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Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

By Daniel Lelchuk
Cellist Daniel Lelchuk engages the most extraordinary thinkers, writers, musicians, and entertainers in spirited conversations and connects music to the wider world.
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Ep. 44: James Shapiro

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

Ep. 140: The Making of Great Leaders with David Gergen
“The idea of national service is to get people in urban America to live in rural America, and vice versa. I think people who get exposed to that want change. People want to be proud of what their generation does. They want to be able to look back thirty or forty years later and know they made a difference while they were in power.” David Gergen joins the podcast. Advisor to four presidents in both parties, he has had a front row seat to fifty years of American politics and international affairs. He is now turning his attention to the idea of leadership with his new book Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are Made. As he points out, when our country was founded and had a population of three million people, we produced six world-class leaders: Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison. Now in 2022, we have 330 million people and we do not seem to be able to produce one great, charismatic leader. What is happening? What is happening with the nature of civic life in this country? Is it time for baby boomers to step aside and pass the torch to a younger generation? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people. David Gergen is a professor of public service and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2001). In the 1980s, he began a career in journalism. Starting with the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour in 1984, he has been a regular commentator on public affairs for some 30 years. Twice he has been a member of election coverage teams that won Peabody awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy award-winning political analysis teams. In the late 1980s, he was chief editor of U.S. News & World Report, working with publisher Mort Zuckerman to achieve record gains in circulation and advertising. Over the years, he has been active on many non-profit boards, serving in the past on the boards of both Yale and Duke Universities. Among his current boards are Teach for America, The Mission Continues, The Trilateral Commission, and Elon University’s School of Law.  David's work as director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School has enabled him to work closely with a rising generation of younger leaders, especially social entrepreneurs, military veterans and Young Global Leaders chosen by the World Economic Forum. Through the generosity of outside donors, the Center helps to provide scholarships to over 100 students a year, preparing them to serve as leaders for the common good. The Center also promotes scholarship at the frontiers of leadership studies. A native of North Carolina, David is a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. executive committee for the Trilateral Commission. He is an honors graduate of Yale and the Harvard Law School. He has been awarded 27 honorary degrees.
June 07, 2022
Ep. 139: The Disappearance of Insects with Oliver Milman
"We are going to be facing food shortages because there's less pollination and more people. We need to be able to grow food, and insects are the only ones that can do what they do." Oliver Milman, environment reporter for Guardian US is here, sounding the alarm for what might surprise many: the demise of insect populations world wide. In many cases insect populations have plummeted by 50%, 75%, and even higher. Milman, who is here with his book The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World, dives into the torrent of recent evidence that suggests this kaleidoscopic group of creatures is suffering the greatest existential crisis in its remarkable 400-million-year history. What is causing the collapse of the insect world?  Why does this alarming decline pose such a threat to us? And what can be done to stem the loss of the miniature empires that hold aloft life as we know it? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people. Oliver Milman is a British journalist and the environment correspondent at the Guardian. He lives in New York City.
May 10, 2022
Ep. 138: The Enduring Power of the First Amendment with Stuart Brotman
"How do we create a better free speech culture? How do students learn things like the first amendment in school and in their peer groups? What if at sports events before we sing the National Anthem we recite the first amendment?" First amendment specialist Stuart Brotman joins the podcast, new book in hand. The book, called The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values, is a series of interviews between Brotman and some of the leading free speech figures of the past half century. From Geoffrey R. Stone to Floyd Abrams to Nadine Strossen and others, Brotman paints a picture of some of the free speech pioneers of recent history. What is the state of free speech today? What is the difference between free speech in a legal sense and a culture of free speech? What are universities doing -- or not doing -- to protect that which we hold sacred? And what does the future hold, as we look to exercise the freedoms of the first amendment in new and robust ways? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Stuart N. Brotman is the inaugural Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Brotman is an honorary adjunct professor at the Jindal Global Law School in India and an affiliated researcher at the Media Management Transformation Centre of the Jönköping International Business School in Sweden. He serves as an appointed arbitrator and mediator at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, where he was a Visiting Scholar in its Academy on Media and Global Change. He also is an Eisenhower Fellow. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Federal Communications Law Journal, Journal of Information Policy and the Journal of Media Law and Ethics, as a director of the Telecommunications Policy Research Institute, and on the Future of Privacy Forum Advisory Board. He is the first Distinguished Fellow at The Media Institute, where he also serves on its First Amendment Council. At Harvard Law School, he was the first person ever appointed to teach telecommunications law and policy and its first Visiting Professor of Law and Research Fellow in Entertainment and Media Law. He also served as a faculty member at Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy and the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. He served as the first concurrent fellow in digital media at Harvard and MIT, at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the Program on Comparative Media Studies, respectively. He held a professorial-level faculty appointment in international telecommunications law and policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He also chaired both the International Communications Committee and the International Legal Education Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and Practice.
May 03, 2022
Ep. 137: Cutting Edge Ethics with Susan Liautaud
"Ethics is everywhere. It's in the arts, it's in entrepreneurship, it's in family, and business. No matter what walk of life, no matter your passion, ethics is the great connector both for individuals and for the larger society." Ethics expert Susan Liautaud joins the podcast. She has written a book called The Little Book of Big Ethical Questions, in which she poses situations and questions to the reader that we all come into contact with in our daily lives. “Would you apply for a job you know your friend is applying for?” Or “Should voting be mandatory?” Or "what about police using facial recognition technology?" "What would I have done?" "Is there one correct answer?" And ultimately: "How can ethics help us navigate these situations to find the best outcome for ourselves and others?" In a wide ranging conversation that goes in many directions, Susan and Daniel talk broad themes-- ethics and social media, for example-- and also connect ethics, structure, harmony and dissonance to Ukraine, COVID preparedness, the world of music, and more.  If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Dr. Susan Liautaud is Founder and Managing Director of Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited (SLAL), a consultancy in ethics matters internationally. She brings broad global experience with ethics and governance to business, non-profit, governmental and academic organizations and leaders. Susan is the Author of The Power of Ethics and of The Little Book of Big Ethical Questions. She also teaches cutting edge ethics courses at Stanford University and was a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center of Philanthropy and Civil Society from 2012 to 2015. She also founded a non-profit, independent, cross-sector laboratory and collaborative platform for innovative ethics called The Ethics Incubator. She serves as Chair of Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and as Vice Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Susan has been appointed to the UK Cabinet Office’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA), to the Stanford HAI (Stanford Institute for Human- Centered Artificial Intelligence) and to SAP’s AI Ethics Advisory Panel. She also serves on a number of other boards and advisory boards, including: the French Ambassador’s Foreign Trade Advisory Council in the UK; member of the board of directors of the Pasteur Institute, and the American Hospital of Paris Board of Governors. She formerly served as Chair and member of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières US Advisory Board, to the Advisory Council to the UK Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation board, and as member of Care International Supervisory Board. Susan holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science; a Juris Doctor from Columbia University Law School; a M.A. in Chinese Studies from University of London School of Oriental and African Studies; a M.A. and two B.A.s from Stanford University. She speaks fluent French and Spanish, as well as advanced intermediate Chinese and intermediate Italian.
