Explore the Nobel Prize Talks Podcast

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Podcast recording in Stockholm: Adam Smith in conversation with Muhammad Yunus.

Listen to the Nobel Laureates

Get to know the individuals that have been awarded the Nobel Prize a little bit better. What gives them their drive and creativity? Which future challenges are they passionate about and how do they think we should tackle them? And what do they think about the Nobel Prize? Explore these conversations with host Adam Smith.

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May-Britt Moser.

"In Love with Science"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
"We didn't care about salaries and having a nice car. We just cared about science and were really ambitious", says May-Britt Moser, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, when describing her partnership in life and work with co-Laureate Edvard Moser. In this conversation she talks about the pure joy of exploring the connection between behaviour and the brain, and also discusses gender inequality in science.

Released 2014-12-08

John O'Keefe.

"I'm a Bench Scientist"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
How does your life change when you're awarded the Nobel Prize? John O'Keefe, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, is just starting to find out. But he prefers relative anonymity and being in the lab: "If you take my equipment away from me, I might as well retire". In this conversation he talks about his early days in neuroscience, how he discovered the brain's 'place cells', and what the future of the field might hold.

Released 2014-11-21

Edvard I. Moser in the laboratory. Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU.

"It's a Big Boost for Science in Norway"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
Partners in both life and research, and now as Nobel Laureates, Edvard Moser and his wife May-Britt Moser were jointly awarded the 2014 Medicine Prize. In this conversation Edvard Moser talks about partnership, Norwegian research, and childhood memories: "I was interested in everything, from dinosaurs to relativity theory".

Released 2014-11-07

2014 Nobel Laureates

2014 Special: Hear All the New Nobel Laureates' First Reactions to the News

How would you react if someone told you that you had been awarded the Nobel Prize? Meet all 13 of 2014's new Nobel Laureates and hear their initial thoughts in this special edition of the Nobel Prize Talks podcast.

Released 2014-10-24

Bruce Beutler

"I Wanted to Be Sure It Was Really True"

Physiology or Medicine, 2011
Imagine deciding what you want to do with your life by age seven or eight, being certain that you will succeed, and then having that vocation propel you to the point when you eventually receive the news that you've been awarded the Nobel Prize. That was Medicine Laureate Bruce Beutler's scientific path.

Released 2014-06-19

Tim Hunt

"If We Really Understood Things, There Would Be No Sense of Discovery"

Physiology or Medicine, 2001
Tim Hunt looks upon biology in much the same way as life: in many cases we don't really have a clue what's going on, but we can try to learn more by playing around. Here, he discusses his passion for science, and his talent for spotting good problems and asking good questions.

Released 2014-06-12

Eric Kandel

"The Artist Is a Scientist"

Physiology or Medicine, 2000
Eric Kandel sees the divide between art and science as artificial. In this episode he discusses his exploration of learning and memory and how the fields neuroscience, psychology and art are all interrelated. He also talks about his childhood experiences of antisemitism in Vienna.

Released 2014-06-05

Muhammad Yunus

"We Can Not Just Take It Lightly"

Peace, 2006
Rather than ask whether people are 'creditworthy', should we ask whether banks are 'peopleworthy'? Muhammad Yunus sees a capitalist system where the rich get richer while large parts of the world's population live under difficult conditions.

Released 2014-05-28

John Mather

"Are We the Only Ones Here in the Universe?"

Physics, 2006
Is there life on Mars? NASA researcher John Mather believes that where there's water, there's likely to be life. And he thinks that the chances of finding water on Mars are high - so reasons that signs of life on the planet may well be found, and during our lifetime too.

Released 2014-05-22

George Smoot

"There Was a Time When the Universe Was Incredibly Much Smaller"

Physics, 2006
How big is the universe? And how do you stay grounded when working in the mind-bending field of cosmology? In this conversation George Smoot talks about how science today is a truly global enterprise.

Released 2014-05-09

Robin Warren

"It Was Like in the Middle Ages, Everybody Knew the Earth Was Flat"

Physiology or Medicine, 2005
What you see depends on what you look for, and if you really open your eyes, something new may come into view. That was the case for Robin Warren when he recognized bacteria living in the stomach.

