Podcast - Nobel Prize Talks

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Meet the Nobel Laureates and get insights into what gives them their drive and creativity. Discover what the they are passionate about in today's society and what it is really like being awarded the Nobel Prize. You are welcome to discuss the podcasts on Twitter using #NobelPrizeTalks and to give feedback by e-mail A newly recorded episode is released each Thursday.

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Episode #18 2014-04-11

18. Mario J. Molina. Chemistry, 1995.

The vast majority of experts agree that climate change is taking place and that human activity has a role to play. ”The risks are unacceptable”, says Mario Molina, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, who has chaired a new report on climate change. But the good news is that we can do something about it. In this conversation he talks about how they have worked with economists and professional communicators in order to clarify the message to the public and work towards a shift in public policy.

Play 49 min.

Episode #17 2014-04-04

17. Martin Chalfie. Chemistry, 2008.

As a student Martin Chalfie became convinced that science was not for him because he thought you had to be able to do everything by yourself. Now the 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry enjoys spreading news of the social, collaborative joy of science to new generations. In this conversation he discusses the beauty of the scientific field of touch, why failed experiments mean making progress, and how playing the guitar is linked to discovery.

Play 44 min.

Episode #16 2014-03-27

16. Elizabeth H. Blackburn. Physiology or Medicine, 2009.

People age biologically at very different rates, according to Elizabeth Blackburn. In this conversation the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine discusses how her scientific discoveries concerning telomeres transform the way we look upon aging, and as longevity increases over time, how we can look upon the elderly as a resource. She also encourages us to open our eyes to the beauty of nature, and explains why working with a mixture of people from diverse backgrounds is one key to scientific and creative success.

Play 49 min.

Episode #15 2014-03-20

15. Eric S. Maskin. Economic Sciences, 2007.

To master modeling is an art, says Eric Maskin. In this conversation recorded on location during a Nobel Media event in Rio de Janeiro, the 2007 Laureate in Economic Sciences explains how models can be applied to help tackle societal issues such as income inequality. He also talks about the beauty of mathematics, the importance of practicing his clarinet, and what it is like to live in Albert Einstein’s old house.

Play 41 min.

Episode #14 2014-03-13

14. Jody Williams. Peace, 1997.

She describes herself as "a grass roots activist". Jody Williams was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing organizations and countries together to ban the use of land mines. Her focus is on the future, working to prevent the development of killer robots and supporting those fighting injustice through the Nobel Women’s Initiative. In this conversation she talks about how working together facilitates change, and why men should not simply remain quiet in the battle against rape.

Play 49 min.

Episode #13 2014-03-06

13. Barry J. Marshall. Physiology or Medicine, 2005.

Something of a poster child for self-experimentation, Barry Marshall proved that peptic ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori by actually drinking down a dose of the bacteria himself. But how worried was he at the time? In this conversation the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine talks about his famous experiment, discusses risk-taking in science and suggests why your grandchildren will be smarter than you. He also reveals his skill with a yo-yo!

Play 49 min.

Episode #12 2014-02-27

12. Peter Agre. Chemistry, 2003.

The battle against malaria is a long and arduous one. Peter Agre, 2003 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, is part of the worldwide community committed to that fight. Speaking from a research institute in Zambia, he expands on the challenging state of global health, the promising shift towards an increasing number of women engaging in scientific research, and why scientists need to get involved in politics.

Play 45 min.

Episode #11 2014-02-20

11. Ada E. Yonath. Chemistry, 2009.

2014 is the International Year of Crystallography. A major contributor to the field is Ada Yonath, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. In this conversation she talks about her life as a scientist and her hardworking childhood where there was never a spare minute. Yonath also discusses the pressing need for the development of new antibiotics, and why she is more fond of facts than predictions.

Play 48 min.

Episode #10 2014-02-13

10. Craig Mello. Physiology or Medicine, 2006.

Fascination with the wondrous world of science is something that Craig Mello, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, enthusiastically likes to convey. In this conversation he talks about the wealth of fields and questions that are still waiting to be explored, how his daughter’s diabetes has helped him focus his research, and the sheer joy of kitesurfing.

Play 49 min.

Episode #9 2014-02-06

9. Robert J. Shiller. Economic Sciences, 2013.

Having predicted two financial bubbles, Robert Shiller has received much attention. In this conversation the 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences talks about the need to prevent increasing economic inequality, and how he believes artificial intelligence will transform our lives completely in the future. Shiller also discusses how he teaches an online course to more than 100 000 students, and why the news media seems to love that word 'bubble'.

Play 49 min.

Episode #8 2014-01-30

8. Lars Peter Hansen. Economic Sciences, 2013.

He calls himself a late bloomer. Lars Peter Hansen, 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences, thinks there is too much pressure on young people to get into the ”right” elite schools, when opportunities can actually be found in many places. In this conversation he also talks about the importance of uncertainty and why he does some of his best thinking in the shower, or while skiing.

Play 43 min.

Episode #7 2014-01-23

7. Eugene F. Fama. Economic Sciences, 2013.

Eugene Fama, 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences, was the first in his family to go to college. The initial plan was to be a teacher in Romance languages and a sports coach. But then he went to a lecture in Economics and everything changed. Today he is considered to be the father of modern Finance. In this conversation he talks about the exceptionally creative climate at the University of Chicago, and why he finds it beneficial to work weekends.

Play 45 min.

Episode #6 2014-01-16

6. Michael Levitt. Chemistry, 2013.

Computers and programming are a good fit for Michael Levitt's ”geeky” personality, as he himself describes it. In this conversation, the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry talks about the ever increasing computerization of the world, why you should support immigration if you want to support science, and how important it is to believe in yourself and be stubborn.

Play 40 min.

Episode #5 2014-01-09

5. Thomas Südhof. Physiology or Medicine, 2013.

"Are you serious?" Listen to Thomas Südhof's first reaction when he hears that he has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In this conversation he also talks about the importance of classical music for his scientific achievements, the role of collaboration, and why he thinks there are way too many rules in the education system.

Play 44 min.

Episode #4 2013-12-19

4. Martin Karplus. Chemistry, 2013.

Photography, ornithology and computer modeling are all fields that Martin Karplus, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, excels in. In this interview he talks about how these passions are connected, and why it is important to trust your intuition in scientific problem solving - a lesson he learned from another Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling.

Play 45 min.

Episode #3 2013-12-12

3. Randy W. Schekman. Physiology or Medicine 2013.

Passion is essential to Randy W. Schekman, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Here he lays out his thoughts on why scientific publications should be available to everyone for free, an open access view that has recently caused quite a stir. He also explains why he always tries to avoid competition!

Play 43 min.

Episode #2 2013-12-05

2. Alice Munro. Literature 2013.

Canadian writer Alice Munro, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Literature, has been lauded as a 'master of the contemporary short story'. Meet her in a talk about happiness and melancholy, the intense relationship she has with her stories, and how writing and life are intertwined.

Play 45 min.

Episode #1 2013-11-28

1. James E. Rothman. Physiology or Medicine 2013.

For James Rothman, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, science is a very emotional and social thing. Hear him talk about the importance of public funding for basic research, why you shouldn't worry too much about having a career and where he does his best thinking.

Play 42 min.