You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel?

Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting?

Each week, host Jason Gots surprises some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. Join us and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Maria Popova, Mary-Louise Parker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many more...

Helen Riess, M.D. – Empathy in the brain and the world

Empathy makes us human. Humans make structures that rob us of empathy when we need it most. Helen Riess is trying to reverse that trend.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Heart – mind = emotional quicksand. Mind – heart = greeting card sympathy
  • The doctor burnout epidemic and how to fix it


Empathy is the basic stuff of human connection. It's how we hear and are heard by one another. It's how we deal with one another as people rather than objects. But with massive, relentless trouble in the world, the 24 hour news cycle, the pressure to choose political and social sides, and the struggles of our everyday lives, empathy is sometimes in short supply.

My guest today is the psychiatrist and research scientist Helen Riess. She's an associate clinical professor at Harvard and runs the relational science program at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the company Empathetics, Inc. Her new book, THE EMPATHY EFFECT: 7 Neuroscience-based keys for transforming the way we live, love, work, and connect across differences, is all about empathy: where it comes from, what its effects are, and how we can develop more of it.

That breathtaking song I mention in the intro: "Compassion" by Lucinda Williams

Surprise conversation starter clips in this episode:

Timothy Snyder on how to get past partisan politics

Leland Melvin on hands on learning

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here. We need a new education model.

The job market of tomorrow will require people to develop their technical capacity in tandem with human-only skills.

Photo: Kenzie Academy
Sponsored by Kenzie Academy
  • Technological advancements are predicted to take as many as 75 million jobs from humans worldwide before 2022. However, 133 million new jobs are expected to be created in that same time.
  • Software developer jobs are growing more than 4x faster than other occupations, a demand that translates to a median wage of $105,590 per year (or $50.77 per hour).
  • Kenzie Academy, an online software and UX engineering school with an innovative tuition model, teaches technical skills along with soft skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and team collaboration.
Keep reading
Related Articles

Jad Abumrad (“Radiolab”, “Dolly Parton’s America”) – American Multiverse

To create the podcast series "Dolly Parton's America", Jad Abumrad and his producer Shima Oliaee took nine trips into the "Dollyverse"—that complex American multiverse of music and culture that surrounds country singer Dolly Parton. In this episode Jad and host Jason Gots talk about some of the astonishing discoveries he made along the way.

Think Again Podcasts


Keep reading

Norman Fischer (poet, zen priest) – the only way out of the catastrophe we’re in

"Body, breath, awareness…that's your life. Every problem you ever have, every joy you ever have, depends on that." In this week's episode of Think Again, host Jason Gots talks with acclaimed poet and zen teacher Norman Fischer about the imagination as a tool for living a good life.

Think Again Podcasts


Keep reading
Think Again Podcasts

Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism—the world's scriptural belief systems take many different forms but all tend toward 'kenosis'—self-transcendence for the benefit of others. And all have been used and abused for less spiritual ends. Former nun and renowned theologian Karen Armstrong on the lost art of scripture.


Keep reading

Connect with us

How to listen

You can listen to Think Again right here on site, or select your podcast app:

Apple Podcast Spotify Stitcher RSS feed