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How Do We Fix It?

379 EpisodesProduced by DaviesContentWebsite

From politics to the personal, we're about solutions. Our weekly podcast features two friends and longtime journalists. Join Richard Davies (ABC News) and Jim Meigs (Popular Mechanics) as they challenge authors, experts and provocateurs in a search for positive, practical ideas. Guests include Alan … read more

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Anti-Racism: The Pro-Human Approach. Bion Bartning

January 26th, 2023


Sixty years ago in his most famous speech, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his vision of an America transformed. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be …

Pushing Back Against Polarization: The Village Square. Liz Joyner

January 12th, 2023


One way to help solve America's polarization crisis is to hang out with someone not like you. Someone who sees the world differently or comes from a …

What Will We Fix in 2023? Jim & Richard's Predictions

December 29th, 2022


2022 was another year of COVID-induced anxiety with widespread worries about democracy, polarization, climate change and threats to democracy. But in …

The Costs of Culture Wars: Curiosity at Risk. Deborah Appleman

December 15th, 2022


In some ways, our culture is less tolerant and more fragile than it once was. The teaching of literature in schools and colleges is often caught in …

Our Electricity Grid is Surprisingly Fragile: Meredith Angwin

December 1st, 2022


Every day Americans take the reliable supply of electricity for granted. Except during severe storms, we rarely, if ever, think that the lights might not turn on in the morning.

But in some parts of the country, …

Democracy: The Voters Verdict. Layla Zaidane and David Meyers

November 17th, 2022


We have a 2022 post-election show with a twist. Instead of focusing on which party is up or down, we open the hood and examine the engine of our democracy. Voters delivered a clear verdict: Most election deniers were …

Fixing the Housing Affordability Crisis. Ed Glaeser

November 3rd, 2022


No other issue has greater potential for common ground than America's housing affordability crisis. Progressives and conservatives alike agree that for far too many Americans there is a critical shortage of available …

Homecoming: The Case for a Post-Global World with Rana Foroohar

October 20th, 2022


For much of the past fifty years, American political leaders of both parties have assumed that globalization and free trade would lead to more …

They Changed Our Minds. Alina Chan and Jonathan Rauch

October 14th, 2022


How do you tell the difference between truth and lies? The answer involves a careful process of seeking knowledge that may contradict our long held …

Junk Science in the American Criminal Justice System. M. Chris Fabricant

September 29th, 2022


No one will ever know how many innocent people have been sent to prison because of junk science and flawed forensics. In this episode, we hear from Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant about how America’s …

Clean, Green, Affordable Energy: Jim Meigs

September 16th, 2022


Energy prices have skyrocketed this year. Rolling blackouts are still a threat in California, and as winter approaches Europe is facing a full-blown …

Richard and Jim's Quick Announcement

September 9th, 2022


Starting this week we will publish new shows every other Thursday. After seven plus years of being a weekly podcast, Jim and Richard decided that we need a little more time and love to make and share each new show.

We …

Trump, Power Politics, Populism & Democracy. Darrell West

September 2nd, 2022


The recent controversy about the seizure of classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago is only the latest example of outrage over former President …

Democracy Reform: Ranked-Choice Voting. Rob Richie

August 26th, 2022


Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is a promising way to boost electoral turnout, reduce polarization, and cut the public cost of running elections. This …

Democracy Reform: Propositions & Ballot Initiatives. Jenna Spinelle

August 19th, 2022


The promise and perils of direct democracy are at the heart of the debate over voter propositions and ballot initiatives. They have emerged as one way that citizens in more than two dozen U.S. states can vote directly …

What Personal Passion and Purpose Bring To Our Lives

August 12th, 2022


World-renowned author and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson became fascinated with astrophysics when he was a teenager. Best-selling science writer Mary Roach is known for her quirky humor and wide-eyed curiosity as she …

Framing Is Vital For Survival. Kenneth Cukier and Francis de Véricourt

August 5th, 2022


From pandemics, populism and climate change, AI and ISIS, inflation and growing tensions with China and Russia, we are faced with enormous …

Common Ground. The People vs. Congress: JP Thomas, Gail Hoffman

July 29th, 2022


American voters are deeply dissatisfied with the government in Washington. They feel shut out of Congressional deliberations. We discuss a promising …

The Fight to Save Discarded Places: Michelle Wilde Anderson

July 22nd, 2022


Neighborhood, local and regional inequality has been overlooked too long. In this episode we visit four cities and towns with deep poverty and gutted …

The Science of Polarization. Peter Coleman

July 15th, 2022


The January 6th hearings are a reminder of the impact of hatred for the other side and toxic polarization. We are rigidly divided by our politics,

Inflation! Recession? Untangling the Economy. Megan McArdle

July 8th, 2022


Inflation is through the roof. Stocks are through the floor. Most economists say that a recession is likely to hit soon or is already here. Add to …

Why America Needs Good Conflict: Amanda Ripley

July 1st, 2022


In recent weeks the great American divide grew again. Explosive revelations from the House January 6th Hearings and Supreme Court decisions on abortion, guns and the EPA's ability to limit carbon emissions from power …

Dementia: Memory and Forgetting: Nicci Gerrard

June 24th, 2022


Dementia provokes profound moral questions about our society and the meaning of life itself. How much are we connected to one another? In what ways are we distant and separated? What does it mean to have a self? How can …

January 6th: A New Reckoning. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney & Conversation

June 17th, 2022


History was made on January 6th, 2021, yet nearly 18 months later we are still coming to terms with what happened before and during the attack on the …

Death by Firearms— A Public Health Crisis. Dr. Patrick Carter

June 10th, 2022


The appalling carnage in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and other communities across the country is a deeply painful source of …

When Business Should Take a Stand. Elizabeth Doty

June 3rd, 2022


"There is one and only one social responsibility of business," Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously declared more than 50 years ago. It is “to use its resources and engage in activities designed to …

The Power of Myth: Stephen Greenblatt

May 27th, 2022


Myths are widely seen as little more than lies. We're constantly told by experts in media and society that myths are for debunking and even ridicule.

A New Definition of Winning: Cath Bishop

May 20th, 2022


What does it mean to be a winner? Is it simply about “crushing it” or hitting your targets at work? Do you always have to come first?

In this episode, we get a new definition of winning and success from former British …

Billionaire Elon Musk: SpaceX and Twitter. Eric Berger.

May 13th, 2022


Elon Musk is the richest person in the world and the most interesting business leader of his time. 

Disruptive and innovative, Musk has …

Libertarians. A New Understanding. Nick Gillespie

May 6th, 2022


All too often political movements are defined by their opponents. That is especially true for libertarians who are often labeled as uncaring— far …

The Right: A New Understanding. Matthew Continetti

April 29th, 2022


How did the Republican Party go from being dominated by Ronald Reagan in the 80s to the movement of Trump? What are the deep tensions between grassroots Republicans and Conservative elites who used to be in charge? Six …

Successful Conversations Across Difficult Divides. Mónica Guzmán

April 15th, 2022


Partisanship is up, trust is down and social media encourages us to believe we're right and everyone else is either ignorant, stupid or evil. But …

Fixing Government Now: Code For America. Amanda Renteria

April 8th, 2022


Reform advocates are full of good intentions and worthy goals— from ending hunger to improving access to healthcare and limiting the impacts of …

How Your Mindset Transforms Your Life: David Robson

April 1st, 2022


Our brains are prediction machines: How we frame everyday tasks and challenges of our lives can have a profound impact on their outcomes. In this episode, we learn about new discoveries in science that reveal the many …

What The War in Ukraine Means for Climate Change: Gernot Wagner

March 25th, 2022


Russia's invasion of Ukraine made Europe's energy dependence painfully clear. "We are supporting and actually financing the war by purchasing oil and …

Defending Truth. Advancing Knowledge: Jonathan Rauch

March 18th, 2022


Democracies around the world are under threat from populist movements, demagogues, and dogmatic extremists who use disinformation, conspiracy …

Ukraine. The World Responds to War. Robert Kagan, Jane Lytvynenko

March 11th, 2022


Shock, surprises, and suffering are the most immediate results of all wars. Russia's brutal, yet deeply flawed invasion of Ukraine has profound …

Understanding Ukraine. Unity, Defiance, Resistance: Marci Shore

March 4th, 2022


The war in Ukraine and the global response to Russia's invasion are dominating the news. But missing in much of the coverage is a sense of the country and its people. In this historic moment, we hear a riveting account …

Why We Need Representative Democracy. Lisa Disch

February 25th, 2022


The invasion of Ukraine is a shocking reminder of what's at stake for democracies around the world. This moment is a stunning reminder of the vital importance of what we so often take for granted— personal freedoms and …

Gerrymandering: Why It's So Bad For Democracy. Sam Wang

February 18th, 2022


Partisan gerrymandering— where one party gains an unfair advantage by redrawing political maps to favor its candidates— is unpopular with voters, but …

Regrets Are Good For Us! Daniel Pink

February 11th, 2022


Best-selling author Daniel Pink admits he's pedaling against the wind. His new book, "The Power of Regret" takes on the longstanding and deeply …

The Other Pandemic: Loneliness. Noreena Hertz

February 4th, 2022


Two years of coronavirus have made the growing loneliness crisis even worse— with greater social isolation causing personal pain and mental and …

Reducing Polarization All By Yourself: Kamy Akhavan

January 28th, 2022


Across the board— from voter access to questions of race and gender, and views of the economy— the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown …

Liberal Education is Under Assault. Roosevelt Montás

January 21st, 2022


What is the point of an education? Is it to learn skills that will help you get ahead in the workplace, or is it to acquire knowledge and to think more deeply about your place in the world?

