Monday, January 18, 2021

Big Picture Science for Jan. 18, Supercomputer Showdown







Big Picture Science - Supercomputer Showdown

Do you have a hard-to-answer question? The Summit, Sierra, Trinity, Frontier, and Aurora supercomputers are built to tackle it. Summit tops the petaflop heap – at least for now. But Frontier and Aurora are catching up as they take aim at a new performance benchmark called exascale.

So why do we need all this processing power? From climate modeling to personalized medicine, find out why the super-est computers are necessary to answer our biggest questions. But is the dark horse candidate, quantum computing, destined to leave classical computing in the dust?

Guests:

  • Katherine Riley - Director of Science, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Jack Wells - Director of Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory National Center for Computational Sciences
  • Katie Bethea - Communications Team Lead, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Jeffrey Hawkins - Technologist and neuroscientist.  Co-founder of Palm, Handspring and Numenta
  • Eleanor Rieffel - Mathematician, NASA Ames Research Center, and co-author of “Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor,” published in Nature magazine

This repeat podcast originally aired on November 4, 2019

Download podcast at - http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/supercomputer-showdown

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Big Picture Science for Jan. 11, Skeptic Check: Betting on Pseudoscience







Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Betting on Pseudoscience

(Repeat) Psychics may not be able to predict the future or sense your thoughts. Nonetheless, they rake in hundreds of millions of dollars every year. But the harm from pseudoscience can go far beyond your wallet – especially when it promotes unscientific treatments for serious disease. Find out what alarming
discovery led one naturopath to quit her practice and why scientific ignorance is not bliss.

It’s our regular look at critical thinking, but don’t take our word for it.

Guests:

  • Robert Palmer – Member of the Guerilla Skeptics on the Wikipedia editing team and columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer on-line magazine
  • Lee McIntyre – Research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and lecturer on ethics at Harvard Extension School
  • Britt Marie Hermes – Former naturopath doctor; now doctoral student in evolutionary genetics at the University of Kiel, Germany

This repeat podcast originally aired on November 25, 2019

Download podcast at - http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-betting-on-pseudoscience

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Big Picture Science for Jan. 04, Headed For Trouble







Big Picture Science - Headed For Trouble

The stone heads on Easter Island are an enduring mystery: why were they built and why were they abandoned and destroyed? The old ideas about cultural collapse are yielding to new ones based on careful investigation on the ground - but also from above. What surprising explanations have we found and are we off base to think that ancient societies such as the Easter Islanders or the classical Egyptians were, in the end, failures? Can what we learn from these histories help predict which societies will survive?

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on September 30, 2019

Download podcast at - http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/for-good-measure

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.