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Innovation Hub

PRI

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.
More Information

Location:

Boston, MA

Networks:

PRI

WGBH

Description:

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Language:

English


Episodes

Full Show: The Stages of Life

1/12/2018
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First up, we examine a question that most kids ask at some point: “Where do babies come from?” Science writer Edward Dolnick walks us through how humanity discovered the answer to that question. And the story involves Leonardo Da Vinci, sea urchins, and staring at sperm under a primitive microscope. After that: What can scientists learn from the natural world? We visit the lab of Jeff Karp, a biomedical engineer who seeks inspiration from porcupines and geckos. Take a listen to find out...

Duration: 00:49:34


Where Do Babies Come From?

1/12/2018
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For most of human history, we didn’t know where babies come from. Sure, we knew it involved sex, but beyond that, things got a little fuzzy. The story of how we got clarity on the birds and the bees is as circuitous as it is strange. Its cast of characters includes kings, philosophers, sea urchins, and the father of microbiology. Science writer Edward Dolnick, author of the new book “The Seeds of Life,” tells the tale.

Duration: 00:20:58


What Nature Can Teach Science

1/12/2018
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Who would’ve thought that geckos could revolutionize medical technology? Jeff Karp, an associate professor at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was inspired research in nature, most specifically by the gecko’s incredible ability to stick to vertical walls. And he realized that that ability - sticking and unsticking easily, without leaving a residue behind, like a band-aid does - could be useful in the hospital. And this nature-inspired realization was just...

Duration: 00:12:31


Planning for 100

1/12/2018
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Hopefully, you’re going to die a very long time from now, surrounded by friends and family, having lived a meaningful life. But exactly how far away is death going to be? When you look at the broad sweep of human history, life expectancy has pushed upwards (albeit not always in a straight line), almost doubling over the last century. And, it may well keep rising. Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, believes that longer lifespans are...

Duration: 00:16:18


Full Show: A Few Moves Ahead

1/5/2018
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First, The lives – and regrets – behind the scientists who created our weapons of war. Then, Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov tells us what he learned from losing to a very smart computer. And finally, writer and blogger Cory Doctorow explains how science-fiction can help us imagine the future, and prepare for it.

Duration: 00:48:49


When Science Goes To War

1/5/2018
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Growing up, Thanksgivings in Jennet Conant’s house were contentious. The Vietnam War was raging, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts, student protests were ubiquitous. But Conant’s family was especially combative. Her grandfather, James B. Conant, a former president of Harvard University, had both supervised the production of poison gas during World War I, and oversaw the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. Conant’s father argued her grandfather wasn’t a scientist who had...

Duration: 00:21:43


Garry Kasparov And The Game Of Artificial Intelligence

1/5/2018
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For more than a 30-year span, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov was nearly unbeatable. But, in 1997, he faced an unlikely competitor: the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the final match, which ended up being a turning point both for him and for our understanding of artificial intelligence. We talk with Kasparov about his new book, “Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins.”

Duration: 00:13:25


An Optimistic Look At The Apocalypse

1/5/2018
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Science-fiction is a genre that imagines the future. It doesn’t necessarily predict the future (after all, where are flying cars?), but it grapples with the technological and societal changes happening today to better understand our world and where it’s heading. So, what does it mean when so much of our most popular science-fiction - The Handmaid’s Tale, The Walking Dead, and The Hunger Games - present bleak, depressing futures? Cory Doctorow might just have an answer. He’s a blogger,...

Duration: 00:13:14


Full Show: Everybody Likes Me

12/29/2017
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It’s the holidays, which means you might head back to your hometown, grab a drink at the local bar, and compare yourself with the kids you knew in high school. Luckily, we’re serving up the perfect show for the status-obsessed. We have stories that look at what makes people popular in school, how your crammed calendar can actually make you more sought after, and why achieving online popularity is trickier than you think.

