Ed Yong on How Animals Sense the World

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 20 June 2022 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Ed Yong about his book An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us. Discusses examples of the different sensory modalities that animals have, from echolocation to direct sensing of electric fields, and considers what those different capabilities might mean for the animal’s-eye (and -ear, etc.) view of the world.

Nick Lane on Powering Biology

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 23 May 2022 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Nick Lane about his book Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death. Discusses the importance of the Krebs cycle to contemporary biology, as well as its possible significance in understanding the origin of life. The Krebs cycle is the sequence of reactions that functions as a pathway for energy distribution in aerobic organisms.

Richard Dawkins on Flight and Other Evolutionary Achievements

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 2 May 2022 | 1h 18m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Richard Dawkins about his book Flights of Fancy: Defying Gravity by Design and Evolution. Discusses the different ways that heavier-than-air objects might be made to fly, and why natural selection produces some but not others. Also discusses central issues in evolution: levels of selection, the extended phenotype, the role of adaptation, and how genes relate to organisms.

Arvid Ågren on the Gene’s-Eye View of Evolution

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 21 February 2022 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Arvid Ågren about his book The Gene’s-Eye View of Evolution. Backgrounds the modern synthesis of Darwinian selection theory and population-oriented view of Mendelian genetics to explain evolution. Discusses the selfish gene view of evolution and group selection.

Tai-Danae Bradley on Algebra, Topology, Language, and Entropy

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 23 November 2021 | 1h 21m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Tai-Danae Bradley discussing her work using mathematical ideas from areas like category theory, topology, and quantum probability theory to analyze real-world phenomena like the structure of natural-language speech. A masterclass in the crisp communication of complex ideas.

Herbert Gintis on Game Theory, Evolution, and Social Rationality

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 13 September 2021 | 1h 29m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Herbert Gintis arguing that game theory, together with an expanded model of rational behaviour (that includes social as well as personally selfish interests) provides an understanding of human behaviour that integrates ideas from biology, economics, psychology, and sociology.

Kathryn Paige Harden on Genetics, Luck, and Fairness

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 20 September 2021 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Kathryn Paige Harden about her book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality. Argues that DNA matters to how we understand people, that we can clearly measure some of its effects, and understanding those effects is a crucial tool in fighting discrimination and making the world a more equitable place.

See also the excellent New Yorker profile of Hardin.