Innovation Hub looks at how to reinvent our world – from medicine to education, relationships to time management. Great thinkers and great ideas, designed to make your life better.
Has Coronavirus Cleaning Gone Too Far?
It has been said that cleanliness is next to godliness, but the constant disinfecting and scrubbing of our homes, offices and public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic has taken these seemingly virtuous efforts to a whole new level.
COVID-19 is now understood to spread primarily through close contact with infected people, rather than contaminated surfaces, but that hasn’t stopped consumers from snapping up cleaning products that promise to kill 99% of germs.
Trying to eliminate all bacteria, including those that are beneficial to us, can lead to autoimmune disorders, warns Rob Dunn. The professor of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University and author of: “Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live,” explains how we can be more intentional about our interactions with the living world (indoors and outdoors) and better understand its influence on our well-being.
America's Sherlock Holmes
Imagine a crime scene, and what it might take to solve the case. Do you think about dusting for fingerprints? DNA collection? According to Kate Winkler Dawson, author of “American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI” and associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, the man we can thank for that approach is Edward Oscar Heinrich. In the early 20th century, Heinrich took the world of forensics from guesswork, confession, and coercion to a place of science and nuanced evidence. While some of his experiments have been discredited in recent years as “junk science,” Heinrich’s impact can still be seen in the way many crime scenes are evaluated today.
Rethinking the Constitution
The Constitution, first drafted in 1787, stands as the supreme law of the land in the U.S. But Mary Anne Franks — a law professor at the University of Miami who grew up attending a fundamentalist church in Arkansas — says that often “we read it not as a text but as Scripture,” much in the same way she was taught to read the Bible as a child.
Franks, author of The Cult of the Constitution, argues that originalism — the judicial view that the Constitution should only be interpreted as its writers meant it to be when it became law — has been used to justify ahistorically broad interpretations of both the First and Second Amendments. Rather than claiming “transcendental access” to the founders’ legal intentions, she proposes we honor the Constitution communally by extending its rights and values to all, including the most vulnerable members of our society.
From the Plow to Birth Control: How Tech Reshapes Relationships
During this pandemic, we may be acutely aware that our love lives and family lives are entwined with the technology that’s all around us. But in fact, machines have been re-inventing our relationships since the days of the ancient plow, which likely led to the birth of marriage itself. That’s according to Debora Spar, a professor at Harvard Business School and former president of Barnard College.
Spar, the author of “Work Mate Marry Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny,” takes us on a journey through the technologies - from the steam engine to the refrigerator - that have affected when, how, and with whom we partner up. And we get a glimpse into a future with no masterplan for how the technologies we have built will further evolve and change us.
How to End Child Poverty with Social Security
More than 10 million American children lived below the poverty line before the COVID-19 crisis and now, with months of school closures, rising food insecurity and increasing unemployment, the situation has become even more dire for low-income families.
Federal spending on children in the U.S. has lagged well behind other wealthy nations for years, and the country has not done nearly enough to fight child poverty, according to Melissa Kearney, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kearney has a bold idea about how to turn the tide, though. If every needy youngster was given the average Social Security benefit (normally distributed to just those 65 and older), we could eradicate child poverty in America – all it would require is the political will, she says.
The True Toll of Loneliness
It’s been nearly a year since increased isolation has become the norm: since workplaces and schools shut down, hospitals and nursing homes stopped allowing visitors, and all of our social circles narrowed.
The loneliness felt by so many people during the pandemic can affect our moods and our feelings, but it can also have a physical impact on our bodies, according to Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University.
Holt-Lunstad and Christina Victor, a professor of Gerontology and Public Health at Brunel University in London, dive into the science behind loneliness’s physiological toll, including its influence on life expectancy and surprising research that challenges some common misconceptions about which groups suffer with loneliness the most.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Kara Miller does an Excellent Job
Kara Miller is a skilled interviewer and an excellent broadcaster. She could mentor so many young women who are now entering the podcast world, apparently without training and sound like “Valley Girls.” They’re reinforcing the false narrative that (we) women have no intellectual expertise, credibility, or professionalism . Kara Miller is a model for them. Thank You Kara!
Kara, host of the Innovation Hub podcast, highlights all aspects of medicine to education, relationships to time management 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!
Keeping America Number...1?
I am dumbfounded and alarmed by both this episode and the premise of this proposition, which is unfortunate because I have loved this podcast for many years and found its host Kara to be delightful and informative.
A deliberate population explosion by means of immigration and procreation to remain an economic powerhouse in perpetuity? And whom will this growth for growth’s sake serve? What planet is he on?!