Broadcast 692 (Special Edition)

26 Mar 2007 Dr. Gregory Berns
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Dr. Gregory Berns was our guest for this Space Show program. Please note that this program was subject to excessive telephone line noise that could not be cleared up so the audio is not up to usual Space Show standards. We do apologize for this inconvenience. We began the interview with Dr. Berns explaining his scientific research to us regarding what motivates people, then extrapolating what he has discovered and applying it to the space industry, especially the entrepreneurial space community. We discussed the need for novelty and risk taking for the advancement of society and showed how space development and exploration serves this purpose. Dr. Berns also explained how risk defines our progress and is absolutely critical for our future. He also explained to us where this comes from in our brain and he provided us with the information to show that dopamine is the responsible substance/chemical in our brain for risk taking. He fielded several listener questions about the use of dopamine, even the supplemental use of it but as we learned, it does not work by popping pills from the health food store. We had a listener question that associated what Dr. Berns was saying to critical thinking and Kool Aid in the space community. Don't miss the response from Dr. Bern, especially since in his scientific research he actually used Kool Aid! Dr. Berns told us that this research and these cutting edge conclusions are not without their detractors because they have the potential to open up black box like areas of the human mind and many do not want to go there. He said it might be useful someday to predict what a person would do before he/she did it but doubted it would be useful in legal cases. He did discuss the legal ramifications of this work and said that its legal status was not determined at this time as it was too new but that both defense attorneys and prosecutors had attempted to use elements of this work in criminal cases but had not been permitted to do so by the court. The significance of Dr. Berns research for the developing space industry cannot be overlooked. I urge all of you to listen to this program, read Dr. Berns book, "Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment" which was published in 2005 by Henry Holt Publishers. Dr. Berns will accept your further comments and questions via email and has suggested just using Google to ascertain his contact information. His website with his contact information is http://www.ccnl.emory.edu/greg/. His email address is gberns@emory.edu. As always, you can send your comments and questions through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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