Descartes’ Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human

Guest: Paul Bloom.

Babies are born with inherent knowledge in two areas: the physical and the emotional. They are surprised when things disappear or defy gravity; they are able to read emotions and react with their own. Today on Focus, we're joined by psychologist Paul Bloom. He'll talk about how these two methods of thought give rise to the traits that we consider most uniquely "human," from humor to art to religion.

Current Developments in Nanotechnology

Guests: Brenda Wilson, Thomas Mackin, and David Kellner.

Many scientists believe that nanotechnology has great potential to change both our economy and the way we live. This morning we'll look at recent developments in the field with University of Illinois microbiologist Brenda Wilson, Thomas Mackin from Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and David Kellner, the CEO of a company that uses nanoscale technology in environmental monitoring.

Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness

Guest: Gerald Edelman.

Scientists and philosophers across the ages have speculated on the nature of consciousness. Even today, with our knowledge of brain function, we still wonder how the activity seen in the brain results in our subjective thoughts and emotions. One of America's leading neuroscientists, Gerald Edelman, has spent his career trying to understand the origins of consciousness. He joins us today on Focus 580 to explain what recent advances in biochemistry and evolutionary biology can tell us about the connections between mind and body.