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Wondrium Perspectives

Multiple experts discuss one engaging topic per episode. Come learn about major historical events, astronomical wonders, strange animals, and more.
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Overview

Multiple experts discuss one engaging topic per episode. Come learn about major historical events, astronomical wonders, strange animals, and more. New topics are posted every week.

About

Charles L. Adler

I will show you how we can use our latest understanding of key ideas and concepts in physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and more–to demonstrate how the science behind fascinating concepts found in movies and novels is more often startlingly real and frequently the impetus for invention.

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St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Charles L. Adler is a Professor of Physics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He received his PhD, MS, and BS in Physics from Brown University, where he focused on experimental laser physics. He is the author of more than 40 papers on experimental physics, optics, and mathematics. He is a member of the Light and Color in Nature group, an international group of scientists who study the interaction of light with the atmosphere and landscape. He was the chair of the 2012 Light and Color in Nature meeting and has been the coeditor of four special issues of the scientific journal Applied Optics on the topic of meteorological optics.

 

Professor Adler has been a science fiction fan almost since he learned to read, and his first ambition was to become a science fiction writer. The genre led him to a love of science, especially when he realized that the science portrayed in science fiction was often inaccurate. To help readers tell the real science from the fake, he wrote the critically acclaimed book Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction. In 2015, it was a cowinner of the Science Writing Award for Books from the American Institute of Physics, and it made several lists of notable science books, including that of The Guardian. He is also cowriting a book on the science of Leonardo da Vinci with Matthew Landrus.

By This Expert

How Science Shapes Science Fiction
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Kevin Ahern

Biochemistry combines the best of chemistry with the best of biology.

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Oregon State University

Kevin Ahern is a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University (OSU), where he also received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics. He has served on the OSU faculty in Biochemistry/Biophysics since the mid-1990s. Dr. Ahern is the coauthor of three popular biochemistry textbooks; two cowritten with his wife, Indira Rajagopal. In addition, he has published more than 700 articles. Professor Ahern has been widely recognized for his teaching and was a two-time national finalist for Baylor University’s prestigious Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, as well as OSU’s nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award in 2009. He received OSU’s highest teaching recognition, the Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award, and is an Eminent Professor of OSU’s Honors College. In addition, he was named an OSU top professor by students, a record of 14 times, and was inducted into OSU Libraries’ Open Access Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2019, Professor Ahern was the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. As an academic advisor, he won every university award given in that field. Among his students, Dr. Ahern is renowned for writing and performing poems and songs to help them learn complicated material, with more than 100 “metabolic melodies” to his credit.

By This Expert

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: How Life Works
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Gregory S. Aldrete

As an ancient historian, my goals are to share the enthusiasm for and fascination with antiquity that I feel, and to show some of the connections between that world and our own.

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University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

Dr. Gregory S. Aldrete is Professor of Humanistic Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he has taught since 1995. He earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his master's degree and Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Michigan. Honored many times over for his research and his teaching, Professor Aldrete was named by his university as the winner of its highest awards in each category, receiving both its Founders Association Award for Excellence in Scholarship and its Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. That recognition of his teaching skills was echoed on a national level in 2009, when he received the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level-the national teaching award given annually by the professional association of classics professors. The recipient of many prestigious research fellowships including five from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Professor Aldrete has published several important books in his field, including Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome; Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome; Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia; The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (as editor); Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor (with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete) and The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us (with A. Aldrete).

By This Expert

History's Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach
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The Decisive Battles of World History
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The Roman Empire: From Augustus to The Fall of Rome
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The Rise of Rome
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A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome
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History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective
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Patrick N. Allitt

Nostalgia is the enemy of history. 'Downton Abbey' is great fun but it's not history. If seeing or reading something historical makes you feel warm and cosy, it's probably very inaccurate.

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Emory University

Dr. Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. The holder of a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Allitt-an Oxford University graduate-has also taught American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Henry Luce Postdoctoral Fellow. He was the Director of Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum from 2004 to 2009, where he looked for ways to improve teaching. In this critical administrative position, he led workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related problems, visited dozens of other professors' classes, and provided one-on-one consultation to teachers to help them overcome particular pedagogical problems. Professor Allitt was honored with Emory's Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2000 was appointed to the N.E.H./Arthur Blank Professorship of Teaching in the Humanities. A widely published and award-winning author, Professor Allitt has written several books, including The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; Catholic Intellectuals and Conservative Politics in America, 1950-1985; Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome; and Religion in America since 1945: A History. He is also author of I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom, a memoir about one semester in his life as a university professor. In addition, he is the editor of Major Problems in American Religious History. He has written numerous articles and reviews for academic and popular journals, including The New York Times Book Review.

By This Expert

The Industrial Revolution
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The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator
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The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales
854
The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy
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A History of the United States, 2nd Edition
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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years
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Dana Anspach

The retirement income planning process is not static; it is alive with choices and variables.