Duration: 00:48:31


The Psychology Behind Popularity

12/29/2017
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Do you ever wonder why some people are more popular than others? The foundation for climbing up the social ladder starts early, and it turns out that parents actually have an enormous influence on how well-liked their kids are. Psychology professor Mitch Prinstein explains how popularity develops and why it matters.

Duration: 00:18:12


Diving Into The Aspirational Economy

12/29/2017
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At the height of their career, YouTube stars can make millions of dollars. But it’s a rough road to the top for social media stars, if they can get there at all. We talk with author Brooke Erin Duffy and YouTuber Gaby Dunn about the aspirational economy, and how success can take a toll on our personal life.

Duration: 00:14:55


Can't You See I'm Busy?

12/29/2017
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Don’t feel bad the next time you have to blow off your friends. Being busy is considered a status symbol here in America. Georgetown University assistant professor Neeru Paharia explains why we’re impressed with people who have too much on their plates... though that may a relatively recent phenomenon.

Duration: 00:13:23


A Dip Into History: Different Wavelengths

12/29/2017
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Listen to this one while you heat up your TV dinner. The story behind the microwave.

Duration: 00:03:13


Full Show: The Ever-Present Past

12/22/2017
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“The past is never dead. It's not even past.” This week on Innovation Hub, we prove Faulkner right. We’ve got stories about how history still affects all our daily lives, in a myriad of different ways. We start by taking a look at the origin of the debates over human rights. The Declaration of Independence’s second paragraph begins with the immortal phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain...

Duration: 00:49:18


The Invention Of Human Rights

12/22/2017
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We all know Thomas Jefferson’s famous words immortalized in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” But when did the world start thinking about equality? Lynn Hunt, a distinguished research professor at UCLA, and author of the book “Inventing Human Rights,” says we haven’t always recognized basic human rights, and the very concept wasn’t spoken much about until the end of the 1700s.

Duration: 00:16:48


How Childhood Trauma Affects Health

12/22/2017
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Vincent Felitti first made the connection between childhood abuse and adult health during an obesity research study he ran in the 1980s. During a routine checkup with one of his patients, she mentioned that the year after she was raped, she gained 105 pounds. Felitti recalled what happened next: “She looked down at the carpet and muttered to herself, ‘Overweight is overlooked. And, that’s the way I needed to be.’” Felitti started asking all of his patients about sexual abuse. The results...

Duration: 00:14:54


How A Newspaper Moved Americans

12/22/2017
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The Chicago Defender *has humble beginnings. Started by Robert Sengstacke Abbott in the rooms of a boardinghouse, the paper quickly grew into a nationally-distributed enterprise. (Abbott himself became one of the first black self-made millionaires.) Ethan Michaeli, author of “The Defender: The Legendary Black Newspaper Change d America,” traces the paper’s influence through history, from the Great Migration to the desegregation of the military.

Duration: 00:17:34


Full Show: Only Human

12/15/2017
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Your family tree is less of a tree and more of a tangled web. Geneticist Adam Rutherford explains why. There’s a conversation that all high-powered couples need to have. Two Stanford professors tell us how to use ideas from product design to create a more fulfilling life.

Duration: 00:49:54


The Human Story Behind Our Genes

12/15/2017
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As scientists apply our new understanding of the human genome to genetics, we’re getting answers to big-picture questions about our species. What is race? How did humanity spread around the globe? How should we pick a mate (genetically speaking)? We talk with Adam Rutherford, geneticist and author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived:The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes. about the history of our genes, and what they reveal about our species.

Duration: 00:19:41


The Conversation High-Powered Couples Need To Have

12/15/2017
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The number of women running Fortune 500 companies is higher than it’s ever been. And yet, there are only 32 female CEOs on that list. So… why aren’t there more high-powered women in positions of power? There are a multitude of reasons, but according to Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, author of the article “If you Can’t Find a Spouse Who Supports Your Career, Stay Single,” part of the issue lies with the support these women are receiving.

Duration: 00:14:15

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