July 8, 2016 – Living in the World Beyond Your Head

My guest on this program is Matthew Crawford, senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. We’ll be talking today about his book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, which was recently released in paperback, in which he investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind. He argues that our current crisis of attention cannot exclusively be attributed to digital technology, but can be better understood in light of some Western cultural assumptions that are profoundly at odds with human nature.

June 10, 2016 – Helping Children Succeed in School

My returning guest on this program is Paul Tough. We last spoke to him in 2012 for his book, How Children Succeed, which talked about the role character traits like grit and curiosity play in children’s learning. His new book is Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, in which he tackles pressing questions like, “What does growing up in poverty do to children’s mental and physical development?” “How does adversity at home affect their success in the classroom, from preschool to high school?” “And what practical steps can the adults who are responsible for them—from parents and teachers to policy makers and philanthropists—take to improve their chances for a positive future?”

April 29, 2016 – Why Grow Up?

My guest on this program is philosopher Susan Neiman author of Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age. Drawing on thinkers such as Kant, Rousseau and Arendt, she shows that genuine adulthood, not permanent youth, is a subversive ideal worth striving for. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard, and was a professor at both Yale and Tel Aviv University. She is currently the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, which presents innovative, international and multidisciplinary thinkers to the public in conferences, workshops, panel discussion, and presentations.

November 6, 2015 – Faith versus Fact

My guest today is Jerry Coyne, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specializes in evolutionary genetics. New York Times bestselling author, his most recent book is Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, In which he asserts that religion and science are not complementary, but rather compete with each other to understand the realities of our universe, but that only one area—science—has the means to actually discover the truth.

July 31, 2015 – Philosophy in a Divided World

My guest on this program is Carlos Fraenkel, McGill University professor of philosophy and Jewish Studies. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Nation, the London Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. He has traveled and taught philosophy and religion in many different regions, and his most recent book, Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World, explores how useful the tools of philosophy can be–particularly in places fraught with conflict–to clarify important social, political, and religious questions and explores answers to them.

July 3, 2015 – History of Black Holes

My guest on this program is Marcia Bartusiak, Professor of the Practice, Graduate Program in Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the award-winning author of five previous books. We’ll be talking about her most recent, Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved. It examines the history of an idea, and tells the story of the fierce black Continue reading

June 19, 2015 – The Search for Justice in Science

My guest, Alice Dreger, is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and the author of numerous books. Her work has been discussed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Science, and on CNN, and her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. We’ll be talking on this program about her Continue reading

April 24, 2015: Mind & Media

My guest on this program is UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Patricia Greenfield. Her central theoretical and research interest is in the relationship between culture and human development and she sees media as a key component of modern culture. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of an Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cultural and Contextual Factors in Child Development from the Society for Research in Child Development. We’ll be talking about her classic book, Mind and Media: The Effects of Television, Video Games, and Computers.

March 13, 2015 – Get What’s Yours from Social Security

We talk with the authors of Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. Correspondent Paul Solman hosts the online site Making Sen$e for the PBS Newshour, and is a frequent contributor to the program itself. Laurence J. Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of Continue reading

January 30, 2015 – Mind Change

This program has been re-scheduled for May 22, 2015.

The guest on this program is Susan Greenfield, neuroscientist, broadcaster, and bestselling author. Her most recent book is Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains. She is also a senior research fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a member of Continue reading