TrueSciPhi logo

TrueSciPhi

 

Podcast Profile: Bridging the Gaps: A Portal for Curious Minds

podcast imageTwitter: @BTG_ie
Site: www.bridgingthegaps.ie
74 episodes
2014 to present
Average episode: 55 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Interview-Style • Philosophy+/Philosophyish/Ideas/Etc. • Science and Technology

Podcaster's summary: In-depth conversations with researchers, explorers and thought leaders from around the world, on cutting edge research and original ideas.

Discover other podcasts.

List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:08 UTC. Episodes: 74. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2024-Mar-31 • 42 minutes
“Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter” with Professor W. Russell Neuman
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most remarkable advancements of our time. It is a powerful evolving technology that has transformed the way we interact with machines and perceive the capabilities of computer systems. However, with this newfound power comes a natural apprehension. There is a noticeable fear surrounding the unintentional consequences and unintended implications of Artificial Intelligence. As this technology becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, the quest...
2024-Mar-06 • 61 minutes
“Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered” with Professor Don Norman
Has human behaviour pushed our world to the edge, especially the mistaken belief that the earth’s resources are infinite? And can a shift in human behaviour rescue us? The challenges we face, from collapsing social structures to the climate crisis, have been centuries in the making. It is immensely critical that we take immediate and decisive actions; we must transform ourselves to improve our circumstances. In his new book “Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered” Don Norman ...
2024-Feb-11 • 45 minutes
“The AI Playbook: Mastering the Rare Art of Machine Learning Deployment” with Eric Siegel
The most powerful tool often comes with the greatest challenges. In recent times Machine learning has emerged as the world's leading general-purpose technology, yet its implementation remains notably complex. Beyond the realm of Big Tech and a select few leading enterprises, many machine learning initiatives don’t succeed, failing to deliver on their potential. What's lacking? A specialised business approach and development & deployment strategy tailored for widespread adoption. In his recent book “The AI P...
2024-Feb-07 • 59 minutes
“Sharing Our Science: How to Write and Speak STEM” with Professor Brandon Brown
Science communication plays an important role in bridging the gap between researchers and the general public, fostering understanding, engagement, and appreciation for scientific explorations and advancements. In an era where science and technology shape every aspect of our lives, effective communication of research findings is more critical than ever. This is also a time where there are conflicting views about scientific work and polarizations in societies. This makes effective science communication even m...
2023-Sep-02 • 57 minutes
“The Good-Enough Life” with Dr Avram Alpert
We live in a society driven by a relentless pursuit of greatness, where we are constantly pushed to attain the highest levels of wealth, power, and fame. This relentless fixation on greatness leads to stress and anxiety, strains our interpersonal connections, fosters extensive political and economic disparities, and contributes to the deterioration of our natural environment. In his book “The Good-Enough Life” author and educator Avram Alpert explores the idea of whether embracing our limitations could pav...
2023-Jul-15 • 69 minutes
“Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness” with Professor Nicholas Humphrey
We experience, thus we exist. Our conscious perceptions form the foundation of our self-awareness. They play a vital role in shaping our understanding of ourselves as sentient beings: present, alive, and significant. However, what is the origin of consciousness, and how does the process of experiencing sensations and developing a sense of awareness contribute to its emergence? Is this capacity limited solely to humans? Do other animals share this ability? And what about the potential for future machines? ...
2023-Jun-06 • 56 minutes
“The Smartness Mandate” with Professor Orit Halpern
Smartness has permeated our lives in the form of smartphones, smart cars, smart homes, and smart cities. It has become a mandate, a pervasive force that governs politics, economics, and the environment. As our world faces increasingly complex challenges, the drive for ubiquitous computing raises important questions. What exactly is this 'smartness mandate'? How did it emerge, and what does it reveal about our evolving understanding and management of reality? How did we come to view the planet and its inhabi...
2023-May-28 • 57 minutes
“Ending Epidemics: A History of Escape from Contagion” with Richard Conniff
It is difficult to imagine a not-so-distant past when deadly diseases were a routine part of life. Even more astonishing is the fact that during that time, prevailing medical beliefs attributed these diseases to harmful miasmas, bodily humors, and divine dyspepsia. However, a groundbreaking revelation occurred with the discovery of the world of microorganisms, which led to the understanding that these tiny organisms might be responsible for transmitting and spreading diseases. These pivotal discoveries and ...
