After the Fact is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts that brings you data and analysis on the issues that matter to you—from our environment and the sciences, to larger economic trends and public health. Experts from Pew and other special guests discuss the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges with host Dan LeDuc, then go behind the facts with nonpartisan analysis and stories.
Here's the Latest Episode from After the Fact – The Pew Charitable Trusts:
Stat: 79%: Percentage of the U.S. population that agrees that science has made the world a better place.
Story: Scientific discovery shapes the world—from our medical care to how we live, learn, and work. In this episode, we explore the process of discovery and how it is playing out during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll hear from leading experts on the science of the coronavirus, the pipeline for potential vaccines and treatment, and how these times are changing the way we conduct science.
Stat: 35%: The percentage of Americans in 2019 who report a great deal of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest, up from 21% in 2016.
Story: Public trust in science is front and center today as researchers seek to learn more about the coronavirus. In this episode, France Córdova, former National Science Foundation director, discusses confidence in scientific research, and Cary Funk, the Pew Research Center’s director of science and society research, shares survey results on how the public perceives scientists. We’ll also hear from Sudip Parikh, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, on how speaking with precision and jargon creates separation between scientists and the public.
Stat: 79%: The percentage of people who agree that science has made life easier for most of us.
Story: Science may sometimes seem abstract, but its benefits can be seen everywhere—from the technology in smartphones to the medicines we take. In this episode, we explore what science really is (and what it’s not) with Ira Flatow, host of the popular “Science Friday” radio program, and Carlo Rovelli, a world-renowned physicist and bestselling writer.
Stat: 78%: The percentage of Americans who say it makes sense that studies on the coronavirus may present conflicting advice because research is constantly improving.
Story: In the first episode of our new season “Conversations on Science,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discusses the importance of science in our daily lives, especially amid the pandemic, and shares his own story about how he fell in love with science.
In a new season of Pew’s “After the Fact” podcast, we talk about science: what it is, how it’s conducted and explained to the public, and how it affects our lives. We speak with scientists and researchers—from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Pew biomedical scholar Pamela Bjorkman, who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, to “Science Friday” host Ira Flatow and physicist and bestselling author Carlo Rovelli, who speak about the scientific process and why it matters. Join us as we explore science and envision how what’s happening today may shape the future of our world.
Story: With summer heating up, we’re again sharing our conversation with Pew biomedical scholar and Princeton scientist Lindy McBride about one of the peskiest and deadliest insects on the planet: the mosquito. Listen in for the facts about mosquitoes and why they find some people tastier than others.
Stat: 78 percent: About 8 in 10 adults feel that libraries help them find information that is trustworthy and reliable.
Story: Everybody knows what happened on the Fourth of July, but what about the First of July? That’s the anniversary of America’s first free library. Established in 1731 by Ben Franklin, it marked the democratization of information. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden—the first woman and African American in that role—talks about how libraries and librarians continue that mission to this day.
Stat: 87 percent: Americans who say they are following news about the coronavirus outbreak fairly or very closely.
Story: According to the World Health Organization, people are not only living through an epidemic but also an “infodemic”—a surge of information about COVID-19 that has made it hard for people to know which news and guidance about the virus is accurate. In a conversation with Alan Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project, we discuss how to sort fact from fiction today.
Stat: 48% of U.S. adults have cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Story: What do zebrafish have to do with human health? As it turns out, they can help researchers understand how and why heart disease happens. We spoke to Pew biomedical scholar (2002) Steven Farber at the Carnegie Institution for Science to learn more about his work, which is revealing new strategies to combat heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Stat: 21 million: The number of Americans not connected to broadband internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
Story: While most Americans are managing remote work, learning, and even participating in social gatherings online during the pandemic, there are still millions of Americans who don’t have access to high-speed internet where they live. Kathryn de Wit, manager of Pew’s broadband research initiative, explains who’s not online and shares what some states and communities are doing to bridge connectivity gaps.
Story: With schools and universities closed and millions now learning and working from home because of the coronavirus, Pew’s latest edition of Trend magazine focuses on the topic of learning. In this rebroadcast featuring two Stanford University researchers with an essay in the magazine, you’ll hear about how breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology have given us insights into the human mind and how those findings are being applied in classrooms today.
Stat: $75 billion: The total amount of money that states had set aside in rainy day funds at the end of 2019 in case of an economic downturn.
Story: The short-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our health care systems and daily lives were immediately clear. But how will states weather the economic storm over the long term? In this episode, we hear from Josh Goodman of Pew’s state fiscal health team, who shares insights on the steps that states are taking to address looming budget shortfalls.
Stat: 44 percent: The percentage of Americans who say the COVID-19 outbreak has changed their lives in a major way.
Story: From how we work, socialize, and even pray, the coronavirus has upturned American life. The Pew Research Center’s Claudia Deane summarizes recent survey findings, including Americans’ views of the impact on their daily life, their concerns about the economy, and trust levels in government and the health system.
As the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, Pew’s “After the Fact” podcast is taking a pause. For all our listeners, stay safe and healthy, and we’ll be back with new content soon.
