Search Results for Science & Medicine

121. Van Jones (social entrepreneur) – Blind Spots & Sore Spots

Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

Democracies can fail. They usually do. Van Jones on how America might become functional again.

44 Min

Oct 21, 2017

Episode 50: Ask Sam | Eating Grass, Killing Trees, Bottling and Logging

Outside/In

Listeners send us their questions from the actual Appalachian Trail, from at a funeral, and from the inky shadows where they are planning to kill their neighbors trees. And by golly, we answer them all!

24 Min

Oct 13, 2017

119. Aaron Mahnke (of 'Lore') – The Hunger for Mystery

Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

For thousands of years, all over the world, we've told tales of monsters and the undead. Why? Aaron Mahnke, creator of the 'Lore' podcast, on the hunger for mystery.

47 Min

Oct 7, 2017

Episode 49: In Too Deep

Outside/In

Trapped in a shipwreck on the ocean floor, running out of oxygen, body temperature falling, how long could you survive? The intrepid producers of the Outside Podcast set out to find out.

43 Min

Sep 28, 2017

116. Claire Messud (writer) – All These Falls From Grace

Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Claire Messud on childhood, growing up, and how we contain the things that scare us.

53 Min

Sep 16, 2017

Episode 48: Pick Your Poison

Outside/In

If you want to eat wild mushrooms—and lots of people do—you have to go into the forest and find them yourself. But that can get dangerous, fast.

24 Min

Sep 14, 2017

Episode
Podcast
Time
Released
56 min
Sep 9, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Salman Rushdie on the secret life of cities and so much more.

57 min
Sep 2, 2017
i

The deepest, funniest, strangest moments from the past year of the Think Again podcast. Featuring Kory Stamper, Teju Cole, George Saunders, Slavoj Zizek, Jennifer Doudna, and Timothy Spall.

49 min
Aug 26, 2017
i

The deepest, funniest, strangest moments from the past year of the Think Again podcast. Featuring Daniel Dennett, Sarah Goldhagen, Ian McEwan, Alison Gopnik, Erik Kandel, and Alan Alda.

53 min
Aug 19, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Biologist Richard Dawkins on speaking plainly, animal cruelty, Christopher Hitchens and so much more.

22 min
Aug 17, 2017
i

For those of you who are looking for an adventure, on a budget, Sam and Molly have composed a “guide” for would-be WWOOFers to think about before taking off.

56 min
Aug 12, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Comic Ari Shaffir talks about outrageousness in comedy, bipartisan e-rage on social media, and growing up and growing out of bad habits.

72 min
Aug 5, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Oxford historian Peter Frankopan on two millennia of the flow of germs, ideas, commerce, and more from East to West and vice versa.

22 min
Aug 3, 2017
i

A high-tech, state of the art greenhouse operation finds itself at odds with a town.

37 min
Jul 22, 2017
i

In one of our wildest episodes ever, comedian Jeff Garlin cuts the surprise clip short to call B.S. on neuroscience and complexity.

30 min
Jul 20, 2017
i

With a tattered history of institutional abuse, patchwork oversight, and absent legislation, is Wilderness Therapy too wild to be trusted?

36 min
Jul 15, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Authors Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland on blurring the lines between science and magic.

39 min
Jul 8, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Actor and author Alan Alda on the art of communication (for good and evil), social anxiety, the mind of a billionaire, and more.

53 min
Jul 1, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Geneticist Jennifer Doudna on the profound implications of her CRISPR-Cas-9 gene editing technology for the future of humanity.

58 min
Jun 24, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Actor Timothy Spall on the layers of contradictions and complexities that define a person, and what's underneath.

26 min
Jun 22, 2017
i

This week we attempt to not only eat the invaders, but drink them as well. And this time, most of us were on board. Also, the Ask Sam hotline gets some attention as Sam answers questions about bird feeders, black flies, storm clouds, and dew.

49 min
Jun 17, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Poet, playwright, and arts educator Liza Jessie Peterson on lessons learned teaching incarcerated youth on Rikers Island.

61 min
Jun 10, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Writer Paul Theroux on tyrannical mothers, colonizing Mars, and an important difference between humans and cockroaches.

32 min
Jun 8, 2017
i

Global Rescue is a business that, should you get yourself into trouble, will drop everything to come and save you, anywhere in the world. They employ former Navy Seals, helicopters, airplanes, and even yaks to get the job done. But this service comes a...

43 min
Jun 3, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Writer Ariel Levy on the silence around the animal facts of women's physical lives, her comically awkward experience with the shamanic hallucinogen Ayahuasca, and much more.