2023-May-20 • 59 minutes
“Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub” with Robert Buderi
Kendall Square, situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has earned the reputation of being "the most innovative square mile on the planet." It serves as a vibrant epicentre for life sciences, housing renowned companies such as Biogen, Moderna, Pfizer, Takeda, and many others. Additionally, it stands as a prominent hub for technology, with giants like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple occupying substantial portions of valuable office space within its bounds. The square is also home to a thriv...
2023-Apr-16 • 43 minutes
“Worlds Without End: Exoplanets, Habitability, and the Future of Humanity” with Prof. Chris Impey
When considering the long-term survival and sustainability of human civilization, two developments hold significant implications. Firstly, humanity has been recklessly depleting resources, causing species extinctions, and degrading essential elements for life on Earth for centuries. Secondly, advancements in the science of discovering habitable planets outside our solar system have opened up the possibility of establishing human civilization beyond our increasingly inhospitable planetary home. In his latest...
2023-Apr-01 • 67 minutes
Reclaiming Human Intelligence and “How to Stay Smart in a Smart World” with Prof. Gerd Gigerenzer
The future of technology is a subject of debate among experts. Some predict a bleak future where robots become dominant, leaving humans behind. Others, known as tech industry boosters, believe that replacing humans with software can lead to a better world. Critics of the tech industry express concern about the negative consequences of surveillance capitalism. Despite these differences, there is a shared belief that machines will eventually surpass humans in most areas. In his recent book "How to Stay Smart ...
2023-Mar-13 • 57 minutes
“A Traveller’s Guide to the Stars” with Physicist, Author and Nasa Technologist Les Johnson
The ancient ambition of exploring the cosmos and possibly even inhabiting other planets may one day come true, as we discover more and more exoplanets and intend to develop innovative propulsion techniques suitable for interstellar travel. Projects like 100 Year Starship and Breakthrough Starshot enable us to study the challenges involved with a view to develop solutions, furthering the idea of interstellar travel. In his new book “A Traveller’s Guide to the Stars” physicist and Nasa Technologist Les Johnso...
2023-Jan-29 • 68 minutes
“When Galaxies Were Born: The Quest for Cosmic Dawn” with Professor Richard Ellis
Looking for the earliest galaxies is like travelling back in time. Something that astronomers do all the time. Astronomers use huge and powerful telescopes to see not only farther and deeper into space, but also back in time. The hunt for the oldest galaxies using observational astronomy needs not only a thorough grasp of the physics and chemistry of the early cosmos, but also the human ingenuity of building large size telescopes and designing innovative instrumentation. Large and complicated telescopes, as...
2023-Jan-08 • 82 minutes
Cloud Empires: Governing State-like Digital Platforms & Regaining Control with Prof Vili Lehdonvirta
The rise of the platform economy puts state-like power in the hands of platform owners with little or no accountability. Over the past few decades, the chaotic and lawless early Internet evolved into a digital reality where e-commerce and digital services platform owners dictate decisions that affect millions living in different countries and jurisdictions. In his book “Cloud Empires: How Digital Platforms Are Overtaking the State and How We Can Regain Control” professor Vili Lehdonvirta explains how tech p...
2022-Dec-01 • 58 minutes
“The Exquisite Machine: The New Science of the Heart” with Professor Sian Harding
The heartbeat may be the first physical manifestation of an unborn child that can be seen six weeks after conception, and it continues roughly 100,000 times per day for as long as we are alive. Scientists and researchers have attempted to recreate the heart's flawless engineering for decades in labs all around the world, but have been unsuccessful. Its exact operation and capacity to meet both our bodily and emotional demands makes it a marvel of engineering that is unmatched by anything built by humans. An...
2022-Oct-31 • 72 minutes
“Working with AI”: Human-Machine Collaborations with Prof. Thomas Davenport and Prof. Steven Miller
There is a widespread view that artificial intelligence is a job destroyer technical endeavour. There is both enthusiasm and doom around automation and the use of artificial intelligence-enabled "smart" solutions at work. In their latest book “Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration”, management and technology experts professor Thomas Davenport and professor Steven Miller explain that AI is not primarily a job destroyer, despite popular predictions, prescriptions, and condemnation. Rath...
