Social Science Bites

James Robinson

James Robinson on Why Nations Fail

Metrics on the average living standards from the best-off countries in the world (say, Norway) to the worst-off (such as the Central African Republic) vary by a factor of 40 to 50. So notes James Robinson

1 year ago
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Nick Adams

Nick Adams on Textual Analysis

Fake news, whether truly phony or merely unpalatable, has become an inescapable trope for modern media consumers. But apart from its propagandist provenance, misinformation and disinformation in our media diets is a genuine threat. Sociologist Nick Adams, in this Social Science Bites podcast, offers hope that a tool he’s developed can improve the media literacy of the populace.

1 year ago
372
Andrew Leigh

Andrew Leigh on Randomistas

When Angus Deaton crafted the term ‘randomista’ to denigrate the rampant use of randomized controlled trials in development economics, Angus Leigh saw an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons. In this Social Science Bites podcasts he explains how he turned randomista into a compliment and promotes the use of trials to improve social programs worldwide.

1 year ago
452
Diane Reay

Diane Reay on Education and Class

One thing has become clear to sociologist Diane Reay across her research – “It’s primarily working-class children who turn out to be losers in the educational system.” Whether it’s through the worst-funded schools, least-qualified teachers, most-temporary teaching arrangements or narrowest curricula, students from working class backgrounds in the United Kingdom (and the United States) draw the shortest educational straws.

1 year ago
831
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.

1 year ago
1057
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.

1 year ago
780
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
419
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
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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
414
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
183
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
273
Jo Boaler

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. In all adds up in this Social Science Bites podcast.

2 years ago
374
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