Judith Rich Harris: Why Home Doesn’t Matter

ABC: Life Matters | 8 May 2007 | 0h 16m
Judith Rich Harris, author of The Nurture Assumption and No Two Alike has died at 80 (NY Times obituary). Harris made the case that parents play less of a role in shaping their children than commonly assumed. Rather, the most crucial aspects of a child’s environment are outside the home. Parents should lighten up and stop treating their children like projects. Day-to-day happiness is more important than moulding and shaping by parents given that genes and the external environment are more significant influences.

 Play MP3 (Too old for Listen Later or iTunes links, sorry)

Carl Zimmer on Heredity, DNA, and Editing Genes

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 6 August 2018 | 1h 31m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with science writer Carl Zimmer, author of a comprehensive book about heredity: She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. Discusses how our understanding of heredity has changed over the years, how there is much more to inheritance than simply listing all the information we pass down in our DNA, and what the future might hold in a world where genetic manipulation becomes widespread.

Myers-Briggs Personality Testing

RNZ: Saturday Morning | 28 September 2018 | 0h 51m | Listen Later 
Interview with Merve Emre on the ideas in The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing. Describes the history and (lack of) science behind the Myers-Briggs personality test and backgrounds the mother-daughter team who conceived it almost 100 years ago.

Michelle Baddeley on Social Herding

Social Science Bites | 2 February 2017 | 0h 15m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with economist Michelle Baddeley discussing social herding, which often follows from an information imbalance, real or perceived, in which a person follows the wisdom of crowds. Touches on finance, neuroeconomics, groupthink, reputation and safety in numbers.

Matt Ridley and The Evolution of Everything

The Seen and the Unseen | 26 November 2018 | 1h 16m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley. Seamlessly links together the key ideas in The Evolution of Everything, which makes the case for the bottom-up emergence of order where we typically perceive a top-down process.
This distils the thinking of the author who has most changed my understanding of how the world works. Be prepared to listen at a slower speed. It’s worth it.

Searching for Hobbits

Time to Eat the Dogs | 17 November 2018 | 0h 32m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Paige Madison about her work at the Liang Bua cave in Indonesia, where she studies the new hominid species Homo floresiensis, as well as the team of researchers who have worked at the cave for years, sometimes for generations.

Darwin Comes to Town

Quirks & Quarks | 26 October 2018 | 0h 16m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Menno Schilthuizen about his book Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution. Backgrounds examples of very rapid evolution as animals and plants adapt rapidly to expanding cities.

Claude Shannon and Information Theory

Hidden Forces | 11 June 2018 | 0h 57m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Jimmy Soni, co-author of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age. Provides an accessible introduction to the key ideas in information theory, packaged into the story of Shannon’s life.