Stat: 47 percent: The percentage decline of newsroom employees at newspapers between 2008 and 2018.
Story: Newspapers are cutting staff or closing altogether, but in the final episode of our local news series we visit The Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts, which is bucking that trend. We speak to the publisher and editor who are adding reporters and to community leaders who value a local paper in their civic life.
Stat: 2000: More than 2,000 of the 3,143 counties in the United States have no daily local newspaper.
Story: What is a news desert? We explore the definition—a community with limited access to credible and comprehensive news and information—by traveling to southeast Georgia where the Waycross Journal-Herald abruptly closed in September 2019. We also interview expert Penny Abernathy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has documented the spread of news deserts across the United States.
Stat: 71: The percentage of Americans who believe that their local news outlet is doing well financially.
Story: Local news outlets are struggling against declines in circulation and advertising, with 2,100 newspapers closing over the past 15 years. In the first installment of our three-part series on the changing landscape of local news in America, we hear from experts on what’s changed and how it may be affecting our communities.
Story: In this series, we explore the decline in local news coverage across America. Host Dan LeDuc interviews journalism experts, travels to a “news desert” where the daily newspaper recently printed its last edition, and visits the newsroom of a paper that is bucking the trend and doubling down on its investment in community coverage.
Stat: 800 million: The number of people in the world who live within the footprint, 62 miles, of a volcano.
Story: In the latest episode in our “Scientists at Work” series, we go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where we meet geologist and volcanologist Ben Andrews, who works to answer three key questions about volcanoes around the world: When will an eruption happen, how big could the eruption be, and how fast?
Stat: 22.73: Ken Burns’ documentary Civil War was created from 22.73 miles of film.
Story: Ken Burns is known for his expansive documentaries on American history and culture. With 33 documentary films to his name, what is the secret to his creative process? We travel to the New Hampshire barn where he works for a conversation about how he tells old stories in a new way and what inspires him to create.
Stat: 59 percent: The percentage of Americans who say they have little to no confidence in the public’s political wisdom.
Story: As the new year—and an election year—begins, we turn to data on our democracy to learn more about how Americans view institutions and civic life today. Host Dan LeDuc speaks with Michael Dimock, president of the Pew Research Center, about the latest research on trust, facts, and democracy in America.
Story: “After the Fact” is sharing one more fan favorite before the end of the year with Paula Marincola, executive director of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. She selected an episode with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and 1999 Pew arts fellow Jennifer Higdon on how ideas become reality. Since that conversation, Jennifer has again been nominated for a Grammy Award. Host Dan LeDuc also speaks with Paula about the importance of the arts today.
Story: “After the Fact” is sharing a couple more fan favorites as we close out 2019. This week, Ray Suarez, guest host of our “Future of Learning” series and a former broadcaster, selected an episode (No. 46) that focuses on how location can affect an individual’s economic prospects.
Stat: 68 million: The number of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation as of , compared with 39 million in 2009.
Story: This episode focuses on Americans’ views of religion and the generational changes that are taking place. Greg Smith of the Pew Research Center shares an update on the changing religious landscape, and host Dan LeDuc talks to a mother and daughter about their evolving religious paths.
Stat: 100 feet: At nearly 100 feet in length, blue whales are the largest animal ever known to have existed on Earth.
Story: Blue whales are big but they’re not invulnerable, often falling victim to strikes by ships in the northern India Ocean. Asha de Vos, a Pew marine fellow who founded Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization, tells us about the beauty of blue whales and their importance to the health of the ocean.
Stat: 94.7 million—It is estimated that the number of Americans ages 65 and older will nearly double from 49.2 million in 2016 to 94.7 million by 2060.
Story: In this final episode of the Future of Learning series, we explore the aging mind, including how brains change over the years, how to stimulate the mind, and which traits can be found in “superagers.”
Stat: 65 percent of all jobs in the American economy today will require postsecondary education and training.
Story: School may be over for most workers in America’s economy, but the need to learn continues. In the third part of our series “The Future of Learning,” we hear how some individuals are learning new skills for tomorrow’s workforce and talk with experts about what’s needed to stay ahead of the curve.
Stat: 30 percent. The amount of jobs worldwide that could become automated by 2030. Story: In part two of our series on learning, join guest host Ray Suarez as he interviews teachers and experts about the evolving classroom and how teachers are trying to prepare students to be flexible, motivated, and lifelong learners to prepare for jobs that haven’t been invented yet.
Stat: 86 billion. The human brain has at least 86 billion neurons.
Story: Breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology have given us a peek into the human mind, yet we have much to discover about how our brains actually learn new things. In the first part of our new series, you’ll travel with guest host Ray Suarez to the Brainwave Learning Center, a partnership with Stanford University, where scientists are measuring students’ brain waves to see what happens as they learn to read and gain other skills.
Story: In this special series on learning, guest host Ray Suarez will examine the latest developments in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, explore workforce trends, and share inspiring stories from people on the journey to becoming lifelong learners.
Stat: 1 million—the number of Americans who default on student loan payments each year.
