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Innovation Hub

PRI

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.
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Location:

Boston, MA

Networks:

PRI

WGBH

Description:

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Language:

English


Episodes

How is Meritocracy Damaging Our Economy?

9/20/2019
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Those in the highest paying jobs are working longer hours than ever before. Meanwhile, the middle class is falling behind, as employers demand more qualifications from employees. America is supposed to be a meritocracy, but perhaps meritocracies - which aim for fairness - aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Duration:00:31:02

The Real Cost of Expensive Housing

9/20/2019
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Picking up and moving to new opportunities has always been a part of the American dream. But, says Tamim Bayoumi, a deputy director at the International Monetary Fund and a co-author of the paper, “Stuck! How Rising Inequality Suppressed US Migration and Hurt Those Left Behind,” that narrative has shifted in modern America. As well-paying jobs are increasingly concentrated in cities with high living costs, some Americans find themselves unable to pursue the careers that could most help them...

Duration:00:18:45

Reinventing Schools For An Era Of Innovation

9/13/2019
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On this week’s show, we explore efforts to remake public education in North Dakota and beyond with Governor Burgum, Cory Steiner, the superintendent of Northern Cass School District where By next school year, grade levels are expected to be a thing of the past and students will chart their own course to high school graduation, at their own pace, and Ted Dintersmith, a venture capitalist and the author of, “What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America.” Two...

Duration:00:36:55

The Worldwide Web’s Worldwide Reach

9/13/2019
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Access to the internet is prized across the world. Payal Arora, author of The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond The West, says that young people, in non-Western countries, will make up the bulk of the next billion online users. Western aid groups often make assumptions about what these new users want from technology, but they are frequently mistaken. How exactly are young people in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America using technology? One example: in countries where dating...

Duration:00:12:33

FDR’s Overhaul: The New Deal and Its Lasting Legacy

9/6/2019
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In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt campaigned on a platform that would bring radical change to America: a package of policies he called the New Deal. The New Deal completely reinvented our infrastructure and central government, according to Eric Rauchway, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, and author of the book Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal. He says that the effects of FDR’s revolutionary plan...

Duration:00:31:54

Battles Over Barbie: The Question of Intellectual Property

9/6/2019
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When Carter Bryant invented Bratz dolls, Mattel (the makers of Barbie) took its former employee to court, claiming he had come up with his ideas on the company’s time. Bratz were the first dolls to successfully compete and - in some places - outsell Barbie. Orly Lobel, a law professor at the University of San Diego, has written about the lengthy and costly legal fight Mattel and Bryant engaged in over Bratz in her book: You Don’t Own Me: The Court Battles That Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side....

Duration:00:17:22

Humans: We May Not Be As Special As We Think

8/30/2019
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It’s easy to see ourselves as separate from the animal kingdom, but Adam Rutherford, author of “Humanimal: How Homo sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature - A New Evolutionary History,” believes that we aren’t as different as we might think. Fashion design, interacting with fire, and making multi-step plans all seem like qualities that are unique to humans. But according to Rutherford, species across the animal kingdom - from crabs to birds of prey - exhibit many of these complex...

Duration:00:27:45

Television Created the Scientist Star

8/30/2019
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We all know the legacy that Sputnik had on U.S. science education. Washington poured more than a billion dollars into overhauling the U.S. science curriculum. But television was transformed too. According to Ingrid Ockert, a Haas Fellow at the Science History Institute and a NASA History Fellow, the television show “Continental Classroom” was launched as a direct response to the Sputnik challenge. Five days a week, “Continental Classroom” was broadcast into American homes to encourage and...

Duration:00:21:29

China Deal, or No China Deal?

8/23/2019
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In a modern-day Mexican standoff, the U.S. and China are confronting each other over trade practices. The United States believes China has been luring away jobs and stealing American technology. But what if the issue isn’t that China is stealing innovations, but that it is out-innovating us? George Yip, a professor of marketing and strategy at Imperial College Business School in London thinks that the Chinese are no longer mere imitators but have become serious innovators in their own...

Duration:00:34:01

What’s Worth Worrying About?

8/23/2019
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Spiders and grizzlies and snakes, oh my! Ask someone what they are afraid of, and the answer is likely to be something like a plane crash or shark attack. But the authors of the book “Worried?: Science Investigates Some of Life’s Common Concerns,” Eric Chudler and Lise Johnson explain why they believe we often waste our energy worrying about the wrong things. Chudler, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington and Johnson, an assistant professor of physician assistant studies at Rocky...

