The Opioid Tragedy, Part 2: “It’s Not a Death Sentence” (Ep. 403)

One prescription drug is keeping some addicts from dying. So why isn’t it more widespread? A story of regulation, stigma, and the potentially fatal faith in abstinence.

Season 9, Episode 20

In the U.S. alone, we hold 55 million meetings a day. Most of them are woefully unproductive, and tyrannize our offices. The revolution begins now — with better agendas, smaller invite lists, and an embrace of healthy conflict. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “How to Make […]

The Opioid Tragedy, Part 1: “We’ve Addicted an Entire Generation” (Ep. 402)

How pharma greed, government subsidies, and a push to make pain the “fifth vital sign” kicked off a crisis that costs $80 billion a year and has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Season 9, Episode 19

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down. To find out more, check out the podcast from which […]

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing (Ep. 334 Rebroadcast)

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too.

Season 9, Episode 18

Global demand for beef, chicken, and pork continues to rise. So do concerns about environmental and other costs. Will reconciling these two forces be possible — or, even better, Impossible™? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The Future of Meat.”

The Zero-Minute Workout (Ep. 383 Rebroadcast)

There is strong evidence that exercise is wildly beneficial. There is even stronger evidence that most people hate to exercise. So if a pill could mimic the effects of working out, why wouldn’t we want to take it?

Season 9, Episode 17

Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted Ph.D., is well-qualified to answer this question. Her verdict: the data don’t tell the whole story. To find out more, check out the podcasts from […]

How Many Prince Charleses Can There Be in One Room? (Ep. 401)

In a special holiday episode, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth take turns asking each other questions about charisma, wealth vs. intellect, and (of course) grit.

Season 9, Episode 16

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “How Much Does Your Name Matter?”