Simon Winchester on the Pacific

The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly | 1 August 2018 | 0h 39m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Simon Winchester about his book “Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers.” Winchester is quite the raconteur, with delicious anecdotes on US nuclear testing and policing Pitcairn Island.

How Insights from Ancient DNA are Upending Paleontology

FT Tech Tonic | 17 April 2018 | 0h 21m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with David Reich about the ideas in his book “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past”. Covers how the genomic revolution is affecting paleontology and changing many of our preconceptions about the mixing of human groups in human pre-history.

How to Disagree Better

The Ezra Klein Show | 16 July 2018 | 1h 38m | Listen Later  | iTunes
“Contempt is the conviction of the utter worthlessness of another person. Anger leads to reconciliation, contempt to permanent enmity.” Interview with Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, an America think tank. Discusses how to disagree better, why civility shouldn’t be the goal in conversation, why it’s healthy to have a lot of arguments, and why anger is a healthy emotion and contempt isn’t.

Richard Haier – The Neuroscience of Intelligence

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast | 4 June 2018 | 1h 25m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discussion with Richard Haier about the ideas in his book “The Neuroscience of Intelligence”. Covers the history of the politically-charged debate about intelligence. Research points to genetics playing a more important role than environment as intelligence develops from childhood. Intelligence test scores correspond strongly to specific features of the brain assessed with neuroimaging.

Tali Sharot – Optimism, Decision Making, and Mistakes

Capital Allocators | 4 June 2018 | 0h 47m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Tali Sharot, an expert on human decision-making, optimism and emotion and author of “The Influential Mind”, “The Science of Optimism”, and “The Optimism Bias”. Sharot combines research in psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience to reveal the forces that shape our decisions, beliefs and inaccurate expectations of the future.

Jennifer Ackermann on the Genius of Birds

The Book Club | 15 June 2016 | 0h 30m | Listen Later 
Interview with Jennifer Ackermann, author of “The Genius of Birds”, which documents the remarkable wits of our pea-brained feathered friends. Sprinkled with remarkable stories about the cleverness of birds.

Robin Hanson on Signalling and Self-Deception

Conversations with Tyler | 28 February 2018 | 1h 05m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Wide-ranging discussion with Robin Hanson, co-author of “The Elephant in the Brain”, which makes the case that as much as 90% of human behaviour is motivated by sub-conscious signalling, not the selfless motives typically professed.

Photosynthesis

In Our Time | 15 May 2014 | 0h 46m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss photosynthesis, the process by which green plants and many other organisms use sunlight to synthesise organic molecules. Photosynthesis arose very early in evolutionary history and has been a crucial driver of life on Earth. In addition to providing most of the food consumed by organisms on the planet, it is also responsible for maintaining atmospheric oxygen levels, and is thus almost certainly the most important chemical process ever discovered.