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LSE IQ podcast

Education • Science

LSE IQ is a monthly podcast from the London School of Economics and Political Science in which we ask some of the smartest social scientists - and other experts - to answer intelligent questions about economics, politics or society. #LSEIQ

Popular episodes

What is it like to be an animal?

Dec 7 • 29:50
Contributor(s): Dr Jonathan Birch, Professor Kristen Andrews, Dr Rosalind Arden | This episode features Jonathan Birch, Associate Professor in LSE's Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, Professor Kristen Andrews, the York Research Chair in Animal Minds at York University (Toronto) and Dr Rosalind Arden, Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Natu...

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Jul 6 • 44:04
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 d...

What does it really mean to be a citizen?

Jun 1 • 44:15
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 de...

Do algorithms have too much power?

May 4 • 44:34
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 ...

Scroungers versus Strivers: the myth of the welfare state

Mar 2 • 19:35
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 generatio...

Should we be optimistic?

Feb 2 • 39:43
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, thi...

What’s the point of social science in a pandemic?

Jan 5 • 44:49
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 ...

How can we end child poverty in the UK?

Dec 1 • 17:01
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 ...

Bullshit jobs, technology, capitalism

Nov 3 • 36:32
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 ‘bullshit jobs’. And his book ‘Deb...

Is perfect the enemy of the possible?

Oct 6 • 17:23
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...

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