02/27/2015

Which Scientific Ideas Must Die?

17:17 minutes

Whether it’s the four bodily humors, the geocentric universe, or the steady state theory, sometimes an old idea has to die before new science can flourish. (Just ask Copernicus.) A new anthology edited by Edge.org’s John Brockman aims to speed that process along by asking scientists and big thinkers which scientific concepts they’d target for extinction. Ira talks with two contributors to This Idea Must Die—theoretical physicist Sean Carroll and quantum mechanic Seth Lloyd— about the ideas they’d like to give a good shove out the door. Read an excerpt from the book here, and vote for which ideas you think should die.

Segment Guests

Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a cosmologist and physics professor specializing in dark energy and general relativity. He is a research professor in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His latest book is The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. (Dutton, 2016) He’s based in Los Angeles, California.

Seth Lloyd

Seth Lloyd is a professor of quantum mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Meet the Producer

About Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is a producer for Science Friday. She’s visited Olympic ski jumps and a nuclear reactor, all in the name of science.

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