Jellyfish have their tentacles all tangled up in our lives in ways we’re only dimly aware of.
Two classic episodes from Think Again's origins, reunited at last.
Bending, breaking, & blending: How humans remake the world. Neuroscientist David Eagleman on creativity.
Listeners send us their questions from the actual Appalachian Trail, from at a funeral, and from the inky shadows where they are planning to kill their neighbors trees. And by golly, we answer them all!
For thousands of years, all over the world, we've told tales of monsters and the undead. Why? Aaron Mahnke, creator of the 'Lore' podcast, on the hunger for mystery.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Claire Messud on childhood, growing up, and how we contain the things that scare us.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Salman Rushdie on the secret life of cities and so much more.
The deepest, funniest, strangest moments from the past year of the Think Again podcast. Featuring Daniel Dennett, Sarah Goldhagen, Ian McEwan, Alison Gopnik, Erik Kandel, and Alan Alda.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Biologist Richard Dawkins on speaking plainly, animal cruelty, Christopher Hitchens and so much more.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Comic Ari Shaffir talks about outrageousness in comedy, bipartisan e-rage on social media, and growing up and growing out of bad habits.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Oxford historian Peter Frankopan on two millennia of the flow of germs, ideas, commerce, and more from East to West and vice versa.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Authors Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland on blurring the lines between science and magic.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Actor and author Alan Alda on the art of communication (for good and evil), social anxiety, the mind of a billionaire, and more.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Geneticist Jennifer Doudna on the profound implications of her CRISPR-Cas-9 gene editing technology for the future of humanity.
This week we attempt to not only eat the invaders, but drink them as well. And this time, most of us were on board. Also, the Ask Sam hotline gets some attention as Sam answers questions about bird feeders, black flies, storm clouds, and dew.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Poet, playwright, and arts educator Liza Jessie Peterson on lessons learned teaching incarcerated youth on Rikers Island.
Global Rescue is a business that, should you get yourself into trouble, will drop everything to come and save you, anywhere in the world. They employ former Navy Seals, helicopters, airplanes, and even yaks to get the job done. But this service comes a...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Writer Ariel Levy on the silence around the animal facts of women's physical lives, her comically awkward experience with the shamanic hallucinogen Ayahuasca, and much more.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the mind-boggling awesomeness of space.
Up along the banks of the Damariscotta River in Maine there used to be two stadium-sized piles of oyster shells. Where did they come from? Why are they there? What can they tell us about the people that created them? There are mysteries abound in the m...
If you're a long-time listener of the podcast, you might remember this as Episode 6: Champagne on the Rocks. But if you're new around here, we thought you'd like to hear one of our favorite episodes from the archives, complete with an update at the end...
Ever wonder where those flowers in the grocery come from and why, no matter what time of year, there are always roses available? Just in time for Mother's Day—the second busiest floral day behind Valentine's Day—we look inside the billion dollar flower...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Neuroscientist Dean Buonomano on how the brain tells time and whether time exists at all.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Architecture critic Sarah W. Goldhagen on how the built environment shapes our lives.
Since we launched the toll free version of our Ask Sam hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837), we've seen a real healthy uptick in queries. This time around we decided to ask Chris Martin of the New Hampshire Audubon, and Dave Anderson from the Forest ...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Lexicographer Kory Stamper on the slipperiness of language and how the sausage of dictionaries is made.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Joyce Carol Oates on America, idealism, and the shackles we can and can't shake off.
Beaver (Castor canadensis), have been kicking around in North America for 2 million years. Ecologically they do all sorts of great things: their ponds ease flooding downstream, and support large numbers of bird species, fish, amphibians, and otters. Th...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman on truth in fiction, how language shapes us, and more.
Nature documentaries and wildlife films transport us to places in the world that still feel wild, but what if the wilderness they present is staged? What if, in order to capture nature’s unvarnished beauty and conflict, filmmakers have to engage in a b...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Philosopher of mind Daniel Dennett waxing wise and wicked about consciousness, dolphins, and more.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Comedy writer and producer Scott Aukerman on Michael Bolton, transgression in comedy, and cultural turmoil in the USA.
When he was just 38 years old, Mackie Branham Jr., a coal miner, was diagnosed with progressive massive fibrosis, a debilitating and terminal form of black lung, a disease that was thought to be a relic of the past; a problem when coal mining was at it...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. NY Times bestselling author George Saunders on ghosts and ego and loving your enemy.
Is skiing a sport reserved for rich people? Producers Maureen and Jimmy think so, and Sam wants to prove them wrong. In this episode, Sam takes his skeptical colleagues skiing for the very first time to show that it doesn’t have to be a fancy endeavor....
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author Ayelet Waldman on parenting, identity, and how LSD microdosing changed her life for the better.
In the late sixties, a soap factory in suburban Illinois discovered one of its outflow pipes had been intentionally clogged by an industrial saboteur. Does environmental damage ever demand radical action? And when does environmental protest cross the l...
Nato Thompson – Think Again - a Big Think Podcast #84 – The Friendly Face
Every so often, we take some time out from telling stories to answer questions from you, our friends and listeners. These questions have been piling up, and so we thought we’d dig through them and bring you some of the more interesting ones. This week,...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Rolling Stone political journalist Matt Taibbi on the media and political circus of the 2016 campaign trail, the search for happiness, and where we go from here.
Spontaneous talk on unexpected topics. Philosopher and Filmmaker "BHL" on torture, the question of evil, and the tipping point at which democracy becomes something else.
When Ryan and Sinehan Lessard first started dating, they discovered they have something strange in common: after they die, they both want to “become a tree”. This is the story about a growing number of people who want to forgo standard funeral practice...
Spontaneous talk on unexpected topics. Comedian and author Isy Suttie on the terrors of adulthood and more. Surprise ideas from Paul Bloom, Maysoon Zayid, and Slavoj Žižek.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Media entrepreneur Amani Al-Khatatbeh and host Jason Gots wrestle with tough questions about identity, power, and Islamic feminism.
If you’re even the least bit interested in solar power, you’ve probably come across an obscure, hard-to-parse, seemingly conflict-free term: net metering. It’s a system that has come to be the bedrock of the American rooftop solar industry, and the roo...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Psychologist Paul Bloom wants us to abandon empathy as a guide to moral decision making. He's probably right.
Sam is going to take us all hunting this week. Not hunting for animals, but instead, hunting for the secret of what’s behind that 26-mile fence cutting through the woods of New Hampshire, and why some people want it to stay a secret.
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith on octopus consciousness, free will, and an extinct sea-worm he'd like to resurrect.
This week on the show we’re bringing you something a little different, a story from someone else. Caroline Ballard and Micah Schweizer started HumaNature, which is based in Wyoming, and they’re part of the team responsible for bringing us the story of ...
Mount Washington is famously home of "The World's Worst Weather", but it also hosts a huge amount of tourist infrastructure. Senior producer Taylor Quimby brings us this tale of how the mountain was conquered, and how that process became the template f...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Author, Podcaster, and "Human Guinea Pig" Tim Ferriss on death, ignoring most of the news, and sake as a secret weapon for podcasting.
Sam won’t tell you this, but he’s a really great athlete. He has another secret, too. There’s this photo of him leading a ski race, and it’s plastered on the side of a city bus in Argentina. So, how did Sam wind up on the side of a bus? This story expl...
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Jace Clayton AKA DJ/Rupture on sleuthing for beauty and surprise in the digital-musical landscape.
The voluble Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek on why tolerance is the wrong way to deal with terrorism, the refugee crisis, and all the other problems we face.
Tony Bosco hid in plain sight for more than two decades in the most densely populated state in the nation. How did he do it? And what makes someone exchange all of the comforts of their home for the simplicity of a shed in the woods?
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Historian and New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb on interspecies ethics, the limits of civil discourse, and mathematical symmetry as the defining principle of the universe.
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Author Margaret Atwood on genomes in the cloud, Bob Dylan's Nobel prize, the elusiveness of dead authors, and why technology's a three-edged sword.
Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Friday the Thirteenth, Blair Witch. It seems the woods make a great backdrop for scary stories, but why? Are we hardwired to fear the forest? Or, let’s throw it out there, do ghosts just like hanging out in th...
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Author Jodi Picoult and host Jason Gots talk comic books, social justice, and why white Americans need to take the risk (and the consequences) of talking honestly about race and class privilege.
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. In this extra feisty episode of Think Again - A Big Think Podcast, actor and author William Shatner and host Jason Gots take sides on whether or not it's a dog-eat-dog world out there.
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. James Gleick, author of Time Travel - a History, talks with host Jason Gots about why we're so obsessed with something that's evidently impossible.
Today, we take a step back to imagine a world without a web of GPS satellites telling your smartphone where you are every second of the day. While this might sound scary, come along and maybe you’ll discover you have a secret sixth sense...one that’s b...
Spontaneous, deep fun. Celebrity chef Alton Brown and host Jason Gots talk about fire, their mutual childhood lust for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven and how everything worth doing might get you killed.
Spontaneous, deep fun. Novelist Ian McEwan and host Jason Gots discuss Hamlet, moral quandaries, and how to set boundaries in a world that wants to pull you in every direction.
It’s not surprising that many of the medicines we use today are derived from plants. The surprising part is how similar the molecular components of plants are to the building blocks of our own human, mammalian bodies. This week we dive head first into ...
Conversations on surprise topics with some of the world's most creative thinkers. In this episode, host Jason Gots selects some of the most memorable bits of writerly wit and wisdom from the first year of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast
On this week's episode, Eric Kandel and host Jason Gots discuss abstract art, memory, identity, and the nature of evil.
In 2013, Neil Hayward was depressed. He had just left the biotech company he helped start, and he was getting over the end of a very serious relationship. He had disposable income, and free time. Suddenly, he found himself doing a lot of birding. A LOT...
The producers commandeer the show while host Sam Evans-Brown is on a much-needed vacation. They sail into weird territory almost immediately. Note: Sam will be back with a new, normal episode right after Labor Day.
Alison Gopnik, one of the world's foremost experts on child cognition, learning, and development, and host Jason Gots discuss play, artificial intelligence, and the trouble with "parenting" as a verb.
Spontaneous, deep talk on surprise topics. Nigerian-born novelist, essayist, and NYTimes photography critic Teju Cole and host Jason Gots discuss first drafts, the complexities of home, and the greatest innovation in human history.