A podcast for surviving our modern world. With help from UC Berkeley experts, California magazine editors Laura Smith and Leah Worthington explore cutting-edge, often controversial ideas in science, technology, and society. Should you be able to choose your baby’s IQ? Are algorithms really smarter than people? As we face a planet devastated by climate change, what is the future of food? All that and more. A production of California magazine and the Cal Alumni Association. // Reported and hosted by Laura Smith and Leah Worthington; produced by Coby McDonald; artwork by Michiko Toki; original music by Mogli Maureal
#18 You Snooze, You... Win?
The teens are not alright! In fact, they’re experiencing a sleep crisis. In this episode, we talk to journalist Lisa Lewis about why teens have different sleep needs than the rest of us and how she worked to get more sleep for all Californian teens. We explore sleep hygiene and what it means to restructure society around a vital health need.
BONUS: Into the Ishi Wilderness
Today, we’re featuring the audio version of California magazine’s recent cover story, “Into the Ishi Wilderness.” In 1911, a Yahi Native American man walked out of the wilderness near Oroville, California. The famed anthropologist Alfred Kroeber brought him to Berkeley’s campus. What happened next is still being hotly debated almost 100 years later.
For audio text, please see the feature article, Into the Ishi Wilderness.
This episode was written and hosted by Laura Smith and Leah Worthington, and produced by Coby McDonald. Special thanks to Pat Joseph. Art by Michiko Toki and original music by Mogli Maureal.
#17 Hey Mom, I’m an Influencer!
These days, kids want to be social media influencers when they grow up. But is it a viable career? And what does our ever-growing social media obsession mean for society? In this episode, we talk to TikTok star Talia Lichtstein about her day-to-day routine, how she makes money, and the future of work in the era of social media.
#16 I Once Was Blind, But Now?
How is it possible to be blind and able to see at the same time? In this episode, we explore a bizarre, paradoxical neurological condition called blindsight, which challenges everything we think we know about vision—and offers insight into the nature of human consciousness. Leah is joined by a Berkeley researcher and Simon Lewis (JD ‘80), a film producer and survivor of a traumatic brain injury, to discuss how blindsight works and its implications for understanding the origin of consciousness.
#15 I’m in Love with a Robot
It’s not easy coming up with the perfect opening line on Tinder. Should you play it cute? Ask a thought-provoking question? Woo them with a witty remark? One entrepreneur thinks he has the answer: robot-generated text. Artificial intelligence is already helping us compose emails and complete sentences, so why stop there? Laura and Leah talk to the founder of Keys about the possibilities—and dangers—of letting robots do the talking for us.
#14 Blockchain for the People
You hear about blockchain everywhere: social media, the news, the guy next door. Some say that in a few years, everyone will use it for everything, much like the internet. But right now we’re in the early days, and it’s pretty Wild West. (Think: early ’90s internet.) Laura and Leah talk to Medha Kothari, a Berkeley alum and founder of she256, a non-profit promoting diversity in blockchain, about what blockchain is and why it has the potential to be a fairer technology than the ones we’ve already built.
Awesome podcast- fun and interesting!
The Edge has consistently interesting and informative stories. They have great guests and Leah and Laura are great hosts and make complex topics fun and approachable!
Outstanding! Keep up the good work.
I am an avid and experienced podcast listener with a fairly large library.
This podcast has :
1)Excellent writing and direction
2)Interesting background music, but not at all as intrusive as other podcasts that are out there.
3) interesting and very important topical content.
4) delightful talent with good banter. Worth a few chuckles.
5) the informational depth of each episode mirrors that same depth of articles one reads in California Magazine whose initiative this podcast is.
Full disclosure, I am a member of the CAA Board of Directors, where I first heard about the Edge, however I swear by the objectivity of this review. Listen for yourself.