of The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach discusses the scientific underpinnings of one of the greatest mysteries of science, consciousness.  Read | Listen

David Goodstein: Hubbert’s Peak: An Oil Crisis? The Vice-Provost of Caltech talks about the end of the fossil fuel era in his book Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil. Read | Listen

Jef Raskin: The Macintosh at 20. The creator of the Apple Macintosh Computer discusses the beginnings of this groundbreaking computer and his current work with developing interfaces.  Read | Listen

Steven Chu: Physics of Trapping Atoms and Biomolecule. Nobel Laureate and Physics Professor Steven Chu discusses techniques for cooling down atoms and biomolecules using lasers.  Read | Listen

Yuan-Tseh Lee: Chemistry of Global Climate Change. Nobel Laureate and President of Academia Sinica Y.T. Lee discusses the chemistry behind global warming and the development of renewable sources of energy like photovoltaics. Integrating these solutions with political resources remains a major challenge for the future.  Read | Listen

Stephen Wolfram: Complex Behavior from Simple Rules. The creator of Mathematica talks about cellular automata and complex phenomena in his new book A New Kind of ScienceRead | Listen

Sylvia Nasar: The Life and Times of Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. have garnered a great deal of attention since the release of the popular movie A Beautiful Mind chronicled events in his life. The author of the book on which the movie is based on, Sylvia Nasar, discusses Nash’s struggles with math, schizophrenia, and his Nobel Prize.  Read | Listen

Masaaki Yamabe: Design of Chlorofluorocarbons Alternatives. The director of the Research Center for Fluorinated Gas Alternatives in Tsukuba, Japan discusses the history of fluorinated compounds and his recent efforts to develop alternatives that are safer for the ozone layer. Read | Listen

Daniel Kammen: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Policies. Fossil fuels are non-renewable and are linked to global warming. Daniel Kammen, Professor or Energy and Public Policy, discussed the development of resources and infrastructure for renewable energy sources that meet our increasing demand for energy. Read | Listen

Toshihiko Nakata: Energy Development in Japan. Professor Nakata from Tohoku Univerisity in Sendai, Japan discusses Japan’s efforts to become independent from imports of foreign oil and adapting renewable resources for rural regions. Read | Listen

Stephen Schneider: Global Warming: Science and Policy. This proponent of the theory of global warming describes the best and worst case scenarios of global warming. Professor Schneider also discusses the challenges of conveying these ideas to the public. Read | Listen

Andrew Mishkin: Journey to Mars. The senior systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and author of Sojourner: An Insider’s View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission talks about the challenges of designing, sending, and operating a rover on Mars. Read | Listen

David Baltimore: Science Policy for the 21st Century. The President of Caltech and Nobel Laureate in Medicine talks about national science policy and Caltech’s effort to enhance technology for elections. Read | Listen

%d bloggers like this: