Michio Kaku on God

April 30th, 2009

Dr. Michio Kaku dishes on spirituality, Einstein, and God in this latest installment of our interview. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Michelle Thaller on Science

April 29th, 2009

I met and had the opportunity to spend a lot of time talking about the universe with the fabulous Michelle Thaller at CWA. Michelle is a astronomer, and as far as I know is still the head of education and outreach at the Spitzer Space Telescope (she was considering a new job with NASA last I heard). She initially derived her inspiration for space and communicating its wonders from Carl Sagan and George Lucas’ Star Wars.

Here is a brief interview about what keeps her inspired:

Michio Kaku on Teleportation

April 23rd, 2009

The fourth installment of Dr. Kiki’s interview with Dr. Michio Kaku. This time Dr. Kaku talks about the physics and reality of teleportation.

Michio’s book is out now as a paperback. Here’s a link to buy the book on Amazon.

Distributed by Tubemogul.

KDVS Annual Fundraiser On Now

April 21st, 2009

Hey everyone…

Every year, KDVS, the radio station that This Week in Science calls home has a fundraising drive. It’s that time of year again.

For the week, volunteers will be at the station answering phones, taking donations, and generally working their butts off to support the station. The goal is to raise $60,000.

That’s a small sum compared to so many other things in this world. It’s significantly less than most households in the San Francisco Bay Area make in a year.

In return for support, those who donate will receive gifts that have been specially chosen by people who work at the station. The music directors have put together amazing music packages, djs have crafted their own t-shirts and cds. Hundreds of hours of love and dedication have already gone into making this week something special with no expectation of gain in return other than to keep the station thriving.

That’s what is so special about KDVS. It is non-commercial, independent, free-form radio, and the people who work at the station truly love to be there.

So, show your support for the concept of KDVS, for the home of TWIS, for a station that continues to put science on the radio… donate.

Any amount is great, but we hope that people will be able to give $25 as students or $40 as community members.

TWIS is offering a limited number of the 2009 Science Music Compilation CDs as our special gift to people who donate at the student or community level in support of our show.

You can donate online here.

Oh, and PS… It’s tax-deductible.

Michio Kaku on Time Travel

April 16th, 2009

The third installment of an hour long interview between Dr. Kiki Sanford and Dr. Michio Kaku. Dr. Kaku talks about time travel.

Michio’s book is out now as a paperback. Here’s a link to buy the book on Amazon.

Distributed by Tubemogul.

Guy Kawasaki on Science

April 13th, 2009

Guy KawasakiI’ve been thinking that science should pull from the expertise of other disciplines, like business, marketing, and PR in order to improve its public face. Science needs a new face, let’s find out how people view it and how to mold that image.

Along those lines, I asked businessman / marketing expert, Guy Kawasaki, a few questions. His answers are below:

1) What is science to you?

Science is cutting through the bull shiitake to find out how the world truly works.

2) As a businessman and entrepreneur, does science influence your actions? If so, how?

I would make the case that the computer and Internet exists because of science. Thus, science is the basis upon which all tech businesses are based. In particular, I love social sciences like psychology and sociology.

3) What aspects of science do you find most interesting or relevant?

I’m a pragmatist: anything that can improve marketing, sales, and evangelism and anything that can help engineers develop great products.

4) In your Twitter feed you make a point of linking to science stories on a regular basis, and you’ve included science round-ups in your blog. Which stories catch your attention and why?

Here’s what I do: I go to http://science.alltop.com/ and http://psychlogy.alltop.com/ and look for stories that people will retweet. That is, stories that are so compelling that people cannot resist spreading them.

A few day ago, for example, there was a story about how masturbation can help with allergies. Perhaps not the example you wanted to hear, but it was very popular. In general, tweets about science are very popular.

5) How well does the science section in your website, Alltop.com, perform compared to, say, tech or health? Is it popular, or is it niche?

Alas, it’s smaller than Tech, but I would not have 97,000 followers on Twitter without it, and Alltop would not be what it is without my Twitter following, so Science.alltop is very strategic for us.

6) How do you view the current state of science media in the US? What is good, and what could be improved?

I am not qualified to judge. I think it’s good, but I really don’t have any expertise to effectively answer this question.

7) How do you view the current state of science education? What is  good, and what could be improved?