April 26, 2022
Ep. 136: A Defense of the Arts with Jed Perl
“There’s this kind of visceral dimension to art that is at the core of art. Understanding the why and how is very important too, but we all want to keep in touch with that immediate pow—that thing that art does for us.” Art critic Jed Perl is here, to talk defense of the arts and why now more than ever the arts need defending. Radical, liberal, conservative, reactionary—through decades and centuries people try to push the arts into one of these boxes to fit certain social or political agendas. But Perl argues that the arts inhabit their own sphere and operate with their own set of rules. As he says, figuring out the politics of Mozart or Jane Austen would be a fool's errand. But in a time of increased pressures, identity politics, and certain "box checking," can art have the freedom it needs to thrive and grow in modern day America? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. JED PERL is the author of the two-volume biography of Alexander Calder. For twenty years, he was the art critic of The New Republic. His previous books include Magicians & Charlatans, Antoine’s Alphabet, and New Art City. He lives in New York City.
April 19, 2022
Ep. 135: Journey of the Mind and How Thinking Emerged from Chaos
“We have a privileged position. It has always been grand in the thinking that we humans are unique and special. We must look back to see how connected we are. That we are part of a continuum.” Two neuroscientists -- Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam -- have teamed up to provide a history of the brain and thinking beings on this earth. What was the planet like three billion years ago? How did oxygen and breathing develop simultaneously and make the planet hospitable? What is a sense of "self" that humans have that others lack? Where did language come from? Using all these fundamental questions as jumping off points, Daniel and his guests take a dive into the origins of thinking beings. The conversation also traces the development of the brain, from the simplest, tiny forms, through worms, fish, birds, dolphins, monkeys, humans, and...? As we look back and place our species on a continuum, where do we, where can we go from here? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University and a research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He coauthored Dark Horse, The End of Average, and Shrinks, which was longlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Sai Gaddam PhD, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Adaptive System at Boston University. He coauthored A Billion Wicked Thoughts. He lives in Mumbai.
April 12, 2022
Ep. 134: Parks of the 21st Century and Architectural History with Victoria Newhouse
"A park is a green space that has many purposes. But beyond that, recent parks pay a lot of attention to environmental issues that are now extremely important in view of climate change." Renowned architectural historian Victoria Newhouse joins the podcast. After her previous books that deal with some of the most important figures and buildings in 20th century architecture, she (and photographer Alex Pisha) is out with a book on the great urban parks of the 21st century. From Shanghai to Detroit, Brooklyn to Frankfurt, and everywhere in between, great new urban parks are being designed. Often reclaiming territory where factories, industrial waterfront, and wasteland had been, these new parks are redefining what “green space” can be in the modern world. Also in the conversation is a discussion about the future of affordable housing, and how 3D printing may be the technological solution to this great and growing societal problem. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Victoria Newhouse is an American architectural historian. She founded the Architectural History Foundation, a nonprofit scholarly book publisher, and is a frequent author on architecture-related subjects. She has written for major architecture journals and newspapers. Newhouse established the Architectural History Foundation, a nonprofit scholarly book publisher, in 1977. The foundation aimed to support books that would otherwise be unpublished, and to raise the quality of works about architecture. Victoria Newhouse's works have a variety of subjects over time periods and regions, though she analyzes architecture in each of her works by referencing buildings' structural, social, and political aspects. Newhouse was a judge for the Pritzker Prize, "architecture's highest honor", for three years from 2006 to 2008. She writes and lectures about museums, writing articles for The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and ArtNews. Her books include Wallace K. Harrison, Architect, Art and the Power of Placement, and Chaos and Culture: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
April 05, 2022
Ep. 133: Lincoln and the Financing of the Civil War
“Lincoln was wise and humble. He didn’t lecture or harangue—he was pragmatic, opportunistic. The quality we lack today was his humility.” Roger Lowenstein joins the podcast. The admired financial writer is out with the book Ways and Means: Lincoln and His Cabinet and the Financing of the Civil War. It tells the largely untold story of how the North and the South handled the finances of the Civil War—and the drastically different routes they took. Upon his election to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln inherited a country in crisis. Even before the Confederacy’s secession, the United States Treasury had run out of money. The government had no authority to raise taxes, no federal bank, no currency. But amid unprecedented troubles Lincoln saw opportunity—the chance to legislate in the centralizing spirit of the “more perfect union” that had first drawn him to politics. With Lincoln at the helm, the United States would now govern “for” its people: it would enact laws, establish a currency, raise armies, underwrite transportation and higher education, assist farmers, and impose taxes for them. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Roger Lowenstein reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune, Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, and other publications. His books include the NYT bestsellers Buffett, When Genius Failed, and The End of Wall Street, and the critically acclaimed Origins of the Crash, While America Aged, and America’s Bank. He has three children and lives with his wife, Judy Slovin, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Tenants Harbor, Maine.
