84 episodes

We tell the stories behind the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs reshaping our world. Change how you see the world. Produced out of The University of Chicago. Adweek's "Best Branded Podcast" of 2020.

Big Brains University of Chicago Podcast Network

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 243 Ratings

We tell the stories behind the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs reshaping our world. Change how you see the world. Produced out of The University of Chicago. Adweek's "Best Branded Podcast" of 2020.

    Solving The Biggest Mysteries Of Our Universe, With Dan Hooper

    Solving The Biggest Mysteries Of Our Universe, With Dan Hooper

    Scientists like Prof. Dan Hooper from the University of Chicago use something called the Standard Model of Physics to explain our universe, but there’s one big problem: The model has black hole-sized gaps in it.

    Hooper says it will probably take a paradigm-shifting discovery to answer the mysteries of our universe, and that those are a once-in-a-lifetime event. But, this year, something called the muon G-2 experiment at UChicago-affiliated Fermilab may have been just that discovery.

    • 31 min
    Why You’re Likely Paying An Unfair Share of Property Taxes, with Christopher Berry

    Why You’re Likely Paying An Unfair Share of Property Taxes, with Christopher Berry

    When’s the last time you thought about property taxes? We mostly assume that they’re calculated fairly. But a leading University of Chicago scholar says that assumption is wrong.

    A breakthrough study from Prof. Christopher Berry has shown that, on average, homeowners in the bottom 10% of a jurisdiction pay an effective tax rate that is double of what’s paid by the top 10%. Essentially, the poorest homeowners are subsidizing the richest, with disproportion effects on people of color who own property

    • 29 min
    Taking Aliens Seriously, with Avi Loeb

    Taking Aliens Seriously, with Avi Loeb

    The possibility of alien life has captivated the human imagination for decades and has been at the center of some of our most popular fictional stories. But one scientist has made a controversial claim that aliens are no long a fiction but a reality.
    Avi Loeb is a theoretical physicist and former chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University. For the past few years, he’s argued that an alien artifact, called Oumuamua, passed by Earth in 2017.
    As you can imagine, a Harvard professor going on record that aliens exist caused quite a stir in the scientific community. On this episode, we talk through this controversy with Loeb and why he thinks we need to invest more in the search for alien life by developing a new field of “space archaeology.”

    • 33 min
    The ‘Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse’ with Kara Swisher

    The ‘Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse’ with Kara Swisher

    So-called “Big Tech” has dramatically improved our daily lives, but at what cost? Few people have gotten a closer look at these companies than Kara Swisher, writer for The New York Times and podcast host—and she says we need to wrestle more with that question.

    Recently she shared her expertise with University of Chicago students as a fellow at the Institute of Politics. She taught a seminar called “The Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse."

    • 23 min
    Fighting Poverty And Pandemics, with Nobel Economist Michael Kremer

    Fighting Poverty And Pandemics, with Nobel Economist Michael Kremer

    In 2019, University of Chicago economist Michael Kremer won a Nobel Prize for his work studying ways to alleviate global poverty. A pioneer in the use of randomized control trials in economics, Kremer has examined poverty interventions like scientists do medical treatments—putting interventions through a trial to isolate effects.

    His studies often reveal surprising and counterintuitive ways of fighting global poverty and have radically altered thousands of lives.

    • 31 min
    Why Life After Incarceration Is Just Another Prison, with Reuben Jonathan Miller

    Why Life After Incarceration Is Just Another Prison, with Reuben Jonathan Miller

    For the more than 20 million people with a felony record, incarceration doesn’t end at the prison gate. They enter what Reuben Jonathan Miller calls the “afterlife” of mass incarceration.

    Miller, an assistant professor at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, is the author of a new book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration—a unique sociological look at our system of mass incarceration and how it continues to imprison people after their sen

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
243 Ratings

243 Ratings

Bellow Chicago ,

Great Podcast

I always learn something new.

MCCMEX ,

Great podcast

Love this podcast; I never miss an episode

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

The host of the Big Brains podcast, highlights all aspects of society & culture and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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