2022-Oct-15 • 62 minutes
"Zero to Birth: How the Human Brain Is Built" with Professor William Harris
A single fertilised egg generates an embryo. Different cell types in this embryo develop into various organs of a new human being, including a new human brain. Everything starts with a single fertilised egg, and in the embryo, some embryonic cells develop into neural stem cells that construct the brain. By the time a baby is born, its brain is already made up of billions of precisely designed neurons that are connected by trillions of synapses to form a small, compact but incredibly powerful supercomputer. ...
2022-Jul-19 • 80 minutes
“The Case Against Reality” and The Hard Problem of Consciousness with Professor Donald Hoffman
What is the true nature of reality? Does the objective reality reported back by our senses paint a complete picture of the true reality? Is it possible that the world we see is not objective reality and it is just an interface to a deeper, true reality. In his book “The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes” cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman Challenges leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality. He argues that while we should take our per...
2022-Jun-27 • 61 minutes
Augmented Thinking: The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science with Professor Julio Ottino
We live in an age of increasing complexity and uncertainty. We live in a time when humanity faces extremely complex challenges. Our ability, or lack thereof, to create solutions to such extremely complicated challenges may determine our long-term survival as a civilization. The question is: is our existing style of thinking adequate, or do we require a new style of thinking in order to innovate and lead into the future. In their recent book Julio Ottino and Bruce Mau make a case for “The Nexus”, a radically...
2022-Jun-04 • 58 minutes
“Machines like Us: TOWARD AI WITH COMMON SENSE” with Professor Ronald Brachman
There is a consensus among the researchers in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning that today’s artificial intelligence systems are narrowly focused, are designed to tackle specialised tasks and cannot operate in general settings. An important feature of the human brain that enables us to operate in general settings, and in unfamiliar situations is our common sense. In their new book “Machines like Us: TOWARD AI WITH COMMON SENSE” Hector Levesque and Ronald Brachman explain “why current...
2022-May-19 • 43 minutes
“The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds” with Professor Christopher Mason
We are the only known species that understands species go extinct. We also understand that climate calamity, apocalyptic war, or the demise of the sun in a few billion years will all inevitably bring life on Earth to an end. So it is extremely important we do whatever we can to avoid extinction. We have a moral obligation to prevent extinction, and we have a responsibility to act as life-form shepherds—not just for our species, but for all species on which we rely, as well as those yet to come. This may in...
2022-May-13 • 43 minutes
"The Joy of Science" with Professor Jim Al-Khalili
Can living scientifically empower us to navigate the complexities of today’s complex and unpredictable world? Can the joy of critical thinking and the effectiveness of the scientific method assist us in making better decisions? Can living a more rational life help us navigate modern life more confidently? In his new book “The Joy of Science” acclaimed physicist Jim Al-Khalili invites readers to engage with the world as scientists have been trained to do. He shows how the fundamental principles at the heart ...
2022-May-01 • 49 minutes
"Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans" with Professor Melanie Mitchell
Recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence are fascinating as well as terrifying; there are extravagant promises as well as frustrating setbacks; there is great progress in narrowly focused AI applications, and there is lack of progress in the field of Artificial General Intelligence. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with professor Melanie Mitchell and we discuss the history, recent successes, huge expectations and emerging fears and frustrations in the field of Artificial Intel...
2022-Mar-31 • 48 minutes
The End of Astronauts, Robotic Space Missions and Our Future on Earth & Beyond with Prof Martin Rees
Human space exploration is challenging as well as fascinating. However, the excitement of space flight for astronauts comes at a high cost and is riddled with danger. As our robot explorers become more capable, governments and corporations must consider whether the ambition to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars is worth the cost and risk. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with professor Martin Rees who is one of the authors of “The End of Astronauts: Why Robots Are the Future of Exploration”. ...
2022-Mar-17 • 67 minutes
"Spark: The Life of Electricity and the Electricity of Life" with Professor Timothy Jorgensen
When we think about electricity, we most often think of the energy that powers various devices and appliances around us, or perhaps we visualise the lightning-streaked clouds of a stormy sky. But there is more to electricity and “life at its essence is nothing if not electrical”. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Professor Timothy Jorgensen and we discuss his recent book “Spark: The Life of Electricity and the Electricity of Life ”. The book explains the science of electricity through the l...
