Situational Storytelling

Creating something genuinely new can be both a daunting and thrilling experience. But one of the frustrating aspects of breaking new ground is that, until the concept breaks through and becomes widely recognized for what it is, it is inevitably framed by what it isn’t.

Imagine stepping into…


How does science work?

Well, that’s easy, right? We start off by collecting information about the world around us and then we try to make some sense of it: we look for patterns, search for a more general understanding.

In time, we develop sufficient awareness of these patterns that we…


From: The Mind-Body Problem

It’s hardly a secret that the sporting world is awash in tedious, knee-jerk clichés: We’re just taking it one game at a time. We’ll get ’em next time. It’s time to step up. For my part, nothing drives me running screaming from the TV faster than…


There are many areas of scientific research that resonate strongly with the general public, from genetics to neuroscience to particle physics, but few can compare with the appeal of astrophysics and cosmology.

Perhaps it boils down to a question of accessibility. Appreciating the finer points of the structure of DNA…


From Mindsets: Growing Your Brain

It’s hard to find a more universally accepted piece of parenting advice than the importance of regularly showering your child with praise.

From diminishing the disappointment of failure to actively rewarding achievement, consistently bestowing positive reinforcement and external support seems to be one of the…


From: Critical Situations

When you first start delving into Philip Zimbardo’s infamous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, two words immediately pop to the surface.

The first is “classic”. Nearly half a century after those six intense days in August when 24 summer students had rapidly metamorphosed into sadistic guards and riotous…


From: Our Human Variability

Biology fascinates me. But as a non-expert, I’m forced to think of things in pretty simple terms. So when I hear biologists talk about evolution, adaptability and natural selection, I always find myself asking: What’s going on, exactly? What are the physical mechanisms at play?

After…


Preface from Conversations About The History Of Ideas

Definitions are often thorny things to be dealing with, not infrequently raising nearly as many difficult questions as they were invented to deal with.

So it is with “intellectual history” or “the history of ideas”. What does it mean, exactly, to be…


From: Learning and Memory

When I learned, shortly before speaking with him, that Alcino Silva had received the 2008 Order of Prince Henry award for his contributions to neuroscience, I must admit that I didn’t think much of it.

After all, governments give awards all the time; and the fact…

Ideas Roadshow

Uniquely engaging explorations of ideas

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