Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson

A Business, Technology and Society podcast
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CRISPR gene-editing technology has been all over the news lately, and not just because of its application in coronavirus detection and vaccine development. Walter Isaacson's new book, The Code Breaker, tells the story of CRISPR and Nobel Prize winning scientist Jennifer Doudna who helped developed this revolutionary new technology. In this special episode of Trailblazers, world-famous journalist Dan Rather interviews Walter about the past, present and future of CRISPR and its potential to change the future of the human race. For more on the podcast go to 
Podcasts are everywhere right now and this new mode of storytelling is only getting more popular. In fact, 73 million Americans now listen to podcasts regularly. How did this happen over such a remarkably short period of time?And, more importantly, what comes next?On this episode of Trailblazers, you'll hear from the people who have shaped the past, present and future of podcasting including Derek Vaillant, Dave Winer, Julie Shapiro, Ben Calhoun, Marshall Williams and Jacob Weisberg.For more on the podcast go to
Beer is one of the world's oldest beverages. But for a long time, there was little that could be done to control the brewing process. With the advent of thermometry, however, brewing was standardized. Temperature control helped make beer taste even better. That's where we've seen the most innovation over the past two hundred years.​And as you can tell from the sheer volume of different beer on the shelves today, that innovation has continued at a rapid pace.​​In this episode of Trailblazers, hear from beer historian James Sumner, Mattihas Ebner, the International Brand Ambassador for Bavaria's famous Weihenstephan Brewery, Ken Grossman, the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, and IntelligentX's Hew Leith.For more on the podcast go to
Vision problems have always affected humanity, but until the invention of eyeglasses, there wasn't much that could be done. Now, with lasers, retinal implants, AR, gene therapy and more, we may have the technology it takes to permanently solve many vision problems. Featuring innovators like Mike Marmor, Lisa Nijm, Mark Humayun, Drew Perkins and Jean Bennett.  For more on the podcast go to
Poverty is a challenge facing over one billion people across the globe so, as far as challenges go, this is a big one. So big, it will take a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional set of solutions involving banking, food production, internet access and more. All across the developing world, inspired trailblazers are finding innovative ways to use technology new and old to help lift people out of poverty. Featuring solution builders like William Kamkwamba, Angus Deaton, Ram Kiran Dhulipala, Ken Njoroge, Nivi Sharma and Alexandria Lafci.For more on the podcast go to
Before the internet, we largely depended on professional reviewers to tell us what movies to see and products to buy. But consumer review sites and social media changed that. Now we seek out the opinions of other customers. It's almost impossible to buy anything today without seeing thousands of ratings and reviews. But fake reviews are muddying the water. How do we know whose opinion to trust? In this episode, we trace the evolution of the modern review. Featuring Kim Kleeman, Liza Featherstone, R.V. Guha, Patrick Lee, Saoud Khalifah and Marques Brownlee, aka MKBHD. For more on the podcast go to
As long as there have been sports, there have been sports injuries. Sports medicine is relatively new, but the high stakes nature of athletics and the profitability of professional leagues are catalyzing technological innovation in the field. Meet the doctors, scientists, educators and innovators helping predict, prevent and repair injuries so athletes can push themselves to new limits.Featuring experts such as Jack Berryman, Rob Neyer, James Noble, Marcus Elliott and Andy Etches. For more on the podcast go to 
Recycling used to just be called "scrap metal salvage" and it was thought of as an unsavory practice. That all changed as recently as the 1970s, when it became the curb side amenity it is today and part of a multi-billion-dollar industry. Now, the question isn't can we recycle, but can we recycle everything? Innovators in the field are trying to find out. Find out more about these innovators like Carl Zimring, Tom Szaky, Martin Bourque, Jim Puckett, Peter Christensen and Veena Sahajwalla on an all-new episode of Trailblazers. For more on the podcast go to 
From highly sensitive material to an emoji-filled text messages, we expect all of our communications to be private in this day and age. That wouldn't be possible without codes, ciphers and cryptography. Over the years, cryptography has gone from simple letter-shifting to deep, uncrackable protections that can't be broken by the most sophisticated codebreakers. It's been necessary, to keep unwanted eyes out, but it has taken some real innovation to make it happen.Encryption has been improved over the years by many, many people, some of whom are featured here — experts such as Phil Zimmermann, Whitfield Diffie, Steven Levy, Andrew Hodges and Alex Stamos.For more on the podcast go to
Happy Holidays from Walter Isaacson! We'll be back in 2021 with more great stories.For more on the podcast go to
Recombinant DNA. The double helix. Mapping the human genome. You know these are all related to our genes, but you might now know how, or what connects them. In this episode of Trailblazers, we answer those questions while exploring the world of genomics. Gain a deeper understanding of our genetic code and how that knowledge is changing how we think about our health with experts like Hallam Stevens, Glenn Cohen, Rick Myers, Eric Green, Amit Khera and Jennifer Doudna. For more on the podcast go to