Dana Anspach is a Certified Financial Planner, a Retirement Management Advisor, and the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm that specializes in retirement income planning.

 

Professor Anspach has been practicing as a financial planner since 1995 and writing as an expert on retirement-related topics since 2008. She was About.com’s MoneyOver55 expert for eight years, and her writing on retirement decisions can be found at The Balance. She has contributed content to MarketWatch and U.S. News & World Report, and she is the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security before the Big Transition and Social Security Sense: A Guide to Claiming Benefits for Those Age 60–70.

 

Recognized for her commitment to education, Professor Anspach has twice been named to the Investopedia 100, a list of financial advisors who are considered to be making significant contributions to financial literacy. She also serves on the Strategic Retirement Advisory Council for the Investments & Wealth Institute, where she helps expand the reach of the Retirement Management Advisor designation.

By This Expert

How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement
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Dorsey Armstrong

Every turning point discussed in these lectures shifted the flow of the river of history, bringing us ever closer to the modern world.

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Purdue University

Dorsey Armstrong is a Professor of English and Medieval Literature at Purdue University, where she is also the head of the Department of English. She received her PhD in Medieval Literature from Duke University. She is the executive editor of the academic journal Arthuriana, which publishes cutting-edge research on the legend of King Arthur, from its medieval origins to its modern enactments. She is a recipient of the Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Purdue’s top undergraduate teaching honor. Her other Great Courses include The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague and The Medieval World.

By This Expert

King Arthur: History and Legend
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The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague
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Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything
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Years That Changed History: 1215
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Great Minds of the Medieval World
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The Black Death: New Lessons from Recent Research
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La Peste Negra: La Plaga Más Devastadora del Mundo
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David W. Ball

The fun part about being a chemist is that we still have lots of combinations of these raw materials to explore.

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Cleveland State University
David W. Ball is a Professor of Chemistry at Cleveland State University in Ohio. He received his bachelor's degree from Baylor University and his master's and doctoral degrees from Rice University. After performing post-doctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California, he joined Cleveland State as an Assistant Professor, rising to the rank of Professor in 2002 and becoming Chair of the Chemistry Department in 2012. Dr. Ball teaches entry-level chemistry as well as physical chemistry in the undergraduate and graduate programs. His research interests include computational chemistry, particularly new high-energy materials and small-molecule-protein interactions. He has over 200 publications, equally split between research and educational studies. His various books include general chemistry at the introductory level, chemistry for allied health professions, and science and engineering chemistry. His widely used textbook on physical chemistry has been translated into Spanish and Japanese. Dr. Ball has received accolades for his teaching at the department, college, and university levels, and he recently served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Ball is active in his profession organization, the American Chemical Society. In his spare time, he does woodworking and takes weekly horseback-riding lessons.

By This Expert

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World
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Richard Bell

No one is ever truly ordinary.

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University of Maryland, College Park

Richard Bell is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from Harvard University. Dr. Bell has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the University System of Maryland. He has held major research fellowships at Yale University, the University of Cambridge, and the Library of Congress.

 

Dr. Bell serves as a trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author or coeditor of multiple journal articles and three books: We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States; Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America; and Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which received a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award.

By This Expert

America’s Long Struggle against Slavery
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Ordinary Americans in the Revolution
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Roy Benaroch

Doctoring is about listening and paying attention. There's a lot to know, too-- but if you're not paying attention, you'll be misguided by what you think you already know. An open mind is a better diagnostic tool than one stuffed with facts

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Emory University

Dr. Roy Benaroch is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. He earned his B.S. in Engineering at Tulane University, followed by his M.D. at Emory University. He completed his residency through Emory University's affiliated hospitals in 1997, serving as chief resident and instructor of pediatrics in 1998. Board certified in general pediatrics in 1997, Dr. Benaroch practices full time at Pediatric Physicians, PC, located near Atlanta, Georgia. In his dual roles, he teaches medical students and residents at his practice and gives regular lectures to physician's assistants at Emory University.

Dr. Benaroch has published two books on parenting and pediatric health topics: Solving Health and Behavioral Problems from Birth through Preschool: A Parent's Guide and A Guide to Getting the Best Health Care for Your Child. He also has a blog for parents and health professionals at pediatricinsider.com, and he has served as a featured expert on WebMD.com. Dr. Benaroch also serves on the board of directors of the Cobb Health Futures Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit group dedicated to public health for people of all backgrounds.

By This Expert

Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine
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Medical School for Everyone: Pediatrics Grand Rounds
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Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
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The Skeptic's Guide to Health, Medicine, and the Media
853
Craig G. Benjamin

These big ideas of Eastern civilization emerged thousands of years ago, but they endured and shaped the long history of these regions all the way to the present.

