Voyage of discovery

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The 100 exciting lectures by world’s leading scientists, garnered and hosted by Sarah Russel, at www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2009/06/18/100-incredible-lectures-from-... includes fantastic lectures by some of the world’s renowned scientists, including Richard Dawkins, Stephen Wolfram, Steven Chu, Craig Venter and Stephen Hawking. The topics, many of them about the cutting edge theories and projects that are changing the world, are grouped under the following categories:

*General
*Science and Engineering
*Biology and Medicine
*Chemistry
*Physics and Astronomy
*Earth and Environment
*Technology
*Science in the Future
*Science and Business
*Miscellaneous

Under the General category, some of the world’s top scientists explain exactly how they go about their job. To name a few:

*Our “queer” universe
*A Passion for Discovery
*A new kind of Science
*New Kind of Exploration.

The talk on ‘Queer Universe’ by biologist Richard Dawkins, compels us to consider the strangeness of our universe and how there are so many things beyond our comprehension! In the lecture, ‘A Passion for Discovery,’ Peter Freund of the University of Chicago, explains how involved scientists can be while doing research and experiments.

He also cites examples of how an experiment can affect the behaviour of a scientist. In ‘A New Kind of Science’, Stephen Wolfram credits those simple computer experiments which challenged him to look at scientific research in a new way. The video, ‘A New Age of Exploration: From Earth to Mars’ isn’t about space exploration, but about the age of experimentation and research.

The Science and Engineering category provides access to a wide range of lectures, from Materials Science to the study of Thermodynamics. Among the lectures that are definitely worth a visit are ‘WTC Lecture – Collapse of  the WTC towers’, in which Steven E Jones discusses the collapse from a physics perspective. Jeffrey Hoffman of MIT, in his lecture on Aircraft Systems Engineering, talks about the origins of the space shuttle, thermal protection systems, main engines and more. Another interesting lecture is Machine Learning, which discovers how machines “learn” from statistical patterns.  Mark Saltzman from Yale, in his lecture Biomedical Engineering, discusses the nature of biomedical engineering, including cell culture engineering.

The Biology and Medicine category has lots of themes to offer and these range from drug research and evolution to writing the genetic code, encompassing all the current developments in biology and medical research. You may want to check out:

*Warren Lanvin’s lecture on ‘How Bacteria Causes Disease’

*The talk on ‘Evolution of the Human Species’ looks at evolution with the help of genetic and fossil records.

*The ‘Engineering New Approaches to Cancer Detection and Therapy’ lecture keeps us updated on what’s on the brink of cancer research.

*The lecture on ‘Origin of the Human Mind’ talks about how the human mind continues to evolve.

*The lecture, ‘Psychology, Sex and Evolution’, combines psychology and biology to find an answer to how preoccupied we are with sex.

Under the chemistry category, visitors will find lectures that show scientists discuss the atomic theory of matter and various other themes. This section offers outstanding lectures like:

*‘Principles of Chemical Science’, a course offered by MIT scientist Sylvia Ceyer which covers atomic theory of matter, radiation and more.

*‘Introduction to Solid State Chemistry’, another MIT course lecture, introduces us to solid state chemistry.

*‘Graphite: A New Twist’, from the University of Sussex, discusses the properties of carbon, diamond and graphite.

Lectures under the other categories — Physics and Astronomy, Earth and Environment Technology, Science in the Future, Science and Business, Miscellaneous — include ‘The brain in love’, ‘Science Education in the 21st Century’ by Dr Carl Wierman, ‘Globalisation of Science’ by Fiona Murray, ‘Challenge in Astrophysics’ by  Sarah Bridle, ‘Computer System Engineering’ by MIT’s Hari Balakrishnan, ‘Nature, Not Human Activity’, ‘To upgrade is human: How can technology help human evolution?’ by Gregory Stock, ‘Next Generation of Solar Cells’ by Tonio Buonassisi and ‘Do-It-Yourself Biology’ by Natalie Kuldell.

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