Big Picture Science podcast

Skeptic Check: Brain Gain (rebroadcast)

0:00
53:30
15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts
Looking to boost your brainpower? Luckily, there are products promising to help. Smart drugs, neurofeedback exercises, and brain-training video games all promise to improve your gray matter’s performance. But it’s uncertain whether these products really work. Regulatory agencies have come down hard on some popular brain training companies for false advertising. But other brain games have shown benefits in clinical trials. And could we skip the brain workout altogether and pop a genius pill instead?  In our regular look at critical thinking, we separate the pseudo from the science of commercial cognitive enhancement techniques. Guests: ·       Caroline Williams – Science journalist and author of “My Plastic Brain: One Woman’s Yearlong Journey to Discover If Science Can Improve Her Mind” ·       Adam Gazzaley – Neuroscientist, University of California, San Francisco, and the executive director of Neuroscape. His book is “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World.”  ·       Amy Arnsten – Professor of neuroscience and psychology at Yale Medical School ·       Kevin Roose – Journalist for the New York Times. ·       Leonard Mlodinow – Physicist and author of “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change”   Originally aired August 6, 2018 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Weitere Episoden von „Big Picture Science“

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    Talk the Walk (rebroadcast)

    54:48

    Birds and bees do it … and so do fish. In a discovery that highlights the adaptive benefits of walking, scientists have discovered fish that can walk on land. Not fin-flap their bodies, mind you, but ambulate like reptiles.   And speaking of which, new research shows that T Rex, the biggest reptile of them all, wasn’t a sprinter, but could be an efficient hunter by outwalking its prey. Find out the advantage of legging it, and how human bipedalism stacks up. Not only is walking good for our bodies and brains, but not walking can change your personality and adversely affect your health.  Guests:  Hans Larsson – Paleontologist and biologist, and Director of the Redpath Museum at McGill University in Montréal. Shane O’Mara – Neuroscientist and professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of “In Praise of Walking.” Brooke Flammang – Biologist at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Big Picture Science is part of the Airwave Media podcast network. Please contact [email protected] to inquire about advertising on Big Picture Science. You can get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support! originally aired October 5, 2020     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  • Big Picture Science podcast

    Skeptic Check: Shroom With a View (rebroadcast)

    57:03

    Magic mushrooms – or psilocybin - may be associated with tripping hippies and Woodstock, but they are now being studied as new treatments for depression and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Is this Age of Aquarius medicine or something that could really work? Plus, the centuries-long use of psychedelics by indigenous peoples, and a discovery in California’s Pinwheel Cave offers new clues about the relationship between hallucinogens and cave art. Guests: Merlin Sheldrake - Biologist and the author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our Worlds, Change our Minds and Shape our Futures. Albert Garcia-Romeu - Assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine David Wayne Robinson - Archeologist in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, U.K. Sandra Hernandez - Tejon Indian Tribe spokesperson Originally aired December 7, 2020 Big Picture Science is part of the Airwave Media podcast network. Please contact [email protected] to inquire about advertising on Big Picture Science.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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    Suitable For Life?

    55:38

    Life nearby? We’ve not yet found any on our favorite planet, Mars. But even if Mars is sterile, could we ever change that by terraforming it? Or seeding it with life from Earth? The Red Planet is not the only game in town: A new NASA mission to a Jovian moon may give clues to biology on a world where, unlike Mars, liquid water still exists. Also, the promise of the James Webb Space Telescope and why the solar system’s largest active volcano offers clues to the habitability of other worlds. Guests: Kate Craft – Planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where she studies icy moons such as Europa. Julie Rathbun – Senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute Courtney Dressing – Professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley Chris McKay – Research scientist, NASA Ames Research Center   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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    Your Inner Tree

    53:30

    Declining biodiversity is a problem as fraught as climate change. Loss of habitat, monoculture crops, and the damming of waterways all lead to massive species extinction. They tear at life’s delicate web, and threaten a balance established by four billion years of evolution. Can we reassess our relationship to Nature? We consider logging efforts that make elephants part of the work force, and how to leverage the cooperative behavior of trees. Becoming Nature’s ally, rather than its enemy. Guests: Suzanne Simard – Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and author of “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest.” Carl Safina – Professor of Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and founder of the Safina Center, and author of “Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace.” Jacob Shell – Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University, and author of “Giants of the Monsson Forest: Living and Working with Elephants.”   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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    Dimming the Sun

