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How did we get to the financial crisis of 2008? Where were the signs, and what did we miss? For these questions and more, we turn to the person who wrote a book on the subject. Dr. George Cooper is an author and the chief investment Officer of Equitile investments. He has 27 years of investment experience including with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, De…
 
Most history books explain the details of events and provide well-researched context to these events. But history isn’t just about what happened, it’s often about why. The root of any social change is often complex, human emotions. In his new book, France before 1789, Jon Elster explores the circumstances leading up to the French Revolution and the…
 
In recent decades there has been a major restructuring of the economy from capital-intensive manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven fields which increases the demand for high skilled workers. But why is it, that the US is producing a lot more innovation than other parts of the world? Edward W. Conard is an American businessman, aut…
 
The brain is a curious thing, but how does curiosity happen in it? Where does curiosity begin, and what does that process look like? Curiosity does quite a lot inside the brain, from connecting dots of knowledge to shaping entire architectures of thought and organization. Understanding the underpinnings of this motivating force can allow us to harn…
 
Growth is good but creates losers as well as winners. The Economics profession has far too often failed to provide insight into how to design policies that protect those negatively impacted by forces such as technological change and globalization. There’s a lot riding with how we address the economic ‘losers’, and it matters because the two main wa…
 
In the last 30 years, there has been an explosion in the diversity of cuisine. But while there are more diverse and healthier food choices available than ever before, and people are becoming more aware of what they are actually eating, the science of taste is still underdeveloped compared to our other senses. John McQuaid, is a journalist and autho…
 
When is clean too clean? And what science connects how we treat our skin with common skin conditions? While the virtues of cleanliness may seem to flow from modern scientific findings about germs, there are deep cultural and economic factors that have shaped the evolution of hygiene. James Hamblin is a physician who specializes in public health and…
 
Fear is a common and important human emotion that we’ve all experienced at some time. But have you ever paid attention to how you react to fear in others? Your response may say a lot about your moral compass. Neuroscientist Abigail Marsh studied two groups of people, psychopaths and altruists, and how they interpret fear and other emotions in other…
 
Whether we are talking about food, clothing, or financial products, the supply chains which convert the raw materials to finished goods are getting more and more complex, giving rise to a wide range of intermediaries, ranging from the Walmarts and Amazons of the world to the Etsys and the Kickstarters. Increasing complexity often means increasing o…
 
What happens when two sides are in disagreement and both think they are right? How do you change a mind? Some tactics can be persuasive, but others can backfire and result in no movement or even extra resistance. There are things that can be learned from these disagreements, and tools that can be used to resolve them. David McRaney is a journalist,…
 
All multicellular organisms face the risk of cancer cells developing and growing. When these cells work together and cooperate they can create new problems that require novel approaches to solve. Healthy cells also cooperate with each other in the effort to eliminate the cancer as the two sides battle for territory in the body. Athena Aktipis is an…
 
In February 2020, Mark Woolhouse, a UK epidemiologist, called the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland. Mark wanted to talk to the leader about what the country was doing to prepare for the inevitable arrival of a virus that was spreading through China. Thus began Mark’s years-long critique and study of the worldwide system failure in reaction to COVI…
 
When we read fiction, our brains are able to suspend our awareness of the fiction so we can fully immerse ourselves in the story we’re reading. When this happens, we are able to think about our own lives and personal beliefs in the context of the story. That’s the power of great art- the themes of a text should transcend the particulars of that sto…
 
What drives fertility? What drives mortality? What drives migration? These are some of the questions that drive the field of demography. Paul Morland is the author of three books: 'Demographic Engineering: Population Strategies and Ethnic Conflict' which looks at the links between demography and conflict, 'The Human Tide: How Population Shaped the …
 
Design is the science of the artificial, but what makes for good design? Everything designed is man-made, but not everything man-made is designed. There are ways to study and teach good design theory, but implementation and human use is needed to refine and inform the field to make things more efficient and intuitive. Donald A. Norman is a professo…
 
Bankruptcy law and laws that govern corporate restructures play an important role in our economy. How a business moves forward after declaring bankruptcy is determined by these laws and the judges who uphold them – but how this all works can be somewhat of a mystery to many people. Doug Baird is the author of the new book ‘The Unwritten Law of Corp…
 
