Stuart Firestein on Why Ignorance and Failure Lead to Scientific Progress – Episode #14

Steve and Corey speak with Stuart Firestein (Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, specializing in the olfactory system) about his two books Ignorance: How It Drives Science and Failure: Why Science Is So Successful. Stuart explains why he thinks that it is a mistake to believe that scientists make discoveries by following the “scientific method” and what he sees as the real relationship between science and art. We discuss Stuart’s recent research showing that current models of olfactory processing are wrong, while Steve delves into the puzzling infinities in calculations that led to the development of quantum electrodynamics. Stuart also makes the case that the theory of intelligent design is more intelligent than most scientists give it credit for and that it would be wise to teach it in science classes.

Stuart Firestein on Why Ignorance and Failure Lead to Scientific Progress – Episode #14

Steve and Corey speak with Stuart Firestein (Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, specializing in the olfactory system) about his two books Ignorance: How It Drives Science and Failure: Why Science Is So Successful. Stuart explains why he thinks that it is a mistake to believe that scientists make discoveries by following the “scientific method” and what he sees as the real relationship between science and art. We discuss Stuart’s recent research showing that current models of olfactory processing are wrong, while Steve delves into the puzzling infinities in calculations that led to the development of quantum electrodynamics. Stuart also makes the case that the theory of intelligent design is more intelligent than most scientists give it credit for and that it would be wise to teach it in science classes.

Transcript: Stuart Firestein on Why Ignorance and Failure Lead to Scientific Progress – Episode #14

Corey: This is Manifold. Our guest today is Stuart Firestein, professor of neuroscience at Columbia University, where he specializes in the olfactory system, and Stuart is the author of two books — the first, Ignorance: How it Drives Science; the second is Failure: Why Science is so Successful. Welcome to Manifold, Stuart. Stuart: Well thanks, […]

Joe Cesario on Political Bias and Problematic Research Methods in Social Psychology – #13

Corey and Steve continue their discussion with Joe Cesario and examine methodological biases in the design and conduct of experiments in social psychology and ideological bias in the interpretation of the findings. Joe argues that experiments in his field are designed to be simple but that in making experimental set ups simple researchers remove critical factors that actually matter for a police officer to make a decision in the real world. In consequence, he argues that the results cannot be taken to show anything about actual police behavior. Joe maintains that social psychology as a whole is biased toward the left politically and that this affects how courses are taught and research conducted. Steve points out the university faculty on the whole tend to be shifted left relative to the general population. Joe, Corey, and Steve discuss the current ideological situation on campus and how it can be alienating for students from conservative backgrounds.

Transcript: Joe Cesario on Political Bias and Problematic Research Methods in Social Psychology – #13

Corey: So we have Joe Cesario back. Joe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology here at Michigan State University. He studies police shootings, and he’s also a broad commentator on research methods in social psychology and broadly a critic of his own field, which makes going to conferences interesting. What I’m interested […]

Joe Cesario on Political Bias and Problematic Research Methods in Social Psychology – #13

Corey and Steve continue their discussion with Joe Cesario and examine methodological biases in the design and conduct of experiments in social psychology and ideological bias in the interpretation of the findings. Joe argues that experiments in his field are designed to be simple but that in making experimental set ups simple researchers remove critical factors that actually matter for a police officer to make a decision in the real world. In consequence, he argues that the results cannot be taken to show anything about actual police behavior. Joe maintains that social psychology as a whole is biased toward the left politically and that this affects how courses are taught and research conducted. Steve points out the university faculty on the whole tend to be shifted left relative to the general population. Joe, Corey, and Steve discuss the current ideological situation on campus and how it can be alienating for students from conservative backgrounds.

James Cham on Venture Capital, Risk Taking, and the Future Impacts of AI – Episode #12

James Cham is a partner at Bloomberg Beta, a venture capital firm focused on the future of work. James invests in companies applying machine intelligence to businesses and society. Prior to Bloomberg Beta, James was a Principal at Trinity Ventures and a VP at Bessemer Venture Partners. He was educated in computer science at Harvard and at the MIT Sloan School of Business.

James Cham on Venture Capital, Risk Taking, and the Future Impacts of AI – Episode #12

James Cham is a partner at Bloomberg Beta, a venture capital firm focused on the future of work. James invests in companies applying machine intelligence to businesses and society. Prior to Bloomberg Beta, James was a Principal at Trinity Ventures and a VP at Bessemer Venture Partners. He was educated in computer science at Harvard and at the MIT Sloan School of Business.

Transcript: James Cham on Venture Capital, Risk Taking, and the Future Impacts of AI – Episode #12

Steve: Hi, this is Steve Hsu, and this is Manifold. Our guest today is James Cham, a venture capitalist at Bloomberg Beta. Corey couldn’t make it today, so it’s just me and James. We got to know each other, I think, starting many years ago through a kind of unstructured Silicon Valley meeting that has […]

Joe Cesario on Police Decision Making and Racial Bias in Deadly Force Decisions – Episode #11

Corey and Steve talk with Joe Cesario about his recent work showing that, contrary to many activist claims and media reports, there is no widespread racial bias in police shootings. Joe discusses his analysis of national criminal justice data and his experimental studies with police officers in a specially designed realistic simulator. He maintains that evidence suggests that racial bias does exist in other uses force of force such as tasering but that the decision to shoot is fundamentally different and driven by facts about criminal context in which officers find themselves rather than race.