Listen up! The Lab has launched a podcast series on institutional corruption!

In this exclusive podcast series, Fellows from a range of disciplines across academia, industry, journalism, and government discuss in their own voices the everyday, real-life issues of institutional corruption and their own projects in response to it. Labcast is managed by Tara Skurtu and edited by Paul Worster.

Listen to the Labcast on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Labcast 15 - 12/8/2014 - When Less Information is Better: Blinding in Medicine: Marie Newhouse & Christopher Robertson

Is blinding a possible solution to the implicit biases that exist throughout the healthcare and biomedical science fields? Christopher Robertson, a Lab affiliate and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, and former Lab Fellow Marie Newhouse examine the positives and negatives of blinding. They also discuss Robertson’s current collaborative research project on political corruption and how juror discretion affects the outcome of campaign finance cases.

Labcast 14 - 10/16/2014 - Reforming Financial Regulation: Gregg Fields & Kim Pernell-Gallagher

After an introduction by Visiting Fellow Justin O’Brien on the limitations of current financial regulations both globally and domestically, journalist Gregg Fields interviews former Lab Fellow Kim Pernell-Gallagher on how divergent banking regulations in the years leading up to the recent financial crisis led to different economic outcomes in the US, Spain, and Canada. Gallagher poses this thought-provoking question: “Problems in the shadow banking industry can carry over into the real economy just the way that problems in the regulated banking industry can, which makes us think: is transferring risk to unregulated entities really the smartest call?"

See also: Economics, Podcasts

Labcast 13 - 7/22/2014 - How Does a Business Keep a Promise?: Gregg Fields & Elizabeth Doty

Many people are cynical about business promises and blame individual leaders when commitments are not kept. In this Labcast, Fellows Gregg Fields and Elizabeth Doty explore how systematic factors such as short-termism, complexity, reactivity, and operational issues also contribute to “commitment drift” in business, which in turn damages public trust. Because many individual executives value keeping their word, Doty recommends helping them recognize the challenges and build the special competence required to keep promises as an organization.

This interview touches on the seven promise-keeping strategies which are described in a new article by Doty in strategy+business magazine, and which are summarized in this blog post.

Labcast 12 - 6/5/2014 - From the Bottom Up: A Shift Towards Local Government Ethics Initiatives: Gregg Fields & Carla Miller

Can independent and local government ethics commissions reduce political corruption? Journalist Gregg Fields interviews Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Network Fellow Carla Miller about putting the heart back into government ethics training, and how a shift towards local government ethics initiatives may create an avenue for citizens to have an impact at the state level and beyond. (For more information, visit www.cityethics.org/.)

Labcast 11 - 5/20/2014 - On Life, Animated: Autism, Affinities, & the Power of Story: Christine Baugh and Ron Suskind

Autism affects one in sixty-eight children. This is the story of the Suskind family. Owen, diagnosed with autism as a child, developed an affinity for Disney films. Through their scripts and characters he was able to reconnect with language and expression, his family, and his environments. In this exclusive podcast for the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Owen’s father Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind speaks candidly with Lab Fellow Christine Baugh about his newest and most personal book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. This is a memoir of family, love, and constancy, and a book that has begun to change the direction of autism research as we know it. (For more information, visit lifeanimated.net.)

Labcast 10 - 5/6/2014 - Think Tanks and Transparency: Brooke Williams & the Center for Global Development

An increasing number of think tanks are disclosing who funds their work, how much they gave and why. The Center for Global Development, a think tank in Washington, D.C., recently launched a new webpage in beta called How We're Funded. Investigative Reporting Fellow Brooke Williams goes behind the scenes of this decision at the CGD with Todd Moss, COO, and Katie Douglas Martel, deputy director of Institutional Advancement.

Labcast 9 - 4/10/2014 - Donors Unbound: McCutcheon v. FEC: Gregg Fields & Jen Heerwig

Donation strategies of elite campaign contributors are the focus of research for Dr. Jen Heerwig, a sociologist and research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. In this labcast, journalist Gregg Fields interviews Heerwig on the Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, which significantly raises the amount deep-pocketed donors can give to federal candidates.

Labcast 8 - 3/13/2014 - Investigative Journalism, Integrity, and a Little Insanity: Brooke Williams & Charles Lewis

Untold stories, distortion of truth, and the immediate and extraordinary need for global, collaborative investigative journalism. Brooke Williams, a journalism fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, interviews pioneer author and journalist Charles Lewis about his life’s work holding the powerful accountable, shedding light on institutional corruption and all the work yet to be done.

Labcast 7 - 3/5/2014 - The Big Fix: Financial Markets & Institutional Corruption: Gregg Fields and Justin O'Brien

In an explosive scandal, global regulators suspect the 4pm fix is quite possibly fixed. Traditionally it's the London hour when rates for currencies like the dollar are set. It's now suspected that traders colluded to rig markets for private gain. Financial journalist Gregg Fields and Professor Justin O'Brien, director of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation at the University of New South Wales in Australia, discuss the role that institutional corruption may have played.

Labcast 6 - 2/21/2014 - Business & Human Rights: Jennifer E. Miller and John Ruggie

Dr. John Ruggie—one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada (according to Foreign Policy magazine), Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School professor, and the author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—talks with bioethicist and Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow Dr. Jennifer E. Miller about his experiences drafting and implementing the UN Guiding Principles. These principles constitute the most comprehensive and authoritative global standard in the area of business and human rights, to date.

Labcast 5 - 1/29/2014 - The DSM-5: A Vehicle For High-Profit Patent Extensions? Gregg Fields & Lisa Cosgrove

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders affects drugs with sales in the billions of dollars. In research supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Lisa Cosgrove of UMass-Boston investigated financial ties between DSM panel members and the pharmaceutical companies that have a vested interest in finding new indications for their blockbuster drugs. In this podcast, she tells journalist Gregg Fields what she found, what it means—and why we all should care.

Labcast 4 - 1/8/2014 - Political Dimensions Of Poverty & The NHRebellion Walk: Daniel Weeks

50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared War on Poverty, the number of Americans living below the poverty line remains stubbornly high. Daniel Weeks, a non-resident fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, discusses the political dimensions of persistent poverty in America and presents solutions to overcome the systematic disenfranchisement of millions of poor people in the democratic process – including the upcoming NHRebellion walk across New Hampshire for campaign finance reform, led by E.J. Safra Center Director Lawrence Lessig.

Labcast 3 - 12/24/2013 - The EPA & Institutional Corruption: Ted Gup & Sheila Kaplan

What will it take for EPA to protect people and the environment from hazardous pollutants? Closing the loopholes in the Toxic Substances Act (TSCA) would help, but industry pressure has Congress on the verge of a "reform" bill that might make things worse. Journalist Ted Gup interviews investigative reporting fellow Sheila Kaplan on institutional corruption at EPA.