2022-Feb-27 • 59 minutes
Asking Better Questions for Problem Solving, Innovation and Effective Leadership with Hal Gregersen
Every problem or issue raises new questions, which must be correctly answered in order to address the problem or resolve the issue. What if we could get a better answer to our most troublesome problem—at work or at home—just by altering the question? If asking right questions is essential for creative problem solving and innovation, and for effective leadership, shouldn’t we know more about how to arrive at right questions? In his book “Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing P...
2022-Feb-12 • 70 minutes
On Public Communication of Science and Technology with Professor Bruce Lewenstein
From the museums of the fifteenth century, to the public lectures of Michael Faraday in the nineteenth century, and to various science fairs & festivals of the twenty-first century, public engagement of science has evolved immensely. Public engagement of science in this age of hyper connectivity is “a multidimensional and multi-directional activity”. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with professor Bruce Lewenstien, a widely-known authority on public communication of science and technology. Bruc...
2022-Jan-20 • 57 minutes
"Forgetting: The Benefits of Not Remembering" with Dr Scott Small
We all wish to have a better memory, yet there are times when it fails us. Until recently, most people, even memory scientists, believed that forgetting served no purpose. However, new research in psychology, neuroscience, medicine, and computer science paints a different picture. It informs us that forgetting is not a failure of our minds. It's not even a benign glitch. It is, in fact, good for us and, alongside memory, it is a required and a separate function for our minds. It benefits our cognitive and c...
2022-Jan-03 • 55 minutes
"Learning How to Learn": Techniques to Help You Learn with Dr Barbra Oakley (CLASSIC)
Humans have fundamental ability and cognitive resources to learn new concepts and acquire new skills and knowledge, although this may not seem natural to most of us at first. The key is to understand how the brain works so we can harness its potential by developing and adopting learning techniques that are effective and more rewarding. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Dr Barbara Oakley about “Learning how to learn”. Dr. Oakley encourages learners to recognize that everyone learns different...
2021-Nov-07 • 68 minutes
"The Self-Assembling Brain" and Quest for Improved AI with Professor Peter Robin Hiesinger
How does a network of individual neural cells become a brain? How does a neural network learn, hold information and exhibit intelligence? While neurobiologists study how nature achieves this feat, computer scientists interested in artificial intelligence attempt to achieve it through technology. Are there ideas that researchers in the field of artificial intelligence borrow from their counterparts in the field of neuroscience? Can a better understanding of the development and working of the biological brain...
2021-Aug-31 • 66 minutes
Quantum Computers: Building and Harnessing the Power of Quantum Machines with Prof. Andrea Morello
Quantum computers store data and perform computations by utilizing properties of quantum physics. Quantum computations are performed by these machines by utilizing quantum state features such as superposition and entanglement. Traditional computers store data in binary “bits,” which can be either 0s or 1s. A quantum bit, or qubit, is the fundamental memory unit in a quantum computer. Quantum states such as the spin of an electron or the direction of a photon, are used to create qubits. This could be very us...
2021-Aug-22 • 47 minutes
"Nano Comes to Life": DNA NanoTech, Medicine and the Future of Biology with Professor Sonia Contera
Nanotechnology allows scientists to better understand, interact with, and manipulate biology by creating and manufacturing artificial structures and even machines at the nanoscale out of DNA, proteins, and other biological molecules. From nanoscale machines that can target individual cancer cells and deliver drugs more effectively to nanoantibiotics that can fight resistant bacteria, to the engineering of tissues and organs for research, drug discovery, and transplantation, nanotechnology is revolutionizing...
2021-Jul-25 • 43 minutes
"Free Will" Through the Lenses of Philosophy and Neuroscience with Dr Alfred Mele
The debate over whether or not free will exists is not new. The main points of contention in this discussion are whether or not we have control over our actions, and if so, what kind of control we have and to what extent. On the one hand, we have a strong sense of liberty, which causes us to trust in our own free will. An intuitive and instinctive sense of free will, on the other hand, could be misinterpreted. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Dr Aflred Mele and we discuss the concept of “F...
