The Backdrop podcast is a monthly interview program featuring conversations with UC Davis scholars and researchers working in the social sciences, humanities, arts and culture. Hosted by public radio veteran Soterios Johnson, the conversations feature new work or expertise on a trending topic in the news.
19 - Charan Ranganath on the Search for Biomarkers to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Early
UC Davis psychology professor Charan Ranganath discusses how he and his colleagues are working to find biomarkers to help identify people with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier detection — before the brain is significantly damaged — would allow for more successful interventions and better outcomes.
18 - Don Roth on the Recovered Voices Project
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts Executive Director Don Roth discusses the Recovered Voices project highlighting composers and works derailed by the Nazi regime.
17 - Richard Huskey on Brain Flow
Whether it’s an athlete performing at their best or a musician taking it to another level, flow feels good and is good for our well-being. And the best part — pretty much anyone can attain it. Evidence suggests flow can ward off depression, prevent burnout and make us more resilient.
In this episode, Richard Huskey, a UC Davis, assistant professor of communication and cognitive science, explains the flow state, how he and other researchers are piecing together how it can be achieved and what is going on in the brain when it happens.
16 - Muhammad Haroon on How Social Media Algorithms Can Foster Political Radicalization
A new study from UC Davis suggests that artificial intelligence recommendation algorithms on sites like YouTube and TikTok can play a role in political radicalization. In this episode, UC Davis Computer Science Ph.D. Student Muhammad Haroon, who led the study, discusses how the study was designed, what the team found, and a new digital tool they created to mitigate the radicalizing effect of social media platform AI Algorithms.
15 - Lisa Ikemoto on the Ripple Effects of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs Decision
The consequences of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade go far beyond the immediate right to terminate a pregnancy. Some of the ramifications are only now being realized, months after the court’s landmark abortion ruling.
In this episode of The Backdrop, Lisa Ikemoto, professor at the UC Davis School of Law, details some of the far-reaching ramifications of the court’s Dobbs decision, which touch on issues of privacy, equality, eugenics, disability rights and medical research.
14 - Paul Griffin on How Climate Risk Could Bring a Series of Recessions
New research finds the economy could be plunged into recession — or a series of recessions — because financial markets don’t account for climate risk. Without a better knowledge of the risk posed by extreme weather events, the average investor can only hope that the next extreme event won’t trigger a sudden correction.
Paul Griffin, Distinguished Professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, has been studying this ”unpriced risk” and how it can affect markets and the economy.
In this episode, Griffin discusses the magnitude of climate risk, what companies and governments can do lessen the risk and how people can lower their financial exposure to it.
Really interesting and topical
Engaging discussion on a very current topic.