Episodes
Contributor(s): Dr Ela Drazkiewicz-Grodzicka, Professor Bradley Franks, Dr Erica Lagalisse | Conspiracy theories fomented by political division and a global pandemic have gained traction in the public consciousness in the last couple of years. For some people these ideas are just fun and entertaining, but for others their interest in them becomes much more consuming. Why do people become involved in this kind of conspiratorial thinking? That’s the question that LSE iQ tackles in this month’s...
Published 07/06/21
Contributor(s): Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey, Dr Ian Sanjay Patel, Dr Megan Ryburn | Citizenship. What does that word really signify? This episode of LSE IQ takes a look at the issue in all its complexities, uncovering how decisions made by a 19th century West African Gola ruler connect to today’s Liberian land ownership laws; why British citizenship became racialised in the decades following the second world war – legislation that led to the Windrush Scandal, devastating the lives of hundreds of...
Published 06/01/21
Contributor(s): Ken Benoit, Andrew Murray, Seeta Peña Gangaradhan, Alison Powell, Bernhard Von Stengel | Computer algorithms shape our lives and increasingly control our future. They have crept into virtually every aspect of modern life and are making life-changing choices on our behalf, often without us realising. But how much power should we give to them and have we let things go too far? Joanna Bale talks to Ken Benoit, Andrew Murray, Seeta Peña Gangaradhan, Alison Powell and Bernhard Von...
Published 05/04/21
Contributor(s): Professor John Hills | This episode is dedicated to social policy giant Professor Sir John Hills, who died in December 2020. In this episode, John tackles the myth that the welfare state supports a feckless underclass who cost society huge amounts of money. Instead, he sets out a system where most of what we pay in, comes back to us. He describes a generational contract which we all benefit from, varying on our stage of life. His words remain timely after a year of pandemic...
Published 03/02/21
Contributor(s): Dr Tali Sharot, Dr Joan Costa-Font, Professor David de Meza, Dr Chris Kutarna |   Despite our growing collective pessimism about the state of the world, when it comes to our own lives, research suggests we are generally optimistic.   After a year that will remain synonymous with anxiety, isolation, endless devastating news reports, and for too many – loss, this episode of LSE IQ asks: is optimism is good for us? And, beyond the effects on our wellbeing, is optimism an accurate...
Published 02/02/21
Contributor(s): Professor Laura Bear, Nikita Simpson, Professor Joan Roses, Dr Adam Oliver, Dr Clare Wenham, Professor Patrick Wallis | In this month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast we ask, ‘What’s the point of social science in a pandemic?’.   On the 23rd March 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country’s first national lockdown. In the months since, there has been a seismic shift in all our lives. As we embark on 2021 and, hopefully, the latter stages of the pandemic, now is an...
Published 01/05/21
Contributor(s): Dr Kitty Stewart | A campaign by the Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford, has prompted the UK government to provide extra support for children from low-income families during the pandemic. Even before coronavirus, child poverty had been rising for several years. This latest bite-sized episode of LSE iQ explores the question, ‘How can we end child poverty in the UK?’ Joanna Bale talks to Kitty Stewart of LSE’s Social Policy Department and Centre for Analysis of Social...
Published 12/01/20
Contributor(s): Professor David Graeber | This episode is dedicated to David Graeber, LSE professor of Anthropology, who died unexpectedly in September this year. David was a public intellectual, a best-selling author, an influential activist and anarchist. He took aim at the pointless bureaucracy of modern life, memorably coining the term ‘b******t jobs’. And his book ‘Debt: The First 5000 years’ was turned into a radio series by the BBC. But David started his academic career studying...
Published 11/03/20
Contributor(s): Dr Thomas Curran | Jess Winterstein speaks to Dr Thomas Curran about the potential pitfalls of wanting to be perfect. Our society values perfection, but is the concept of perfect really that good for us? The latest episode of LSE IQ explores perfectionism. In this bitesized episode of the LSE IQ podcast, Jess Winterstein speaks to Dr Thomas Curran, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE. While aspiring to perfection may still be...
Published 10/06/20
Contributor(s): Paul Krugman, Andy Summers, Dr Luna Glucksberg | The coronavirus crisis has devastated economies and brought existing inequalities into sharper focus. Will it result in higher taxes on income and wealth, as we saw after the Great Depression and WWII? Or will the top 1 per cent continue to pull away from the rest of society? Exploring the question, ‘Can we afford the super-rich?’, Joanna Bale talks to Paul Krugman, Andy Summers and Luna Glucksberg. Research links: Arguing with...
Published 09/01/20
Contributor(s): Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, Dr Ute Collier, Dr Sefi Roth, Dr Thomas Smith | Sue Windebank speaks to Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah about her campaigning work for both clean air and a new inquest into the causes of her daughter’s death. In 2013, her daughter Ella Roberta died from a rare and severe form of asthma – she was just nine years old. According to an expert report there was a "real prospect” that without unlawful levels of air pollution near their home, Ella would not...
Published 08/04/20
Contributor(s): Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, Dr Ute Collier, Dr Sefi Roth, Dr Thomas Smith | Seven million people die of air pollution, worldwide, every year. This episode of LSE IQ asks how this invisible killer can be tackled.  Sue Windebank speaks to Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah about her campaigning work for both clean air and a new inquest into the causes of her daughter’s death. In 2013, her daughter Ella Roberta died from a rare and severe form of asthma – she was just nine years...