I’m not afraid of answering questions, but I just don’t know. Your readers should appreciate a marketing person who knows what he doesn’t know. I would be a hypocrite to say how much I like to find the truth and then go spouting off about topics that I don’t comprehend.

8 ) Do you have any PR or marketing advice for science?

This I know. Scientists should be thinking “push” as in pushing out the value and wonder of science. Waiting for the inherent wonderfulness to “pull’ people in is a risky proposition. Therefore, science needs science evangelists who “spread the good news” to the people. Contrary to the field of dreams theory, good stuff is still “sold,” not “bought.”

The immediate challenge is that in a recession, there’s not much patience for science that is years from appearing as a product or service. Everyone is thinking about a six to twelve month time-to-market strategy. This is unfortunate, but a fact of life these days.

However, I predict that thirty years from now, we’ll look back on the first twenty years of this century and say, “Wow, who would have thought that science could fix so many fundamental problems like energy, pollution, and health so fast.”

If science could get us off oil, its marketing and PR would rock for quite a while. This would be a bigger deal than getting a man on the moon, and that was a very big deal for science.

Guy Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.  Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Michio Kaku’s Favorite Topic

April 9th, 2009

Part two in a series of excerpts from Dr. Kiki’s interview with Dr. Michio Kaku in which he discussed his favorite topic from The Physics of the Impossible. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Michio’s book is out now as a paperback. I honestly had no idea that my timing of these video interviews would match so well. But, since it did, here’s a link to buy the book on Amazon.  

The Conference on World Affairs

April 8th, 2009

Boulder doesn’t seem like such a worldly place from the outside. But, nestled at the base of the Flatirons on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, I have found one of the most intriguing assemblages of individuals I’ve ever come across outside of a big city.

The Conference on World Affairs is an interdisciplinary conference that brings together people from around the world and from diverse backgrounds to discuss the world. The majority of panels I’ve been assigned to discuss relate to science or media, which is appropriate. However, one panel I’m looking forward to tomorrow afternoon is on the topic:”When a Man Loves a Woman.”

I’m sure I know something about this topic, but my challenge is to decide exactly how to approach it.  Do I take from my background in neurophysiology and reduce love to its chemical reactions? Do I talk about birds? Do I stand up and sing? Or, talk about how much I like back-rubs?

I might incorporate some aspect of all the above ideas into my 10 minutes of monologue. We shall see…

In the meantime, I am enjoying meeting and engaging with the panel attendees and such esteemed associates as Sidney Perkowitz, Seth Shostak, Michelle Thaller, Alex Filippenko, Michael Chorost, Finton Steele, John Gliedman, Sanjoy Mahajan, Andy Ihnatko, and many, many more. Hopefully, I’ll come home inspired and full of ideas… not that I need any more running around my brain.

Michio Kaku on Physics of the Impossible

April 2nd, 2009

I interviewed Dr. Michio Kaku last spring. This is the first of several excerpts from the interview. Dr. Kaku talks about where he got his inspiration for his book, The Physics of the Impossible. Distributed by Tubemogul.


I plan to release the hour-long interview in its entirety in little bite-sized chunks over the next several weeks. There are some gems of wisdom to look forward to!

NCSE Executive Director Calls It Quits

April 1st, 2009

After last week’s Texas School Board disappointment, Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education, says she’s tired of fighting this losing battle for evolution and critical inquiry in schools. She also mentioned that the Creationist politicians can teach whatever they want in science classes.

Heh. That’ll be the day.

What was actually said went more along these lines:

“Let’s be clear about this,” cautioned Dr. Scott. “This is a setback for science education in Texas, not a draw, not a victory.”

She went on to say:

“The revised wording opens the door to creationism in the classroom and in the textbooks. The decisions will not only affect Texas students for the next ten years, but could result in watered-down science textbooks across the U.S. There’s a reason creationists are claiming victory.”

“Will publishers cave in to pressure from the Texas board to include junk science in their textbooks? It has happened before,” says Scott. “But textbooks that please the Texas board will be rejected in other states. Publishers will have to choose between junk science and real science.”

I hope that people like Dr. Scott continue to work against the insertion of politics into the science classroom because the attempts to compromise science education show no signs of fading away any time soon.

Happy April Fools Day, everyone.