Displaying episodes 437 through 417
The Demonization of Gluten
October 18, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven't been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit
Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love
September 27, 2017 | 9:00 pm
He's been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He's one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administrat
Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature)
September 25, 2017 | 9:00 pm
A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?
"How Much Brain Damage Do I Have?"
September 06, 2017 | 9:00 pm
John Urschel was the only player in the N.F.L. simultaneously getting a math Ph.D. at M.I.T. But after a new study came out linking football to brain damage, he abruptly retired. Here's the inside story — and a look at how we make decisions in the face o
Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis (Rebroadcast)
August 30, 2017 | 9:00 pm
By some estimates, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. How can that be? And what's to be done? Our third and final episode in this series offers some encouraging answers.
Bad Medicine, Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations (Rebroadcast)
August 23, 2017 | 9:00 pm
How do so many ineffective and even dangerous drugs make it to market? One reason is that clinical trials are often run on "dream patients" who aren't representative of a larger population. On the other hand, sometimes the only thing worse than being exc
Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (Rebroadcast)
August 16, 2017 | 9:00 pm
We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new
What Are You Waiting For? (Rebroadcast)
August 09, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet. Why haven't we found a better way to get what we want? Is it possible that we secretly enjoy waiting in line? And might it even be (gulp) good for us
The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money
July 26, 2017 | 9:00 pm
It's hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. So why are we willing to pay big fees for subpar investment returns? Enter the low-cost index fund. The revolution will not be monetized.
These Shoes Are Killing Me!
July 19, 2017 | 9:00 pm
The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for. So why do we encase it in "a coffin" (as one foot scholar calls it) that stymies so much of its ability — and may create more problems than it solves?
When Helping Hurts
July 12, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn't it be even nicer to know what actually works?
The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage
July 05, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Over 40 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. Why? One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in "marriageable" men. Surely the fracking boom revers
The Harvard President Will See You Now (Rebroadcast)
June 28, 2017 | 9:00 pm
How a pain-in-the-neck girl from rural Virginia came to run the most powerful university in the world. Help us meet the Freakonomics Radio listener challenge. If 500 of you become sustaining members at just $7/month before June 30th we'll unlock an addit
Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)
June 22, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his