March 29, 2022
Ep. 132: Voting Rights with Michael Waldman
“Up until recently, voting has gotten easier. But there is a wave of new laws in states across the country aiming to make it harder to vote and also new laws to change who counts the votes.” Michael Waldman, writer and expert on voting rights, joins the podcast. What is the state of voting rights as the country careens towards the 2022 midterm elections? What legislatures have been hard at work to make the act of voting more difficult? And ominously, why, in some places, is who counts the votes being changed? The conversation also looks at early American voting systems and the deep philosophical differences between John Adams and Ben Franklin and the wings they represented. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. A nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on improving systems of democracy and justice, the Brennan Center is a leading national voice on voting rights, money in politics, criminal justice reform, and constitutional law. Waldman, a constitutional lawyer and writer who is an expert on the presidency and American democracy, has led the Center since 2005. Waldman was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999, serving as assistant to the president. He was responsible for writing or editing nearly two thousand speeches, including four State of the Union and two inaugural addresses. He was special assistant to the president for policy coordination from 1993 to 1995. He is the author of The Fight to Vote (Simon & Schuster, 2016), a history of the struggle to win voting rights for all citizens. The Washington Post wrote, “Waldman’s important and engaging account demonstrates that over the long term, the power of the democratic ideal prevails — as long as the people so demand.” The Wall Street Journal called it “an engaging, concise history of American voting practices,” and the Miami Herald described it as “an important history in an election year.” The Fight to Vote was a Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016 and a History Book Club main selection. Waldman is also the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Publishers Weekly called it “the best narrative of its subject.” In the New York Times, Joe Nocera called it “rigorous, scholarly, but accessible.” The Los Angeles Times wrote, “[Waldman’s] calm tone and habit of taking the long view offers a refreshing tonic in this most loaded of debates.” In a Cardozo Law Review symposium devoted to the book, a historian wrote, “The Second Amendment is, without doubt, among the best efforts at melding constitutional history and constitutional law on any topic — at least since the modern revival of originalism two generations ago.” His previous books are My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America’s Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama (2003, 2010), A Return to Common Sense (2007), POTUS Speaks (2000), and Who Robbed America? A Citizen’s Guide to the S&L Scandal (1990).
March 22, 2022
Ep. 131: Food and Community with Chef Ming Tsai
“Food can help with world peace. Food can bring two groups of people together who cannot see eye to eye on anything. If you just get them to the dinner table—the armor comes off.” Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai joins the podcast, talking charity, giving back, the meaning of food and community, the power of music, and the role of food across cultures. What has this beloved chef been doing for the past two years? What has he learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic about food and the role he can play? From food trucks to gourmet restaurants, food gives us a special sense of community and belonging. Chef Tsai and Daniel, in this wide-reaching discussion, touch on some of the most important aspects of this most essential aspect of happy and healthy living, for both mind and body. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Ming's passion for food was forged in his early years working in his family's restaurant, and although he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Yale, he never strayed far from the kitchen. After spending a summer studying at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, he went on to train under such greats as renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé and sushi master Kobayashi, and receive a master's degree in hotel administration and hospitality marketing from Cornell. Bringing his dream to reality in 1998, Ming and his wife Polly opened the doors to the highly acclaimed Blue Ginger, a bistro-style restaurant dedicated to East-West cuisine in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Ming began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy-winning host of East Meets West, Cooking with Ming Tsai and Ming's Quest. In addition to television, Ming is also the author of three cookbooks, including Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai (now in its 8th edition and selected by Food and Wine magazine as one of 1999's 25 best cookbooks), Simply Ming, and Ming's Master Recipes. Thanks to a partnership with Target stores, home cooks have the chance to experiment and create their own versions of Ming's East-West fare, with Ming's Blue Ginger line of quality cookware and delicious Asian-inspired ingredients and snack foods. Ming was also honored by Esquire Magazine as "Chef of the Year 1998," and The James Beard Foundation crowned him as the "2002 Best Chef in the Northeast."
March 15, 2022
Ep. 130: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for Peace with John Avlon
"Lincoln's prescription was unconditional surrender followed by a magnanimous peace. He combined strength with mercy, and understood if you don't win the peace, you don't really win the war." John Avlon joins the podcast, new book in hand, called Lincoln and the Fight for Peace. What is required for real leadership? Lincoln possessed a unique blend of strength, mercy, and magnanimity. What happened between the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's death? What did Lincoln do and plan that was so crucial to find a lasting peace? Who was the man and what was his character? As we look towards history as our guide in a polarized and divided modern day America, what can Abraham Lincoln teach us today? While we all may wish for a modern day Lincoln, we know there isn't. So can we use his spirit and his wisdom to guide us to better times? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. John Avlon is senior political analyst and fill-in anchor at CNN, appearing on New Day every morning. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site's traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists anthologies of America's greatest newspaper columns.  In his twenties, Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon's essay on the attacks, "The Resilient City" concluded the anthology Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as "the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11." He's appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show. He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online columnist 2012.  He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line on PBS and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York.
February 22, 2022
Ep. 129: Strongmen, News Cycles, and the Nature of Truth with Stephen Sackur
"The truth is a very complicated concept, perhaps now more than ever. I would hesitate to say there is such a thing as absolute truth in most issues that arise." News personality Stephen Sackur joins the podcast. The host of HARDtalk from the BBC, he is no stranger to geopolitics, news cycles, and the rapidly changing way information is disseminated. What is a reporter’s job? How does one arrive at “the truth?” Does truth even exist, especially when one person’s fact is another’s fiction? What does the rise of authoritarian strongmen around the world mean for Western democracies, for the institutions that 30 years ago seemed the de facto best solution? This and much more is covered in thoughtful and intense discussion. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Stephen Sackur, the presenter of HARDtalk, BBC World News' flagship current affairs interview programme, has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986. Broadcasting across BBC World News, BBC News Channel and BBC World Service, Stephen has interviewed many high-profile guests. In November 2010, Stephen was awarded the "International TV Personality of the Year Award" by the Association of International Broadcasters. Before taking over HARDtalk, Stephen was based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent. He travelled across Europe to cover major stories around the continent, including Europe's worst terror attack of recent times in Madrid in 2004, and the expansion of the European Union from 15 countries to 25. Prior to this, Stephen was the BBC's Washington Correspondent from July 1997. With a keen interest in politics, he has interviewed President George W. Bush, covered the 2000 US Presidential Elections, the Clinton scandal and impeachment trial, and the ways and means of lawmaking, including campaign finance reform. He also made a documentary for the BBC's current affairs programme Panorama on the topic of guns and weapon manufacturer lawsuits in the US. Stephen has also been the BBC Middle East Correspondent in both Cairo (from 1992 to 1995) and Jerusalem (from 1995 to 1997), covering the peace process, the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the emergence of the Palestinian Authority under the late Yasser Arafat. To prepare a documentary on Islamic fundamentalism, he lived with Hezbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon for two weeks. In 1990, Stephen was appointed as a BBC Foreign Correspondent. He was part of the BBC's team of correspondents covering the Gulf War, spending eight weeks with the British Army when the conflict began. He was the first correspondent to break the story of the mass killing on the Basra road out of Kuwait City, marking the end of the war. He travelled back to Iraq just after the downfall of Saddam Hussein and filed the first television reports on Iraq's mass graves which contained the bodies of thousands of victims of Saddam’s regime. In Eastern Europe, as witness to Communism's last days, Stephen offered a unique perspective on the rocky road to democracy and stability for this area. Serving as correspondent for BBC national radio, he reported on Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution and Germany's reunification. He has contributed countless articles to The Observer, The London Review of Books, New Statesman, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. Born in Lincolnshire, England, Stephen was educated at both Cambridge and Harvard University.
