58 episodes

The Origins Podcast features in-depth conversations with some of the most interesting people in the world about the issues that impact all of us in the 21st century. Host, theoretical physicist, lecturer, and author, Lawrence M. Krauss, will be joined by guests from a wide range of fields, including science, the arts, and journalism. The topics discussed on The Origins Podcast reflect the full range of the human experience - exploring science and culture in a way that seeks to entertain, educate, and inspire. lawrencekrauss.substack.com

lawrencekrauss.substack.com

The Origins Podcast with Lawrence Krauss Lawrence M. Krauss

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 67 Ratings

The Origins Podcast features in-depth conversations with some of the most interesting people in the world about the issues that impact all of us in the 21st century. Host, theoretical physicist, lecturer, and author, Lawrence M. Krauss, will be joined by guests from a wide range of fields, including science, the arts, and journalism. The topics discussed on The Origins Podcast reflect the full range of the human experience - exploring science and culture in a way that seeks to entertain, educate, and inspire. lawrencekrauss.substack.com

lawrencekrauss.substack.com

    Frans de Waal: Learning from Primates about ourselves: From Gender to Social Hierarchies

    Frans de Waal: Learning from Primates about ourselves: From Gender to Social Hierarchies

    Frans de Waal is not only my favorite primatologist, he is one of my favorite scientist-communicators. His books on primates, particularly on Bonobos and Chimpanzees—from politics to child-rearing and even culture—reveal a tremendous amount about our closest genetic relatives, and hence about ourselves. His newest book, Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist, tackles a particularly hot topic at the current time, but as is typical of his books, this one is both entertaining, and touching, and packed with data rather than anecdotes. I was very happy to sit down with Frans again to talk broadly about the motivations for his career choice, as well as his many years of experience in the field. While we focused on his new book, our discussion ranged far more broadly over the importance of primatology as a new and useful window on humans. I have had the privilege of sharing numerous stages with Frans, as well as hosting him at a previous Origins symposium, and each time I come away with important new perspectives. This podcast was no exception, and I hope you too will come away from it with a different view of yourself and your relationship to the world around you—which after all, is again one of the purposes of this podcast.

    Speaking of new perspectives, I describe in the podcast how a video Frans showed me over a decade ago, involving Capuchin monkeys, as I recall, changed my own perspectives on occasions when I experience jealousy or envy, and I think it improved my own behavior, at least a little bit. Once you here him describe it, I wonder, if you then go to youtube and watch it, whether it will do the same for you. Either way, enjoy this entertaining, provocative, and informative discussion with a charming and insightful scientist.

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project Youtube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 2 hrs 30 min
    Janice Fiamengo: Feminism, Anti-Feminism, and Common Sense

    Janice Fiamengo: Feminism, Anti-Feminism, and Common Sense

    As I describe in the introduction to our discussion, I first learned about Janice Fiamengo by watching an incredible series of videos she produced called The Fiamengo Files. Not surprisingly, because they presented a well-reasoned approach to various hot-button social justice issues, these videos were taken down YouTube. No worries, like the proverbial Phoenix, The Fiamengo Files II emerged and can be found.

    Janice, a retired Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, calls herself an anti-feminist, which may sound shrill or reactionary, but it is worth listening to her discussions to learn why she so labels herself. Most recently she has been working on a comprehensive history of Feminism and provides compelling arguments, based on data, that much of conventional wisdom regarding such things as universal suffrage and the plight of women currently misrepresents what actually transpired.

    Whether or not you are inclined to agree with Janice, listening to her is enlightening, and it is also enriching. She is calm and charming, and anything but a firebrand, and I cannot imagine how one could have a non-cordial conversation with her. Nevertheless, she has been censored, and protesters have too often forced her public lectures to be cancelled. It is a great pity, because we need voices of reason to speak to each other if we are ever to rise above the partisan nonsense currently engulfing popular debate.

    For that reason I was particularly excited that she agreed to come on the podcast to talk about these issues, her current projects, and her past work, including her book Sons of Feminism. I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I did, and are provoked to think about these issues in a new way, no matter what you might ultimately conclude. That is, once again, one of the purposes of the Origins Podcast, and of the Critical Mass website.

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project Youtube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 58 min
    Richard Dawkins: From Selfish Gene to Flights of Fancy

    Richard Dawkins: From Selfish Gene to Flights of Fancy

    Richard Dawkins needs no introduction. He is one of the world’s most well known scientists and science writers. He is also a good friend and colleague. As many of you may know, Richard and I have toured much of the world together on stage, often in dialogues about our disciplines, our views of the world, and of course the conflict between science and religion.

    When we decided to create The Origins Podcast, it was natural to consider early on having a dialogue between Richard and me. One fateful day, our crew headed to Oxford. As we began our journey, our car was broken into and much equipment stolen. Then we had a small car accident later. We finally got to Richard’s late in the day, in time to begin a dialogue, but not long enough to complete it.

    I wanted to hold on to that snippet for the right time, so that Richard and I could continue our conversation by touching something new, something we had not talked about before onstage. The release of two new books over the past year provided just such an opportunity. Richard and I were able to discuss Flights of Fancy, his latest book, about flight in the animal kingdom and beyond. It is a beautiful book to read and look at, with delightful illustrations by Jana Lenzova.

