This morning Big Think is pleased to present a kind of double feature: a full-length interview with CUNY theoretical physicist, futurist, and radio host Michio Kaku, and the launch of his brand-new Big Think blog: "Dr. Kaku's Universe." Though Dr. Kaku has long been a prolific author, speaker, and public educator in the sciences, this marks his first flight into the blogosphere. His maiden post appears this morning.
Kaku, who envied comic book characters' superpowers as a kld, has arguably carved out a place for himself as the Flash Gordon of physics. From his childhood attempt to build an atom smasher in his family's garage to his adult investigations of the weirdest properties of the universe, he has tirelessly advocated the value of imagination in science—and the importance of promoting that value through public outreach. As an extension of that outreach, his new blog aims to explore cutting-edge science in all its strangeness and beauty.
Though Dr. Kaku is a popularizer of science, he is not afraid to criticize the discipline. In his interview, he identifies the "secret weapon" of American science as the country's constant influx of immigrant academics, whose quality of science education far exceeds what U.S. schools can provide. He also skewers the rampant sexism that has characterized science throughout history, recalling Nobel-worthy female scientists whose ideas were stolen and noting: "The lesson here is, if you ever make an astounding discovery, tell me first."
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The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The Green New Deal is an ambitious attempt to fight climate change, but is it destined to hit the political skids?
- Recent protests by the Sunrise Movement have taken the Green New Deal from forgotten policy to trending hashtag.
- The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within a decade.
- Proponents also hope to catalyze a top-down restructuring of the U.S. economy and advance social justice issues.
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