February 15, 2022
Ep. 128: Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence with Amy Zegart
"There's a growing realization that great power competition is back. That Russia and China are much more serious competitors than we thought they were." Expert on American intelligence Amy Zegart joins the show, along with her new book Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence. A look at the past, present, and future of the American intelligence world, the book pushes readers to think more deeply about the institutions charged with keeping our country safe. As Amy and Daniel discuss, America cannot function properly if the citizens do not trust the major institutions of the country-- and that includes our massive intelligence apparatus. With forays into spy novels, music, figures such as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, and the deep polarizing tenor of today's conversation, the conversation goes in surprising and sometimes shocking direction.  If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management. Zegart has been featured by the National Journal as one of the ten most influential experts in intelligence reform. Most recently, she served as a commissioner on the 2020 CSIS Technology and Intelligence Task Force (co-chaired by Avril Haines and Stephanie O’Sullivan) and has advised the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. She served on the Clinton administration’s National Security Council staff and as a foreign policy adviser to the Bush 2000 presidential campaign. She has also testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and advised senior officials on intelligence, homeland security, and cybersecurity matters. The author of five books, Zegart’s award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11 — Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton 2007). She co-edited with Herbert LinBytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations (Brookings 2019). She and Condoleezza Rice co-authored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (Twelve 2018) based on their popular Stanford MBA course. Zegart’s forthcoming book is Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence(Princeton 2022). Her research has also been published in International Securityand other academic journals as well as Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Zegart received an A.B. in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. She serves on the board of directors of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) and the Capital Group.
February 08, 2022
Ep. 127: The Wisdom of Eating Well with Mark Schatzker
"We should stop thinking of food as nutritional instructions-- thou shalt eat this-- and think of eating as an opportunity to enjoy food. Because that's what we were meant to do." Food writer Mark Schatzker is here, armed with his new book The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well. Far from a book about diets and what we should and shouldn't eat, Mark blends science, history, and travel in a way to make us feel more connected to the true flavor of the foods that taste best and happen to be excellent sources of nutrition. Why does Italy have an obesity rate around 8% while in the US the rate is 42%? How do our brains process taste, pleasure, dopamine, craving, and urges? Why do diets fail? And what are the amazing links between music and food? Daniel and Mark dive into this and much more in this wide-ranging conversation.  If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a writer-in-residence at the Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center at Yale University, and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Condé Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg Pursuits. He is the author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef.
February 01, 2022
Ep. 126: Philosopher Michael Walzer on American Democracy and Liberal Ideals
“In the list of things in danger, it’s truth above all that worries me the most.” Legendary political philosopher Michael Walzer joins the podcast. Democracy is on his mind, now more than ever. In the course of a long lifetime observing the American political scene, he has never seen our system so close to the edge. Where do America’s liberal ideals stand? How are we doing at delivering on the promise of America? The conversation goes in many directions, from the political successes and failures of Barack Obama to the intractable situation of the current US congress, from the cult of personality of Donald Trump to the anti-intellectual cancel culture and "speech commissars" rampant across American elite universities-- and wider society.  If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice(1983), On Toleration (1997), Arguing About War (2004), and The Paradox of Liberation (2015); he served as co-editor of the political journal Dissent for more than three decades, retiring in 2014. Currently, he is working on issues having to do with international justice and the connection of religion and politics, and also on a collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought. His book, The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions, was published in March of 2015, and his new book, A Foreign Policy for the Left, was published in 2018.
January 25, 2022
Ep. 125: Rural America and Democratic Messaging with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp
“The single reason why the Democrats have lost rural America is because rural America doesn’t think the Democrats respect them, appreciate them, or know them.” Former United States Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, returns to the podcast. Since ending her career in the Senate, Heitkamp has focused on connecting to rural America and figuring out what Democrats can do to make gains in these crucial swathes of the country. With midterm elections looming, how does this veteran of the Democrats see her party’s odds of survival come November 2022? What are the Democrats doing— or not doing— particularly in rural America to ensure a viable path to the next elections? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Heidi Heitkamp served as the first female U.S. senator elected from North Dakota from 2013-2019. Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, ND. Throughout her time in public service, Senator Heitkamp has stood up for tribal communities and worked to improve outcomes for Native American children, women, and families. The first bill she introduced in the Senate, which became law in 2016, created a Commission on Native Children. Her bill with former Senator John McCain became law to create Amber Alerts in Indian Country. She introduced Savanna’s Act to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. On the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to provide training and resources for first responders and worked to combat human trafficking in North Dakota, across the country, and around the world. Senator Heitkamp has a long record with energy development in North Dakota. She continued those efforts in the Senate, working to responsibly harness North Dakota’s energy resources, and successfully pushed to lift the 40-year old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil while expanding support for renewable energies, like wind and solar energy development. Senator Heitkamp sat on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, where she helped write, negotiate, and pass two long-term, comprehensive Farm Bills which Congress passed. Senator Heitkamp previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General where she helped broker an agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry, which forced the tobacco industry to tell the truth about smoking and health. It was one of the largest civil settlements in U.S. history. Prior to her time as Attorney General, Senator Heitkamp served as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner. Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She currently serves as a contributor to CNBC and resides in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband.
