Around the Institute

Listen Longer 3/14: Science!

March 16, 2015  • Institute Contributor

Happy belated Pi Day! This past weekend was a big one for science and math lovers around the world — it was a once-in-a-century Pi Day, and the birthday of Albert Einstein. We celebrated our love for science on Aspen Institute Radio, our two-hour radio show airing every Saturday and Sunday on SiriusXM Insight (channel 121). Each episode will dive into the topics that inform the world around you. Here in our weekly Listen Longer posts, we’ll recap each episode and show you where you can read, watch, and listen to more. Don’t have SiriusXM? Try it free for a month here.

Thinking Machines

Danny Hillis holds over 200 US patents and designed a 10,000-year mechanical clock. He is also co-founder and co-chairman of Applied Minds and the Judge Widney Professor of Engineering and Medicine at University of Southern California. Watch his lively talk about the evolution of thinking machines.

How do machines influence our world today? Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson speaks about the combination of human curiosity and the power of machines that can lead to innovation in his recent book “The Innovators.” 

Are you literate in science?


Called the single best explainer of abstruse ideas in the world today, Brian Greene is a pro at bringing audiences up to speed on complex scientific ideas. The Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics explains the importance of science literacy and our future.

Check out more great conversations with Greene:

How to stop a deadly asteroid


Larger asteroids, from the width of a football field to the size of a small city, have the potential to be killers on a massive scale. In previous collisions with Earth, they have set off deadly blast waves, raging fires, and colossal tidal waves. Fortunately, space rocks like these can be deflected — if we have enough warning. But whose responsibility is it to survey for, and protect against, them?

Hear more great talks about space:

A Scientific Crystal Ball


Two of the country’s most agile prognosticators — Nate Silver and Mark Penn — discuss the science behind their art, with insights to the changing nature of American society. 

How good are Nate Silver’s predictions? Here’s his call for the 2016 presidential election.