DISRUPTIVE: BIO-INSPIRED ROBOTICS features three separate interviews with (1) RADHIKA NAGPAL, (2) ROBERT WOOD, and (3) CONOR WALSHWritten on October 7th, 2015
Welcome to the second episode of my new monthly podcast series produced with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
DISRUPTIVE: BIO-INSPIRED ROBOTICS features three separate interviews with (1) RADHIKA NAGPAL, (2) ROBERT WOOD, and (3) CONOR WALSH. From insects in your backyard, to creatures in the sea, to what you see in the mirror, engineers and scientists at Wyss are drawing inspiration to design a whole new class of smart robotic devices
In this one, RADHIKA NAGPAL talks about her work Inspired by social insects and multicellular systems, including the TERMES robots for collective construction of 3D structures, and the KILOBOT thousand-robot swarm. She also speaks candidly about the challenges faced by women in the engineering and computer science fields.
In part two, ROBERT WOOD discusses new manufacturing techniques that are enabling popup and soft robots. His team’s ROBO-BEE is the first insect-sized winged robot to demonstrate controlled flight.
In part three, CONOR WALSH discusses how a wearable robotic exosuit or soft robotic glove could assist people with mobility impairments, as well as how the goal to create real-world applications drives his research approach.
The mission of the Wyss Institute is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds, with a focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. Their work is disruptive not only in terms of science but also in how they stretch the usual boundaries of academia.
JACOB HACKER the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, is the author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream and The Divided Welfare State. PAUL PIERSON is Professor of Political Science and holder of the Avice Saint Chair of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Politics in Time, Dismantling the Welfare State? Together they are authors of Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy as well as WINNER-TAKE-ALL POLITICS.
The gap between rich and poor is huge and growing…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations fight federal regulations…the influence of money in politics is greater than ever…new inventions speed the pace of daily life.
Sound familiar? Those headlines from the early 1900s set the scene for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book The Bully Pulpit-a history of the first decade of the Progressive era – a time when courageous journalists and an ambitious president took on the Robber Barons – the 1% of their day – and won.
Goodwin tells the tale through the long friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – a relationship that serves both until it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that cripples the progressive wing of the Republican Party and helps elect Woodrow Wilson.
Getting equal billing in her account is the golden age of journalism led by the muckraking press at McClure’s magazine. Together a bold and progressive press and a strong and progressive president served the people of the US rather than the super wealthy and the corporations. What lessons can we learn to help us turn this country around a century later?
Free Forum Q&A – SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but DoesWritten on August 13th, 2013
This week we’re going to talk about happiness. So let’s start with a true-false test. I’ll tell you a supposed fact about happiness, and you decide whether you think it’s true or false.
1. Unexpected pleasures are the most rewarding. True or false?
2. Novelty in a relationship has similar effects on our brain as a high from drugs. True or false?
3. Daily hassles impact our well-being more than major life events. True or false?
4. When it comes to sex, women require more novelty than men. True or false?
5. The genes that underlie who gets divorced are passed down from parents to children. True or false?
6. A smoking habit is not a bigger risk factor for heart disease as a troubled marriage. True or false?
7. Renters are happier than homeowners. True or false?
Okay, let’s see how you did…It turns out, according to today’s guest, all seven statements are true. Yup, renters are happier and women want more novelty in sex than men. Where do I get off making those assertions? All based in science.
Today’s guest, SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, is one of the nation’s top students of happiness, and we’re going to talk today about the findings in her new book, THE MYTHS OF HAPPINESS: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t; What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does.
Originally from Russia, SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Not too shabby. Her research has been awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, and a million-dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. She is author of The How of Happiness, translated and published in 19 countries, and her newest, THE MYTHS OF HAPPINESS.
Free Forum Q&A – ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, Authors of WEALTH AND POWER: China’s Long March to the 21st CenturyWritten on August 6th, 2013
Some estimate China will surpass the US to become the leading economic superpower by 2016. On the other hand, July 19th Paul Krugman wrote, “China is in big trouble. …The country’s whole way of doing business, the economic system that has driven three decades of incredible growth, has reached its limits. You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall…”
This week’s guests, ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, have both devoted a lot of time to studying and writing about China, including co-authoring the new book, WEALTH AND POWER: China’s long March to the 21st Century. We’ll explore China’s current story on a number of fronts.
Schell and Delury believe that China’s character has become defined by its pursuit of national greatness to reverse generations of humiliation at the hands of its neighbors and the West. This quest for wealth, power and respect remains key to understanding many of China’s actions today. We’ll talk about China’s history, character, economics, politics, and more.
James Fallows, who’s spent a lot of time in China, writes of their book, “I’d suggest you read it if you’re at all interested in China. It’s both historical and current, and it does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks…What does China want?”