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Podcast 2023

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Human Centered features conversations about projects and research undertaken by CASBS fellows and affiliates whose work engages central themes of concern to the Center. The podcast also features audio versions of events from CASBS's online webcast series, Social Science for a World in Crisis, as well as interviews with renowned fellows from CASBS history.

CASBS brings together deep thinkers to address wicked problems and significant societal challenges. It empowers them to challenge boundaries and assumptions in order to advance our understanding of the full range of human beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and institutions. As a leading incubator of human-centered knowledge, CASBS is a place that is, well…human centered.

Want alerts about new episodes? Subscribe to Human Centered on your mobile device using your favorite podcast app. If you access through an app, you'll find notes for each episode that link to supplemental resources of relevance.

Human Centered on: YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast | Podcast Addict | Player FM | Goodpods | Higher Ed Pods | tons of other podcast apps

Producer: Mike Gaetani
Co-producer, audio engineer, and editor: Joe Monzel 


Episode 68

Challenging History Erasures to Expand Possible Futures

December 13, 2023      

Two-time CASBS fellow Fred Turner engages CASBS board of directors chair Abby Smith Rumsey before a live audience to discuss her new book "Memory, Edited: Taking Liberties with History." When the erasure or distortion of collective memory through storytelling hijacks fact, truth, and history itself, what kind of information infrastructures can effectively confront those false narratives? Turner and Rumsey explore the tensions between history and storytelling and resulting implications for political beliefs, actions, and our collective sense of reality.

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Episode 67

Toward a Society of Shared Recognition

November 28, 2023      

Renowned sociologist Michèle Lamont (CASBS fellow, 2002-03) discusses her new book, Seeing Others, with former CASBS director Woody Powell. The book assembles decades of Lamont’s scholarship, engaging some of contemporary society’s most elemental challenges and advancing key building blocks toward a shared human experience marked by greater inclusion, belonging, dignity, empathy, and equality.

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Episode 66

Toward Cross-disciplinary Consensus About Our (Mis)Information Environment

November 2, 2023      

Fully understanding and regulating our complex information ecosystems will require creating new cultures and modes of collaborating, new organizational frameworks and, yes, working with generative AI models in service of aggregating actionable scientific knowledge. Angela Aristidou (CASBS fellow, 2022-23) navigates the crucial questions and challenges with Phil Howard (CASBS fellow, 2008-09), a renowned scholar of tech innovation and public policy as well as co-founder and chair of the new International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE).

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Episode 65

The Memory Science Disruptor

September 11, 2023     

Dan Simon, a 2022-23 CASBS fellow and USC law professor, joins in conversation with Elizabeth Loftus, a 1978-79 CASBS fellow and Distinguished Professor at UC Irvine. Loftus is known in the public sphere through her decades-long study of memory – specifically, its malleability and fallibility – as well as her application of findings as an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of legal cases. Loftus's book "Eyewitness Testimony," completed at the Center, charted the course of her career that followed and serves as this episode's launching point.

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Episode 64

Jonathan Jansen's Power of Craft

August 28, 2023    

While you're listening to this episode, 2016-17 CASBS fellow Jonathan Jansen likely will write another few thousand words. As a scholar of education & leader of educational institutions, Jansen is South Africa's most towering figure. To call him prolific is a gross understatement. He writes a steady stream of books & more books. As a public intellectual he writes a separate steady stream of columns & essays. And he's written a family memoir too. We bring 2022-23 CASBS fellow Zimitri Erasmus, a social anthropologist who is working on a book on writing praxis, in conversation with Jansen to unlock some secrets & insights into his most powerful & liberating weapon for engaging the world – writing.

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Episode 63

Deploying Behavioral Science on the Front Lines of Social Protest

August 1, 2023   

What are the most effective collective actions that social protest movements can or should undertake in the context of deep societal conflict and polarization? CASBS fellows Eran Halperin (2022-23) and Robb Willer (2012-13, 2020-21) compare their cross-national research findings and explore Halperin's real-time applied work with the dramatic, ongoing protests in Israel.

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Episode 62

Frederick Cooper's Illumination of History

July 10, 2023  

Drawing upon a career of scholarship extending from studies of labor, citizenship, and the state in Africa to explorations of global empire, colonialism, and globalization, three-time CASBS fellow Frederick Cooper – in conversation with 2022-23 fellows Jean Beaman and Martin Williams – gives a master class on how critical and relational thinking serve historical inquiries that advance our understandings.

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Episode 61

Developing AI Like Raising Kids - Alison Gopnik & Ted Chiang

June 1, 2023 

Should we care for machines the way we do for children? The question helps animate this fascinating conversation between renowned psychologist Alison Gopnik, a former CASBS fellow (2003-04) and current leader of a CASBS-based project on "The Social Science of Caregiving," and acclaimed science fiction author Ted Chiang. CASBS program director Zachary Ugolnik is guest co-producer of this episode.
*In February 2024, the online magazine Public Books published an edited transcript of this episode. Read it here.

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Episode 60

New Visions for Effective Worker Influence

May 22, 2023  

John Ahlquist (2017-18 CASBS fellow), Oren Cass, & Veena Dubal (2022-23 CASBS fellow) join in conversation with Roy Bahat to explore how we can build effective workers' organizations in an era of precarious employment, fissuring workplaces, distributed supply chains, & outmoded labor laws & regulations. Episode produced in association with the Center's Creating a New Moral Political Economy program.

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Episode 59

A Different Glenn Loury

April 27, 2023 

2022-23 CASBS fellow Rohini Somanathan chats with renowned economist, public intellectual, & 2015-16 CASBS fellow Glenn Loury. Having recently completed a draft of his memoir, Loury reflects on why he pursued economics; the role of institutions in providing intellectual space and stimulus; his latest thoughts on the persistence of racial inequality, and much more.

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Episode 58

Interdependence & Climate Change - Robert Keohane

March 27, 2023 

Three-time CASBS fellow and social science titan Robert Keohane chats with 2022-23 CASBS fellows Henry Farrell and Rebecca Slayton on applying aspects of his classic works in international relations theory to the comparative politics of climate change policy; projects that failed or went unrecognized; the genesis of the famous methods book coauthored with King and Verba, and more.


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Human Centered
Producer: Mike Gaetani
Co-producer, audio engineer, and editor: Joe Monzel

CASBS thanks 2017-18 fellow and renowned journalist John Markoff, co-founder of Human Centered and its inaugural host (episodes 1-25, 29, 32). John occasionally returns as a guest host.