hopkinsju / tags / science

Tagged with “science” (6)

  1. Science & the Search for Meaning: What is Life?

    Scientists can now explain virtually every stage of the evolutionary process. But there's a basic question that still mystifies even the best scientists: How did life first begin on Earth? Or to put in another way, how did non-life somehow turn into life? And can we say the Earth itself is alive? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we'll talk with James Lovelock about his Gaia theory, and explore the question, What is Life?

    SEGMENT 1:

    This hour explores some of the fundamental mysteries of life - from how it first started on Earth to the possibility of supremely intelligent life on other planets and why technology is evolving like life itself. We begin with a rare recording of Nobel Prize winning physicist Edwin Schrodinger and comments on his book "What Is Life?" from Nobel Prize winning biologists James Watson and Harold Varmus. We also hear from Ken Miller, co-author of the most widely used biology textbook in American high schools, and Craig Venter, widely regarded as one of science's leading innovators. Venter, who's come as close as anyone has to creating life in a test tube, tells Steve Paulson what drives him. And we hear from some ordinary people about what they think life is.

    SEGMENT 2:

    University of Wisconsin geochemist Nita Sahai talks with Anne Strainchamps about how life might have begun on Earth. On the other hand, maybe the Earth itself is alive. That's the remarkable idea behind the Gaia hypothesis. James Lovelock came up with it in the 1960s and at first no one would take him seriously. Lovelock, now in his nineties and one of our most celebrated scientists, tells Steve Paulson where the Gaia theory came from and how it's evolved.

    SEGMENT 3:

    Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine. He's also the author of a provocative book called "What Technology Wants." Kelly tells Jim Fleming that the sum total of our technology - what he calls "the technicum" - is taking on the properties of life itself. And anthropologist Tom Boellstorff takes us on a tour through the virtual world of Second Life. Astro-biologist Paul Davies chairs the SETI Post-Detection Task Group and is the author of "The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence." He tells Steve Paulson that alien intelligence might be stranger than anything Hollywood has dreamt up.


    —Huffduffed by hopkinsju

  2. Future Sci-Fi - RN Future Tense - 27 January 2011

    Russian/American scientist and author, Isaac Asimov, once wrote: Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

    Now, there's no denying science fiction has long been a popular genre — from print to television to film. But does it have the influence it once had?

    Some argue the exponential rate of technological change makes sci-fi less effective in its ability to predict, inspire and shape the future of the real world.

    Here at Future Tense we're starting the year with a look at the power of science fiction.

    —Huffduffed by hopkinsju

  3. Does the Future Include Synthetic Life?

    J. Craig Venter is a biologist most known for his contributions, in 2001, of sequencing the first draft human genome and in 2007 for the first complete diploid human genome. In 2010 he and his team announced success in constructing the first synthetic bacterial cell. He is a founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and founder and CEO of the company, Synthetic Genomics Inc (JCVI). His present work focuses on creating synthetic biological organisms and applications of this work, and discovering genetic diversity in the world's oceans. Dr. Venter is the 2008 National Medal of Science and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life (Viking, 2007).


    —Huffduffed by hopkinsju

  4. Little Atoms Live: Popular Science and Science Promotion

    The public interest in science has seemingly never been higher. Major TV series such as Wonders of the Solar System are watched by millions, the popular science shelves of bookshops are ever expanding. Some of these books even sell in respectable numbers. Is this a passing fad or is this trend being reflected in university admissions? Is there a line to walk between stimulating and enlightening or dumbed down content? Joining Little Atoms' Neil Denny to discuss these questions and more are a panel of people who work at the sharp end of the promotion and the public understanding of science:

    Marcus du Sautoy

    Marcus du Sautoy is Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics, and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Formerly a Fellow of All Souls College, and Wadham College, he is now a Fellow of New College. Marcus is the author of three books, The Music of the Primes, Finding Moonshine and The Num8er My5teries, and has presented numerous TV series, most recently The Beauty of Diagrams for BBC4.

    Adam Rutherford

    Adam Rutherford is a professional geek. He holds a PhD in genetics, and is an editor at the science journal Nature, where he runs their podcast and video department. He has presented a number of programs for Radio 4, and his TV series for BBC4 include Cell, and the upcoming Genome.

    Ben Goldacre

    Ben Goldacre is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dodgy government reports, evil pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks. He has written the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian since 2003. Bad Science the book has sold 240,000 copies, reached #1 in the paperback non-fiction charts, and is published in 18 countries. Ben also somehow manages to fit in a full-time job as a medical doctor for the NHS.

    Liz Bonnin

    Liz Bonnin studied Biochemistry at Trinity College, Dublin, and has a Masters in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. A tv presenter in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Liz is probably best known as a presenter of BBC1's science show Bang Goes the Theory. Recently she could be seen as part of the Autumnwatch team, and most recently, presenting segments of BBC2's Stargazing Live.


    —Huffduffed by hopkinsju