Sarah Blaffer Hrdy on Human Evolution and Parenthood

The Life Scientific | 7 November 2023 | 0h 30m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Sarah Blaffer Hrdy about her life and work researching evolutionary biology. Discusses her study of infanticide among langur monkeys that overturned assumptions about male monkeys’ murderous motivations; reproductive and parenting strategies across species and the evidence humans are primed by evolution to need a lot of support raising our children.

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We Don’t Talk Enough About Phosphorus

KERA’s Think | 6 October 2023 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Stephen Porder about his book Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth’s Past and Will Shape Our Future. Discusses how after billions of years of Earth’s development, it’s still the same five elements that shape so much of human evolution. Backgrounds how hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are the building blocks of life and affect the climate.

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Michael Muthukrishna on Developing a Theory of Everyone

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 30 October 2023 | 1h 17m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about his book A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Brings together ideas from cultural evolution, energy engineering, economics, and psychology to outline an integrated theory providing basic organising principles for society based on how people relate to each other and to the physical resources available spelled out as ‘laws’ of energy, innovation, cooperation, and evolution.

Have you bought this book yet? You really must. The highest praise I can give it is that it feels like the next book that Matt Ridley might have written.

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Robert Sapolsky on Free Will and Determinism

The Michael Shermer Show | 17 October 2023 | 1h 53m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Robert Sapolsky about his book Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will. Discusses free will, determinism, compatibilism, and libertarian free will; how what people believe about free will and determinism influences their behaviors; punishment and retribution versus restorative justice; whether the self is an illusion; and more.

Sapolosky articulates exactly what I think about free will. The Dissenter interview is also worth a listen.

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Discovering The True Potential of Human Senses feat. Jackie Higgins

unSILOed with Greg LaBlanc | 6 October 2023 | 0h 41m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Jackie Higgins about her book Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses. Discusses how culture impacts the way we perceive the world, examples of animals that have similar senses to ours, and studies that show how humans could refine their senses to be much more powerful than previously thought.

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Michael Muthukrishna: A Theory of Everyone

The Dissenter | 25 September 2023 | 1h 40m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about his book A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Discusses the premise of the book; the four laws of life: energy, innovation, cooperation, and evolution; how cooperation expands in human societies, and what distinguishes us from other animals; intelligence and IQ, and the collective brain and the idea of “genius”; the importance of institutions and cultural norms, and the role of ideas; multiculturalism, and how to solve the “paradox of diversity”; our current energy ceiling, and the problems that derive from it and how to solve them; and the challenges of studying human behavior cross-culturally.

It’s finally here! Michael Muthkrishna launched what will surely be the most important book this year in conversation with Matthew Syed at the London School of Economics. You can watch the launch on LSE’s YouTube channel (the presentation starts 7 min 15 s into the video. You should definitely subscribe to his Substack.

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Victoria Lee: The Arts of the Microbial World

New Books in Japanese Studies | 16 July 2023 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Victoria Lee about her book The Arts of the Microbial World: Fermentation Science in Twentieth-Century Japan. Explores the history of microbial science in modern Japan, discussing how Japanese scientists and artisans in food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries harnessed a combination of premodern and modern understandings of the microbial world to create a productive approach positing microbes “as living workers” in important industries.

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