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.
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.
This new data poisoning tool lets artists fight back against generative AI
The tool, called Nightshade, messes up training data in ways that could cause serious damage to image-generating AI models.
The Biggest Questions: What is death?
New neuroscience is challenging our understanding of the dying process—bringing opportunities for the living.
Rogue superintelligence and merging with machines: Inside the mind of OpenAI’s chief scientist
An exclusive conversation with Ilya Sutskever on his fears for the future of AI and why they’ve made him change the focus of his life’s work.
How to fix the internet
If we want online discourse to improve, we need to move beyond the big platforms.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.