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Stories of Impact

Stories of Impact

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Featuring stories of new scientific research on human flourishing that translate these basic discoveries into practical tools. Bringing a mix of curiosity, compassion, and creativity that will appeal to all ages, journalist Richard Sergay and acclaimed writer/producer Tavia Gilbert shine a spotlight on the human impact at the heart of a cutting-edge social and scientific research project.

This project was made possible through the generous support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation.
89 Episodes
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Today we bring you a follow-up story about revolutionary education in Northern Ireland, this time exploring the impact of teaching young children to not just tolerate difference and diversity, but to seek it out, embrace it, and celebrate it. Our episode explores the history and legacy of Lough View Integrated Primary and Nursery School, a school founded 30 years ago to intentionally create a space where diverse points of view and religious and social practices could come together, and what’s remarkable is that this vision came to life fully five years before the Good Friday Accords birthed a fragile national peace. Lough View was established in Belfast by a group of parents who didn’t want to send their children to a segregated school that would perpetuate the bias and prejudice that had fed the decades of violence between Protestants and Catholics, but instead, created a totally different paradigm for their children, and their children’s education. Today we’ll hear from students and educators at Lough View, who tell us how this radical education has impacted classroom culture and individual lives, and how it might contribute to peace-building across the nation, and potentially, the world. 
Today we're back for another exploration of the magnificence and mystery of the universe — talking with three researchers who share not only a passion, but a respect for the species in their decidedly non-human, wildly intelligent subjects of research. First we meet Dr. Paco Calvo, a renowned cognitive scientist and professor of philosophy of science at the University of Murcia in Spain. Dr. Calvo has been called a philosopher of biology, who believes that by studying plant cognition, humans might be able to learn a little bit more about ourselves. And we hear from neuroscientist Marcelo Magnasco, a biophysicist professor and head of laboratory at Rockefeller University, New York, who works closely with Dr. Diana Reiss, professor of psychology at Hunter College and the director of the animal behavior and conservation graduate programs. Together, this team explores octopus intelligence.     •    Read the transcript of this episode     •    Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts     •    Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube     •    Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org     •    Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation  
Humor in Apes

Humor in Apes

2024-04-0223:20

Any sentient, soulful being paying attention to the way humans are treating other humans has been feeling these hard times. But sometimes, amidst all this darkness, humor can offer a little bit of hope. Today we're back with a friend of the podcast, Dr. Erica Cartmill. You might remember her from past episodes as a leader in the science of diverse intelligences, the multi-disciplinary, open science study of cognition, whether it's found in humans, animals, plants, machines, or anywhere else. This time, we’re talking with Dr. Cartmill about the violation of expectations as a feature of primate intelligence, or in more down-to-earth terms: Funny monkeys. Actually, monkeys isn't technically right — it's actually apes. What Dr. Cartmill and her fellow researchers have discovered, in a study they call “The Humor Project," is that humans and apes share a lot of traits, including what we think is funny. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
AI & Ethics

