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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less