0 min
May 31, 2017
i

DogSmarts: Coming Soon!

44 min
May 27, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the mind-boggling awesomeness of space.

29 min
May 25, 2017
i

Up along the banks of the Damariscotta River in Maine there used to be two stadium-sized piles of oyster shells. Where did they come from? Why are they there? What can they tell us about the people that created them? There are mysteries abound in the m...

46 min
May 20, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Mary Gaitskill on vulnerability, alienation, and Cerebus the Aardvark.

18 min
May 18, 2017
i

If you're a long-time listener of the podcast, you might remember this as Episode 6: Champagne on the Rocks. But if you're new around here, we thought you'd like to hear one of our favorite episodes from the archives, complete with an update at the end...

57 min
May 13, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Physicist Lawrence Krauss on why neutrinos are his favorite particles, light as the protagonist of modern physics, and more.

26 min
May 11, 2017
i

Ever wonder where those flowers in the grocery come from and why, no matter what time of year, there are always roses available? Just in time for Mother's Day—the second busiest floral day behind Valentine's Day—we look inside the billion dollar flower...

48 min
May 6, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Neuroscientist Dean Buonomano on how the brain tells time and whether time exists at all.

48 min
Apr 29, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Architecture critic Sarah W. Goldhagen on how the built environment shapes our lives.

19 min
Apr 27, 2017
i

Since we launched the toll free version of our Ask Sam hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837), we've seen a real healthy uptick in queries. This time around we decided to ask Chris Martin of the New Hampshire Audubon, and Dave Anderson from the Forest ...

54 min
Apr 22, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Lexicographer Kory Stamper on the slipperiness of language and how the sausage of dictionaries is made.

52 min
Apr 15, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Joyce Carol Oates on America, idealism, and the shackles we can and can't shake off.

29 min
Apr 13, 2017
i

Beaver (Castor canadensis), have been kicking around in North America for 2 million years. Ecologically they do all sorts of great things: their ponds ease flooding downstream, and support large numbers of bird species, fish, amphibians, and otters. Th...

47 min
Apr 8, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Social Psychologist Adam Alter on the behavioral addictions we all now live with.

47 min
Apr 1, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman on truth in fiction, how language shapes us, and more.

39 min
Mar 30, 2017
i

Nature documentaries and wildlife films transport us to places in the world that still feel wild, but what if the wilderness they present is staged? What if, in order to capture nature’s unvarnished beauty and conflict, filmmakers have to engage in a b...

47 min
Mar 25, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Philosopher of mind Daniel Dennett waxing wise and wicked about consciousness, dolphins, and more.

55 min
Mar 18, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Comedy writer and producer Scott Aukerman on Michael Bolton, transgression in comedy, and cultural turmoil in the USA.

18 min
Mar 16, 2017
i

When he was just 38 years old, Mackie Branham Jr., a coal miner, was diagnosed with progressive massive fibrosis, a debilitating and terminal form of black lung, a disease that was thought to be a relic of the past; a problem when coal mining was at it...

51 min
Mar 11, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. NY Times bestselling author George Saunders on ghosts and ego and loving your enemy.

18 min
Mar 9, 2017
i

This is a follow-up to Episode 30: The Death Machine.

49 min
Mar 4, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Fiction writer and essayist Gish Jen on how fundamental East-West differences in the sense of self play out in art, culture, business, education, and more.

32 min
Mar 2, 2017
i

Is skiing a sport reserved for rich people? Producers Maureen and Jimmy think so, and Sam wants to prove them wrong. In this episode, Sam takes his skeptical colleagues skiing for the very first time to show that it doesn’t have to be a fancy endeavor....

47 min
Feb 25, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Historian Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, on the dizzying ethical questions that surround what's coming next.

49 min
Feb 18, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Ayelet Waldman on parenting, identity, and how LSD microdosing changed her life for the better.

35 min
Feb 16, 2017
i

In the late sixties, a soap factory in suburban Illinois discovered one of its outflow pipes had been intentionally clogged by an industrial saboteur. Does environmental damage ever demand radical action? And when does environmental protest cross the l...

48 min
Feb 3, 2017
i

Nato Thompson – Think Again - a Big Think Podcast #84 – The Friendly Face

20 min
Feb 2, 2017
i

Every so often, we take some time out from telling stories to answer questions from you, our friends and listeners. These questions have been piling up, and so we thought we’d dig through them and bring you some of the more interesting ones. This week,...

