Sam Gosling’s Hero

Question: Who are your heroes?

\r\n

Sam Gosling: I—the heroes I like are the people who acknowledge the world as a complex place. There is so much incentive to think things are simple. So you know, one of the first people who I really noticed who was able to do that was the former Secretary General of the U.N., Kofi Annan. And he was really impressive to me; people—you know, because people would say, how are you going to—you know, you're going to go into this country and negotiate; how are you going to fix it? You know, and where the typical politician would have said, yes, well, it's very simple; we're going to do this. And he would respond and say, well, I don't know how I'm going to do it; it's going to be tough; I'm going to try, and maybe I'll fail, and maybe I'll succeed. We'll see. And it was so refreshing to see somebody who realized—who's able to be successful and not be frightened by the complexity of the world; embrace it and work with it.

Recorded on November 6, 2009
Interviewed by Austin Allen

The UT psychologist admires "people who acknowledge the world as a complex place," and his favorite example is someone far outside his discipline.

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

Videos
  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less