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Miles To Go

Technology Podcasts

Join award-winning journalist Miles O’Brien as he explores developments in technology, science, aviation, space and the environment. A 35-year veteran of the news business, Miles is currently an independent producer, writer, and director for PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Frontline, and the National Science Foundation. An experienced pilot himself, he also serves as aviation analyst for CNN (And he does it all with one arm).

Join award-winning journalist Miles O’Brien as he explores developments in technology, science, aviation, space and the environment. A 35-year veteran of the news business, Miles is currently an independent producer, writer, and director for PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Frontline, and the National Science Foundation. An experienced pilot himself, he also serves as aviation analyst for CNN (And he does it all with one arm).

Location:

United States

Description:

Join award-winning journalist Miles O’Brien as he explores developments in technology, science, aviation, space and the environment. A 35-year veteran of the news business, Miles is currently an independent producer, writer, and director for PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Frontline, and the National Science Foundation. An experienced pilot himself, he also serves as aviation analyst for CNN (And he does it all with one arm).

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 31: The Challenge of Robots and Artificial Intelligence, a Retrospective – with AI Pioneer Marvin Minsky

12/17/2018
Marvin Minsky is often regarded as the father of modern AI, but when Miles visited him in 2010, Minsky wasn’t a proud father. In fact, Minsky was disappointed with the lack of progress in the field and had reservations about its future. Unfortunately, Minsky is no longer with us and can’t answer our questions about machine learning and new robots, but his answers from this interview in many ways still hold. Go back in time on this episode of Miles To Go.

Duration:00:35:22

Episode 30: How and Why We’re Sampling Asteroid Bennu – with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Team

12/5/2018
How did our early solar system form? What are the origins of life? How likely are we to get hit by a dangerous asteroid? A daring NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx hopes to find the answers to these big questions at an asteroid named Bennu. This week, the spacecraft arrives at its destination. To learn more, Miles sits down with members of the OSIRIS-REx team on this episode of Miles To Go.

Duration:00:29:38

Episode 29: Why Europa is the Most Likely Spot We’ll Find Aliens – with NASA’s Kevin Peter Hand

11/26/2018
Jupiter has many moons, but none are quite like Europa: it has a thick crust of ice and a huge amount of liquid saltwater underneath its surface. In fact, many believe it’s the best place in the Solar System that we could find other lifeforms. To dive deeper into the mysteries of this icy world–and how we plan on exploring it–Miles sits down with Kevin Peter Hand, Deputy Project Scientist of NASA’s Europa Mission on this episode of Miles To Go.

Duration:00:25:41

Episode 28: How Average Americans are Fighting Climate Change – with Clean Air Carolina’s June Blotnick

10/29/2018
Hurricane Florence was a perfect example of how climate change supercharges extreme weather events. But climate change also affects us in other more subtle, interconnected, and difficult to manage ways. Thankfully, people like June Blotnick, Executive Director of environmental advocacy group Clean Air Carolina, are working on the ground to help communities battle climate change. Miles sits down with June to learn more about how the average citizen can move the needle on these issues.

Duration:00:33:50

Episode 27: Steve Squyres – On Exploring Mars, and Other Celestial Objects

10/23/2018
Steve Squyres is the principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Program, which gave us the plucky and productive rovers Spirit and Opportunity. With the latter on life support and the former no longer with us, I spoke with him about his amazing run on Mars and what he’s working on now. It’s all out-of-this-world stuff.

Duration:00:46:41

Episode 26: The Murky World of Science Transparency – Hash it Out with NYU Professor George D. Thurston

7/26/2018
There are calls in the EPA and in Congress for the use of more transparent science. But what does that mean? Why do scientists seem united against these regulations? And what would it mean if they went into effect? In this special Hash it Out episode, Brian and Fedor talk to vocal opponent of science transparency regulations George D. Thurston, Director of the Program in Exposure Assessment and Human Health Effects at the Department of Environmental Medicine, NYU School of Medicine.

Duration:00:35:36

Episode 25: Snorkeling with Some Wild Dolphin Friends – or Another Day in the Office for Denise Herzing

7/16/2018
For more than three decades, behavioral biologist Denise Herzing has tracked and observed a pod of wild spotted dolphins that live in the warm clear waters of the Bahamas. She’s learned an awful lot about their behaviors and their communication–or is it a language? Denise has as good a chance as anyone to find out what the dolphins might be saying to each other. But the question is: if we could communicate with them, what would we say? Maybe we should start with an apology.

Duration:00:45:59

Episode 24: The Blessing and Curse of Methane – Hash it Out

7/11/2018
Methane is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of gas: on one hand, it is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. On the other, if it leaks, methane itself is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In this special Hash It Out episode, Brian and Fedor go from 18th century Italian methane guns to present day Google Street View cars that sniff out methane leaks. Listen to learn about the history of methane, its current uses, and what is being done to curb its environmental impact.

Duration:00:42:23

Episode 23: Inside the Legal Battle to Ban a Deadly Neurotoxin - with Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky

7/2/2018
For several years, environmental advocacy groups have been fighting to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos from agricultural use. A turnover in leadership at the EPA has led to a moment of indecision on what to do about the chemical. Robert Sapolsky is a neuroscientist who’s spent a long time assisting in the legal battle against chlorpyrifos. We discussed the devastating effects of chlorpyrifos on an exposed nervous system as well as his work to discredit the industry science claiming its safety.