    I had assumed I knew everything that was in it, as Richard and I had talked about the physics of flying early on when he was writing it. But I was wrong. It is a wonderful compendium of fascinating stories about how nature, and evolution, conspired to harness physics to escape, at least temporarily, they tyranny of gravity.

    We used the book as a launching point to discuss science more generally. It was an enjoyable tour from The Selfish Gene to his, and my, most recent thinking about nature. I hope you enjoy it.

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project Youtube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 2 hrs 3 min
    Alex Garland: Fundamental questions inspire art and science

    Alex Garland: Fundamental questions inspire art and science

    Alex Garland is probably best known to the world for writing and directing the blockbuster film Ex Machina about the consequences of the coming of age of an AI humanoid robot. Before that, he wrote the film 28 days later, about the fictional aftermath of a mysterious incurable virus that spreads through the UK. Most recently he directed a television series for FX called Devs, about many things, but hinging on quantum mechanics and issues of a multiverse.

    The human implications of new technology seem to play an ever present role in his films, and I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to chat with him about science and art in the past, and was eager to sit down and record a podcast. He is remarkably thoughtful and at the same time self-deprecating. Since the origins podcast tends to focus on issues of science and culture, Alex was the perfect guest, and he seamlessly blends the two. We sat down and talked about his own origins, emerging from a period of more or less complete disinterest in science to returning to the kind of questioning that his scientist grandfather used to embark on with him when he was a young boy. Recorded in the building in which his most recent TV series Devs was being recorded, we had to talk about the quantum universe as well.

    It was a fascinating and thoughtful conversation about the human interface with modern science, as displayed in film, writing, and art.

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project Youtube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Geoff Marcy: The Search for Exoplanets and Life Elsewhere in the Universe

    Geoff Marcy: The Search for Exoplanets and Life Elsewhere in the Universe

    Geoff Marcy has been pioneer in the search for extra-solar system planets since the first discovery of an exoplanet surround a main sequence star was made in 1995 by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. Within months, Marcy and his team had not only confirmed this result but detected numerous other exoplanets. Seventy of the first one hundred exoplanets were discovered by Marcy’s team, including the firs exoplanet located as far away from its star as Jupiter is to the Sun, and the first exoplanet discovered by observing its transit of its host star, a technique that will be used by JWST to explore the atmosphere of exoplanets to search for bio signatures. Marcy was then a Co-PI on the Kepler Mission, which discovered over 4000 exoplanets. For their pioneering work in the creation of this new field Marcy and Mayor shared the international Shaw Prize in 2005. More recently Marcy has turned his attention to methods to probe for intelligent life in the Universe, first as a PI on the Breakthrough Listen Project, and more recently exploring novel methods, including optical techniques to probe for possible signals of intelligence elsewhere.

    We discussed all of these exciting topics, as well as Geoff’s own origins as a scientist in a thoughtful and fascinating discussion. He has become well known not just as a world renown scientist, but as one of the best communicators of astronomy there is. Our discussion will give a whole new dimension to your thinking about that age-old question: Are we alone in the Universe?

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project YouTube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Andy Knoll: The First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth

    Andy Knoll: The First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth

    Andy Knoll is a Renaissance Scientist. He is a geologist, paleobiologist, and geochemist and has applied key ideas from chemistry, biology, physiology and more to understanding the key developments associated with life on Earth—both how geology and chemistry have impacted on life, and vice versa. He has made ground breaking contributions to the understanding of almost every phase of life, from early Pre-Cambrian single cell life, to the emergence of more complex lifeforms, to mass extinctions. His group was the first to demonstrate that the rapid rise of CO2 was probably responsible for the last great extinction on Earth, a subject of some relevance today. For his work he most recently won the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Crafoord Prize in Geosciences… the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in that field.

    But more than all of this, Andy is a wonderful teacher and human being, and a great communicator . He has written numerous books on the history of life on Earth, and we discussed his most recent book, “A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters” in this podcast, along with his own origins and evolution as a scientist. The discussion was so fascinating that we went overtime during our first session and had to continue the next day.

    Our discussion will forever change your perspective on our planet, and our place within it. Enjoy.

    As always, an ad-free video version of this podcast is also available to paid Critical Mass subscribers . Your subscriptions support the non-profit Origins Project Foundation, which produces the podcast. The audio version is available free on the Critical Mass site and on all podcast sites, and the video version will also be available on the Origins Project Youtube channel as well.

    Get full access to Critical Mass at lawrencekrauss.substack.com/subscribe

    • 2 hrs 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

bizababa ,

Drum Frum was a great ep

I came to the podcast when I saw David Frum was on. Very interesting, loved the episode.

Drewgong ,

Stop interrupting, please

The quests and the topics are great but the host interrupts so much that I soon search for the guest on a different podcast.

inquisito65 ,

Almost 5 stars

Despite Lawrence Krauss being the king of interrupting others, this podcast still provides great intellectual stimulus.

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