In this episode we hear from …

I Changed My Mind About Nuclear Power: Zion Lights

January 14th, 2022


Earth's global average temperature in 2021 was the sixth warmest on record, according to two new reports issued this week by U.S. Government agencies. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies report that …

National Day of Dialogue. Christy Vines

January 3rd, 2022


Our first episode of 2022 is all about a constructive response to the calamitous events of one year ago: The January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On …

Big News. The Stories You Missed in 2021: Jim & Richard

December 23rd, 2021


The Forever Pandemic, Omicron, Build Back Better, Biden, Putin, China, What's Trump got up his sleeve? The media gave these stories ad nauseum …

Changing the Way We Vote: Rob Richie

December 17th, 2021


Gerrymandering, low turnout elections, negative campaign ads, and increased polarization are all part of the flawed, fractured U.S. political system. …

Better Policing — Not Posturing: Nekima Levy Armstrong

December 10th, 2021


The huge difference between slogans and solutions is a key theme of this episode. While demands to “de-fund the police” or replace entire police …

Stopping the Next Pandemic. Alina Chan (Part Two)

December 3rd, 2021


A crucial step in preventing the next global pandemic will be knowing where this one came from. Did SARS-CoV-2— the virus that causes Covid-19— jump …

Did COVID-19 Come From a Lab? Alina Chan (Part One)

November 24th, 2021


Two years after the known human case of COVID-19, the mystery of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains unresolved.  Did the virus emerge from an animal in …

Understanding Autism: "We're Not Broken." Eric Garcia

November 19th, 2021


"This book is a message from autistic people to their parents, friends, teachers, coworkers and doctors showing what life is like on the spectrum," writes our guest, author Eric Garcia in We're Not Broken. "It’s also my …

Social Media: Menace or Blessing? Robby Soave

November 12th, 2021


Not long ago, most of us embraced social media as a life-changing opportunity to connect with friends and family all across the world. Today, public opinion, including members of Congress from both parties, has turned …

Climate: Changing the Conversation. Katharine Hayhoe

November 5th, 2021


As world leaders discuss the planet's future at COP26 in Glasgow, climate change remains a massive challenge and a source of fierce debate. While 

Together Again. Cultivating Collaboration: Deb Mashek

October 29th, 2021


Many millions of Americans are heading back to work — in person — for the first time since the pandemic hit. During this time of remote meetings and working from home, many of us learned new skills, and perhaps, forgot …

The Furore Over Critical Race Theory: "Banished" Podcast

October 15th, 2021


From local school board elections to state legislatures, an impassioned nationwide debate has erupted over allegations that Critical Race Theory …

The Way Out. Overcoming Polarization. Peter Coleman

October 8th, 2021


Never before in living memory has America been as politically polarized as it is today. We are divided by our politics, Facebook and other social …

Scary Smart. The Future of Artificial Intelligence. Mo Gawdat

October 1st, 2021


Imagine a future where smart machines are more intelligent than humans. That future may be coming much faster than we think. The stark implications are considered in this podcast. 

The former Chief Business Officer at …

Taming Big Tech. How We Can Reboot. Jeremy Weinstein and Mehran Sahami

September 24th, 2021


This episode addresses a great problem of our age: How do we curb the enormous power of giant technology companies and limit the disruption caused by …

Wildlife! When Nature Hits Back: Mary Roach

September 17th, 2021


The line between our “civilized” lives and wild, unpredictable nature seems to have gotten a little thinner lately. Nature is great, but it can also be dangerous if we don’t show proper respect. 

This show is about …

9/11 Attacks: Myths, Memories, Conspiracy Theories

September 10th, 2021


"I now believe the 9/11 Truthers I encountered were canaries in the coal mines of American society," writes our co-host, Jim Meigs, in the current …

Hey, Journalists. Does the Public Trust You? Joy Mayer

September 3rd, 2021


Only four in 10 Americans say they have a lot of trust in the news media. That's a big problem for our democracy. While journalists are supposed to tell the truth and get the story right, just 35 percent of …

American Isolationism and the Fall of Afghanistan. Charles Kupchan

August 27th, 2021


For much of its history, the United States kept the rest of the world at arm's length. What happened in the decades after the 1941 military strike on …

Identity Politics: Dignity and Resentment. Francis Fukuyama

August 13th, 2021


Successful politicians on the right and left often use anger and resentment to build support for their campaigns. "A lot of our politics is dignity …

#315 Living Better With COVID: 6 Fixes. Hosts Jim and Richard

August 6th, 2021


In this special episode, Richard and Jim have an extended conversation around six solutions to help us manage the pandemic more successfully, and …

Reading is Vital for Democracy: Joseph Luzzi

July 29th, 2021


America is facing a reading crisis, and this has profound impacts on how we engage with the world. The number of adults who read books for pleasure 

Fix More, Waste Less. Right to Repair. Sandra Goldmark

July 23rd, 2021


Our relationship with our stuff is broken. What was once fixed is often tossed into landfills. Repairs today are more expensive than the prices of …

Defending The Constitution of Knowledge: Jonathan Rauch

July 16th, 2021


Democracies around the world are under threat from populist movements, demagogues, and dogmatic extremists who use disinformation, conspiracy …

Delta Variant & Vaccine Hesitancy: Dr. Wrenetha Julion

July 9th, 2021


The spread of the Delta Variant is a rapidly growing threat to public health, especially in states with low vaccination rates. But cases of COVID-19 …

Heat, Drought, Fires : Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano

June 25th, 2021


Much of the West has just lived through one of the worst June heatwaves in decades. Many states could be in a drought all this summer. From …

Free The Children. Lenore Skenazy

June 18th, 2021


"Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone" was a 2008 newspaper column that turned into a national campaign to help parents raise their children …

America Talks #ListenFirst. Kristin Hansen and Zoë Jenkins

June 9th, 2021


America's remarkable experiment in a pluralist democracy is under threat from toxic polarization. In this episode, we discuss two current nationwide …

Frontlines of Peace. Séverine Autesserre

June 4th, 2021


The word “peacebuilding” evokes a story we’ve all heard over and over: Violence breaks out, foreign nations react, peacekeepers and million-dollar …

Tough Lessons From Economics. Veronique de Rugy

May 28th, 2021


"We should be humble all the time," says Veronique de Rugy of her study of economics. "There's always something I realize that I didn't understand."  

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times. Eric Weiner

May 21st, 2021


It's tempting to believe that our current moment is the most urgent of all. Yet despite the catastrophic pandemic, and threats from other urgent problems, humankind has faced worse calamities in the past— from global …

Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide. Ashley Ahearn

May 14th, 2021


She lived in Seattle and covered science, climate change, and the environment for NPR for more than a decade. Most of her friends and colleagues were …

Framing is Fundamental. Francis de Véricourt and Kenneth Cukier

May 7th, 2021


Too often in our fierce and narrow political debates, we suffer from a poverty of imagination. Seeing a crisis through a narrow lens of "us versus …

Promoting Diversity, Defending Free Speech. Amna Khalid

April 30th, 2021


In the months after George Floyd’s murder, colleges, universities, non-profits, and large corporations across the country embraced anti-racism and …

Good Conflict vs. High Conflict. Amanda Ripley

April 23rd, 2021


What’s the greatest crisis facing America today? — Racism and hate crimes, exploding government debt, climate change, or the mess at the border?

It may be none of these. 

America and many other countries are trapped in 

Six years. Six guests. 300 episodes

April 16th, 2021


We’ve made it to our 300th weekly episode! While it’s easy to congratulate ourselves for being among the few podcasts to produce this many shows, Jim …

Fighting Hate and Self-Loathing With Love: Chloé Valdary

April 9th, 2021


Recent mass shootings and the explosion of rage outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are reminders of threats posed to us all by anger, fear and …

Infrastructure. How To Pay For It: Maya MacGuineas

April 2nd, 2021


Stifle that yawn. Infrastructure just got exciting again.

President Biden announced a $2 trillion plan to rebuild roads and rails, repair bridges, modernize airports and seaports, create hundreds of thousands of union …

Fixing The Grid: Our Relationship With Electricity. Gretchen Bakke

March 26th, 2021


Our lives depend on it and most of us don't give it a moment's thought. But when the electricity goes off we feel frustrated— powerless.

America's grid was an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, but as the …

Nobody's Normal. Rethinking Mental Illness: Richard Grinker

March 19th, 2021


Our obsession with what is normal and acceptable is at the heart of how we view mental health. It is also the source of stigma around many forms of …

Social Media. Revolution and Reform. Sinan Aral

March 12th, 2021


When social media burst on the scene, many of us were in awe of its great potential. For the first ten years of Facebook, public reaction to this new form of communication was overwhelmingly positive, but now that we …

Liftoff: How SpaceX Could Save NASA. Eric Berger

March 5th, 2021


Elon Musk is an entrepreneur and out-of-this-world thinker, who has shaken up two vital industries that were dominated by giant multinational …

Understanding Us: We The People. Frank Luntz and Ethan Porter

February 26th, 2021


The January assault on the U.S. Capitol and the depth of toxic partisanship lead us to question our past assumptions about the American electorate …

Why We Need Nuance: Meghan Daum

February 19th, 2021


Even before the alarming and violent January 6 assault on the Capitol, American politics was in danger of spinning out of control— bumping up against …

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy: Dr. Wrenetha Julion

February 12th, 2021


More than 10% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but injection rates are lower in black and brown …

Will Gen Z Save the GOP? Danielle Butcher and John Olds

February 5th, 2021


After the recent storming of the US Capitol and the loss of both the White House and U.S. Senate, it's tempting to believe that civil war will break …

The Loneliness Pandemic. Noreena Hertz

January 29th, 2021


Even before coronavirus led to social distancing, widespread working from home, and lockdown restrictions, loneliness was becoming a defining condition of the twenty-first century. Today, this pandemic of pain and …

Free Speech in an Era of Conflict: Nadine Strossen

January 22nd, 2021


We are in a stunning moment for our country. A hoard of rioters invaded our nation’s seat of government to try to overturn an election. Many of them appear to have been motivated by false and inflammatory statements by …

Why Many Latinos Vote Republican: Geraldo Cadava

January 15th, 2021


Just before the 2020 election, pundits predicted that Latino Americans would overwhelmingly vote for Joe Biden. And it’s true—Latino voters do tilt …

Chaos at the Capitol: What Next? Lee Drutman

January 8th, 2021


The storming of the U.S. Capitol building by an angry mob of Trump supporters was a dark day in American history and a shock to people around the …

2020 Year-End Show: What We Learned About COVID

December 24th, 2020


At the start of 2020, the world first became aware of COVID-19. This show looks at what we have learned about the global pandemic since then. 

In …

Net-Zero America by 2050: Jesse Jenkins and Eric Larson

December 18th, 2020


In his ambitious climate plan, President-elect Biden promises that by 2050 the United States will reach net-zero carbon emissions.

