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Innovation Hub

PRI

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.
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Location:

Boston, MA

Networks:

PRI

WGBH

Description:

Each week, Kara Miller talks to our most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.

Language:

English


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Episodes

Full Show: Watch What You Eat (Rerun)

12/14/2018
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Today, the Food Network is a touchstone of the entertainment industry. But it took a decade for the channel to make money. Chef Sara Moulton and author Allen Salkin tell us about the rise and influence of the cooking channel. Plus: If you use Uber Eats more than you use your stove, you're in good company — 90 percent of Americans either don't like to cook or are on the fence about it. With cooking becoming more hobby than necessity, we look at how the food industry is trying to keep...

Duration:00:49:56

Full Show: Change In Unexpected Places

12/7/2018
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First, a look at creative efforts to improve our health care system at the local level. Jon Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, and Sarah Kliff, a senior policy correspondent at Vox, discuss innovative steps that some states are taking to control health care costs and improve outcomes, including an effort to reduce the rate of premature birth. Hotels have shaped American life from the Civil War to the civil rights movement. A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, author of “Hotel: An American...

Duration:00:49:58

Reimagining Health Care

12/7/2018
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A potent issue dominated the midterms this fall: health care. It was a top concern for voters, and it ultimately shaped the outcome of races across the country. Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at MIT and an architect of the Affordable Care Act, and Sarah Kliff, senior policy correspondent at Vox and host of the podcast The Impact, weigh in on the future of health care. With a divided Congress, Kliff and Gruber suggest that state governments and possibly the private sector will be the...

Duration:00:29:50

Far More Than A Bed And A Bath

12/7/2018
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After he was elected, President George Washington traveled through our newly-formed country. And along the way, he stayed at a series of inns and taverns. How did they stack up? Well, let’s just say our first president wasn’t much kinder than a modern-day disgruntled Yelp reviewer about his experiences. Washington wrote in his diary that he found, “No rooms or beds which appeared tolerable.” While places to stay were rudimentary during Washington’s day, hotels eventually came to signify...

Duration:00:19:01

Full Show: What Is It Worth To You?

11/30/2018
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Whether you like it or not, our life is made of plastic. It’s a material we use for almost everything, from toothbrushes to spacecrafts. But its convenience and low costs might not outweigh the effects it has on our health and environment. Science journalist Susan Freinkel walks us through the history of how we fell in love with plastics and considers the risks they pose. In the past, you might have seen your grandfather sending checks to a big charity every year, but charitable priorities...

Duration:00:50:23

Marinating In Plastics

11/30/2018
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Plastics are colorful, shiny, and flexible. They can also be sturdy, monochrome, and opaque. They come in different shapes and sizes, too. In fact, we’ve become so good at creating and molding plastics into whatever we want them to be that author Susan Freinkel says: it’s hard to imagine a world without them. In her book, Plastics: A Toxic Love Story, Freinkel chronicles the history of plastics and explores how, for better or worse, the material shapes our lives.

Duration:00:21:11

Tracking Trends in Charitable Giving

11/30/2018
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The Chronicle of Philanthropy has long kept tabs on charitable giving, but recently the publication unveiled a new ranking, which reveals that how we give and who is giving has been radically upended in America. Stacy Palmer, the editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, discusses the current trends in giving and what they reveal about our country - including the growing economic divide in the wake of the Great Recession. And she offers some advice about how to choose causes that make a real...

Duration:00:15:52

China: Pharmacy To The World

11/30/2018
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In the ‘90s, most of the world’s medicines were manufactured in the United States, Europe and Japan. Today, almost 80% of them come from China. In her book, “China Rx: Exposing The Risks Of America’s Dependence On China For Medicine,” Rosemary Gibson says that China is becoming the world’s pharmacy, but that development, she argues, comes with many risks.

Duration:00:13:03

Full Show: Manufacturing The Mind

11/23/2018
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First: ‘Tis the season for giving and sharing… and holiday shopping. Whether it’s toys, clothes, books, or electronics, chances are that most of these items were manufactured in factories. Joshua Freeman walks us through the history of factories, and how they continue to shape our modern world. Next: Do you ever find yourself flipping through photo albums and feeling nostalgic for old times? Well, according to Krystine Batcho, longing for the past can shape how we think about the present....

Duration:00:49:09

Full Show: Heart And Soul

11/16/2018
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First, in the late 1950s, Berry Gordy Jr. - who had worked for Ford Motor Company, been a boxer, and owned a record store - had a vision. He wanted to introduce the world to a new sound: the sound of Motown. And with every hit he produced, Gordy slowly but surely began to transform American culture. Then, we know that the heart is a symbol of love and emotion. But for doctors, of course, the heart is a sensitive and vital organ that affects the entire body. Cardiologist and author Sandeep...