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Grand Valley State University

Dr. Craig G. Benjamin is Associate Professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), where he teaches East Asian civilization, big history, ancient Central Asian history, and historiography. He earned his undergraduate education at The Australian National University in Canberra and Macquarie University in Sydney, and his Ph.D. in Ancient History from Macquarie University. Professor Benjamin has received several awards for teaching, including the 2012 Faculty of Distinction Award from Omicron Delta Kappa Society (a national leadership honor society) and the 2009 Student Award for Faculty Excellence from the GVSU Student Senate. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Yuezhi: Origin, Migration and the Conquest of Northern Bactria and Readings in the Historiography of World History. He is coauthor (with David Christian and Cynthia Stokes Brown) of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything. Professor Benjamin is an officer of the World History Association and the International Big History Association. He is also a consultant for The College Board and a member of the SAT World History Subject Committee and the Advanced Placement World History Development Committee.

By This Expert

The Big History of Civilizations
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Foundations of Eastern Civilization
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The Mongol Empire
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Eric Berger

Constitutional law is endlessly rich and fascinating; and it really matters. Constitution law determines what our federal and state governments are permitted to do and what rights we have as individuals.

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University of Nebraska College of Law

Eric Berger is the Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. His scholarship focuses on constitutional law, including judicial decision-making in constitutional cases. He received his JD from Columbia Law School and then clerked for the Honorable Merrick B. Garland on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He went on to practice with Jenner & Block, where he worked on litigation, including in the US Supreme Court. He has been voted Professor of the Year by law students at Nebraska six times.

By This Expert

Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law
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Jason C. Bivins

If you can raise questions, think through competing considerations, assess the range of principles and practices at stake in what goes into making religious violence, you’re already in a different conceptual world. And if that world is one in which it’s harder to discriminate or mistreat others, then I think you’ll be on the right path.

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North Carolina State University

Jason C. Bivins is a Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Indiana University. Professor Bivins has taught at North Carolina State University since 2000 and has received several teaching awards there.

 

Professor Bivins specializes in religion and American culture, focusing particularly on the intersection between religions and politics since 1900. His books include Spirits Rejoice! Jazz and American Religion (named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2015 by Choice); Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism (named a 2008 Outstanding Academic Title selected by Choice); and The Fracture of Good Order: Christian Antiliberalism and the Challenge to American Politics. His books have received coverage from both mainstream and academic media, including National Public Radio, The Washington Times, and Religion Dispatches.

 

Professor Bivins has also published articles, book chapters, review essays, and pieces on religion, politics, and culture in the United States, as well as on theory and method in the study of religion. Regularly interviewed by newspapers, podcasts, radio shows, and other public media, Professor Bivins serves on multiple committees in the American Academy of Religion and was a section coeditor for Religion Compass.

By This Expert

Thinking about Religion and Violence
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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura

Fitness at any age is built on a solid foundation of self-care, including sufficient sleep, stress management, and a healthy diet; supportive and nurturing relationships; and an exercise program that you actually enjoy.

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Fitness and Wellness Consultant

Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura is a fitness and wellness consultant with decades of experience teaching the benefits of physical and mental health to elite athletes, higher education institutions, nonprofit community organizations, and corporations. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with a research emphasis in sport and exercise psychology, from Florida State University. Her doctoral dissertation won national awards from the American Psychological Association (Division 47) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Dr. Bonura is a triple-certified yoga instructor, registered with the Yoga Alliance and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She also holds certifications as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, kickboxing instructor, tai chi and qigong instructor, senior fitness specialist, weight management instructor, and prenatal and youth fitness specialist-all issued by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the International Fitness Professionals Association. She has developed specialized programs in seated/chair yoga for older adults; yoga for empowerment to encourage self-esteem; partner yoga for family and marital enhancement; and more. Featured widely in national and international publications, Dr. Bonura is a peer reviewer for journals including the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, and the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

By This Expert

How to Boost Your Physical and Mental Energy
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How to Stay Fit As You Age
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How to Make Stress Work for You
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Bob Brier

To a great extent, the fun of history is in the details. Knowing what kind of wine Tutankhamen preferred makes him come alive.

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Long Island University

Dr. Bob Brier is an Egyptologist and Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Brier has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and has received Long Island University's David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements as a lecturer. He has served as Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Egyptology Today program. In 1994, Dr. Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian style. This research was the subject of a National Geographic television special, Mr. Mummy. Dr. Brier is also the host of The Learning Channel's series The Great Egyptians. Professor Brier is the author of Ancient Egyptian Magic (1980), Egyptian Mummies (1994), Encyclopedia of Mummies (1998), The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story (1998), Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (1999), and numerous scholarly articles.

By This Expert

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
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History of Ancient Egypt
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Erica W. Carlson

The science that has illuminated the mysteries of the quantum world can also help us see our everyday world in a brand new way.

