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The Studies Show

The Studies Show

Podcast The Studies Show
Podcast The Studies Show

The Studies Show

Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie
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A weekly podcast about the latest scientific controversies, with Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie www.thestudiesshowpod.com
More
A weekly podcast about the latest scientific controversies, with Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie www.thestudiesshowpod.com
More

Available Episodes

5 of 14
  • Paid-only Episode 1: Diversity training
    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.thestudiesshowpod.comIf you’ve ever done a diversity training session at work, you’ll almost certainly have learned about unconscious bias, microaggressions, stereotype threat, and trigger warnings. Prejudice, racism, and trauma are apparently simmering constantly, just under the surface of our conscious minds.It turns out that each of these concepts has been subject to a lot of scientific research. It also turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, that they’re all extremely controversial. In this first paid-subscriber-only episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart look at each of them in turn and try to decide which of them—if any—stand up to scrutiny.To listen to the full version of this episode and see the show notes, you’ll need to be a paid subscriber to The Studies Show podcast on Substack. See below, or go to www.thestudiesshowpod.com/subscribe, for the options. If you’re already a paid subscriber: thank you!
    3/10/2023
    10:35
  • Episode 12: Nuclear power
    Nuclear power seems like exactly what we want: a reliable, low-carbon source of huge amounts of energy. So why does it produce less of our electricity per capita now than it did decades ago?A major reason: nuclear power suffers from very bad PR. In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart discuss the ever-present safety fears surrounding nuclear power, the problems of nuclear waste, and the reasons that nuclear power is so drastically expensive. How many people died in the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, anyway? Could new reactor designs fix some of nuclear power’s problems? And is nuclear power so irredeemably unpopular that we should just give it up and move on to renewables?The Studies Show is sponsored by the i, the UK’s smartest daily newspaper. You can get a half-price deal on digital subscriptions to the whole paper, including full access to Stuart’s columns and his subscriber-only science newsletter, by following this special podcast link.The Studies Show is also sponsored by Works in Progress, an online magazine about science, technology, and human progress. The newest issue of Works in Progress is out now, with essays on topics like the discovery of the malaria vaccine and the surprising economics of copper.Show Notes* Fumio Kishida eats a Fukushima flounder; John Selwyn Gummer eats a British beef burger (with his daughter)* Graph showing the plateau in nuclear power generation* Hannah Ritchie on the safest sources of energy; review comparing health effects of different sources of electricity generation* Jack Devanney on plutonium in Works in Progress; and on why the “Linear No-Threshold” model is “nonsense”* Jason Crawford summary & review of Devanney’s book Why Nuclear Power Has Been a Flop* Article on the wildly-varying cancer and death numbers suggested for Chernobyl* UNSCEAR report; IAEA estimate of deaths; Alternative TORCH estimate; IARC estimate of cancers up to 2065* IAEA analysis of Fukushima water and comparison to normal levels of radiation* Report on deaths from the evacuation after the Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami* Tom’s article in the i on Fukushima and nuclear power’s PR problem* Article on spent fuels and waste from nuclear reactors* Summary of “breeder” and “burner” reactors* Hannah Ritchie on mining for low-carbon energy vs. mining for fossil fuels* Article on the pollution produced from lignite mines* Sceptical view of new nuclear plant technologies* Graph of solar panel prices dropping over timeCreditsThe Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.thestudiesshowpod.com/subscribe
    26/9/2023
    1:02:17
  • Episode 11: The AI apocalypse debate
    Is artificial intelligence going to lead to the extinction of humanity? What would that even look like? Everyone’s got an opinion: mostly either “that sounds absolutely ridiculous” or “that sounds absolutely terrifying”.In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart do something slightly different. Stuart plays the role of an AI apocalypse sceptic, and grills Tom on all the arguments about the coming AI apocalypse. Happily, Tom has already written a whole book on the subject, so he knows all the answers.The Studies Show is sponsored by Works in Progress magazine, the best place to find insightful essays on science, technology, and human progress. There’s a new issue out right now! We’re very grateful for their support.Show notes* Tom’s book, The Rationalist’s Guide to the Galaxy* arXiv preprint on evolving AI* Katja Grace’s survey of AI researchers* Timothy B. Lee’s Substack post about why he’s not worried about the existential risk of AI* Nature editorial arguing that the AI revolution hasn’t yet helped chemistry* Nature editorial arguing that worrying about AI doomsday is a distractionCreditsThe Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.thestudiesshowpod.com/subscribe
