Social Science

10:48 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Innovation Hub 1/26/13: The Biology of Stocks and Bonds

What if evolution makes the New York Stock Exchange Tick?
Credit Fransisco Diez / Flickr Creative Commons
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10:06 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Innovation Hub 1/12/13: Which State is Most Innovative?

Boehmke and Skinner argue that innovation means policy adoption.
Credit Marxchivist / Flickr Creative Commons
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11:40 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Innovation Hub of 12/29/2012: 'The Storytelling Animal' and 'The Mobile Wave'

Storytelling is an ancient custom. Here, a mosaic depicts Homer, the storyteller credited with the epics "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."
WikiMedia Commons

This week on an encore presentation of Innovation Hub, we examine the theory that stories not only describe humanity, but also define it. Plus, is mobile computing changing the way we live our lives — from hitting the snooze button to watching late night television?

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12:45 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Reactions to NRA Statement by Wayne LaPierre

A protester holds up a sign as National Rifle Association executive vice president WayneLaPierre, left, speaks during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington.
Credit (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

In the aftermath of last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. guns and gun control have become a topic of national conversation. It seems everyone has been talking about guns- from our right to bear arms, to taking measures to ban assault weapons. On Friday morning, the CEO of the National Rifle Association gave a statement in light of the Newtown shooting. 

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4:08 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Why Do We React Differently to Suburban Violence?

There have been 49 homicides in Boston in 2012, according to the Boston Police Department. Thirty of them were caused by guns.

Does society respond to these types of violence differently? Does the media? Do policy makers?

Boston Public Radio looked at how chronic street crime compare to acute crimes, such as the mass shooting that happened last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, with three pastors who deal with these issues regularly.


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9:59 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Innovation Hub 12/08/12: "The Richer Sex"

Author Liza Mundy spoke with WGBH's Kara Miller


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2:09 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Innovation Hub 12/01/12: The End of Polarization?

Final state results from the 2012 Election. Can red and blue states find common ground?


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10:57 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Innovation Hub of 11/24/12: Why Nations Fail. Modernist Cooking

Carlos Slim is the richest man in the world. But is he an example of why nations fail?

Here's the lineup for this week:

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4:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Keep Your Cool: Tips To Get You Through the Holidays

The stress of the holidays can cause even the most polite of people to lose their cool.  And, in order to keep your cool this year we've compiled a list of tips to get you through the holidays smoothly. Boston Globe columnist and social etiquette expert Robin Abrahams, aka "Miss Conduct",  joined Boston Public Radio's Emily Rooney to discuss the best ways to make sure you and your family enjoy this holiday season without all the added stress.

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8:44 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Innovation Hub of 11/10/2012: The Science of Procrastination. Tech Trends.

Author Frank Partnoy talks about the science of procrastination.

Here's the lineup for this week.

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2:07 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Howard Dean's Trendsetting 2003 Campaign

Gov. Howard Dean's campaign deployed a robust web and social media presence to great effect in his ill-fated presidential campaign.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Almost ten years ago a young, poorly-paid band of Democrats forever altered how political campaigns are run. They may have heralded a change that was imminent anyway, but in 2003, the Howard Dean campaign saw the future and seized it.

Howard Dean pioneered web fundraising, online outreach and social media as essential tools of attention and influence. Howard Dean limped away from the primaries, but this year the power of the twenty- and thirty-something "Deaniacs" was fully realized.

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9:38 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Innovation Hub of 10/27/2012: Politics and Genes. Science of Food.

Can our genes affect the way we vote?
Wikimedia Commons

Here's the lineup for this week.

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11:43 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Help the Homeless: There's an App for That

We use technology to solve so many of our problems, so why not homelessness? A new app in the works — the Homeless Connector — is based on the research that one doctor, here in Boston, has been doing for years. Kara Miller talks with the doctor whose research inspired the app.


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11:31 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Future of Women Breadwinners

Author Liza Mundy spoke with WGBH's Kara Miller

Wondering what the future will look like? Try female. That's the concept that Author Liza Mundy explores in her book ' The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love, and Family.'

Across the country, women are breaking through glass ceilings and transforming notions of family — and for Mundy, this shift begins with changes in higher education.


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7:45 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Harvard Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Americans Alvin Roth of Harvard University and Lloyd Shapley of UCLA have won the Nobel economics prize.

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11:06 am
Thu October 11, 2012

How You Vote Is in Your Genes

Do your genetics affect the way you vote?
J.D. Pooley Getty Image

'Tis the season to weigh candidates' positions, decide whether you stand on the issues, and who you'll vote for this November. But what if there's a genetic component to the way you vote? 

