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RS 212 - Ed Boyden on “How to invent game-changing technologies”

Release date: July 8th, 2018

Ed Boyden

This episode features neuroscientist Ed Boyden discussing two inventions of his that have revolutionized neuroscience: optogenetics and expansion microscopy. Ed and Julia talk about Ed's approach to coming up with good ideas, why he prefers reading old science to new science, his big-picture plan for what he wants to solve in his career, and his take on the rationalist versus Hayekian debate over how to make important progress.


Ed's Research: Synthetic Neurobiology Group

Ed's Pick: "Time, Love, Memory" by Jonathan Weiner

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science


Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (6)

Wow, I'm really impressed with the human brain now. I knew that the brain had a lot of as of yet unknown complexity, but this RSPC episode really astounds me.

Actually it surprises me that humans have about 1000X the number of neurons as mice. I expected a much, much lower multiple. Honestly, I know a fair number of humans not too much brighter than a mouse.

Ed Boyden's success helps prove the value of a providing all scientists with a solid background education in hard science and mathematics.
July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
Fantastic episode. It's nice to hear accomplished people explain their process.

When you ask about the "Hayekian, or Michael Polanyian approach" it reminded me of the folks over at 80,000 hours. I've been meaning to thank you for introducing my friends and I, too so many fantastic thinkers and organizations like 80k hours. The way I approach discussions, planning, and thinking is radically different since I started listening regularly.

Love the show!
July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Hamra
Just found your youtube channel, you're beautiful and intelligent.

I'm gonna binge listen to these podcasts, I love these types of podcasts.

Ps, Why'd you stop uploading to youtube?
July 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLegendofVII
A really good article. I've been following your blog for a long time. You have excellent writings. I hope you will not leave this way. Can I share this article?
July 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterArthur

Thank you for the podcast. Could you please provide a link to the Aaron Swartz article you mentioned in the show?
July 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEli Loehrke
When everyone started talking about simulating C. elegans I was reminded of the crazy high fidelity simulation that is going on at the open worm project -- is their url I believe.
September 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKeira Luna

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