AI & Ethics

2024-03-1928:55

Artificial intelligence is proliferating and entering new industries every day. And while it’s been used in healthcare for 50 years, researchers continue to look for new ways to use it to improve care.  Today, we’re back in conversation with a team of researchers, including a philosopher, a neuroscientist, and a computer scientist. This trio might be familiar to long-time listeners from an episode a few years ago, when we explored the question of whether artificial intelligence could be programmed to be moral. Over the last five years, this research team has been studying how to use AI as an assistive tool in allocating kidneys to patients needing organ transfers. It’s a project partly funded by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.  Though the project is focused on integrating AI into evaluations of who gets a kidney transplant, the team is using that particular problem as the lens to explore more broadly the ethics of AI in decision-making. They’re asking whether it’s possible to imbue machines with a human value system, in what ways artificial intelligence can be employed to help humans make moral decisions, and how to ensure that when AI is involved in decision-making, the process retains humanity. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
In the dozens of episodes we’ve shared with you over the last four years, you’ve heard stories of experts examining the science behind everything from bees to whales, video games to dance, education systems to communication networks. Today, we're zooming out further, speaking with researchers who are exploring ways to improve how we do science and how we cultivate and educate better scientists. When you think of a scientist, what image comes to mind? Do you imagine a genius laboring solo in a lab, displaying little emotion as they logically analyze data? Let’s challenge that stereotype — scientists are anything but dispassionate.   Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
This week we're bringing back one of our favorite ever episodes. Today, we hear a fascinating and inspiring conversation having to do with the flourishing of young South Africans. Today’s episode features Richard’s conversation with Nina Callaghan, former Associate Director and current South African Chair of Children’s Radio Foundation. In a post-apartheid country still suffering the social, psychic, and economic wounds of decades of institutionalized racial segregation, the very act of teaching these youth basic journalism 101, including ethics, consent, and truth-telling, is a powerful healing act. Callaghan discusses her work with the youth reporters and their two-year exploration of the concept of Ubuntu—a Nguni Bantu term often translated as “I am because we are.” Callaghan shares the program’s outcomes, both expected and unexpected. Learn more about the Children’s Radio Foundation. Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts More about this episode Read the transcript of this episode Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Comments, questions and suggestions info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
War and conflict is raging across the globe. From Europe and the Middle East to Africa and the Americas, divisions between and within nations are leaving civilians dead and displaced.  Northern Ireland has seen its fair share of violence and bloodshed since its founding in 1921. Although the Good Friday peace agreement was signed more than 25 years ago, the peace process is still a work in progress. This week, however, we explore a ground-breaking research project led by Dr. Jocelyn Dautel, an American researcher and senior lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, into how Northern Ireland’s past continues to impact the way young people consume and share “truths” about their nation’s history. Researchers are hopeful that if Northern Ireland can to evolve beyond sectarian division, the country — and its youth — could serve as a global model of peace and reconciliation. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation Read more about the period known as The Troubles and the peace agreement that marked the end of the conflict On February 3, 2024, Northern Ireland formed its first government in two years. Learn about what caused the past two years of political instability   Special thanks to Dr. Jocelyn Dautel and the entire Research Team: Dr. Bethany Corbett, Lecturer, Ulster University Prof. Kathleen Corriveau, Boston University Prof. Emma Flynn, Provost, Warwick University Eva Grew, Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast Dr. Mariah Kornbluh, Assistant Professor, Oregon University Caitlin McShane, Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast Dr. Christin Scholz, University of Amsterdam Prof. Jennifer Watling Neal, Michigan State University Dr. Lara Wood, Lecturer, Abertay University Dr. Jing Xu, University of Washington, Seattle
Before we ended 2023 we met two researchers, Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas and Dr. Timothy Lomas, who shared their research on human flourishing, and each touched on the importance of human connection and relationship as an antidote to loneliness. In our first episode of this new year, we continue that conversation, this time by exploring the unique role of chaplains, and how their purpose is to keep the people they serve from going through painful times, alone.  To guide us on this journey, we are joined by Dr. Wendy Cadge, the Barbara Mandell professor of Humanistic Social Sciences at Brandeis University and founder of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, which supports, educates, and expands the vision of chaplains everywhere.   Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation  
We’re celebrating the life of our friend Dr. William Powell, who passed away just before Thanksgiving. Dr. Powell’s American Chestnut Tree episode was one of our favorites of last year.  This episode is an inspiring story about how bringing together vision, community, and cutting-edge science can make the impossible possible. It’s a story about American history, climate, globalization, and hope. It’s the story of the American Chestnut Foundation’s efforts to do something never before done: To restore a tree that is functionally extinct — the American Chestnut tree. You’ll hear from Rex Mann, retired from the U.S. Forest Service and now a chestnut evangelist, and ACF’s lead collaborating scientist, Dr. William A. Powell, professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science in Forestry. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Comments, questions and suggestions info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Holistic Flourishing

Holistic Flourishing

2023-12-0524:39

Last time you heard from us, Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas shared her research on the complexity of the loneliness epidemic in America today, and what we all can do to feel less lonely. Something she said — “Everyone's happiness matters to my happiness” — stuck with us, and became the springboard for this episode. Today, together with psychology researcher Dr. Timothy Lomas at Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program, we dive deep into the question of the interdependent nature of happiness and flourishing. Not only that, Dr. Lomas also invites us to ask who — and what — deserves to flourish.  We’re also celebrating the life of our friend Dr. William Powell, who passed away just before Thanksgiving. Dr. Powell’s American Chestnut Tree episode was one of our favorites of last year. You can listen today, or come back in two weeks, when we rerun that conversation as the last episode of our year of Stories of Impact.    Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and this Thursday, many of us will be with friends and family for the kick-off to six weeks of holiday cheer. But for so many people in America, the holidays can be a very lonely time. Loneliness and disconnection have consequences not only for individual health, but for the health of the nation. Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas is the Science Director at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which tracks cutting edge research studies that focus on how important our relationships, our tendency towards generosity and cooperation, and our sense of mattering or contribution to our communities are to our health and wellbeing over the course of our lives. She wants to understand the science of loneliness. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Today, we meet Dr. Nap Hosang, a Jamaican-born obstetrician and gynecologist with a long, distinguished career focused on preventing unintended pregnancies in the United States and globally. After decades of service in healthcare, Dr. Hosang has begun a new chapter of his career as the co-founder and CEO of Cadence Health, whose mission is to give people who don't want to become pregnant access to safe, effective, affordable contraceptives, without a prescription, wherever those people are located. Listen in to learn why Dr. Hosang believes Cadence’s success in the US will make a global impact.   Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to perform tasks, such as learning and problem-solving, that are typically associated with human intelligence. And every single aspect of how we live our lives may ultimately be transformed by this technology. At the start of this year, it seemed as though AI shifted from a relatively niche technology known to industry insiders, into a subject that had suddenly captured broad public consciousness. Especially as ChatGPT burst on the scene as a tool available to virtually anyone, AI became a source of fascination, anxiety, and confusion. It’s happening fast. It’s on everybody’s mind. So what exactly is AI?  Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Systemic Compassion

