A second doesn’t always feel like a second—time can seem to slow down if you’re riding a death-defying roller coaster, or speed up while you’re having a night out on the town. But just what’s going on inside our heads to skew our perception of time?
What makes Mona Lisa’s smile so intriguing? What makes Picasso’s portraits so compelling? Kurt Andersen hosts artists Chuck Close and Devorah Sperber, with neuroscientists Margaret Livingstone, Chris Tyler and Ken Nakayama, as they examine the power of brain imaging technology to illuminate how we perceive the most intimate yet public of features, the human face.
Does God exist? Could our universe be a simulation? Watch WSF co-founder Brian Greene and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in a lively discussion on philosophical ideas of atheism, science and religion.
Immanuel Kant, who coined the term genius in the 1700s, defined it as the rare capacity to independently understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person. Since then, the spectrum of abilities that we call genius has widened, but pivotal questions remain: What exactly is genius?
What are scientists looking for when searching for alien life? A lot, it turns out: the search for extraterrestrials requires the help from astronomers, planetary scientists, chemists, computer scientists, and geneticists, just to name a few. But are we barking up the wrong carbon-based tree?
What does fear smell like? Love? Can we use scent to control behavior? Do humans really sense pheromones? What if you could diagnose diseases just by smelling them? And exactly how does our brain convert floating organic molecules into chemical signals that our brain processes as odor?
Sexuality and gender play a profound role in shaping identity, but for much of human history how they are determined has remained obscure. How does sexual orientation develop? What is it? Can it be changed?
When no one is looking, a particle has near limitless potential: it can be nearly anywhere. But measure it, and the particle snaps to one position. How do subatomic objects shed their quantum weirdness?