Lecture: Quantum Man

In this video, physicist Lawrence Krauss speaks at a CERN Colloquium. Dr. Krauss’s topic is the charismatic genius physicist, Richard Feynman, and this lecture builds on the subject matter of Krauss’s 2011 book, Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science. Audience questions follow.

Lecture date: September 29, 2011.
Suggested viewing: The Feynman Series.

Lecture: What if We Lost the Cheetah?

In this video, CCF founder and executive director, Laurie Marker, provides an overview of cheetah conservation. She explains how innovative solutions are regularly developed in order to meet conservation goals. Since Dr. Marker’s 2013 address (above), a particularly concerning study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Dec. 27, 2016), reporting a global decline in cheetah numbers:

“Here, we show that the global [cheetah] population is estimated at ∼7,100 individuals and confined to 9% of its historical distributional range… Susceptibility of cheetah to rapid decline is evidenced by recent rapid contraction in range, supporting an uplisting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List threat assessment to endangered” (Durant et al. 2016).

As of Jan. 22, 2017, Acinonyx jubatus’ IUCN threat status remains at Vulnerable (VU).

Additional resources:
– Cheetahs on the Edge — Director’s Cut.
– A Future for Cheetahs.
Cheetah EOL profile.
Dr. Marker’s PhD thesis (Oxford citation).

Lecture: The Oath of Plataea

Historian Paul Cartledge expands on the material in his book, After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (part of OUP’s Emblems of Antiquity series). He situates the Battle of Plataea within its historical and cultural context, explaining the complex political climate of the times.

Lecture date: November 12, 2013.
Further reading: After Thermopylae.

Lecture: Language, Creativity, and the Limits of Understanding

Linguist Noam Chomsky addresses the Galilean challenge in the context of the evolved language capacity, and distinct language abilities, of humans. He also offers critical reflections on current trends in linguistic and cognitive academic research. Audience questions follow.

Lecture date: April 21, 2016.
Additional video: Keio University Linguistic Colloquium.
Further reading:
– Evolution, Brain, and the Nature of Language.
– The Language Capacity: Architecture and Evolution.
– How Could Language Have Evolved?.

Lecture: Evolutionary Genetics and Animal Development

In this lecture at Case Western Reserve University, biologist Sean B. Carroll focuses on the genetic aspects of evolutionary science. To illustrate the key themes of this field of research, Dr. Carroll presents fascinating examples of environment-driven animal development. He also discusses the general significance of fossil genes. This event was organised as part of Case’s Year of Darwin series. Audience questions follow.

Lecture date: September 11, 2008.
Suggested reading: The Making of the Fittest.

Lecture: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Biologist Sean B. Carroll reiterates the exceptional scientific contributions of Charles Darwin, and explains how Darwin’s insights remain relevant to modern biology. Addressing students at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dr. Carroll sets the tone for the institute’s Constant Change and Common Threads lecture series by explaining the key mechanisms of evolution. Audience questions are taken at different intervals throughout the presentation.

Lecture date: November 29, 2005.
Suggested reading: Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

Lecture: Hominid Paleobiology, and the Origin of Modern Humans

Paleoanthropologist Tim D. White delivers a detailed lecture at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, highlighting the plethora of evidence for human evolution, as discovered in the fossil record. Dr. White also explains how specialist science teams target, gather, assess, and ultimately publish this evidence. Audience questions follow.

Lecture date: October 6/7, 2011.
Recommended resource: The Human Bone Manual.

The Finer Details of Evolutionary Psychology

In this video, biologist Richard Dawkins interviews cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. The two scientists discuss evolutionary psychology, language development, selfish gene theory, and more. This interview is a full uncut version of that which featured in the documentary, The Genius of Charles Darwin (2008).

Interview date: c. Early 2008.
Suggested viewing: The Genius of Charles Darwin (full documentary).