How Gay Became Okay

Analysis | 28 June 2015 | 0h 28m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Why have British attitudes towards homosexuality changed so far and so fast? Less than 50 years ago, sex between men was a criminal act. Now they can marry. It’s not just the law that has changed: we have. Surveys suggest that public opinion about homosexuality has undergone a dramatic shift over the same period. Explores what drives this kind of change in collective attitudes.

Matt Ridley on Climate Change

EconTalk | 29 June 2015 | 1h 08m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview on climate change with science writer and author Matt Ridley, who describes himself as a “lukewarmer.” While Ridley agrees that humans have made the climate warmer, he argues that the impact is small or positive over some temperature ranges and regions. He rejects the catastrophic scenarios that some say are sufficiently likely to justify dramatic policy responses, and he reflects on the challenges of staking out an unpopular position on a contentious policy issue.

Jonathan Haidt on the Righteous Mind

EconTalk | 20 January 2014 | 1h 03m | Listen Later 
Interview with Jonathan Haidt, author of The “Righteous Mind”, discussing the nature of human nature, and how our brain affects our morality and politics. Haidt argues that reason often serves our emotions rather than the mind being in charge. We can be less interested in the truth and more interested in finding facts and stories that fit preconceived narratives and ideology. Haidt tries to understand why people come to different visions of morality and politics and how we might understand each other despite those differences.

Sean B Carroll: The Serengeti Rules

Ideas Books | 5 May 2016 0h 28m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with biologist Sean B Carroll about his book, “The Serengeti Rules”. Covers how wolves can change the physical shape of rivers and why, on the plains of the Serengeti, 150 kg is the number that determines whether you’re likely to be eaten or not. Explains how nature produces the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna and the processes for regulation that apply at all scales in biology.

Kinder-Gardening

Hidden Brain | 12 December 2017 | 0h 29m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with psychologist Alison Gopnik, author of “The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.” Many parents think they can shape their child into a particular kind of adult, like a carpentry project. But Gopnik explains why it’s more realistic to see parenting as akin to gardening, where you create the best conditions, without any promises on the outcomes. Includes astonishing insight that both children and AI robots learn more about an item’s functionality if they play with it rather than being taught.