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The Big Questions with Adam Spencer

Updated 8 days ago

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THE BIG QUESTIONS is hosted by author and broadcaster Adam Spencer. The Big Questions HQ is a place to talk to smart interesting people about smart interesting stuff. We speak to writers, scientists, comedians and just thinkers who really know their craft and hear about the way they shape the amazing world in which we live. The idea is pretty simple - we ask some big questions and find some big experts to help answer them.

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THE BIG QUESTIONS is hosted by author and broadcaster Adam Spencer. The Big Questions HQ is a place to talk to smart interesting people about smart interesting stuff. We speak to writers, scientists, comedians and just thinkers who really know their craft and hear about the way they shape the amazing world in which we live. The idea is pretty simple - we ask some big questions and find some big experts to help answer them.

iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
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iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
2
0
0
0
0
Cover image of The Big Questions with Adam Spencer

The Big Questions with Adam Spencer

Latest release on Sep 08, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 8 days ago

Rank #1: When you lose weight, where does the fat go?

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We're in the middle of an obesity epidemic and weight loss is one of the most talked about topics on the planet. Yet most people still think that when you lose weight it turns into heat and energy. Bow-bowww, not true. In this episode of The Big Questions, we speak to the Surfing Scientist Ruben Meerman, author of Big Fat Myths, to find out where exactly the fat goes?

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Oct 30 2017

33mins

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Rank #2: The history of everything in 48 minutes and 59 seconds

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Did you know that any gold you own was formed from a star exploding? These are the things you learn when Professor David Christian teaches his 'Big History' - a history of humanity. 

As a university lecturer Professor Christian pondered on how do we tell the story of the heritage of all humans with some of the grandeur and awe of the great national histories? He realised the human race needed an origin story - And if history is the past, how far back should you look for this origin story? You go all the way back.

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May 21 2018

49mins

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Rank #3: What is bigger than infinity?

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In this episode of The Big Questions, we talk big … big, big, bigger than big … how about about infinitely big! Dr Eugenia Cheng is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has tenure in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge, is a concert pianist, pioneer of math on YouTube and author of math books, “How to Bake Pi” and “Thinking Better: The Art of Logic in an Illogic World”.

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Jul 23 2018

51mins

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Rank #4: What’s it like to terrify people?

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Australia film director Leigh Whannell, is probably best known for being one of the co-creators of the SAW franchise and the visionary behind the horror film, INSIDIOUS. His new film UPGRADE first premiered at SXSW, winning the festival's Midnighters Audience Award. It’s the first feature length film Whannell’s directed in his hometown, Melbourne. The film is set in a believable near future, where technology controls nearly everything from cars to crime-surveillance. It poses the question on society’s dependence on technology and the moral implications of AI, which I thought might be an interesting perspective to discuss with Whannell.

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Jun 12 2018

33mins

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Rank #5: What is it like to go to space ?

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If you combine crushing it on your socials with posts from outer space and also being an astronaut with a perfect mustache, you get Commander Chris Hadfield. The astronaut that other astronauts look at and think, "Now that's an astronaut!" Adam sat down with the man who famously sang 'Ground control to Major Tom' from the International Space Station and to ask, how does shaving work in space to maintain such a perfect mustache? As well as some other important space related questions.

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Nov 19 2017

37mins

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Rank #6: What is it like to save lives in ER?

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James Maskalyk is an emergency doctor, an ER doctor with a difference. He splits his time between the first world emergency rooms in Toronto, Canada and working in emergency rooms in southern Africa. He is also the author of a couple of highly celebrated books on the topic of being a doctor in ER, the most recent of which is called ‘Life on the Ground Floor’. This interview was recorded when James was in Australia for the Sydney Writers Festival in 2018. 

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Jul 09 2018

35mins

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Rank #7: What is the glass universe?

