Why Are We Living Longer Than Our Ancestors?

History Extra | 29 May 2021 | 0h 28m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Steven Johnson about his book Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (and BBC Four series co-presented with David Olusoga). Chronicles the revolution in medicine and innovations in science and public health that have led to huge increases in life expectancy since 1900.

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe

The Torch of Progress | 21 July 2020 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Patrick Collison discussing Fast Grants’ funding of covid-19 research, progress studies, the rate of scientific progress and whether it’s slowing down, his perspective on the sciences, Effective Altruism, on being a self-described ‘fallibilist,’ the entrepreneurial mindset, and more.

David Deutsch on the Infinite Reach of Knowledge

The TED Interview | 23 October 2018 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Deutsch discussing his theory that the potential reach of knowledge is infinite, how knowledge first developed, why it sets us apart, and what these concepts mean for our present and future. Draws on his book The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World.

Toby Musgrave – The Multifarious Mr Banks

Talk Radio Europe | 22 March 2020 | 0h 18m | Listen Later
Interview with Toby Musgrave about his book The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World. Argues that Banks, the botanist on James Cook’s first circumnavigation, and the longest-serving president of the Royal Society, was a leading figure of the English Enlightenment.

Patricia Fara on Newton, Scientific Progress, and the Benefits of Unhistoric Acts

Conversations with Tyler | 24 February 2021 | 0h 57m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Patricia Fara about her book Life After Gravity: Isaac Newton’s London Career. Discusses why Newton left Cambridge to run The Royal Mint, why he was so productive during the Great Plague, why the “Scientific Revolution” should be understood as a gradual process, what the Antikythera device tells us about science in the ancient world, the influence of Erasmus Darwin on his grandson, sex-segregated schooling, the reasons she considers Madame Lavoisier to be the greatest female science illustrator, and more.

Avi Loeb on Taking Aliens Seriously

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 25 January 2021 | 1h 40m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Avi Loeb about his book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond. Discusses the possible existence of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations; the need to take seriously the possibility that the recent interstellar interloper Oumuamua might be a spaceship; the attitude we should have towards more dramatic ideas; and the nature of science.

Richard Holmes – The Age of Wonder

Bookclub | 9 April 2019 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Richard Holmes about his book The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. Describes the scientific ferment that swept through Britain in the late-18th century and tells stories of the celebrated innovators and their great scientific discoveries: from telescopic sight and the discovery of Uranus to Humphrey Davy’s invention of the miner’s safety lamp, and from the first balloon flight to African exploration.

This is one of my wife’s favourite books.

A Tale of Two Evolutionary Processes with Rita Colwell

This View of Life | 25 August 2020 | 1h 15m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Rita Colwell about her book A Lab of Her Own: One Woman’s Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science. Tells two evolutionary stories. The first is the story of her career studying microbial genetic evolution, including diseases such as cholera and anthrax, and serving as Director of the National Science Foundation. The second is the story of cultural evolution and the lack thereof, such as entrenched sexism in science and the reluctance of the medical establishment to embrace new ideas.