January 31, 2014 – A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of the bestseller Doubt: A History, a history of religious and philosophical doubt all over the world, throughout history. Her new book is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won Phi Beta Kappa’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “For scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”  Her The Happiness Myth brings a historical eye to modern wisdom about how to lead a good life.

January 3, 2014 – Science & Pseudoscience & Philosophy

Massimo Pigliucci has a Doctorate in Genetics from the University of Ferrara (Italy), a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He has done post-doctoral research in evolutionary ecology at Brown University and is currently Chair of the Philosophy Department at Lehman College and Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of biology, in particular the Continue reading

December 6, 2013 – Environmental Activism

Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, and the author of more than a dozen books, including The End of Nature, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and most recently Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.. He is also the founder of 350.org, the global climate campaign that has been actively involved in the fight against climate change, including taking action against the oil companies, the Keystone XL pipeline, and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. He is also a fellow of the Continue reading

November 22, 2013 – Paleontology

I apologize to my listeners for getting this posted so late.

Richard Fortey was senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His previous books include The Hidden Landscape: A Journey into the Geological Past, which won the Natural World Book Prize in 1993, Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and was a New York Times Best Book of the Year, and most recently Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind.

October 11, 2013 – Who Are We?

My guest on this program is Patricia Churchland, author most recently of Touching a Nerve: The Self As Brain. She is a professor emerita of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for her pioneering work in neurophilosophy. She has written many books (some listed below), and her work explores the impact of scientific developments on our understanding of consciousness, the self, Continue reading

September 27, 2013 – “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future On Earth?”

My guest on this program is Alan Weisman. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 2007 book The World Without Us, which envisions what the earth would be like absent a human presence, and how it might heal in our absence. His most recent book is Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, published just this week, which is Continue reading

August 16, 2013 – Environmentalism & Education

The environmental movement has thus far failed to bring about the changes necessary to preserve our planet. On this program, we talk with the authors of The Failure of Environmental Education [and How We Can Fix It], Charles Saylan and Daniel Blumstein. Chalres Saylan is the Executive Director of the Ocean Conservation Society, and Daniel Blumstein is Professor and Chair in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Continue reading

July 19, 2013 – Evolutionary Biology with Marlene Zuk

On this program we’ll be talking evolutionary biology with Professor Marlene Zuk, from the University of Minnesota. She is a professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior and the author of Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love & Language from the Insect World; and Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live. Her Continue reading

June 21, 2013 – Big History

My guest on this program is David Christian, author of Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Big history is an interdisciplinary approach that surveys the past at all possible scales, from conventional history, to the much larger scales of biology and geology, to the universal scales of cosmology. It weaves a single story, stretching from the origins of the Universe to the present day and beyond, using accounts of the past developed within Continue reading

April 26, 2013 – Jared Diamond

This program features a conversation with Jared Diamond, noted author and professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include Guns, Germs & Steel, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and most recently, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?