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An Exit Interview with N.I.H. Director Dr. Francis Collins (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 16)

The National Institutes of Health is the backbone of health research in the U.S., and Collins has been in charge for more than a decade. Now that he’s stepping down, he ponders the arc of his history-making career, from his leadership of the Human Genome Project to the fight against Covid-19 (not to mention the absolute happiest moment of his life)....

“The Art Market Is in Massive Disruption.” (Ep. 486)

Is art really meant to be an “asset class”? Will the digital revolution finally democratize a market that just keeps getting more elitist? And what will happen to the last painting Alice Neel ever made? (Part 3 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”) Listen and follow our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts....

How Can You Avoid Boredom? (NSQ Ep. 77)

Also: are we getting any better at assessing COVID risk? *      *      * Relevant Research & References Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode: SOURCES Erin Westgate, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida. Chris Hulleman, professor of education, psychology, and public...

Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations — and His Optimism for Ours (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 55)

He’s the award-winning author of hugely popular books like Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; and Upheaval. But Jared actually started his varied career as an expert on gallbladders and birds. The physiologist turned geographer talks with Steve about his brushes with death, why the Norse Greenlanders wouldn’t eat fish, and why he has never been invited...

The Most “Unique, Excellent, and Promising” Episode (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 15)

Studies by men published in scientific journals are more likely to include glowing, hyperbolic terms. Bapu talks about this “groundbreaking” research (see what we did there?) in a wide-ranging discussion with physicians and an economist about the gender gap in medicine. Follow Freakonomics, M.D. on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you...

“I’ve Been Working My Ass Off for You to Make that Profit?” (Ep. 485)

The more successful an artist is, the more likely their work will later be resold at auction for a huge markup — and they receive nothing. Should that change? Also: why doesn’t contemporary art impact society the way music and film do? (Part 2 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”) Listen and follow our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher,...

Why Can’t Baby Boomers and Millennials Just Get Along? (NSQ Ep. 76)

Also: how do phone cameras affect the way we experience live events? *      *      * Relevant Research & References Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode: SOURCES Walter Mischel (deceased), professor of psychology at Columbia University. George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology...

Andrew Yang Is Not Giving Up on Politics — or the U.S. — Yet (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 54)

He’s tried to shake up the status quo — as a Democratic presidential candidate, a New York City mayoral candidate, and now the founder of the Forward party. Will his third try be the charm? Andrew talks with Steve about what it’s like to lose an election and why a third political party might be the best chance for avoiding a new civil war. Listen...

Is Uber Good (or Bad) for Your Health? (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 14)

When you need a ride to the hospital, who should you call? Bapu talks with economist David Slusky about how ridesharing services are increasingly replacing ambulances. Plus, an unexpected reason why rideshares may lead some people to unhealthy behaviors. Follow Freakonomics, M.D. on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts....

“A Fascinating, Sexy, Intellectually Compelling, Unregulated Global Market.” (Ep. 484)

The art market is so opaque and illiquid that it barely functions like a market at all. A handful of big names get all the headlines (and most of the dollars). Beneath the surface is a tangled web of dealers, curators, auction houses, speculators — and, of course, artists. In the first episode of a three-part series, we meet the key players and learn...

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