Duration:00:15:10

Why The Value Of Education Is Overblown

8/16/2019
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We hear all the time about the gap between those with college degrees and those without. In 2015, the gap hit a record high: people who finished college earned 56% more than those who didn’t (other sources have the percentage even higher, including scholar Bryan Caplan). Over the past few years, then-President Barack Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders proposed bills to either increase college attainment or make public colleges tuition-free for all. But Caplan is a contrarian on this topic. He...

Duration:00:28:49

The Story Behind The ‘Little House’

8/16/2019
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For nearly 100 years, the “Little House” books (and the subsequent television series) have been cherished by kids and adults around the world. Millions of children have aspired to be like Laura Ingalls, a pioneer girl who courageously helped her family start new farms across the Midwest - planting, harvesting, hunting, and fighting blizzards. The story of Ingalls’ family was based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but Wilder’s real childhood was much harsher. As a child,...

Duration:00:20:10

Avoiding Digital Distraction

8/9/2019
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Think you might need a digital detox? You’re not alone. It’s becoming more and more of a trend to take time away from our online lives. Cal Newport author of “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” shares his approach to avoiding digital distraction and reclaiming time. He discusses how to be more intentional about how you use technology, and more aware about how technology uses you. We’ll discuss everything from the neuroscience of the human brain to how to do your...

Duration:00:29:50

What's Wrong With American Capitalism?

8/9/2019
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Capitalism is a recurring theme among the ever-growing list of Democratic presidential candidates. But many Americans of all political stripes have concerns about our free market economy and whether it is working for them, according to Steven Pearlstein, a Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for The Washington Post and author of “Can American Capitalism Survive: Why Greed Is Not Good, Opportunity Is Not Equal, and Fairness Won’t Make Us Poor.” We talk with Pearlstein about the importance of...

Duration:00:18:42

All or Nothing: Understanding Risk In Some Very Unusual Places

8/2/2019
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Economist and journalist Allison Schrager visited a legal brothel, chased celebrities with the paparazzi, attended conferences with surfers, and interviewed high-ranking military generals, all to better understand the nature of risk. In her book, “An Economist Walks Into A Brothel,” Schrager explores how people manage risk outside the world of economics and finance and considers the most interesting lessons that can be learned from people in some of the riskiest professions.

Duration:00:25:47

The Origins of Your Vacation

8/2/2019
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Tourism is an international industry worth trillions of dollars, which creates hundreds of millions of jobs worldwide — but that wasn’t always the case. In his book, “A History of Modern Tourism,” University of New England history professor Eric Zuelow walks us through the story of how we learned to love travel. From diplomacy, to new technologies like steam power, to a growing need for adventure and self-expression, tourism has become a global phenomenon with a huge impact on the places we...

Duration:00:23:34

Eat Smarter, Eat Healthier

7/26/2019
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When it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy diet, many of us have chosen to go either low-calorie or low-fat. But recent research has started to upend nutrition science, reframing our notions of “healthy” eating, according to Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Mozaffarian explains why the science is changing, when a calorie isn’t just a calorie, how fat could be a lot better than we think, and...

Duration:00:19:50

A Technological Fix For Broken Politics

7/26/2019
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There has been a continuous problem, dating back to founding of the United States, according to Jill Lepore, a professor of American history at Harvard University. Lepore, the author of “These Truths: A History of the United States,” says Americans have had tremendous faith in the notion that technological innovations could heal our divisions and fix political problems. But that faith has frequently been misplaced or misguided. And ethical conversations around how to keep newspapers, radio,...

Duration:00:29:06

The Race for Nuclear Power

7/19/2019
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The heroism of D-Day is immortalized in history books, but far less attention is given to the individuals who worked undercover to prevent Germany from developing an atomic bomb during WWII. In his new book, The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb, science writer Sam Kean tells the stories of the men and women who made up the Alsos Mission, or the “Bastard Brigade.” They worked tirelessly to make sure Germany’s (impressive)...

Duration:00:28:36

The American Achievement of Advertising Apollo

7/19/2019
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After Russia sent a man into space, the United States didn’t want to be left behind. But getting a man on the moon wasn’t as easy as just saying we would. David Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist and co-author of the book Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program talks about just what it took — from PR strategies to partnering with Walt Disney — to get enough support for the mission. Without the marketing and media attention, Scott thinks, we couldn’t have landed on the...

Duration:00:20:43