Rank #1: Full Show: Finding Order In Chaos
First: Scurvy. Website design. Store promotions. Turns out, randomized trials affect many parts of our daily lives.
Then: “The Origin of Species”… actually has a pretty interesting - and unexpected - origin.
Finally: In news that shouldn’t shock anyone who has ever been to a meeting, they can make you less productive. But how about the toll they take even before they start?
Jul 27 2018
Rank #2: Full Show: Taking Care of Business
Taking care of business can mean a lot of different things. From activist CEOs to the science of war to clean energy companies, we’re diving into how business actually gets done.
First up, CEOs used to keep their mouths shut. They’d donate to campaigns and spend money lobbying, sure, but for the most part, they wouldn’t comment on politics. That’s *definitely *no longer the case. Patagonia, Starbucks, Apple… corporations and the people in charge of them are commenting on issues ranging from LGBT rights to federal land management. Nordstrom even took a stand on Ivanka Trump. And according to Duke University associate professor Aaron Chatterji, there are a lot of complicated reasons for that.
Next, a split-second after a test of the atomic bomb, James Conant thought the world was going to end. It didn’t, of course, but the creation of the bomb was a transformational event. One that James Conant, a scientist and former President of Harvard, played a large role in. His grandaughter, author Jennet Conant, talks about his legacy, his leadership in The Manhattan Project, and what Conant, Robert Oppenheimer and others can teach us about using cutting-edge science to create weapons of war.
And finally, the business of sustainable energy isn’t always that, well… sustainable. Jay Whitacre, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, would know. His clean energy startup, Aquion Energy, filed for bankruptcy last year, despite raising $200 million from investors. We talk with him about the challenges facing companies — and researchers — focused on sustainable energy. And he tells us why the future still looks bright, at least outside the U.S.
Aug 10 2018
Rank #3: Designing Your Life
We all want fun and rewarding careers and personal lives. But, we never really learn how to achieve our life goals in college. Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Stanford professors and co-authors of “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life,” invented a college course to change just that.
May 25 2018
Rank #4: Full Show: Bridging The Chasm
There are a lot of chasms in the world, dividing lines between one thing and another. This week on Innovation Hub, we’ll take a look at those chasms, whether they’re in our digital life, our understanding of our own health, or in the complex systems that govern the world.
First up, the gap between failure and success can be razor-thin. And the tiniest issues can snowball into huge catastrophes. It happened in the nuclear plant Three Mile Island, with the 2008 financial crisis… even with the 2017 Oscars. Chris Clearfield walks us through the origins of these disasters, and explains why a high level of complexity makes a system vulnerable to meltdown.
Then, scarfing down that chocolate bar might give you some momentary pleasure, but it doesn’t make you happy. Yes, there’s a difference. And according to physician Robert Lustig, corporations are more than happy to exploit our confusion about that difference. He says that the chasm between pleasure and happiness is extremely important, and is responsible for many health-related crises in American society.
And finally, if you’re reading this, you probably have access to the internet. Which is great, because that means you can do your banking, read the news, and apply for jobs. But across the country, about one in five people don’t have access to those tools. Which means that they’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. Angela Siefer, the executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, talks about efforts to bridge this gap, and get everyone in the U.S. connected.
Sep 28 2018
Rank #5: Full Show: Unexpected Connections
Turns out, the Russian Revolution can teach us a lot about the power of Twitter. Niall Ferguson walks us through the history of networks.
Olympic athletes aren’t born with a tolerance for pain. They’ve just learned how to suffer.
A tree a day keeps the doctor away. Florence Williams explains why going outside can make you feel better.
Feb 09 2018
Rank #6: Full Show: Workplace Connections
You don’t have to fish for tuna to have a dangerous job. Stanford’s Jeffrey Pfeffer tells us why toxic workplaces lead to an enormous number of health problems.
How weaving rugs can empower Afghan women.
Everything is online nowadays. But what does that mean for the one in five Americans who can’t reliably access the internet?
May 18 2018
Rank #7: Full Show: What We Really Think
Thanksgiving involves getting stressed about the best way to cook a turkey, gathering around a table with the people you love, eating mountains of stuffing… and trying not to tell your family what you really think of them.
So, in celebration of Turkey Day, we’ve got stories that explore how and why we think the way we do: from what the Rorschach test actually tells us, to what exactly is going on inside teenagers’ brains.
Nov 24 2017
Rank #8: Full Show: Cultural Shifts
First: in the early 1970s, the average age of first-time moms was 21. Now, the average is 26. We talk with economist Caitlin Knowles Myers and New York Times correspondent Claire Cain Miller about why so many couples are putting off having kids and we also consider how education, politics and geography intersect with that decision.
Next, dear listeners, you had some thoughts about our show regarding the future of work. We’ve highlighted some of your workplace experiences with technology. Both the good and the bad.** **
Then: what if a personality test dictated the course of your career? For many, over the past several decades, the Myers-Briggs did just that. And it opened the door for personality testing in corporate America, the military, and even the church.
Nov 09 2018
Rank #9: The Psychology Behind Popularity
Do you ever wonder why some people are more popular than others? The foundation for climbing up the social ladder starts early, and it turns out that parents actually have an enormous influence on how well-liked their kids are. Psychology professor Mitch Prinstein explains how popularity develops and why it matters.
Dec 29 2017
Rank #10: Full Show: Cultural Impact
Behind movies like “Sunset Boulevard” and “Singin’ In The Rain,” there’s a real story about how Hollywood adapted to a groundbreaking innovation: sound.*
*A smart watch might make sense… but a smart toilet? We talk with David Rose about the future of the connected home.
Turns out, some members of the Amish community are using 3D printers. Find out how their community has thrived without - and with - technology.
