23 episodes

The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) supports and funds research on how ideology and government policy contribute to scientific, technological, and social progress. Podcasts include discussions with CSPI researchers and leading thinkers in science, technology, and politics. 

CSPI Podcast CSPI

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 16 Ratings

The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) supports and funds research on how ideology and government policy contribute to scientific, technological, and social progress. Podcasts include discussions with CSPI researchers and leading thinkers in science, technology, and politics. 

    Is DEI Conquering Science?, with Leif Rasmussen

    Is DEI Conquering Science?, with Leif Rasmussen

    This week’s guest is Leif Rasmussen, a PhD candidate in computer science at Northwestern University, and the author of the new CSPI report, “Increasing Politicization and Homogeneity in Scientific Funding: An Analysis of NSF Grants, 1990-2020.” He discusses the report and critiques of it, along with his experiences in academia, and the growing bias against non-conformists in intellectual life. A tweet thread summarizing the report can be found here.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Queen of the Human Sciences, with Robert Plomin

    The Queen of the Human Sciences, with Robert Plomin

    Robert Plomin is a Professor of Behavioural Genetics at King’s College London and author of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. The conversation includes sections on the history of the field of behavioral genetics, and why we should not undersell what it tells us about why people turn out the way they do. Research involving twins, adoptees, and now looking directly at the genome, use a variety of methods to arrive at the same conclusion and all reveal that differences between individuals are rooted in our DNA, and the role of the home environment is very limited. Richard and Robert touch on parenting, what is happening in China and elsewhere across the world, consumer genomics, the existence of the p factor, and whether behavioral genetics can find more acceptance outside of the academic literature. They also discuss the potential political implications of the field.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    What's Wrong with the West Coast? with Michael Shellenberger

    What's Wrong with the West Coast? with Michael Shellenberger

    Michael Shellenberger is an activist and author. He joins the podcast to talk about his book San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities. He discusses debates around homelessness in San Francisco, the ideology driving the homelessness advocacy community, how the West coast differs from the rest of the world in its treatment of mental illness and addiction, and whether there is hope of political change.

    • 54 min
    History as Told Through Our Genes, with Razib Khan

    History as Told Through Our Genes, with Razib Khan

    Razib Khan is a geneticist and Substacker. He joins the podcast to talk about what genetics can tell us about the human past and the progress made in his field over the last few decades. The conversation touches on population structures in Europe, India, China, and the Western Hemisphere, along with Neanderthal and Denisovan admixture among different races and how different fields define what it means to be human. Richard and Razib discuss questions including how Indian castes were able to remain genetically distinct for such a long time, the original "great replacement" in Europe, and the connection between state capacity and genetic heterogeneity, as can be seen in India and China. The conversation then shifts towards a discussion about their experiences in academia, recent radicalization on college campuses, and growing up as minorities in the United States.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Why Rationality Requires Incentives, with Steven Pinker

    Why Rationality Requires Incentives, with Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker is a professor of psychology at Harvard University. The author of several books, his latest is Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters. He joins the podcast to talk about this work, and the discussion includes topics such as why voters make bad decisions, the appeal of conspiracy theories and the sense in which believing in them is rational, how to get more rational elites, and which statistical methods are better than others for establishing causation. In the second half of the discussion, Hanania and Pinker talk about how the conversation surrounding the influence of genetics on human behavior has changed since the publication of The Blank Slate, freedom of speech in academia, and advice for young scholars.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    How to Get Better Elites?, with Robin Hanson

    How to Get Better Elites?, with Robin Hanson

    Robin Hanson is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He joins the podcast to talk about futarchy, a system in which people would vote on values, but bet on beliefs. The conversation touches on the nature of rationality, why firms don't actually maximize profits, why betting markets are better than other forms of prediction or expertise, regulatory and psychological barriers to adopting new technologies, and why the rise of "Davos Man" and a global culture might be bad for innovation. Hanson and Hanania close by discussing the prospects for making futarchy a reality, in the near and long term.

    • 1 hr 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

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