A groundbreaking new study from energy experts at Princeton University outlines five …

Mothers, Families and COVID - Erica Komisar

December 11th, 2020


Despite the tragedy, suffering and economic losses of COVID, there are silver linings for many families in the current crisis. Recent lockdowns have

Breakthroughs in Science & Space: Neil deGrasse Tyson

December 4th, 2020


We live in a remarkable time for science. Vaccines to fight COVID-19 have been developed with surprising speed and are reported to be more than 90% effective against the virus. 


Dramatic progress has also been made in …

The Case for AllSides: John Gable, Samantha Shireman

November 20th, 2020


More than ever, we need to fight fake news and misinformation by getting out of our filter bubbles. A bitterly contested election at a time of …

Problem Solvers in Congress: Abigail Spanberger (D) Brian Fitzpatrick (R)

November 13th, 2020


In the days since the 2020 election, political distrust and anxiety have only deepened. But divided government and very narrow majorities for both …

Our Election 2020 Lessons. Jim and Richard

November 6th, 2020


Days after the historic 2020 election, final results are still coming in. But some lessons of the vote are becoming clear. On this episode, our …

Record High Voter Turnout? Seth Flaxman

October 30th, 2020


One of the biggest surprises of the 2020 election may turn out to be turnout. Traditionally, a smaller percentage of American voters participate in elections than in many other democracies around the world. But this …

Covid Pandemic: America's Wake Up Call. Adrian Wooldridge

October 23rd, 2020


If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the government's response to a global health emergency can mean the difference between …

Four Threats: American Democracy in Crisis: Suzanne Mettler

October 16th, 2020


More than half of American voters expect to see a rise in violence after election day, according to a recent poll. Only 49% said Americans will …

Why Voting Isn't Enough. CivicLex: Richard Young, Megan Gulla

October 9th, 2020


How do you get supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the same room at the same time working together on something political? It sounds almost …

Advice to my Younger Self: Bruce Van Dusen

October 2nd, 2020


How does your career stay on track at a time of very high unemployment, great technological change and enormous uncertainty? We explore these …

Loving Yourself and Humanity: Chloé Valdary

September 25th, 2020


Anger, fear and loathing cut across our deeply divided, hyper-partisan political divide. From The White House and the streets of cities, to furious …

Fires In The West: Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano

September 18th, 2020


Massive wildfires in the west have burned through more than five million acres, forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, and spread smoke …

Radical Health for Pregnant Women: Ivelyse Andino

September 11th, 2020


“Tech For The Public Good” is supported by a grant from Solutions Journalism Network.


Technology is a double-edged sword, especially during the …

COVID Pandemic. How Philosophy Can Help: Eric Weiner

September 4th, 2020


Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, leading to a growing sense of worry and panic. We ask: How can philosophy help us cope with …

Renewing Work in America: Oren Cass

August 28th, 2020


The American worker is in crisis and faces a very uncertain future. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a deep recession and millions of layoffs. 

Even before coronavirus— despite a decade of continuous economic growth— the …

It's So Hard To Change Our Minds: Eleanor Gordon-Smith

August 21st, 2020


Most people reject facts that cause them discomfort or don't line up with their view of the world. All too often emotion, not reason, informs our beliefs. Despite social media claims that #factsmatter, it's surprisingly …

America’s Voting Crisis. Charles Stewart, David Litt

August 14th, 2020


Joe Biden's selection of Kamala Harris to be his vice-presidential running mate is a reminder that the fall election season is about to start in …

Lessons From a Thousand Towns: Singer-Songwriter Dar Williams

August 7th, 2020


At a time of social distancing, limited travel and other restrictions to protect public health, we get a nostalgic reminder of the joy of journeys, and infinite variety of America's small cities and towns.

This episode …

Climate Alarm: Bad for the Environment? Michael Shellenberger

July 31st, 2020


Climate change is real, but it's not the end of the world, says our guest, science writer, Michael Shellenberger.

He argues in the controversial new book, "Apocalypse Never", that activists use alarmism to describe …

Refugees and Migrants: Tolu Olubunmi, Leonard Doyle, Ahmed Badr

July 24th, 2020


One of the many impacts of COVID-19 is a sharp decline in travel. In many parts of the world, the virus led to a temporary hold on one of the …

The Problem With Cancel Culture: Megan McArdle

July 17th, 2020


We’ve all canceled something. Whether it’s a subscription, a vacation, or a date, cancelling or erasing a person? It seems so brutal. So unforgiving …

Democracy Reform: Voters Not Politicians. Katie Fahey

July 10th, 2020


Gerrymandering, the partisan process of redrawing political maps to favor one political party over the opposition, is often used unfairly to take …

Generation Z. The Future of U.S. Democracy: Civics Unplugged

July 3rd, 2020


America's four most powerful political leaders--President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader …

The World's Best Healthcare Systems: Ezekiel Emanuel

June 26th, 2020


The U.S. spends far more money on healthcare than any other nation, but has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases. The lax response to the coronavirus …

How Innovation Works and Why It Matters. Matt Ridley

June 19th, 2020


"The Covid-19 pandemic reveals that far from living in an age of incessant technological change, we have been neglecting innovation in exactly the …

Racism, Protests, Police Reform: Coleman Hughes

June 12th, 2020


The massive wave of protests in hundreds of towns and cities across America and in many other countries were sparked by outrage, pain and grief over the killing of George Floyd, and countless incidents of racism against …

Special episode: Racial Injustice: KKKrossing The Divide. Daryl Davis

June 5th, 2020


The nation is again facing the deep pain of racial injustice. The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor reverberated …

The Long Fix. Solutions for Healthcare: Dr. Vivian Lee

May 29th, 2020


The coronavirus crisis has reminded everyone that major reforms are needed to fix the flaws of the U.S. healthcare system. Beyond the huge expense and vast amount of waste, the quality of care varies wildly, and …

How Science Shapes Us. Ainissa Ramirez

May 21st, 2020


We look at scientists who learned to manipulate common materials such as steel, glass and silicon, and how their inventions shaped the human …

COVID Surprise: 7 Unexpected Changes. Jim and Richard

May 15th, 2020


The Coronavirus pandemic is the 21st century's biggest crisis to date: Worse than either 9/11 or the great recession. Jim and Richard discuss seven surprising things that we didn't know when the lockdowns began in March:

Democracy Group Special Episode. Democracy Reform

May 8th, 2020


How will the COVID-19 pandemic change our democracy? Will we become more less divided? We discuss the challenges and opportunities of the current …

Covid Crisis: Your Money Matters. Beverly Harzog

April 30th, 2020


Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus outbreak began. Well over one-in-four people have suffered a moderate or severe financial setback in recent weeks. Consumer …

How To Be a Moral Rebel: Catherine Sanderson

April 24th, 2020


Much of what we took for granted, including daily routines, have been upended during the coronavirus pandemic. At a time when many have new questions …

Coronavirus: Learning From Taiwan. Samson Ellis

April 16th, 2020


Everybody is asking, how did the U.S. and most other nations get the coronavirus pandemic so wrong? Taiwan was a rare exception. Health officials and the democratic government of this island state sprang into action in …

Lessons From a Natural Disaster: Jon Mooallem

April 10th, 2020


The great Alaskan earthquake on Good Friday, March 27th, 1964, was surprising, and the lessons from the response are helpful in understanding how we …

Moving Beyond Fear. Turning Outward. Rich Harwood

April 2nd, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic has lead many to fear, panic, anger, profound loneliness and isolation. Realizing that we are all in this crisis together, …

The Future Always Surprises Us: Mark Earls

March 27th, 2020


Why did the U.S. and most other nations around the world do such a poor job of preparing for and reacting to the global COVID-19 pandemic? After all, we had earlier outbreaks, from HIV-AIDS to SARS, MERS, H1N1 and the …

Coronavirus: Loving Relationships - Susan Page

March 20th, 2020


Coronavirus has changed all of our lives. We are in the middle of a massive social experiment. This show is first in a series of episodes that will …

Plastic Bag Bans: Bad for the Environment? John Tierney

March 12th, 2020


Bans on plastic bags and straws and expensive campaigns to recycle plastic waste are popular with voters. They give us a sense that the government is …

We Need Trust More Than Ever: Jerry Michalski

March 5th, 2020


The rapid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 is a reminder of the vital need for truthful information, co-operation and kindness. Rumors, hype and …

Sanders and Socialism: Emily Chamlee-Wright

February 27th, 2020


Bernie Sanders is the early frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination. In this episode with economist Emily Chamlee-Wright, we look at …

How to Open Your Mind: Jerry Taylor

February 20th, 2020


It's rare to meet someone who has re-thought some of his deepest convictions. In this episode, we go on a journey with one of America's leading public intellectuals, Jerry Taylor, President and Founder of the Niskanen …

Boosting Voter Turnout: Seth Flaxman

February 14th, 2020


Voter turnout is much lower in the U.S. than in many other democracies around the world. In this episode, we look at an innovative initiative to use the internet to boost the number of voters in every election. 

"Our …

Coronavirus: What We Need to Know. Kylie Carville

February 6th, 2020


With tens of thousands of cases, hundreds of deaths, and no known cure, the new coronavirus that emerged in China has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

In this episode of “How Do …

The Two-Party Doom Loop - Lee Drutman

January 30th, 2020


The Iowa caucuses and forthcoming Presidential primary season are another reminder that the two big parties have a stranglehold on American politics.

Detroit. Bankruptcy and Broken Promises: Jodie Adams Kirshner

January 23rd, 2020


When Detroit went bust in 2013 it was the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in American history. During the Motor City's fifty years of decline, …

Want Consensus? Try Convergence: Rob Fersh

January 16th, 2020


All too often news headlines and social media are dominated by disasters, wrongdoing and fear mongering: All the stuff that’s going wrong. 

How can we nurture the positive side of human nature? Renewing democracy will be …

Iran After Suleimani: 7 Ways to View The Crisis

January 9th, 2020


The U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Suleimani sparked immediate fears of war. The risks of a disastrous miscalculation are …

2020: Celebrating Collaborations and Sharing

December 26th, 2019


If independent podcasts are to prosper and survive in this era of growing commercialization, big media, and multi-million dollar podcast investments, …

Two Threats to Democracy: Conspiracies & China

December 19th, 2019


Liberal democracy, free speech and freedom of the press are under attack in many parts of the world. Two of the most insidious threats are from conspiracy theories and the growing global reach of China's dictatorship.