2021-Jun-13 • 61 minutes
Time, Space and Nature of Reality through the Lens of Quantum Theory with Dr Carlo Rovelli
What is time? Is time real or just an illusion? Time is an enigma, a mystery that never ceases to perplex us. Philosophers, poets, painters and thinkers have long debated its significance, while scientists have discovered that its structure differs from our intuitive understanding of it. Our view of time has changed dramatically throughout the years, from Boltzmann to quantum theory, and from Einstein to loop quantum gravity. In the huge cosmos, time moves at various speeds in different places, the past an...
2021-Jun-07 • 64 minutes
The Spike: Journey of Electric Signals in Brain from Perception to Action with Prof. Mark Humphries
Neurons are the fundamental building blocks of the brain. In the human brain, billions of these neurons communicate and liaise with one another using spikes, blips of electric voltages. Studying and understanding how these spikes emerge in the brain, how they travel through the brain and how this communication leads to meaningful actions are part of the cutting edge research in the field of neuroscience. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with professor Mark Humphries and discuss the research tha...
2021-Apr-19 • 50 minutes
History of Information with Professor Paul Duguid
Over centuries “information has shaped and been shaped by human society”, writes professor Paul Duguid at the start of the book “Information: A Historical Companion”. Duguid is one of the editors of this book that reconstructs the rise of human approaches to creating, managing, and sharing facts and knowledge. The book is organised as thirteen long form chapters and more than hundred short form entries in a list of thematic objects, tools and concepts that are critical for our understanding of information. ...
2021-Feb-09 • 54 minutes
"On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done" with Professor David Badre
Neural mechanisms in the human brain that are responsible for generating and keeping track of plans, and influencing a cascade of brain states that can link our goals with the correct actions are known as Cognitive Control. These mechanisms and processes enable us to transform plans and goals into actions. Cognitive Control, also known as Executive Control inhibits automatic responses and supports flexible, adaptive responses and enables sophisticated actions to achieve desired goals. From making a cup of c...
2021-Jan-31 • 59 minutes
"Philosophy & Ethics of Technology" with Professor Peter-Paul Verbeek
Philosophical reflection on technology is not new, it is about as old as philosophy itself. However, as the impact of technology on everyday human life and on society keeps increasing, and new and emerging technologies permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives, it is crucial that human-technology relationships are studied extensively and understood thoroughly. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with philosopher Professor Peter-Paul Verbeek who suggests that human-technology relationships s...
2020-Oct-26 • 42 minutes
"A Passion for Ignorance" and for Denials and Negations with Professor Renata Salecl
Ignorance, denials and negations have always been part of human experience. In this post-truth, post-industrial world, we often feel overwhelmed by the information and misinformation overload. Although we claim to live in an information age, consciously or unconsciously, actively or passively more and more we are choosing to ignore, deny and negate facts and valid opinions. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with philosopher and sociologist Professor Renata Salecl and we this discuss this “passio...
2020-Oct-12 • 61 minutes
Intriguing Science of Sense of Smell with Professor Matthew Cobb
Sense of smell is the process of creating the perception of smell. Animals use smell for a range of essential functions such as to find food or a mate, to sense danger and to send and receive signals and complex messages with other members of a species. Despite being so fundamental for all animals, including us, the sense of smell remains mysterious. We understand far less about this sense than we know about other senses. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with Professor Matthew Cobb and we explor...
2020-Sep-20 • 57 minutes
"Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe's First Seconds" with Dr Dan Hooper
Scientists now have a good understanding of how our universe evolved over the past 13.8 billion years, but we know very little about what happened in the first few seconds after the Big Bang. Dr Dan Hooper, a senior scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Lab and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, emphasises that understanding the earliest moments of the universe is vital to tackle, and to decipher mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy. In his book “At the Edge ...
2020-Aug-27 • 53 minutes
"The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)" with Dr Katie Mack
Throughout history philosophers, poets and explorers have been pondering upon and debating the question that what the long term future of our universe would be. The focus has been on two intriguing perspectives: would the universe continue to exist forever or would it end at some point in time in future. Modern scientists seem to be in agreement that in the distant future the world will end; our universe will die. At that time, humanity might still exist in many unrecognizable spinoff forms, venturing out t...
