As a cultural scientist, passionate traveler and science journalist, Kayt Sukel has no problem tackling interesting (and often risky) subjects spanning love, sex, risk taking, neuroscience, travel and politics. And she knows more about sex than you do. (According to Forbes, at any rate…)

Her work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Scientist, USA Today, Pacific Standard, the Washington Post, ISLANDS, Parenting, the Bark, American Baby, National Geographic Traveler, and the AARP Bulletin. She is a partner at the award-winning family travel website Travel Savvy Mom, and is also a frequent contributor to the Dana Foundation’s many science publications. She has written stories about out-of-body experiences, fMRI orgasms, computer models of schizophrenia, the stigma of single motherhood and why one should travel to exotic lands with young children.

Her first book, This is Your Brain On Sex: The Science Behind the Search for Love is an irreverent and funny tome that takes on the age-old question, “What is love?” from a neurobiological perspective. Called “a fun and insightful read,” by Scientific American Mind and “a serious, informative and highly entertaining survey of the neurobiology of sexual attraction,” by the Washington Post, This is Your Brain on Sex offers a new take on that crazy little thing called love. Sukel’s latest book, The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution & Chance, an investigation into the science of risk-taking, was published in March 2016. In it she breaks down why aggressive risk takers are as thoughtful, if not more thoughtful, than more conservative business people, and how smart risk taking is both important and necessary to succeed in your career and your life. The Art of Risk was named “a book to upgrade your life in 2016” by as well as a “blithe and personable guide to risk-taking” by Kirkus Reviews.

Kayt has graced the stage at TEDMED and Chicago Ideas Week with some of the world’s greatest scientists, thought leaders and innovators–and has also given talks at universities, book stores and museums across the United States and Canada. She lives in Houston, Texas (and is as surprised as you are about it) and can frequently be found oversharing on Twitter as @kaytsukel.

“Science is teaching us how much a simple change in the environment can alter the way we behave, the way we react to a situation, and what we can bring to it.”

In This Episode:

  • Her fascination with the brain
  • Applying to college at any early age
  • Conditioned learning vs. guided discovery
  • Little movements forward to take you the distance
  • Why curiosity guides her life
  • Importance of having freedom to explore as a child
  • What is it about sex that drives us
  • Sex vs. love
  • Were humans meant to practice monogamy?
  • Common threads risk takers share
  • Reaching the edge of danger
  • Neurology of the brain and its relation to risk
  • Turning off the overthinking part of your brain
  • How people can become better at risk taking
  • Which mental skills are most important
  • How the mind reacts to threat


The Art of Risk

Dirty Minds How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships


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