Big Brains Podcast Review – Igniting the Passion for Learning

University of Chicago via Drone - Photo courtesy of UChicago
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We all want to be the best we can be. Is it any wonder that experts opine that learning continuously throughout our lives is an effective way to improve our well-being? BIG BRAINS podcast is one of today’s most interesting methods to educate listeners while entertaining them, thus motivating them to sharpen their minds and expand their knowledge. On BIG BRAINS, host Paul M. Rand, vice president of communications at University of Chicago, brings in academic experts to shed light on current research in a variety of fields, including science, technology, behavioral science, and a whole lot more. BIG BRAINS, which began podcasting in 2018, takes complex topics and makes them relevant and understandable to everyone, no matter his educational background.

Big Brains Logo – Courtesy of University of Chicago

Rand’s guests include University of Chicago faculty members and alumni, as well as experts currently affiliated with the university. BIG BRAINSoffers anyone with a passion for learning the opportunity to turn curiosity into life-changing new directions. What’s more, it provides prospective students and high school counselors the chance to learn about the educational experiences available at University of Chicago.

By now, you’re probably wondering what BIG BRAINS has to offer. There are dozens of episodes to meet every interest. Here are just a few of the recent topics to whet your appetite.

Paul Rand interviews Wendy Freedman, April 13, 2018 for the Big Brain Podcast – Photo by Jean Lachat

HEALTHY LIFESTYLES: Some of the most popular podcasts are geared to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. In “The Science behind Forming Better Habits,” economist Katy Milkman shares her tips on changing behavior – all the way from eating better to exercising more and saving money. What a way to continue to working on those New Year’s resolutions we’ve all set and may be struggling to meet now that it’s February.

SCI-FI ALERT: But enough about healthy habits. Avi Loeb, theoretical physicist and former chair of astronomy at Harvard University, asks the big question: Do aliens really exist? Finally, a reputable scientist who believes we’re not alone in the universe. In “Taking Aliens Seriously”, Loeb shares his belief that we need to invest more in aliens by developing a field called “space archaeology”. What do you think?

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON VIDEO GAMES: Two scholars take a look at what video games can do – and conclude that video games may be an untapped resource. In “How Alternate Reality Games are Changing the Real World”, we’ll find out how the most popular form of media today – video games – can be used to help society. Perhaps letting those kids spend some time in a gamer universe can be harnessed into ideas that will better the world.

MOOD-BOOSTING SECRETS: Professor Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has researched the ways our minds understand, or fail to understand, each other. Along the way, he’s uncovered methods to boost everyone’s mood – something we all need in this pandemic time. In “Why Talking to Strangers Will Make You Happier,” Epley explains how listening to and engaging with others can improve your ability to understand them – and improve your own well-being as an added bonus.

These are just some of the intriguing and often fascinating topics discussed on BIG BRAINS. With a new episode airing each week, you’ll always have the opportunity to stimulate your mind and senses. Don’t let COVID stagnate your brain. Instead, wake up and invigorate your brain by listening to one of the more than 80 BIG BRAINS episodes currently available.  BIG BRAINS is available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

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