How to Optimize Your Apology (Ep. 353)

You said, “I’m sorry,” but somehow you haven’t been forgiven. Why? Because you’re doing it wrong! A report from the front lines of apology science.

Can This Man Stop a Trade War? (Ep. 352)

The World Trade Organization is the referee for 164 trading partners, each with their own political and economic agendas. Lately, those agendas have gotten more complicated — especially with President Trump’s tariff blitz. Roberto Azevêdo, head of the W.T.O., tells us why it’s so hard to balance protectionism and globalism; what’s really behind the loss of jobs; and what he’d say to Trump (if he ever gets the chance).

Extra: Shawn Johnson Full Interview

A conversation with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

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05 20 2009

The Downside of Sexy Science

A paper by a team of scientists and analysts maps out how fields and subdisciplines emerge in 21st-century science. One of the main findings: much like trendy baby names boom and bust, the most high-influence subdisciplines also tend to be the most short-lived. (HT: Very Short List) [%comments]

Here’s Why You’re Not an Elite Athlete (Ep. 351)

There are a lot of factors that go into greatness, many of which are not obvious. A variety of Olympic and professional athletes tell us how they made it and what they sacrificed to get there. And if you can identify the sport most likely to get a kid into a top college — well then, touché!

Extra: Full Interviews With Jimmy Garoppolo, Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey, and Kyle Juszczyk

Stephen Dubner’s conversations with members of the San Francisco 49ers offense, recorded for Freakonomics Radio episode No. 350, part of the “Hidden Side of Sports” series.

How to Stop Being a Loser (Ep. 350)

The San Francisco 49ers, one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, also used to be one of the best. But they’ve been losing lately — a lot — and one of their players launched a controversy by taking a knee during the national anthem. So why is everyone there so optimistic? To find out, we speak with the team’s owner, head coach, general manager, and star players, including their new $137.5 million quarterback. (Ep. 2 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.)

How Sports Became Us (Ep. 349)

Dollar-wise, the sports industry is surprisingly small, about the same size as the cardboard-box industry. So why does it make so much noise? Because it reflects — and often amplifies — just about every political, economic, and social issue of the day. Introducing a new series, “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

Is the Government More Entrepreneurial Than You Think? (Ep. 348)

We all know the standard story: our economy would be more dynamic if only the government would get out of the way. The economist Mariana Mazzucato says we’ve got that story backward. She argues that the government, by funding so much early-stage research, is hugely responsible for big successes in tech, pharma, energy, and more. But the government also does a terrible job in claiming credit — and, more important, getting a return on its investment.

Where to Find Every Episode of Freakonomics Radio

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Why You Shouldn’t Open a Restaurant (Ep. 347)

Kenji Lopez-Alt became a rock star of the food world by bringing science into the kitchen in a way that everyday cooks can appreciate. Then he dared to start his own restaurant — and discovered problems that even science can’t solve.

Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet (Ep. 346)

The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right?