Great Scientists Discuss the Big Questions

I love curling up and listening to a good story. I love to be read to - an unmet yearning from childhood I suppose. I love being around people who are smarter than me, more talented than me. I love to just soak up every molecule of wisdom I can. Today, the web is filled with wonderful talks by great scientists, geared to the intelligent student. These below are some of my favorites, that relate to the material of Astro 3, 4, and 7. UC Television often has great talks both online and on cable (channel 26). You'll see some below. (For the UCTV talks, you may have to skip over the boring intro by the administrator)

Debates and Lectures is a whole series of YouTube videos which include a wide variety of topics delivered by accomplished scientists.

Krulwich Wonders - NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich's science stories

Talk Nerdy to Me - an entertaining segment of the online Huffington Post hosted by Cara Santa Maria, featuring video interview talkies from Cara on the latest news in science.

It's OK to be Smart - a new video channel on cool new science which is really entertaining.

Other Videos I've collected, from non-scientists on political/economic insights, health issues, and music.

On Science, Pseudo Science, and The Nature of the World
Richard Dawkins has taken on the thankless job of education to the public on pseudoscience and the fatal flaws of religion, although can be sometimes frustrating to listen to. Lawrence Krauss is a cosmologist and also now devotes much time to public education on the nature of science and taking on the frauds and purveyors of irrational religions. Feynman - to my mind, is simply unmatched in his writings, his science, his speaking, and his attitudes about everything in all respects. The world is a poorer place for having lost Feynman to cancer. He is the scientist I most admire. His unforced New York style, blunt honesty, endless curiosity, and brilliance are an example for all. Sam Harris is articulate and impeccably thought through, but alas not the most dynamic speaker. Note that many YouTube authors like to limit their videos to ~10 minutes, so that longer videos are broken into pieces - hence the many parts you see below. Alas, since YouTube got "monetized" by Google, it's become more intrusive, less user-friendly, and more ad-choked, but yet, it's all still a net positive. See what you think of these, as I continue to find and link to some of the best...

-- Randomness, Quantum Mechanics, and Free Will (by Veritasium) (10min)
-- Physicist Steven Weinberg and Richard Dawkins on Physics, Religion, Cosmology: part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
-- "Enemies of Reason" Episode 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
-- "Enemies of Reason" Episode 2: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
-- Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris - A Conversation on Religion in the World
-- Physicist Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins on ideas, science
- part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
-- Psychics and Cold Reading; an interview with magician Derren Brown -
part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
-- Carl Sagan - on Astrology
-- Albert Einstein - on God
-- Albert Einstein "The World As I See It" (5 min highlights)
-- Albert Einstein "How I See the World" (48 min)
-- Richard Feynman - on God and Reality

-- (removed; copyright protected) Horizon interview with Nobel Physicist Richard Feynmann: "On Figuring Things Out" - part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. He expresses so clearly the primacy of truth in motivating the scientist. A great treat, to listen to one of the great minds of the past century talk about the big human issues.
-- Richard Feynman: "Take the World from Another Point of View" - part 1, 2, 3, 4
-- Richard Feynman: "On Thinking" - part 1, 2
-- Richard Feynman: "On Scientific Method" (9 min)
-- Richard Feynman: "Fun to Imagine" 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
-- Richard Feynman:
"I Don't Like Honors (on receiving the Nobel Prize)"
-- A fun book review of "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"
-- Richard Feynman: A personal comment on being comfortable with uncertainty
-- Richard Feynman: Nova "The Best Mind Since Einstein" (on Feynman), part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
-- Richard Feynman: "No Ordinary Genius" (1hr 36min) fascinating insight and interviews about the humanity of Feynman
-- Richard Feynman: "Mathematicians vs. Physicists"
-- Elon Musk: The Mind behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity... (21min TED talk)
-- Daniel Dennett: The Illusion of Consciousness (18 min TED talk)
-- Ray Kurzweil: How to Build a Mind (1:19:03)
-- Lawrence Krauss: The Future of AI, and Physics (17 min)
-- Lawrence Krauss: On his book "Quantum Man: Richard Feynmann and his Life in Science" (1hr 25m)
-- Ray Weymann: On Being Human (47min) (Ray is my first astronomy prof, past president of the American Astronomical Society, and astro legend!)
-- Nate Hagens: The End of Growth (50:48)
-- Elon Musk: "5 Areas Having the Most Important Effect on Humanity" (44:54)
-- Elon Musk: "Elon Musk Gets Introspective" (34min) - fascinating insights on what makes him tick, on fear, drive, desire to know the truth of things...
-- Elon Musk and Bill Gates in face to face discussion on AI and other ideas (55:19)

Science and Morality
-- Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins: The Relation of Morality to Science
-- Sam Harris on What Science Can Say about Morality
-- Richard Feynman: Morality and Being Part of the Development of the Atomic Bomb
-- Jerry Coyne: Faith is not a Virtue (32:46)
--Carl Sagan: A Universe Not Made for us (9:14)
--Carl Sagan: A Way of Thinking (9:13)
--Carl Sagan: Who Speaks for Earth? (7:08)

On Teaching and Learning
--Author Sam Tough on How Children Succeed (27 min)
--TED: Angela Duckworth, on True Grit in Education Success (6 min)
--TEDx: Angela Duckworth - "True Grit - Can Perseverence be Taught?" (18 min)
--TEDx Santa Cruz YouTube channel - lots of great people from here with great ideas!
--TED: On Being Wrong - Kathryn Schulz
-- TED: Sal Kahn and Bringing Video to Education (20 min)

On The Nature of Happiness
-- Prof. Richard Davidson on meditation, science, and the mind: ( part 1, 2,
-- Richard Davidson: The Emotional Life of Your Brain (43:42)
-- The Neuroscience of Happiness (from the Aspen Institute) (1:14:03)

Science and Art
-- Leonardo's Dream Machines An incredible exploration of what DaVinci's drawings mean when interpretted as technical drawings. It is estimated that as much as 3/4 of his work was destroyed by the Church for challenging dogma - what a sad, sad thing.
-- Carl Sagan "A Glorious Dawn"
-- Unspoiled Nature (5min)

"The Symphony of Science" series - 3 minute thoughts on science put to synthesized music
-- A Wave of Reason
-- Children of Africa - the Story of Us
-- The Big Beginning
-- The Poetry of Reality
-- The Unbroken Thread
-- The Quantum World
-- Our Place in the Cosmos