Pacific Exploration, Botany, and Revolution

Time to Eat the Dogs | 5 May 2020 | 0h 28m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Edwin Rose about his paper Publishing Nature in the Age of Revolutions: Joseph Banks, Georg Forster, and the Plants of the Pacific. Discusses Joseph Banks and Georg Forster, naturalists on James Cook’s expeditions, and how political ideas shaped the way these specimens were understood back in Europe.

Alain de Botton: Finding Calm Through Pessimism

RNZ: Sunday Morning | 18 April 2020 | 0h 37m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Alain de Botton about his book Calm. He suggests that while it is natural to worry, the truth is that Homo sapiens are a resilient species that have been through extraordinary cycles of suffering and joy. He argues that one of the fastest roots to calm is through pessimism.

Jamie Metzl | Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

The Jordan Harbinger Show | 19 September 2019 | 1h 02m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jamie Metzl about his book Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity. Discusses genetic engineering’s rapid progress, why today’s beneficial genetic traits that may turn out to be ephemeral, the dangers of selectively editing out genes that cause disorders, why China is poised to excel in the application of genetic science, why equity and diversity remain important, and more.

Jonathan Kay on the Mechanisms Behind Corona Virus Superspreader Events

Quillette Podcast | 29 April 2020 | 0h 24m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jonathan Kay about his article Covid-19 Superspreader Events in 28 Countries: Critical Patterns and Lessons. Backgrounds his work compiling a database of superspreader events and using fluid mechanics considerations to distinguish between the mechanisms for large droplet ballistic transmission, aerosol transmission and surface transmission. Implies that distancing and masks are critical – handwashing less so.

Professor John Horton Conway

More or Less | 23 April 2020 | 0h 14m | Listen Later | iTunes
John Horton Conway has died at 82 from covid-19 related complications (NY Times obituary). An influential figure in mathematics, Conway’s ideas inspired generations of students around the world. Discusses his life and work with mathematician Matt Parker and Conway’s biographer Siobhan Roberts.

Gerard Mercator: The Man Who Revolutionised Mapmaking

The Forum | 23 April 2020 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discusses the life and work of Gerard Mercator who in 1569 came up with an elegant solution for how to project the earth’s three-dimensional sphere onto a flat map.

Alfred Russel Wallace and the Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago

The Insight | 25 April 2020 | 0h 26m | Listen Later | iTunes
Spencer Wells tells the story of Alfred Russel Wallace’s life: his specimen collecting in South America and Indonesia, the development of his insights into natural selection, and his relationship with Charles Darwin.

Neptune’s Laboratory

Time to Eat the Dogs | 21 April 2020 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Antony Adler about his book Neptune’s Laboratory: Fantasy, Fear, and Science at Sea. Discusses the history of ocean science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.