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Purdue University

Erica W. Carlson is a 150th Anniversary Professor and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University. She holds a BS in Physics from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A theoretical physicist, she researches electronic phase transitions in quantum materials. Widely recognized for her teaching and research, Professor Carlson received the prestigious Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and she was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. At UCLA, she won the teaching associate award from the Department of Physics and Astronomy. At Purdue, her honors include the university’s highest teaching prize, the Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, as well as the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Excellence in Teaching (three times), and the College of Science Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching by an Assistant Professor. Professor Carlson has published dozens of research articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has also presented papers at many conferences and been invited to present talks worldwide, on four continents. Her early experiments with podcasting college science courses were featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. She is active in outreach, having given science presentations to the public and to students from preschool through high school.

By This Expert

Understanding the Quantum World
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Sean Carroll

We need to push on our understanding of cosmology, particle physics, gravity, not to mention how complexity and entropy evolve through time, and eventually you'll be able to really understand what our theories predict.

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California Institute of Technology

Professor Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Harvard in 1993. Before arriving at Caltech, Professor Carroll taught in the Physics Department and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, and did postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Professor Carroll is the author of Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, published in 2003. He has taught more than 200 scientific seminars and colloquia and given more than 50 educational and popular talks. In addition, he has written for numerous publications including Nature, New Scientist, The American Scientist, and Physics Today. Professor Carroll has received research grants from NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, as well as fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations. He has been the Malmstrom Lecturer at Hamline University, the Resnick Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecturer. While at MIT, Carroll won the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award for his course on general relativity. In 2006 he received the Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion from Villanova University.

By This Expert

Marc C. Conner

We see that the story, properly understood, reveals multiple layers of history and experience.

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Skidmore College

Marc C. Conner is the President of Skidmore College. He earned degrees in English and Philosophy at the University of Washington (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude), followed by master’s and doctorate degrees in English at Princeton University. He was previously the Jo M. and James Ballengee Professor of English at Washington and Lee University and served as provost and chief academic officer from 2016 to 2020. He also taught at Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Conner is a specialist in modern literature, particularly Irish and American literature. He is a regular presenter at the major Irish studies gatherings, including the Lady Gregory–Yeats Autumn Gathering in Galway, the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, and the Trieste Joyce School. He serves as secretary/treasurer of the Ralph Ellison Society and presents regularly at the American Literature Association annual conference. At Washington and Lee University, he created a study abroad program in Ireland, and he has led adult education programs to Ireland and other Celtic lands. He also received the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the Anece F. McCloud Excellence in Diversity Award.

Professor Conner’s books include The Poetry of James Joyce ReconsideredThe New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First CenturyThe Selected Letters of Ralph EllisonScreening Modern Irish Drama and FictionScreening Contemporary Irish Drama and Fiction; and Global Ralph Ellison.

By This Expert

How to Read and Understand Shakespeare
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The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature
854
The Great Tours: Ireland and Northern Ireland
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Ron B. Davis Jr.

I hope this contributes to a lifelong journey exploring and appreciating the rich and beautiful chemistry of life and our world.

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Georgetown University
Dr. Ron B. Davis, Jr. is an Associate Teaching Professor of Chemistry at Georgetown University, where he has been teaching introductory organic chemistry laboratories since 2008. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to teaching chemistry at the undergraduate level, Professor Davis spent several years as a pharmaceutical research and development chemist. Professor Davis's research focuses on the fundamental forces governing the interactions of proteins with small organic molecules. His research has been published in such scholarly journals as Proteins and Biochemistry and has been presented at the Annual Symposium of The Protein Society. He also maintains an educational YouTube channel and provides interviews and content to various media outlets, including The Discovery Channel. At The Pennsylvania State University, Professor Davis received a Dalalian Fellowship and the Dan Waugh Teaching Award. He is also a member of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society.

By This Expert

Foundations of Organic Chemistry
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Chemistry and Our Universe: How It All Works
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Understanding the Periodic Table
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Ramon P. DeGennaro

I like teaching things that will let people solve problems for the next 50 years, and if something can be automated, then I don't want to teach it.

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Ramon P. DeGennaro is the CBA Professor in Banking and Finance at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, he consults in the areas of business valuation, investments, and financial management and is a Luminary Member of the Angel Capital Group. He also served as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Atlanta and for the American Institute for Economic Research. Professor DeGennaro holds a Ph.D. in Finance from The Ohio State University. At The University of Tennessee, Professor DeGennaro has been nominated for the Allen H. Keally Outstanding Teacher Award, the John B. Ross Outstanding Teaching Award (three times), and the College of Business Outstanding Teaching Award. Professor DeGennaro has presented original research at dozens of professional conferences, and he is the recipient of more than 50 research and professional development grants. His current research involves investments, financial markets, and entrepreneurship. He has published more than 40 refereed articles on investments, financial market volatility, small-firm finance, the term structure of interest rates, financial institutions, and prediction markets. He also has written research reports, book chapters, book reviews, and several Federal Reserve publications.