December 21, 2021
Ep. 124: Kelefa Sanneh on American Pop Music
“I relate to the idea that music can be a kind of a home, but also the restlessness…the idea that you might want to leave home, the idea that you might want to try and chose something different from what your life, your parents have chosen for you." Kelefa Sanneh, staff writer at The New Yorker, joins the podcast. Music, now more than ever, is in. Pop, country, rock, R&B, Hip Hop… Americans are listening to more, and a wider range of music, than ever before. In his recent book Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, Sanneh delves into the history of popular music in America, genre by genre. He attacks some of the questions we all wonder about. How can divisiveness in culture shape the character and tone of music? How does music help us both self-identify and escape our surroundings at the same time? How does the history of race in America play in to our music? Can we partially credit racial struggles with the production of such an extraordinarily varied uniquely American musical songbook? Sanneh takes us on a guided tour through the past fifty years of American popular music, from Bob Dylan to Lil Nas X. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Kelefa Sanneh has been a New Yorker staff writer since 2008, before which he spent six years as a pop-music critic at The New York Times. He is also a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. Previously, he was the deputy editor of Transition, a journal of race and culture based at the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. His writing has also appeared in a number of magazines and a handful of books, including Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z, a Library of America Special Publication, and Da Capo Best Music Writing (2002, 2005, 2007, and 2011). He lives in New York City with his family.
December 14, 2021
Ep. 123: Immigration, Poetry, and Motherhood with Ananda Lima
"In poetry there's so much flexibility to see how things come together to form one poem in the end." Poet and writer Ananda Lima is here, discussing her new poetry compilation Mother/Land. With words and phrases in her native language Portuguese mixed in with the English text, it’s a unique work from a linguistic point of view. In the poems, many themes of immigration, violence, and motherhood are discussed — but what are this artist’s views of her adopted home country, America? Lima has many varied views of the country that gave her illustrious degrees and publications. What isn’t sitting right? What is the promise and allure of America— and is it not resonating with some people who come here seeking to better their lives? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Ananda Lima is the author of Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press, 2021), winner of the Hudson Prize, shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Chriby Awards. She is also the author of four chapbooks: Vigil (Get Fresh Books, 2021), Tropicália(Newfound, 2021, winner of the Newfound Prose Prize), Amblyopia (Bull City Press, 2020), and Translation (Paper Nautilus, 2019, winner of the Vella Chapbook Prize). Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review,, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She has served as the poetry judge for the AWP Kurt Brown Prize, as staff at the Sewanee Writers Conference, and as a mentor at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Program. She has been awarded the inaugural Work-In-Progress Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing, sponsored by Macmillan Publishers, for her fiction manuscript-in-progress. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.
December 07, 2021
Ep. 122: The American Health Apparatus and Public Health Transparency with Microsoft's Dr. Jim Weinstein
"As I scientist I ask-- where's the data on COVID vaccines? How many women, how many men, how many shots? Which arm? Did it cause their diabetes to get better? Did it affect their time off of work? What kind of reaction? We need to know this." Renowned physician and executive Dr. James Weinstein is here, talking public health, policy, wasteful spending, and transparency— or lack of— in our medical system. Life can throw us medical curveballs, sometimes one after another. How is a patient, regardless of having healthcare or not, supposed to know what is best for him or her? Jim Weinstein’s model, conceived at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, is one he calls “informed choice.” Can doctors and patients work together to find a way to better decision-making? Where is the basic data on responses to mRNA vaccines that the public can access and look through? Why is public messaging often so muddled? With a deeply personal story interwoven with family tragedy and a wealth of expertise in the corporate and academic medical worlds, this is a unique perspective on the complex inner workings of the system most close to us all— our health. If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Dr. James N. Weinstein joined Microsoft in July 2018 as Senior Vice President, Microsoft Healthcare, leading strategy, and innovation. During the pandemic, he has worked with Operation Warp speed and various organizations around the world, including, WHO, CDC as well as state and local government efforts to bring the Microsoft vaccine platform for enrolling, disseminating, and tracking vaccine participants. He serves as executive sponsor for some the largest health delivery systems in the world, including, NHS, HCA, CVS, MGB (the Harvard system), John’s Hopkins, Centene, Kaiser and many others. Dr. James N. Weinstein is the immediate past Chief Executive Officer and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. The $2.5 billion system includes New Hampshire's only academic medical center and a network of affiliated hospitals and clinics across Vermont and New Hampshire, serving a patient population of about 2 million. Under his leadership, Dartmouth-Hitchcock worked to create a “sustainable health system” for the patients and communities it serves, for generations to come. As leader of a bi-state health system, he created an operating model based in population health locally and nationally. The 7 hospital system ranked in the top 1% for quality. He created a joint venture with Harvard Pilgrim to create a new health plan for Northern New England. He worked with Congress during three prior administrations, and helped lead the ACO, population-based strategies and led national efforts in Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM’s) and Health Equity. In the past few years, he’s helped lead the formation of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), funded initially by an $80 million grant from the Department of Defense and more than $300 million in private sector funding. ARMI uses 3D technology to print human organs, a development that could transform the world of organ transplantation and the lives of millions affected by diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes. He is a member of the Board of Directors of ARMI/BioFab.
