Each week Inquiring Minds brings you a new, in-depth exploration of the space where science, politics, and society collide.
This week we talk to Randy Schekman, the University of California-Berkeley cell biologist who was just awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on how cells regulate the protein “traffic” that is at the core of their communication with other cells.
In the interview with co-host Indre Viskontas, Schekman not only explains his scientific breakthroughs—he also tells us why he wants to take a stand about the steeply rising cost of public higher education, which is driving huge student debt loads and rendering college simply too expensive for some. Affordable higher education, says Schekman, is “really in peril all over the country."
In addition to being a Nobel laureate, Schekman is also a winner of the coveted Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the former editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This episode also features a (spoiler free) discussion of the science behind the hit sci-fi movie Gravity, and the controversy this year over the Nobel Prize in physics.