In …

How to Fight Anti-Semitism" Bari Weiss

December 11th, 2019


Anti-semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Jews are the targets. Democracy and free speech are also among the casualties. 

6 people died this week in Jersey City, New Jersey, in a shootout at …

How Technology Could Save the Environment: Ted Nordhaus

December 6th, 2019


Many environmentalists believe that the world needs to use less energy, end the focus on economic growth, and return to a simpler lifestyle. The Breakthrough Institute argues the opposite.

In this episode, we look at the …

The Power of Play: Lucy Crehan, Tamara Mose

November 28th, 2019


Many of us are spending much of the Thanksgiving holiday with the children we love. In this episode we consider vital role of play, and what it does …

Radical Health. Ivelyse Andino

November 22nd, 2019


Published: November 21st, 2019

“Tech For The Public Good” is supported by a grant from Solutions Journalism Network.

Technology is a double-edged …

Civility Won't Save America: Reed Galen

November 15th, 2019


30 years ago this month the Berlin Wall came down, and Richard was there, reporting the story for ABC News. In those heady days of November, 1989, there was tremendous hope for the future of liberal democracy. In the …

How We Really Change Our Minds - Eleanor Gordon-Smith

November 7th, 2019


With today's furious political and cultural divisions, it's easy to shake our heads in exasperation at those who disagree with us. 

In this episode …

Understanding Brexit: Jill Rutter

October 31st, 2019


Confused by Brexit? This episode looks back over the last 40 months since the shocking result of the Brexit referendum, when UK voters decided to …

Fixing Government and Democracy: David Meyers

October 25th, 2019


American democracy is in a moment of crisis. A new Gallup poll, released in late October, says a near-record-high 34% of Americans cite the …

Celebrating Nuance: Meghan Daum

October 18th, 2019


Modern thought has been damaged by dogma and tribalistic click-bait. Social media and the fractured state of politics reward slick slogans and …

"Listen First & Democracy" Pearce Godwin

October 10th, 2019


American democracy is in crisis, with a coarsening of our national conversation and an erosion of public trust that threatens the guardrails of self-government. Many citizens feel dislocated, disempowered and believe …

We Need Better Leaders! Davia Temin & Stephen Miles

October 3rd, 2019


The furore over the decision by House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment investigation into President Trump will be the subject of heated debate for many months. In this episode we take a deeper look at …

Dementia: Memory and Forgetting: Nicci Gerrard

September 27th, 2019


Dementia provokes profound moral questions about our society and the meaning of life itself. How much are we connected to one another? In what ways are we distant and separated? What does it mean to have a self? How can …

Immigration Facts -- Not Emotion. Andrew Selee

September 20th, 2019


With harsh rhetoric from President Trump, who wants strict new limits on refugees, asylum seekers and some other forms of immigration, to calls by several Democratic Presidential candidates to decriminalize all border …

Kids Aren't Fragile! Lenore Skenazy

September 12th, 2019


Kids are smart, strong, and at least as capable as their parents were at their age. So, when the crime rate is at a 50-year-low, why does society insist on bubble-wrapping them? Why are we encouraged to protect children …

Risk: An Economist Walks Into a Brothel. Allison Schrager

September 5th, 2019


From dating to switching jobs and managing retirement. We all manage risk. Want to get better at it?

The best way to learn is to ask some of the real experts: Magicians, gamblers, big-wave surfers, horse breeders, and …

The Threat From China: Elizabeth Economy

August 29th, 2019


A trade war with China is a growing threat to U.S. influence and the global economy. What began more than a year ago with President Trump’s decision …

Rising Risks of Recession: Diana Henriques

August 22nd, 2019


Is the U.S. economy about to fall off a cliff? Declining growth, financial market jitters, and a growing rift between the U.S. and China are all fueling fears of a recession.

For the first time in 12 years, since shortly …

The Case for Trust - Jerry Michalski

August 15th, 2019


We live in a time of suspicion and mistrust. What is this costing all of us in lost productivity, creativity and shared humanity? Isn't there a better way to design our organizations and systems? 

A recent Pew Research …

Mass Shootings: After El Paso & Dayton

August 9th, 2019


Most of America's deadliest mass killings have happened within the last ten years. The deaths of more than 30 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have led to renewed demands for federal background checks and gun …

Rebuilding The Social Contract: Debilyn Molineaux

August 1st, 2019


Our democracy has become a punching bag. From Russian hacking and hate-filled tweets, to demands for impeachment and increasingly nasty political …

Disaster for Democrats? Daniel Akst

July 26th, 2019


President Trump's tweets that four minority Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to the countries they came from, and chants of "send her back" …

Technology for Public Good: Micah Sifry

July 12th, 2019


Social media is under fire for how it threatens our society, our politics, even our mental health.

Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants are …

Character, Soul & the University: David Brooks

July 1st, 2019


Colleges and universities can play a virtual role in the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of a student’s life. But there is a growing …

Catholic Church Sex Abuse Crisis: Maggi Van Dorn

June 20th, 2019


Will the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis ever end? Nearly 18 years since the Boston Globe's Spotlight investigation's shocking revelations, …

Dignity & Respect in Back Row America: Chris Arnade

June 13th, 2019


A lot of politicians like to say that there are “two Americas,” but do any of them know what life is really like for the marginalized poor?

We speak …

What's Wrong With Social Media: Glenn Reynolds

June 6th, 2019


"Twitter is like the crystal meth of social media," says our guest, University of Tennessee Law Professor, Glenn Reynolds, founder of the popular …

Climate Change Politics: Bob Inglis

May 31st, 2019


Climate change has never been a leading issue in a Presidential election campaign-- until now. A recent poll found that 82% of Democrats and …

Taking Socialism Seriously: Emily Chamlee-Wright

May 24th, 2019


Support for socialism is surprisingly strong, especially among young Americans, ages 18-29. According to recent polls, they are more likely to have a …

Human Rights Emergency: Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

May 17th, 2019


Human rights have rarely been at greater risk. President Trump and other world leaders are conspicuously silent about torture, the suppression of press freedom and threats to democracy. For the first time in many …

Artificial Intelligence Threatens Democracy: Steve Feldstein

May 9th, 2019


Is modern technology a force for good or evil? In many countries, digital repression, often powered by artificial intelligence, is a direct threat to …

Country Over Party: Nick Troiano

May 2nd, 2019


Angry rhetoric, narrow partisanship, and leaders who appeal only to their base are all reasons why American politics is in urgent need of reform.


Risk: An Economist Walks Into a Brothel. Allison Schrager

April 25th, 2019


From dating to switching jobs and managing retirement. We all manage risk. Want to get better at it?

The best way to learn is to ask some of the real experts: Magicians, gamblers, big-wave surfers, horse breeders, and …

You Are What You Read - Jodie Jackson

April 18th, 2019


Are you depressed when you read the news? The media's rampant negativity, with a daily emphasis on outrage and crisis, is a form of mental pollution …

Having Better Conversations

April 11th, 2019


At a time of information overload, social media silos and political paralysis, how can all of us be better communicators? In this 200th episode, …

"The Wall" Climate Change & Migration: John Lanchester

April 4th, 2019


Novelist and journalist John Lanchester's new book "The Wall", imagines a world dealing with catastrophic climate change. Fear of rising sea levels and desperate migrants fleeing from uninhabitable lands have led to the …

Changing a Culture of Contempt: Arthur Brooks-2

March 29th, 2019


Isolation and loneliness have reached epidemic levels, resulting in a profound loss of social capital. Despite mass communications, the spread of …

Love Your Enemies - Arthur Brooks - 1

March 21st, 2019


This podcast is an urgent, radical, yet practical response to the crisis of political polarization that is tearing America apart. Instead of mere …

Roundup: Pesticides and Health. Carey Gillam

March 15th, 2019


Monsanto's controversial Roundup herbicide is the world's top-selling weed killer. But tens of billions of dollars in sales and profits are at stake …

The Green New Deal Unpacked: Megan McArdle

March 7th, 2019


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't waste any time getting started in Congress. The first-term Democrat boldly proposed The Green New …

New Thinking on Migration: Tolu Olubumni

February 28th, 2019


Migration is an emotional, super-charged issue, sparking fierce debates, angry protests and influencing election results around the world. From …

Green New Nuclear Deal: Jim Meigs

February 21st, 2019


The climate change debate is heating up. Record numbers of people no longer see extreme climate as a distant  threat, but as a crisis that is …

Work Versus College: Oren Cass

February 15th, 2019


The American worker is in crisis. Wages have stagnated for several decades. Despite nearly a decade of continuous economic growth and falling unemployment (as defined by official statistics), the percentage of Americans …

Getting off Facebook: Wade Roush

February 7th, 2019


Life as a teenager is proving traumatic for Facebook. The social media juggernaut turned 15 this month. The company has gone from being universally celebrated for changing the way we communicate, to a troubled …

Our Journalism Crisis: A Conversation

January 31st, 2019


The public's faith in journalism is at the lowest point in living memory. A recent Gallup poll for the Knight Foundation found that most U.S. adults …

Our Government Crisis: Philip K. HowardUntitled Episode

January 25th, 2019


The longest-ever federal government shutdown and the flawed Presidency of Donald Trump are symptoms of something far deeper: Dysfunction in …

A Cure for Massive Violence: Rachel Kleinfeld

January 17th, 2019


The terrible bloodshed in Syria, Yemen, and other countries at war capture global headlines. But the vast majority of killings in countries around …

The Fight to End Gerrymandering: Katie Fahey

January 10th, 2019


With a simple Facebook post saying that she wanted to end partisan gerrymandering, Katie Fahey sparked the beginnings of an extraordinary grassroots campaign. Katie is in her late 20's. With neither connections nor deep …

8 For ‘18. The Year’s Big Lessons

December 28th, 2018


In a year of crazy politics, disdain for the views of experts, and deep partisan divisions, we look beyond anger and fear stoked by cable TV, talk …

The Power of Reading: Professor Joesph Luzzi

December 21st, 2018


America is facing a reading crisis. According to a government survey the number of adults who read for pleasure has fallen by more than 30% in less …

China: The Challenge & Threat: Elizabeth Economy

December 13th, 2018


The high stakes show-down between the U.S. and China on tariffs, trade and cyber security threatens to disrupt the global economy. 