November 30, 2021
Ep. 121: CNN's Antoine Sanfuentes and the Changing Landscape of Mainstream Media
“We all have our biases and work through them. As journalists we strive for impartiality— that is the mandate.” Veteran CNN journalist Antoine Sanfuentes is here, offering his take on the state of the American media apparatus, the twenty-four hour news cycle, truth-seeking, and much more. With a degree in anthropology and a passion for music and photography, he brings a unique vantage point to that all-important anchor of liberal democracy: a free press. In a time as starkly and viciously divided as ours, where does this stalwart of the so-called "mainstream media” see his business fitting in? Does objective truth exist-- and do Americans even care one way or another? If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. Antoine Sanfuentes is the Vice President and Managing Editor for CNN's Washington Bureau, where he oversees the White House and Capitol Hill beats. Sanfuentes joined the network in 2014 by way of NBC News, with over 20 years of experience. During his 24 years at NBC News, Sanfuentes served as the Senior Vice President and managing Editor, Vice President and Washington bureau chief, deputy bureau chief, Senior white house producer and was part of Ann Curry's team that won an Emmy Award for compelling reports on the refugee crisis in Darfur in 2007. In his various roles for NBC News he led the editorial and content direction of NBC News nationwide and oversaw the "Meet the Press" production team. Sanfuentes has earned various awards for his news coverage including the highly coveted Murrow award in 1999, the News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story, Gracie Allen Award, as well as a Headliner Award in 2009. He graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Science (BS), in anthropology and resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife and two daughters.
November 23, 2021
Ep. 120: Around the World in 80 Books with David Damrosch
"We're living in a time of shrinking borders and a rise of ethnonationalism. Literature is a privileged means of accessing other parts of the world and other peoples." World literature expert David Damrosch is here, armed with his new book Around the World in 80 Books. With the lofty goal of bringing the reader on an entire world tour through 80 literary works, Damrosch creates many hurdles through which he must jump. First off, how does one go about compiling such a list? How does one judge quality of works from far away places and times? How can great literature even exist in a world of cancellations and trigger warnings? This and much more is explored in the wide-ranging conversation.  Support Talking Beats.  David Damrosch is Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is a past president of the American Comparative Literature Association, and is the founder of the Institute for World Literature ( He was trained at Yale and then taught at Columbia from 1980 until he moved to Harvard in 2009. He has written widely on issues in comparative and world literature, and is the author of The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature (1987), We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University (1995), Meetings of the Mind (2000), What Is World Literature? (2003), The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh (2007), How to Read World Literature (2009, 2017), Comparing the Literatures: Literary Studies in a Global Age (2020), and Around the World in 80 Books (2021). He is the founding general editor of the six-volume Longman Anthology of World Literature (2004, 2009) and of The Longman Anthology of British Literature (4th ed. 2009), and editor of Teaching World Literature (2009) and of World Literature in Theory (2014). Co-edited works include The Routledge Companion to World Literature (2d ed. 2022), Approaches to Teaching the Works of Orhan Pamuk (2017), Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA State of the Discipline Report (2017), Crime Fiction as World Literature (2016), and The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature (2009). His translation of Georges Ngal's Giambatista Viko, ou le viol du discours africain is forthcoming from the Modern Language Association in 2022. He has lectured in some fifty countries around the world, and his work has been translated into an eclectic variety of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
November 16, 2021
Ep. 119: Ray Benson and the Roots of American Music
"That's what we always thought was fun: to take a style and either lyrically or sonically update it so it ends up just a little different." American Western music icon Ray Benson is here. He is celebrating fifty years as bandleader of Asleep at the Wheel, and he and Daniel delve into a lot of issues that a musician deals with over a career. What does time do to one’s perception of music and sound? How can one inspire but not dictate? What does a young musician looking to make his mark need to do to balance tradition and creativity? This and much more in an honest, candid talk with an American musical legend. Support Talking Beats.  In 1970, singer and guitarist Ray Benson formed Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel while farmsitting in the tiny town of Paw Paw, West Virginia – a stretch, both physically and conceptually, from the style’s Texas and Oklahoman roots. It was a fittingly atypical start for Philadelphia-born Benson, who taught himself to play guitar when he was 9 by mastering the song from a Ballantine beer commercial that played during the Phillies games. At age 11, he was performing with his sister as a folk group, The Four Gs, and had fallen in love with Western music. At Willie Nelson’s urging, Benson and his bandmates settled in the city, eventually becoming an Austin institution and a nationally acclaimed group, with more than 25 studio and live albums, nine GRAMMY Awards, and the 2009 Americana Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance. Though the band’s lineup has changed many times throughout the years (more than 80 musicians are alumni), Ray is a constant, thanks to his ongoing love of Western swing – or what he calls “jazz with a cowboy hat.” In addition to his work as a performer, Benson owns a recording studio and affiliated record label (Bismeaux Studios/ Bismeaux Records) and co-founded the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of R&B. He hosts Texas Music Scene, a television program shown on stations around the country. His autobiography Comin’ Right at Ya was published in 2015.
November 09, 2021
Ep. 118: General H.R. McMaster and American Democracy
"We need confidence in our republic, confidence in our ability to strengthen our republic, and we need to apply correctives to the problems we're encountering below the threshold of revolution."      General H.R. McMaster, one of the most distinguished military figures in the United States, joins the podcast. In his role post-government and post-military, he has become a commentator on national trends and international issues, with a particular focus on democracy and the health of our democratic system. A student of history and passionate advocate for the aspirational ideals of the constitution, his remains a voice of reason and a calming presence in a sea of increasing fanaticism and extremism. Using history as our guide ("this country has been through many trials and tribulations”), General McMaster offers sage guidance for how American citizens can help one another collectively through these times. General McMaster and Daniel also take deep dives into music and into the history of America’s longest war— Afghanistan.   Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.  He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.  From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. His has extensive experience leading soldiers and organizations in wartime including Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  McMaster holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He was an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996.  He is author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and the award-winning Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.  He was a contributing editor for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy from 2010 to 2017.  His many essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Survival, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
November 02, 2021
Ep. 117: China, the Control of the Internet, and the New Cold War with Jacob Helberg
"China wasn't trying to hack the product per se. They were trying to use products in unanticipated ways to undermine trust in democracy and in the democratic system of government." Jacob Helberg is here, with his new book in hand The Wires of War: Technology and the Global Struggle for Power. China is on our minds lately. Are we friends? Enemies? Foes? Are we at peace? At war? Helberg posits we are not on the brink of a Cold War with China— we are in the midst of one. With American sovereignty hanging in the balance, how can ordinary citizens who are concerned do something? What does China really want, and how can Washington and Silicon Valley partner together to ensure American corporations and individuals do not inadvertently became pawns? Disturbing and thought-provoking to be sure…. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk.  Jacob Helberg is a senior adviser at the Stanford University Center on Geopolitics and Technology and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Helberg is also co-chairing the Brookings Institution China Strategy Working Group, where is helping support and lead research efforts focused on China’s intentions, foreign policy, and what the right long-term U.S. strategy should be to meet the challenge. Helberg is also a co-chair of the Brookings Institution U.S.-France Working Group on China, focused on reinvigorating the transatlantic alliance and the bilateral U.S.-France relationship vis-à-vis the global advance of autocracy and the rise of China. He is a senior member of the National Security Action Network and a member of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at the National Association of Manufacturers. From 2016 to 2020, Helberg led Google’s internal global product policy efforts to combat disinformation and foreign interference. As a policy adviser, Helberg led the implementation of Google’s most complex global news policy initiatives. These included the company’s global policy and enforcement processes against state-backed foreign interference, misinformation, and actors undermining election integrity. Prior to joining Google, Jacob was a member of the founding team of GeoQuant, a geopolitical risk forecasting technology company backed by Swiss Re’s venture capital arm, one of the world’s largest reinsurers. Helberg graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University. During his time as an undergraduate, he helped launch a development program in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, which received praise from officials from French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of State. Helberg spent a semester at Sciences Po Paris, a prestigious higher education institution and the alma mater of the last five French presidents, including President Macron. Helberg received his M.S. in cybersecurity risk and strategy from New York University.
