I just finished listening to my friend, Bryan Catanzaro, on the Gamechangers podcast, from The Economist. The whole podcast series is terrific. There are only three episodes so far, but I recommend all three.
The first episode expands the history of lithium-ion batteries, including the migration away from lead-acid batteries. The episode features interviews with John Goodenough and Stanley Whittingham, two of the three recipients of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Tesla founder Marc Tarpenning also features prominently.
The next episode focuses on messenger RNA, the basis for the most successful COVID-19 vaccines. Drew Weissberg, who has not yet won a Nobel Prize, but will, appears, as well as Moderna co-founders Derrick Rossi and Robert Langer. I did not know that “Moderna” is an abbreviation of “modified RNA”.
The final episode explores the connection between video games, graphical processing units, and deep learning. Andrew Ng has some good stories, as does Yoshua Bengio, and Bryan Catanzaro represents NVIDIA.
Relatedly, I enjoyed this interview with Akira Yoshino, the third recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The man just seems so excited about the future, and lithium-ions, in particular.