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Optimism, Technology, & the Future

Retired NASA astronaut Ron Garan is also a highly decorated fighter pilot as well as an explorer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprise can solve many of the problems facing our world. In the first half, he discussed his transformative experiences working aboard the International Space Station.

In the latter half, medical sociologist Robert E. Bartholomew, PhD shared his latest work uncovering the little-known scientific evidence underlying supposed hauntings, immortalized in familiar Hollywood films including The Exorcist, Poltergeist and The Conjuring.

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Optimism, Technology, & the Future

Show Archive
Date: Wednesday - February 2, 2011
Host: George Noory
Guests: Mark Stevenson, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny

Writer, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian Mark Stevenson shared his journey to find out what the future holds, and how we can approach it with a sense of pragmatic optimism. He discussed his meetings and interviews with a variety of forward-thinking people including farmers in the Australian Outback who devised an ingenious but low-tech method of sustaining their grasslands, and the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, who invited him to participate in an underwater cabinet meeting.

Stevenson also interviewed George Church, a molecular geneticist, who is trying to bring forward a "personal genomics revolution," which could reveal how an individual's genetic code interacts with the environment. He is currently sequencing the genomes of 100,000 volunteers and correlating it with their health and medical information. Eventually, this could lead to specific diet and pharmaceutical recommendations based on a person's genetic markers, Stevenson explained.

He discussed the transhumanist movement to extend people's lifespans, and the continued development of robots. Based on his research, he's concluded that we don't need to worry about "robotic overlords" taking over anytime soon, as they continue to have difficulty in doing basic tasks like walking. Stevenson also touched on the positive and negative aspects of interconnectivity through the Internet and mobile devices, how human organs are now being grown in labs, and nanotechnology-enabled printers that can manufacture anything from the ground up.

Vaccine Update

First hour guest, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny talked about the hazards of vaccines. A just issued report by the International Medical Council on Vaccination outlines a variety of safety issues and problems with vaccines, and Tenpenny has set a goal of gathering 1 million digital signatures in support of the principles put forth in the report.

News segment guests: Doug Hagmann, Richard C. Hoagland

Related Articles

New Exoplanet Discoveries

The Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, may have discovered as many as 1,200 new exoplanets, scientists announced today. They also shared details of a newfound planetary system with six worlds that have orbits closely packed together (pictured in artist's conception). More at Scientific American.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Wednesday February 02, 2011

  • Stay
    Frankie Valli & Four Seasons