9 episodes

30,000 Leagues explores the depths of some of the most vexing policy questions of our time. Hosted by David Yokum, cognitive neuroscientist and Director of The Policy Lab at Brown University, 30,000 Leagues features researchers and policymakers who use rigorous scientific methods in pursuit of a better understanding of what actually works in the world, leading to more effective policies and the future of evidence-based government.
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30,000 Leagues The Policy Lab

    • Social Sciences
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

30,000 Leagues explores the depths of some of the most vexing policy questions of our time. Hosted by David Yokum, cognitive neuroscientist and Director of The Policy Lab at Brown University, 30,000 Leagues features researchers and policymakers who use rigorous scientific methods in pursuit of a better understanding of what actually works in the world, leading to more effective policies and the future of evidence-based government.
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    Rhode Island’s plan for re-opening our communities (with Dr. James McDonald, RI Dept of Health)

    Rhode Island’s plan for re-opening our communities (with Dr. James McDonald, RI Dept of Health)

    It’s April 28th, 2020, and we’re a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Here in Rhode Island we’ve been under a stringent, stay-and-home order for the past 30 days. 
    States across the country are starting to consider when and how to responsibly lift these restrictions. Yesterday, Governor Raimondo released a framework for how to reopen the state, called “Reopening RI: Charting the Course.” It describes three phases of progression, and the metrics we’ll monitor to know when to move from one phase to the next. 
    Today we’re joined by Dr. James McDonald, Medical Director of Rhode Island's Department of Health, to talk about that framework and give a picture of what life might look like over the coming weeks and months, depending on how Covid-19 evolves.

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    • 42 min
    Does cash bail increase mass incarceration? (with Robin Steinberg)

    Does cash bail increase mass incarceration? (with Robin Steinberg)

    On any given day, about half a million people are locked in jail, but not yet convicted of any crime. The most common reason by far is an inability to pay cash bail. Bail is the main driver of mass incarceration, but what is cash bail? How should it work in theory? And how does it work in practice? Are reforms needed? And if so, in what ways?
    Today we're talking with Robin Steinberg. She's the founder of the bail project, a nonprofit that advocates reforms to curb mass incarceration, and in particular pays the bail of defendants who can not afford it on their own. We discussed her early days as a public defender, what bail looks like in the court trenches and how policy choices today could make the future of criminal justice better or worse tomorrow.

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    • 59 min
    Special Edition: What we know about coronavirus (with Dr. Philip Chan)

    Special Edition: What we know about coronavirus (with Dr. Philip Chan)

    We're in an unusual moment. Schools are closed. We're being asked to socially distance ourselves from our neighbors and in general. Society is bunkering down in the face of novel coronavirus. What is COVID-19 what can it do to our bodies and what are the risks? How should we respond both as individuals, families, and as a society? Should you be buying 80 rolls of toilet paper right now? We talk with Dr. Philip Chan, an infectious disease expert and physician at The Miriam and Rhode Island hospitals. He's also working at the frontline of Rhode Island's response to the pandemic. We talked early and by phone before he went back into another day's work on the state's response team. If this is the first you've heard about Corona virus, then you're practicing some extreme social distancing.
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    • 59 min
    What is the knowledge illusion? (with Steve Sloman)

    What is the knowledge illusion? (with Steve Sloman)

    Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don't even know how a pen or a toilet works! How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? In this episode, David Yokum sits down with Steve Sloman, author of The Knowledge Illusion and Professor of Psychology at Brown University to discuss the extensive research on the cognitive biases that convince us we know more than we do.
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    • 48 min
    When does advertising become manipulation? (with Mark Bartholomew)

    When does advertising become manipulation? (with Mark Bartholomew)

    Corporate America knows you better than ever before, but is that a good thing? The apps we use, the electronic books we read, and the digital coupons we shop with may be convenient, but they also provide businesses with an increasingly fine-grained map of our daily activities. Meanwhile, the new discipline of neuromarketing uses brain scans to probe consumers’ motivations without their conscious participation. David Yokum (of The Policy Lab) and Mark Bartholomew, Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo and the author of “Adcreep,” discuss the state of the art in advertising technology and whether there is anything individuals can or should do to defend themselves from increasingly invasive forms of market research.
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Can money buy you happiness? (with Mike Norton)

    Can money buy you happiness? (with Mike Norton)

    Can money make you happy? How should you spend the 20 dollars in your pocket right now? Is mo’ money really mo’ problems? We are joined today by Mike Norton, a Professor of Harvard Business School and Co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, which tries to answer these common questions. This conversation, though funny, will also leave you humbled about how you might do better at spending your money on what you care about in life. 
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    • 1 hr 7 min

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