Monthly Archives: October 2019

Daniel Pink — Bestselling Author



Dan Pink’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 20 million views. Dan’s research and writing has a lot to say about how to navigate the creative life, which made Aaron jump at the chance to get him on the show. Join Aaron and Dan for a fascinating conversation about Dan’s recent book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.”

Dan’s subtle but convincing message is that when we do things matters every bit as much as what we’re doing.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @aarondtracy for show updates.


Pablo Vidal, Visiting Scholar, Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies



Pablo Vidal talks about the impact of mobile phones on nomadic herders in Morocco.

Professor Vidal is the Director of the Anthropology Research Institute at the Catholic University of Valencia in Spain. His research interests include the relationship between people and nature, nomadic and transhumance people, and immaterial cultural heritage.

Learn more about Pablo Vidal.


How to Save the Supreme Court with Epps & Sitaraman



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Professors Dan Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman talk about their recently published Feature, How to Save the Supreme Court. They argue that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation represents a stunning Republican victory after decades of increasingly partisan battles over control of the Court. The result is a Supreme Court whose Justices are likely to vote along party lines more consistently than ever before in American history. That development gravely threatens the Court’s legitimacy. If in the future roughly half of Americans lack confidence in the Supreme Court’s impartiality, its power to settle important legal questions will be in jeopardy. Moreover, many Democrats are already calling for changes like court-packing, which could provoke further escalation that would damage the Court’s image and the rule of law. The coming crisis can be stopped. But this will require a radical rethinking of how the Court has operated for more than two centuries. The Feature outlines a new framework for Supreme Court reform. The authors evaluate existing proposals and offer two of their own: the Supreme Court Lottery and the Balanced Bench. We can save what is good about the Court, they argue, but only if we are willing to transform it.


Cover Letters?? Really!?



The group discusses the fickle nature of the cover letter, a document that many deem voluntary, but in actuality is an important means by which to present yourself and reiterate your skillset. We discuss the breakdown of the letter itself, how it can be efficiently constructed, and most impactful.


Laurie Santos — Creator/Host of megahit podcast, The Happiness Lab. Yale Professor



Dr. Laurie Santos joins Aaron in the studio for a fascinating conversation about happiness research, and how it pertains to the creative life.

Laurie is a professor of psychology and cognitive science here at Yale. She’s also the Creator/Host of the #1 trending podcast in the nation right now, The Happiness Lab. https://www.happinesslab.fm/

Laurie’s show has its origins in a class she taught last year. A class that became, quite simply, the most popular course in Yale’s 300 year history. One out of every four students signed up for it. They had to hold it in the symphony hall.

Both Laurie’s class and her podcast focus on how science and research can help us lead healthier, happier, more satisfying lives. You won’t want to miss this.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @aarondtracy for show updates.


Sushant Singh



Sushant Singh is a visiting scholar in the Council on South Asian Studies and the Department of Political Science. Mr. Singh is the Deputy Editor of The Indian Express newspaper in Delhi, India, where he writes about national security, international relations, higher judiciary, and investigative agencies. Among other places, he has reported about conflict from North Waziristan in Pakistan and from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Before turning to journalism, he served in the Indian Army for 20 years, including multiple stints in Jammu and Kashmir. He also served as a United Nations Military Observer in Cote D’Ivoire, where he was awarded the UN Secretary General’s medal. He is the author of Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military and the co-author of Note by Note: The India Story 1947-2017.


Flipping the Classroom (with Sara Riggare)



When Sara was 16, she was misdiagnosed as having dystonia, a neurological condition. When she was 32, she was finally diagnosed, correctly this time, with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that affects movement, speech, and daily life. With little information from her doctor and a newborn in tow, Sara set out on a journey of self-tracking: monitoring her symptoms to help improve her health. In this conversation, Harlan finds out what sparked Sara’s self-care and how others can follow her example.


Ep. 24 – Christopher Ketcham on the abuse of the American West



For the past ten years, journalist Christopher Ketcham has documented the confluence of commercial exploitation and government misconduct on public lands across the West, the role of the livestock and energy industries in their despoliation, and the impact of rampant federal land management agency capture on wildlife. We speak with Ketcham about his fierce new book, This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption Are Ruining the American West, which Outside Magazine called “the Desert Solitaire of our time.” The national commons that Ketcham focuses on — hundreds of millions of acres stretching across 12 Western states — are managed on the public’s behalf by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Both agencies operate with a “multiple use mandate.” This means they are required to strike a balance between using the land for purposes that generate economic profit and protecting the health of the ecosystem. But today, Ketcham says, “multiple use” is multiple abuse and our public lands — and the wild animals and plants that depend on them — are being pillaged, poisoned, and assaulted by industries and the government agencies captured by them.


Richard Curtis — Screenwriter, Director (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually)



Aaron sits down with one of the great screenwriters of charming romantic comedies. Wait, no qualifier necessary. Aaron sits down with THE greatest screenwriter of charming romantic comedies. From Four Weddings and a Funeral…to Notting Hill…to Love Actually…to Bridget Jones’s Diary…Richard in a class by himself.

Aaron asks Richard about various pieces of writing advice he’s given over the years, and whether he continues to stand by it all. A must listen for anyone interested in the art of screenwriting. Aaron and Richard also dissect a key scene from Four Weddings to Aaron’s great delight. And much, much more.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @aarondtracy for updates.


Edward Rugemer



Edward Rugemer is an Associate Professor of African American Studies & History at Yale who studies comparative slavery and abolition and antebellum U.S. history. We talk with Professor Rugemer about his new book, Slave Law and the Politics of Resistance in the Early Atlantic World, for which he was recently awarded the MacMillan Center’s Gustav Ranis International Book Prize for Best Book.