Brown University political science professor Rose McDermott's research shows that our political choices aren't fully our own. There is a genetic component to the sympathies and antipathies we feel. Kara Miller talks with McDermott on Boston Public Radio. 


11:17 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Innovation Hub of 10/06/12: Innovations in Aging. Violent Media and Kids.

Besse Cooper, the oldest living person, celebrates her 116th birthday on August 16, 2012. Will more of us get to Besse's age?

Here's the lineup for this week.

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8:52 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Innovation Hub of 09/29/2012: Apple and Mobile. Magic and Science.

Will Apple continue to be the giant in the mobile market?

Here's the lineup for this week.

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12:09 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

The Sillier Side of Science Gets Its Day in the Sun

Marc Abrahams, emceeing the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony
Improbable Research

Influential science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny."

That might be a pretty neat idea for some. Something to consider and then file away, or perhaps forget altogether. For Marc Abrahams, it’s a mission statement. 

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1:40 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Why Our Children Must Lose to Win

Education reform has not been a big talking point on the campaign trail. That could be because it’s a complicated issue—one that policy makers and politicians can’t agree on.

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11:00 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Income Gap Larger in Mass. Than Elsewhere, Study Says

In honor of Labor Day, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has released a new report that shows growing income inequality in the state between high-wage and low-wage workers. 

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2:59 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Innovation Hub of 9/1/12: Internet Dating. Too Many Math/Science Workers?

Here's the lineup for the show this week. This episode originally aired on July 14, 2012.

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11:38 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Why We're Wired for Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment humans devised. Author Jonathan Gottschall explores the evolutionary reasons for the importance of storytelling.
Local Studies NSW Flickr

We love telling stories. We tell long, winding tales at a child's bedside, sitting around the dinner table or in front of a crackling campfire. Before Netflix, Youtube and the Kardashians — even before the written word — storytelling was the best way to entertain and be entertained, to leave the present world for fantasy, to teach and be taught.

That may seem obvious to anyone who's spun a good thread. What's been harder to determine is the science behind this imperative — why we're wired to appreciate good stories, why we've evolved to be so receptive to them, and how they change our behavior.

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10:46 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Innovation Hub of 8/25/12: Ethics in the Workplace. Reimagine the City

The Enron Corporation is a famous example of fraud and unethical behavior in the workplace.
Paul Rand

Here's the lineup for the show this week. 

Ethics in the Workplace

We all know stories of people acting unethically in their business dealings.

Take, for example, Enron, a multibillion dollar energy company that spectacularly failed in 2001 and inspired the documentary "The Smartest Guys in the Room."

But, of course, ethical lapses did not end with Enron. There have been a slew of bank and investment banking scandals since - most recently Barclay's, which has been accused of - and fined for - manipulating lending rates.

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12:52 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

'Swagger': How to Raise a Successful Son

Author Lisa Bloom says boys today have it rough. They're falling behind in school, getting caught up in prison systems.  Kara Miller talks with Bloom about her new book  "Swagger," which outlines what parents can do to keep them from falling into the traps that are keeping boys from reaching their potential.

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11:51 am
Wed August 22, 2012

The Art of Delay

Can you afford not to wait? A still from Christian Barclay's "The Clock."
Alex Watkins Flickr

We put a premium on getting things done fast today. We like food fast, we like fast technology, we avoid waiting. But, could waiting be the key to doing things right? Author Frank Partnoy has written about this in Wait: The Art and Science of Delay.  He talks with Kara Miller about what we gain when we slow things down.

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11:52 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Boycotts in the Age of Social Media


Today, when you want to protest something, do you make picket signs or a Facebook page? We talk with Matt Stempeck from MIT's Center for Civic Media about the impact of social media on the world of protesting.

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10:07 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Study: Americans Want a More Equal Nation

We have a lot of ways to describe our class divide in America. The "haves" and the "have-nots", "us" versus "them". John Edwards used his "two Americas" rhetoric to illustrate the disappearing middle class and the Occupy movement described our nation as the one percent versus the 99 percent. 

But the class divide could be whether the division ends...

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3:18 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

The Psychology Behind Racial Profiling

Callie Crossley explores  how unconscious bias affects us all when it comes to racial profiling, and whether it can be avoided during the type of behavior screening the TSA uses at Logan Airport.


1:53 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

To Lie... or Not

It’s lunchtime in Brighton and a group of people are sitting around a table at an outdoor seating area outside of an office building. I ask if they mind telling me about a time they fudged the truth. This is not an easy task. 

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