Science and Technology

man in color and shape

Tool-making? Agriculture? Language? French neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene believes there’s an even more basic cognitive skill that gave humans an evolutionary jump start — geometry.More

Jordan Ellenberg, geometer

Math superstar Jordan Ellenberg reveals the geometrical underpinnings of pretty much everything — from pandemics to voting districts to the 14th dimension. If geometry is indeed "the cilantro of math," Ellenberg could convert even the most die-hard hater to the joy of shapes.More

A hummingbird drinks nectar

Christopher Benfey tells Anne Strainchamps why there was a hummingbird craze in 19th century Massachsetts, how artists and poets used them as symbols, and why they seem like winged jewels.More

A great horned owl

Jennifer Ackerman writes in her new book "What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds" about how owls are cryptic, hard to find, and difficult to understand. Speaking to Shannon Henry Kleiber, she said that’s part of the attraction.More

Birdwatching gear

Mark Obmascik tells Anne Strainchamps about the biggest competition in North American bird-watching and how he got drawn into the quest.More

Meghan O’Gieblyn

Does AI have a fundamentally different kind of intelligence than the human mind? Essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn is fascinated by this question. Her investigation into machine intelligence became a very personal journey, which led her down the rabbit hole into questions about creativity and the nature of transcendence.More

A raven on a tree

Our producer Charles Monroe-Kane has a passion for ravens.  The raven has meaning for him from legend and art, to the point where he’s had one tattooed on his forearm.More

A mysterious door.

Turns out there is an emerging science of uncertainty — a new frontier in psychology, artificial intelligence, and surgery — where things can go very wrong when people are missing a crucial skill set: being unsure. Maggie Jackson explains.More

Stephen Alvarez — a National Geographic photographer and founder of the Ancient Art Archive — has spent years documenting ancient rock art around the world. He takes Steve Paulson on a long hike in the Cumberland Plateau, where they find an "unnamed cave" with 2,000-year old engravings.More

Geologist Marcia Bjornerud has a profound understanding of Earth's deep history. The author of "Timefulness," she says geologic literacy would give us a much healthier sense of time. More

Feilding

In the years when psychedelic science had been shut down, Amanda Feilding helped jump-start research into altered states of mind. Today, she's in her 80s and remains active in psychedelic research with her Beckley Foundation.More

Kristof Koch

Neuroscientist Christof Koch has pioneered the scientific investigation of consciousness. Recently, he had a mind-blowing experience — both terrifying and ecstatic — with 5-MeO-DMT,  also known as toad venom.More

Robin Carhart-Harris

For years, Robin Carhart-Harris dreamed of using brain scans to study people on LSD. He’s gone on to conduct pioneering research on psilocybin, and he’s formulated a theory of the "entropic brain" to explain what happens during psychedelic experiences.More

Physicist Don Gurnett has recorded what you might hear from inside a spacecraft, and it isn't just the sound of desolate silence.More

The first image of a black hole.

Steve spoke with Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan about the search for invisible parts of the universe, dark matter, and the mind-boggling nature of black holes.More

Speaking in 2017, Journalist David Baron describes how witnessing a total solar eclipse set him on a path to examine how eclipses have propelled many inquisitive minds deeper into the sciences to see more deeply into the universe.More

Walter Scheirer

The internet is indeed overflowing with fake content, says computer scientist Walter Scheirer. But the vast majority of it seems aimed at the creation of connection—rather than destruction.More

When painter Sougwen Chung paints something in collaboration with an AI she trained — say, a black oil-paint brush stroke — a robot mimics Chung. But at some point, the robot continues without Chung and paints something new. So how creative is AI?More

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