Growing tensions were temporarily put on pause during a recent meeting at the Group of …

Our Many Perception Gaps: Sam Laine Perfas

December 7th, 2018


What you think is true doesn't necessarily line up with reality. From the heated debate over gun violence deaths to our views about violent crime and …

Has The Opioid Crisis Peaked? Sam Quinones

November 28th, 2018


The opioid and heroin epidemic has caused massive destruction suffering and pain. 

After rising for many decades, America’s life expectancy rate has dropped for the past two years in a row. Nearly 50 thousand Americans …

AI Will Change All of US: Kai-Fu Lee

November 23rd, 2018


Artificial intelligence will lead to sweeping changes in our society, economy and relationship with work. China has suddenly caught up with The …

Thanks a Thousand. Gratitude: A.J. Jacobs

November 15th, 2018


Just in time for Thanksgiving, we speak with best-selling author and "immersive journalist" A.J. Jacobs about his extraordinary gratitude project and brand new book, "Thanks a Thousand".

He decided to say "thank you" to …

Election Special: Our Take

November 8th, 2018


What are the most inspiring, exasperating, unique, important, and first-in-our-lifetime results from the Midterm Elections? In this special edition, …

Title: Bridging Divide. ReCity. Durham, North Carolina

November 1st, 2018


How can America recover from hatred, distrust and resentment that have lead to deep divisions, the fraying of our civic institutions and even …

Bridging Divide Renewing Democracy: Minnesota

October 26th, 2018


Polarization is tearing us apart. Bullying and bluster are two of the most common ingredients in American democracy.

How can we renew democracy and …

Bridging Divide: Iowa Civility Workshop

October 18th, 2018


American democracy is in crisis and politics have become weaponized with name calling and personal attacks. Trust in national institutions and the …

Bridging Divide. Renewing Democracy: Carolyn Lukensmeyer

October 11th, 2018


Never before in living memory has America been so deeply divided, and this paralysis threatens to weaken and corrode democracy. Ideological silos …

Lessons from Reagan: Bob Spitz

October 4th, 2018


At a time of fractured politics and failed leadership, what lessons can be learned from Ronald Reagan-- one of the most significant presidents in our …

Fighting Back Against Fake News: Steven Brill

September 27th, 2018


recent poll finds that two-thirds of Americans often or occasionally get news from social media. But many consumers are highly skeptical of the …

Identity Politics: Dignity and Resentment. Francis Fukuyama

September 20th, 2018


Are identity politics ruining democracy? National and global institutions are in a state of decay, and identity fuels much of today's debates in …

Collaboration Beats Competition: Paul Skinner

September 14th, 2018


In recent decades, business strategy has been built on the idea that we must compete to win.

But what if the competitive model of business is now broken? In today’s interconnected, digital world, strategies to create …

The Codding of the American Mind: Jonathan Haidt

September 4th, 2018


At the recent funeral for Republican Senator John McCain, former Presidents and leaders of both parties paid tribute to his belief that America "is a …

Astrophysics For People In a Hurry: Neil deGrasse

September 2nd, 2018


Tyson talks about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, tackles science deniers on the right and left, and explains why we should …

The Case for Space Travel: Neil deGrasse Tyson

August 30th, 2018


Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s most prominent spokesman for science and Director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, talks about the benefits of a cosmic perspective, the case for manned space flight and much more in …

Soaring Suicide Rates: Dr. Richard Friedman

August 23rd, 2018


The national suicide rate rose 28% from 1999 to 2016, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, alone, 45,000 people took …

Populism: Bigger Than Trump? Salena Zito

August 13th, 2018


Was Donald Trump's election a one-off event, or did it represent a fundamental realignment of American politics?

Washington-based political experts …

Can Podcasting Save The Planet?

August 2nd, 2018


From ancient times to the present day, women and men have brought meaning to their lives through storytelling.

Before the invention of the printing press, ancient societies passed on the knowledge and wisdom of one …

The Fight For Free Expression: Deb Mashek

July 26th, 2018


Free speech on campus is under assault at many colleges and universities. From disinviting commencement speakers to shouting down professors and …

The High Cost of America First: James Bacchus

July 19th, 2018


President Trump has withdrawn from international agreements, criticized NATO, The European Union, and attacked the policies of Canada, Mexico, …

The Fall and Rise of Small Towns: Dar Williams

July 13th, 2018


America's landscape of towns and cities is ever-changing. Countless Main Streets and small downtowns were eviscerated by big box stores, globalization, online commerce and poor planning.

But today, many resilient …

A Fresh Look at Freedom: Russell Shorto

July 5th, 2018


We discuss the American Revolution and the meaning of freedom with acclaimed historian and journalist, Russell Shorto, author of the 2018 book, "

The Good News About Drones: Mehdi Salehi

June 28th, 2018


Do a Google search of drones, and scary headlines pop up instantly. "Dangerous Drones Invade Protected Airspace Daily," says one. While others talk …

Blockchain: The Next Big Thing? Dan Patterson

June 21st, 2018


A trade war with China has dangerous implications for the global economy. What began more than a year ago with President Trump’s decision to impose …

Our Towns. Solutions & Reinvention. James Fallows - Part 2

June 14th, 2018


Despite bitter partisanship and political paralysis in Washington, local democracy is alive in well in many towns and cities across the country.

Our Towns. Solutions & Reinvention: James Fallows

June 7th, 2018


Congress sank to a dismal 10% approval rating in a new poll. Most Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction. But ask people …

The Next Debt Crisis: Maya MacGuineas

May 31st, 2018


"The debt will be as large as our entire economy by the end of the decade", says Maya MacGuineas, President of the bipartisan Committee for a …

The Great Environmental Debate: Charles C. Mann

May 24th, 2018


Far too often, politics and policy are portrayed as a battle between liberals and conservatives, or socialists vs. capitalists. 

But one of the most …

Fighting Gang Violence: Jonathan Green

May 17th, 2018


From the streets of Chicago and Los Angeles, to indictments this month targeting criminal networks in Savannah, Georgia and white supremacists in Grand Prairie, Texas, tens of thousands of gangs are responsible for drug …

A Solution for Israelis & Palestinians? Dahlia Scheindlin

May 10th, 2018


President Trump's rejection of the Iran nuclear agreement and Israeli military attacks on Iranian sites in Syria are among the latest signs of rising tensions in the Middle East. The threat of war is ever-present.

Twenty …

Stopping Sexual Harassment

May 3rd, 2018


The growing #MeToo movement has exposed many cases of sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace.

Among the latest examples is an upheaval at Nike. Female employees, fed up with years of gender discrimination, …

Microtrends = Big Changes: Mark Penn

April 26th, 2018


When we focus on the future, we usually look at the big things: Will the current crisis with North Korea be resolved peacefully? Is President Trump …

The New Movement to Restore Civility

April 19th, 2018


The National Week of Conversation is a bold attempt to reduce the yawning gap between Republicans and Democrats. More than 100 groups across the …

Fixing Capitalism: Luigi Zingales

April 12th, 2018


From internet giants Facebook, Amazon and Google to telecom titans AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, American capitalism is increasingly dominated by …

The World Is Getting Better: Gregg Easterbrook

April 5th, 2018


The facts are hard to deny. We live longer, infant mortality continues to fall, we are richer, less subject to violence-- and despite uneven …

America's Leadership Crisis: Davia Temin

March 29th, 2018


With turmoil and never-ending drama in the White House, and record numbers of departures from top levels of the Trump Administration, it is safe to …

Google is Forever. No Second Chances: Brian Hamilton

March 22nd, 2018


Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, or Google; internet platforms are a huge force in our daily lives. The recent scandal over the Steven Bannon-affiliated Cambridge Analytica is the most recent example of the …

Making Luck Happen: Janice Kaplan

March 15th, 2018


What do Mark Zuckerberg, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, and best-selling novelist Lee Child all have in common? They all worked to make luck happen for them.

In this episode with award-winning author, editor and journalist, …

Reducing gun violence: What Works. James Burnett

March 9th, 2018


The debate over gun violence is deeply polarized, but almost everyone agrees it's an urgent problem and that far too many people are being killed and …

Will #NeverAgain Bring Lasting Change? Elizabeth Matto

March 1st, 2018


Within four days of the mass shooting at Margaret Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, Never Again was born.

In this …

The Next Space Race: Joe Pappalardo

February 21st, 2018


The impressive launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket by SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the touchdown of two boosters back at Cape Canaveral minutes later, are the latest milestones in a thrilling …

Healthcare Data Revolution: Dr. Joe Habboushe

February 14th, 2018


Wouldn't it be great if consumers could access all their personal medical records quickly and share them with doctors, family members and others they …

The Truth About Self-Driving Cars

February 7th, 2018


It's time to put the brakes on the hype about self-driving cars. Despite industry and media forecasts, it may be more than a decade before many fully …

When Will Wall Street Crash? Diana Henriques

February 1st, 2018


The U.S. stock market has soared about 40% since the Trump election. But is it over-valued and ready for a meltdown?

Shortly before the worst one-day crash in history in November 1987, the market had been charging ahead, …

50/50 Nation? No! Morris Fiorina

January 25th, 2018


From the recent government shutdown to strict partisan votes on taxes and healthcare, official Washington lurches from one fight to the next, with no …

The Dangers Of Utopia: Michael Shermer

January 18th, 2018


By overwhelming majorities, human beings have faith in the afterlife. While fewer Americans believe in God, as many as 80% still believe in life after death. Surprisingly, this includes one-in-three agnostics and …

Ending Sexual Harassment: Claire Cain Miller

January 10th, 2018


The fight against sexual harassment was the hot topic in Hollywood at the Golden Globes Awards, with outspoken and inspiring remarks by Oprah …

What's Ahead in 2018: Richard and Jim's Forecast

December 27th, 2017


2018 is certain to bring surprises. In this episode, Jim and Richard bravely venture out onto the high diving board of ideas and plunge into the pool …

Food & Health: Science vs. Myth:The Science Moms

December 20th, 2017


It's time to shift the narrative about food and health from fear to facts. Popular culture promotes all sorts of anti-scientific myths, from …

Facebook and YouTube Threats: Zeynep Tufekci

December 13th, 2017


Billions of people use Facebook and YouTube. But do social media platforms threaten our privacy and our freedom? The problem goes well beyond hate messages and other forms of inappropriate content, or fake news and …

The Truth About Robots: Peter Cappelli

December 6th, 2017


Once again the alarm bells are ringing. A new study by the McKinsey Global Institutes estimates that within 12 years, up to 800 million of today's workers may be replaced by robots or some other form of automation. 