Published 08/04/20
Contributor(s): Dr Stephen L. Roberts, Dr Leeza Osipenko, Professor Barbara Prainsack, Dr James Somauroo | With more and more information about us available electronically and online, this episode of LSE IQ asks, ‘Is big data good for our health?’ Advances in bio-medical technologies, along with electronic health records and the information we generate through our mobile phones, Smart Watches or Fit bits, our social media posts and search engine queries, mean that there is a torrent of...
Published 07/08/20
Contributor(s): Dr Stephen Roberts, Dr Leeza Osipenko, Professor Barbara Prainsack, Dr James Somauroo | With more and more information about us available electronically and online, this episode of LSE IQ asks, ‘Is big data good for our health?’ Advances in bio-medical technologies, along with electronic health records and the information we generate through our mobile phones, Smart Watches or Fit bits, our social media posts and search engine queries, mean that there is a torrent of...
Published 07/08/20
Contributor(s): Clare Wenham | A special bite-sized episode of LSE IQ asks, “What does gender have to do with pandemics?” Cholera, Ebola, Influenza, MERS, SARs, Smallpox, Yellow fever, Zika and of course novel Coronavirus – these are just some of the pandemic, epidemic diseases listed by the World Health Organisation. And until a few months ago, many of us – particularly in the West – had remained comfortably unaffected by these terrible diseases. Yet today it seems dreadfully routine to...
Published 05/05/20
Contributor(s): Clare Wenham | A special bite-sized episode of LSE IQ asks, “What does gender have to do with pandemics?” Cholera, Ebola, Influenza, MERS, SARs, Smallpox, Yellow fever, Zika and of course novel Coronavirus – these are just some of the pandemic, epidemic diseases listed by the World Health Organisation. And until a few months ago, many of us – particularly in the West – had remained comfortably unaffected by these terrible diseases. Yet today it seems dreadfully routine to...
Published 05/05/20
Contributor(s): Bob Ward, Svenja Surminski, Ivan, XR | This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast asks if the climate crisis can be averted. If you can, cast your mind back a few months. Can you remember a time when toilet roll wasn’t a prized possession? Or when going out meant more than a trip to the supermarket? You may recall talk of another crisis, one that threatened millions of lives and livelihoods. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this episode turns its attention back to...
Published 04/07/20
Published 04/07/20
Contributor(s): Bob Ward, Svenja Surminski, Ivan, XR | This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast asks if the climate crisis can be averted. If you can, cast your mind back a few months. Can you remember a time when toilet roll wasn’t a prized possession? Or when going out meant more than a trip to the supermarket? You may recall talk of another crisis, one that threatened millions of lives and livelihoods. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this episode turns its attention back to...
Published 04/07/20
Contributor(s): Michael Muthukrishna, Sandra Sequeira, Jonathan Weigel | Welcome to LSE IQ, the award-winning podcast where we ask social scientists and other experts to answer one intelligent question. In this episode Jess Winterstein asks, "Is corruption inevitable?" Bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism – corruption comes in many forms, with varying levels of legality, it costs countries trillions of dollars per year and causes great damage to a nation’s economic prosperity and...
Published 03/03/20
Contributor(s): Michael Muthukrishna, Sandra Sequeira, Jonathan Weigel | Welcome to LSE IQ, the award-winning podcast where we ask social scientists and other experts to answer one intelligent question. In this episode Jess Winterstein asks, "Is corruption inevitable?" Bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism – corruption comes in many forms, with varying levels of legality, it costs countries trillions of dollars per year and causes great damage to a nation’s economic prosperity and...
Published 03/03/20
Contributor(s): Yvonne Lawson, Professor Tom Kirchmaier, Carmen Vila-Llera, Janet Foster, Kerris Cooper | Knife crime in England and Wales hit a record high in 2019, up by 7% on the previous year. A disproportionate number of victims - and perpetrators - are young and disadvantaged. Exploring the question, ‘How do we stop knife crime?’, Joanna Bale talks to Kerris Cooper, Janet Foster, Tom Kirchmaier, Yvonne Lawson and Carmen Villa-Llera. Research links: Physical safety and Security:...
Published 01/17/20
Contributor(s): Yvonne Lawson, Professor Tom Kirchmaier, Carmen Vila-Llera, Janet Foster, Kerris Cooper | Knife crime in England and Wales hit a record high in 2019, up by 7% on the previous year. A disproportionate number of victims - and perpetrators - are young and disadvantaged. Exploring the question, ‘How do we stop knife crime?’, Joanna Bale talks to Kerris Cooper, Janet Foster, Tom Kirchmaier, Yvonne Lawson and Carmen Villa-Llera. Research links: Physical safety and Security:...
Published 01/17/20
Contributor(s): Professor Paul Dolan, Professor Lord Richard Layard, Liz Zeidler | This month we have raided the LSE IQ archives for an episode from 2017 when we ask, ‘What’s the secret to happiness?’ Western societies have been getting steadily richer for several decades, but social scientists have shown that we are no happier for it. In fact we now have more depression, more alcoholism and more crime. Why does happiness elude so many of us and what can we do about it? Joanna Bale talks to...
Published 11/12/19
Contributor(s): Professor Paul Dolan, Professor Lord Richard Layard, Liz Zeidler | This month we have raided the LSE IQ archives for an episode from 2017 when we ask, ‘What’s the secret to happiness?’ Western societies have been getting steadily richer for several decades, but social scientists have shown that we are no happier for it. In fact we now have more depression, more alcoholism and more crime. Why does happiness elude so many of us and what can we do about it? Joanna Bale talks to...
Published 11/12/19