Stanford University neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky talks about human behavior, the penal system and the question of free will.
This is Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on May 29, 2020. I’m Steve Mirsky. On this episode:
That’s Robert Sapolsky. He’s a professor of biology, neurology and neurosurgery at Stanford University. He’s also a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya. In the lab, he’s a neurobiologist who studies the effects of stress. In the field, he’s a primatologist who looks at individual differences in stress, behavior and health among wild baboons living in a national park. He’s the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and A Primate’s Memoir. And his most recent book is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
I had seen him give talks in person and read his work, so I jumped at the chance to be in his company on a Scientific American lecture cruise last summer. We spoke aboard ship somewhere in the English Channel. Midway through our chat, we’ll take a six-minute break sponsored by the Kavli Prize about the most recent winners, announced May 27. And now Robert Sapolsky.
[SAPOLSKY SEGMENT 1]
We’ll be back with more from Robert Sapolsky after this.
Now back to Robert Sapolsky.
By the way, Sapolsky called his book unreadable. Chapter Two is a 60-page history and primer of neuroscience that can be a bit challenging. But the rest of the book is very readable. And thought-provoking. And fun.
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