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MonthJanuary 2020

19. Iyad Obeid: Decoding Infinity / How To Read a Brain

Iyad Obeid is an associate professor of electrical engineering who focuses on brain computer interfaces and decoding neural signals.

My conversation with him covers the difficulties of capturing signals from neural tissue, how one can apply machine learning and big data to EEGs, the differences between brains and computers, and what the future of brain machine interfaces might look like.

Link to his website:

18. Brendan O’Leary: Why Is Northern Ireland Such a Contentious Point for Brexit? / The Future of Global Governance

My guest today is political science professor Brendan O’Leary. He has been an advisor to the United Nations and European Union and has held many other distinguished positions. 

We discuss many topics ranging from why and how Northern Ireland became such a contentious point for Brexit, why Brexit has taken so long, the efficacy of referendums, his knowledge on conflicts and power sharing, the future of global politics, and much more.

Link to his faculty page:

17. Daniel Cohen: Why a Green New Deal is the Only Way / The Gravity of the Climate Crisis

Daniel Cohen is a political science professor and director the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative (SC2).

The conversation covers topics such as the negative impact of the fossil fuel industry on climate progress, the inequality that is tethered to climate change, how dire the climate situation is, what the Green New Deal is, how society can stave off the negative impacts of climate change, and envisioning a new, healthier way of life all together.

Link to his website:

16. Kevin Arceneaux: How Psychology Plays Into Your Political Choices / Do Better Ways to Vote Exist?

Kevin Arceneaux is a professor of political science with interests in how and why people make the political decisions that they do. He also directs the Behavioral Foundations Lab and his research pulls from many disciplines such as psychology and biology.

We have a fascinating conversation on the psychology of voting and how biases could change our decisions. We also touch on topics such as the efficacy of impeachment, the electoral system, and different methods of voting.

Link to his faculty page:

15. Richard Prisinzano: An Analysis of the Warren Campaign’s Proposed Wealth Tax.

Richard Prisinzano, director of policy analysis at the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), talks to us today about the democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax.

We get his take on the PWBM’s analysis of the Warren wealth tax, an analysis be helped direct, along with his comments on the rebuttals to the  analysis. 

We do also touch on other related topics such as tax avoidance, the impact of taxes on GDP and many more things tax related. I have attached a link to the PWBM analysis below.

Link to the analysis:

Link to his Twitter:

Link to the Warren Campaign wealth tax proposal:

14. Marco Airaudo: A Winding Road Through Monetary Policy

Marco Airaudo is an associate professor of economics with focuses on monetary policy, macroeconomics, and international finance.

We have a fascinating conversation on the underlying drivers behind monetary policy touching on things such as what the role of money in an economy is, how and what inflation is/ why it occurs, and what central banks generally do.

Link to his faculty page:

13. Bryant Simon: Is Our Drive to Make Things Cheaper Killing Us?

Bryant Simon is a history professor with interests in everything from Southern History to Food Studies.

The conversation starts with a fascinating overview of historic topics such as white workers in the south during the new deal era, the racial segregation of Atlantic City in the early to mid 20th century and the Hamlet Fire, a tragic incident that illustrates the shortcomings of how cheap our society has become. 

The second part of the conversation focuses on how The United States willingness to save money comes above all else, but at a cost. As such we touch  on everything from climate change to a wholistic lack of regulation and how the drive to make things less expensive and pay people less isn’t inherent to the countries identity.  

The conversation finishes by discussing why studying history is important and why society shouldn’t overlook those who study the humanities 

Link to his faculty page:

12. Alan McPherson Pt. 2: Who are the Ghosts of Sheridan Circle?

Alan McPherson is a a professor within the department of history at Temple University and is the director of CENFAD, the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. His interests and expertise lie within the field of US foreign relations with a focus specifically on the history of US-Latin American relations.

This segment of the conversation takes a dive into his book Ghosts of Sheridan Circle which focuses on the killings of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and his colleague Ronni Moffitt. The conversation also touches on CENFAD.

11. Alan McPherson Pt. 1: A Brief History of US-Latin American Relations

Alan McPherson is a a professor within the department of history at Temple University and is the director of CENFAD, the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. His interests and expertise lie within the field of US foreign relations with a focus specifically on the history of US-Latin American relations.

This part of the conversation focuses on the history of US- Latin American relations, why there is a sentiment of mistrust towards US intervention in Latin America, the current state of Latin American nations, international sentiments towards the United States, and the current state of US foreign policy.

Link to his faculty page:

10. Donald Harris: Navigating the Ins & Outs of Intellectual Property Law / How Long Should My Patent Be?

Donald Harris is a Law professor and associate dean of academic affairs at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. He maintains an interest in intellectual property law. Professor Harris talks to us about the trade-offs a society needs to make between innovation and well being, what patent law and copyright law are, the need for providing incentives in the market, what intellectual property piracy is, and much more.

Link to his faculty page:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/many-generic-drugs-havent-hit-market-hindering-cost-control-efforts-11574198448

9. Justin Vitanza: So Just How Heavily Should We Regulate Banks?

Justin Vitanza is an assistant professor of finance with experience working for the FDIC who holds interests in banking and risk. He talks to us today about banking defaults, the intricacies of regulating a bank, the efficacy of Dodd Frank, different types of financial risk, living wills, the difficulties in unwinding a bank, ratings agencies, & misconceptions and criticisms about the finance profession.

Link to his faculty page:

8. Gareth Roberts: What, How, & Why is a Language?

Gareth Roberts is a professor within the field of linguists with focuses on things like language evolution and language change. We have a fascinating conversation on everything from how language works to how it evolves over to time, to what exactly linguists actually do. We also touch on sign language, artificial languages, and more.

Link to his faculty page:

7. David Liberles: Computational Genomics & Just How Does Probability Show Up in Biology?

David Liberles is a professor who focuses on comparative genomics. He talks to us today about comparative genomics, molecular evolution, misunderstandings about evolution, probability’s influence in biology and chemistry, determinism, the scientific method, and more.

Link to his faculty page:

6. Paul H. Robinson: Engineering a Criminal Code, The Dynamics of Morality, & The Influence of Identity Politics

Law professor Paul H. Robinson on how we as a society could better engineer a criminal code, the topic of crime control, the dynamics of morality over time, our approach to criminal justice as a nation, the importance of legitimacy regarding a set of laws, and the influence of identity politics in the classroom.

Link to his faculty page

5. Peter Sterling: Brain Design & What is Health

We discuss why the brain is designed the way it is, how and why the brain is in control of many physiological actions, the importance of dopamine in everyday life, the negative impact of societies current structure on our health and what society can do to improve its collective wellbeing.

Link to his faculty page

Link to his new book, What is Health

His article in Time: “How Neuroscience Could Explain the Rise of Addictions, Heart Disease and Diabetes in 21st Century America”

4. Joel Oestreich: The Mechanics Behind The United Nations, What UNICEF Does, & Focusing on Women’s and Children’s Rights

Joel Oestreich, Professor of Political Science at Drexel University, on the mechanics behind the UN, the importance of international women’s and children’s rights, the intersection between economics sand human rights, and the state of current US foreign policy.

Link to his faculty page: https://drexel.edu/coas/faculty-research/faculty-directory/JoelEOestreich/