Story: More Americans are seeking higher education, which means more people are taking on—and struggling with—student loan debt. For one first-generation college graduate, the complex repayment system proved overwhelming. We share her story and talk to Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Eric Kelderman and Pew researcher Sarah Sattelmeyer about key challenges and potential solutions to help keep borrowers on track.
Stat: 130. Opioid use disorder is responsible for approximately 130 overdose deaths a day in America.
Story: One of the biggest health threats facing Americans today is opioid use disorder, with an overdose-related death occurring every 11 minutes. In this rebroadcast of a conversation at Pew with Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, learn more about this public health challenge and how we can save lives.
100 million—The number of people infected each year by a disease transmitted through a mosquito bite.
Story: In our latest “Scientists at Work” episode, 2015 Pew biomedical scholar Lindy McBride discusses her research on one of the peskiest and deadliest insects on the planet: the mosquito. Listen in as we learn the facts about mosquitoes and why you may be more susceptible than other people to their bites.
Story: Our final installment of “After the Fact” fan favorites comes via the West Coast. Steven Bliss of the Public Policy Institute of California selected our first podcast, on the state of the American Dream. Researcher Erin Currier describes the financial hardships facing many families at a time when most people are just happy to make ends meet rather than move up the economic ladder (Episode 1).
Story: “After the Fact” fan favorites continue in August with our second selection. This week, Fred Dews, host of “Brookings Cafeteria,” chose our episode on the plight of endangered sharks and some of their unlikely champions (Episode 32). South African Paralympian Achmat Hassiem and Pew’s Debbie Salamone were attacked by sharks but now are advocates for their conservation.
Story: “After the Fact” has asked a few special guests to share their favorite episodes of the podcast throughout August. This week, Elaine Bowman, vice president of human resources for The Pew Charitable Trusts, picked our conversation on deepfakes (Episode 47) with Berkeley Professor Hany Farid (formerly of Dartmouth College) as her favorite.
Story: This month, “After the Fact” has asked a few special guests to share their favorite episodes of the podcast. Tune in throughout August to hear some of these “fan favorites” from our archives.
Stat: 80,000. Chilean Patagonia has more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline, the longest in the world.
Story: In the latest installment of our “Scientists at Work” series, Pew marine fellow Vreni Häussermann talks about Chilean Patagonia’s diverse ecosystem. The region is a near-pristine wilderness like no other—but this mostly unexplored wilderness is at risk. Häussermann hopes her research will help support efforts to secure a sustainable future for Chilean Patagonia and the marine life in its fjords.
Stat: 96 percent. Nearly all of America’s hospitals used electronic health records as of 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Story: Your medical records have gone digital—a change that promises to make health care more efficient and accessible. But as with any technology, there are glitches. Files could be mismatched, and a typo could lead to a dosing error. In this episode, hear how doctors and experts are working to make electronic health records safer and easier to use.
Stat: 18. At least 18 British colonies existed in North America during the American Revolution—but, as we know, only 13 signed the Declaration of Independence.
Story: In honor of the Fourth of July, join “After the Fact” on an audio tour of key historic places in the city known as the Birthplace of America—Philadelphia. Temple University history professor Jessica Roney shares insights about America’s Founding Fathers and illuminates the lesser-known history behind the formation of the United States.
Mangrove forests are natural protectors, shielding coasts from storms, sheltering species, and soaking up carbon. Reversing the decline of these habitats isn’t just a science—it’s an art, says marine biologist Octavio Aburto. He uses his camera along with high-resolution satellite imagery to assess real-time changes in mangrove coverage—and to reveal the amazing hidden marine life of these critical ecosystems.
Mangrove forests are natural protectors, shielding coasts from storms, sheltering species, and soaking up carbon. Reversing the decline of these habitats isn’t just a science—it’s an art, says marine biologist Octavio Aburto. He uses his camera along with high-resolution satellite imagery to assess real-time changes in mangrove coverage—and to reveal the amazing hidden marine life of these critical ecosystems.
Stat: 93. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. estimates 93 percent of marine fisheries worldwide are fished at or beyond sustainable catch levels.
Story: A large part of overfishing is driven by subsidies—most of which go to large-scale fishing fleets from industrialized nations. We learn about how subsidies can alter the economics of fishing from Pew’s Isabel Jarrett and researcher Rashid Sumaila. And we travel to Senegal to hear from local fishers on the impact to their communities.
Stat: 46. The percentage of American adults who worry that they will not be able to live comfortably in retirement.
Story: After all the hard work and child rearing, do Americans get to finally relax and retire with some financial stability? Research shows the golden age of retirement doesn’t always shine. Hear why in the final episode of our series on the American family, which features two retirees’ stories, and expert analysis from John Scott, who directs retirement savings work at Pew.
Stat: $233,610. The cost of raising a child through age 17 for a middle-class American family, not including a college education.
Story: From diapers to day care and beyond, it’s getting more expensive to raise a family in the U.S. And just keeping up with daily costs makes saving for a rainy day or retirement all the harder. We speak with three families about what it takes to make it work—and what keeps them up at night.
