Tag Archives: Interviews

Top Interviews: Paul R. Milgrom & Robert B. Wilson, Nobel Prize In Economics For 2020

“He was the advisor everybody recommended you should have,” says Paul Milgrom of Robert Wilson, his PhD supervisor and now near neighbour in Palo Alto and co-Laureate in Economic Sciences. In this conversation with Adam Smith, recorded 20 minutes after Milgrom had learned of his prize, he describes how it was Wilson who actually delivered the news, in person: “He and his wife just walked over and rang the doorbell.”

Not only are the 2020 Economics Science Laureates long-time collaborators, they are also neighbours in Palo Alto, and so when Robert Wilson heard the news of his prize from Stockholm, he simply crossed the street and knocked on Paul Milgrom’s door to wake him! “It sounds like something from the nineteenth century,” says Wilson in this conversation with Adam Smith, recorded shortly after the news became public. He describes his pride at the fact that Milgrom is the third of his students, after Alvin Roth and Bengt Holmström, to be awarded the prize, a perfect combination of events that he calls his “trifecta”.

Top Interviews: Jennifer A. Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier, 2020 Nobel Prize, Chemistry (Podcast)

“We had a sense that we were onto something big,” says Jennifer Doudna, as she recalls the start of her “curiosity-driven” research into CRISPR and reflects on the pace of the field today, in this short conversation with Adam Smith. Speaking from her patio in the early morning in Palo Alto, Doudna describes how she was woken by a call from a journalist: “I assumed she was calling me to ask me to comment on somebody else winning the Nobel Prize!” The award of the prize to her and Emmanuelle Charpentier will, she hopes, be an encouragement to other women. “Sometimes,” she comments, “there’s a sense that no matter what they do, their work will not be recognised in the way it would be if they were a man.”

In this interview recorded shortly after news broke of her Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Emmanuelle Charpentier tells Adam Smith of her surprise at receiving the call from Stockholm, despite considerable speculation that it might be coming her way. She speaks of the “explosion of knowledge and publications” that the CRISPR field has generated, the motivations behind her “brief but intense” collaboration with her co-Laureate Jennifer Doudna, the need for societal involvement in the conversation about the applications of technology and the importance of studying the microbiological world.

Video Interviews: ‘Sir David Attenborough – A Life On Our Planet’ (PBS)

Filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has been documenting the natural world since the 1950s. In his latest book and film, “A Life on Our Planet,” he offers a grave and alarming assessment about the climate crisis Earth is facing. The 94-year-old Attenborough spoke with William Brangham recently as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas.

New Podcast Interviews: Whale Shark Scientist Brad Norman – “Ecocean”

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, recognisable by its celestial markings. Australian scientist Brad Norman has been tracking this elusive and endangered creature by using technology designed to study stars, as well as images collected through ecotourism.

ECOCEAN (Australia) is a globally recognised, non-government, not-for-profit organization based in Western Australia working towards scientific researcheducation and conservation of the marine environment.  It’s flagship species, the whale shark, is an iconic animal for marine conservation being the world’s largest fish.

ECOCEAN (Australia) was founded in 1995 by marine conservation biologist Brad Norman and was incorporated in 2006. Brad also helped in the establishment of the partner organisation WildMe (USA) who manage the global whale shark photo-identification library –  Wildbook.

Website

New Podcast Interviews: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Netflix has had a blockbuster year as lockdowns supercharged subscriptions. But competition is intensifying and the American streaming market is close to saturation. Anne McElvoy asks the company’s co-founder and co-CEO how much more Netflix can still grow.

How does he respond to the charge that its data-driven entertainment is creating a monoculture? And, why he envies the BBC but fears Disney.

New Interviews: Wendy Benchley On Legacy Of Peter Benchley’s “Jaws”

Wendy Benchley is a marine and environmental conservation advocate, and former councilwoman from New Jersey. Her husband Peter Benchley was the famed author of JAWS, the classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today. Today Wendy Benchley joins our producer Pat Stango to discuss the legacy of JAWS, how its story still resonates in the events of today, and why ocean conservation is something she still fights for.

Jaws is a 1974 novel by American writer Peter Benchley. It tells the story of a great white shark that preys upon a small resort town and the voyage of three men trying to kill it. The novel grew out of Benchley’s interest in shark attacks after he learned about the exploits of shark fisherman Frank Mundus in 1964. 

Podcast Interview: “One Hundred Summers” Author Vanessa Branson

Vanessa Branson is a champion of numerous cultural and ecological initiatives. A trustee for the charitable Virgin Unite organisation that was started by her brother Richard, she has now written a frank and highly entertaining memoir about her family, called ‘One Hundred Summers’.

Interviews: “Break It Up ” Author Richard Kreitner: America’s Imperfect Union

“Disunion—the possibility that it all might go to pieces—is a hidden thread through our entire history,” the journalist and historian Richard Kreitner writes in Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. 

 “Our refusal to recognize this, like patients who insist, against all evidence, that they are not ill, has been a major cause of our political dysfunction and social strife. Secession is the only kind of revolution we Americans have ever known and the only kind we’re ever likely to see.” On this episode of The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham and Kreitner start at the beginning of the United States of America and trace this history of disunion up to the present. Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Richard Kreitner, author of “Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union.”

Interview: English Author Daisy Dunn – “Legacies Of Pliny The Elder, Younger”

In the year 79 CE, Pliny the Elder set out to investigate a large cloud of ash rising in the sky above the Bay of Naples. It was the eruption of Vesuvius, and Pliny did not survive. 

“I think we can all empathize with someone who’s like a son, or in this case, an adopted son, trying to kind of make his own mark and escape the shadow of his father, and leave something on the world of his own.”

A trailblazing naturalist, he is best remembered today for his multivolume encyclopedia of Natural History,and we are able to retrace his final hours thanks to a vivid account by his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Inspired by his beloved uncle, the young Pliny became a lawyer, senator, poet, and representative of the emperor. His published letters are fascinating reflections on life and politics in the Roman Empire.

In this episode, Daisy Dunn, classicist and author of The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny,and Kenneth Lapatin, curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum, discuss the two Plinys and their profound impact on our understanding of ancient Rome.