Duration:00:50:15

Motown: The History Of A Hit Factory

11/16/2018
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Shortly after Michael Jackson died in 2009, Helen Brown, a music critic for the Daily Telegraph wrote that the Jackson 5’s 1969 single “I Want You Back,” is “certainly the fastest man-made route to pure joy.” And while Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Jackie may have stolen the spotlight, the group - like so many others - emerged from a hit factory created by a man named Berry Gordy Jr. Gordy founded Motown after stints as a boxer and as a worker in a Lincoln-Mercury plant. And he...

Duration:00:24:41

Fixing A Broken Heart

11/16/2018
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The Grinch’s is two sizes too small. All Green wants to know how you can mend a broken one. You can destroy them, steal them, break them. They can pine or ache or wander. Suffice it to say, hearts are a big part of our culture. After all, though our kidneys are vital, there aren’t many pop songs about them. Still, as important as they are to our culture, our hearts are even more important to our health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and chances are that...

Duration:00:24:11

Fixing Broken Hearts

11/16/2018
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The Grinch’s is two sizes too small. Al Green wants to know how you can mend a broken one. You can destroy them, steal them, break them. They can pine or ache or wander. Suffice it to say, hearts are a big part of our culture. After all, though our kidneys are vital, there aren’t many pop songs about them. Still, as important as they are to our culture, our hearts are even more important to our health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and chances are that you...

Duration:00:24:09

Full Show: Cultural Shifts

11/9/2018
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First: in the early 1970s, the average age of first-time moms was 21. Now, the average is 26. We talk with economist Caitlin Knowles Myers and New York Times correspondent Claire Cain Miller about why so many couples are putting off having kids and we also consider how education, politics and geography intersect with that decision. Next, dear listeners, you had some thoughts about our show regarding the future of work. We’ve highlighted some of your workplace experiences with technology....

Duration:00:49:53

The American Family - Older And Smaller / Listener Comments

11/9/2018
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The American family is changing in many different ways. But one of the most important is that, on average, American women are giving birth later. And birth rates have hit a 30-year low. In the early 1970s, the average age of first-time moms was 21… it’s now 26. The same trend is impacting fathers - their age has gone from 27 to 31 over the same time period. But why did this change happen? And what does it mean for our society, our economy, and our families? To find out, we talked to Caitlin...

Duration:00:24:21

Testing Who You Are

11/9/2018
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If you were asked to describe your personality, you might choose words such as “funny” and “outgoing,” or “shy” and “quiet.” But what if those were not quite the right words? The Myers-Briggs - which many of us have taken - promises to assess your personality, and assign you a specific “type.” In her book, “The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the birth of Personality Testing” Merve Emre examines the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (which is its full name), and how it...

Duration:00:24:26

Full Show: Cutting It Down To Size (Rebroadcast)

11/2/2018
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First, small businesses are the backbone of America. Or are they? Economist Robert Atkinson wants you to hold your horses and think again. He says we often favor small businesses and villainize large corporations, despite the fact that being big may enable companies to potentially contribute more to diversity, fair wages, and more generous employee benefits. Next, many of us may have a bit of a precision fetish, according to author Simon Winchester. Consider car commercials or watches that...

Duration:00:49:52

Full Show: Votes, Jobs, and Tech

10/26/2018
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First, swing states have a ton of power in determining control of Congress and many of the people living in those states have experienced the effects of automation in the workplace. Author Brian Alexander explains how technological progress has created fear, uncertainty, and shattered communities in swing states including Ohio. But it isn’t entirely fair to blame technology for *all *of our problems, including the challenges created by the gig economy. Historian Louis Hyman says temp work...

Duration:00:49:53

Robotizing Swing States

10/26/2018
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With the midterms looming, both Democrats and Republicans are sweating out the home stretch in Congressional races across the country. And as in any election, there’s a lot of focus on swing states such as Ohio. In his 2017 book “Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the of the All-American Town,” Brian Alexander returned home to Lancaster, Ohio to write about how the region has changed both politically and economically over the past few decades. He saw many in the industrial...

Duration:00:13:16

The Long History Of The Gig Economy

10/26/2018
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When you hear the term “gig economy,” you probably think of Uber or Lyft or Postmates - companies that have used apps to disrupt industries and create an army of 1099 workers. But according to Louis Hyman, a Cornell University historian and author of “Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary,” the gig economy is a lot bigger than Silicon Valley. And it has a much longer history than you might think.

Duration:00:18:13