February 11, 2010

Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of LIfe

Guest: Scott D. Sampson, Ph.D.

In the past twenty-five years, more "new" species of dinosaur were discovered and named than in all prior history. Today on Focus, we'll talk to leading expert Scott D. Sampson about the story of the dinosaurs from their origin to their sudden demise. We'll also discuss how further knowledge about the dinosaurs gives us a better view of the entire natural world.

February 01, 2010

The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession

Guest: Adam Leith Gollner.

What if we could turn sour flavors to sweet in a single nibble? In fact, you can—all you need is one bite of the miracle fruit, an experience described by Adam Leith Gollner in his recent book The Fruit Hunters. Gollner joins the show today to talk about some of the extraordinary fruits that he has discovered around the globe, as well as the mass-produced ones that we may buy in the grocery store.

December 09, 2009

Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science

Guest: Carol Kaesuk Yoon, Ph.D.

Today on Focus, we'll explore the historical tension between evolutionary biology and taxonomy with biologist Carol Kaesuk Yoon. As taxonomy modernized and moved into the laboratory, it began to yield results that counteracted human instinct. In fact, argues Yoon, by giving taxonomists greater scientific authority, we've contributed to our own alienation from nature.

December 05, 2009

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress

Guest: Michael Specter.

Distrust of science today may be at an all-time peak. For centuries the institution was viewed as a means of gaining new information, which is nothing but beneficial; today, however, it has become too closely intertwined with politics to be seen as universally good. Today on Focus, New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter joins the show to discuss this war against progress and how to end it.

November 03, 2009

The Darwin Conspiracy

With Thomas Roy Davies (Independent Producer, Writer and Former Award-Winning BBC Producer), and Carl Woese, Ph.D. (Professor of Microbiology, The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois)

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