A Marriage of Art and Learning: An Interview with James Catterall

Dr. James Catterall, professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, says that his academic career has taken him down three main paths over the last few decades. The first was the examination of the economics of education, a pursuit that extended naturally from his undergraduate background in economics and from his graduate work at Stanford…

A Conversation With Robert Sapolsky

I first met Robert Sapolsky years ago at a research conference. My first impression was that he was quiet… too quiet. In a crowded hotel lobby with hundreds of scientists busily jabbering about themselves and their research, he seemed almost transparent. He didn’t talk much, took up very little personal space and seemed comfortable and…

Bill Newsome’s Neural Basis of Behavior

Dr. William Newsome is sitting at his PC computer grumbling. “Do you know what IBM stands for?” Newsome asks in a slight Southern drawl. “It stands for ‘I’m Building a Mac’,” he quips, displaying quick-witted charm and ardent loyalty to the Macintosh operating system. Dr. Newsome, an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford University, is…

A Conversation with William H. Calvin

When I first met Bill Calvin it was at a convention of Futurists, in a loud room filled with passionate people discussing important issues such as the societal impact of nanotechnology and alternative fuels. Dr. Calvin’s voice was barely a whisper. A soft-spoken man, his tone sharply contrasts with the impact of his thoughts. An…

Driving Brain Change is a Skill, Retraining the Student Brain is an Art

For more than three decades, Dr. Michael Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. In addition to teaching and doing research at the University of California, San Francisco, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Dr. Merzenich’s work has been covered…