What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 10 This week on Freakonomics Radio: What would be the best universal language? Stephen J. Dubner explores votes for English, Indonesian, and … Esperanto! The search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Will technology finally solve that? To find out more, check out the […]

Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 9 This week on Freakonomics Radio: there are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel? Plus: the search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “Will technology finally solve […]

Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature)

A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?

What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

We explore votes for English, Indonesian, and … Esperanto! The search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Will technology finally solve that?

“How Much Brain Damage Do I Have?”

Season 7, Episode 2 This week on Freakonomics Radio: John Urschel was the only player in the N.F.L. also getting a math Ph.D. at M.I.T. But after a new study came out linking football to brain damage, he abruptly retired. Stephen J. Dubner brings you the inside story — and a look at how we make decisions […]

Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

There are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel?

“How Much Brain Damage Do I Have?”

John Urschel was the only player in the N.F.L. simultaneously getting a math Ph.D. at M.I.T. But after a new study came out linking football to brain damage, he abruptly retired. Here’s the inside story — and a look at how we make decisions in the face of risk versus uncertainty.

Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis (Rebroadcast)

By some estimates, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. How can that be? And what's to be done? Our third and final episode in this series offers some encouraging answers.

Bad Medicine, Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations (Rebroadcast)

How do so many ineffective and even dangerous drugs make it to market? One reason is that clinical trials are often run on “dream patients” who aren’t representative of a larger population. On the other hand, sometimes the only thing worse than being excluded from a drug trial is being included.

Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (Rebroadcast)

We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new era of evidence-based medicine is the solution.