Cover image of Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer

43 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Sep 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

What It Means To Be Alive with Carl Zimmer


It seems an obvious question: What is life? But science writer Carl Zimmer says the answer to it is far more complicated than it appears at first glance.


19 Aug 2021

Episode artwork

TWiEVO 70: On Life's Edge with Carl Zimmer

This Week in Evolution

Carl Zimmer joins Nels to talk about science writing, science communication, viruses, and his new book, On Life’s Edge. Host: Nels Elde Guest: Carl Zimmer Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiEVO Links for this episode On Life’s Edge by Carl Zimmer Time stamps by Jolene. Thanks! Science Picks Nels – Remembrance of Dick Lewontin Carl – From telomere to telomere: the transcriptional and epigenetic state of human repeat elements Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles Send your evolution questions and comments to twievo@microbe.tv

1hr 21mins

3 Aug 2021

Similar People

Episode artwork

Carl Zimmer: "Life's Edge," Extreme Lifeforms & the Origins of Life | #21

Mind & Matter

Nick talks to science writer and NYT columnist Carl Zimmer about his new book, "Life's Edge: The Search For What It Means To Be Alive." They discuss the scientific quest to understand life: what is it, how does it arise, and how might scientists identify it elsewhere in the universe? They also discuss Carl's approach to science writing, including where he draws inspiration and what his writing process looks like. USEFUL LINKS:Download the podcast & follow Nick at his website[www.nickjikomes.com]Support the show on Patreon & get early access to episodes[https://www.patreon.com/nickjikomes]Sign up for the weekly Mind & Matter newsletter[http://eepurl.com/hFlc7H]Try MUD/WTR, a mushroom-based coffee alternative[https://www.mudwtr.com/mindmatter]Discount Code ($5 off) = MINDMATTEROrganize your digital highlights & notes w/ Readwise (2 months free w/ subscription)[https://readwise.io/nickjikomes/]Start your own podcast (get $20 Amazon gift card after signup)[https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=1507198]Buy Mind & Matter T-Shirts[https://www.etsy.com/shop/OURMIND?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=1036758072&section_id=34648633]Connect with Nick Jikomes on Twitter[https://twitter.com/trikomes]​​​Learn more about our podcast sponsor, Dosist[https://dosist.com/]ABOUT Nick Jikomes:Nick is a neuroscientist and podcast host. He is currently Director of Science & Innovation at Leafly, a technology startup in the legal cannabis industry. He received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University and a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/nickjikomes)

1hr 27mins

7 May 2021

Episode artwork

Carl Zimmer on Defining Life

The Book Review

In his new book, “Life’s Edge,” Carl Zimmer asks the modest questions: What is life? How did it begin? And by what criteria can we define things as “living”? On this week’s podcast, Zimmer, a science columnist for The Times, talks about just how difficult it can be to find answers.“There are actually philosophers who have argued that maybe we should just try not to define life at all, in fact; that maybe we’re getting ourselves into trouble,” Zimmer says. “If you look for a definition of life from scientists, you will find hundreds of them; hundreds of published definitions that are different from each other. And every year a new one comes out, or maybe two, and they just keep going. there was a paper I read not too long ago that said that there are probably as many definitions of life as people who are trying to define life.”Paulina Bren visits the podcast to discuss her new book, “The Barbizon,” an account of the storied hotel for women that first opened in 1928.“It went through all sorts of incarnations,” Bren says. “This hotel really follows in so many ways not just the history of women in the 20th century, but truly the ups and downs, the history, of New York.”Also on this week’s episode, Elisabeth Egan and John Williams talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:“Visitors” by Anita Brookner“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley“I Am, I Am, I Am” by Maggie O’Farrell


2 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Episode artwork

'Life's Edge': Science Writer Carl Zimmer's Search For What It Means To Be Alive

On Point

Scientists to this day can’t define what life is. For every definition, there’s an animal, a plant -- something that breaks the rules. So how does science answer that? Writer Carl Zimmer joins Meghna Chakrabarti to explore the borderlands of life.