43 min
Jan 28, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Rolling Stone political journalist Matt Taibbi on the media and political circus of the 2016 campaign trail, the search for happiness, and where we go from here.

42 min
Jan 21, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on unexpected topics. Philosopher and Filmmaker "BHL" on torture, the question of evil, and the tipping point at which democracy becomes something else.

32 min
Jan 19, 2017
i

When Ryan and Sinehan Lessard first started dating, they discovered they have something strange in common: after they die, they both want to “become a tree”. This is the story about a growing number of people who want to forgo standard funeral practice...

68 min
Jan 14, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on unexpected topics. Comedian and author Isy Suttie on the terrors of adulthood and more. Surprise ideas from Paul Bloom, Maysoon Zayid, and Slavoj Žižek.

23 min
Jan 12, 2017
i

Coastal communities of every partisan stripe are wrestling with the reality of rising seas. But when you’ve built a life centered around your dream home by the shore, the decision to pull up stakes and leave is a wrenching one.

36 min
Jan 7, 2017
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Media entrepreneur Amani Al-Khatatbeh and host Jason Gots wrestle with tough questions about identity, power, and Islamic feminism.

39 min
Jan 5, 2017
i

If you’re even the least bit interested in solar power, you’ve probably come across an obscure, hard-to-parse, seemingly conflict-free term: net metering. It’s a system that has come to be the bedrock of the American rooftop solar industry, and the roo...

48 min
Dec 31, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Psychologist Paul Bloom wants us to abandon empathy as a guide to moral decision making. He's probably right.

24 min
Dec 29, 2016
i

Sam is going to take us all hunting this week. Not hunting for animals, but instead, hunting for the secret of what’s behind that 26-mile fence cutting through the woods of New Hampshire, and why some people want it to stay a secret.

39 min
Dec 24, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith on octopus consciousness, free will, and an extinct sea-worm he'd like to resurrect.

23 min
Dec 22, 2016
i

This week on the show we’re bringing you something a little different, a story from someone else. Caroline Ballard and Micah Schweizer started HumaNature, which is based in Wyoming, and they’re part of the team responsible for bringing us the story of ...

43 min
Dec 17, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. "Vampire Chronicles" author Anne Rice on superstition, science, and why, in spite of everything, she believes humanity's going to figure things out.

21 min
Dec 15, 2016
i

Mount Washington is famously home of "The World's Worst Weather", but it also hosts a huge amount of tourist infrastructure. Senior producer Taylor Quimby brings us this tale of how the mountain was conquered, and how that process became the template f...

42 min
Dec 10, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author, Podcaster, and "Human Guinea Pig" Tim Ferriss on death, ignoring most of the news, and sake as a secret weapon for podcasting.

19 min
Dec 8, 2016
i

Sam won’t tell you this, but he’s a really great athlete. He has another secret, too. There’s this photo of him leading a ski race, and it’s plastered on the side of a city bus in Argentina. So, how did Sam wind up on the side of a bus? This story expl...

40 min
Dec 3, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Artist David Salle on how even to begin figuring out what "works" in art.

46 min
Nov 26, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Jace Clayton AKA DJ/Rupture on sleuthing for beauty and surprise in the digital-musical landscape.

17 min
Nov 22, 2016
i

In our series, 10X10, we take you on a journey to a 10X10 plot and uncover the secrets in spaces you’d never think to look. This time, we look for signs of extraordinary life, at the center of a traffic circle.

41 min
Nov 19, 2016
i

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Fiction writer and environmentalist T.C. Boyle on the crazy, contested world we might not be able to inhabit much longer, and what we'll do after that.

50 min
Nov 12, 2016
i

The voluble Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek on why tolerance is the wrong way to deal with terrorism, the refugee crisis, and all the other problems we face.

24 min
Nov 10, 2016
i

Tony Bosco hid in plain sight for more than two decades in the most densely populated state in the nation. How did he do it? And what makes someone exchange all of the comforts of their home for the simplicity of a shed in the woods?

51 min
Nov 5, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Historian and New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb on interspecies ethics, the limits of civil discourse, and mathematical symmetry as the defining principle of the universe.

41 min
Oct 29, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Author Margaret Atwood on genomes in the cloud, Bob Dylan's Nobel prize, the elusiveness of dead authors, and why technology's a three-edged sword.

21 min
Oct 27, 2016
i

Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Friday the Thirteenth, Blair Witch. It seems the woods make a great backdrop for scary stories, but why? Are we hardwired to fear the forest? Or, let’s throw it out there, do ghosts just like hanging out in th...