Stat: 86. The percentage of women ages 40-44 who are mothers, compared with 80 percent in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. Story: American women are waiting longer to have children—but are more likely to have kids than they were a decade ago. Also, 1 in 4 parents living with a child is not married. In this episode, a Pew researcher explains the data behind this change in the American family, and we meet two moms who share why they waited.
Stat: 7. On average, Americans are waiting nearly seven years longer to get married than they did in 1968, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Story: Does putting off marriage mean people no longer want to say “I do?” To learn more about this trend, we spoke to couples who are waiting to wed—in the first installment of our four-part series on today’s American family. Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz also offers insights.
Story: The American family is changing. We explore how over the next four episodes, taking you into the lives of American families through conversations at kitchen tables, in workplaces, and even in the family car on the way to after-school pickup. Host Dan LeDuc also speaks with researchers about the data and trends on these informative and inspiring stories.
Stat: 20 percent. The share of Americans who find the concept of machines doing most human jobs in the future extremely realistic.
Story: Will robots take our jobs? They’ll need a key human skill first—the ability to think. To find out just how near such a future is, we visited Ashley J. Llorens, chief of the Intelligent Systems Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. There, researchers are bridging the gap between machines programmed by humans and those that can teach themselves.
Stat: 48%—Almost half the members of Generation Z—age 22 or younger—are racial or ethnic minorities.
Story: Step aside, Millennials. There’s a new, younger group out there: Generation Z, which includes anyone born after 1996. To learn more about this generation, we sat down with Kim Parker, director of social trends research at the Pew Research Center. Listen in to hear about Gen Z’s social, cultural, and political inclinations, and what this might mean for the future.
Stat: 844 million. The amount of people worldwide who lack even a basic drinking-water service, according to the World Health Organization.
Story: For many of us, it can be easy to take water for granted. Turn on the tap and it’s there. But today, the world faces a tipping point, with water security—having sufficient access to safe water for our daily lives—at risk. Listen in as our guest, Sandra Postel, discusses the challenges and shares options for fixing our broken water cycle.
Stat: 40%—Across Africa, the number of giraffes has declined by 40 percent since 1979.
Story: Giraffes are dying, and experts are trying to figure out why. Host Dan LeDuc speaks to two giraffe experts, ecologist David O’Connor and researcher Jenna Stacy-Dawes of the San Diego Zoo, who are trying to learn more about these mysterious animals and help giraffes rebound.
Stat: 1919—the year President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill establishing the Grand Canyon as a national park.
Story: The Grand Canyon was dedicated as a national park 100 years ago. This anniversary commemorates the canyon’s legacy, but it has been around longer than that—at least 6 million years. Our host explores the beauty of this natural wonder with Wayne Ranney, a geologist who has spent his career studying the canyon. Listen in for a historical journey through this iconic landscape.
Stat: 100. More than half of children born in developed countries today will reach the age of 100.
Story: If you knew you would live to 100, what would you do differently? Increasing longevity will expand and shift the traditional phases of life, according to London Business School professor Andrew Scott. In his conversation with host Dan LeDuc, he describes the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and society as life expectancy continues to rise.
Stat: 57 percent of social media news consumers expect what they see there to be largely inaccurate.
Story: The rise of deepfakes—realistic fake videos made with artificial intelligence software—is beginning to make sorting fact from fiction even harder. In an interview with Dartmouth Professor Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert who advises governments and the media on how to meet this growing threat, we discuss the implications for people and societies when we can’t necessarily believe what we see.
Stat: 50. The percentage of American children today who will grow up to earn more than their parents did.
Story: That’s down from over 90 percent for children born in the 1940s and its says a lot about the current state of the American Dream. John Friedman, who’s a leader of Opportunity Insights which is working to help people get out of poverty, says the opportunity to move up the economic ladder depends a lot on where you live and even who your kindergarten teacher was. He speaks with host Dan LeDuc about what factors can improve kids’ chances of success.
Stat: Four in 10 Americans say technology has improved their lives most in the past 50 years.
Story: To end 2018, we look ahead at the promise of new technologies, which also bring challenges for societies. To understand the issues, we speak to Arati Prabhakar, former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. From artificial intelligence to neurotechnology, she notes the “dazzling” new capabilities emerging and the thorny considerations they bring.
Stat: 21. The number of African countries where manatees live.
Story: If you’ve ever seen a manatee, chances are you were in Florida, where these aquatic relatives of the elephant may have poked their faces above the water’s surface to get a look at you. But this episode’s guest studies manatees few have ever seen—the African species that live in remote, murky waters. Host Dan LeDuc talks to 2017 Pew marine fellow Lucy Keith-Diagne about what makes these creatures so fascinating—and the threats facing them.
Stat: 39 percent. That’s how many Americans say they are highly religious. Story: When asked about their religion, most Americans identify with a traditional faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam. But the Pew Research Center recently looked beyond familiar classifications and analyzed patterns of American beliefs and behaviors across many faiths. Host Dan LeDuc talks with one of the authors of this analysis, Rich Morin, about how the researchers created this religious typology and what each of the seven types means.
