In 2010, Lawrence Lessig launched the Edmond J. Safra Research Lab, a major initiative designed to address fundamental problems of ethics in a way that is of practical benefit to institutions of government and society around the world. As its first undertaking, the Lab is tackling the problem of Institutional Corruption. In this exclusive podcast series, Fellows from a range of disciplines across academia, industry, journalism, and government discuss in their own voices the everyday, real-life issues of Institutional Corruption and their own projects in response to it. Labcast is managed by Tara Skurtu and edited by Paul Worster.
When Less Information is Better: Blinding in Medicine: Marie Newhouse & Christopher Robertson
Is blinding a possible solution to the implicit biases that exist throughout the healthcare and biomedical science fields? Christopher Robertson, a Lab affiliate and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, and former Lab Fellow Marie Newhouse examine the positives and negatives of blinding. They also discuss Robertson’s current collaborative research project on political corruption and how juror discretion affects the outcome of campaign finance cases.
Reforming Financial Regulation: Gregg Fields & Kim Pernell-Gallagher
After an introduction by Visiting Fellow Justin O’Brien on the limitations of current financial regulations both globally and domestically, journalist Gregg Fields interviews former Lab Fellow Kim Pernell-Gallagher on how divergent banking regulations in the years leading up to the recent financial crisis led to different economic outcomes in the US, Spain, and Canada. Gallagher poses this thought-provoking question: “Problems in the shadow banking industry can carry over into the real economy just the way that problems in the regulated banking industry can, which makes us think: is transferring risk to unregulated entities really the smartest call?"
From the Bottom Up: A Shift Towards Local Government Ethics Initiatives: Gregg Fields & Carla Miller
Can independent and local government ethics commissions reduce political corruption? Journalist Gregg Fields interviews Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Network Fellow Carla Miller about putting the heart back into government ethics training, and how a shift towards local government ethics initiatives may create an avenue for citizens to have an impact at the state level and beyond.
For more information, visit http://www.cityethics.org/
How Does a Business Keep a Promise? : Gregg Fields & Elizabeth Doty
Many people are cynical about business promises and blame individual leaders when commitments are not kept. In this Labcast, Fellows Gregg Fields and Elizabeth Doty explore how systematic factors such as short-termism, complexity, reactivity, and operational issues also contribute to “commitment drift” in business, which in turn damages public trust. Because many individual executives value keeping their word, Doty recommends helping them recognize the challenges and build the special competence required to keep promises as an organization.
This interview touches on the seven promise-keeping strategies which are described in a new article by Doty in strategy+business magazine, and which are summarized in this blog post http://www.ethics.harvard.edu/lab/blog/438-does-your-company-keep-its-promises
On Life, Animated: Autism, Affinities, & the Power of Story: Christine Baugh and Ron Suskind
Autism affects one in sixty-eight children. This is the story of the Suskind family. Owen, diagnosed with autism as a child, developed an affinity for Disney films. Through their scripts and characters he was able to reconnect with language and expression, his family, and his environments. In this exclusive podcast for the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Owen’s father Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind speaks candidly with Lab Fellow Christine Baugh about his newest and most personal book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. This is a memoir of family, love, and constancy, and a book that has begun to change the direction of autism research as we know it.
For more information, visit http://lifeanimated.net.
Think Tanks and Transparency: Brooke Williams & the Center for Global Development
An increasing number of think tanks are disclosing who funds their work, how much they gave and why. The Center for Global Development, a think tank in Washington, D.C., recently launched a new webpage in beta called "How We're Funded" (http://www.cgdev.org/section/funding). Investigative Reporting Fellow Brooke Williams goes behind the scenes of this decision at the CGD with Todd Moss, COO, and Katie Douglas Martel, deputy director of Institutional Advancement.