David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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The World Of Science

Question: What skills contribute to your scientific process?

Shelley des Etages: I think that I work well with others.  I'm one of five siblings, and I'm one of a generation of 28 cousins.  And I'm the eldest girl in that generation of 28 cousins, so when it comes to pulling folks together and working well together with a vast array of personalities, backgrounds, experiences, that's something I draw on and I bring to work as a skill.  When we're sitting down with a team and we've got the statistician.  We've got the computational biologist.  We've got the chemist.  We've got the TA biologist who specializes in a disease area.  We've got the folks who specialize in looking at how the body processes drugs.  It's an array of different backgrounds, and to be able to work with that group and ask, "What are the key important things we need to know from your expertise and your perspective?  And can we really communicate clearly to each other what are the important factors and why we need to take different aspects and ideas into account and then come together to have this one product, this experiment, these pearls that we bring together and say, "Okay, we're going to test this, get an answer.  Based on that answer, Ivy can do this.  Sue can do that.  Becky can do this.  Tom can do that."  And we can all move forward.

Recorded on: 06/25/2008

Dr. Shelley des Etages dispels the lone scientist myth.

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
  • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
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Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

Image: metamorworks / Shutterstock
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
  • More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
  • SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
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