Stat: $764 billion. That’s how much the arts contribute to the U.S. economy each year. Story: The creative process for artists can seem mysterious—what sparks an artist’s initial idea and how does that idea become reality? Host Dan LeDuc talks to Pew Arts Fellow, and Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning classical composer Jennifer Higdon about her creative process, and also interviews Paula Marincola from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage about supporting the arts.
Stat: 61 percent. That’s how many voters say they’re enthusiastic about voting in November. Story: Traditionally, voters don’t flock to the polls for the midterm elections. But this year, the Pew Research Center has found that voters are more enthusiastic about voting than at any point during midterms in the past two decades. Why is that and what’s on voters’ minds? In this episode, Dan LeDuc talks with the center’s director of political research, Carroll Doherty, who will share his insights from the polling data.
Stat: 7 out of 10 babies born in London have at least one parent who wasn’t. Story: London is on track to exceed 9 million people in three years and most of the new babies there have at least one foreign-born parent. One area in particular is emblematic of these changing world demographics: Brixton. Host Dan LeDuc went for a walk there with Ben Rogers and Denean Rowe from the Centre for London to see up close how it’s evolving from a quintessential South London neighborhood into a dense, multicultural hub.
Stat: 70 percent. That’s how many children now born in London have at least one foreign-born parent.
Story: In many ways, the metropolis of London is a microcosm of what’s happening around the globe. People move across borders and flock to urban centers, causing their newfound homes to evolve and adapt. How are global demographic trends affecting and changing our world? To learn, host Dan LeDuc talks with Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at the Pew Research Center.
Stat: 7 in 10. That’s how many Americans say that debt is a necessity, even though they prefer not to have it.
Story: Ten years after the global financial crisis, we explore Americans’ relationship with debt, and interview Dave Ramsey, the host of his own syndicated radio show, who talks to some 13 million listeners each week about how they can overcome financial setbacks and build wealth. Ramsey shares his thoughts about why so many Americans are in debt today, why they’re not stuck, and the key to breaking the cycle.
Stat: Four. That’s how many letters in the DNA alphabet make up every living thing.
Story: How does genetic information transmit across generations? While trying to find out, scientists Craig Mello and Andrew Fire quite by accident made a discovery in 1998 that would earn them a Nobel Prize—and pave the way for the first drug to take on harmful genes. Pew’s Dan LeDuc talks with Mello about science’s surprises.
Additional audio licensed for use by the Nobel Foundation. All rights reserved. © Nobel Media 2006
Stat: North Atlantic cod have nearly tripled since 2006 to 118,000 tons. Summary: Overfishing has strained most global fish stocks. But the European Union has made progress bringing back one popular species: North Atlantic cod. The flaky white fish—a British staple when battered and served with chips—has rebounded after plummeting to critically low levels in the late 2000s. In this episode, we go to one of London’s oldest fish and chips restaurants and learn how quotas can be used to help other stocks recover.
Stat: 44 percent. The percentage of Americans who think the public doesn’t know enough about science to understand new findings in the news. Story: Ira Flatow, the host of “Science Friday,” has been with National Public Radio since it went on the air in 1970. Although he knows the public loves science, he’s worried that most people don’t know how the scientific process works. Pew’s Dan LeDuc talks to him about why critical thinking is crucial, who asks the best questions, and how science can be addictive.
Stat: At least 2 million Americans get antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Story: Nearly a century after Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, bacteria continue to develop the ability to defeat antibiotics. Doctors worldwide are concerned about the spread of superbugs that are resistant to all antibiotics. Host Dan LeDuc visits Fleming’s London lab for some history and talks with Pew’s Allan Coukell about current efforts to reduce unnecessary use of these drugs and encourage development of new ones.
Stat: $477 billion. That’s the amount spent on prescription drugs in the United States last year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Story: Skyrocketing prescription drug prices have long troubled U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who has championed bipartisan legislation to give consumers more affordable choices. In this rebroadcast of a Pew event, she discusses what can be done to manage drug costs and ensure that Americans get the medicine they need.
Stat: At least 63 million sharks are taken from the ocean every year. Story: And that’s the low estimate; others range as high was 273 million. That worldwide catch—for shark fins and increasingly for their meat—is threatening some species with extinction. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with two unlikely advocates for protecting sharks: South African Paralympian Achmat Hassiem and Pew’s Debbie Salamone. Both have been bitten by sharks but have turned their experiences into something positive: becoming shark attack survivors supporting shark conservation.
Stat: The ocean generates $2.5 trillion of economic benefits around the world each year. Story: Fisheries, tourism, and shipping are some of the ways we quantify the monetary value of the ocean—but it also drives weather patterns and provides more than 1 billion people with their primary source of protein. As the ocean faces increasing environmental stresses, what would an economic approach mean for conservation efforts? We explore the issue with a fishing family in Florida and Pew’s Tom Dillon.
Stat: The flag that inspired our national anthem has 15 stars and stripes.
