December 16, 2015 7:58 pm

This Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Gets Creative with David Byrne of the Talking Heads

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Byrne, courtesy National Geographic Channel.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Byrne. Courtesy National Geographic Channel.

Are you a Talking Heads fan?

Silly question. How could you not be? They were one of the most groundbreaking post-punk, new wave bands of all time, with hits like Psycho Killer, Life During Wartime, Once in a Lifetime, Burning Down the House, Road To Nowhere, She Was and Wild Wild Life

But even if you’re not a fan of the Talking Heads (or frankly, weren’t even alive when they broke up in 1991), none of that really matters.

Because on this Friday’s podcast, which features Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with David Byrne, the band doesn’t even get mentioned.

Sure, our producers have chosen plenty of Talking Heads music for our clips.

But the theme of this week’s podcast is The Science of Creativity – something about which David Byrne knows a little bit. He’s a consummate creator: a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Glob award winner, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who has written, among other books, The New York Times Best Seller, How Music Works.

In studio, we’ve got another multi-talented guest: Dr. Mónica López-González, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist who is also a concert pianist, photographer, author and the Co-Founder and Scientific & Artistic Director of La Petite Noiseuse Productions.

As if David and Mónica weren’t expert enough, during the episode we also video chat with Professor David Cope, a composer and computer scientist who actually programmed a computer to create its own original music in a variety of styles, and who may have taken some of the very earliest steps towards uploading human consciousness into machine form.

Together with this expert panel, and with a little help from comic co-host Maeve Higgins, Neil explores creativity, particularly how it applies to both art and science. In an era where funding for arts education is shrinking, it is more important than ever to recognize the value the arts play in empowering and even giving birth to creativity and the kind of “out of the box” thinking that powers new scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in physics and mathematics.

You’ll learn about the use of mathematics and symbolic logic in Alice in Wonderland, find out whether architecture and what planet you’re on influence music and singing, and examine the physics that allow an opera singer to shatter glass.

Oh, and if you pay close attention, you’ll get to hear Bill Nye sing, “I’m a sex machine.”

Join us for The Science of Creativity, with David Byrne this Friday, Dec. 18 at 7pm ET on our website, iTunesPodcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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