Inquiring Minds

Inquiring Minds


Each week Inquiring Minds brings you a new, in-depth exploration of the place where science, politics, and society collide. We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you though science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We endeavor to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters with weekly coverage of the latest headlines and probing discussions with leading scientists and thinkers. Produced in partnership with Climate Desk, a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact of a changing climate and consisting of The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.


152 Abigail Tucker - How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World  

We talk to science writer Abigail Tucker about her new book The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.

151 Irva Hertz-Picciotto - Should We Worry More About Toxic Environmental Chemicals?  

We talk to Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Professor at the University of California Davis MIND Institute, Director of the NIH-funded UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center, and co-founder of Project TENDR, a collaborative effort of scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and advocates that aims to decrease the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders by reducing neurotoxicant exposures that contribute to them.

150 Stuart Firestein - Why Science Needs to Fail  

We talk to Stuart Firestein, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, about his latest book Failure: Why Science Is So Successful.

149 Sarah Ballard / Jackie Speier - The Appalling Reality of Harassment in Science  

We talk to exoplanetary astronomer Sarah Ballard and congresswoman Jackie Speier about sexual harassment within the scientific community.

148 Judith Schwartz - Hope for a Thirsty World  

We talk to science journalist Judith Schwartz about her new book Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World.

147 Dave Levitan - How Politicians Mangle Science  

We talk to science journalist Dave Levitan about his new book Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science.

146 John Hargrove - Taking on SeaWorld  

We talk to former Senior killer-whale trainer for SeaWorld and supervisor of Killer Whale Training for Marineland in the South of France about his book Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish.

145 Carin Bondar - Wild Sex  

We talk to biologist Carin Bondar about her new book Wild Sex: The Science Behind Mating in the Animal Kingdom.

144 Ed Yong - I Contain Multitudes  

We talk to award-winning British science writer Ed Yong about his recent book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life.

143 The Stories That Collection Museums Hold  

We talk about the significance of collection museums with Emily Grasile, Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum; Shannon Bennett, Chief of Science at the California Academy of Sciences; and Jack Dunbacker, chairman and curator of the California Academy of Science’s Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy.

142 Hank Greely - The End of Sex  

We talk to Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University’s School of Medicine about his new book The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction.

141 Marek Glezerman - The Science of Gender Medicine  

We talk to Marek Glezerman, professor emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology and currently chairman of the Ethics Committee at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University about his book Gender Medicine: The Groundbreaking New Science of Gender- and Sex-Based Diagnosis and Treatment.

140 Janna Levin - This Is the Sound of Two Black Holes Colliding  

We talk to Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College and author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space.

139 Peter Willcox - Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet  

We talk to Peter Willcox, Captain for Greenpeace for over 30 years and author of Greenpeace Captain: My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet.

138 Mary Roach - The Curious Science of Humans at War  

We welcome best-selling science writer Mary Roach back on the show to talk about her latest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

137 Jonah Berger - The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior  

We talk to professor of marketing and New York Times bestselling author Jonah Berger about his latest book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior.

136 Siddhartha Mukherjee - An Intimate History of the Gene  

We talk to cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee about his latest book The Gene: An Intimate History.

135 Sean Carroll - Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself  

We talk to theoretical physicist Sean Carroll about his latest book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.

134 Anders Ericsson - How to Do Everything Better  

Does it take 10,000 hours to become an expert at something? Probably not, says our guest this week—who happens to be the author of the paper which was the basis for Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule in the first place. We talk to psychologist Anders Ericsson about his new book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.

133 Ben Beard - How Global Warming Is Making Some Diseases Even Scarier  

We talk to Ben Beard, associate director for climate change and chief of the bacterial diseases branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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