Story: It flew over Fort McHenry in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. And after the fight, it was what Francis Scott Key was looking for when he asked, “Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave.” It was, and it continues to inspire Americans today in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington. Host Dan LeDuc went there to talk to curator Jennifer Jones about the history of perhaps our most famous flag.
Stat: Antarctica is home to more than 9,000 species found nowhere else on Earth. Story: They include Adélie and emperor penguins that depend on the nutrient-rich waters that surround the continent. In 2016, 24 countries and the European Union created the world’s largest marine protected area—encompassing 1.9 million square miles—in the Ross Sea. In this rebroadcast of a Pew event, the former president of Costa Rica and other ocean conservationists discuss the need to give other Antarctic waters this same protection.
Stat: The penguin population in Punta Tombo, Argentina, has declined by 43 percent since 1987. Story: Not all of those birds are dying: Many are relocating to areas with more prey—a move aided by their ability to swim 170 kilometers a day—and 200,000 breeding pairs remain in Punta Tombo. But expert Dee Boersma, known as the Jane Goodall of penguins, says the decline may foretell worrying trends in the ecosystem. Host Dan LeDuc sits down with Boersma, and hears from a few of the penguins, to learn more.
Stat: By midcentury, there will be 2 billion elderly people in the world—and 2 billion young
Story: For the first time there will be as many of each group —and together they’ll account for more than 40 percent of the world’s population. This will have deep implications for the labor supply, family structures and finances, demands on health and welfare services, housing, and more. In this episode, we hear a rebroadcast of a Pew event in London: “How Today’s Generations Are Changing the World.”
Stat: 63 million Americans, many of them children, live in areas with a shortage of dental care.
Story: To help alleviate this, a new kind of dental provider is being created: dental therapists, who are much like physician assistants in a medical office. In this episode host Dan LeDuc heads to Minnesota to join one of them, Christy Jo Fogarty, as she travels the state to bring dental care to children, many of whom have never been to a dentist before.
Stat: 64 percent of Americans say fake news is causing confusion over basic facts, according to the Pew Research Center.
Story: It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to sort fact from fiction in this digital age. In this episode, we talk to Alan Miller, who founded the News Literacy Project—an educational, nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is helping people determine what information to trust and share.
More than a third of America’s national parks are battlefields, cemeteries, and other sites that honor our military veterans. But those 156 landmarks are awaiting $6 billion in needed repairs—accounting for nearly half of the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion maintenance backlog. Host Dan LeDuc talks with two former service members about the peace, pride, and purpose they find at their favorite NPS sites, and why more funding is needed to restore America’s national parks.
With political discourse at a stalemate, we traveled to Middle America to find some middle ground. Former Representative Lee Hamilton (D) and former Senator Richard Lugar (R) represented Indiana for a combined 70 years and always kept talking to each other. They say the rest of us can keep it civil, too. We also talk with Pew President and CEO Rebecca Rimel about how civility and a reliance on facts have underpinned Pew’s work for the past 70 years. Hear the full episode at pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
How can states use data to make government work better? Known as a national leader for his efforts to make state government more efficient, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam shares what he’s learned over two terms about tripling the state’s rainy day fund, creating jobs, reforming the state’s juvenile justice system, and more. In this episode, we hear from the governor on how he relies on evidence-based policymaking to ensure that state government is effective. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Americans have become less religious but more spiritual over time, with 59 percent saying they regularly feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being. Host Dan LeDuc interviews the Pew Research Center’s Greg Smith about these trends. We also turn to Patty Van Cappellen of Duke University to discuss why people turn to religion and spirituality. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Move aside, baby boomers. Millennials are one of the largest living generations, and they are not kids anymore. The oldest millennials are now 37, and they are making their mark on the workplace, politics, and America’s public opinion landscape. We discuss this changing demographic with Alec Tyson, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, who digs into the data on who millennials are, what they care about, and the implications for us all. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Money makes policy. As states plan for the future, tax revenue helps them decide what it can be. And nearly half the states still don’t have the revenue they did before the Great Recession. Host Dan LeDuc interviews Pew’s Kil Huh about this and then goes deep with Chris Hoene of the California Budget & Policy Center about how one of the nation’s most populous states is dealing with fiscal uncertainty. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
While millennials have dominated news headlines, there is a new generation on the scene. Our guest— Jean Twenge, author and psychology professor at San Diego State University—calls this group “iGen,” a nod to the impact that mobile phones and the internet have had on their lives. According to Twenge, this generation—people born after 1995—is profoundly different from the five older generations living today, including millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers, the silent generation, and the greatest generation. Host Dan LeDuc and Jean Twenge discuss the significance of the six living generations and the unique issues that teens today are dealing with, including increased rates of depression and loneliness. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
The deepest, darkest parts of the world’s ocean are filled with abundant marine life and rich mineral deposits. But a newly forming seabed mining industry is setting its sights on exploiting these valuable minerals in these fragile ecosystems. Fortunately, the international community can minimize environmental damage by creating science-based rules to oversee the industry. In this episode, we hear from Michael Lodge, secretary-general of the International Seabed Authority, which governs the ocean floor that lies beyond national jurisdiction. He spoke at Pew about the challenges and opportunities ahead on this issue. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
As 2017 draws to a close, 88 percent of Americans are connected online—more than ever before—and nearly half of adults use voice assistants. This growing connectivity makes our world safer, more efficient, and more convenient, but it also leaves us vulnerable to security and privacy threats. In this episode, we hear from Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s internet and technology research, about trends in technology and data, and how digital advances will continue to shape our lives. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
While the national poverty rate has been declining, Philadelphia’s has remained stubbornly high. At 25.7 percent, it is the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities. That means 400,000 city residents, including more than one-third of the city’s children, live in a household with an annual income of $19,337 or less. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Larry Eichel, director of Pew’s Philadelphia research initiative, about the faces behind these numbers. We also hear from Matt Bergheiser of University City District about its West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, an innovative program that provides job training to local residents and helps match them with employers. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Up to 1 in 5 fish taken from the sea is caught illegally, costing as much as $23.5 billion globally each year and harming ocean health and fishing communities. Through technology and coordination between governments, law enforcement, industry, and nongovernmental organizations, the tide is slowly starting to turn, however. Host Dan LeDuc talks with Peter Horn, who leads Pew’s work from London with Oversea Ocean Monitor—satellite technology that helps countries detect illegal fishing. We also hear from Sandy Davies, who works with FISH-i Africa, a network of African nations committed to ending illegal fishing. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review.