Why Migration is Good: Leonard Doyle

November 30th, 2017


What do you think of when you hear the word “refugee” or “migrant”? If over-crowded rafts or vast tent encampments come to mind, you are not alone.

But there’s a very different— and much more positive side to migration. …

A Fresh Look at Freedom: Russell Shorto

November 21st, 2017


We discuss the American Revolution through six different pairs of eyes with acclaimed historian and journalist, Russell Shorto, author of the new …

Fixes for Manufacturing: Krisztina "Z" Holly

November 16th, 2017


This week we dismantle the myth that American manufacturing is in a death spiral. It’s not. Our guest is MIT-trained engineer and tech entrepreneur …

#128 Solutions for America's Opioid Epidemic: Sam Quinones

November 8th, 2017


America’s opioid epidemic is an addiction crisis like no other the country has ever faced. Deaths outnumber car crash fatalities. 

Since 1999, 200,000 people have died from overdoses related to Oxycontin and other …

#127 The Threat to Democracy: Reed Galen

November 2nd, 2017


One year after the election of Donald Trump, American democracy is under threat. Our civic life is in a shambles.

Our guest, Reed Galen, says America is a “dual-civilization society,” with each side viewing the other …

#126 Using Data To Predict the Future: Rebecca Costa

October 26th, 2017


Can data be used to prevent mass shootings, dramatically reduce opioid addiction and tell elderly people that they about to fall? Our guest, Rebecca Costa, says it can.
In this episode we look at why predictive …

#125 The Harvey Weinstein Sex Scandal: What Next? Anne Thompson

October 18th, 2017


The public downfall of film boss, Harvey Weinstein raises deep questions about the culture of Hollywood and its longstanding tolerance of sexual …

#124 Russia's Threat to U.S. Democracy: Amy Knight

October 11th, 2017


How should the U.S. and other Western nations deal with Vladimir Putin and well-documented threats to democracy from the Russian government? What are …

#123 Affirmative Action for Conservatives? Michael Roth

October 4th, 2017


Are free speech rights threatened at universities? Is Attorney General Jeff Sessions correct when he says political correctness has run amok on …

#122 Title IX and Sexual Assault: Jeannie Suk Gersen

September 27th, 2017


Days ago, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos scrapped Obama-era Title IX rules on campus sexual assault, plunging herself into a furious controversy. …

#121 Why We Need Stories and Myths: Stephen Greenblatt

September 20th, 2017


Love him or loathe him, Donald Trump told a more compelling story about himself than his opponents. The 2016 election was, for his critics, a jarring …

#120 From Political Disgust to Action: Eric Liu

September 13th, 2017


So many of us are furious at President Trump, Congress, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, The Democrats or the news media-- name your poison.Two thirds of Americans say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in …

#119 A Conservative Cure for Climate Change: Bob Inglis

September 7th, 2017


Climate scientists warn that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey are examples of extreme weather that will become much more common in the years to come. But …

#118 After Harvey: Climate Change Insurance. Gernot Wagner

August 30th, 2017


Is climate change to blame for Hurricane Harvey and the devastating floods around Houston? Even though we can't be certain about the cause of a single storm, Harvey's epic rainfall and surprisingly long duration remind …

#117 Is Hiking a Cure for PTSD? Sean Gobin

August 23rd, 2017


Can vets walk off the devastating impacts of PTSD? Do long-distance hiking, biking and river paddling journeys offer far better treatment for the …

#116 The Case for Passion in Our Lives

August 17th, 2017


Neil deGrasse Tyson became passionate about astrophysics when he was a teenager. Best-selling science journalist Mary Roach is well-known for her humor and curiosity as she explores the science of keeping human beings …

#115 Refugees Are Just Like You: Ahmed Badr

August 9th, 2017


Far too often refugees are thought of as "the other"-- a mass of people who are victims of war, persecution or natural disasters. President Trump has added to the problem, making negative, harsh comments about …

#114 Grunt: The Science of Humans at War - Mary Roach

August 3rd, 2017


When do fashion designers make the difference between comfort and misery for active soldiers? Why does the military need a radically different kind …

#113 America's Male Unemployment Crisis: Ed Glaeser

July 26th, 2017


Here's a paradox. While the U.S. unemployment rate is near a 16-year low, the percentage of all American adults in the workforce remains stuck at …

#13 Fix It Shorts: Why Fixing Health Care Is So Hard

July 19th, 2017


"It's back to square one" says the Wall Street Journal after the collapse of Republican proposals to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act. …

#12 Fix It Shorts: The Case for Going Outdoors

July 12th, 2017


Going outdoors and taking on new challenges makes you healthier, happier and smarter. Spending time in nature away from cities and suburbs can also bring spiritual and emotional benefits. Co-host Jim Meigs tells us why …

#11 Fix It Shorts: Is Summer Fun Under Assault? Lenore Skenazy

July 5th, 2017


Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids makes the case for carefree summer activities and unstructured play time-- arguing against those who put safety fears ahead of a child's need to explore, be curious and grow."If You're …

#109 Secrets of Your Stuff: Mover, Finn Murphy

June 28th, 2017


Are you too attached to your stuff? Do you have a big move coming up?Long-haul trucker, Finn Murphy has covered more than a million miles of packing, …

#108 Big Data & STEM, Overrated? Scott Hartley

June 21st, 2017


In our age of big data Liberal Arts smarts are undervalued. Our guest, Scott Hartley, argues that the most valuable jobs skills in the future will belong to people who can think creatively, using emotional intelligence …

#107 How Trust Can Save Journalism: Aron Pilhofer

June 14th, 2017


Journalism is in crisis. Our trust in the news media has fallen to an all-time low. One recent poll found that two thirds of Americans believe …

#106 Defusing The Prison Population Bomb: John Pfaff

June 7th, 2017


Today, about 2.2 million Americans are behind bars. "The incarceration rate is about five times the rate of 1970 and our crime rate is the same as in 1970,"John Pfaff, our guest, tells us.Our guest, John Pfaff of …

#105 Road To Disaster: VW Emissions Scandal Jack Ewing

June 1st, 2017


It isn't just the crime. It's also the cover-up. Volkswagen's multi-year conspiracy to evade pollution rules may be the biggest scandal in auto …

#104 Are Credit Cards Evil? Beverly Harzog

May 24th, 2017


Are credit cards evil?  Do you need to restructure debt or were refused a loan?  If so, this episode is for you.If you're a parent looking for smart …

#103 Neil deGrasse Tyson: Science Deniers & Wonders of the Universe Pt. 2

May 17th, 2017


Tyson talks about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, tackles science deniers on the right and left, and explains why we should …

#102 Neil deGrasse Tyson: Space, The Universe and The Case for Science, Pt.1

May 10th, 2017


Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s most prominent spokesman for science and Director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, talks about the benefits of a cosmic perspective, the case for manned space flight and much more in …

#10 Fix It Shorts: What We Learned in Our First 100 episodes

May 4th, 2017


For Jim and Richard "How Do We Fix It? has been a great big learning experience. From how to switch careers to the search for meaning and the importance of speaking to strangers, our guests have proposed many smart, …

#100 The Myth of Main Street, Louis Hyman

April 26th, 2017


Our guest is Louis Hyman, author of the provocative New York Times editorial, "The Myth of Main Street." Louis is a Cornell University History Professor and the Director of the Institute for Workplace Studies. Nostalgia …

#99 How Our Minds Heal Our Bodies: Jo Marchant

April 19th, 2017


Have you ever felt a surge of adrenaline after a bike ride, working in the back yard or going to the gym? Salivated at the sight of a sour lemon? Felt turned on by your partner’s voice? If so, says scientific …

#98 You're More Powerful Than You Think: Eric Liu

April 12th, 2017


If you're disillusioned, depressed or downright furious at the state of politics today, this episode is for you.Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen …

#9 Fix It Shorts Productivity: Charles Duhigg's Top 4 Tips

April 5th, 2017


This episode highlights four key productivity fixes from New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg. His most recent book is "Smarter, …

#96 Robots Are Not Coming For Your Job, Pt 2: Peter Cappelli

March 29th, 2017


How can we save good jobs?In part one (Episode #95); we talked to Peter Cappelli, of the Wharton School, about the threat of robots and automation to …

#95 Robots Are Not Coming For Your Job: Peter Cappelli

March 22nd, 2017


Here's one less thing to worry about: robots are not going to take your job.Despite the dire predictions of analysts, workplace experts and the government, the impact of robotics and automation on employment may be …

#94 A Vital Fix for the Media: David Bornstein

March 15th, 2017


The news media is under fierce attack from President Trump; White House Strategist, Steve Bannon; and many other critics.While many claims against the press are overblown, now is a good time to look at arguments for …

#93 Emily Esfahani Smith: The Power of Meaning

March 8th, 2017


Are you happy?  If not, perhaps you’re asking yourself the wrong question.Our culture is obsessed with happiness - a right that’s enshrined in the …

Fix It Shorts #8. Immigrants: Great for the Economy!

March 1st, 2017


When did the arguments for free trade and the benefits of immigration go out of fashion?Why is the case for scaling back the power of the financial industry under attack by the Trump administration? Richard and Jim …

#91 Geoffrey Colon: Pay-to-Play: A Menace to Society?