2020-Aug-14 • 53 minutes
Artificial Intelligence: Fascinating Opportunities & Emerging Challenges with Professor Bart Selman
Research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence is progressing at an amazing pace. These developments are moving beyond simple applications such as machine vision, autonomous vehicles, natural language processing and medical diagnosis. Future AI systems will be able to use reasoning to make decisions; will employ innovative models of non-human intelligence; will augment human intelligence through human centric AI Systems. These systems will enable us to discover solutions to scientific and ...
2020-Jul-05 • 63 minutes
"Philosophy of Information" and "Ethics of Information" with Professor Luciano Floridi
Information is a crucial concept. Its significance is evident by the fact that the present era is labelled as the information age. An intriguing question is: What is information? Although information is always around us, in the realm of digital artefacts and connectivity as well as in biological entities and processes, it is still an elusive concept. This is perhaps the hardest and most central problem that is the focus of a new area of research known as philosophy of information. This episode of Bridging t...
2020-Jun-02 • 65 minutes
"The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for The Anthropocene" with Professor Jürgen Renn
Most history of science publications narrowly focus on specific periods in human history, or particular disciplines of scientific discovery, or small sets of scientists and philosophers. However there is a view that history of science can be better understood against the background of a history of knowledge including not only theoretical but also intuitive and practical knowledge. This can be further broadened by including cognitive, material and social dimensions of knowledge. Studying how knowledge struct...
2020-Mar-11 • 44 minutes
"Dark Data: Why What You Don't Know Matters" with Professor David Hand
In the era of big data and super-fast information capturing and processing systems, it is easy to imagine that we have all the information that lead to actionable insights, that we need to make good decisions. However, according to David Hand, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London, the data we have are never complete. Just as much of the universe is composed of dark matter, invisible to us but nonetheless present, the universe of information is full o...
2020-Mar-02 • 56 minutes
Origin Of Mathematics and Mathematical Thinking with Dr Keith Devlin
Mathematics is everywhere. We use numbers, quantities, values and measurements almost all the time. Counting and quantifying is part of almost everything that we do. An interesting question is how did it all start. When did humans start thinking mathematically and what is the origin of mathematical thinking. As we start tacking these questions, we stumble upon few more queries: how did our brain evolve to do mathematics; what are fundamental capacities that enable humans to do mathematical thinking; wha...
2019-Dec-04 • 40 minutes
Timefulness: Thinking Like a Geologist with Professor Marcia Bjornerud
Our planet’s history, from its initial formation to present day, spans over a long period of time. It is not easy to conceptually imagine such a large timescale and most of us adopt a narrow perspective of temporal proportion. This constricted view, according to professor Marcia Bjornerud underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. The lifespan of Earth can seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but a narrow view of time makes it difficult for us to und...
2019-Oct-22 • 47 minutes
"The Technology Trap" and the Future of Work with Dr Carl Frey
An intriguing set of questions that is being explored by researchers across the globe and is being discussed and brainstormed in various organisations and think tanks is: “what is the future of work”; “how forthcoming AI and Automation revolution will impact on the nature and structure of work”; and “what would be the impact of these changes on the fabric of society from social, economic and political perspectives”. In a 2013 study “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?” ...
2019-Jul-20 • 43 minutes
How Cooking Made Us Human with Professor Richard Wrangham
Humans are the only animals that cook their food. One of the implications of cooking food, as noted by Oliver Goldsmith is, “of all other animals we spend the least time in eating”. In a ground-breaking theory of our origins, primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that the shift from raw to cooked food was a key factor in human development. When our ancestors adapted to using fire, humanity as we know it, began. Wrangham notes that as a result of eating cooked food, the human digestive tract shrank and the b...
2019-Jul-02 • 54 minutes
Spitzer Space Telescope: Discovering "More Things in the Heavens" with Michael Werner
Since 2003, in a unique Earth-trailing orbit around the sun, the Spitzer Space Telescope has been observing in infrared an optically invisible universe dominated by dust and stars. Astronomers have been studying visible universe for thousands of years; however due to interstellar dust clouds and other obstructions to visible light, it was not possible to observe various regions of the universe. The Spitzer Space Telescope, the most sensitive infrared space observatory ever launched, has enabled us to study ...
