Who cares? What's the point?
About This Show
Who Cares? What’s the Point? The podcast about the mind for people who think.
We have so many talented researchers around the globe, all trying to understand the psychology of how the mind works and how we can harness its full potential for the benefit of ourselves, the people around us and the planet.
But, because of the way the science system works we have ended up with a gigantic amount of untapped knowledge about how the mind and brain works, that sits unused in dusty journals on University library shelves - because very few people read them.
Partly this is down to access – more often than not, you have to pay to read these. But partly its because, well, why would you bother? They tend to be dry, soulless publications, written by academics for academics.
This podcasts changes that.
When I was a PhD student, one of the slides me and a few of my fellow students included in every presentation we did said this; 'Who cares? What's the point?" This encouraged us to really double down and focus on why anyone should care about the research we were doing.
This podcast will do the same thing.
I will track down cutting edge researchers from around the globe publishing thought-provoking, and potentially game changing research about why we behave the way we do. I will invite them to tell us briefly about their research, and then I will prompt them to answer those two questions – who cares? And what’s the point, focusing on the possible implications of their work. This way, you get to hear stories about how the brain works, without putting your mind to sleep.
Most Recent Episode
WCWTPs2e1 Is human language underpinned by how we came to use gestures to communicate?
5 days ago
Welcome to Season 2, Episode 1 of the show. Who cares? What's the point? The podcast about the mind for people who think. If you're a regular listener - welcome back. We have some great shows lined up. If you're new to the show, welcome to you too. Please check out the shows in Season 1 - I hope you'll find some interesting conversation in the 10 shows we have in our back catalogue. If you do enjoy this episode, and would like to support the show, you can do that in a few ways: You can donate the cost of a cup of coffee at tinuurl.com/wcwtp until March 17, 2017. This helps me to meet some of the hosting costs for the shoe and to help develop the show a little further. You can also leave a review on iTunes - that really helps others to find the show. In this episode, I talk with Emeritus Professor Michael Corballis, who is based at the university of Auckland in New Zealand. Professor Corballis is an internationally acclaimed scholar and one of his most recent accolades is the ward of the Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand. In this conversation, we focus particular on Michael's ideas about how gestures may have been the precursors for spoken language development in humans. Here is the link to the paper we talk about in this week's show: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11245-016-9418-8 Here is the abstract for some context: One view of language is that it emerged in a single step in Homo sapiens, and depended on a radical transformation of human thought, involving symbolic representations and computational rules for combining them. I argue instead that language should be viewed as a communication system for the sharing of thoughts, and that thought processes themselves evolved well before the capacity to share them. One property often considered unique to language is generativity—the capacity to generate a potentially infinite variety of sentences. I suggest that generativity is derived from the understanding of space and the capacity to recall or construct spatiotemporal scenarios, and probably goes far back in the evolution of animals that move in spatial habitats. Another property essential to language is theory of mind, the ability to understand what others are thinking, which probably emerged from animal empathy and became more complex in hominin evolution. Language evolved for the shari