Season 9, Episode 40

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves? Also: a psychology professor argues that the brain’s greatest […]

Season 9, Episode 39

There are thousands of books on the subject, but what do we actually know about creativity? We talk to the researchers who study it as well as the artists and pathbreakers who live it every day: Elvis Costello, Jennifer Egan, Margaret Geller, and more. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this […]

Season 9, Episode 38

Is there really a “loneliness epidemic”? That’s what some health officials are saying, but the data aren’t so clear. We look into what’s known (and not known) about the prevalence and effects of loneliness — including the possible upsides. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Is There […]

Season 9, Episode 37

Three university presidents try to answer our listeners’ questions about college in the age of Covid-19. The result? Not much pomp and a whole lot of circumstance. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “What Will College Look Like in the Fall (and Beyond)?”

Season 9, Episode 36

Humans have a built-in “negativity bias,” which means we give bad news much more power than good. Would the Covid-19 crisis be an opportune time to reverse this tendency? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “Reasons to Be Cheerful.”

Season 9, Episode 35

We speak with a governor, a former C.D.C. director, a pandemic forecaster, a hard-charging pharmacist, and a pair of economists — who say it’s all about the incentives. (Pandemillions, anyone?) To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “How Do You Reopen a Country?”

Season 9, Episode 34

The U.S. spent the past few decades waiting for China to act like the global citizen it said it wanted to be. The waiting may be over. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “Will Covid-19 Spark a Cold War (or Worse) With China?”

Season 9, Episode 33

Should a nurse or doctor who gets sick treating Covid-19 patients have priority access to a potentially life-saving healthcare device? Americans aren’t used to rationing in medicine, but it’s time to think about it. We consult a lung specialist, a bioethicist, and (of course) an economist. To find out more, check out the podcast from […]

Season 9, Episode 32

Covid-19 has shocked our food-supply system like nothing in modern history. We examine the winners, the losers, the unintended consequences — and just how much toilet paper one household really needs. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “What Happens When Everyone Stays Home to Eat?”

Season 9, Episode 31

Congress just passed the biggest aid package in modern history. We ask six former White House economic advisors and one U.S. Senator: Will it actually work? What are its best and worst features? Where does $2 trillion come from, and what are the long-term effects of all that government spending? To find out more, check […]