The American Museum of Natural History has approximately 200 working scientists who undertake more than 100 expeditions a year, doing original research and expanding the Museum’s world-class collection of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts. The Expedition Report podcast series offers an insider’s look at what it’s like to live and work in the field. Academic pursuits combine with adventure—whether racing against the cold in Antarctica, scouting reclusive snakes in Madagascar, or keeping one step ahead of the chainsaws in the rainforest.
In this episode, curator emeritus Norman Platnick discusses his trek through the highly diverse habitats of Chile in search of spider species found nowhere else in the world.
Recent developments in cosmology suggest that the Big Bang was not a unique event in the cosmic history, and that other Big Bangs constantly erupt in remote parts of the universe, producing new worlds with a great variety of physical properties. Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin discusses the origin of this new worldview, how we can test its possibility, and its implications for the beginning and the end of the universe.