Alan Turing is sometimes called ‘the founder of computer science’. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, Charlotte Stoddart went to Oxford to meet his biographer, physicist Andrew Hodges. In this podcast, they talk about Turing’s famous 1936 paper on computable numbers, his contribution to cracking the German Enigma ciphers, and his thoughts on machine intelligence. http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/index-turing-2012-02-23.html
Tagged with “climate” (8)
Arthur Marcel lectures at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and in today’s talk he compares the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Titanic to issues surrounding global warming.
Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about science, his career, and the future. Dyson argues for the importance of what he calls heresy—challenging the scientific dogmas of the day. Dyson argues that our knowledge of climate science is incomplete and that too many scientists treat it as if it were totally understood. He reflects on his childhood and earlier work, particularly in the area of space travel. And he says that biology is the science today with the most exciting developments.
We talk to the BBC’s David Shukman about reporting climate change and the BP oil spill. Plus, the results of the Guardian’s hack day, a study on mobile phone masts and cancer, and the pitfalls of patenting genes.
A gaggle of geeks recently invaded the Guardian’s London headquarters for a hack day. Their leader, Jeremy Keith, reveals the results of two days of brainstorming.
The list of challenges facing the world is proliferating rapidly from climate change to nuclear proliferation and nobody seems to have much of a grip on what is going on. In this public dialogue hosted by Global Policy, a new innovative and interdisciplinary journal, Chris Patten and Professor David Held will discuss what we know in each of these areas and how progress can be made.
The debacle of the Copenhagen summit told as a Dr. Seuss story on BBC’s The Now Show.
This talk was given at Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California on Friday October 9, 02009.
Brand built his case for rethinking environmental goals and methods on two major changes going on in the world. The one that most people still don’t take into consideration is that power is shifting to the developing world, where 5 out of 6 people live, where the bulk of humanity is getting out of poverty by moving to cities and creating their own jobs and communities (slums, for now).
The second dominant global fact is climate change. Brand emphasized that climate is a severely nonlinear system packed with tipping points and positive feedbacks such as the unpredicted rapid melting of Arctic ice.
Global warming has to be slowed by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases from combustion, but cities require dependable baseload electricity, and so far the only carbon-free sources are hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. Brand contrasted nuclear with coal-burning by comparing what happens with their waste products.
Moving to genetically engineered food crops, Brand noted that they are a tremendous success story in agriculture, with Green benefits such as no-till farming, lowered pesticide use, and more land freed up to be wild. The developing world is taking the lead with the technology, designing crops to deal with the specialized problems of tropical agriculture. Meanwhile the new field of synthetic biology is bringing a generation of Green biotech hackers into existence.
In the 1960s, Stewart Brand became one of the country’s first and most famous champions of a new ecological awareness. His Whole Earth Catalog spoke to a generation of hippies and back-to-nature commune dwellers.
Now, at 70, Stewart Brand is calling on environmentalists to reframe their understanding of the problem — and solutions. It’s too late for back-to-nature, he says. Global warming is beyond that.
To survive now, Brand says, we need nuclear power, genetic engineering, giant cities. We must manage nature or lose civilization.
This hour, On Point: In the face of global warming, Stewart Brand redefines green.