playlist

The weird science of love

Love often feels inexplicable, the most unpredictable of forces. Using science, math and methodical observation, these speakers offer clues to understanding it.

  1. 15:56
    Helen Fisher The brain in love

    Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.

  2. 17:02
    Hannah Fry The mathematics of love

    Finding the right mate is no cakewalk — but is it even mathematically likely? In a charming talk, mathematician Hannah Fry shows patterns in how we look for love, and gives her top three tips (verified by math!) for finding that special someone.

  3. 17:27
    Amy Webb How I hacked online dating

    Amy Webb was having no luck with online dating. The dates she liked didn't write her back, and her own profile attracted crickets (and worse). So, as any fan of data would do: she started making a spreadsheet. Hear the story of how she went on to hack her online dating life — with frustrating, funny and life-changing results.

  4. 14:53
    Tristram Wyatt The smelly mystery of the human pheromone

    Do our smells make us sexy? Popular science suggests yes — pheromones send chemical signals about sex and attraction from our armpits to potential mates. But, despite what you might have heard, there is no conclusive research confirming that humans have these smell molecules. In this eye-opening talk, zoologist Tristram Wyatt explains the fundamental flaws in current pheromone research, and shares his hope for a future that unlocks the fascinating, potentially life-saving knowledge tied up in our scent.

  5. 23:27
    Helen Fisher Why we love, why we cheat

    Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes on a tricky topic — love –- and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its social importance. She closes with a warning about the potential disaster inherent in antidepressant abuse.