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“Because it’s there” was George Mallory’s famous explanation for why he risked (and lost) his life trying to become the first person to summit Everest. We don’t all want to climb Everest, but we all, to some degree, take risks. Why does this behavior survive natural selection? What’s going on in our brains when we put ourselves in danger? Is there a line between courageous and crazy? In search of answers, we bring together extreme risk takers and the scientists who study them. What can we learn from people who BASE jump from buildings, climb cliffs without ropes, or leap into danger to save a stranger? Join us for an exhilarating adventure—all from the safety of your seat.
This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
Cynthia Thomson completed her PhD in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. Her graduate research centered on gaining a better understanding of high-risk sport participation, a topic largely inspired by time spent between degrees living in the Canadian Rockies.Read More
Dr. Omer Mei-Dan is an Orthopedic Sports and Trauma Surgeon. Originally from Israel, he has also trained and practiced medicine in Spain, New Zealand, and Australia, prior to establishing the Hip Preservation Service with the University of Colorado School of Medicine.Read More
When he isn’t saving strangers from certain death, Chad Lindsey is an actor, director, and artist based in New York. He is the co-artistic director of Hook & Eye Theater, helms The Mark O’Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center in downtown Brooklyn–a modern black-box theater, dance, film and rehearsal space.Read More
David Sloan Wilson is one of the world’s foremost evolutionary thinkers and a gifted communicator about evolution to the general public. He is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University in New York and President of the Evolution Institute.Read More