221 - Brian Keating - Losing the Nobel Prize

We talk to astrophysicist Brian Keating about new his book Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor.

Brian is an astrophysicist at UC-San Diego and was on the team that led the design of the BICEP experiment. It's successor, BICEP2, was heralded for the discovery of a signature of inflation in the early universe. But that's when it went all wrong.

Links:

BICEP2  Press Conference 

A premature celebration of discovery

Why the Nobel Prize is absurd by Ed Yong

Nature reviews Losing the Nobel Prize

Brian's website

Sponsors:

Philips The Spark Podcast

Udemy

219 Jeremy Bailenson - Creating Empathy With Immersive Virtual Reality

We talk to the founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Jeremy Bailenson. Bailenson’s lab studies how virtual reality can affect empathy—how it makes you feel to virtually embody someone else. VR offers the ability to be in someone else’s shoes in a way that you can’t recreate in real life—and those immersive experiences, whether it be facing a day in the life of a person experiencing homelessness, or diving to the corals that are right now being bleached by climate change, have lingering effects on all of us.

Links:

Kishore tours the VHIL Lab on Tested

Kara Swisher interviews Jeremy

VR and Football

The Limits of Empathy

Sponsors:

Philips Spark Podcast

Smart News

Udemy

218 Adam Becker - The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics

“No theory in the history of science has been more misused and abused by cranks and charlatans—and misunderstood by people struggling in good faith with difficult ideas—than quantum mechanics.” - Sean Carroll

Even though quantum mechanics is nearly 100 years old, the theory is wildly misunderstood and misinterpreted. A deeper looker into the history reveals, maybe physicists are having the same problem as well.

We talk to astrophysicist Adam Becker about his new book What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics, a revealing look at the hidden figures who developed out quantum physics that is still being revealed today.

Links:

The Casino Demo (relates to Bell's work)

Adam on NPR

Follow Adam on Twitter

Sponsors:

UChicago Lecture on the Future of AI

Philips Spark - a new podcast about the mind at work

217 Daniel Krawczyk - The Neuroscience of How We Think

We have a big announcement! After 217 episodes, we are striking out on our own. Thanks to Mother Jones for being our home for the past 5 years. Look for new segments and episodes as we expand creatively, while still bringing you in depth conversations with scientists.

This week, we talk to neuroscientist Daniel Krawczyk about his book Reasoning: The Neuroscience of How We Think.

Dan also studies traumatic brain injury in veterans, using virtual reality as a part of cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Links:

Dan's lab website

Dan's Ted Talk on reasoning

VR for Veterans

Sponsors:

“Regulating Artificial Intelligence: How to Control the Unexplainable” - April 12 at UChicago

Warby Parker

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week for making the show possible!