February 23rd, 2017


Do you know where your information is coming from? Shadowy forces are at work to influence what we think, how we behave, and where we spend our money.They're part of the explosion in pay-to-play. From bots and branded …

#90 David Greenberg: President Trump and The History of Spin

February 16th, 2017


Does Donald Trump lie more than previous presidents? In the history of political spin, how does the Trump administration stack up? Presidents have …

#89 Shearly Markowicz: Online Dating: Why It Works

February 8th, 2017


Valentine’s Day is almost here, so we invited Dating Ring CEO Shearly Markowicz to talk about the company and give advice how to find love online. Dating Ring first came to fame when it was profiled by the Gimlet …

#88 The New Brooklyn: Bringing Cities Back: Kay Hymowitz

February 2nd, 2017


In his inaugural address, Donald Trump gave a grim description of American cities, speaking of "carnage" and "rusted out factories.” But the reality is far different in many urban centers.Our guest is Kay Hymowitz of …

#87 Taxes: How to Avoid an Audit, Get a Refund, and Don't Panic

January 25th, 2017


Do you dread filing your taxes? We simplify the process and break it down into simple steps so you can avoid costly mistakes and even an audit. You …

#86 Farai Chideya: Re-think Your Career. Find a New Job

January 18th, 2017


Have you spent your life switching careers? So has former NPR host, professor, and journalist Farai Chideya. It’s the new normal —- the episodic career.Can you build a career with a non-traditional work history?How …

#85 Why We're Fooled by Con Artists: Maria Konnikova

January 11th, 2017


Have you ever been the victim of a con artist? Very often we fall for cons ourselves without being aware of it. We speak with journalist and …

#84 Smart Solutions for The New Year

January 5th, 2017


Fresh thinking for the New Year: In 2016 we were exposed to a dazzling range of smart, practical ideas from our podcast guests - from climate change and money matters, healthcare reform, to making room for strangers in …

#83 Best Moments of 2016

December 29th, 2016


Alan Dershowitz on Trump; what an Islamic fundamentalist learned in an Egyptian jail; plus a tenured professor explained why she quit her job—trigger warning ahead. No doubt about it - the nomination and election of …

#82 Lessons from the World's Best Schools: Lucy Crehan

December 22nd, 2016


What we can learn from the best education systems in the world? A lot.We learn about PISA - The Program for International Student Assessment - and why this international test on math, science and reading has disturbing …

#81 Rana Foroohar: Wall Street's Giant Threat to the Economy

December 14th, 2016


More than eight years after the financial meltdown, we still have a lot to learn, says our guest, CNN global economic analyst Rana Foroohar. "The rise of finance has actually kind of eaten the rest of the economy," …

#80 The Urgent Case for Science & Reason: Michael Shermer

December 7th, 2016


Dr. Michael Shermer is our guest; he's the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American and a regular …

#79 Smarter, Simpler Ways to Fix Healthcare: Dr. Joe Habboushe

November 30th, 2016


The U.S. spends more than $3 trillion a year on healthcare, or nearly $10,000 a year for every man, woman and child. But are we getting a bang for our buck? In many cases, the answer has to be no. And this goes well …

#78 How Games Can Make the World Work Better: Dan Grech

November 23rd, 2016


This show is about the benefits adults, especially business owners, can get from playing games. This year's huge success of Pokemon Go helped bring …

#77 Fixes for Feminists in a Time of Trump: Sallie Krawcheck

November 16th, 2016


Anyone who cares about diversity, feminism and closing the gender gap should be fired up about this show.Author, entrepreneur and - yes provocateur - …

Fix It Shorts #7: Why Trump Won. What Should Happen Next?

November 10th, 2016


We recorded this the day after the stunning U.S. Presidential election.  This show is our attempt to explain the reasons for Donald Trump's win.Despite his deeply divisive rhetoric and attacks on Muslims and …

#75 Be Ready for the Future—Any Future: Mark Earls

November 2nd, 2016


Almost all of us do a poor job of predicting the future.  This show looks at how we can adapt to the disruption and change the future inevitably brings.  Using examples from business and our personal lives, we consider …

#74 Talking to Strangers Made Me a Better Person: Kio Stark

October 28th, 2016


"There are genuine emotional benefits when we connect with strangers," says our guest, Kio Stark. These fleeting interactions are important interruptions in the steady routine of our lives. "They bring connectedness and …

#73 Why Nonprofits Need to Stop Begging: Jennifer McCrea

October 19th, 2016


Do you believe you can make a difference?  What improvements to the world have been made by nonprofit organizations?  What lessons have been learnt by philanthropists about delivering services and furthering their cause?

Fix It Shorts #6: Election 2016: The Problem is Us. We The Voters

October 12th, 2016


The news media have bombarded us with stories about the candidates, the contest and - to a lesser extent - the crucial issues America faces as people vote for the next President.

This podcast is about the voters.

We …

#71 Saving Walkers & Bikers from Killer Cars: Nicole Gelinas

October 5th, 2016


“Vision Zero” is the highly ambitious plan put in place two years ago by New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio. The goal: no traffic deaths by 2024. 

America's largest city is nowhere near reducing fatal crashes to zero, but …

#70 Fighting the Extremists—on Both Sides: Alan Dershowitz

September 28th, 2016


Electile Dysfunction (is), “a terrible pun plus insightful commentary" is how TV host and wit Seth Myers describes" the new book by Professor Alan …

#69 A Better Way to Think About Migrants: Leonard Doyle

September 21st, 2016


Too often, migrants and refugees are viewed as "other" - not like us. In recent days Donald Trump Jr. compared the Syrian refugee problem to a bowl …

#68 Why Everyone Is Wrong About the Economy: Ruchir Sharma

September 14th, 2016


Get ready for slower economic growth and de-globalization, says investor and writer Ruchir Sharma.

Ruchir invited us to his New York office, where he is the head of emerging markets and chief global strategist at …

#67 How Being Grateful Will Make You Happier: Janice Kaplan

September 7th, 2016


On New Year's Eve, journalist and former Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan made a promise to herself to be grateful during the coming year and …

#66 Fixing Everyday Money Mistakes: Rebecca Jarvis

September 1st, 2016


How much do you know about money?  Many of us make simple mistakes that cost us hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year.

According to a recent

#65 Moms Clean Air Force: Gretchen Dahlkemper

August 24th, 2016


From "nap-time activists" and mommy bloggers to a "stroller march" on Washington, Moms Clean Air Force is using creative and highly effective ways to …

Fix It Shorts #5: Technology: How Children Learn and Play

August 17th, 2016


Following on from our recent episodes about high schools and  playdates, this week we explore children's learning, technology and play with three …

#63 How Brownsville TX Took on Obesity: Dr. Rose Gowen

August 10th, 2016


The obesity rate is 52% in Brownsville, Texas - far higher than the national average.  Nearly one in three residents has diabetes - three times the rate elsewhere.  Brownsville also has a very high rate of poverty where …

#62 Untangling the Tricky Politics of Playdates: Tamara Mose

August 3rd, 2016


Remember when kids were allowed to play, usually without supervision, when did that change? When did play turn into a playdate?

Today many parents organize playdates. Play is arranged, supervised and has the parental …

Fix It Shorts #4: Why Hacking Threaten All of Us: Adam Levin

July 27th, 2016


The release of nearly 19,000 e-mails from the Democratic National Committee rocked party leaders and forced the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie …

#60 Ideas to Save our Failing High Schools: Liz Willen

July 20th, 2016


Improving America's high schools is an exceptionally complex and difficult task. But all across the country the most enlightened educators are …

#59 Why the Human Touch Still Matters: Steve Hilton

July 13th, 2016


When is the last time that you called a big company or government agency and a human being answered the phone?   From big data, complex algorithms and giant corporations to massive government bureaucracy, the everyday …

#58 A Better Way to Understand Polls: Gary Langer

July 6th, 2016


Are opinion polls accurate?  Did they miss the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?  Do they properly measure America's increasingly sharp …

#57 How To Be Smarter About Risk: Karen Firestone

June 29th, 2016


This show may very well save you money, boost your career and help you make smarter decisions.  

It's about risk.   Our guest is Karen Firestone - author of the new book “Even The Odds - Sensible Risk Taking in …

Fix It Shorts #3: Should Britain Vote to Leave the European Union?: Steve Hilton

June 17th, 2016


Would Britain face lasting economic and political harm if it votes to quit the European Union in June 23rd's referendum?  Our show looks at the case …

Fix It Shorts #2: 2016 Presidential Campaign: Lessons From History. Sean Wilentz

June 15th, 2016


How many times have heard somebody say that the political campaign has reached a new low?  How much worse is the 2016 race compared to previous …

#54 Harnessing the Hidden Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg

June 8th, 2016


This podcast is all about how to have better habits and use them to be more productive in our projects, careers and everyday lives.  

We talk about to-do lists, email, mental models and making the most of our time with …

#53 Medical Mistakes: The 3rd Largest Cause of Death

June 1st, 2016


Medical errors are America's third largest cause of death. Only heart disease and cancer have a higher body count. 

  A new report estimates that about 250,000 Americans die each year because of screw-ups in hospitals, …

Fix It Shorts #1: Crazy Red Tape and Rigid Rules: How Do We Fix It?

May 25th, 2016


It's the biggest issue of the Presidential campaign that the candidates are not talking about: bloated government and the poor delivery of services.   From very long TSA airport security lines to the dysfunction at your …

#51 Why Self-Driving Cars Are a Sneaky Plot: Eddie Alterman

May 18th, 2016


With technology in overdrive, self-driving cars are no longer a fantasy. The first autonomous cars and trucks made by major auto manufacturers could …

#50 Building a Much Better Workplace: How Do We Fix It?

May 11th, 2016

The numbers are alarming.  A 2015 Gallup poll found nearly 70% of U.S. employers say they're either bored or disengaged at work.   The cost to …

#49 Don't Freak Out About Terrorism: Fixes from The Security Mom

May 4th, 2016


"Stuff happens," says homeland security expert and mom of three, Juliette Kayyem.  

The government has got to find a better way to talk about the …

#48 John Gable Do You Know How Biased You Are? John Gable of

April 26th, 2016


"At the end of the day everybody is biased," says our guest,John Gable, founder CEO of AllSides. "You're biased by what youknow. You're biased by what you know and you're biased by yourentire human existence before …

#47 A Better Way to Report The News: David Bornstein

April 20th, 2016


Too often, news coverage is all about clashes, controversies andcontests.  The way the media cover major events can have aprofound impact on our view of the world.

 In this episode, Jim and Richard - both …

#46 An Environmentalist's Passionate Case for Nuclear Power: Michael Shellenberger

April 13th, 2016


With the approach of Earth Day, this show looks at the cleanair, carbon-free case for nuclear power. And it challenges the viewheld by many environmentalists that the only way to save the planetis for all of us to get …

#45 The Case for Children's Free Play: Lenore Skenazy

April 6th, 2016


You can't have too much of a really good thing. That's why we decided to invite Lenore Skenazy,founder of Free Range Kids, to make a welcome return to "How Do We Fix It?" She was a guest on an earlier show.

