Stuart Kelter interviews Chantel Prat, a Professor at the University of Washington in the Departments of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, with affiliations at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, the Center for Neurotechnology, and the Institute for Neuroengineering. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, her interdisciplinary research investigates the biological basis of individual differences in cognition, with emphasis on understanding the shared neural mechanisms underpinning language and higher-level executive functions. Her work has garnered multiple awards and has been profiled, among other places, in Scientific American and National Public Radio. Her recently published the book, The Neuroscience of You: How Every Brain is Different and How to Understand Yours, is the subject of today’s interview.
Stuart Kelter interviews Lisa Bortolotti, a philosopher at the University of Birmingham in the U.K., focusing on the philosophy of psychology and psychiatry. She investigates faulty reasoning and irrational beliefs; delusions, confabulations and distorted memories; and the limitations of self-knowledge given our unreliable self narratives and self-deception. She is the author, co-author, and editor of several books on such subjects and the editor-in-chief of the academic journal, Philosophical Psychology.
Stuart Kelter interviews Gregg Sparkman, a professor of Social Psychology, who directs the Social Influence and Social Change Lab at Boston College. Using national surveys and field studies, his research focuses on harnessing the power of social influence, identity, moral reasoning, and beliefs to enhance the possibility of significant change. The findings can translate into large scale motivational interventions, in collaboration with non-profit, public, and private organizations, to address social problems related to the environment, health, and social inequity.
Stuart Kelter interviews David Wallace, a philosopher of science at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in the philosophy of physics. He is interested in emergence and reductionism, structural realism, decision theory, and especially the Everett interpretation of quantum theory, often called the “Many-Worlds Interpretation. His book on that topic, entitled, The Emergent Multiverse, was published in 2012. He is also the author of The Philosophy of Physics: A Very Short Introduction, published in 2021.
Stuart Kelter interviews Ilyon Woo, a New York Times best-selling author, whose writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New York Times. She is the author of two books, each of which combines history and biography, based on painstaking research and employing a novelistic, narrative writing style. Her first book, The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother’s Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times, was published in 2010. Her most recent book, published just this year, is Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom, which is the subject of today’s interview.
Stuart Kelter interviews Dorothy L. Hodgson, the recently retired Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Brandeis University. Previously she served as President of the African Studies Association, Chair and Graduate Director of the Department of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for Research on Women, all at Rutgers University. She was also President of the Association for Feminist Anthropology and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia on African Women’s History. As a historical anthropologist, she worked in Tanzania, East Africa, for over thirty years on such topics as gender, ethnicity, and cultural politics; colonialism, nationalism, and the missionary encounter; and transnational organizing and the indigenous rights movement. She is the author of several books, and editor of others, about life and social structures in Africa, especially the Maasai in Tanzania. Her most recent book, Gender, Justice and the Problem of Culture: From Customary Law to Human Rights in Tanzania was published in 2017 and is the subject of today’s interview.
Sarah Lamb is a professor of cultural anthropology at Brandeis University, who focuses on how people construct their socio-cultural world and identity from the interlocking multiple dimensions of age, gender, the body, family, religion, and nation. From the points of view of those she studies, she explores the experiences and the often taken-for-granted assumptions of people in West Bengal, India and also among Indian immigrants as well as older white Americans in the San Francisco, Boston, and Bible Belt areas of the United States. Sarah is the author of several books and is the recipient of several major grants and awards, including a 2019 to 2023 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. Her most recent book — Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility — is the subject of today’s interview.
Philippa Strum is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Center’s former Director of the Division of United States Studies. For two decades, she was a Professor of Political Science and is now Professor Emerita at the City University of New York, focusing on constitutional law; civil liberties and human rights, especially the intersection of women’s rights, law and politics. She has also taught at universities throughout the U.S. and abroad, lecturing in Australia, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Great Britain, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and China. She has been an expert lecturer in the Middle East and Central Asia for the Department of State and for the U.S. Supreme Court. She recently received a lifetime achievement award from the ACLU, where she devoted 40 years as a researcher and board member. Dr. Strum is the author of award-winning books on human rights struggles both in the U.S. and internationally. One of her books, Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People, published in 1984, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. Her most recent book, On Account of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Making of Gender Equality Law, was published in the Summer of 2022.
Stuart Kelter interviews New Mexico State University physics professors, Boris Kiefer and Matthew Sievert, about the strange, yet fundamental, phenomena of quantum physics. Boris Kiefer has been at NMSU since 2003, following post-docs at Princeton. His research and teaching interests include Quantum Mechanics; Computational Physics; Materials Science, and even more esoterically, Quantum Telecloning. Matthew Sievert has been at NMSU since 2020, following post-docs at Brookhaven and Los Alamos National Laboratories. His research focuses on theoretical nuclear physics that makes use of observations of high energy sub-atomic particles at various accelerator facilities. He is also an advocate for the construction of a future electron-ion collider in the United States.
Stuart Kelter interviews Hilary Lips, Professor Emerita of Social Psychology at Radford University, where she founded the Center for Gender Studies, was its director from 1989 to 2015, and was also the chair of the Department of Psychology from 2003 to 2015. She is the author of a variety of books, including Women, Men and the Psychology of Power; Sex and Gender: An Introduction; A New Psychology of Women: Gender, Culture and Ethnicity; and Gender: The Basics. She also co-authored The Psychology of Sex Differences with Nina Colwill, published in 1978, which explored multiple contributors to sex differences, including genetics, hormones, and social learning, attributable in large measure to differential power dynamics, rather than stable inherited traits.
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