    19/9/2023
    1:10:36
  • Episode 10: Cash transfers
    Thinking of giving money to charity? Maybe you should give to a charity that does cash transfers - that is, gives the money directly to low-income people with no or minimal strings attached. Many in the “effective altruism” movement, which aims to find the best ways to spend money to improve people’s lives, are big fans of cash transfers to people in developing countries.But lately, some blockbuster studies on cash transfers have come under heavy criticism. Does this cast doubt on the whole idea? In this episode, Tom and Stuart look at these new studies, and the evidence on cash transfers in general. How much do cash transfers really help when it comes to poverty, health, child development, and homelessness?The Studies Show is brought to you the i, the UK’s smartest daily newspaper. Right now you can get a half-price deal on digital subscriptions, including full access to Stuart’s columns and his weekly subscriber-only science newsletter, by following this special podcast link.The Studies Show is also sponsored by Works in Progress, an online magazine about science, technology, and human progress. There’s a new issue of Works in Progress out now, with essays on topics like vaccines, architecture, and the post-war Baby Boom.Show notes* Cost of a guide dog versus the cost of a cataract (or other sight-saving) operation* GiveWell’s page on cash transfers* Trial of GiveDirectly’s programme in Kenya; one of a programme in Uganda* 2016 systematic review on cash transfers from the Overseas Development Institute* 2019 systematic review of cash transfers on many different outcomes* Reviews and meta-analyses of the evidence on cash transfers for: HIV prevention; stunting; young people’s mental health; adolescent and adult mental health* Nature paper on cash transfers for preventing early mortality * Stuart’s critical article in the i* PNAS paper on cash transfers in the US on children’s brain development * Stuart’s critical article in the Atlantic* Andrew Gelman’s post on the study* The book Brainwashed: The Seductive Allure of Mindless Neuroscience* PNAS paper on cash transfers in Canada for homelessness, and its press release* Jon Baron’s critical threadCreditsThe Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.thestudiesshowpod.com/subscribe
    12/9/2023
    58:37
  • Episode 9: The placebo effect
    If you give someone a sugar pill but convince them it’s a real medicine, they might get better because of the power of belief. That’s the standard story, anyway. But as Tom and Stuart find in this episode, the more you dig into the science on placebo effects, the more you begin to doubt that the placebo effect is some innate bodily healing process that responds to beliefs. Instead, it might all just be due to mistakes and biases in the studies. Do we need to completely change the way we think about placebos?The Studies Show is sponsored by Works in Progress magazine, an online magazine full to the brim with the best writing on science, technology, and human progress. Read any of the essays in Works in Progress magazine and you’re guaranteed to come away with a new idea or a new understanding of how things work - we can’t recommend it highly enough.The Studies Show is also sponsored by the i, the UK’s smartest daily newspaper. Right now you can get a half-price deal on digital subscriptions, including full access to Stuart’s weekly subscriber-only science newsletter, by following this special podcast link.Show notes* “The Powerful Placebo” - the paper from 1955 that made the placebo effect famous* The 1965 study on placebo effects when participants know they’re getting a sugar pill* Bad Science column from 2008 on the power of the placebo effect, “the coolest strangest thing in medicine”* Review from 2017 on “open-label placebo” studies* 2018 review on mechanisms of how “placebos without deception” might work * Slate Star Codex article the 5-HTTLPR gene* New England Journal of Medicine review of the placebo effect from 2020* Response to the NEJM review by Dahly and Rafi* 2010 Cochrane review of “Placebo effects for all clinical conditions”* “The pervasive problem of placebos in psychology”* Review & meta-analysis of the placebo effect in studies on back painCreditsThe Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.thestudiesshowpod.com/subscribe
    5/9/2023
    58:13

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About The Studies Show

A weekly podcast about the latest scientific controversies, with Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie www.thestudiesshowpod.com
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