Bios of selected guests

Jane Goodall

The internationally renowned primatologist.  Dr. Goodall has not been interviewed on the air, but was interviewed for inclusion in Visionaries of the 20th Century from Green Books of Devon, England, publication date 2006.  It was republished in the United States by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2007.  Her work with chimpanzees has expanded to include visionary activism in the cause of all life on planet Earth.  See the visionaries page for more on Jane.

Frans de Waal

The other internationally known primatologist.  While Dr. Goodall’s specialty is chimpanzees, Professor de Waal, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is the world’s foremost authority on bonobos, our other closest ancestor.  Dr. de Waal was interviewed on April 11, 2013.  That interview can be heard here:

April 11, 2013 - interview only

The full program is here:     April 11, 2013

Lynn Margulis

Well Known scientist and Distinguished university professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Lynn’s work in evolutionary biology is generally considered radical until other scientists actually understand it. Then it becomes mainstream science.  Her 2002 book, ACQUIRING GENOMES A THEORY of the ORIGINS of SPECIES, is still not accepted by the scientific community at large.  Smithsonian Magazine said of her:  “One of the most exciting, original thinkers in the whole field of biology... Hers is one of the most constructively speculative minds, immensely learned, highly imaginative and occasionally a little naughty...” Lynn has been on Environmentally Sound twice.   Lynn is included in the visionaries book cited above as well.

On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, Lynn passed away at her home in Massachusetts.  She was 73.  She will be sorely missed by the scientific community and by me personally.

Lynn's obituary in the Washington Post

Pete Seeger

Songwriter/folksinger and environmental and social activist. Bob has interviewed Pete on Environmentally Sound and sung a duet with Pete of “If I Had a Hammer” at his annual Strawberry Shortcake Festival in Beacon, NY.

Sir Roger Penrose

Roger Penrose is a visionary cosmologist, mathematician and theoretical physicist.   He is a professor at Oxford University, has written numerous scientific articles and books.  He is closely associated with Stephen Hawking, and the differences in their philosophies is a source of great interest in the scientific community.  Sir Roger, at this writing, is most controversial for his theory about the existence of the Universe before the Big Bang.  In his theory, based on cosmological observation, we are living in an aeon among a series of aeons awaiting another Big Bang, and following previous ones.  This interview can be listened to by selecting March 10, 2011 on the archives page.

Captain Paul Watson

Paul is founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Society.  Anyone who has seen the Whale Wars series on Discovery/Animal Planet, or is aware of the slaughter of baby seals on the Newfoundland ice, is aware of his work.  Paul, whom I have titled Admiral, heads his own fleet which is effectively a private navy dedicated to protecting the seas and wildlife which dwells therein.  He was a co-founder of Greenpeace and director of the Sierra Club, neither of which were willing to take the fight to the level of direct action.  Admiral Paul puts his life on the line whenever he is at sea.  His crew is professional and dedicated and almost entirely volunteer.  When he is fired upon or threatened to be rammed, his defense is to shoot such non-lethal rounds as gallons of cream, chocolate or rancid butter at his adversary.  His credo:  Hurt no one;  break no laws.  Website is here:  Seashepherd Society   Interview is here:  August 26, 2010

Walter Isaacson

Walter is the author of three major biographies, Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin and  Albert Einstein.  The interview on July 24, 2008 relates essentially to the Einstein book, but there is a short and interesting segment about Henry Kissinger.  After Walter wrote the Kissinger bio, he vowed not to write a biography about a living person again.  He then  went back two hundred years and wrote about Benjamin Franklin.  When the unpublished Einstein papers were made available in 2006, Walter wrote the first new biography based on this new information.  Biography

Temple Grandin

Dr. Grandin is professor of animal science at Colorado State University.  Her methods and devices have revolutionized the cattle handling and beef industries in this country and beyond and about half of all cattle slaughtered in North America are done so using her methods.  Temple was diagnosed with autism at age four and doctors recommended she be institutionalized for the rest of her life.  She is a sterling example of how compassionate treatment of children who are different can be the difference between success and failure.  Temple has written a number of books and was the subject of Oliver Sacks’s An Anthropologist on Mars.  She is also the subject of a 2010 biographical HBO Movie starring Claire Danes called Temple Grandin. Temple’s website

John Cronin

John co-wrote The Riverkeepers with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  He was the original riverkeeper, serving for seventeen years on the Hudson which runs from north of Tahawus at Henderson lake to NY Harbor.  Currently director and CEO of the Beacon Institute.

