Meaning Lab
#60: Wade Davis on Becoming an Entrepreneur of Knowledge

#60: Wade Davis on Becoming an Entrepreneur of Knowledge

Cognitive Revolution | How this intellectual powerhouse made a career out of following his curiosity

This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.

Wade Davis makes his living being interesting. He is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist by trade, and holds a position as the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. In August 2020, he wrote an essay that became the most viral piece ever published on Rolling Stone's website (link below). He was first put on the map by his 1986 book on Haitian zombies, "The Serpent and the Rainbow." From there he's developed an incredible career as an author, TV host, and photographer. He's made an inspiring non-traditional path for himself, following what's of greatest interest to him rather than pandering to the academic job market. I find it incredibly inspiring, and in this conversation we get into all the details about what that track as an "entrepreneur of knowledge" has look liked for Wade.

Wade’s viral essay on the End of the American Era.


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Meaning Lab
Welcome to the Meaning Lab podcast. In each episode, I talk to a scientist, author, or artist about their approach to meaning-making — from language, to productivity, to writing, to travel. It's all fair game, as long as it gets us closer to understanding how we make sense of the world and our place in it.