Social Science to Improve How We Talk about Weight

We explore a wide range of issues on The Measure of Everyday Life that social science researchers have explored. One of the challenges that researchers face is a tendency for academic papers to present topics in broad and abstract terms, partly because of format and formality, rather than offering insight regarding the emotional responses and even mundane logistical challenges people…

A Protected Space

The interview didn’t seem likely to happen. We were scheduled to talk with David Gill, a faculty member at Duke University who investigates marine science and conservation. We wanted to talk with David because his work not only has direct implication for the health of our planet but also because his work intersects with human behavior. He considers ocean conservation…

To Go to Sugar Hill

Every day, we encounter a dizzying array of disparate stimuli. We interact with a wide array of information as we live our lives, whether it be the sensation that the afternoon air is getting more humid before a sudden storm or a text message from a friend or a video presentation on a new policy at work. We are used…

Training Storytellers to Translate Research into Practical Insights

Regularly, Duke University sponsors an innovative course called the Social Science Radio Workshop in which a group of students work with Brian Southwell (who is host of The Measure of Everyday Life, RTI International program director, and a Duke faculty member) to explore how public media can put a spotlight on new ideas emerging from university research. We sometimes have…

Exploring Unexpected Innovations

Social science research can help us find new and interesting ways to deploy current technologies for new purposes. We discussed an example of that on an episode of the show in which we interviewed Niranjan Karnik of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. We specifically talked with Dr. Karnik about his team’s use of mobile phone technology to…

How We Learn to Think

We often have the honor of getting to ask large questions about the human condition. Sometimes those questions invite us to venture far beyond our studio in Durham, NC, to talk with researchers who are doing innovative research. A refreshing example of that happened when we interviewed Cecilia Heyes of the University of Oxford regarding her Harvard University Press book,…

Community Ties: WNCU Staff Outside the Studio

Each week, WNCU (90.7 FM in the Raleigh-Durham listening area) broadcasts an episode of The Measure of Everyday Life. We are grateful for that effort, but we also are proud to be associated with people who support their neighbors and contribute to community life in myriad ways. A great example of that has been the courageous effort of WNCU news…

Spotlighting Social Science to Address Political Polarization

We often have the opportunity to celebrate efforts to apply social science thinking to real-world problems. Recently, we sat down with Duke University ethics professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong to talk about his work with Duke’s Bass Connections program to bring together an interdisciplinary team to reduce the incivility that stems from political polarization. We talked about what mathematicians and philosophers can…

Brad Pitt, Math Class, and The Measure of Everyday Life

Quantitative analysis has enjoyed a new spotlight in recent years, as prognosticators in fields ranging from politics to sports have embraced advanced analytic techniques to make decisions. In the 2011 film Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a former professional baseball player who became a front office executive for the Oakland A’s and embraced unconventional methods for using statistics to…