Feb 16 2018
Rank #11: Full Show: Timing Is Everything
We’re always so concerned about how to do something, but we don't always consider when we should do it. When should we start a new project? When should we take a nap? We talk to author Daniel Pink about why timing is everything.
Even though beards are currently in style, there was a time when being clean shaven was the way to go. We take a look at the man who revolutionized the shaving industry.
Plus, if it seems like food allergies are on the rise, they are. One in every 13 children in America has some sort of food allergy, which marks a huge spike over the last few decades. We look at what could be causing the allergy increase and what’s being done to combat it.
Finally, killing rats may seem like the best way to deal with them. But, in fact, it's probably not be our best option when it comes to pest control. We find out what is.
Jan 19 2018
Rank #12: Full Show: Looking For America
As America celebrates the Fourth with fireworks and barbeques, we take a closer look at the ideals that have shaped our country.
Jun 30 2017
Rank #13: Full Show: The Ever-Present Past
“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
This week on Innovation Hub, we prove Faulkner right. We’ve got stories about how history still affects all our daily lives, in a myriad of different ways.
We start by taking a look at the origin of the debates over human rights. The Declaration of Independence’s second paragraph begins with the immortal phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But when did those rights become self-evident? According to historian Lynn Hunt, the very concept of human rights weren’t really talked about until the 18th century. She explains how the concept began, and why we’re constantly changing our definition of equality.
Then, how our own histories of trauma can affect our present health. Vincent Felitti is a doctor whose research has shown that patients who experienced childhood trauma were more likely to be sick when they grew up. He tells us how clinicians can use Adverse Childhood Experience scores to help people get better.
And finally, a newspaper that changed America. Journalist and author Ethan Michaeli traces the rise of The Chicago Defender, a legendary black newspaper that began in 1905. From the Great Migration, to the desegregation of the military, to the rise of Barack Obama, we’ll learn how its legacy is still felt in American life. Also, as we promised in the show, here are some of Bobby Sengstacke’s photos. Bobby Sengstacke was a photojournalist and the last Sengstacke to edit The Chicago Defender.
Dec 22 2017
Rank #14: Full Show: Mind Over Matter
American democracy. Where the people tell the politicians what to do… right? It turns out, politicians actually influence voters more than you think.
Then: We know more about the brain than ever before. Law professor Francis Shen talks about how what we’ve learned is playing out in our legal system.
Finally: That sugar-filled doughnut might bring you pleasure, but it probably doesn’t make you happy. Pediatrician Robert Lustig says, yes, there’s a difference between the two, and Americans are focusing too much on pleasure.
Mar 30 2018
Rank #15: Full Show: Crossing Boundaries And Borders
First: We ask UCLA history professor Katherine Benton-Cohen how America transformed from a country with open borders to one - by the 1920s - with a strict quota system.
Next: Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains the science behind how childhood trauma permanently impacts children’s mental and physical health.
Then: Remember that whole “all men are created equal” thing? We investigate how the end of the 18th century brought about a new discussion of human rights - one that forever changed history.
Jun 22 2018
Rank #16: Full Show: A Game Of Wits
First: American universities minted hundreds of thousands of savvy professionals in the latter half of the 20th century. We explore how those educated, creative thinkers may have - inadvertently - caused America’s decades-long decline.
Next: We talk with Harvard University professor Elizabeth Hinton about whether free education for people in prison makes sense.
Then: Do you think you’re smart? Probably. But are you rational? There’s a difference between the two, and it matters more than you think.
Jun 08 2018
Rank #17: Tapping Into Twin Studies
Seeing double? It’s not your imagination - birth rates of twins have been rising sharply, and twin studies are now, more than ever, influencing various disciplines. Everyone from economists, to religious scholars, to scientists see the value in studying twins. Nancy Segal, author of “Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study,” talks to us about the far-reaching effects of twins. And if you’re not a twin yourself, don’t feel left out, because what we learn from twins can lead to breakthroughs that impact us all. Segal, a professor of psychology at California State University, Fullerton, explains how twins can teach us about nature vs. nurture, parenting styles, and preventative medicine.
Feb 15 2019
Rank #18: Full Show: Change In Unexpected Places
First, a look at creative efforts to improve our health care system at the local level. Jon Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, and Sarah Kliff, a senior policy correspondent at Vox, discuss innovative steps that some states are taking to control health care costs and improve outcomes, including an effort to reduce the rate of premature birth.
Hotels have shaped American life from the Civil War to the civil rights movement. A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, author of “Hotel: An American History,” explains why the U.S. invented the modern hotel - and how the industry has influenced our country.
Dec 07 2018
Rank #19: Full Show: A Numbers Game
First: We ask a couple of public opinion experts how technology has made polling more convenient but less consistent - and what they see coming in 2018.
Then: Have you ever wondered who really owns that quaint craft beer you love? We investigate why large corporations often buy out their smaller, less-efficient competitors - and how limiting competition is bad news for both consumers and workers.
Finally: Economist John Quiggin tells us why he thinks generational labels like baby boomer and millennial are completely meaningless.
Jun 01 2018
Rank #20: Full Show: The Stages of Life
First up, we examine a question that most kids ask at some point: “Where do babies come from?” Science writer Edward Dolnick walks us through how humanity discovered the answer to that question. And the story involves Leonardo Da Vinci, sea urchins, and staring at sperm under a primitive microscope.
After that: What can scientists learn from the natural world? We visit the lab of Jeff Karp, a biomedical engineer who seeks inspiration from porcupines and geckos. Take a listen to find out how investigating sea slug slime led to the development of a glue that can adhere to almost any tissue in the human body. (The glue actually just received market approval in Europe.)
Finally, humans are living longer and longer. What does that mean for our society? Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, believes that we’re going to have to create entirely new stages* *of life.
Jan 12 2018