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Sean Carroll's Mindscape

Sean Carroll's Mindscape

Podcast Sean Carroll's Mindscape
Podcast Sean Carroll's Mindscape

Sean Carroll's Mindscape


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  • 179 | David Reich on Genetics and Ancient Humanity
    Human beings like to divide themselves into groups, and then cooperate, socialize, and reproduce with members of their own group. But they’re not very absolutist about it; groups tend to gradually (or suddenly) intermingle, as people explore, intermarry, or conquer each other. David Reich has pioneered the use of genetic data in uncovering the history of ancient humanity: what groups existed where and when, and how they interacted. The result is a picture of churning populations in constant flux, including “ghost populations” that no longer exist today.Support Mindscape on Patreon.David Reich received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Oxford. He is currently a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. Among his awards are the Dan David Prize, the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Wiley Prize, the Darwin-Wallace Medal, and the Massry Prize. He is the author of Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.Lab web pageHarvard faculty pagePublicationsWikipediaSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
  • 178 | Jody Azzouni on What Is and Isn't Real
    Are numbers real? What does that even mean? You can’t kick a number. But you can talk about numbers in useful ways, and we use numbers to talk about the real world. There’s surely a kind of reality there. On the other hand, Luke Skywalker isn’t a real person, but we talk about him all the time. Maybe we can talk about unreal things in useful ways. Jody Azzouni is one of the leading contemporary advocates of nominalism, the view that abstract objects are not “things,” they are merely labels we use in talking about things. A deeply philosophical issue, but one that has implications for how we think about physics and the laws of nature.Support Mindscape on Patreon.Jody Azzouni received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the City University of New York. He is currently a professor of philosophy at Tufts University. In addition to his philosophical work, he is an active writer of fiction and poetry.Web siteTufts web pagePhilPeople profileAmazon author pageWikipediaPoemHunter pageSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
  • Holiday Message 2021 | On Disciplines & Cocktails
    As each December comes to a close, we wrap up another year of podcasts with the Mindscape Holiday Message. Nothing too profound, just some thoughts that wouldn’t fit easily into a regular podcast. This year we’re talking about academic disciplines and cocktails. What do they have in common, you may ask? Listen and find out!Support Mindscape on Patreon.Mindscape will be dark on Monday December 27, and will resume regular programming on Monday January 3. Here are the two books I mentioned in the podcast, and the one essay:The Aviary Cocktail BookDeath & Co Modern Classic CocktailsSteven Weinberg, “Against Philosophy”See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
  • AMA | December 2021
    Welcome to the December 2021 Ask Me Anything episode of Mindscape! These monthly excursions are funded by Patreon supporters (who are also the ones asking the questions). I take the large number of questions asked by Patreons, whittle them down to a more manageable size — based primarily on whether I have anything interesting to say about them, not whether the questions themselves are good — and sometimes group them together if they are about a similar topic. Note that there will be no January AMA, for purposes of a holiday break. Enjoy!Support Mindscape on Patreon.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
  • 177 | Monika Schleier-Smith on Cold Atoms and Emergent Spacetime
    When it comes to thinking about quantum mechanics, there are levels. One level is shut-up-and-calculate: find a wave function, square it to get a probability. One level is foundational: dig deeply into the underlying ontology. But there’s a level in between, long neglected but recently coming to life. In this level you think about — or do experiments with — entangled quantum systems in the real world, putting entanglement to use. Monika Schleier-Smith is an experimental physicist specializing in cold atoms, which can be both entangled and manipulated. We discuss how to use such systems to study everything from metrology to quantum gravity.Support Mindscape on Patreon.Monika Schleier-Smith received her Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is currently an Associate Professor of Physics at Stanford University. Among her awards are a MacArthur Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, and the I. I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics from the American Physical Society.Web siteStanford web pageGoogle Scholar publicationsWikipediaSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

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