7/30/19 Show feat. Dr. Jo Dunkley on Our Curious Universe

Featured image: The warps in spacetime caused by gravity even affect light, so that heavy objects create distorted views of galaxies behind them. (Courtesy NASA)

Our guest this week is the luminous Prof. Jo Dunkley of Princeton’s Departments of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, who just published her first book, Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide. Jo boils down our universe’s 13 billion year history into a digestible story, traveling from planets to stars to clumps of dark matter on the way. She reminds us of the painstaking research that enables our modern understanding: for example, female “computers” like Henrietta Swan Leavitt in the early 20th century made crucial discoveries about stars and distance even as male scientists monopolized the telescopes. Finally, Jo explains the radical idea of measuring gravity by looking at distortions in the cosmic microwave background, a primary thrust of her current research.

In other news:

The playlist can be found at WPRB.com or below.

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8/27/19 Show feat. Mihir Kshirsagar on the Big Issues in Technology Policy

This is a three hour episode. The first hour is music only. One hour in, TVR2C regular programming begins and the interview with Mr. Kshirsagar begins at about 1 hour and 30 minutes in.

In this show Stevie speaks with technology policy expert Mihir Kshirsagar. Mihir is the technology policy lead at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy and formerly was Assistant Attorney General of New York and was in the AG’s Bureau of Internet & Technology as the lead trial counsel.

Mihir and Stevie speak about the biggest issues in technology policy including big data and data security, as well as some of its history, and the role that both governments and tech companies have to play. Here’s some of the topics:

  • Antitrust in tech — what is “antitrust” and why is it an issue in tech right now
  • Mihir explains his biggest concerns in technology policy today as:
    • Generally, the rise of big data. There’s always been data, but the ability to parse massive amounts of data and make meaningful decisions off of it is unprecedented.
    • Data security and privacy
    • Platforms/intermediaries (middlemen) in tech, specifically the requirement to communicate or access the internet through an intermediary such as Facebook or Google, vs direct connection
  • In the final part of the interview, Mihir discusses his recommendations for the typical consumer of news about tech companies and emerging technology. Essentially, don’t let it scare you! And don’t let anyone convince you that it doesn’t concern you. It does! These companies and tech are ubiquitous, and changing the landscape of communication and access to information and services, to name just a few.

Science news:


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