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Jan Dash introduces the Climate Portalfor which he is the Managing Editor. The portal is part of the Climate Initiative of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office in New York City. The Climate Portal is a massive aggregator linking to reliable information online regarding the science, politics, finance, economics, human and environmental impacts, social costs, and ethics of climate change, along with what we can do and why responsible climate risk management is vital.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 019-dash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10 PM

Chris Henderson is one of Canada's foremost thinkers on innovation in the areas of business, cleantech, renewable energy, and corporate sustainability. His 2013 book, Aboriginal Power: Clean Energy and the Future of Canada's First Peoples is the topic of this conversation with Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow. Other websites he speaks of are: Excel Partnership, 1000 Solar Rooftops, and 3iSummit: Collaborating for Action in Ottawa. A Canadian television station recorded a superb interview with him on his work with in helping aboriginal communities develop renewable energy sources, available online as video.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 018-henderson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45 AM

Jonathan Haidt is the author of the best-selling The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. A moral psychologist now at The Stern School of Business at New York University, Prof. Haidt writes, "My research in recent years focused on the moral foundations of politics, and on ways to transcend the "culture wars" by using recent discoveries in moral psychology to foster more civil forms of politics." A recent TED Talk of his is called, "How Common Threats Can Make Common (Political) Ground"

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 017-haidt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31 PM

In this episode we dig beneath the evidence and ideas that support a modern, naturalistic perspective and seek out the patterns and emphases that propel concepts into the realm of inspiring. Our guide is Jonah Sachs, author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future (2012, Harvard Business Review). As the co-founder and creative director of Free Range Studios, Jonah has helped hundreds of social brands and causes create breakthrough campaigns. His work on legendary viral videos like The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff series have brought key social issues to the attention of more than 60 million people. We have entered "the Digitoral Era", Jonah suggests, in which the best of the oral traditions that supported our ancestors return, thanks to leading edge opportunities of the digital landscape.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 016-sachs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20 PM

Tom Clark, philosophical naturalist and consultant, is creator of, founder and director of the Center for Naturalism, author of Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses, and former host of the Philosophy Café at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA. In this conversation, host Michael Dowd invites his guest to compare and constrast their understandings of worldview naturalism, how it applies to the subjective experience of freewill, meaningful interpretations of life, and why it is very helpful for those yearning to overcome addictions.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 015-naturalism-clark.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:52 AM

Deirdre Barrett is a psychologist who conducts research at Harvard Medical School. Her 2010 book, Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose, is the subject of this interview. Here she explores the practical implications of evolutionary psychology for helping us all thrive in our modern world -- despite the Stone-Age instincts we still carry.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science. 

Direct download: podcast-naturalism-014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM

Alison Gopnik speaks about her research toward understanding how young children acquire their picture of the world -- especially the ways in which they seem to develop, test, and amend hypotheses not unlike the methods of scientists. What sparked the interviewers' interest, however, was a widely read essay she published in a January 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal, titled "What's Wrong with the Teenage Mind". There she offers both an evolutionary understanding of why making the transition from childhood to adulthood is so prolonged and problematic today -- and what can be done to improve the situation. Gopnik is a professor of developmental psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love and the Meaning of Life.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 013-gopnik.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:52 PM

Terrence (Terry) Deacon highlights the core ideas in his 2011 book, Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter.  A professor of biological anthropology and neurosciences at the University of California (Berkeley), Deacon is the author of the acclaimed 1997 book, The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain. As interviewers, Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd ensure that Deacon also talks about his motivation for writing this book, the paradigm shift he is aiming for, and the practical fruits that he hopes this emergent worldview (which transcends the discord between the nihilism of mechanism and the supernaturalism of traditional religions) will offer individuals and societies. Note: We also highly recommend the audio interview of Deacon by Dr. Ginger Campbell and the online book review (in Skeptic Magazine) by Sam MacIntosh, titled "Mind Matters".

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 012-deacon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:56 PM

Barlow and Dowd take an inside look at Richard Dawkins' first children's book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True. The couple recite excerpts and discuss why this "courageous and necessary book" may indeed help evolve the religions of the world along the lines of, what Dowd calls, the Evidential Reformation.

Note: This commentary was originally recorded in video format and posted on Youtube here.

Other resources mentioned in the commentary include:

• Jennifer Morgan's Born with a Bang book trilogy for kids

• Evolutionary Parables (stories and dramatic scripts)

• Great Story Beads (13.7 billion years represented in beads)

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 011-dawkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43 PM

Barlow and Dowd engage with astrophysicist Joel R. Primack and cultural historian Nancy Ellen Abrams about their unique partnership in translating a fully scientific understanding of the universe (and our place in it) into memorable and inspiring words and images. Because this dialogue was recorded in July 2010, it focuses on their coauthored 2006 book, The View from the Center of the Universe, and their autumn 2009 Terry Lectures at Yale University ("Cosmic Society"). At the time, they had just finished a manuscript version of the Terry Lectures, which Yale University Press would publish in Spring 2011, titled The New Universe and the Human Future. Reversing the widespread assumptions that science is just too difficult to understand in deeply personal ways, Nancy recounts her difficulties in Hebrew school as a second grader trying to square God's goodness with the frightening story of Abraham and Isaac, and declares, "The Bibles stories are much harder to understand than the Universe." Joel recounts an episode of awe (indeed, mysticism) he felt when, in 1992, data confirmed the theory of dark matter's role in the universe that he had co-developed in 1984. Ancillary resources mentioned in the interview include: 46 quotations from View from the Center of the Universe; Alien Wisdom (CD of Abrams songs); Bible Stories Your Parents Never Taught You (by Michael Scott Earl); and Connie Barlow's children's curricula for teaching the Epic of Evolution. See also a video profile of Joel and a video profile of Nancy.

Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

Direct download: 010-primack-abrams.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:42 PM