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SciCafe: Mapping the Evolution and Spread of Languages

Podcasts

Human languages first appeared between 30,000 and 100,000 years ago, but the question of how languages spread and evolve is still under investigation. In this podcast from a recent SciCafe, join Museum curators Peter Whiteley and Ward Wheeler as they discuss how techniques used in genetic analysis are being applied to anthropology, language shifts, and key patterns in social evolution.

Tags: Podcasts, SciCafe

Whole Life Novacek Podcast

SciCafe: The Whole Life Catalog

Podcasts

What do we really know about the diversity of life on Earth? Biologists have named 1.8 million species out of an estimated 10 million, according to Museum Provost of Science Michael J. Novacek. In this podcast from a recent SciCafe, Dr. Novacek discusses how researchers are using cyber-technology to explore the evolution and organization of life as never before.

The SciCafe, “The Whole-Life Catalog,” took place at the Museum on October 3, 2012.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes ( 1 hour, 1 mins, 74 MB)

Tags: Podcasts, SciCafe

Podcast

Podcast: SciCafe: Debunking the Scientific Myth of Race

Podcasts

A growing body of research from the fields of physical anthropology, genetics, and genomics indicates that there’s no scientific justification for the concept of race. In this podcast from last fall, Museum curators Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, who recently co-authored a book on the subject entitled Race? Debunking a Scientific Myth, explain why features that we consider markers of race are actually of recent biological origin or superficial. Their book recently made the longlist for this year’s prestigious Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, whose judges called it an “important subject ripe for discussion in a scientifically reputable way.”

This SciCafe took place at the Museum on October 5, 2011.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes (1 hour, 4 mins, 77 MB)

Tags: Brain, Podcasts, SciCafe

Daniela

SciCafe: Forgetting Fear with Daniela Schiller

Q&As

Fear can take many forms, from minor phobias to life-altering conditions such as PTSD. Now, new research is shedding light on how these so-called fear memories could be changed. At the final SciCafe of the season on Wednesday, June 6,neuroscientist Daniela Schiller will discuss her work on the neural mechanisms of emotional control and potential ways to modify or “erase” fear memories. Schiller recently answered a few questions about how memories are created and lost.

How did you first become interested in studying emotional memories?

It wasn’t an explicit decision. I started with philosophy and psychology, and I was interested in the brain and the mind. And the combination is the neural basis of behavior, and within behavior, emotion is fascinating because it’s the least willful process we have. We think emotions just happen to us, but they don’t just pop out of the blue. It’s interesting to look at the mechanism and see that it’s a very distinct process in the brain that you can observe and counteract and modulate.

Tags: Brain, Q&A, SciCafe

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