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American Innovations

Wondery

These are the dramatic stories of the bright ideas and the brilliant men and women whose work has transformed the world over the last century. We tell their life stories, providing an immersive account of how they made their most famous discoveries. We’ll also put you in the shoes of everyday people whose lives were transformed by these innovations, for better and sometimes for worse. Hosted by Steven Johnson. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, Tides of History, and Dirty John.

These are the dramatic stories of the bright ideas and the brilliant men and women whose work has transformed the world over the last century. We tell their life stories, providing an immersive account of how they made their most famous discoveries. We’ll also put you in the shoes of everyday people whose lives were transformed by these innovations, for better and sometimes for worse. Hosted by Steven Johnson. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, Tides of History, and Dirty John.
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Location:

United States

Networks:

Wondery

Description:

These are the dramatic stories of the bright ideas and the brilliant men and women whose work has transformed the world over the last century. We tell their life stories, providing an immersive account of how they made their most famous discoveries. We’ll also put you in the shoes of everyday people whose lives were transformed by these innovations, for better and sometimes for worse. Hosted by Steven Johnson. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, Tides of History, and Dirty John.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Future Of | Health | 2

8/9/2018
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For nearly two decades, Dr. Joon Yun has been chasing the idea of curing the most pressing disease of our time: old age. In our arc on the history of DNA science, we looked at how the mapping of the human genome and new advances like CRISPR gene editing might transform health care and extend average life expectancies. But what if that’s only the beginning? Could science potentially find a cure...for death itself? American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. Try it for free at...

Duration:00:49:19

The Future Of | Food | 1

8/2/2018
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We’ve spent a lot of time traveling through history on this show, from Gregor Mendel and the early days of genetic research to the Manhattan Projects and the race to unlock the secrets of the atom. But what about the ideas, inventions, and advances of OUR time? Today’s innovations are rapidly changing everything around us and will continue to transform the centuries ahead. What will the world of tomorrow look like? That’s the question we’re going to be asking over the next few episodes....

Duration:00:44:33

Nuclear Energy | Interview with James Mahaffee | 7

7/26/2018
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Nuclear Energy is a story that’s included a cursed plutonium core, runaway reactors, a magic neutron wand and Charlie Chaplin. We've also heard about the missteps. Fake nuclear fusion plants and some overoptimistic claims about cold fusion. In this episode, we're talking to someone who actually helped investigate that last claim. James Mahaffee, an author, nuclear science historian, and a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. American Innovations is presented by...

Duration:00:41:48

Nuclear Energy | A Glowing Future | 6

7/19/2018
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This series has taken us from Albert Einstein in the Swiss Patent office to the bombing of Japan, from the monster movies of the 1960s to nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island. Nuclear energy fell rapidly out of fashion, and to many it seemed like the atomic age is coming to a close. Except maybe it’s not. Because right now there are multi-billion dollar projects underway to turn atoms into energy again - this time through the power of nuclear fusion. Welcome to your future. American...

Duration:00:42:46

Nuclear Energy | Backlash | 5

7/12/2018
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Nuclear energy was once a promising endless, clean, safe energy source. By the late 1950s, that optimism was fading. That was partially over fear of nuclear weapons, but then there was the fallout. Radioactive fallout, dust snowing from the sky after massive desert nuclear tests. Once the public found out, there was no saving it. "Nuclear power is not only dirty and undependable, it’s about as safe as a closetful of cobras.” American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. Try...

Duration:00:41:30

Nuclear Energy | Meltdown | 4

7/5/2018
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The first serious accident from a nuclear reactor happened in the United States in 1960. It wouldn't be the last. And in the coming decades, a new word will be used to talk about accidents of these kind, a word that will strike fear into the hearts of people living near nuclear power plants from Russia to Japan to the United States: meltdown. American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. Try ZipRecruiter for free by visiting ZipRecruiter.com/AI. Other sponsors include: Wix -...

Duration:00:42:44

Nuclear Energy | Atoms For Peace | 3

6/28/2018
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After the war, scientists who’d come to work at Los Alamos went their separate ways. They’d figured out how to destroy cities, but now they wanted to control atoms. The Atomic Energy Commission was created to support nuclear energy experiments, and Eisenhower himself created a catchy slogan to go with the new direction: Atoms for Peace. American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. Try ZipRecruiter for free by visiting ZipRecruiter.com/AI. Other sponsors include: Wix - Launch a...

