Best Milestogo podcasts we could find (Updated February 2019)
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Join award-winning journalist Miles O’Brien as he explores developments in technology, science, aviation, space and the environment. A 35-year veteran of the news business, Miles is currently an independent producer, writer, and director for PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Frontline, and the National Science Foundation. An experienced pilot himself, he also serves as aviation analyst for CNN (And he does it all with one arm).
 
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Marvin Minsky is often regarded as the father of modern AI, but when Miles visited him in 2010, Minsky wasn’t a proud father. In fact, Minsky was disappointed with the lack of progress in the field and had reservations about its future. Unfortunately, Minsky is no longer with us and can’t answer our questions about machine learning and new robo ...…
 
How did our early solar system form? What are the origins of life? How likely are we to get hit by a dangerous asteroid? A daring NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx hopes to find the answers to these big questions at an asteroid named Bennu. This week, the spacecraft arrives at its destination. To learn more, Miles sits down with members of the OSI ...…
 
Jupiter has many moons, but none are quite like Europa: it has a thick crust of ice and a huge amount of liquid saltwater underneath its surface. In fact, many believe it’s the best place in the Solar System that we could find other lifeforms. To dive deeper into the mysteries of this icy world–and how we plan on exploring it–Miles sits down wi ...…
 
Hurricane Florence was a perfect example of how climate change supercharges extreme weather events. But climate change also affects us in other more subtle, interconnected, and difficult to manage ways. Thankfully, people like June Blotnick, Executive Director of environmental advocacy group Clean Air Carolina, are working on the ground to help ...…
 
Steve Squyres is the principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Program, which gave us the plucky and productive rovers Spirit and Opportunity. With the latter on life support and the former no longer with us, I spoke with him about his amazing run on Mars and what he’s working on now. It’s all out-of-this-world stuff.…
 
There are calls in the EPA and in Congress for the use of more transparent science. But what does that mean? Why do scientists seem united against these regulations? And what would it mean if they went into effect? In this special Hash it Out episode, Brian and Fedor talk to vocal opponent of science transparency regulations George D. Thurston, ...…
 
For more than three decades, behavioral biologist Denise Herzing has tracked and observed a pod of wild spotted dolphins that live in the warm clear waters of the Bahamas. She’s learned an awful lot about their behaviors and their communication–or is it a language? Denise has as good a chance as anyone to find out what the dolphins might be say ...…
 
Methane is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of gas: on one hand, it is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. On the other, if it leaks, methane itself is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In this special Hash It Out episode, Brian and Fedor go from 18th century Italian methane guns to present day Google Street View cars that snif ...…
 
For several years, environmental advocacy groups have been fighting to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos from agricultural use. A turnover in leadership at the EPA has led to a moment of indecision on what to do about the chemical. Robert Sapolsky is a neuroscientist who’s spent a long time assisting in the legal battle against chlorpyrifos. We di ...…
 
After years of exhaustive research linking the pesticide chlorpyrifos to a host of developmental and cognitive deficiencies in children, the EPA was poised to ban the chemical in November 2016. But something else happened that same month; the election of Donald Trump. As a result, this potent neurotoxin is still in use. Miriam Rotkin-Ellman is ...…
 
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not off in the distant future... in some ways it is already here. How is AI already changing our lives? Does it work independently of us or does it also have our all-too-human biases? After hashing out machine learning on Episode 19, Brian and Fedor sit down with Picasa founder and serial tech entrepreneur Lars P ...…
 
Communicating the science of climate change, with its overwhelming expert consensus, seems like it should be easy. However, a science-averse media and strong fossil fuel lobby make it exceedingly difficult. Climatologist Michael Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles have teamed up to put climate change in context in their new book, The Madhouse Effect: ...…
 
What is machine learning? How does it work? What are these artificially intelligent algorithms useful for? Considering they are used by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook and many other companies we interact with on a daily basis, what are the benefits and drawbacks? Thanks to a listener suggestion, we decided to delve deeper on the subject. Mil ...…
 
Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide. It is more short-lived than CO2 (about a decade as opposed a century), but it is 85 times more effective at warming. Robert Green is a world-renowned expert in spectroscopy, which is a great way to find methane on distant planets, but also ours, as I learned in this interview.…
 
In the final episode in our series on Junk News, some wisdom from one of the leading experts in the murky world of online misinformation. He also happens to be the producer of the series that we aired on the PBS NewsHour. Now he’s taking the software he wrote to Harvard, where they hope to find new ways to combat Junk News. I hope you enjoy thi ...…
 