Lenore is the …

#44 Our Problem with Science. Ainissa Ramirez: How Do We Fix It?

March 30th, 2016


We have a problem in our society. Too many people don't understand science or the importance of the scientific method.

Many children aren't learning the basics of math and science, which closes off a broad range of …

#43 Joan Blades Part 2 - How to Speak With People You Disagree With

March 22nd, 2016


This episode looks at the simple, highly personal way that living room conversations allow people of different viewpoints to really hear each other.

#42 Neighbors Divided Over Politics: Joan Blades: How Do We Fix It?

March 16th, 2016


How can you talk to people you disagree with? We Talk to Joan Blades, the founder of about how to bridge the partisan divide.

This show is another response to the deep partisan divide in America - part one of …

#41 Explaining Donald Trump; The Role Emotions Play In Big Decisions

March 9th, 2016


Let's face it. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have won far more votes than almost any "expert" forecast.

The reason may well be that emotions and …

#40 America's Angry Political Divide. Mark Gerzon

March 2nd, 2016


More than any time in recent decades, American politics aredeeply divided. Compromise is a dirty word.

"The way that we're running the country is that …

#39 The Gender Gap in Our Public Square: Joan Wages: How Do We Fix It?

February 24th, 2016


From the AmericanRevolution and the Founding Fathers - through wars, economic changeand the struggle for civil rights, American history …

#38 Why Obamacare Might Collapse: Megan McArdle: How Do We Fix It?

February 17th, 2016


For its opponents, Obamacare is a disaster - a classic exampleof over-reach by an Administration that wants to expand the sizeand scope of the Federal government.

Supporters say The Affordable Care Act is a triumph, …

#37 Breast Cancer: Lessons from a life-threatening journey. Debbie Galant

February 10th, 2016


Debbie Galant talks about what it's like to livewith breast cancer.  What she learned along the way amount tosolutions for what can be a desperate, …

#36 The Risks of Safety: Greg Ip: How Do We Fix It?

February 3rd, 2016

Anti-lock brakes make many motorists drive faster. Introducing helmets and face masks in football raised the risk of concussions. Financial …

#35 Our Flawed Fight Against ISIS: Maajid Nawaz: How Do We Fix It?

January 26th, 2016


Before The U.S. and other nations can be successful againstIslamic State (ISIS) and other global jihadists, we must understandthe difference between …

#34 The backlash against science. Alice Dreger: How Do We Fix It?

January 20th, 2016


We'd like to think that science should exist outside of politics and researchers follow the truth wherever it goes.

But the ideal of rational …

#33 Fighting Over Land in The West: Nancy Langston - How Do We Fix It

January 13th, 2016


The armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the dry prairies of Southeast Oregon by members a small militia group is the most recent chapter in the very long-running dispute over land in The West.

#32 New Year's Resolutions for 2015

December 31st, 2015


It's easy to make resolutions to improve our lives, but how do we boost our chances of following through? The first two guests on this New Year's …

#31: 2015 In Review: Some of Our Best Moments

December 29th, 2015


If you want to get of sense of what we're about, this highlights show may be a good place to start. We've put together a "best of" podcast that reflects our values and makes the argument for why we're worth listening …

#30 How The Internet Is Messing With Our Brains. Abigail Baird: How Do We Fix It?

December 23rd, 2015


We love our smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But what is the explosion in mobile technology doing to our brains?Our guest, Professor Abigail …

#29 Are College Students Too Emotionally Fragile? Hara Marano: How Do We Fix It?

December 15th, 2015


From angry scenes over Halloween costumes at Yale to protests against racism at the University of Missouri, student activism is back.  More than at any time since the late 1960's, America is in the middle of a …

#28 Walls, Barriers and Bans: The Cost of Panic Over Immigration & Terror: How Do We Fix It?

December 7th, 2015


From Paris to San Bernardino, terrorist attacks have sparked an outcry from many politicians in Europe and the U.S. - including calls for new …

#27 America's Sleep Crisis: Jeff Koyen. How Do We Fix It?

December 1st, 2015


How can we get more sleep? If you have at least seven hours of interrupted sleep each night, consider yourself very lucky indeed. Problems with …

#26 The Trouble With Today's Toys: Richard Gottlieb: How Do We Fix It?

November 24th, 2015


The holiday shopping season is underway and finding the right toy or game for his or her kids is the goal of every parent. A vast range of new toys …

#25 Climate Change: Turning CO2 Into Rock: Peter Kelemen: How Do We Fix It

November 16th, 2015


The demand for energy around the world continues to grow each year. And so does the amount of carbon dioxide that's pumped into the earth's atmosphere. What happens if the world fails to bring down CO2 emissions in the …

#24 Why The Federal Reserve Is So Unpopular Roger Lowenstein: How Do We Fix It?

November 9th, 2015


The Federal Reserve plays a fundamental role in our economy. But many Americans loathe The Federal Reserve - furious that The Fed bailed out banks …

#23 The Dangers of Confirmation Bias with David McRaney: How Do We Fix It?

November 4th, 2015


More than ever America is divided into political tribes. One person's truth is somebody else's lie. This show is about confirmation bias and filter …

#22 Gender Inequality at Work with Laura Vanderkam. How Do We Fix It?

October 28th, 2015


Women in the workplace face huge challenges, including discrimination and low pay. The Pew Research Center says women's hourly wages are 84% those of men. The White House says the true number is lower. Many firms …

#21 Climate Shock: The Global Warming Threat, How Do We Fix It?

October 21st, 2015


If you had a 10% of facing a flood or getting into a fatal car accident, you'd make sure you bought first-rate insurance coverage. That's what our …

#20 Insurance Errors: Are You Covered For A Disaster? How Do We Fix It

October 14th, 2015


Many of us make potentially disastrous mistakes with insurance. Either we don't have nearly enough coverage or pay through the nose for duplicate options that we don't need. Insurance expert Laura Adams has …

#19 Lenore Skenazy(Rerun): Free Range Kids

October 6th, 2015


Do helicopter parents need to come in for a landing? Lenore Skenazy, host of the cable TV show, "World's Worst Mom", says yes. The founder of the parenting movement Free Range Kids is Jim and Richard's expert guest. …

#18 Stock Market Panic and Investor Mistakes: How Do We Fix It?

September 30th, 2015


With recent worries about the global economy and stock market panic, investment expert Susan Schmidt, Senior Portfolio Manager at Westwood Holdings …

#17 We're Sending The Wrong Message To Kids About Jobs: How Do We Fix It?

September 23rd, 2015


TV host, writer, author and producer Mike Rowe says America needs to change its understanding about work and face up to the widening skills gap. Many manufacturers can't fill find workers to do well-paid skilled …

#16 Campus Free Speech Is Under Threat: How Do We Fix It?

September 16th, 2015


We look at threats to free speech on college campuses with Greg Lukianoff, a constitutional lawyer and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in …

#15 The Hysteria Over Sex Offenders: How Do We Fix It?

September 9th, 2015


"Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us" is the provocative title of the new book by sociology professor Emily Horowitz. She …

#14 The Housing Market Is Still Broken: How Do We Fix It?

August 26th, 2015


Fear and panic gripped the stock market this week with worries that China's problems could cause a global recession. But is Wall Street out of step …

#13 My Child Has a Terrible Teacher: How Do We Fix It?

August 18th, 2015


How often have heard parents complain about their kids' teachers? Everyone, it seems, has opinions about education, test scores and schools. Who is …

#12 The Sour Fight Over Sugary Sodas: How Do We Fix It?

August 12th, 2015


Coca-Cola, the world’s largest maker of sugary sodas, is under fire for giving millions of dollars to a group of scientists who say that lack of …

#11 Google: Too Powerful For Our Democracy? How Do We Fix It?

August 4th, 2015


How does Google play to our prejudices, and could its mighty search engine be used to change election results? 75% of all internet searches are done …

#10 Washington's Revolving Door Corruption: How Do We Fix It?

July 27th, 2015


The "revolving door" is a corrupting influence on both government and industry. So says University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds. He's …

#9 Our Bad Habits Hold Us Back: How Do We Fix It?

July 21st, 2015


Are you overwhelmed by the flood of information, technology and choices that we all face as consumers? This episode with Jim and Richard features …

#8 Hacking: The Online Threat To All Of Us. How Do We Fix It?

July 13th, 2015


Data and identity theft are a threat to all of us. The recent breach of government computers at The Office of Personnel Management was only the latest example of a growing crisis. Adam Levin, founder of and …

#7 Your Personal Finance Is A Disaster: How Do We Fix It?

July 7th, 2015


"Anything is possible in your financial life as long as you work hard at it, and want it bad enough," says personal financial expert Farnoosh Torabi. The host of the daily podcast, "So Money," Farnoosh is an nationally …

#6 The Sharing Economy: A Threat To The Middle Class? How Do We Fix It?

June 29th, 2015


The on-demand economy is a hit with consumers. Uber, Lyft, Homejoy, and other companies provide a growing number of convenient services. But there's …

#5 We Need More Free Range Kids: How Do We Fix It?

June 18th, 2015


Do helicopter parents need to come in for a landing? Lenore Skenazy, host of the cable TV show, "World's Worst Mom", says yes. The founder of the parenting movement Free Range Kids is Jim and Richard's expert guest. …

#1 The Tech Threat To Your Kids: How Do We Fix It?

April 21st, 2015


Computers, video games and mobile devices are a huge temptation for kids. But are they really a threat, or instead a great opportunity for children to learn about the world? In this show Jim and Richard are joined by …

#2 Why We're Bored and Frustrated At Work: How Do We Fix It?

March 30th, 2015


The numbers are alarming. A recent Gallup says that less than one-third of American workers are engaged in their jobs. Millions of employees are either bored or completely fed up. In addition to the human misery this …

#4 Government Red Tape Is A Nightmare: How Do We Fix It?

March 17th, 2015


All of us pay taxes, but how well is that money being spent? Many government services are poorly delivered. From the local DMV or zoning department to the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs, government can be a …

#3 Drowning In Credit Card Debt: How Do We Fix It?

March 14th, 2015


Credit card debt is once again on the rise. The average U.S. household that borrows money with high interest credit cards owes $15,000. Many people …

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