What can the study of animals tell us about beauty? How can the mate choices of birds or frogs give us insight into human attraction? As a part of the animal kingdom, humans share more than we think with the ways of other animals, and by studying how they assess and reward beauty, we can unlock truths about our relationship to beauty as humans, too…
 
Imagine yourself at a dinner party filled with people you don’t know. As you head to the appetizer tray to get another snack, there’s someone already standing there. You have two options: one, you could make boring small talk by asking how they know the host or what they do for a living. But according to Christian Busch, this is also a moment where…
 
Most people fail to realize how much the process of what we regard as normal, healthy, or sick is influenced by social, cultural, political, or financial factors. Dr. Allan Horwitz joins Greg to talk about how the public’s perception of many common conditions, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, has evolved over time and no longer involves the sti…
 
What does it take for a developing economy to grow and thrive? There are many obstacles that stand in the way, but they can be overcome with the knowledge of where to apply efforts for best results. To understand another country or advise their government on how to grow economies takes someone who has been to the places, spoken to the people, liste…
 
We use evidence in many areas of our world: courtrooms, scientific laboratories, and legislative bodies that create policies. But the evidence in these different arenas is used in very different ways. For example, how lawyers present evidence in a courtroom varies from how historians use evidence to write about past events. University of Virginia l…
 
What is free will, and how can it be both tested and defined? How do you know where the line is between what is your choice, what is compelled, and what is inevitable? What are the limits on the will, and how do you study them? Alfred Mele is a ph professor of philosophy at Florida State University. He also served as director of the Philosophy and …
 
Does competition always make you stronger, or does it subtly shape far too much of life throughout childhood and beyond. Society is now shaping itself around newly competitive fields in school and academics while contorting students and their families in different directions to keep up in today’s environment of education. Matt Feeney is a writer wh…
 
How do you motivate yourself? What works in motivating others? Do you turn to the stick, the carrot, or a combination of both? These age-old questions are at the root of humans trying to turn what they need to do into what they want to do and manage complex slates of desire and obligation. Ayelet Fishbach is a professor of Behavioral Science and Ma…
 
The world seems to be moving faster and faster but there is always a need to plan for the longer arc of life. Having a strategy lets you set short goals while achieving progress toward your longer ones. Now more than ever people need to be intentional about the strategies they use in creating a career. Building these strategies in different areas o…
 
Economists have been harshly criticized for their response to the recent financial crisis and the pandemic. Yet, they are willing to adapt to changing environments and take on new ideas but sometimes don't do it rapidly enough. Paul Andrew Ormerod is a British economist, best-selling author, a partner at Volterra Partners consultancy, and a founder…
 
The trauma of loss is inevitable, but there are things that can be done to consciously prepare for and deal with things we lose in life. They are also connected deeply to the concepts of discovery. Death and love both hold mysteries that have always captivated the mind. Kathryn Schulz is a writer at “The New Yorker” and is the author of Being Wrong…
 
The behavior of business practitioners is often driven by the defunct theories of economists. But to some extent all theories and models come with limitations and both the financial crisis of 2008 and the recent pandemic have made those limitations hard to ignore. Sir John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists. He was the first dean of Oxford’…
 
It’s remarkable,how driven we are to set goals for ourselves that we're incapable of attaining. But we're not doomed to be disenchanted; Instead, we can make some incremental and meaningful progress toward their attainment. Anthony Kronman is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School. A former Dean of Yale Law School, Professor Kronman teaches i…
 
It’s no secret that the nature of our food has been changed quite dramatically by big food companies in the last 50 years. This is just one of the things that has contributed to a nation of overeaters. Michael Moss is the author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” and “Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Add…
 
Innovation is a crucial part for organizations to stay ahead of their competitors, adapt to changing circumstances in the environment and create long-lasting businesses. Yet, many big corporations eventually stagnate and become obsolete while a lot of groundbreaking ideas come from small companies. Safi Bahcall is a second-generation physicist, a b…
 
In today’s world, corporate lobbying is everywhere. Corporations wield immense power over our economy and use their economic clout to influence policymakers, politicians and regulators in a way that can lead to corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Luigi Zingales is a finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the…
 