Patrick Buchanan

Well-known conservative analyst and author.  Pat is a regular on the MacLaughlin Report on WNBC TV on Sunday mornings.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dr. Tyson is an astrophysicist & director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural history in New York City.  He hosts public television’s Nova ScienceNow series.  Neil’s website

Alan Chartock

Chairman of Albany Public Radio and a dozen or more affiliates;  Professor at SUNY, Albany and syndicated columnist of the Capitol Connection.  Alan hosts or contributes to several syndicated radio programs, some of which are heard on WVOX.  Alan is a recurring guest when he can squeeze another half hour out of an impossibly busy schedule.  One of the best informed people on New York State politics, past and present.

May Berenbaum

Noted entomologist, professor and author.  Since 1992 has been head of the Department of Entomology at UIUC.  A prolific writer, her curriculum vitae is 55 pages long.

Mark Moffett

Harvard Ph.D and high school dropout, myrmecologist Mark has on occasion become so enraptured with his subjects that he withstood myriad bites on field sites rather than retreat to comfortable surrounds.  His 2010 book, Adventures Among Ants (a Global Safari With a cast of Trillions)  includes descriptions of ant behavior which will astound you!  Some of the photos are jaw-dropping.

Satish Kumar

Activist, writer, publisher, speaker, co-editor of Visionaries book cited elsewhere.  Satish once walked from the grave of Mahatma Gandhi in India to that of John F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on a mission of peace.  Traveling without money by the good graces of those he met along the way, his Atlantic crossing was donated by Bertrand Russell.  In the US he met Martin Luther King, Jr., and on 9/11 was in lower Manhattan at a conference with Jane Goodall.

David Kaczinski

Activist.  Brother of unabomber Ted Kaczinski.

Robin Cook

Author of 27 medical thrillers (to date);  best known among them are Coma and Outbreak, both of which were made into major motion pictures.  Dr. Cook is an ophthalmologist, and considers himself a doctor who writes rather than a novelist first.  While Dr. Cook no longer practices medicine, he is sought after as a consultant, and remains affiliated with Boston General Hospital.

Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid is co-founder and head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  A dynamic activist who justifies her sometimes radical policies as necessary for the protection of our fellow beings, which she considers as deserving of proper treatment as humans.

Greg Palast

International Investigative Journalist;  Greg has a program on the BBC in England and a strong media presence in the US as well.  He has broken major stories, including voter fraud during the 2000 presidential elections.

David Suzuki

A household name in his native Canada.  As a boy, David spent time in a Japanese interment Camp during World War II.  He went on to become a well known scientist and television personality and is an environmental activist with his own foundation.

John Perkins

John’s 2004 book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a New York Times bestseller, is an extraordinary expose of the inner workings of that part of America of which we are not well-informed, and about which we would rather not know.  John Perkins was recruited and trained, then functioned as an EHM, helping large American corporations make loans to developing countries with the knowledge that they could never pay them back.  The corporations, then, effectively owned those countries and their economies.  When persuasion and corruption didn’t work, the EHM’s would step back and the jackals took over.  Their job:  assassination of those who stood in their way, usually heads of state and other influential international figures.

Charles M. Blow

Charles is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times

Supreme Master Ching Hai

Spiritual leader.  Author of three books.  Supreme Master Ching Hai has an international network of followers.  Her website is rich in information and includes a video version of our Nineleven ‘08 interview.

Thomas Grimaldi, MD

Dr. Grimaldi is a urologist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center on Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, NY.  He is a surgeon as well.

John Glover, actor

John, at the time of the interview (November 10, 2011), was co-starring with Ellen Burstyn in The Atmosphere of Memory at the Bank Street Theatre in Manhattan.  Next season he has been cast in Death of a Salesman with Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols.

Since it’s inception, there have been upwards of 240 guests interviewed on Environmentally Sound.  These are some of the best known among them. They are in no particular order.

See the radio archives page for links to these programs.