2019-Jun-16 • 52 minutes
"Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason" with Justin Smith
In his new book, "Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason" philosopher Justin Smith presents a fascinating narrative that reveals the ways in which the pursuit of rationality often leads to an explosion of irrationality. Smith, a professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Paris, acknowledges that we are living in an era when nothing seems to make sense. Populism is on the rise, pseudoscience is still around and there is no shortage of of conspiracy theories. Smith d...
2019-Apr-10 • 61 minutes
"2062: The World That AI Made" with Professor Toby Walsh
Professor Toby Walsh is a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence, and has spent his life dreaming about machines that might think. He is a Professor of AI at the University of New South Wales and leads a research group at Data61, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps Professor Toby Walsh discusses his latest book ““2062: The World That AI Made”. By 2062 there will be huge developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and some researche...
2018-Dec-17 • 44 minutes
Robots, Artificial Life and Technology Imagined by the Ancients with Adrienne Mayor
Adrienne Mayor is an author and historian of ancient science and human curiosity. She is a research scholar at Stanford University who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and traditions. In this podcast Adrienne Mayor discusses the fascinating research that she presents in her book "Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines and Ancient Dreams of Technology". This is a captivating account of the earliest expressions of the enduring urge to create machines that imitate life. Adrienne May...
2018-Dec-10 • 47 minutes
Origin of Human Emotions and Underlying Neurophysiological Functions with Professor Joseph LeDoux
Origin of Human Emotions and Underlying Neurophysiological Functions with Professor Joseph LeDoux by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2018-Dec-10 • 62 minutes
A History of the Concept of Genius from Antiquity to the Modern Time with Professor Darrin McMohan
A History of the Concept of Genius from Antiquity to the Modern Time with Professor Darrin McMohan by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2018-Nov-17 • 36 minutes
Memory Slips, Ageing and Strategies For Keeping Brain Healthy with Dr Gary Small
Memory Slips, Ageing and Strategies For Keeping Brain Healthy with Dr Gary Small by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2018-Nov-17 • 31 minutes
Phoenix Mars Mission with NASA's Peter Smith
Phoenix Mars Mission with NASA's Peter Smith by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2018-Apr-02 • 43 minutes
False Memories, Misinformation Effect and Eyewitness Testimony: Professor Elizabeth Loftus
False Memories, Misinformation Effect and Eyewitness Testimony: Professor Elizabeth Loftus by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2018-Feb-17 • 53 minutes
Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age with Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age with Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger by Dr Waseem Akhtar
2017-Apr-24 • 52 minutes
Why You Are Not Your Brain? A Conversation on Consciousness with Alva Noe
Human Consciousness is a fascinating research topic. Discussed previously in a number of Bridging the Gaps conversations, cutting edge research on consciousness – an ungrasped concept and an unsolved problem in science today – will keep appearing here at this Portal for Curious Minds. It is widely accepted that consciousness arises as an emergent property of the human mind. An important question is where does consciousness arise; does this arise from a single seat in the brain or is this a distributed ph...
2016-Nov-27 • 46 minutes
Everything a Curious Mind Should Know About Planetary Ring Systems: Dr Mark Showalter @ BTG
When Galileo pointed his telescope towards Saturn (circa 1610), he was not able to fully understand what was around the planet; in 1659 Christian Hygen published a drawing of the rings of Saturn and suggested there was thin, flat ring around the planet. He observed that the ring was inclined to the ecliptic and didn’t touch the planet. In 1675, Giovanni Domenic Cassini described that Saturn’s ring was composed of multiple smaller rings with gaps between them. In 1787, Pierre-Simon Laplace suggested that th...
2016-Nov-06 • 46 minutes
A Conversation with Dr Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut and Sixth Person to Walk on the Moon
Dr Edgar Mitchell discusses his journey to the moon on board Apollo 14 in this very interesting conversation at Bridging the Gaps. He describes when and how he joined NASA, talks about the "Original 19" and discusses interesting details of his mission to the moon, and ten hours that he spent on the lunar surface. He also touches upon the incident with Apollo 13. In this podcast we also discuss Dr Mitchell's two books: The Way of the Explorer and Psychic Exploration. Dr Mitchell talks about a number of conc...