When it comes to nutrition, conventional wisdom suggeststhat we are at the mercy of an unhinged appetite and an addiction to calories. But as science shows, we're much smarter when it comes to eating than we previously thought. Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto and author of such books as “The End of Craving, rediscovering,…
 
While wars and other violent conflicts dominate the news, it is easy to overlook that the majority of conflicts are actually resolved peacefully. In his highly acclaimed book “Why We Fight The Roots of War and The Paths to Peace”, author Chris Blattman draws on his expertise in economics, political science, and history to explain the five reasons w…
 
Clinical psychologists like Todd Kashdan are in many ways the philosophers of our time, digging into what it is that makes for a fulfilling and happy and comfortable life. Awarded the 2013 Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association, Todd Kashdan is among the world’s top experts on the psychology of well-be…
 
Recognized as a national thought leader in early language development, Dr. Dana Suskind has dedicated her research and clinical life to optimizing foundational brain development and preventing early cognitive disparities and their lifelong impact. She is founder and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, which aims to cre…
 
If exercise is so healthy, then why do many people dislike or avoid it? So much of our modern lives is sedentary, it’s more important than ever to get our bodies up and be active. Daniel Lieberman is a Professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, and the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University. He is …
 
Martha Minow has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses include civil procedure, constitutional law, fairness and privacy, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious …
 
How can you be both interdisciplinary and be a contributing specialist in your discipline in this day andage? It's a core theme of this podcast, as well as our guests' research. Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of pr…
 
No one will accuse our next guest of doing philosophy in an isolated fashion. Julian Baggini is a writer and philosopher, and currently the Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. His latest book is titled “How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy.” Julian is also the co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine and has written for n…
 
Since its initial publication, “The Business of Venture Capital” has been hailed as the definitive, most comprehensive book on the subject. In its upcoming third edition, this market-leading text explains the multiple facets of the business of venture capital, from raising venture funds, to structuring investments, to generating consistent returns,…
 
Every time we make a choice, our minds go through an elaborate process most of us never even notice. We’re influenced by subtle aspects of the way the choice is presented that often make the difference between a good decision and a bad one. How do we overcome the common faults in our decision-making and enable better choices in any situation? This …
 
Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career conducting scientific research on what leads people to say “Yes” to requests and appeals. The results of his research, his ensuing articles, and New York Times bestselling books have earned him an acclaimed reputation as a respected scientist and engaging storyteller. His books, including “Influence” …
 
Lydia Pyne’s work may loosely be called history, but it's really a combination of the sciences and the humanities. It's a reflection on how we make sense of ourselves and our past. Lydia is a writer and historian, interested in the history of science and material culture. She has degrees in history and anthropology and a PhD in biology (history and…
 
Innovation seems to occur at uneven rates across different countries. At a time when we’re so intimately connected in all fields and industries, its interesting that there are still such vastly different kinds of technology and innovation happening at the same time all over the world. Dr. Mark Zachary Taylor, formerly a solid-state physicist, now s…
 
You may not believe it, but there is a link between our current political instability and your childhood attachment to teddy bears. There's also a reason why children in Asia are more likely to share than their western counterparts and why the poor spend more of their income on luxury goods than the rich. Or why your mother is more likely to leave …
 
Having a background in planetary science gives our guest an interesting perspective on the world. In his work, Lewis can tie together things like the existence of humanity, and how the human experience has been impacted or even made possible by things like the movement of the tectonic plates and the great oxidation event. Lewis Dartnell is a resear…
 
For a podcast called unSILOed, you really can’t think of a more perfect guest than John Hennessy. From being a founder of a company, to a scholar, to a book author and an administrator, John has straddled many a silo in his career. John Hennessy is an American computer scientist, academician and businessman who serves as Chairman of Alphabet Inc. H…
 
The minute you walk into an elevator, everybody is immediately sizing up each other to figure out who is high and low status. When you're driving down the road, you can't help but think that someone's trying to “out status” you by accelerating past you or cutting you off. Status is everywhere, even if we're not conscious of it. Will Storr is an aut…
 
Well, Rick Sander has been working on questions of social and economic inequality for nearly all of his career. From being an activist in Chicago back in the day, to his published works, Rick truly understands the longstanding roots of residential segregation in the United States, and how it continues to evolve. But there is still some confusion ab…
 
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