What happens when the medicine we rely on to fight infections stops working? It’s been 30 years since a new type of antibiotic has made it to market. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2 million Americans fall ill with antibiotic-resistant infections each year—and 23,000 of them die. These superbugs can yield tragic outcomes, as it did for our guests in this episode. U.S. Army veteran Carl Romm was 27 when he died because of drug-resistant bacteria. His parents, Chris and Joyce Romm, are working to teach others about the threat of antibiotic resistance, and in this episode they tell Carl’s story to Pew’s Laura Margison. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review!
President Donald Trump recently declared the nation’s opioid epidemic a public health emergency—but what will it take to connect patients with effective treatment? Our previous episode explored the scope of the crisis and proven solutions. In this bonus edition, you’ll hear more from Shawn Ryan, chief medical officer at BrightView Health in Cincinnati, and Cindy Reilly, who directs Pew’s efforts to expand access to medication-assisted treatment. They discuss what’s at stake with host Dan LeDuc, as well as the potential solutions. To listen to our full episode on the opioid epidemic and hear from a patient on her journey to sobriety, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review and subscribe.
The nation’s opioid epidemic has been making headlines, and much is required to curtail this public health crisis. In this episode, we learn more about increasing public awareness and expanding treatment opportunities from those on the front lines. Cindy Reilly directs Pew’s work to expand access to proven treatment, and Dr. Shawn Ryan, president and chief medical officer at BrightView Health in Cincinnati, guides patients through treatment. We also speak with a nurse in Minnesota who struggled with substance use disorder and is now on the path to recovery. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review and subscribe.
The digital revolution is transforming innovation, providing access to information in ways unheard of even a generation ago. Putting this knowledge to purpose is changing how we live, communicate, and govern—and raising new issues about equality and fairness. This new age of invention was the subject of the latest edition of Trend, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ journal of ideas. And this episode is a rebroadcast of a conversation on the topic held not long ago in Philadelphia by several contributors to Trend. With questions from moderator Frazierita Klasen, Pew’s vice president for Philadelphia programs, Susan Urahn, Pew’s executive vice president and chief program officer; Lee Rainie, director of internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center; and Jody Roberts, director of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Research and managing director of CHF West, discussed the possibilities and the dilemmas of technical change and the opportunities for invention today. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw.
Although Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites weren’t designed as places to get news, that’s what they’ve become. Today, 67 percent of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest data, the share of Americans who get at least some of their news online is fast approaching the share who rely on television, which has long been the main source for many Americans. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Amy Mitchell, who directs journalism research at the center, about this trend and what it means for the way news and information are shared. To listen, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw.
Louisiana holds the No. 1 spot on an unenviable list: state imprisonment rates. The state has put more people behind bars per capita than any other, but Louisiana leaders intend to change that with new, comprehensive criminal justice reform passed this summer. It was a tremendous bipartisan effort that aims to reduce crime and incarceration through innovative means backed by data. Terry Schuster of Pew's public safety performance project speaks with host Dan LeDuc about why this change was important and what its impact could be. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw.
The devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey have left thousands of Texas residents homeless. The scenes of water spilling onto highways and rushing through neighborhoods have raised attention to the impacts of flooding. Fortunately, there are ways to combat rising waters. We’re rebroadcasting a conversation between Joseph Riley, the former mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, who’s now a Pew distinguished fellow, and Jim Brainard, six-term mayor of Carmel, Indiana. Both came to Pew in May to discuss their experiences after major storms in their cities. To learn more, visit >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. If you appreciate the nonpartisan data and stories our podcast provides, please write a review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw.
