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Oct 16, 2017

Welcome to Episode 4, where Professor WIL CUNNINGHAM and I discuss the beauty of complexity, psychology’s language trap, and the unconscious processes that shape our conscious motivations. We also talk about the aesthetics of data analysis, what it might feel like to discover that ESP was real, and the various factors that lead Wil to a life in the sciences.
Wil is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Psychology and at the Rotman School of Management.
And Wil has received about a bazillion awards for his work, including a Janet Taylor Spence Award For Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science.
He’s the current Editor at Psychological Inquiry, and he’s served on a bunch of editorial boards, from the journal Emotion to Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
I don’t have a Wil Cunningham book to link to here, though I do have things for you to check out if you’re interested in reading more. But before I get to that, I feel compelled to share with you a picture (left) that Wil sent me only the week before this episode was posted, that shows the real inner workings of the modern scientific laboratory: a couple of hacked together old computers that people in Wil’s lab thought were obsolete. (Extra points for the desk positioned to face the blank cinderblock wall.)  Wil and I like to use a term we invented for situations like these, which is Scrappy Science. Scrappy Science is science that boldly pushes forward when resources are not available, either in abundance or at all. And for those of you who are not scientists, here’s a little secret: Although not all science is Scrappy Science, I’d estimate that about 85% of it is. Scrappy Science is the science that scientists manage to do against the odds, when salaries are relatively low, old materials are all that’s available, and, often enough, you’ve got to just invent the tool you need because it literally doesn’t exist otherwise. Wil Cunningham is the consummate Scrappy Scientist!
And here are those readings I promised! Check them out:
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As always, remember that this podcast is brought to you by VQR and the Center for Media and Citizenship. Plus, we're a member of the TEEJ.FM podcast network.
AND... The music of CIRCLE OF WILLIS was composed and performed by Tom Stauffer, Gene Ruley and their band THE NEW DRAKES. You can purchase this music at their Amazon page