Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio
Aug 21, 2020
Introducing “People I (Mostly) Admire"
45 min
A new interview show with host Steve Levitt. Today he speaks with the Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker. By cataloging the steady march of human progress, the self-declared “polite Canadian” has managed to enrage people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Levitt tries to understand why.
How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
If Miami Will Be Underwater, Why Is Construction Booming?
Miami Beach could be mostly underwater within eighty years, but construction of new beachfront properties is booming. What’s behind this disconnect? To find out, writer Sarah Miller went undercover posing as a high end buyer to meet with real estate agents across the city. Here’s the story of what she found. Sarah Miller’s piece, along with 40 other amazing essays by women at the forefront of the climate movement, appear in the book Ayana co-edited with Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. To find out more about the book and all of the contributors, visit The essay is read by actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as excerpted from the star-studded audiobook for All We Can Save. Calls to action Check out this map of sea level rise projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to see what areas we likely to become inundated. Check out the rest of the climate anthology that Ayana co-edited, All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, at Since we’re a podcast, we recommend checking out the audiobook version, which includes America Fererra, Janet Mock, Sophia Bush, Ilana Glazer, and Jane Fonda among the readers. If you take an action we recommend in one of our episodes, do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how it went and what it felt like. Record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us at We might use it in an upcoming episode.
26 min
Curiosity Daily
Curiosity Daily
The Smells That Existed Before Earth (w/ Harold McGee)
Learn about why your dog might be lying about its size and how physicists just achieved room-temperature superconductivity for the first time. But first, food science expert Harold McGee is back to talk about the smells that existed before Earth did. Additional resources from food science expert and author Harold McGee: Pick up "Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells" on Amazon: Harold McGee's website: Harold McGee on Twitter: Your Dog Might Be Lying About Its Size by Reuben Westmaas McGuire, B., Olsen, B., Bemis, K. E., & Orantes, D. (2018). Urine marking in male domestic dogs: honest or dishonest? Journal of Zoology, 306(3), 163–170.  Physicists just achieved room-temperature superconductivity for the first time by Grant Currin Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time. (2020). Quanta Magazine. Snider, E., Dasenbrock-Gammon, N., McBride, R., Debessai, M., Vindana, H., Vencatasamy, K., Lawler, K. V., Salamat, A., & Dias, R. P. (2020). Room-temperature superconductivity in a carbonaceous sulfur hydride. Nature, 586(7829), 373–377. Subscribe to Curiosity Daily to learn something new every day with Ashley Hamer and Natalia Reagan (filling in for Cody Gough). You can also listen to our podcast as part of your Alexa Flash Briefing; Amazon smart speakers users, click/tap “enable” here:  See for privacy information.
12 min
Nature Podcast
Nature Podcast
Springer Nature Limited
Cellular ageing: turning back the clock restores vision in mice
A trio of genes may be key to making cells young again, and ultra precise measurement of a fundamental physics constant. In this episode: 00:47 Reversing ageing Researchers claim to have identified a method to revert cells in mice eyes back to a younger state. Research article: Lu et al. News and Views: Sight restored by turning back the epigenetic clock 09:39 Coronapod We discuss emergency-use approvals for COVID-19 vaccines. Approvals are coming in fast, which presents a dilemma for scientists - they’re critically needed, but what could it mean for research? News: Why emergency COVID-vaccine approvals pose a dilemma for scientists 27:04 Research Highlights Ancient megalodon nurseries, and predicting mud volcanoes. Research Highlight: Even Earth’s largest-ever sharks needed nurseries for their babies Research Highlight: How mud volcanoes are born under the sea 29:38 Fine measurement of the fine-structure constant The fine structure constant is a fundamental number that gives researchers an understanding of the laws of the universe. For years, scientists have been trying to get better measurements of it. This week, we see the most precise measurement yet. Research Article: Morel et al. News and Views: Fine-structure constant tests standard model 35:00 Briefing Chat We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a holistic plan to tackle climate challenges, and the rarest pollinator of them all - a lizard. Washington Post: An ancient people with a modern climate plan The Guardian: Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No, it’s a lizard pollinating South Africa’s ‘hidden flower’ See for privacy and opt-out information.
46 min
Future Perfect
Future Perfect
Rethinking meat
How can we convince people to change their relationship with meat? Melanie Joy has been grappling with this question for a long time. To answer it, she takes us back to other points in history when new technology helped make social change palatable. She digs into how the invention of the washing machine and other household appliances, for example, helped make feminism easier to imagine. Then, she looks to the future, at our latest meat technologies — plant-based meat and lab grown meat — and asks: Could they make it easier for us to move away from meat altogether?  Further listening and reading:  Joy’s books, Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.  Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewed Joy for an episode of The Ezra Klein Show in 2018. Hear that interview and read her book recommendations here. We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to  Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Featuring: Melanie Joy (@DrMelanieJoy) Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Follow Us: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22 min
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