May 10, 2004

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.

April 09, 2004

Why Undergraduate College Students Leave the Sciences

Guest: Elaine Seymour.

Between 40 and 60 percent of students entering college planning to major in science, math, or engineering end up switching to other majors before graduation. Sociologist Elaine Seymour surveyed hundreds of students in an effort to find out why so many initally motivated undergraduates abandon science and engineering majors early in their college careers. She joins us on Focus today from the University of Colorado to share her findings.

March 16, 2004

The Unpredictability of Science and its Consequences

Guest: Sir John Meurig Thomas.

You might expect scientists to have a good idea of where their research will lead—but in fact, says Sir John Meurig Thomas, they are no better than the general public at seeing into the future. Today on Focus, the Cambridge University professor will give us examples of scientific unpredictability in his own field, chemistry, as well as physics, medicine, and biology.

February 10, 2004


With Maresi Nerad (Director, Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education, and Associate Dean, Graduate School of the University of Washington), and Rebecca Bryant (Director, Career Advising and External Relations of the Graduate College of the University of Illinois)

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