Duration:00:29:04

Episode 22: The Chemical Ban That Got a Reprieve from Trump’s EPA – with Miriam Rotkin-Ellman of the Natural Resources Defense Council

6/25/2018
After years of exhaustive research linking the pesticide chlorpyrifos to a host of developmental and cognitive deficiencies in children, the EPA was poised to ban the chemical in November 2016. But something else happened that same month; the election of Donald Trump. As a result, this potent neurotoxin is still in use. Miriam Rotkin-Ellman is a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is still fighting for a ban.

Duration:00:34:58

Episode 21: The Promise and Peril of AI – Hash it Out with Tech Entrepreneur Lars Perkins

6/19/2018
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not off in the distant future... in some ways it is already here. How is AI already changing our lives? Does it work independently of us or does it also have our all-too-human biases? After hashing out machine learning on Episode 19, Brian and Fedor sit down with Picasa founder and serial tech entrepreneur Lars Perkins to discuss AI in broader strokes on this special edition of Miles To Go.

Duration:00:46:24

Episode 20: Welcome to the Madhouse – with Michael Mann and Tom Toles

6/11/2018
Communicating the science of climate change, with its overwhelming expert consensus, seems like it should be easy. However, a science-averse media and strong fossil fuel lobby make it exceedingly difficult. Climatologist Michael Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles have teamed up to put climate change in context in their new book, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy. I talked to both of them at this year’s Annapolis...

Duration:00:37:45

Episode 19: What is Machine Learning and How is it Used? – Hash it Out with Cameron Hickey

6/7/2018
What is machine learning? How does it work? What are these artificially intelligent algorithms useful for? Considering they are used by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook and many other companies we interact with on a daily basis, what are the benefits and drawbacks? Thanks to a listener suggestion, we decided to delve deeper on the subject. Miles O’Brien Productions team members Brian Truglio and Fedor Kossakovski are joined by producer and coder Cameron Hickey to hash it out on this special...

Duration:00:52:07

Episode 18: Searching for Methane, the Other Greenhouse Gas - with Robert Green of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

6/4/2018
Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide. It is more short-lived than CO2 (about a decade as opposed a century), but it is 85 times more effective at warming. Robert Green is a world-renowned expert in spectroscopy, which is a great way to find methane on distant planets, but also ours, as I learned in this interview.

Duration:00:26:50

Episode 17: The Software We Wrote to Understand Junk News - with Producer Cameron Hickey

5/28/2018
In the final episode in our series on Junk News, some wisdom from one of the leading experts in the murky world of online misinformation. He also happens to be the producer of the series that we aired on the PBS NewsHour. Now he’s taking the software he wrote to Harvard, where they hope to find new ways to combat Junk News. I hope you enjoy this talk with Cameron Hickey, my friend and soon-to-be former colleague.

Duration:00:51:37

Episode 16: Inside Facebook - with Tessa Lyons, Head of News Feed Integrity

5/21/2018
Facebook was created for people to share family photos and memories. But as ads entered the mix, the platform was refined to hold our attention for as long as possible. Quality was not a consideration - until recently. But how to fix the junk news mess without editing it? Maybe Facebook needs a newsroom.

Duration:00:45:22

Episode 15: Inside the Filter Bubble - with Eli Pariser, the man who coined the phrase

5/15/2018
The Internet was supposed to provide a utopian virtual world where all of us could come together in peace, love and harmony to better understand each other and our differing viewpoints… But we got derailed on the road to utopia, didn’t we? Eli Pariser, the man who coined the phrase “filter bubble”, knows as much about this as anyone. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.

Duration:00:37:04

Episode 14: Understanding the Eruption at Kilauea – with Geologist Mike Garcia

5/8/2018
As Hawaii trembles with earthquakes and the Kilauea volcano continues to spew forth lava and gas, residents and the wider world watch and wonder: how long will this renewed activity continue? To find out, we turn to Mike Garcia, professor of geology at the University of Hawaii and funded by the National Science Foundation. He has been following the eruption since its beginning, which actually bubbled to life in 1983. To better understand the history and possible future of Kilauea, I sit down...

Duration:00:37:44

Episode 13: A Junk News Pioneer - with Cyrus Massoumi, Part 2

5/3/2018
Russian actors may have run an online disinformation campaign during the 2016 US presidential elections, but they likely learned their tactics from Americans. As part of our investigation, PBS NewsHour series producer Cameron Hickey tracked down one of these junk news pioneers, Cyrus Massoumi. He runs liberal and conservative junk news sites, which have millions of followers on Facebook. I continue my conversation with Cyrus on this episode of Miles To Go.

Duration:00:53:47

Episode 12: A Junk News Pioneer - with Cyrus Massoumi, Part 1

5/2/2018
Russian actors may have run an online disinformation campaign during the 2016 US presidential elections, but they likely learned their tactics from Americans. As part of our investigation, PBS NewsHour series producer Cameron Hickey tracked down one of these junk news pioneers, Cyrus Massoumi. He runs liberal and conservative junk news sites, which have millions of followers on Facebook. To find out more about the murky world of junk news, I sit down with Massoumi on this episode of Miles To...

Duration:00:55:06