Science Forum

The World Science Forum lets you chat with science experts about pressing issues in the news as well as lighter topics in everyday life. We bring you a new guest and a new topic every few weeks. Come share your thoughts and questions, and check out our many discussions below.


Volunteer Computing Scores Celestial Success

Forum 19: Scientists are using the computers of citizens worldwide to make new discoveries about the universe. We talk about citizen cyberscience with the researchers who run the Einstein@Home project. more »


Defusing the Population Bomb

Forum 18: Population is no longer the root cause of many environmental problems, says veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce. He explains why consumption poses a bigger threat than population. more »


The Origins of Kindness

Forum 17: If nature's red in tooth and claw, how did kindness evolve? We spoke with science historian Oren Harman about the evolutionary origins of altruism. more »


The Benefits and Burdens of Genetic Testing

Forum 16: Genetic testing can evaluate people's risks for certain diseases, but can also complicate matters for them. Brazilian geneticist Mayana Zatz discusses some of the complexities of genetic testing. more »


Whaling – Politics, Science & Ethics

Forum 15: The International Whaling Commission is considering lifting a moratorium on commercial whaling. Marine biologist Stephen Palumbi says that might not be a good idea for endangered whale species. more »


Going Mad The American Way

Forum 14: "America is homogenizing the way the world goes mad," writes Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. Chat with Watters about mental health and culture. more »


Urban Raptors

Discussion 13: Some raptor species are adapting rapidly to cities around the world. Talk with wildlife biologist David Bird to learn what makes these cities so attractive to birds of prey. more »


Cooling the Planet with Geoengineering

Forum 12: Geoengineering is no longer a fringe idea. Well known scientists are exploring technologies to cool the planet. Talk with economist Scott Barrett about the ethics and politics of geoengineering. more »


How the Hidden Brain Controls Our Lives

Forum 11: Our decisions are largely controlled by unconscious biases in our brains, says science journalist Shankar Vedantam, author of the new book The Hidden Brain. more »


Can Genetically Engineered Crops Help Feed the World?

Forum 10: Scientists want to increase food production to feed the world's growing population. Biologist and author Lisa Weazel spoke to us about the role of genetically modified food crops in solving this problem. more »