Beauty might only be skin deep, but the rivalry that helped create the industry is much deeper. And today's cosmetics trailblazers are helping reach new depths when it comes to the techniques and technology they're developing, all in the name of beauty care. In this episode, you'll hear from industry innovators and thought leaders like Lindy Woodhead, Gabriela Hernandez, Linda Johnson-Rice, Lauren Luke, Anne Wetter and Parham Aarabi.For more on the podcast go to 
With legacy sports leagues drastically modified or on hiatus, something had to step up to take their place. For many, that is eSports. eSports might seem incredibly new but the industry is more storied than you might think and it's already racking up big revenues. This year alone, it's brought in over $1 billion. So what is fuelling this increased interest in competitive gaming? Hear from current and former eSports competitors like Jonathan "Fatality" Wendel, Stephanie "missharvey" Harvey, Daniel "FunnyAstro" Hathaway and those studying this young industry like James Dean, Jon-Paul Dyson and Robert Overweg. For more on the podcast go to
For most of human history, what goes on under the surface of the ocean has been a complete mystery. A fascinating one, but a mystery nonetheless. In fact, only 20% of the ocean's depths have been explored.But we're developing the technology to finally uncover what lies beneath thanks to innovators like Jacques Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, Mark Dalio and Ron Allum. For more on the podcast go to
Scams and cons have been around since the dawn of currency. Wherever there is money, there is likely someone trying to get it through illicit means.  Technology, with its corresponding oversharing of personal information, has only made this more prevalent in the recent past. Hear expert insights about the history of scams and how they've evolved from Maria Konnikova, Frank Abagnale, Karl Rock, Joshua Browder and Ken Gamble. For more on the podcast go to
Office design was originally focused on getting the most productivity out of every worker, but as ideas like creativity and employee satisfaction began to gain prominence, changes needed to be made.And then the 2020 pandemic came along and changed everything.On this episode, you'll hear from Nikil Saval, Ryan Mullinex, Kate Lister, Ben Waber and Tanuj Mohan. These trailblazers are helping create and study the modern workplace.For more on the podcast go to 
The planet is covered in water, but only three percent is drinkable. One of the biggest challenges facing all of us is finding an affordable way to move, treat and manage the world's water supply. It's not like a solution to the world's water shortage will just appear out of thin air. Or will it? On this episode of Trailblazers, you'll hear from experts working to solve the global water problems, including Seth Siegel, Takashi Kato, Peter Janicki and Zach Fenster. For more on the podcast go to 
Our history as human beings is buried far beneath the ground, and it's going to take more than picks and shovels to unearth it. That's why modern archaeologists have been enlisting the help of technology like satellites, deep learning and AI. With all these tools at hand, a more complete story about our ancestors begins to emerge. On this episode of Trailblazers, you'll hear from archaeology experts, including Sarah Parcak and Damian Evans, pioneers using satellites and laser scanning in archaeology, and Iris Kramer, founder of ArchEO, a startup using machine learning to process archaeological data. For more on the podcast go to 
People have been using hearing aids since the dawn of humanity, but the desire for more fashionable, miniaturized devices and better performance has driven technological advancements in personal communications devices for the last century-and-a-half. Hearables continue to set the pace for major innovation in telecommunications. On this episode of Trailblazers, hear from the president of Starkey Hearing Aids, Brandon Sawalich, about Livio AI — the world's first hearing aid with AI and integrated sensors — as well as Tendekayi Katsiga, the co-founder of Deaftronics, which is providing solar powered hearing aids for those in rural communities throughout Africa.For more on the podcast go to 
What do we mean when we talk about wellness, and why do people want it so badly? In this episode, we dive deep into this sometimes-nebulous field, talking to practitioners who spend their time helping people become well. For more on the podcast go to   
Exercise is essential to increasing our lifespan, health and mood. With recent technological advancements, there's no need to leave the comfort of your living room to feel the burn. On the latest episode of Trailblazers, we weigh all the different options available to someone looking to take their workout somewhere new. For more on the podcast go to
What will the role of technology and businesses be as we navigate a more digital world? In this special episode, Walter Isaacson and Michael Dell have a one-on-one virtual discussion to find out. For more on the podcast go to 
Aging is inevitable... or is it? On the latest episode of Trailblazers, we discover what causes our bodies to age and the leaders in scientific fields who are pushing for the advances that can lead to our golden years feeling more golden than ever before.  For more on the podcast go to 
Spying is an ancient art, going back to at least Sun Tzu 2,500 years ago. It's always been dangerous, but with advanced technology entering the picture in the late 20th century, it has become easier than ever to be compromised as well. Join us as we discover the perils of being a double agent. For more on the podcast go to
Theme parks have always been based around thrills, from their earliest days featuring sleds pushed down wooden hills covered in ice. What’s changed is the technology that is poured into making these attractions smarter, faster, and, well, more thrilling. Come along for a ride with us as we examine the circuitry behind carousels and coasters on the latest episode of Trailblazers.  For more on the podcast go to 
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Podcast Details

Created by
Dell Technologies
Podcast Status
Mar 3rd, 2017
Latest Episode
May 12th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
28 minutes

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