October 26, 2021
Ep. 116: Nuclear Roulette and the Cuban Missile Crisis with Martin Sherwin
"As Kennedy said at the United Nations, there is a 'sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over humanity,' and we're still in that same position today and will remain in that position unless we figure out how to get rid of nuclear weapons." This is a rebroadcast of Ep. 88, aired originally April 7th, 2021. Marty Sherwin died on October 6th, 2021.  ----- Pulitzer-prize winning historian Martin J. Sherwin is on the podcast, discussing his new book Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book sheds new light and brings fresh insights into what was one of the most volatile, potentially catastrophic periods of time in history— a time when the fate of the world was at a precipice. Many of the questions one naturally has about this period are answered by Marty Sherwin in dramatic, detailed manner. How did it happen in the first place that the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was storing nuclear arms in Cuba? What role, contrary to what he writes in his autobiography, did Bobby Kennedy play? Who were the real heroes here that caused the world to avoid all-out nuclear war, and how close did we really come? Perhaps, most importantly: what have we, what has the world learned? Are we any better off now than before? Marty Sherwin, the world's preeminent Cold War historian is here, and he explains our past, our future, and our tragic reliance on Nuclear Arms. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon.  Martin Jay Sherwin (1937-2021) was an author and historian specializing in the development of atomic weapons and nuclear policy. Along with Kai Bird, Sherwin co-wrote American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006. Sherwin was born in Brooklyn and studied at Dartmouth College. After four years in the Naval Air Force, Sherwin began graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving a Ph.D. in history in 1971. His dissertation focused on the decision to drop the atomic bomb, and was revised and published in 1975 as A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance to much acclaim. In addition to A World Destroyed and American Prometheus, Sherwin has advised a number of documentaries and television series relating to the Manhattan Project, including The Day after Trinity: A History of Nuclear Strategy, Stalin’s Bomb Maker: Citizen Kurchatov, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.  Sherwin also had a long and distinguished teaching career. In 1988, Sherwin founded the Global Classroom Project, which joined students from the United States and Russia in conversations over issues such as the nuclear arms race. Sherwin was professor emeritus in history at Tufts University and a professor of history at George Mason University. His collection of more than two dozen interviews and oral histories with Oppenheimer’s colleagues and friends is available on the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website.
October 19, 2021
Ep. 115: Antibiotic Resistant Diseases and Nature's Next Medicines with Cassandra Quave
"No matter where you go in the world, there has been a system of medicine that has been primarily based on plants. Billions rely on such a system still today." Ethnobotanist (we discover what that is!) Dr. Cassandra Quave joins the podcast. She is out with a book called The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines. The book explores many issues people often think about-- what is happening in the vast, dizzying world of plants, and can plants help us more-- maybe a lot more-- than they already are? Plants are the basis for an array of lifesaving and health-improving medicines we all now take for granted. Ever taken an aspirin? Thank a willow tree for that. What about life-saving medicines for malaria? Some of those are derived from cinchona and wormwood. In today's world of synthetic pharmaceuticals, scientists and laypeople alike have lost this connection to the natural world. But by ignoring the potential of medicinal plants, we are losing out on the opportunity to discover new life-saving medicines needed in the fight against the greatest medical challenge of this century: the rise of the post-antibiotic era. Antibiotic-resistant microbes plague us all. Each year, 700,000 people die due to these untreatable infections; by 2050, 10 million annual deaths are expected unless we act now. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk.  Dr. Cassandra L. Quave is a medical ethnobotanist whose work is focused on the documentation and analysis of botanical remedies used in the treatment of infectious disease. Her expertise and interests include the traditional medical practices of the Mediterranean, and the botanical sources of anti-infectives and natural products for skin care. Dr. Quave holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, where she leads drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food and health. Dr. Quave also serves as Director/Curator of the Emory University Herbarium, and is associated faculty with the Departments of Biology, Environmental Sciences and Anthropology at Emory. She is a member of the Emory University Antibiotic Resistance Center and the Winship Cancer Center Discovery and Development Therapeutics Program. She also serves on the training faculty for the Antibiotic Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program, the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Graduate Program at Emory. Her work has been featured in a number of international outlets including the New York Times Magazine.
