Season 9, Episode 10

Continuing our conversation with Girl Scouts C.E.O. Sylvia Acevedo. Then: 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? To find out more, check out the […]

Why Does Tipping Still Exist? (Ep. 396)

It’s an acutely haphazard way of paying workers, and yet it keeps expanding. We dig into the data to find out why.

Season 9, Episode 9

Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still […]

Speak Softly and Carry Big Data (Ep. 395)

Do economic sanctions work? Are big democracies any good at spreading democracy? What is the root cause of terrorism? It turns out that data analysis can help answer all these questions — and make better foreign-policy decisions. Guests include former Department of Defense officials Chuck Hagel and Michèle Flournoy and Chicago Project on Security and Threats researchers Robert Pape and Paul Poast. Recorded live in Chicago; Steve Levitt is co-host.

Does Hollywood Still Have a Princess Problem? (Ep. 394)

For decades, there’s been a huge gender disparity both on-screen and behind the scenes. But it seems like cold, hard data — with an assist from the actor Geena Davis — may finally be moving the needle.

Season 9, Episode 7

In 2016, David Cameron held a referendum on whether the U.K. should stay in the European Union. A longtime Euroskeptic, he nevertheless led the Remain campaign. So what did Cameron really want? We ask him that and much more — including why he left office as soon as his side lost and what he’d do […]

The Prime Minister Who Cried Brexit (Ep. 392)

In 2016, David Cameron held a referendum on whether the U.K. should stay in the European Union. A longtime Euroskeptic, he nevertheless led the Remain campaign. So what did Cameron really want? We ask him that and much more — including why he left office as soon as his side lost and what he’d do differently if given another chance. (Hint: not much.)

Season 9, Episode 5

Mary Daly rose from high-school dropout to president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She thinks the central bank needs an upgrade too. It starts with recognizing that the economy is made up of actual humans. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “Fed Up.”

America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up (Ep. 391)

Most high-school math classes are still preparing students for the Sputnik era. Steve Levitt wants to get rid of the “geometry sandwich” and instead have kids learn what they really need in the modern era: data fluency.

Season 9, Episode 4

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? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “Two (Totally Opposite) […]