All Episodes

January 6, 2020 100 min
Is the US Now at War With Iran? (0:30)
Guest: Eric Jensen, JD, Professor of International Law, Brigham Young University
Is the US now at war with Iran? President Donald Trump says the purpose of killing Iran’s top military commander three days ago in a drone strike was the opposite: “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”
Iran has vowed revenge. Critics of President Trump say the strike was illegal and that his threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites would be a war crime. Iraq’s parliament wants all American troops to leave. 
America’s Health in 2020 (21:25)
Guest: Sandro Galea, MD, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, Author of “Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health”
Opioid overdose, suicide, measles, vaping and gun violence were all major public health concerns that dominated headlines in 2019. What will be the biggest challenges facing public health in America in 2020? 
Artificially-Intelligent Systems Should Be Free of Bias, But They Aren’t (36:25)
Guest: Elisa Celis, Assistant Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Yale University
Artificial intelligence decides the ads you see, news you read, jobs you get considered for, and in some cases, whether or not you’ll go to jail. Ideally, an artificially intelligent recommendation system is less biased than human decision-makers. 
Except that it’s not. And in a lot of cases, these systems are making some forms of discrimination even more entrenched in the real world.
You’re Probably a Federal Criminal and Don’t Know It (50:07)
Guest: Michael Chase, JD, Author of “How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender.” 
So you think you’re generally a law-abiding citizen? Well . . . if you’ve ever put a note without a stamp in your neighbor’s mailbox, clogged a toilet at a National Park, mutilated a dollar bill or moved a picnic table on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, you are a federal criminal. Criminal defense lawyer Mike Chase has made a hobby of documenting the strange laws on America’s books. He posts them daily on Twitter under the handle @CrimeADay and he’s got a new book called, “How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender.”
Web, Mobile Devices and Virtual Reality Are Rescripting Our Brains (1:08:33)
Guest: Heidi Boisvert, PhD, CEO and Creative Director of the futurePerfect lab, Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Technologies at New York City University of Technology
Watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web . . . all of it is re-scripting the nervous system, mostly in bad ways. But media researcher Heidi Boisvert is trying to harness that power for good though, so it could be a form of digital medicine.
Reddit is the Preferred Advice and Support Spot for Millennial Dads (1:22:57)
Guest: Tawfiq Ammari, PhD Candidate, School of Information, University of Michigan
Boomer parents had Dr. Spock’s “Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” to guide them. Millennial moms and dads are more likely to turn to social media, where they can crowdsource solutions to their parenting problems. “What is this?” a mom might post with a picture of her baby’s rash on Facebook. Or a new father might anonymously post on Reddit about his struggle to empathize with his wife’s postpartum depression.
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