Social Science Bites

Welcome to the blog for the Social Science Bites podcast: a series of interviews with leading Social Scientists. Each episode explores an aspect of our social world. You can access all audio and the transcripts from each interview here. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @socialscibites to keep up to date on the latest activities.

MAHZARIN BANAJI

Mahzarin Banaji on Implicit Bias

“The brain is an association-seeking machine,” Harvard social psychologist Mahzarin R. Banaji tells interviewer David Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast. “It puts things together that repeatedly get paired in our experience. Implicit bias is just another word for capturing what those are when they concern social groups.

2 years ago
3386
Richard Wilkinson

Richard Wilkinson on How Inequality is Bad

In this Social Science Bites podcast, social epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson lays out the case that inequality should be fought specifically because it fosters a litany of ill effects.

2 years ago
2475
Celia Heyes

Celia Heyes on Cognitive Gadgets

How did humans diverge so markedly from animals? Apart from physical things like our “physical peculiarities,” as experimental psychologist Celia Heyes puts it, or our fine motor control, there’s something even more fundamentally – and cognitively — different. hear more in our newest Social Science Bites podcast.

2 years ago
1291
Alison Liebling

Alison Liebling on Successful Prisons

In determining what makes a successful prison, where would you place ‘trust’? Alison Liebling, director of the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology’s Prisons Research Centre, would place it at the top spot. As she tells interviewer David Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast, she believes what makes a prison good is the existence and the practice of trust.

2 years ago
2072
David Spiegelhalter

David Spiegelhalter on Communicating Statistics

While they aren’t as unpopular as politicians or journalists, people who work with statistics come in for their share of abuse. “Figures lie and liars figure,” goes one maxim. And don’t forget, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” But some people are the good guys, doing their best to combat the flawed or dishonest use of numbers. One of those good guys is the guest of this Social Science Bites podcast, David Spiegelhalter, professor of the public understanding of risk at Cambridge and current president of the Royal Statistical Society.

2 years ago
1282
Sander van der Linden

Sander van der Linden on Viral Altruism

When online charitable appeals take off, social psychologist Sander van der Linden perks up. He studies ‘viral altruism,’ and in this Social Science Bites podcast he details to host David Edmonds how he studies this phenomenon.

2 years ago
567
Melinda Mills

Melinda Mills on Sociogenomics

Combining sociology and genetics, Melinda Mills and her collaborators abandon the nature v. nurture controversy for empirical research on family formation, inequality, child-rearing and other real-life concerns. In this Social Science Bites podcast, she discusses this new field of ‘sociogenomics.’

2 years ago
787

Jo Boaler on Fear of Mathematics

There’s a lot of myths that get in the way of learning maths, says Stanford University’s Jo Boaler, and her research not only topples conventional wisdom but gives solid ways of allowing everyone to harness their inherent ability to excel at mathematics.

3 years ago
1362
Beverley Skeggs

Bev Skeggs on Social Media Siloing

“Most people,” explains Goldsmiths sociologist Bev Skeggs in this Social Science Space podcast, “think they’re using Facebook to communicate with friends. Basically they’re using it to reveal how much they can be sold for, now and in the future, and how much their friends can be sold for.”

3 years ago
1179
Sabina Alkire

Sabina Alkire on Measuring Poverty

Economist Sabina Alkire has spent her career looking at all the things beyond just a lack of money that make us poor. In this Social Science Bites podcast, the director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative explains the need for a consistent and reputable means of measuring poverty over time.

3 years ago
856
Tom Chatfield

Tom Chatfield on Critical Thinking and Bias

Philosopher Tom Chatfield’s media presence – which is substantial – is often directly linked to his writings on technology. But his new book is on critical thinking, and while that involves humanity’s oldest computer, the brain, Chatfield explains in this Social Science Bites podcast that new digital realities interact with old human biases.

3 years ago
2304
Ioanna Palaiologou

Ioanna Palaiologou on Play

In the Social Science Bites podcast, Ioanna Palaiologou and Dave Edmonds also talk about cultural differences in play and how it is a vital part of children’s emotional development. All work and no play, it seems, does more than make Jack a dull boy.

3 years ago
744