By This Expert

How the Stock Market Works
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International Economic Institutions: Globalism vs. Nationalism
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Randall D. Eliason

White collar criminal law lies at the intersection of law, business, and politics.

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The George Washington University Law School

Randall D. Eliason is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School. He received his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School and spent 12 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He authors a blog on white collar crime and federal criminal law called Sidebars, and his writings have been published in scholarly journals, legal periodicals, and national newspapers. He is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award at The George Washington University Law School.

By This Expert

White Collar Criminal Law Explained
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Robert Garland

Working for the Great Courses enables me to reach people who prize learning for learning's sake. It's they who inspire me to close the gap between past and present, by demonstrating what it meant then, and what it means now, to be human.

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Colgate University

Dr. Robert S.J. Garland is the Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University. He earned his B.A. in Classics from Manchester University, his M.A. in Classics from McMaster University, and his Ph.D. in Ancient History from University College London. A former Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the George Grote Ancient History Prize, Professor Garland has educated students and audiences at a variety of levels. In addition to teaching classics at Colgate University, he has taught English and Drama to secondary school students and lectured at universities throughout Britain as well as the British School of Archaeology in Athens. Professor Garland is the author of numerous articles in both academic and popular journals and books capturing details of all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman life, including The Greek Way of Life: From Conception to Old Age; Introducing New Gods: The Politics of Athenian Religion; and Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks. His expertise has been featured in The History Channel's Last Stand of the 300, and he has repeatedly served as a consultant for educational film companies.

By This Expert

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds
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The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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The Greek World: A Study of History and Culture
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Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages
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Steven Gimbel

Scientists give us new accounts of how the universe works, and philosophers unpack those theories to see what they tell us about what is real.

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Gettysburg College
Professor Steven Gimbel holds the Edwin T. Johnson and Cynthia Shearer Johnson Distinguished Teaching Chair in the Humanities at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Chair of the Philosophy Department. He received his bachelor's degree in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his doctoral degree in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote his dissertation on interpretations and the philosophical ramifications of relativity theory. At Gettysburg, he has been honored with the Luther W. and Bernice L. Thompson Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Gimbel's research focuses on the philosophy of science, particularly the nature of scientific reasoning and the ways that science and culture interact. He has published many scholarly articles and four books, including Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion; and Einstein: His Space and Times. His books have been highly praised in periodicals such as The New York Review of Books, Physics Today, and The New York Times, which applauded his skill as "an engaging writer...[taking] readers on enlightening excursions...wherever his curiosity leads."

By This Expert

Redefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science
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An Introduction to Formal Logic
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Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humor
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The Great Questions of Philosophy and Physics
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Patrick Grim

In the end, imagining a world of fact without value is quite nearly impossible for creatures like us. Our lives are woven in terms of the things we value.

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State University of New York, Stony Brook

Dr. Patrick Grim is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He graduated with highest honors in anthropology and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was named a Fulbright Fellow to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, from which he earned his B.Phil. He earned his Ph.D. from Boston University. Professor Grim is the recipient of several honors and awards. In addition to being named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Dr. Grim has been awarded the President and Chancellor's awards for excellence in teaching and was elected to the Academy of Teachers and Scholars. The Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan in 2006, Professor Grim has also held visiting fellowships at the Center for Complex Systems at Michigan and at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Grim, author of The Incomplete Universe: Totality, Knowledge, and Truth; coauthor of The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling; and editor of the forthcoming Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions, is widely published in scholarly journals. He is the founder and coeditor of 25 volumes of The Philosopher's Annual, an anthology of the best articles published in philosophy each year.

By This Expert

Mind-Body Philosophy
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The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room
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Ryan Hamilton

Marketing is the process of facilitating exchanges that create value for customers, collaborators, and the company. And marketing creates this value by developing an understanding of what customers want and need.

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Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Professor Ryan Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, where he has taught since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

In 2013, he was recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most productive young scholars in his field. Professor Hamilton also has received multiple teaching excellence awards from his M.B.A. students at Emory and, in 2011, was named one of "The World's Best 40 B-School Profs under the Age of 40" by Poets & Quants, an online magazine covering the world of M.B.A. education.

Professor Hamilton is a consumer psychologist whose research investigates shopper decision making: how brands, prices, and choice architecture influence decision making at the point of purchase. His research findings have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed marketing and management journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, Management Science, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. His findings also have been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Financial Times, CNN Headline News and more.

By This Expert

How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making
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Critical Business Skills for Success
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Donald J. Harreld

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Brigham Young University

Dr. Donald J. Harreld is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Brigham Young University, where he has taught since 2001. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2000.

