Aspen Ideas to Go Podcast
Why do human beings explore? And, why are the most adventurous explorers drawn to outer space? Naturalist and astronomer David Aguilar explains why the drive for adventure fades after childhood, and how we can regain it as adults. Also, a group of physicists dig into what the universe is made of. Janna Levin, Lisa Randall, and Lawrence Krauss debate black holes, and whether they actually exist. Their conversation is led by Ira Flatow, host of Public Radio International’s Science Friday.
Less than a month into his presidency, Donald Trump made combative and accusatory remarks on Twitter about the intelligence community for a report on Russian connections. Are his messages undermining the legitimacy of the intelligence community? If so, will the agencies be less effective in making decisions around national security? Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden joins former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism, to discuss the impact Trump’s statements have had. The discussion is moderated by David Ignatius, columnist and associate editor of The Washington Post.
Kleptocracy presents a growing threat to US national security and international peace, as money laundering and other forms of public “grand corruption” increasingly undermine democracy, cripple development, weaken Western soft power, and accelerate state collapse. Can an International Anti-Corruption Court, modeled on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, tackle the problem? Meryl Chertoff, head of the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program, leads a discussion with Deborah Connor, acting chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery section at the US Justice Department, senior US District Judge Mark Wolf, and Frank Vogl, co-founder of Transparency International.
Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures, says “It’s one thing to tell your own story, it’s another thing to take responsibility to tell someone else’s life.” Her book about a group of black women mathematicians who helped catapult the US space program to success became a blockbuster film. In this episode, she tells Michele Norris, former NPR host and director of an Aspen Institute program, that she grew up among the women she wrote about. Later in the show, another award-winning author who writes about race and identity, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, discusses her book Americanah.
Renowned Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.