Science and Technology

bright brain

How neuroscientist Tali Sharot accidentally stumbled on what’s known as “the optimism bias” — our hard-wired belief that our future will be better than our past or present.More

Yuval Noah Harari

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that sets you on a whole new path. For Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Norah Harari — author of "Sapiens," "Homo Deus," and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" — it wasn’t a novel, a memoir, or even a history book that changed his world. It was a book about chimpanzees.More

robot brain

Steve sat down with logician and mathematician Roger Antonsen and computer science pioneer Barbara J. Grosz to talk about how AI will challenge our own perception of intelligence in ways we might not expect.More

Lynne Cox swimming.

Lynne Cox is an extreme swimmer. At 18, she swam between the islands of New Zealand. She broke the men's and women's records for the English Channel. Then she did the unthinkable — swimming to Antarctica.More

Aluna rendering

British artist Laura Williams talks with Anne Strainchamps about Aluna — her design for the world's first tidal-powered moon clock.More

Clocks and clocks and clocks

Mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme talks to Steve Paulson about the nature of time and the human obsession with clock time.More

reindeer

Piers Vitebsky is an anthropologist who studies the Eveny — also known as the "Reindeer People of Siberia." He tells Steve Paulson they keep herds of reindeer for meat, but also have personal, consecrated reindeer animal doubles, which they believe will die for them.More

A historic Amundsen Tent in Antarctica.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a novelist who's made three trips to Antarctica as part of the National Science Foundation's Artists and Writers in Antarctica Program. She tells Anne Strainchamps that the place is addictive.More

person and dog

Ecofeminist philosopher Donna Haraway has a reputation for tackling the big intellectual questions of our time — and blowing them wide open. Steve spoke with her for the Los Angeles Review of Books.More

Werner Herzog

Filmmaker Werner Herzog, whose films include "Grizzly Man" and "Cave of the Forgotten Dreams," recommends a nonfiction collection of J.A. Baker's observations of peregrine falcons, recorded in the early 1960s.More

That Tree in April 2017

Mark Hirsch took 365 photos — one a day for a year — of a single Bur oak tree. The project changed his life.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental” — and it earned him the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

foggy trees

Suzanne Simard is a forest ecologist who's revolutionizing our understanding of trees. She has discovered that trees use underground networks to communicate and cooperate with each other. It turns out that whole forests can exist as a superorganism.More

NYAS panel on wonder

Steve asked a panel of experts— social psychologist Michelle Shiota, writer Caspar Henderson, and astrophysicist Alex Filippenko — to unpack the emerging science behind the emotions of awe and wonder, including their role in our ongoing quest for understanding and knowledge.More

Vaccine tubes

In her book "On Immunity: An Inoculation," social critic Eula Biss explores the metaphors and myths hidden behind vaccine hesitancy.More

Monster Dogs

Kirsten Bakis first wrote her story of biomechanically-enhanced, hyper-intelligent dogs 20 years ago, and it’s been a cult favorite ever since. So why create a post-modern Frankenstein story with dogs at the heart of the tale?More

people on the horizon

Psychologist Laurie Santos created a college course to teach students how to use what scientific research has discovered about what makes us happy and why. It became the most popular class in the 300 year history of Yale.More

The amazing brain, without a horn.

Gavin Francis is fascinated by the complexity and beauty of the human body, which is so finely engineered that it can seem almost miraculous.More

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