Steven Strogatz Talks Science and Math With Leading Minds
In The Joy of x, a new podcast from Quanta Magazine, the celebrated mathematician and author Steven Strogatz holds intimate, lively conversations with top scientists about their discoveries and the inspirations, frustrations and pleasures along the way. In each episode, Strogatz shares with listeners his passion for scientific inquiry — as one scientist genuinely interested in the inner world of another.
The topics of conversation range from the beginning of time, the power of black holes, the evolution of brains and behaviors, the mathematics of rigged elections, the nature of scientific evidence and how a former NFL player ended up pushing the boundaries of graph theory.
In a guest column today on Quanta Magazine, Strogatz explains how the podcast came to be and what he and the producers aspire to do with it:
Maybe you're wondering why we call this podcast The Joy of x... [We] feel that this is a show about different kinds of joy — the joy of discovery, the joy of curiosity, and the joy of being a scientist, to name a few. As in algebra, the letter x represents the unknown quantity, the solution we're seeking. But to us it connotes anything that sparks imagination and curiosity, anything that lies beyond the edge of what's known. In short, x stands for the scientific quest.
Upcoming episodes of The Joy of x will feature conversations with such great minds as astrophysicist Priya Natarajan, mathematical physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf, mathematical biologist Corina Tarnita, mathematician Alex Kontorovich, neurobiologist Leslie Vosshall, mathematician and retired NFL player John Urschel, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mathematician Tadashi Tokieda, neurobiologist Cori Bargmann, astrophysicist Brian Keating, mathematician Moon Duchin, mathematician Rebecca Goldin, and psychologist Brian Nosek.
You can find The Joy of x now (or very soon) on Apple Podcasts, Android, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcasting app, or you can stream it from Quanta. The first full episode will be posted on January 22nd, but you can subscribe today and download a short audio teaser about the conversations to come.