Released 2014-05-02

Roger Kornberg

"Most of Our Ideas, Certainly Most of Mine, Are Wrong"

Chemistry, 2006
In this conversation Roger Kornberg discusses the importance of language, the benefits of frequent failure, and how he developed the art of focusing deeply on a problem.

Released 2014-04-24

Mario Molina

"It Is Already Happening"

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, who has chaired a new report on climate change. But the good news is that we can do something about it.

Released 2014-04-11

Martin Chalfie

"I Like Promoting Science"

Chemistry, 2008
As a student Martin Chalfie became convinced that science was not for him. Now he enjoys spreading news of the social, collaborative joy of science to new generations. Here, he discusses the beauty of the scientific field of touch and why failed experiments mean making progress.

Released 2014-04-04

Elizabeth Blackburn

"We Just Know So Much and Yet We Know So Little"

Physiology or Medicine, 2009
People age biologically at very different rates, according to Elizabeth Blackburn. Here, she 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.

Released 2014-03-27

Eric Maskin

"Einstein Was Always One of My Heroes"

Economic Sciences, 2007
To master modeling is an art, says Eric Maskin. In this conversation, he 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.

Released 2014-03-20

Jody Williams

"A Grass Roots Activist"

Peace, 1997
Jody Williams focus on the future, working to prevent the development of killer robots and supporting those fighting injustice through the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Here she talks about how working together facilitates change, and why men should not simply remain quiet in the battle against rape.

Released 2014-03-13

Barry Marshall

"I Just Did It"

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. Hear him talk about his famous experiment and discuss risk-taking in science.

Released 2014-03-06

Peter Agre

"It’s A Curious Disease"

Chemistry, 2003
The battle against malaria is a long and arduous one. Peter Agre 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 and why scientists need to get involved in politics.

Released 2014-02-27

Ada Yonath

"There Was a Time in My Life when I Made 2 000 Sandwiches a Day"

Chemistry, 2009
2014 is the International Year of Crystallography. A major contributor to the field is Ada Yonath. In this conversation she talks about her life as a scientist and her hardworking childhood where there was never a spare minute.

Released 2014-02-20

Craig Mello

"We Have Such A Wealth of Unanswered Questions"

Physiology or Medicine, 2006
Fascination with the wondrous world of science is something that Craig Mello 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.

Released 2014-02-13

Robert Shiller

"I Think These Two Bubbles Will Be Forgotten"

Economic Sciences, 2013
Having predicted two financial bubbles, Robert Shiller has received much attention. In this conversation he talks about the need to prevent increasing economic inequality, and how he believes artificial intelligence will transform our lives completely in the future.

Released 2014-02-06

Lars Peter Hansen

"There Are Good Opportunities in Many Places"

Economic Sciences, 2013
He calls himself a late bloomer. Lars Peter Hansen 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.

Released 2014-01-30

Eugene Fama

"I Think All Sorts of Research in the End Helps Humanity"

Economic Sciences, 2013
Eugene Fama 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.

Released 2014-01-23

Michael Levitt

"We Benefited Very Much from The Computerization of the World"

Chemistry, 2013
Computers and programming are a good fit for Michael Levitt's ”geeky” personality, as he himself describes it. In this conversation, he 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.

Released 2014-01-16

Thomas Südhof

"In Order to Think Out of the Box, You Need to Have a Box in the First Place"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
"Are you serious?" Listen to Thomas Südhof's first reaction when he hears that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize. 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.

Released 2014-01-09

Martin Karplus

"I Always Enjoyed Things around Me"

Chemistry, 2013
Photography, ornithology and computer modeling are all fields that Martin Karplus 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.

Released 2013-12-19

Randy W. Schekman

"I Think many Would Have that Passion if They Could Find It"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
Passion is essential to Randy W. Schekman. 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!

Released 2013-12-12

Alice Munro, © shapton 09

"Bewildering But Very Pleasant"

Literature, 2013
Canadian writer Alice Munro 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.

Released 2013-12-05

James E. Rothman

"My Switch to Biology Occurred within One Hour"

Physiology or Medicine, 2013
For James Rothman 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.

Released 2013-11-26