invention | WAMC

invention

John Browne trained as an engineer, was CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007, and remains an influential leader in the energy business. He is chairman of the Crick Institute, a fellow of the Royal Society and the US Academy of Arts and Sciences, former president of the Royal Academy of Engineering and former chairman of Tate.

Today's unprecedented pace of change leaves many people wondering what new technologies are doing to our lives. In "Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilization," John Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilization is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all.

Safi Bahcall received his BA summa cum laude in physics from Harvard and his PhD from Stanford. After working for three years as a consultant for McKinsey, he co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama's council of science advisors (PCAST) on the future of national research.

In "Loonshots," Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

The Norman Rockwell Museum presents "The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg," an exhibition exploring the humorous illustrations of the visionary artist, who has become famous for the creative inventions bearing his name. The exhibit opens tomorrow and runs through June 9th.

The exhibition will offer a revealing look at Goldberg’s creativity through original comic strips from the 1930s, where the artist created his complicated machines, as well as later political cartoons and instructional materials from the Famous Artists School, which are now part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell Museum Curator of Exhibitions Jesse Kowalski, organized the exhibition and joins us this morning as does Steve Gerberich, a mechanical sculptor inspired by Goldberg, who will talk about his process at tomorrow’s opening, followed by a “make and take” art workshop, where he will lead participants in the creation of their own Rube Goldberg Machines.

Simon Winchester has taken on subjects as diverse as the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. His latest, “The Perfectionists,” traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement: precision.

Former Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen was among the earliest to write about the dangers that the Internet poses to our culture and society. His 2007 book "The Cult of the Amateur" was critical in helping advance the conversation around the Internet, which has now morphed from a tool providing efficiencies and opportunities for consumers and business to an elemental force that is profoundly reshaping our societies and our world.

In his new book, "How to Fix the Future," Keen focuses on what we can do about this seemingly intractable situation. Looking to the past to learn how we might change our future, he describes how societies tamed the excesses of the Industrial Revolution, which, like its digital counterpart, demolished long-standing models of living, ruined harmonious environments, and altered the business world beyond recognition.

Capitalism has been a fundamental part of the American story from the very beginning, when the country became a place for people to dream, invent, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life.

In the new book, Americana, author Bhu Srinivasan explores four hundred years of the American spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things—the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward—from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, and radio to banking, flight, suburbia, and cellphones.

Bhu Srinivasan is a media entrepreneur whose career has spanned digital media, pop culture, technology, publishing, and financial content. 

Best-selling author Steven Johnson joins us to make the case that play is a profound driver of future invention.

His new book Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World explores how pursuits born from wonder and delight have led to essential breakthroughs in computing, communication and connecting the world.

  Scott Woolley's new book, The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age is the origin story of the airwaves - the foundational technology of the communications age - as told through the forty-year friendship of an entrepreneurial industrialist and a brilliant inventor.

  In 2014 in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute partnered with the Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation to establish The Seymour Fox Lecture and Prize for Biotechnology Innovation.

Now in its second year, it is a local high school academic competition focused on pairing innovative ideas of local students with the resources available at Rensselaer’s CBIS, to improve life through biotechnology.

The submission deadline is February 1 and we are joined now by Dr. Glenn Monastersky to tell us more. Dr. Monastersky is a Professor of Practice in Biomedical Engineering at RPI and is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Rensselaer Center for Stem Cell Research.

  Two-time Pulitzer winner, New York Times-bestselling author, and master historian David McCullough brings to life two of the most iconic figures in American history in his new book, The Wright Brothers.

Regarded by many in their times as mere “bicycle mechanics,” Wilbur and Orville Wright were in reality self-taught geniuses of truly exceptional capacity of mind, pioneering scientific explorers, and the men who taught the world how to fly.

  Two-time Pulitzer winner, New York Times-bestselling author, and master historian David McCullough brings to life two of the most iconic figures in American history in his new book, The Wright Brothers.

Regarded by many in their times as mere “bicycle mechanics,” Wilbur and Orville Wright were in reality self-taught geniuses of truly exceptional capacity of mind, pioneering scientific explorers, and the men who taught the world how to fly.

David McCullough won Pulitzers for his biographies, Truman and John Adams. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

This is an “Off the Shelf” edition of the Book Show in partnership with Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY and recorded before a live audience.

  In his new book, The Wright Brothers, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

Falling Upward: How we took to the Air, tells the story of the enigmatic group of men and women who first risked their lives to take to the air- and so discovered a new dimension of human experience.

Why they did it, whether contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet and holy unexpected ways is it unique subject. Richard Holmes joins us.

    What would today’s technology look like with Victorian-era design and materials? That’s the world steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions powered by steam and driven by gears.

In this book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.