A specialist in the social and economic history of early modern Europe, Professor Harreld has twice been named an Alcuin fellow by Brigham Young University for excellence in teaching general education courses. He is the author of High Germans in the Low Countries: German Merchants and Commerce in Golden Age Antwerp, as well as several articles on various aspects of European economic and urban history, and he is the editor of the Companion to the Hanseatic League.

Dr. Harreld was named an honorary fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation and a Fulbright fellow to the University of Antwerp, where he was a visiting research scholar in the Centre for Urban History. Since 2007, he has served as executive director of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference.

By This Expert

An Economic History of the World since 1400
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Lynne Ann Hartnett

For better and worse, people are the central characters in revolutions.

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Villanova University

Dr. Lynne Ann Hartnett is an Associate Professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches courses on all facets of Russian history as well as on the social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. She earned her PhD in Russian History at Boston College. Dr. Hartnett’s research focuses on the Russian revolutionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and she has conducted archival research in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and London. She regularly presents her research at international conferences in the United States and Europe. Dr. Hartnett’s work, which has been published in a number of academic journals, focuses on the Russian revolutionary leader Vera Figner and the terrorist group People’s Will; Russian political émigrés in European exile; the Russian Civil War as experienced by an individual family; and the transnational activist networks that Russian émigrés built with British liberals, socialists, and suffragists. Immigration policy and refugee issues are central to this work and provide a link to contemporary policy questions. Dr. Hartnett is also the author of the book, The Defiant Life of Vera Figner: Surviving the Russian Revolution. Dr. Hartnett is the director of Villanova’s graduate program in History and the president of the Sigma of Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. At Villanova, she has served as the director of the Russian Area Studies Program. Dr. Hartnett has been nominated three times for the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and has received several teaching awards at both Villanova and Boston College.

By This Expert

Understanding Russia: A Cultural History
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The Great Revolutions of Modern History
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Melinda Hartwig

Let's travel up the Nile together and explore the epic, exotic, transcendent, land of the pharaohs.

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Michael C. Carlos Museum

Dr. Melinda Hartwig is an Egyptologist and Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum. Her distinguished teaching career includes positions as Professor of Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Georgia State University and at The American University in Cairo. She holds a PhD in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Melinda’s expertise is recognized internationally. She has led tours and documentation projects in Egypt for 40 years. She has curated national exhibitions on ancient Egyptian art and culture, and received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United States Agency for International Development. She is past President of the Board of Governors of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).

Melinda is the author or editor of numerous books, including Tomb Painting and Identity in Ancient Thebes, The Tomb Chapel of Menna, and A Companion to Ancient Egyptian Art, which received the 2016 PROSE award for Single Volume Reference in Humanities & Social Sciences. Melinda is a popular lecturer and a frequent on-air expert for television documentaries on the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, PBS, Science Channel, Smithsonian Channel, and Travel Channel.

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The Great Tours: A Guided Tour of Ancient Egypt
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Joseph L. Hoffmann

Criminal law has become the sole province of the government acting on behalf of society as a whole, rather than on behalf of the crime victims.

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Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Joseph L. Hoffmann is the Harry Pratter Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he has taught since 1986. He received a J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Washington School of Law. After law school, Professor Hoffmann clerked for the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and for then-associate justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Hoffmann is a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of criminal law, criminal procedure, habeas corpus, and the death penalty. He was a co-principal investigator for the Capital Jury Project, the largest empirical project ever to study jury decision making in capital cases, and has been a consultant in criminal and death penalty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. At Indiana University, Professor Hoffmann has been recognized with the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award, the Trustees’ Teaching Award, the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, and the Gavel Award. Professor Hoffmann is the co-author of two of the leading casebooks used by law students across the United States: Defining Crimes and Comprehensive Criminal Procedure. In 2007, Professor Hoffmann appeared in the PBS series The Supreme Court.

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Law School for Everyone
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Books That Matter: The Federalist Papers
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Dan Hooper

To really pay full tribute to Albert Einstein, I'd argue that we need to appreciate not only his great success, but also his challenges, mistakes, and errors.

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University of Chicago

Dan Hooper is a senior scientist and the head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). He is also Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Hooper received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was later a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and the David Schramm Fellow at Fermilab.

Dr. Hooper's research focuses on the interface between particle physics and cosmology, covering topics such as dark matter, dark energy, supersymmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions, and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. He has authored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he has given an even larger number of technical talks at scientific conferences and university seminars and colloquia.

Dr. Hooper is the author of two books written for nonscientists: LDark Cosmos and Nature's Blueprint. He has also written for popular magazines such as Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. He gives many public lectures and is frequently called on by the media to comment on science news. Dr. Hooper's television appearances include Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman and Space's Deepest Secrets, and he has been interviewed on NPR's Science Friday.