Duration:00:41:07

Nuclear Energy | Bombs Come First | 2

6/21/2018
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The Second World War energized research on atomic science and the United States was at the forefront. For one, it had the scientists. Second, the US government was willing to back the research. Third, we wanted the bombs. However darkly depressing this seems it’s true. Our history of nuclear power is intertwined with the history of nuclear weapons. American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. You can try it for FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI. Other sponsors include Wix - Launch a...

Duration:00:39:16

Nuclear Energy | E = MC Squared | 1

6/14/2018
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In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower went on national television introducing a new kind of power plant, one that will transform the world. Nuclear energy and the Atomic Age took America by storm, but this misunderstood technology’s potential has always been in question. Last series we looked at the building blocks of life, DNA. This time we’re turning to atoms, and specifically to the energy that comes from splitting atoms. We’ll take you to one of the most powerful and controversial energy...

Duration:00:48:37

DNA - Interview with Britt Wray | 7

6/7/2018
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To wrap up The Dynamo of DNA, we're talking to Britt Wray. You can follow her on Twitter, and visit her website for more. You can also pick up her book, Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction to learn more about De-Extinction. We’ll be back next week with an all new arc on nuclear energy. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor. ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating...

Duration:00:44:20

DNA - Return of the Mammoths | 6

5/31/2018
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The human genome project finally allowed us to read the “Book of Life,” the genetic code of living things. But now there’s a tool - CRISPR - that will allow us to rewrite it. With CRISPR, we can change the color of flowers, eliminate diseases, and even… bring back Wooly Mammoths. We hope you enjoyed our first series, The Dynamo of DNA. Join us next week for a conversation with scientist, broadcaster and author Britt Wray. Support us by supporting our sponsors! American Innovations is...

Duration:00:47:49

DNA - Testing Times | 5

5/24/2018
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Over the past 50 years, our understanding of DNA has grown exponentially. It took supercomputers working overtime to produce a single genomic map… and now all it takes is a spit sample that you drop in the mail. For about a hundred bucks, you can have your own personal genome mapped. One thing we still haven’t figured out is what to DO with all of that information. It’s been used to map family trees, trace diseases, exonerate innocents and catch serial killers - and that’s only the...

Duration:00:40:03

DNA - The Race for the Genome | 4

5/17/2018
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The path to understand genetics was rife squabbles and competition among scientists vying to discover genes, chromosomes, and the structure of DNA. The tussles had been going on for a century. But the 1980s introduced an even bigger grudge match: who’d be the first to map the entire human genetic code? This race would get downright nasty before it was done. Along the way there would be a lot of good science. But the science often took a back seat, as politics, money, and egos all got in...

Duration:00:45:27

DNA - The Stuff of Life

5/10/2018
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From your high school science classes you may know the names Watson & Crick. If you took any more biology classes you may have heard of Wilkins, but a third name is often overlooked: Rosalind Franklin. Together, they took blurry photographs of DNA goo and discovered “the secret to life.” Support us by supporting our sponsors! American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor. ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for...

Duration:00:43:13

DNA - Civil War

5/10/2018
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When Gregor Mendel discovered genes, he had no idea that his discoveries with pea plants would outlive him. He was just an isolated monk playing in his garden. And his ideas collected dust in university libraries for 40 years until a biologist named William Bateson discovered his work. And by the end of the first page, Bateson knew Mendel’s ideas would change the world. He said, “An exact determination of the laws of heredity will probably work more change in man’s outlook of the world,...

Duration:00:45:02

DNA - Lost Pioneers

5/10/2018
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In 2000, President Bill Clinton held a press conference to share a milestone for humanity. He said, “we will all see the unbelievable capacity to be noble.” Science and technology embrace this idea, leading to the incredible innovations that change the world, and yes, even humanity. This is American Innovations, a series that will look at the most important innovations of the last century, and go into the lives of the people behind those innovations. That great milestone Clinton was...

Duration:00:42:51

Introducing American Innovations

4/26/2018
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The leaps of mankind, as they happened. Premieres May 10.

Duration:00:02:07