American Innovations

By Wondery

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Description

DNA science. Artificial intelligence. Smartphones and 3D printers. Science and technology have transformed the world we live in. But how did we get here? It wasn’t by accident. Well, sometimes it was. It was also the result of hard work, teamwork, and competition. And incredibly surprising moments.

Hosted by bestselling author Steven Johnson (“How We Got To Now”), American Innovations uses immersive scenes to tell the stories of the scientists, engineers, and ordinary people behind the greatest discoveries of the past century. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, American History Tellers, and Dirty John.


Episode Date
Nuclear Energy | Bombs Come First | 2
00:37:53

The Second World War energized research on atomic science and the United States was at the forefront. For one, it had the scientists. Second, the US government was willing to back the research. Third, we wanted the bombs.

However darkly depressing this seems it’s true. Our history of nuclear power is intertwined with the history of nuclear weapons.


American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter. You can try it for FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI.

Other sponsors include

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Simplisafe - Protect your home and family today by visiting Simplisafe.com/innovations


Jun 21, 2018
Nuclear Energy | E = MC Squared | 1
00:47:14

In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower went on national television introducing a new kind of power plant, one that will transform the world. Nuclear energy and the Atomic Age took America by storm, but this misunderstood technology’s potential has always been in question.

Last series we looked at the building blocks of life, DNA. This time we’re turning to atoms, and specifically to the energy that comes from splitting atoms. We’ll take you to one of the most powerful and controversial energy sources on earth: nuclear energy.

Support this show by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Hims - Get a trial month of hair loss prevention for just $5 when you visit them at ForHims.com/innovations



Jun 14, 2018
DNA | Interview with Britt Wray | 7
00:42:56

To wrap up The Dynamo of DNA, we're talking to Britt Wray. You can follow her on Twitter, and visit her website for more. You can also pick up her book, Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction to learn more about De-Extinction.

We’ll be back next week with an all new arc on nuclear energy.

Support this show by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com.

Audible - Start your free trial and download a free audiobook by going to Audible.com/AI or text AI to 500-500.

Jun 07, 2018
DNA | Return of the Mammoths | 6
00:46:25

The human genome project finally allowed us to read the “Book of Life,” the genetic code of living things. But now there’s a tool - CRISPR - that will allow us to rewrite it. With CRISPR, we can change the color of flowers, eliminate diseases, and even… bring back Wooly Mammoths.

We hope you enjoyed our first series, The Dynamo of DNA. Join us next week for a conversation with scientist, broadcaster and author Britt Wray.

Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Bombas - Save 20% on your new favorite socks when you visit them at Bombas.com/innovations and enter code INNOVATIONS at checkout

May 31, 2018
DNA | Testing Times | 5
00:38:39

Over the past 50 years, our understanding of DNA has grown exponentially. It took supercomputers working overtime to produce a single genomic map… and now all it takes is a spit sample that you drop in the mail. For about a hundred bucks, you can have your own personal genome mapped. One thing we still haven’t figured out is what to DO with all of that information. It’s been used to map family trees, trace diseases, exonerate innocents and catch serial killers - and that’s only the beginning. 


Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Bombas - Save 20% on your new favorite socks when you visit them at Bombas.com/innovations and enter code INNOVATIONS at checkout

May 24, 2018
DNA | The Race for the Genome | 4
00:45:27

The path to understand genetics was rife squabbles and competition among scientists vying to discover genes, chromosomes, and the structure of DNA. The tussles had been going on for a century.

But the 1980s introduced an even bigger grudge match: who’d be the first to map the entire human genetic code?

This race would get downright nasty before it was done. Along the way there would be a lot of good science. But the science often took a back seat, as politics, money, and egos all got in the way.

Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Hims - Get started today and get a full trial month for just $5 when you go to ForHims.com/innovations

May 17, 2018
DNA | The Stuff of Life | 3
00:43:22

From your high school science classes you may know the names Watson and Crick. If you took any more biology classes you may have heard of Wilkins, but a third name is often overlooked: Rosalind Franklin. Together, they took blurry photographs of DNA goo and discovered “the secret to life.”


Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI


May 10, 2018
DNA | Civil War | 2
00:45:10

When Gregor Mendel discovered genes, he had no idea that his discoveries with pea plants would outlive him. He was just an isolated monk playing in his garden. And his ideas collected dust in university libraries for 40 years until a biologist named William Bateson discovered his work. And by the end of the first page, Bateson knew Mendel’s ideas would change the world. He said, “An exact determination of the laws of heredity will probably work more change in man’s outlook of the world, and in his power over nature, than in any other advance in natural knowledge that can be foreseen.”


Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Casper - Get $50 toward select mattresses by going to Casper.com/AI


May 10, 2018
DNA | Lost Pioneers | 1
00:42:55

In 2000, President Bill Clinton held a press conference to share a milestone for humanity. He said, “we will all see the unbelievable capacity to be noble.” Science and technology embrace this idea, leading to the incredible innovations that change the world, and yes, even humanity. This is American Innovations, a series that will look at the most important innovations of the last century, and go into the lives of the people behind those innovations.

That great milestone Clinton was referencing? That was the mapping of the human genome. For a long time, we didn’t know what was actually buried deep inside our cells that made humans humans. Now we know it’s much more than a simple molecule. DNA has revolutionized society, creating new fields of research, business - even changing how we catch criminals. This is The Dynamo of DNA from American Innovations.


Support us by supporting our sponsors!

American Innovations is pleased to have ZipRecruiter as its presenting sponsor.  

ZipRecruiter strives to lead the way in innovating talent recruitment for businesses of all sizes. It’s the smartest way to hire. Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ZipRecruiter.com/AI

Our other sponsors include:

Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com

Audible - Start a 30-day trial and first audio book is free when you go to Audible.com/AI or text INNOVATIONS to 500-500

May 10, 2018
Introducing American Innovations | 1
00:02:08

The leaps of mankind, as they happened.

Premieres May 10.

Apr 26, 2018