StarTalk’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Susan Rice.
StarTalk’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Susan Rice.

Tough Love and Geopolitics, with Susan Rice

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ambassador Susan Rice. Credit: StarTalk.
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio

About This Episode

(WARNING: This episode contains strong language, discussions of suicide and mental health, and other adult topics.)

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson investigates the ever-changing, fragile, and layered world of geopolitics with former National Security Advisor to President Obama – Ambassador Susan Rice, PhD. Susan’s book, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For explores her “dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy.” In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice and neuroscientist Heather Berlin, PhD.

We start at the beginning. Susan takes us back to her youth where she first learned the concept of “tough love.” We discuss the three different types of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Heather helps us understand the roots and development of “mental toughness.” Susan explains how playing basketball and tennis helped her prepare to deal with difficult situations later in life. 

Find out why a little stress can go a long way. Susan shares some of the challenges she faced during her turbulent first few months serving as National Security Advisor. Heather tells us the upsides and downsides of compartmentalizing your brain. You’ll learn about dissociative identity disorder.

Then, we welcome Stephen Garcia, Chief Information Security Officer at the cybersecurity company ConsenSys, to explore what warfare might look like in the future. Ambassador Rice weighs in on the future of national security and foreign policy. We ponder the rise of autonomous weapons. Discover more about how information is being weaponized. Lastly, we ask: should there be ethicists advising countries on matters of national security? 

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us: Paul Weist, Alexandra Uribe Coughlan, Annie C Hickman.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics