How did the ancient Greeks think about technology? Were they techno-optimists or pessimists? How do their myths – of Pandora, Odysseus, Talos, and Icarus – parallel to the technological possibilities that we’ve uncovered in the present? And what can we learn from these narratives? In this episode, I explore these questions and more with Dr. Adrienne Mayor, the author of Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology.

Adrienne Mayor is a folklorist and historian of ancient science who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. She is the Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, and her research looks at ancient “folk science” precursors, alternatives, and parallels to modern scientific methods.



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