Inquiring Minds
  • Indre Viskontas
358 episodes

Each week Inquiring Minds brings you a new, in-depth exploration of the space where science, politics, and society collide.

We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you though science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We endeavor to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters with weekly coverage of the latest headlines and probing discussions with leading scientists and thinkers.


Telling the story of climate change with music
2020 Sep 2222m 44s
This week we talk to Stephan Crawford about The ClimateMusic Project, an organization that hopes to, through music, tell the urgent story of climate change.
The ways in which our bodies don’t match how the world has been built
2020 Sep 1644m 3s
This week we talk to Sara Hendren, an artist, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering about her new book What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World. Hendren's book explores the idea that perhaps many people are disabled not by the shape of their body or how they work, but instead by the shape of the built environment in which they live.
Up To Date | Why Elon Musk’s Neuralink could fail; and the worrying relationship between bad sleep and Alzheimer's disease
2020 Sep 0852m 6s
This week: A deep look into new research on the relationship between how you sleep and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, including an interview with the study’s author, Matt Walker, and two neuroscientists review Elon Musk’s recent Neuralink announcement and explain what they got right and what they got very wrong.
Why you talk the way you do, and what it says about you
2020 Sep 0142m 45s
We talk to psychologist Katherine Kinzler about her new book How You Say It: Why You Talk the Way You Do—And What It Says About You.
How fraud, bias, negligence, and hype undermine the search for truth
2020 Aug 1751m
We talk to Scottish psychologist Stuart Ritchie about his new book Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth.
Why things spread and why they stop
2020 Aug 0640m 34s
We talk to mathematician and epidemiologist Adam Kucharski about his recent book The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread—And Why They Stop.
Up To Date | Mosquitoes, robots, pupils, beavers, and Earth’s crust
2020 Jul 2826m 56s
This week: A new study showing how you can, as a way to control their population, change blood-drinking female mosquitoes to male, non-biting mosquitoes by changing just one gene; research into new ways for robots to grab things; a study showing the ways in which the pupils of people who have PTSD react differently than others, even in emotionally-neutral situations; beavers in Alaska are working overtime in the Arctic tundra as a result of climate change and possibly damaging the ecosystem; and research examining how the Earth’s crust cracked in the first place.
A Story about Forests, People, and the Future
2020 Jul 2339m 5s
We talk to science reporter Zach St. George about his new book The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future.
From the slave trade to climate change—why corporations defend the indefensible
2020 Jul 1640m 1s
We talk to environmental attorney Barbara Freese about her new book Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change.
The Language of Butterflies
2020 Jul 0839m 12s
We talk to science writer Wendy Williams about her new book The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect.