Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 2: Digital) (Ep. 441)

Google and Facebook are worth a combined $2 trillion, with the vast majority of their revenue coming from advertising. In our previous episode, we learned that TV advertising is much less effective than the industry says. Is digital any better? Some say yes, some say no — and some say we’re in a full-blown digital-ad bubble.

Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV) (Ep. 440)

Companies around the world spend more than half-a-trillion dollars each year on ads. The ad industry swears by its efficacy — but a massive new study tells a different story.

Please Get Your Noise Out of My Ears (Ep. 439)

The modern world overwhelms us with sounds we didn’t ask for, like car alarms and cell-phone “halfalogues.” What does all this noise cost us in terms of productivity, health, and basic sanity?

Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research? (Ep. 430)

We explore the science, scalability, and (of course) economics surrounding the global vaccine race. Guests include the chief medical officer of the first U.S. firm to go to Phase 3 trials with a vaccine candidate; a former F.D.A. commissioner who’s been warning of a pandemic for years; and an economist who thinks Covid-19 may finally change how diseases are cured.

Remembrance of Economic Crises Past (Ep. 425)

Christina Romer was a top White House economist during the Great Recession. As a researcher, she specializes in the Great Depression. She tells us what those disasters can (and can’t) teach us about the Covid crash.

68 Ways to Be Better at Life (Ep. 419)

The accidental futurist Kevin Kelly on why enthusiasm beats intelligence, how to really listen, and why the solution to bad technology is more technology.

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.”

Reasons to Be Cheerful (Ep. 417)

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?

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?”