    53:30

    Does geoengineering offer a Plan B if nations at the U.N. climate meeting can't reduce carbon emissions? The Glasgow meeting has been called “the last best chance” to take measures to slow down global heating. But we're nowhere near to achieving the emission reductions necessary to stave off a hothouse planet. We consider both the promise and the perils of geoengineering, and ask who decides about experimenting with Earth’s climate. Guests: ·       Elizabeth Kolbert – Staff Writer at The New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” and, most recently, of “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.” ·       David Keith – Professor of public policy and applied physics at Harvard University who also participates in the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPex) geoengineering project. ·       Kim Cobb – Professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Tech, and the director of its Global Change Program.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  • Big Picture Science podcast

    Skeptic Check: Brain Gain (rebroadcast)

    53:30

    Looking to boost your brainpower? Luckily, there are products promising to help. Smart drugs, neurofeedback exercises, and brain-training video games all promise to improve your gray matter’s performance. But it’s uncertain whether these products really work. Regulatory agencies have come down hard on some popular brain training companies for false advertising. But other brain games have shown benefits in clinical trials. And could we skip the brain workout altogether and pop a genius pill instead?  In our regular look at critical thinking, we separate the pseudo from the science of commercial cognitive enhancement techniques. Guests: ·       Caroline Williams – Science journalist and author of “My Plastic Brain: One Woman’s Yearlong Journey to Discover If Science Can Improve Her Mind” ·       Adam Gazzaley – Neuroscientist, University of California, San Francisco, and the executive director of Neuroscape. His book is “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World.”  ·       Amy Arnsten – Professor of neuroscience and psychology at Yale Medical School ·       Kevin Roose – Journalist for the New York Times. ·       Leonard Mlodinow – Physicist and author of “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change”   Originally aired August 6, 2018 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  • Big Picture Science podcast

    Radical Cosmology (rebroadcast)

    53:30

    400 years ago, some ideas about the cosmos were too scandalous to mention. When the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno suggested that planets existed outside our Solar System, the Catholic Inquisition had him arrested, jailed, and burned at the stake for heresy. Today, we have evidence of thousands of planets orbiting other stars. Our discovery of extrasolar planets has dramatically changed ideas about the possibility for life elsewhere in the universe.  Modern theories about the existence of the ghostly particles called neutrinos or of collapsed stars with unfathomable gravity (black holes), while similarly incendiary, didn’t prompt arrest, of course. Neutrinos and black holes were arresting ideas because they came decades before we had the means to prove their existence. Hear about scientific ideas that came before their time and why extrasolar planets, neutrinos, and black holes are now found on the frontiers of astronomical research. Guests: Alberto Martínez – Professor of history, University of Texas, Austin, and author of Burned Alive: Giordano Bruno, Galileo & the Inquisition Anne Schukraft – Associate scientist, Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory Ephraim Fischbach – Professor of physics and astronomy, Perdue University Chris Impey – Professor of astronomy, University of Arizona, and author of Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes Originally aired February 18, 2019 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  • Big Picture Science podcast

    Fuhgeddaboudit

    53:30

    A thousand years ago, most people didn’t own a single book. The only way to access knowledge was to consult their memory.  But technology – from paper to hard drives – has permitted us to free our brains from remembering countless facts. Alphabetization and the simple filing cabinet have helped to systematize and save information we might need someday. But now that we can Google just about any subject, have we lost the ability to memorize information? Does this make our brains better or worse? Guests: Judith Flanders – Historian and author, most recently of A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order Craig Robertson – Professor of Media Studies, Northeastern University and author of The Filing Cabinet: A Vertical History of Information David Eagleman – Neuroscientist and author, Stanford University   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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    Home Invasions (rebroadcast)

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    As we struggle to control a viral invader that moves silently across the globe and into its victims, we are also besieged by other invasions. Murder hornets have descended upon the Pacific Northwest, threatening the region’s honeybees. In Africa, locust swarms darken the sky. In this episode, we draw on a classic science fiction tale to examine the nature of invasions, and what prompts biology to go on the move. Guests: Peter Ksander – Associate professor at Reed College in the Department of Theater. Producer of the spring 2020 production of War of the Worlds Eva Licht – A senior at Reed College, and producer and director of War of the Worlds Chris Looney – Entomologist with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where he manages its general entomology laboratory Nipun Basrur – Neurobiologist at The Rockefeller University Amy Maxmen – Reporter at the journal Nature, in which her story about pandemic war games appeared. Originally aired August 31, 2020   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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    AI: Where Does It End? (rebroadcast)

    53:30

    The benefits of artificial intelligence are manifest and manifold, but can we recognize the drawbacks … and avoid them in time?  In this episode, recorded before a live audience at the Seattle meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, we discuss who is making the ethical decisions about how we use this powerful technology, and a proposal to create a Hippocratic Oath for AI researchers. Guests: Oren Etzioni - CEO of The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence Mark Hill - Professor of computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and chair of the Computing Community Consortium Originally aired February 24, 2020   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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