We’ve all seen the devastating photos in news coverage following a big storm, but what happens after the flood? Pew’s Fred Baldassaro travels to Norfolk, Virginia, a coastal U.S. city that has endured rising waters, to find out. Listen as he and Skip Stiles, founder and executive director of Wetlands Watch, tour neighborhoods in the flood plain and discuss sea level rise, the recovery process, and how the city is building resilience against future flooding through innovative solutions. To learn more >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. Like what we’re doing? Please leave us a quick review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw
It’s hurricane season—and extreme weather events are on the rise. Along with the catastrophic losses that families face after the flood is the economic burden on taxpayers through the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s the financial lifeline for those who carry flood insurance and an essential funding source for both disaster preparation and recovery efforts. However, the program is also $25 billion in debt, and more than a quarter of that total is from properties that flood repeatedly. It’s a growing issue affecting more than just coastal cities. Host Dan LeDuc discusses the flood that devastated Nashville, Tennessee, in 2010 with Roger Lindsey, chairman of the Tennessee Association of Floodplain Management and practice leader for Stormwater and Floodplain Management for Nashville’s Metro Water Services, and Laura Lightbody, who directs Pew’s flood-prepared communities work. To learn more >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. Like what we’re doing? Please leave us a quick review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw
The planet is facing increased environmental pressures—from warming oceans to species loss. At the same time, new tools such as satellite monitoring and forensic science continue to support conservation gains around the world. But will technology help save the Earth? In this episode, you’ll hear leading experts discuss and debate this issue. Featuring: Tony Juniper, special advisor to The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, president of The Wildlife Trusts, and fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Rear Adm. Nick Lambert, ambassador to Satellite Applications Catapult’s Blue Economy Initiative; and Callum Roberts, professor of marine conservation at the University of York’s Environment Department. Pew speakers include Rebecca Rimel, president and CEO; Susan Urahn, executive vice president and chief program officer; and Kerri-Ann Jones, vice president of research and science.
Event video is also available >>> pewtrusts.org/afterthefact
Like what we’re doing? Please leave us a quick review >>> http://pew.org/pdcstrvw
Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life as we know it. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures, isn’t getting the care it needs. That’s why leading scientists say that 30 percent of our oceans should be protected—that is, free from overfishing and commercial development. Host Dan LeDuc explores why this 30 percent data point is important with two people devoted to safeguarding the oceans: native Hawaiian Sol Kaho’ohalahala, whose culture and livelihood depend on sustainable seas; and Matt Rand, who directs the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and has been working with people like Kaho’ohalahala since 2006 to keep our oceans healthy. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Technology is transforming our world and our workplaces. With the quick pace of change, the future can be as unsettling as it is exciting. However, in this episode, Brian David Johnson says we can invent the future. As a futurist for major corporations who now teaches at Arizona State University, Johnson talks with host Dan LeDuc about how we can envision our futures and find paths to reach them. It’s a conversation with resonance—especially when considering this data point: 47 percent—that’s the share of jobs that researchers at Oxford University say are at risk of being overtaken by robots in the next two decades. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
More than 331 million visits were made to America’s national parks last year—to hike stunning trails, drive scenic roads, and climb stairs in historic structures. But as the number of visitors has been growing, so have the maintenance needs for those trails, roads, and buildings. In this episode, The Pew Charitable Trusts explores that backlog of maintenance, which now totals more than $11.9 billion. Host Dan LeDuc speaks with Marcia Argust, director of Pew’s campaign to restore America’s parks; Phil Francis, a retired Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent who spent 40 years with the National Park Service (NPS); and Bryan Atchley, mayor of Sevierville, Tennessee, a gateway community to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. (Sounds of nature recorded by the NPS’ Jennifer Jerrett and Montana State University’s Acoustic Atlas.)
While concern about childhood immunization stirs debate, Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans—88 percent—believe that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc discusses that data point and more on the study with Cary Funk, associate director of research on science and society at Pew Research Center. She is currently studying public attitudes about various scientific topics at the nonpartisan research organization, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. To listen and to learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
States are finding new ways to get smart on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment. After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent since 2007. That data point drives this episode’s conversation about the new approaches, informed by research-based sentencing and corrections policies, that are slowing prison growth and helping communities become safer. Host Dan LeDuc speaks with Adam Gelb, director of Pew’s public safety performance project, as well as two leaders in South Carolina—state Senator Gerald Malloy (D), who has led his state’s reform efforts; and Bryan Stirling, state corrections director, who is implementing these transformative changes.
To listen and to learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.
Struggling to pay bills and set aside savings? You’re in good company: 92 percent of Americans say financial stability is more important to them than moving up the economic ladder. That’s just about everybody, and it makes for a new version of the American Dream. In this episode, Erin Currier, who researches family financial security for The Pew Charitable Trusts, explains why, even during this time of economic recovery, so many people are still feeling uneasy. To listen and to learn more about that research, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. It’s about the data and trends shaping your world.
Join experts from The Pew Charitable Trusts and other special guests for the story behind the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges. Whether it’s data on the financial plight of American families or research on how to protect the environment, you’ll hear evidence-based—and nonpartisan—conversations as we go after the facts that can inform, enlighten, and expand your worldview.