By This Expert

What Einstein Got Wrong
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David K. Johnson

We can always take comfort in the fact that we can find and do embrace answers to metaphysical questions.

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King's College

Dr. David Kyle Johnson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He earned a master's degree and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma.

At Oklahoma, he won the coveted Kenneth Merrill Graduate Teaching Award. In 2011, the American Philosophical Association's committee on public philosophy gave him an award for his ability to make philosophy accessible to the general public.

Professor Johnson regularly teaches classes on metaphysics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, and logic, as well as courses on critical thinking and scientific reasoning. He has published papers on human freedom, the problem of natural evil, the multiverse, the existence of souls, and many related topics in such journals as Religious Studies, Sophia, Philo, Philosophy and Literature, and Think. He also maintains two blogs for Psychology Today.

Professor Johnson also publishes prolifically on the intersection of pop culture and philosophy. One of his books, Inception and Philosophy: Because It's Never Just a Dream, inspired an authors@Google talk with more than half-a-million YouTube views. He also has written numerous articles that explore the relationship between philosophical questions and such pop cultural phenomena as The Hobbit, Doctor Who, Batman, South Park, Johnny Cash, Quentin Tarantino, and Christmas.

By This Expert

The Big Questions of Philosophy
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Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy
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Let's Talk About Planets

01: Let's Talk About Planets

Planets—they’re home to superstorms, oceans of magma, and, in Earth’s case, life. Some of humanity’s greatest thinkers have dedicated their lives to learning more about these awesome places.

12 min
The Global Impact of The Great Depression

02: The Global Impact of The Great Depression

The Great Depression was one of the most widespread economic disasters that the world has ever seen. In its wake, it left businesses in ruin, families destroyed, and entire economies in tatters.

12 min
How to Negotiate With Confidence

03: How to Negotiate With Confidence

We all want to be treated fairly—especially when it comes to something as important as a salary negotiation. But how can we get the most out of these discussions that many of us hate to even enter into?

11 min
King Arthur: Man or Myth?

04: King Arthur: Man or Myth?

King Arthur is one of medieval Britain’s most famous legends. Since his time, he has become a world export: depicted in movies, novels, and countless works of art. But was he real or completely made-up?

16 min
How to Identify and Cope With Stress

05: How to Identify and Cope With Stress

We all feel stressed at some point in our lives ... and while situations that cause us stress may not be as extreme as those of our cave-dwelling ancestors, you'll be surprised to find out that the toll they take on our minds and bodies is identical.

11 min
What Are Logical Falacies?

06: What Are Logical Falacies?

Have you ever gotten into an argument that you just couldn’t win? Did it feel like the other person was using deceptive tactics in order to persuade you? Well there’s a good chance you were struggling with someone who was using logical fallacies, whether they knew it or not.

15 min
The Prisoner's Dilemma

07: The Prisoner's Dilemma

Trench warfare ... doping in sports … the Salem Witch Trials—all totally unrelated events, right? Well, it turns out that psychologists have developed a thought game that helps to explain the choices made by people in each of these situations.

11 min
How to Make a Great First Impression

08: How to Make a Great First Impression

Have you ever interviewed for a job? Or gone on a blind date? Or had to give a presentation? If so, you’re well aware of the importance of a first impression. But how do you make your first impression a great one? (Spoiler alert: don’t try too hard!)

13 min
Discovering the Laws of Physics

09: Discovering the Laws of Physics

What goes up must come down, right? That’s an old adage we’ve heard many times throughout our lives. Well, the laws of physics behind this saying are a little bit more complicated to explain—and not all of them are completely understood.

20 min
What Happens After a Political Assassination?

10: What Happens After a Political Assassination?

Political assassinations are messy, sometimes not fully thought-out events. An assassin typically wishes to stop a prominent figure from advocating a cause that the killer disagrees with. However, these actions often lead to events that the perpetrator didn’t intend, and sometimes the exact opposite of those intentions becomes the new reality.

13 min
Understanding Stock Market Basics

11: Understanding Stock Market Basics

S&P 500. NASDAQ. ETFs. If you listen to the news, these are terms you’ve heard many times. But if you are like many of us, you have no clue what the heck they mean.

18 min
Get to Know The Periodic Table

12: Get to Know The Periodic Table

The periodic table is more than just a list of the elements—it’s a scientific road map. It’s also one of the most important tools for scientists in a wide range of fields, from chemistry to quantum mechanics.

17 min
Why Did Rome Fall?

13: Why Did Rome Fall?

Why did Rome fall? Historians and scholars have tried answering that question for centuries.

19 min
The Story of Knights

14: The Story of Knights

We’ve all heard legends, seen paintings, and watched movies about knights, but just how much has their story been dramatized for the sake of entertainment? What role did knights actually play in history?

