Catherine Marin
March 24, 2006

Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are

Guest: Frans de Waal.

Humans and apes share numerous traits, from our curiosity to our tendency to form groups and communities. Today on Focus, we're joined by professor of psychology Frans de Waal to discuss humans' primate heritage and how we compare to different kinds of apes that still exist today.

March 03, 2006

The Snowball Earth Hypothesis: Testing the Limits of Global Change

Guest: Paul Hoffman.

Some scientists believe that at one time in the past, Earth became so cold it completely froze over. This period of extreme cold was followed by a dramatic swing to warmth, which may have had a profound impact on the development of complex life on our planet. Other scientists disagree, questioning the Earth's ability to thaw and the survival of any life of its surface. Today on Focus, host David Inge talks to Paul Hoffman, professor of geology at Harvard University and one of the leaders of the "Snowball Earth" hypothesis.

December 08, 2005

Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior

Guest: Mark S. Blumberg, Ph.D.

Why do we react in certain ways under certain circumstances? Neuroscientist Mark Blumberg joins us today to discuss the origin of these impulsive behaviors and delve into the debate over whether these instincts are natural—we are born with them—or whether they develop over time and are passed on generation to generation.

November 09, 2005

Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

Guest: Simon Singh.

The Big Bang model of the universe offers an elegant explanation of everything we see in the night sky, making it one of the greatest achievements of the human intellect and spirit. Even more wonderful, says science writer Simon Singh, it can be understood by everyone. Join us today on Focus as we talk with Singh about how scientist arrived at this remarkable theory.

October 13, 2005

The Ultimate Field Trip

Guest: Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut.

The last man to walk on the moon did so in 1972. Harrison Schmitt is to date the only civilian scientist to the moon, a geologist who continues to be a strong advocate for the exploration and settlement of space. Today on Focus, he'll talk about what it's like to stand on the lunar surface, and about what lies ahead for humans in space.

October 13, 2005

The Republican War on Science

Guest: Chris Mooney.

Science has never been more crucial to understanding the political issues facing the country—yet, says journalist Chris Mooney, today's scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since the Nixon administration. Today on Focus, Mooney talks about his recent book The Republican War on Science, in which he argues that the Bush administration has favored the support of social conservatives and the business community over scientific consensus.

September 02, 2005

The United States’ Space Program: What’s Next

Guest: Robert Zubrin.

Will astronauts ever return to the moon? Will they venture beyond our own system to other planets? This morning on Focus, we'll discuss Space Shuttle design, interplanetary travel, and Mars missions with former NASA engineer Robert Zubrin, worked on the design of advanced space transportation and propulsion as well as the development of strategies for the exploration of Mars during his time with the space agency.

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