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From the president

Tuning in

MIT’s newly tenured faculty are amazing. Listen in as I chat with them in my new podcast, Curiosity Unbounded.

October 24, 2023
MIT President Dr. Sally Kornbluth interviewing Dr. Joshua Bennett at MIT
Jodi Hilton

I’ve written to you before about the experience of reviewing young faculty up for promotion—in my very first week as the Institute’s president. It was an intoxicating introduction to the human potential of MIT. 

Getting this kind of preview of MIT’s intellectual future was so inspiring I thought we ought to find a way to share it. I also wanted to understand more about our newly tenured faculty—their backgrounds, their career paths, their take on life at MIT. Why not chat with them directly and let the world listen in? So the podcast Curiosity Unbounded was born.

In the first episode, released last spring, I interviewed Desirée Plata, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. We talked about her work on the very hard problem of removing methane from the atmosphere and her experience raising four children while earning tenure at MIT.

MIT President Dr. Sally Kornbluth interviewing Dr. Joshua Bennett with the MIT News logo seen between them on the wall

Since then we’ve recorded five more episodes, and it’s been an absolute joy to spend time with these brilliant teachers and researchers, delving into their discoveries in fields from political science to engineering to geobiology. Our discussions touched on climate solutions, AI opportunities, family histories, and the relationship between life and work (is it a balance or an intermingling?). 

Each of my guests spoke openly and enthusiastically, and in spite of the differences in their expertise and interests, they all conveyed their joy at having found a home at MIT. I feel that way too. For any intellectually curious person, there’s nothing better than a place where you can ask a question on nearly any topic and find someone who’s an expert on that very thing—and willing to share what they know. 

After each conversation, I left the studio with interesting new facts and ideas to explore—and a powerful feeling of hope. The dedication of these passionate, creative faculty makes me highly optimistic about MIT’s capacity to do big things for the world.

I hope you’ll tune in for lively discussion, inspiring insights, and a glimpse into the future of knowledge and the future of MIT.

Stay curious!

Sally Kornbluth

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