Can We Program Our Cells?
By genetically instructing cells to perform tasks that they wouldn’t in nature, synthetic biologists can learn deep secrets about how life works. Steven Strogatz discusses the potential of this young field with researcher Michael Elowitz.
How Will the Universe End?
Big Freeze, Big Rip, Big Crunch, Bounce or vacuum decay? Steven Strogatz speaks with theoretical cosmologist Katie Mack about the five ways that scientists think the universe could come to an end.
How Isaac Newton Discovered the Binomial Power Series
Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums.
Why and How Do We Dream?
Dreams are subjective, but there are ways to peer into the minds of people while they are dreaming. Steven Strogatz speaks with sleep researcher Antonio Zadra about how new experimental methods have changed our understanding of dreams.
What Is Quantum Field Theory and Why Is It Incomplete?
Quantum field theory may be the most successful scientific theory of all time, but there’s reason to think it’s missing something. Steven Strogatz speaks with theoretical physicist David Tong about this enigmatic theory.
Why Do We Get Old, and Can Aging Be Reversed?
Everybody gets older, but not everyone ages in the same way. In this episode, Steven Strogatz speaks with Judith Campisi and Dena Dubal, two biomedical researchers who study the aging process.
How Do Mathematicians Know Their Proofs Are Correct?
What makes a proof stronger than a guess? What does evidence look like in the realm of mathematical abstraction? Hear the mathematician Melanie Matchett Wood explain how probability helps to guide number theorists toward certainty.
Can Computers Be Mathematicians?
Artificial intelligence has bested humans at problem-solving challenges like chess and Go. Is mathematics research next? Steven Strogatz speaks with mathematician Kevin Buzzard to learn about the effort to translate math into language that computers understand.
What Is Life?
Without a good definition of life, how do we look for it on alien planets? Steven Strogatz speaks with Robert Hazen, a mineralogist and astrobiologist, and Sheref Mansy, a chemist, to learn more.