Facebook was created for people to share family photos and memories. But as ads entered the mix, the platform was refined to hold our attention for as long as possible. Quality was not a consideration - until recently. But how to fix the junk news mess without editing it? Maybe Facebook needs a newsroom.…
 
The Internet was supposed to provide a utopian virtual world where all of us could come together in peace, love and harmony to better understand each other and our differing viewpoints… But we got derailed on the road to utopia, didn’t we? Eli Pariser, the man who coined the phrase “filter bubble”, knows as much about this as anyone. I hope you ...…
 
As Hawaii trembles with earthquakes and the Kilauea volcano continues to spew forth lava and gas, residents and the wider world watch and wonder: how long will this renewed activity continue? To find out, we turn to Mike Garcia, professor of geology at the University of Hawaii and funded by the National Science Foundation. He has been following ...…
 
Russian actors may have run an online disinformation campaign during the 2016 US presidential elections, but they likely learned their tactics from Americans. As part of our investigation, PBS NewsHour series producer Cameron Hickey tracked down one of these junk news pioneers, Cyrus Massoumi. He runs liberal and conservative junk news sites, w ...…
 
Russian actors may have run an online disinformation campaign during the 2016 US presidential elections, but they likely learned their tactics from Americans. As part of our investigation, PBS NewsHour series producer Cameron Hickey tracked down one of these junk news pioneers, Cyrus Massoumi. He runs liberal and conservative junk news sites, w ...…
 
Top US intelligence agencies agree that Russia meddled in the 2016 US Presidential election using an organized campaign of online trolling and misinformation. The details of exactly how are harder to uncover. Jonathan Albright, data journalist and Research Director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, studies information ...…
 
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has placed Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook at the center of the data privacy debate. But is Facebook’s ad-driven business model fundamentally incompatible with protecting users’ personal data? And, if so, what can be done to fix it? Miles O’Brien Productions team members Brian Truglio and Fedor Kossakovski hash it o ...…
 
The uncontained engine failure of Southwest flight 1380 reminds us once again that commercial aviation is a business that does not always put safety first - and regulators seem reluctant to change that. Jennifer Riordan’s death could have been avoided if only the FAA did not have a “Tombstone Mentality.” My guest on this special edition: former ...…
 
Long before Facebook, Twitter or even Google existed, the fact checking website Snopes.com was running down the half-truths, misinformation and outright lies that ricochet across the Internet. Today it remains a widely respected clearinghouse of all things factual and not. As part of my series for the PBS NewsHour on the rise and role of misinf ...…
 
How did the internet become a tangled web of misinformation? Miles speaks to danah boyd, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, founder of Data & Society, and Visiting Professor at New York University. boyd offers insight into the history of misinformation on the internet and the role social media plays in the proliferation of fake news. I ...…
 
Who or what determines what's in your Facebook Newsfeed? It's a complex algorithm that aims to put what interests you most at the top of the queue. Increasingly, Facebook is focused on trying to determine what content is fake, junk or misleading - and sending it to the bottom. But the purveyors of this content are a determined adversary. Miles ...…
 
Miles catches up with Astronaut Scott Kelly and learns about what it’s like to spend a year in space. Kelly talks about the physical and emotional toll of his historic mission, the challenges of CO2, radiation exposure, what scientists are continuing to learn upon his return to Earth, and what's next.…
 
When you think of 3D printing, you may envision useless trinkets, a cheesy iPhone cover, or extruded cheese doodles. But that would be so 2014 of you! In this episode of Miles To Go, Miles sits down with John Hart, an MIT Engineering Professor and Entrepreneur who is leading the way to a new era in 3D manufacturing. If things go as he plans, it ...…
 
Siegfried Hecker is a Metallurgist and Nuclear Scientist. He served as the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986-1997 and is a professor at The Center For International Cooperation at Stanford University. One of the few people who have actually visited North Korea’s nuclear facilities, Hecker recently sat down with Miles To G ...…
 
Eugene Tseng describes himself as the most “overeducated garbage man” in the world. An environmental engineer and lawyer who teaches at UCLA and Cal State Northridge, he has spent decades understanding what we throw away and what happens to it after the garbage truck picks up the bag on your curb. Obviously, it’s not a pretty picture, but it’s ...…
 
In July of 2017, an Air Canada passenger jet loaded with 135 passengers and 5 crewmembers nearly landed on a taxiway at San Francisco International Airport, where four jets were waiting to take off. At the last moment, the pilot aborted the landing, averting what could have been the worst aviation accident in history. How was this possible in t ...…
 
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