Systemic Compassion

2023-09-1925:20

In our last episode with Dr. David Addiss, Heather Buesseler, Dr. Liz Grant, and Dr. Corinne Reid, we explored the role of compassion in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and learned that the SDG’s were motivated by a compassionate desire to end global human suffering across a variety of sectors. This week we’re back with these four researchers, as they offer more personal insight about what draws them to study the science of compassion. This week the researchers’ objective is to encourage all of us to think about where we can make greater space for compassion in our own lives. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation  
We begin Season 7 with a friend of the podcast — Dr. David Addiss, who listeners will remember from an emotional episode last year about the role of compassion in healthcare. Dr. Addiss is back for another evocative discussion about compassion, and he’s joined by his research colleagues Heather Buesseler, Dr. Liz Grant, and Dr. Corinne Reid. In this conversation, these four public health experts discuss their research findings around the role of compassion in the international effort to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation  
Today is our final episode of the sixth season of Stories of Impact, and Richard Sergay is back in conversation with Templeton World Charity Foundation President Dr. Andrew Serazin, looking back over the year of stories we’re just wrapping up, and looking a little bit ahead at what’s to come. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Today’s episode is all about medical professionals — the hardship, overwhelm, and burnout that pre-existed the pandemic and only got worse when it started. It's about research measuring the effectiveness of a program that offers healthcare workers the support they need to flourish, even in the midst of intensely stressful circumstances. And it’s about the positive impact the programs’ simple tools have made, not only in the lives of those first responders, but in the lives of their patients. This is a hopeful story, led by Dr. Leandro Chernicoff, co-founder and Academic and Research Director of AtentaMente, a nonprofit based in Mexico City, which teaches social and emotional skills. We also hear from Dr. Mariana Gil-Veloz, pediatric infectious disease professional and AtentaMente Stress Toolbox instructor.  Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
If you’ve been a long-time listener to the Stories of Impact podcast, you’ll expect by now to be surprised by the kinds of studies Templeton World Charity Foundation invests in. TWCF-funded projects are not only ground-breaking — they’re often “rule-breaking,” asking challenging questions often left untouched by other funders. Today’s story is about one of those cutting-edge scientific studies, one that explores the possibility of a paradigm shift in how educators not only educate students, but each other. The study we hear about in this episode is the kind of research project that Sir John Templeton himself would have enthusiastically embraced, one that sits at the intersection of science and religion, and is designed to tap into curiosity and passion for interdisciplinary and lifelong learning. Meet Dr. Sibel Erduran, a professor of Science Education at the University of Oxford, and the leader of a research project guided by the TWCF mission to explore Big Questions in the Classroom. Her research brings together science educators and religious educators who learn with and from each other. It’s a project that aims to break down divides between the space of scientific and religious study, in order to discover what happens when the silos disappear. Dr. Erduran’s study explores how argumentation can help students bridge disciplinary divides to achieve deep understanding. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
Today, we’re back with Richard’s fascinating interview with Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal and the co-founder of the Centre for Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. Joining them in conversation are two of the Centre’s research associates, nuclear war expert Dr. Paul Ingram, and geohazards and geo-communications scholar Dr. Lara Mani. They discuss the Centre’s research around potential risks to civilization and life on Earth as we know it, from nuclear weapons to pandemics to natural disasters. And perhaps most importantly, they share what gives them a sense of hope — for the future of humanity and for the planet.  Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation  
Today, we’re speaking with Dr. Christopher Hays, the president of ScholarLeaders International and director of the  Faith and Displacement Project at the Fundación Universitaria Seminario Biblio de Colombia. Dr. Hays explains how the Faith and Displacement Project is working with an established network of churches in Colombia to train people to help their fellow citizens who have been displaced from their homes due to political violence. Read the transcript of this episode Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Share your comments, questions and suggestions at info@storiesofimpact.org Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation
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Comments (2)

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Apr 12th
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shayandokhtshamshiri

Thank you for putting the transcript

Apr 8th
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