Welcome to Grey Matter. I'm Michael Krasny, and it's a pleasure to be with you once again on Grey Matter - a podcast which features in-depth interviews with leading newsmakers, scholars, authors and intellectuals in conversation with me.
Vienna Tran - Space Wants To Kill You
We met with space medicine expert Vienna Tran to learn about the health challenges of manned exploration of space. This may seem like an esoteric subject for those who feel like we have more challenges facing us on earth than we can deal with, but Vienna makes a compelling case that conquering the extremes of off-earth existence equips us to better deal with our terrestrial challenges. "A dollar invested in space is worth more than a dollar invested on earth." Not only is off-world colonization a hedging strategy against an extinction event here on earth, space exploration (including medicine) brings us myriad advancements for terrestrial life. What are the risks? What are the rewards? Join us to gain a glimpse of this brave new frontier.
Kent Gershengorn - Loving the Heart
Buffalo Bills starting safety Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest from a routine tackle of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (and strike to the chest) on January 2, 2023 highlights that there is much left to know about cardiac health. To help us climb the learning curve of how we keep our tick-tocker ticking, we met with renown cardiologist Kent Gershengorn to help us decode the latest science. We discussed sudden cardiac death after blunt chest trauma - what we believe struck Damar Hamlin. We also explored the good news on the most advanced current and future treatments and technologies for after a person develops a heart condition. Perhaps most importantly, we covered much of what we can do to prevent or postpone developing any of the various heart conditions in the first place. Join us.
Narsai David - Delicious Freshness Within Reach
We rang in the New Year with renowned restaurateur Narsai David to discuss food, wine, and recall some of his favorite food memories and explore his latest culinary discoveries and innovations. As one who helped birth the California fresh food revolution, his suggestions and recommendations bring deliciousness within reach. His guidance for a Narsai-kind of fantasy meal is approachable for the novice, inspiring for the expert and easy on the pocketbook. I've interviewed a number of the world's great chefs, but personally, if I want or need advice when it comes to food or wine, I go to Narsai David - a chef, a restaurateur, a winemaker, a food columnist, as well as a longtime food and wine editor for KCBS Radio and a PBS television host of the nationally syndicated "Over Easy." He's a leading gourmet and culinary expert whose knowledge of food is vast, and his knowledge of wines would probably eclipse most wine sommeliers. He's also past president of the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, and the author of a book called "Monday Night at Narsai's."
Jeffrey Pfeffer - Only Power Begets Change
We met with Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor and expert on Power, Jeffrey Pfeffer, to discuss his latest influential work, 7 Rules of Power. While many might malign an ambition to acquire and wield power, Pfeffer lays bare the pragmatic truth that change happens only with the adept identification of the levers of power, and the artful accumulation and use of power to affect the change we seek. He disabused any notion that power in and of itself is negative. Only how it is used can be criticized. As he quickly points out, "If you want power to be used for good, then more good people need to have power." Our discussion is a brief primer of his life's research into his treatise on the mechanics of power, and an invaluable guide for anyone hoping to affect change. Pfeffer's pragmatic straight talk might be thought by some as astringent, but his sober understanding of how the world turns is a wakeup call for anyone who thinks it is sufficient to simply engage in "moral talk." Because so many who are willing to use the strategies and tactics of power are not using it for good, join us to learn how to counteract the negative by becoming equally effective in your own ability to get things done and realize the desirable change we hope to see in the world.
Louann Brizendine - To drive or be driven?
We met with Dr. Louann Brizendine to dive into the under-appreciated "forces within" that drive our behavior, our relationships, and so much of our lives. The founder of the Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic at UCSF, Brizendine wrote several definitive books on the subject, including The Female Brain, The Male Brain, and The Upgrade - How the Female Brain Gets Stronger and Better in Midlife and Beyond, where she reframes the post-menopausal experience as an opportunity to reclaim one's authentic self. Nobel Prize winner Issac Bashevis Singer summarized the paradox we all experience best when asked if he believed in free will by responding, "I have no choice." To what degree are we driven by our hormones? How much do they define our sexuality and our gender? What role does sleep, exercise, nutrition and even pollution play? How do we reclaim the driver's seat while at the same time accepting ourselves and the infinite diversity of those around us? Join us as we uncover real subterranean forces actively at work to varying degrees in all of us.
Angela Glover Blackwell - Realizing the Promise of Equity
We met with Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder in Residence at PolicyLink, host of the Radical Imagination Podcast and Professor of Practice at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, to reflect on a career dedicated to building a more equitable society. Blackwell believes that authentically rooting oneself in close proximity to the experience of the most vulnerable populations allows one to see how to improve circumstances for everyone. These are unprecedented times with unprecedented threats, but we also see unprecedented engagement and a novel brand of unprecedented “collective leadership” that fuels today’s powerful social movements and renewal. Join us to understand her passionate optimism, and hear her four key changes that would lead to meaningful progress towards a better world for all.
We love Michael
Definitely listen to episode # 6. It shows Michael’s range and is so cool.
I have missed your voice for too long. I will support this broadcast any way that I can. Everything about this work is impeccable.
Hard to resist Michael Krasny
Welcome back to interview format Michael! Many of us have missed you on KQED, although the replacement hosts are great. Now we have your insightful perspectives available to us again. Much appreciated.