23 min
Understanding Communism: Marx and the Soviet Union

15: Understanding Communism: Marx and the Soviet Union

Communism is one of the largest and most controversial political ideologies in the modern world. It has been adopted in various forms by Cuba, China, and, of course, the Soviet Union. But who developed the underlying tenets of Communism? Why has this form of government not been adopted more widely by Western nations?

11 min
American Civil Rights: A 100-Year Journey

16: American Civil Rights: A 100-Year Journey

Most Americans are aware of the important roles that Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., bus boycotts, and school desegregation played in the American civil rights movement. But how many of us are also familiar with the effects of the Constitution’s commerce clause, partisan politics, and even the tragic killing of President John F. Kennedy?

13 min
What is Gravity?

17: What is Gravity?

What goes up must come down, right? We’ve heard that old saying many times throughout our lives. But as it turns out, gravity isn’t quite so simple.

20 min
What is Skepticism?

18: What is Skepticism?

What does it mean to be a “skeptic”? While it can sometimes mean to be critical of dubious claims, like miracle cures and fad diets, it also refers to a philosophical belief that some knowledge can’t be attained. For example, how do we know the world is real? Are my eyes showing me an accurate representation of what’s around me?

12 min
A History of Political Corruption in America

19: A History of Political Corruption in America

Political corruption exists to serve one, versus all—it subverts the very purpose of government and creates distrust of elected officials. Corrupt politicians manipulate the economy, unfairly reward those loyal to them, and even murder those who stand in their way.

13 min
What is Time?

20: What is Time?

eople have always kept a close eye on the time. First, we looked to the heavenly bodies, and now we look at digital displays. While our methods of timekeeping have gotten more sophisticated, the question remains: What exactly is time?

17 min
Charles Darwin: The Father of Evolution

21: Charles Darwin: The Father of Evolution

Charles Darwin’s contributions to the science of evolution are impossible to overstate. His theory that all species of life on Earth descend from common ancestors is one of the most fundamental beliefs in science—and one of the most frequently misunderstood.

11 min
Explore Egypt’s Great Pyramid

22: Explore Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Did you know that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the last of the Seven Wonders that still stands? Built over 4,000 years ago under the orders of the Egyptian king Khufu, it attracts tourists from all around the world and contains mysteries that scholars are still trying to solve.

13 min
Discovering DNA: The Blueprints of Life

23: Discovering DNA: The Blueprints of Life

DNA contains a genetic instruction manual for creating life. From eye color, to height, to the probability of getting certain diseases, it’s the reason hereditary traits are passed down through generations. Consider it the ultimate method of biological information storage.

12 min
Great Rebellions Around the World

24: Great Rebellions Around the World

We all love a good story about the underdog rising up and revolting against oppression. Well, there are a lot of those throughout history—but while some are tales of triumph, others are tales of caution and demise.

18 min
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

25: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

For almost a century, we’ve been intrigued and sometimes terrified by the big questions of artificial intelligence. Will computers ever become truly intelligent? Will the time come when machines can operate without human intervention? What would happen if a machine developed a conscience?

11 min
Quantum Physics Explained

26: Quantum Physics Explained

Light is everywhere—it allows us to interpret the world around us and is a crucial requirement for life on Earth. But what is light? This is a fundamental question of quantum physics, and even Einstein had difficulty wrapping his brain around it.

20 min
How to Manage Conflict Like a Pro

27: How to Manage Conflict Like a Pro

We all deal with conflict, whether it’s with loved ones or people who are … not so loved. Conflict is a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you need to flail your way through it.

15 min
In the Ashes of Pompeii

28: In the Ashes of Pompeii

The city of Pompeii was a prosperous hub of commerce by the time it was settled by the Romans in the year 80 B.C. Little did the Roman settlers know that their time in the city was going to be cut short by an unforeseen natural disaster.

12 min
Understanding the Big Bang

29: Understanding the Big Bang

The Big Bang is HUGE—it’s the theory that informs the origins of the entire universe. However, there’s a lot more to this theory than just that colossal explosion—it goes on to explain how the universe continues to expand, and even addresses the birth of new stars.

13 min
Four Fascinating Paradoxes

30: Four Fascinating Paradoxes

Paradoxes can be mind-bending, frustrating, or enjoyable puzzles to solve. Whether they come from the realm of time travel or everyday life, paradoxes can spur some of our deepest thinking and most perplexing views of the world around us.

15 min
Understanding the Industrial Revolution

31: Understanding the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a pivotal period in human history. It transformed the entire world as it reshaped social and political structures in ways that hadn’t been seen since the invention of agriculture.

18 min
Our Incredible Sun

32: Our Incredible Sun

As if giving us life isn’t enough, the Sun also puts on incredible solar shows like eclipses and flares that can trigger geomagnetic storms. It’s home to temperatures that we can’t comprehend, and it’s the biggest nuclear engine in our corner of the universe.

16 min