2016-Oct-13 • 54 minutes
Giant Magellan Telescope: Past, Present and Future of Space Exploration with Ground Based Telescopes
An in-depth conversation with Professor Wendy Freedman on the topic of space exploration with ground based telescopes. We discuss the history of space exploration using ground based telescopes, and try to imagine the future that what is next. Professor Wendy Freedman gives a detailed description of the features of the Giant Magellan Telescope, a ground based extremely large telescope under construction. We discuss the challenges involved in constructing the GMT and talk about the research opportunities that...
2015-Dec-31 • 64 minutes
Education: What works and what does not, with Professor John Hattie
Evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in our schools, and assessing the effectiveness of our school systems and primary education frameworks is an important research area that focuses on questions such as “what works and what does not work in our schools”. An important aspect of this research is to evaluate the impact of factors such as class size, homework, use of digital technologies, duration of academic year, teaching very bright and weak learners in same cohorts on the quality of teaching and...
2015-Oct-16 • 43 minutes
Search for Exoplanets: A Discussion with Professor Sara Seager @ BTG
One of the most existing developments of the last two decades in the field of astronomy is the discovery of exoplanets: planets that orbit around the stars other then our sun. The idea of finding planets outside our solar system is not new; philosophers and scientists have imagined exoplanets for centuries. Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer theorised exoplanets in sixteenth century. However for centuries there was no mechanism available to detect exoplanets. The fir...
2015-May-17 • 26 minutes
New Horizons Spacecraft's Pluto Flyby with Dr Mark Showalter
As NASA's New Horizons spacecraft approaches Pluto, Dr Mark Showalter describes in detail the nature of the mission and what to expect in terms of scientific findings. Dr Showalter discusses in detail the features of the spacecraft and the challenges involved as it approaches Pluto.
2015-Mar-07 • 68 minutes
Multiple Intelligences and Future Minds with Dr Howard Gardner
Multiple intelligences, future minds, and characteristics and expectations of 21st century learners with Dr Howard Gardner.
2015-Mar-01 • 44 minutes
From Consciousness to Synthetic Consciousness: Prof. David Chalmers
What is consciousness? In this podcast David Chalmers starts addressing this question by saying that “being conscious is when there is something it is like to be that being”. This argument was initially presented by an American philosopher Thomas Nagel in an influential paper “what is it like to be a bat”. This paper was first published in the Philosophical Review in 1974. David Chalmers is an Australian philosopher and a cognitive scientist specializing in the area of philosophy of mind. He is professor o...
2014-Dec-27 • 53 minutes
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Dr Jill Tarter
A conversation with Dr Jill Tarter on the past, present and future for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
2014-Nov-30 • 48 minutes
Growth Mindset: Professor Carol Dweck at BTG
A Conversation with Professor Carol Dweck
2014-Nov-30 • 61 minutes
Memory: Professor Daniel Schacter at BTG
What exactly is a memory? How much do we know about the processes that a human brain executes to store and retrieve a memory? An individual memory may contain different elements such as explicit information, one or many contexts, relevant emotions; does the brain pre-process all individual elements of a memory and then stores this processed memory as one single entity? Or, are different elements of an individual memory stored at different locations in the form of a connected structure or network, and are po...
2014-Nov-30 • 61 minutes
Philosophy of Science: Professor Tim Maudlin at BTG
Is philosophy dead? Well over the past few years a number of scientists and researchers have said that we don’t need philosophy, philosophy should not be taught, it is waste of time and some have suggested that philosophy is dead. This is obviously a question that should be discussed at Bridging the Gaps. Tim Maudlin, professor of philosophy at New York University, says that the scientists, particularly physicists, who suggest that philosophy is dead, simply don’t know what is done now-a-days in philosophy ...
2014-Oct-24 • 60 minutes
Meta-awareness and Mind Wandering: Professor Jonathan Schooler at BTG
How much do we think about thinking? How aware usually are we of our awareness, and about what is happening around us? Jonathan Schooler, professor of psychology at the University of California (Santa Barbara), whose research focuses on consciousness, memory, meta-awareness, mind-wandering, and mindfulness, describes meta awareness as our ability to take explicit note of the current contents of consciousness. He notes that when we are not focusing on what is happening around us, we generate imaginative thou...