Big Brains

Stories from the people behind the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs at the University of Chicago. Change how you see the world.

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Episode List

Nature’s Design Secrets with Rama Ranganathan (Ep. 4)

Prof. Rama Ranganathan shares his pioneering research on evolutionary physics, and explains why he believes biology is at a similar point today as engineering was two centuries ago during the Industrial Revolution.

Mind of a Virtuoso Composer with Augusta Read Thomas (Ep. 3)

Prof. Augusta Read Thomas gives a glimpse into the creative process of a world-class composer, discusses the state of classical music today and how she helps train the next generation of composers.

Myths of U.S. Health Care with Katherine Baicker (Ep. 2)

Prof. Katherine Baicker discusses research on the true costs and benefits of expanding health care, dispelling a number of myths, and provides insights into how to improve health care for all.

Discovering the Missing Link with Neil Shubin (Ep. 1)

Prof. Neil Shubin discusses his discovery of Tiktaalik roseae, the 375-million-year-old fossil that was a missing link between sea and land animals—and what it meant for the understanding of human evolution and how it has impacted the future of genetic research.