From neurons to nanotech and from quarks to the cosmos, BookLab is the podcast that puts science books under the microscope! Join hosts Dan Falk and Amanda Gefter for a look at the latest in popular science writing: what’s new, what’s hot, and what you ought to be reading right now.

It’s one of the oldest and most vexing questions in science and philosophy: Do we have free will? In this episode of BookLab, we take a close look at two books by two scientists who have considered the question at length -- and have been led to two very different conclusions.

Direct download: BookLab_034.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

The human mind is quite something. We can use it to reason; to envision past and future events; to ponder abstractions. But what other minds are out there? In Philip Ball’s The Book of Minds, we’re invited to explore the space of possible minds.

And on the nightstand: The Darkness Manifesto, by  Johan Eklöf; and Existential Physics by Sabine Hossenfelder. 

Direct download: BookLab_033.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

The world around us seems incredibly diverse -- but what if beneath that diversity there was a unifying sameness? That’s the idea behind “monism” -- an ancient idea that physicist Heinrich Pas believes is due for a comeback. He explores the idea in his new book, The One.

And on the nightstand: Sounds Wild and Broken, by David George Haskell; and What We Owe the Future, by William MacAskill.

Direct download: BookLab_032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT