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Zeynep Tufekci

22 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 Feb 2023 | Updated Daily

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Zeynep Tufekci on the Sociology of The Moment (Live)

Conversations with Tyler

When Zeynep Tufekci penned a New York Times op-ed at the onset of the pandemic challenging the prevailing public health guidance that ordinary people should not wear masks, she thought it was the end of her public writing career. Instead, it helped provoke the CDC to reverse its guidance a few weeks later, and medical professionals privately thanked her for writing it. While relieved by the reception, she also saw it as a sign of a deeper dysfunction in the scientific establishment: why should she, a programmer and sociologist by training, have been the one to speak out rather than a credentialed expert? And yet realizing her outsider status and academic tenure allowed her to speak more freely than others, she continued writing and has become one of the leading public intellectuals covering the response to COVID-19. Zeynep joined Tyler to discuss problems with the media and the scientific establishment, what made the lab-leak hypothesis unacceptable to talk about, how her background in sociology was key to getting so many things right about the pandemic, the pitfalls of academic contrarianism, what Max Weber understood about public health crises, the underrated aspects of Kemel Mustapha’s regime, how Game of Thrones interested her as a sociologist (until the final season), what Americans get wrong about Turkey, why internet-fueled movements like the Gezi protests fizzle out, whether Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise in Turkey, how she’d try to persuade a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic, whether public health authorities should ever lie for the greater good, why she thinks America is actually less racist than Europe, how her background as a programmer affects her work as a sociologist, the subject of her next book, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Note: This conversation was recorded on July 14th, 2021, before the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Zeynep on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox.  Thumbnail photo credit: Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

1hr 5mins

25 Aug 2021

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141 | Zeynep Tufekci on Information and Attention in a Networked World

Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas

In a world flooded with information, everybody necessarily makes choices about what we pay attention to. This basic fact can be manipulated in any number of ways, from advertisers micro-targeting specific groups to repressive governments flooding social media with misinformation, or for that matter well-meaning people passing along news from sketchy sources. Zeynep Tufekci is a sociologist who studies the flow of information and its impact on society, especially through social media. She has provided insightful analyses of protest movements, online privacy, and the Covid-19 pandemic. We talk about how technology has been shaping the information space we all inhabit.Support Mindscape on Patreon.Zeynep Tufekci received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas-Austin. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and will be a Visiting Professor at the Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security at Columbia University. She is the author of Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Atlantic, and elsewhere, and she publishes the Insight newsletter on Substack.Web siteUNC web pageInsight @ SubstackGoogle Scholar publicationsNew York Times profileWikipediaTwitterSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 17mins

5 Apr 2021

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A Sociologist’s Methodology for Pandemic Predictions and Public Health Messaging – An interview with Dr. Zeynep Tufekci

The Open Forum Infectious Diseases Podcast

In episode 35 of the OFID podcast, OFID Editor in Chief Paul Sax, MD, is joined by Zeynep Tufekci, PhD, sociologist and associate professor at the University of North Carolina, to discuss the logic behind her prescient COVID-19 pandemic conclusions, and her use of op-eds in prominent news outlets to amplify her findings.


18 Mar 2021

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February 7, 2021: One-on-one with White House press secretary Jen Psaki; 'consequence culture' comes for Lou Dobbs; Zeynep Tufekci on why everyone should stop 'doomscrolling'

Reliable Sources

Plus... Dominion spokesman Michael Steel explains the voting tech company's legal strategy; David Folkenflik discusses the latest turmoil at The New York Times; and Dannagal Young explains the twisted psychology of conspiracy theories. Lynn Oberlander, Brittany Shepherd, Michael Steel, David Folkenflik, Dannagal Young, and Zeynep Tufekci join Brian Stelter.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy


7 Feb 2021

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What We Got Wrong with Zeynep Tufekci

Why Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast

The U.S. just surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus as infection rates spike across the country. If you look at the charts tracking the reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, it shows the country on a dangerous trajectory. How did we get to this point? Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci has spent time studying the sociology of pandemics and says her alarm bells were going off all the way back in January. She’s spent months writing with an almost unparalleled clarity about the many interlocking aspects of the pandemic, often with insights than turn out to be well ahead of the curve. Tufekci lends her insights on the early missteps in containing this pandemic and what a success story would look like.How Zeynep Tufekci Keeps Getting the Big Things Right (New York Times, Aug 2020)Follow Zeynep on TwitterTwitter and Tear Gas by Zeynep Tufekci

1hr 8mins

10 Nov 2020

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Why Zeynep Tufekci saw the pandemic coming - and what else she knows

Recode Media

Zeynep Tufekci is an academic and writes for the Atlantic. She’s not an epidemiologist. So how did she see the pandemic coming before most everyone else? Tufekci sits down with Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk about experts, expertise, the problem the media has with communicating risk - and why she’s starting her own newsletter, too.Featuring:Zeyneep Tufekci (@zeynep), sociologist and writer for The AtlanticHost: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at RecodeMore to explore: Subscribe for free to Recode Media, Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians, and more to get their take on today's media landscape.About Recode by Vox: Recode by Vox helps you understand how tech is changing the world — and changing us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr 7mins

29 Oct 2020

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Amanpour: Boris Lushniak, Ryan Lizza, Deborah Pearlstein, Mark Landler, Matthew Chance, and Zeynep Tufekci


Well-wishers around the world are sending messages to President Trump and the First Lady, since they contracted coronavirus. Former Deputy U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak joins Christiane Amanpour to discuss the president’s diagnosis. Chief POLITICO Correspondent Ryan Lizza and Deborah Pearlstein, Professor at Cardozo Law School, discuss the political implications. Then, New York Times London bureau chief Mark Landler breaks down how Prime Minister Boris Johnson's experience could map out President Trump’s future. CNN’s Senior International Correspondent, Matthew Chance, shares the details of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own “protective bubble.” Academic and writer for The Atlantic Zeynep Tufekci tells Amanpour what she thinks we’re missing when we talk about the spread of the pandemic.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy


2 Oct 2020

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Zeynep Tufekci (part two): How we get out of this mess and predictions for the future

Out of the Crisis

After Part One, you should have a sense of Zeynep. If you haven't listened, it is worth going back and hearing her impressive background and history.  In part two, we changed our focus and started talking about the pandemic. We discussed her early work advocating for common sense policies, how we got our response so wrong, and what we can do now to begin the recovery. Given her history of being right, we should all pay attention to what she has to say. 

1hr 12mins

24 Aug 2020

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From Gezi Park to Black Lives Matter, with Zeynep Tufekci

Big Technology Podcast

Social media-fueled protests are a force to be reckoned with in politics today. Movements like Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter have drawn millions into the streets in protest of central authorities. But can these movements be effective in the long term? Alex sits down with the field's leading writer and researcher, Zeynep Tufekci, to talk it through.


19 Aug 2020

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Zeynep Tufekci (part one): from Turkey to Technosociology

Out of the Crisis

Zeynep Tufekci may be the most important account on Twitter. The reason being she has a habit of being early on the defining trends shaping our world. The pandemic was no different. Zeynep was sounding the alarm early in 2020, calling for common sense policies advocated by public health officials. It's safe to say, we would have been better off if we had listened to her.Zeynep's life is unique, and I didn't want to cut the fascinating stories she told me. So, I split this conversation into two parts. In this first part, Zeynep discusses growing up in Turkey, learning to code, and tricking IBM into hiring her.

1hr 10mins

17 Aug 2020