Sloan Scholar, Fulbright Fellow, Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience, Jim Fallon looks at the way nature and nurture intermingle to wire up the human brain.
In 1992, Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to go into space. She's become a crusader for science education -- and for a new vision of learning that combines arts and sciences, intuition and logic.
Oxford professor Richard Dawkins has helped steer evolutionary science into the 21st century, and his concept of the "meme" contextualized the spread of ideas in the information age. In recent years, his devastating critique of religion has made him a leading figure in the New Atheism.
Spencer Wells studies human diversity -- the process by which humanity, which springs from a single common source, has become so astonishingly diverse and widespread.
Susan Blackmore studies memes -- those self-replicating "life forms" that spread themselves via human consciousness. We're now headed, she believes, toward a new form of meme, spread by the technology we've created.
"Science Bob" Pflugfelder encourages kids to explore the world of science. He has appeared on shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "Live With Kelly and Michael."
Mechanical engineer Amy Smith's approach to problem-solving in developing nations is refreshingly common-sense: Invent cheap, low-tech devices that use local resources, so communities can reproduce her efforts and ultimately help themselves.
Prof. Arthur Mutambara is the Managing Director of Africa Technology & Business Institute (ATBI), a professional and advisory services firm operating in 13 African countries.
Aubrey de Grey, British researcher on aging, claims he has drawn a roadmap to defeat biological aging. He provocatively proposes that the first human beings who will live to 1,000 years old have already been born.
Beau Lotto is founder of Lottolab, a hybrid art studio and science lab. With glowing, interactive sculpture -- and good, old-fashioned peer-reviewed research -- he's illuminating the mysteries of the brain's visual system.
Bonnie Bassler studies how bacteria can communicate with one another, through chemical signals, to act as a unit. Her work could pave the way for new, more potent medicine.
Brian Swette has more than 25 years of international marketing, strategy, and general management experience helping consumer-oriented companies scale their business.
Caleb Chung dreams up toys that interact with children. He's the inventor of Furby, a talking (and listening) robotic furball that sold some 50 million units in the late '90s. His newest plaything: Pleo the adorable robot dinosaur.
As a botanist at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Congo basin, Corneille Ewango has faced down poachers and soldiers who threaten this delicate and vital ecosystem.
Philosopher and scientist Dan Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes and are not what we traditionally think they are. His 2003 book Freedom Evolves explores the way our brains have evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's Breaking the Spell examines religious belief through the lens of biology.
David Damberger's work with Engineers Without Borders has taken him from communities in India to Southern Africa where he ran development and infrastructure programs.
David Deutsch's 1997 book The Fabric of Reality laid the groundwork for an all-encompassing Theory of Everything, and galvanized interest in the idea of a quantum computer, which could solve problems of hitherto unimaginable complexity.
David Keith studies our climate, and the many ideas we've come up with to fix it. A wildly original thinker, he challenges us to look at climate solutions that may seem daring, sometimes even shocking.
Dennis Hong is an Associate Professor and the Director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech.
Dorothy Shore Zinberg is a Lecturer in Public Policy and a Faculty Associate in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Eugene Arthurs is currently Executive Director of SPIE -- The International Society for Optical Engineering, a not for profit organization with an international membership of 16,000.
Biologist E.O. Wilson explores the world of ants and other tiny creatures, and writes movingly about the way all creatures great and small are interdependent.
As the CEO of MIT-inspired WiTricity, Eric Giler has a plan to beam electric power through the air to wirelessly power your laptop or recharge your car. You may never plug in again.
With Freeman Dyson's astonishing forecasts for the future, it's hard to tell where science ends and science fiction begins. But far from being a wild-eyed visionary, Dyson is a clear and sober thinker -- and one not afraid of controversy or heresy.
Garik Israelian's stargazing on the Canary Islands has led to high-profile discoveries about space's big disasters -- including the first evidence that supernova explosions make black holes.
Physicist Garrett Lisi has proposed a new "theory of everything" -- a grand unified theory that explains all the elementary particles, as well as gravity.
Physicist Geoffrey West believes that complex systems from organisms to cities are in many ways governed by simple laws -- laws that can be discovered and analyzed.
In his legendary career in chemistry, George Whitesides has been a pioneer in microfabrication and nanoscale self-assembly. Now, he's fabbing a diagnostic lab on a chip.
Half performance artist, half software engineer, Golan Levin manipulates the computer to create improvised soundscapes with dazzling corresponding visuals. He is at the forefront of defining new parameters for art.
A world-renowned engineer and inventor, Graham Hawkes wants to revolutionize the way we experience the oceans. He created the Deep Flight series of winged submersibles, which "fly" to the depths of the oceans with the power and elegance of an airplane.
My research is concerned with the three-dimensional structures of proteins and their biochemical functions. Most of my work is done in collaboration with Prof. Dagmar Ringe; we share facilities, students, and a number of projects.
Hod Lipson works at the intersection of engineering and biology, studying robots and the way they "behave" and evolve. His work has exciting implications for design and manufacturing -- and serves as a window to understand our own behavior and evolution.
Veterinarian, dog trainer and animal behaviorist Ian Dunbar understands our pets' point of view. By training dog owners in proper conduct (as much as he trains the dogs themselves), he hopes to encourage better relationships with dogs -- not to mention their friends and children, too.
A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can inspire humanity.
Jessica Green wants people to understand the important role microbes play in every facet of our lives: climate change, building ecosystems, human health -- even roller derby.
SETI's Jill Tarter has devoted her career to hunting for signs of sentient beings elsewhere, and almost all aspects of this field have been affected by her work.
Joel Levine studies the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, looking at their origin, evolution, structure and chemistry and climate change. He's the principal investigator of the proposed ARES Mars Airplane Mission.
THE most important writer of interludes, at the period when they were merging into comedy, was John Heywood, choir boy at the Chapel Royal in London, and at one time connected with the production of plays at the court of Henry VII.
John P. Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, as well as President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center.
Currently, Kevin J. Scanlon is using his academic and business experience to mentor creative scientific ideas with good business practices to generate novel medical products
Kevin Surace is looking at the climate crisis from an engineer's perspective -- and creating products that prove there's no piece of our daily lives we can't redesign to be cleaner and greener.
Kwabena Boahen wants to understand how brains work -- and to build a computer that works like the brain by reverse-engineering the nervous system. His group at Stanford is developing Neurogrid, a hardware platform that will emulate the cortex's inner workings.
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist, working mainly in the field of quantum gravity. He's a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, and the author of The Trouble With Physics.
Oxford's newest science ambassador Marcus du Sautoy is also author of The Times' Sexy Maths column. He'll take you footballing with prime numbers, whopping symmetry groups, higher dimensions and other brow-furrowers.
Our work in suspended animation derives from the fact that many animals exhibit what we call "metabolic flexibility," the ability to dial down their respiration and heartbeat and, in effect, "turn themselves off" in response to physical or environmental stress.
Marvin Minsky is Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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