What Are the Police for, Anyway? (Ep. 476)

The U.S. is an outlier when it comes to policing, as evidenced by more than 1,000 fatal shootings by police each year. But we’re an outlier in other ways too: a heavily-armed populace, a fragile mental-health system, and the fact that we spend so much time in our cars. Add in a history of racism and it’s no surprise that barely half of all Americans have a lot of confidence in the police. So what if we start to think about policing as … philanthropy?

The Mom Who Stole the Blueprints for the Atomic Bomb (The Freakonomics Radio Book Club Ep. 11)

To her neighbors in the English countryside, the woman known as Mrs. Burton was a cake-baking mother of three. To the Soviet Union, she was an invaluable Cold War operative. Ben Macintyre, author of Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy, explains how the woman who fed America’s atomic secrets to the Russians also struggled to balance her family and her cause. Hosted by Sarah Lyall.

Check the Data: It’s a Man’s World (The Freakonomics Radio Book Club Ep. 10)

Do you think public bathrooms are too small, smartphones are too big, and public transit just wasn’t made for you? Then you’re probably a woman. In her book Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Caroline Criado Perez argues that products and processes — from medications to snowplow routes — have historically been tailored for the “standard male.” Hosted by Maria Konnikova.

See a random post from our archives:
01 29 2015

How Safe Is Your Job? (Ep. 194): Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast " How Safe Is Your Job?"

[MUSIC: Nicholas Tremulis; “Juju’s Farewell” (from Little Big Songs)]
Richard LIEBERMAN: In terms of home entertainment in the late 19th century and into the 20th century, the piano was the focus.
That’s Richard Lieberman.
LIEBERMAN:...

Amanda & Lily Levitt Share What It’s Like to be Steve’s Daughters (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 46)

Steve shows a different side of himself in very personal interviews with his two oldest daughters. Amanda talks about growing up with social anxiety and her decision to not go to college, while Lily speaks candidly about her battle with anorexia and the conversation she had with Steve that led her to finally seek treatment.

A Playbook for Beating the Next Pandemic (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 8)

We dig into why Covid-19 caught us so unprepared and how we can make sure we’re ready for a future public-health crisis with former FDA director Scott Gottlieb.

How Can You Escape Binary Thinking? (NSQ Ep. 67)

Also: why is it so satisfying to find a bargain?

Leidy Klotz on Why the Best Solutions Involve Less — Not More (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 45)

When we try to improve things, our first thought is often: What can we add to make this better? But Leidy, a professor of engineering, says we tend to overlook the fact that a better solution might be to take something away. He and Steve talk about examples from Leidy’s book Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, and from their own lives.

What Happens to Patients When Thousands of Cardiologists Leave Town? (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 7)

This week, Bapu Jena presents some hot-off-the-presses research exploring the relationship between how many patients a doctor sees, and how well those patients do. Plus, the surprising impact of annual cardiology conferences that prompted Bapu’s first conversation with Stephen Dubner on Freakonomics Radio.

Why Does the Richest Country in the World Have So Many Poor Kids? (Ep. 475)

Among O.E.C.D. nations, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty. How can that be? To find out, Stephen Dubner speaks with a Republican senator, a Democratic mayor, and a large cast of econo-nerds. Along the way, we hear some surprisingly good news: Washington is finally ready to attack the problem head-on.

When Is It OK to Tell a Lie? (NSQ Ep. 66)

Also: is obsessing over your mental health bad for your mental health?

Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 44)

An expert on urban economics and co-author of the new book Survival of the City, Ed says cities have faced far worse than Covid. Steve talks with the Harvard professor about why the slums of Mumbai function so well, high-quality housing in China sits empty, and declining cities hang on for so long.