1 Apr 2021

Episode artwork

#119 - Carl ZImmer on LIFE'S EDGE

Books on Pod with Trey Elling

Award-winning New York Times science columnist Carl Zimmer chats with Trey Elling about LIFE'S EDGE: THE SEARCH FOR WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALIVE, including: what science tells us about the idea that life begins at conception, the metabolic similarities between pythons and racehorses, why the homeostasis of bats is so impressive, whether viruses are truly alive, and more.


30 Mar 2021

Episode artwork

Carl Zimmer: What It Means to Be Alive

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

Life is everywhere. From birds in the sky to bushes on the ground to the humans who surround our everyday lives. We assume life is easily identifiable, yet as scientists learn more about the living world, they find life to be a difficult word to define. In his new book Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive, acclaimed scientific author Carl Zimmer seeks to answer one of biology’s greatest questions: What is life? The question hangs over some of society’s most charged conflicts—whether a fertilized egg is a living person, for example, and when we ought to declare a person legally dead.Life’s Edge explores lab experiments attempting to create life, poses questions of what life is like in our grand universe, and offers insight into scientific developments shaping the way we understand living beings. Charting the obsession with Dr. Frankenstein's monster and how Coleridge came to believe the whole universe was alive, Zimmer leads us all the way into the labs and minds of researchers working on engineering life from the ground up.Join us as Carl Zimmer explores life and investigates why scientists have struggled to define the boundaries of the word.SPEAKERSCarl ZimmerColumnist, The New York Times; Author, Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be AliveIn Conversation with Rachel BeckerEnvironment Reporter, CalMattersIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on March 10th, 2021 by the Commonwealth Club of California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 1min

12 Mar 2021

Episode artwork

The Coronavirus, A Year On with Carl Zimmer

Mendelspod Podcast

It’s been a year since the coronavirus breached American shores. Here to look back with some perspective is New York Times science writer, Carl Zimmer. Carl has authored thirteen books on science, including Planet of Viruses which includes an essay titled, "Predicting the Next Plague."

28 Jan 2021

Episode artwork

Let's CRISPR with Carl ZIMMER!

What The If?

In honor of the exciting breaking news of the 2020 NOBEL Prize for Chemistry being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their development of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing, we present an encore presentation of our awesome episode with the great science journalist Carl Zimmer of The NEW YORK TIMES all about... CRISPR! Send us your questions and comments, and enjoy!-----Would you CRISPR your baby? The great science journalist Carl Zimmer, award winning columnist for the New York Times and author of thirteen (!) books joins us to imagine the steep up sides and the slippery down sides of the revolutionary technique for modifying genes. Fix those typos in your DNA! Write a better life for baby! And why not rewrite your own bad self? What The IF... you could?CARL ZIMMER's newest book is "She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity". His column "Matter" appears each week in the New York Times. Zimmer’s writing has earned a number of awards, including the 2016 Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science. In 2017, he won an Online Journalism Award for his series of articles in which he explored his genome. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh won the 2019 National Academies Communication Award. It was also named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review and selected for Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten Books of 2018 and the 2018 shortlist for Baillie-Gifford Prize for Nonfiction. The Guardian named it the best science book of 2018.Zimmer created the podcast “What Is Life?” and is a familiar voice on other programs such as Radiolab. A professor adjunct at Yale University, he lives in Connecticut with his wife Grace and their children, Charlotte and Veronica. He is, to his knowledge, the only writer after whom a species of tapeworm has been named.Visit his website: https://carlzimmer.comLearn more about his newest book: https://carlzimmer.com/books/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlzimmer-----Like the show? Share a review with us on Apple Podcasts! itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1Have you subscribed? Grab one at pod.link/1250517051Thanks & Keep On IFFin'!Philip & MattWhatTheIF.com


9 Oct 2020

Episode artwork

Episode 9: She Has Her Mother's Laugh Featuring Carl Zimmer

Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival

Carl Zimmer with Melissa Hughes | Modern-day genetics study has come a long way from the simple Punnett Squares we all learned in middle school. Today we know there are layers of complicating factors that determine who we are, what we look like, and how we interact with the world. In this conversation with NY Times science writer Carl Zimmer, audience members were treated to a hilariously insightful look at the world of genetics today, and why we might all have our mothers’ laugh.


6 Aug 2020