42 min
Oct 22, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Author Jodi Picoult and host Jason Gots talk comic books, social justice, and why white Americans need to take the risk (and the consequences) of talking honestly about race and class privilege.

16 min
Oct 20, 2016
i

This is Eat The Invaders - our occasional segment where we take a bite out of invasive species populations. On the menu today, one of the scariest, most voracious and intractable invaders out there: the lionfish.

36 min
Oct 15, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. In this extra feisty episode of Think Again - A Big Think Podcast, actor and author William Shatner and host Jason Gots take sides on whether or not it's a dog-eat-dog world out there.

35 min
Oct 8, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. James Gleick, author of Time Travel - a History, talks with host Jason Gots about why we're so obsessed with something that's evidently impossible.

24 min
Oct 6, 2016
i

Today, we take a step back to imagine a world without a web of GPS satellites telling your smartphone where you are every second of the day. While this might sound scary, come along and maybe you’ll discover you have a secret sixth sense...one that’s b...

46 min
Oct 1, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep fun. Celebrity chef Alton Brown and host Jason Gots talk about fire, their mutual childhood lust for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven and how everything worth doing might get you killed.

38 min
Sep 24, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep fun. Novelist Ian McEwan and host Jason Gots discuss Hamlet, moral quandaries, and how to set boundaries in a world that wants to pull you in every direction.

35 min
Sep 22, 2016
i

It’s not surprising that many of the medicines we use today are derived from plants. The surprising part is how similar the molecular components of plants are to the building blocks of our own human, mammalian bodies. This week we dive head first into ...

39 min
Sep 17, 2016
i

Conversations on surprise topics with some of the world's most creative thinkers. In this episode, host Jason Gots selects some of the most memorable bits of writerly wit and wisdom from the first year of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast

37 min
Sep 10, 2016
i

On this week's episode, Eric Kandel and host Jason Gots discuss abstract art, memory, identity, and the nature of evil.

23 min
Sep 8, 2016
i

In 2013, Neil Hayward was depressed. He had just left the biotech company he helped start, and he was getting over the end of a very serious relationship. He had disposable income, and free time. Suddenly, he found himself doing a lot of birding. A LOT...

48 min
Sep 3, 2016
i

Host Jason Gots curates the best moments thus far of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, with excerpts from conversations with Paul F. Tompkins, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Palmer, and Chris Gethard

9 min
Sep 1, 2016
i

The producers commandeer the show while host Sam Evans-Brown is on a much-needed vacation. They sail into weird territory almost immediately. Note: Sam will be back with a new, normal episode right after Labor Day.

42 min
Aug 27, 2016
i

Alison Gopnik, one of the world's foremost experts on child cognition, learning, and development, and host Jason Gots discuss play, artificial intelligence, and the trouble with "parenting" as a verb.

40 min
Aug 20, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Nigerian-born novelist, essayist, and NYTimes photography critic Teju Cole and host Jason Gots discuss first drafts, the complexities of home, and the greatest innovation in human history.

25 min
Aug 18, 2016
i

When you walk a trail in the woods, have you ever wondered, how did this get here? Who carved this path? Was this stone staircase always like this? Nope. Chances are a team of hardscrabble men and women worked tirelessly to make sure the paths you foll...

34 min
Aug 13, 2016
i

Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. National Book Award-winning Author Jacqueline Woodson and host Jason Gots discuss collective amnesia, organized religion, the power of photographs, and why never being bored is bad for for kids.

45 min
Aug 6, 2016
i

In the second of two "year one in review" mixtapes, host Jason Gots curates the best moments thus far of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, with excerpts from conversations with Henry Rollins, Kate Tempest, Sarah Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, and A.O. Scott

29 min
Aug 4, 2016
i

When a Harvard professor accidentally let Gypsy Moths loose in the 1860s, he didn’t realize he was releasing a scourge that would plague New England forests for more than a century. Nothing could stop the moths except a controversial method of wildlif...

46 min
Jul 30, 2016
i

The Best of Year One, part 1: with Sam Harris, Junot Diaz, Maria Popova, Saul Williams & Jesse Ventura

47 min
Jul 23, 2016
i

Buckminster Fuller, vicarious sex, taboos and how to get around them

24 min
Jul 21, 2016
i

Producer Taylor Quimby has been defending Vibram FiveFingers™ shoes to naysayers for years. When people see him wearing them while he’s on the trail or out for a run, they tend to have a pretty visceral reaction, and that reaction is typically disgust....