Episode 63 of Books and Ideas an interview of Jonathan Losos, author of Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution. This fascinating book reveals the surprising world of experimental evolutionary biology. We explore how experiments both in the laboratory and in the wild are answering long-standing questions about how evolution works.
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Episode 59 of Books and Ideas is an interview with philosopher Anthony Chemero about his book Phenomenology: An Introduction. We put phenomenology into historical perspective and explore how it is making contributions to contemporary cognitive science. This episode doesn't require any prior knowledge.
Episode 57 is the first episode of Books and Ideas that I have produced in 2015. It is a conversation with experienced podcaster Elsie Escobar. Elsie brings a unique perspective to the question Why Podcast? because she does it all: she hosts and produces 2 shows, works for Libsyn, the company that hosts my shows and many others, and she listens to more podcasts than seems humanly possible.
Episode 55 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. John Ratey, co-author of Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization. Dr. Ratey has also been featured several times on the Brain Science Podcast. He is an expert on the brain benefits of exercise.
Ginger and MassimoNonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk by scientist-turned-philosopher, Massimo Pigliucci is an excellent discussion of the challenges faced by the average non-scientist in today's information-rich world. After explaining what distinguishes science from pseudoscience (a major source of "bunk"), his book gives practical advice about trusting experts. (hint: having a PhD doesn't make one an expert!)
Pigliucci also discussed these themes during a talk he gave last month at The Amazing Meeting 8, which was held in Las Vegas, NV. That's where I recorded the interview that I am posting today as Books and Ideas Episode 37. The focus of the interview is the role of philosophy of science in today's complex world.
The New York Times has a new philosophy blog called The Stone, which features posts by a wide variety of philosophers including Peter Singer (ethics)and Arthur Danto (aesthetics).
The next episode of Books and Ideas will be recorded LIVE at 8:30 PM (Eastern Time) Sunday September 5 at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be interviewing novelists Skyler White and Christiana Ellis.
I am also scheduled to interview Dr. Scott Lilenfield co-author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior. This interview will be posted in the Brain Science Podcast feed in late September.
The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis (2008) argues that we should re-evaluate our current approach to dementia. Earlier this month I posted an interview with the book's main author, Dr. Peter Whitehouse (BSP 68). Episode 36 of my Books and Ideas podcast is a follow-up interview with his co-author, Daniel George. As a medical anthropologist George helps put current attitudes into an historical perspective. Labeling large numbers of older people with the diagnosis of "Alzheimer's Disease" is a relatively new practice and a closer examination of how this occurred provides an interesting example of how the history of medicine (and science) is interwoven with political and social history. While Whitehouse and George challenge the current approach to dementia, there message is actually one of hope. I am recommending The Myth of Alzheimer's to people of all ages.
During a recent system update at Wizzard/ Libsyn Media all the episode transcripts disappeared from the iPhone Applications for both Books and Ideas and the Brain Science Podcast. New episodes will have transcripts, but it may be a while before they reappear for older episodes. All transcripts remain available for download from this website.
Episode 35 of the Books and Ideas podcast is an interview with best-selling horror writer, Scott Sigler. Scott is widely admired for pioneering the use of podcasting to promote his fiction writing, but so far hasn't gotten the recognition I think he deserves for incorporating hard science into his unique blend of horror and science fiction.
This interview gave me the opportunity to talk with Scott about how he meets the challenge of incorporating accurate science without sacrificing storytelling. I think this is an excellent follow-up to the interview I did with Sheril Kirshenbaum (co-author of Unscientific America) back in Episode 32.