Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2017.
Music can lift the spirits and help heal the body. No musician demonstrates that better than Jon Batiste, a “crowd-thrilling rebel bandleader,” according to Rolling Stone magazine. Viewers of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" know him best for the exuberant music he conducts with Stay Human.
“When they go low, we go high,” Michelle Obama famously said during the epically nasty 2016 presidential campaign. But that strategy didn’t win Democrats the White House or Congress. What are the issues that Democrats must capitalize on to win back needed ground in the midterms? Can they shake the elitist label that has plagued them? What will it take for America to make visceral connections with Americans as populism explodes?
Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. Not, that is, until the spring of 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the new gene-editing tool CRISPR — a revolutionary new technology that she helped create — to make heritable changes in human embryos.
Whether they remain free of diagnosable disease or become afflicted by dementia, our brains inevitably change as we grow older. Our cells degenerate, we forget names, and we think more slowly, making hard to distinguish normal aging from the warning signs of brain disease. Programs that claim to keep the brain healthy are popular, but it is not clear how much physical and mental exercise and good nutrition really help.
Congress is engaged in vigorous debates about health reform, the federal budget, and other sweeping policy changes that could have a potent impact on health. The future of Obamacare and the possibility that Medicaid may be significantly restructured or cut back dramatically are very much in play. The level of funding for the biomedical research and public health activities of the NIH, CDC and FDA are uncertain.
Nanobiophysics draws together the mainstays of physics, such as mechanical forces and electromagnetic fields, with the biochemical and cellular processes at the foundation of medicine. Anita Goel, a pioneer in this emerging platform, helped rocket MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant superbug, to the International Space Station so that scientists can study the influence of microgravity on the microbe’s mutation patterns.
Invalid health news comes in many flavors. Some is utterly fake and potentially dangerous: asserting links between vaccines and autism, discrediting the reality of climate change. Other assertions feel somewhat different, like advertising claims that a pill can melt away pounds or a dietary supplement can make you stronger.
It’s been called the most perilous drug crisis ever. In the United States, the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, killing 91 people every day. Pharmaceutical pain relief is an essential clinical tool, but with physicians writing some 240 million opioid prescriptions to Americans every year, the potential for addicition is enormous.
Should we ever intentionally drive a species to extinction? Most people probably agree with deadly diseases like smallpox and malaria, but what about the New World screwworm? Its very existence in the wild causes horrific suffering. Humans sometimes struggle to accept the fact that nature is amoral, because evolution doesn't care.
Dozens of genetic testing companies have cropped up over the last decade, promising to help consumers decipher everything from their risks of certain illnesses, their family trees, their wine preferences, and the diet most likely to help them shed a beer belly. As genetic testing becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, what are the limitations and potential pitfalls to be aware of? How might insurers or employers use this information? Could we be on the cusp of mass genetic discrimination?
One of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty is to invest in children and families in the earliest years. How do we apply groundbreaking research on children's and parents’ health and educational attainment to ensure that the next generation is poised to transform and maintain America's role in the world? Nobel Prize winner James Heckman and early childhood entrepreneur Jackie Bezos share perspectives.
Dip into a groundbreaking medical memoir by Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National Medical Center and one of the leading pediatric surgeons in the United States. Newman spotlights resilient children and the medical professionals dedicated to their care, describes innovative therapies on the horizon, and issues a heartfelt call to give greater priority to pediatric medicine.
Bill Gates portends doomsday is coming. Stephen Hawking says we should prepare for our robot overlords to take their thrones. But is the future as glaring as Hal’s red eye? Or is it more complicated than that? What does a future powered by algorithms and big intelligence mean for our lives? What are game-changing developments made possible by AI? What promises do these technologies hold? With responsible R&D, might we be looking at an application that can better the world?
As Latino Americans emerge as the majority minority and the new mainstream, representing 18 percent of the US population and approaching one-third by 2060, questions are emerging about where and how Latinos fit into the national narrative.
A passion for food — growing it, cooking it, and eating it — has become one of the favorite pastimes of countless people. Did it all begin with James Beard? Learn why that claim is made in the new PBS American Masters documentary, James Beard: America’s First Foodie. Following the film, Corby Kummer, food writer for The Atlantic, will lead a panel discussion with two of America’s great chefs.
Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, along with partner Ron Howard, just completed season one of “Genius,” a multi-part series for television based on Walter Isaacson’s book, Einstein. Why the focus on genius? What does the celebration of sheer genius do for society at large? What lessons can we learn by studying the lives and works of those we consider geniuses?
Madison's legacy matters today more than ever. As founding genius he made the Constitution to avoid faction. Then he discovered the real world required parties -- so he founded one and became a partisan. Ultimately he turned to foreign policy, seeking to establish America's place in the world without force. He almost succeeded.
When a self-driving car’s brakes fail and it has to barrel down one of two lanes, each occupied with two people, which lives should it take? Self-driving cars will be one of the biggest technological transformations in the day-to-day lives of Americans. Before we endow millions of vehicles with autonomy over our lives, though, we need to carefully consider the ethical decisions we are yielding to our robot chauffeurs.
The 21st century brings with it unprecedented global uncertainty, interconnectedness, and unimaginable opportunity. Yet many students in the United States and around the world complete their formal education with insufficient tools to navigate this new world.
Thirty-six million people have died of AIDS since 1981, and about as many are living with HIV today. But antiretroviral drugs can suppress HIV blood levels almost completely, making the virus virtually impossible to transmit. That’s the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target for 2020, achieved when 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their status, receive sustained treatment and achieve viral suppression.