251: Sir Peter Gluckman | Former Chief Science Advisor Details Unintended Consequences Of Innovation In “Ingenious”

From his start as a pediatrician, to serving as Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand for nearly a decade, Sir Peter Gluckman has represented category of science and society. He joins on this episode to discuss his career, along with his recently released book Ingenious: The Unintended Consequences of Human Innovation.

As President-elect of the International Science Council, Sir Gluckman will continue to provide value in the fields of science, health, global impacts, and more. His book Ingenious focuses on how our innovation has led to impacts we did not plan for, and how we can work with these consequences, and help to prevent unwanted future consequences.

Show notes:

  • how Sir Gluckman’s career has panned out over time, and how he started out as a pediatrician
  • his experience as Chief Science Advisor for the Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • what it means to be a “knowledge broker”, and how connecting people to the right people is an important skill
  • the ways that Sir Gluckman has written about or focused on reduction of obesity, as well as being co-chair of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity
  • partnering writing books with his co-author Mark Hanson, and what each brought to the table across the decades
  • how the early experience between parent and child affects so much of a person’s life
  • the important of psychological resilience, and how it separates segments of individuals
  • how evolutionary thinking is a unifying element of biology
  • the global impacts we are facing now, which we did not have in place 200 years ago
  • the belief or non-belief by citizens that their governments can help to take care of basic societal needs
  • dealing with misinformation that is released, and how governments or public companies can adapt
  • the level of research put out by smaller countries, versus the percentage put out by some of the larger countries, along with some specific examples
  • whether a centrally-situated response wins out against solutions around the world, to global issues
  • a message about how to cope with rapid environmental, social, and technological changes which are taking place

You can check out Sir Peter Gluckman’s Wikipedia page, University of Auckland page, or Ingenious on Amazon. Glad to have him on~.

213: Nick Tovar | Scientific Thinking, IT For Surgical Imaging, Technology Viewpoints, And Gaming

Scientific thinkers get along. Guest Nick Tovar on episode 213 is my friend of a long time, and both of us think about and keep up with recent science and technology.

Nick does IT for a company that makes imaging products that doctors use for surgeries and related applications.

Show notes:

  • how we met and our background in activities we have done
  • why upcoming technology is valuable and how it is being used
  • what Nick thinks about AI, 3D printing, VR, and ore
  • where we went to school or were at during different times of our life
  • what kinds of games Nick has played, along with my connection to such games
  • how Nick thinks about life perspective in relation to productivity, competition, learning, and more
  • what Nick has in mind as a goal or goals for 2019

Glad to have Nick on the show~. He may return at a later time to discuss specific scientific research articles or related concepts with me.

207: Carl Zimmer | Science Writing, Evolution Through Time, And His “What Is Life” Podcast

Prolific science writing in the topics of evolution, parasites, and the brain is the domain of author and New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer, who joins us on episode 207 of the show.

Carl Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. Since 2004 he has written about science for the New York Times, where his column “Matter” has appeared weekly since 2013. He is a popular speaker at universities, medical schools, museums, and festivals, and he is also a frequent on radio programs such as Radiolab and This American Life.

Zimmer’s career began at Discover, where he went on to serve for five years as a senior editor. In addition to his work for the New York Times, he has written  articles for magazines including National Geographic, Wired, and The Atlantic. Zimmer is the author of thirteen books about science. His latest is She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Carl’s career and what led up to his current position as author and writer
  • his new podcast titled “What Is Life?”, involving numerous scientists and individuals with perspectives on the matter
  • specific episode topics and guests which were part of the set
  • how physicist/astrobiologist Sara Walker from ASU said we should think that aliens may not introduce themselves so we need to understand how to reach out
  • Professor Jim Cleaves point that there were not big efforts to find the origin of life 200 years ago
  • Jeremy England of physics at MIT, and his view of life as a way to dissipate energy, related to entropy theory
  • Steven Benner, scientist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, and his view that life wouldn’t need to be RNA, DNA, or carbon-based like we are
  • Kate Adamala, chemist at University of Minnesota, and her interest in building a synthetic cell at her protobiology lab
  • how Carl formulated his book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh
  • Carl’s experience writing a column for The New York Times
  • why risk-taking is necessary to not remain at a plateau point

I was glad to have Carl on the show. You can check him out on Twitter @carlzimmer, take a look at his new podcast What Is Life?, or check out his book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh on Amazon.