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In this special episode of The Big Questions we chat with Dava Sobel, the Janis Joplin of science writing and author of 'Longitude' and 'Galileo's Daughter' and most recently, 'The Glass Universe'.
In the 19th-century Harvard College Observatory began employing women as 'human computers' to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. These women changed the history of astronomy, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim - what stars are made of, how to categorise them and discovering a way to measure distances across space by starlight.
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Dec 03 2017

37mins

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Rank #8: What is it like to save millions of lives?

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The phrase lifesaver is bandied about pretty easily In some cases. But Ian Frazer is the real deal. It is no exaggeration to say that his medical discovery will save millions of lives worldwide. Meet the remarkable and remarkably humble Professor Ian Frazer

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Oct 16 2017

44mins

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Rank #9: How does blockchain work in the real world?

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Louise Mercer is the Director of Innovation for Everledger, an emerging technology
enterprise that tracks the provenance of authenticated high-value assets on a global
digital ledger. Everledger has been well-recognised as a leader in the real-world
application of blockchain technology, winning many innovative technology awards. Lisa is a creative thinker & leader who helps translate strategic business risk into innovation and opportunity

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Jun 25 2018

18mins

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Rank #10: How small can you build a robot?

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First up in the Singularity University* series that we’ll be rolling out over the coming weeks, is Professor Sarah Bergbreiter who heads up the Microbotics Laboratory at the University of Maryland, USA. Prof Sarah and her team develop technologies that progress medicine, electronics and other sciences. The team uses 3D printers and two photon lithography [don’t worry she explains it] to make robots the size of a grain of sand and, that can do extraordinary tasks. Bring on the future.

*The Singularity University is a global community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, like what impact will Artificial Intelligence, robotics etc. have on the world in which we live? Adam recently MC’d the Singularity U event in Sydney, and got access to a bunch of big brains from around the world, in a big hall discussing big ideas … we went along and asked them some Big Questions.

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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May 17 2018

32mins

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Rank #11: What is Artificial Intelligence and are we all doomed?

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Professor Toby Walsh is one of the world’s leading experts on Artificial Intelligence and has surveyed a lot of experts in the field in his book 2062: The world that AI made. What do they say about the future of humanity? Professor Walsh is an advisor to the Federal Government on the impact of AI on all industries, and is considered one of the most important digital innovators in Australia.

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Feb 21 2019

44mins

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Rank #12: How future proof is the blockchain?

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Mandy Simpson is a professional director, consultant and speaker, with a particular focus on the human and business impacts of changing financial technologies. Mandy has held roles as CFO at technology consultancy Fronde, COO at the New Zealand Stock Exchange, where she was an advocate for the use of blockchain technology. Mandy is the Singularity University speaker on information security and blockchain technology.

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Jun 18 2018

35mins

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Rank #13: What is it like to win a Nobel Prize?

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Australia has an amazing track record when it comes to the prestigious Nobel prizes. One of our very brightest is Peter Doherty, who in 1996 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his breakthrough understanding in how our cells protect themselves from danger. As humble as Peter is brilliant, Adam was delighted to ask him Whats it like to win a Nobel Prize?

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Nov 26 2017

44mins

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Rank #14: What’s it like to be the biggest maths geek to ever play in the NFL?

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Adam speaks with former Baltimore Ravens Centre John Urschel who is even more at home creating “eigensolvers for minimal Laplacian eigenvectors” than he is crashing into players in the NFL!

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Feb 14 2019

41mins

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Rank #15: What is digital biology?

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How does applying technology to biology, genetics, medicine and agriculture effect every one of us? Adam speaks to Raymond McCauley, a thinker & do-er, bioninformaticist, computer scientist, engineer and entrepreneur working at the forefront of biotechnology. Raymond is co-founder and Chief Architect for BioCurious, the hackerspace for biotech, where professional scientists, DIYbio hobbyists and entrepreneurs come together to design the next big thing to come out of a Silicon Valley garage. Raymond is one interesting cat ...

Connect with Adam Spencer at: https://twitter.com/adambspencer

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Jul 02 2018

34mins

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