October 12, 2021
Ep. 114: Tom Nichols on the Assault on American Democracy
“A huge amount of what’s going on in American society today is a blatant display of narcissism."  Tom Nichols joins the podcast for round two. This time, instead of focusing on his theories of popular, growing distaste and disdain for "expertise," he and Daniel focus on American democracy. Narcissism...un-serious...lack of civic responsibility...these are all terms Tom uses to describe a large portion of voters in America. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Tom Nichols challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere as the result of the deprivations of globalization or the malign decisions of elites. Rather, he places the blame for the rise of illiberalism on the people themselves. Nichols traces the illiberalism of the 21st century to the growth of unchecked narcissism, rising standards of living, global peace, and a resistance to change. Ordinary citizens, laden with grievances, have joined forces with political entrepreneurs who thrive on the creation of rage rather than on the encouragement of civic virtue and democratic cooperation.   Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk Tom Nichols is a U.S. Naval War College professor, and an adjunct at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School. He is a specialist on international security affairs, including U.S.-Russia relations, nuclear strategy and NATO issues. A nationally-known commentator on U.S. politics and national security, he is a columnist for USA Today and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and has held fellowships at CSIS and the Harvard Kennedy School. He has taught at Dartmouth, La Salle and Georgetown. He is also a five-time undefeated 'Jeopardy!' champion.
October 05, 2021
Ep. 113: How Philosophy can Save us From Ourselves with Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro
“As rational beings and moral agents, it’s incumbent on us to use our faculties to the best of our abilities.” Philosophy professors Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro are here, discussing their new book When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People. In it, they show how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more. In doing so, the book reveals how epistemology, which addresses the nature of belief and knowledge, and ethics, the study of moral principles that should govern our behavior, can reduce bad thinking. Moreover, the book shows why philosophy’s millennia-old advice about how to lead a good, rational, and examined life is essential for escaping our current predicament. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Professor Nadler’s research focuses on philosophy in the seventeenth century. He has written extensively on Descartes and Cartesianism, Spinoza, and Leibniz. He also works on medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy. His publications include Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge, 1999; second edition, 2018); The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton 2010); The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (2009), co-edited with Tamar Rudavsky; A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton, 2011) and The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton, 2013). Heretics: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy  (Princeton University Press), a graphic book (with Ben Nadler), was published in 2017. His most recent books are Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (“Jewish Lives”, Yale, 2018) and Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die (Princeton, 2020). He is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook to Descartes and Cartesianism (2019), among other volumes. Professor Shapiro’s research spans philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. Within philosophy of mind he has focused on issues related to reduction, especially concerning the thesis of multiple realization. His books The Mind Incarnate (MIT, 2004) and The Multiple Realization Book (co-authored with Professor Thomas Polger at U. of Cincinnati, Oxford University Press, 2016) as well as articles in The Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research examine these issues. His interests in philosophy of psychology include topics in computational theories of vision, evolutionary psychology, and embodied cognition. He’s published numerous articles on these topics in journals such as The Philosophical Review, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Science. His book, Embodied Cognition (Routledge Press), received the American Philosophical Association’s Joseph B. Gittler Award for best book in philosophy of the social sciences (2013) and is now in its second edition (2019). His recent interest in philosophy of religion resulted in The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural is Unjustified (Columbia University Press, 2016).
September 28, 2021
Ep. 112: Mary Roach
How do you get people to read about science who don't think they're interested in science? You entertain people, you fascinate them-- ultimately you make them care."     Beloved nature and science writer Mary Roach is here with new book in hand called Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law. What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Daniel and Mary also discuss many personal issues-- how did Mary get into science writing in the first place? How does music contribute to her ability to write? How can science and the humanities help each other, coexist in a better way?   Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk Mary Roach is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; GULP: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and PACKING FOR MARS: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Her new book FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law, debuts in September 2021. Mary's books have been published in 21 languages, and her second book, SPOOK, was a New York Times Notable Book. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, among others. She was a guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing series and an Osher Fellow with the San Francisco Exploratorium and serves as an advisor for Orion and Undark magazines. She has been a finalist for the Royal Society's Winton Prize and a winner of the American Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let's be honest, she was the sole entrant.
September 21, 2021
Ep. 111: Nathaniel Philbrick on George Washington
"We have to remain open and empathetic when examining the past and each other or we risk siloing ourselves into a self-reinforcing of our preconceptions." Historian Nathaniel Philbrick joins the podcast, armed with his new book in hand Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy. Does George Washington still matter? Philbrick argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were then an unsure nation. When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing–Americans. This trip is what Daniel refers to as "The original political listening tour." Daniel and Nathaniel also discuss, of course, the role music played in Washington's life and why, now more than ever, it is essential to study the humanity, the foibles, the flaws of historical figures rather than to cancel or whitewash.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School.  He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting: A Parody. In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children.  In 1994, he published his first book about the island’s history, Away Off Shore, followed in 1998 by a study of the Nantucket’s native legacy, Abram’s Eyes. He was the founding director of Nantucket’s Egan Maritime Institute and is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. In 2011 Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick? was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award and was named to the 2012 Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration from the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the ALA.  That year Penguin also published a new edition of his first work of history, Away Off Shore. In 2013 Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller, Bunker Hill:  A City, a Siege, a Revolution, which was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award as well as the 2014 Distinguished Book Award of the Society of Colonial Wars. Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife Melissa still live on Nantucket.
September 14, 2021
Ep. 110: Survival of the City with Edward Glaeser and David Cutler
"Not only was our healthcare system failing us in its job of keeping us healthy for as little dollar and resource costs as possible, now we know it's also failing in its ability to keep us safe from pandemic." Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler join the show for a discussion centered around their new book Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation. The two argue that while city life will survive, individual cities face major risks. What happens when offices don’t fill back up? How comfortable are companies with employees working from home? What will distinguish between cities that flourish and those that do not? Also addressed: the major inequities in healthcare and our deeply flawed health system, and how in a city, just like the world, our health is all interconnected. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught microeconomic theory, and occasionally urban and public economics, since 1992. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. David Cutler has developed an impressive record of achievement in both academia and the public sector. He served as Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1991 to 1995, was named John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Social Sciences in 1995, and received tenure in 1997. He is currently the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics and was named Harvard College Professor in 2014 until 2019.  Professor Cutler holds secondary appointments at the Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health.  Professor Cutler was associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Social Sciences from 2003-2008.
September 07, 2021
Ep. 109: Terrorism and Afghanistan with Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware
"The problem today that we didn't have during the Cold War or twenty years ago is that there's profound disagreement over what are the biggest threats to our national security." On the day the United States is scheduled to end its military presence in Afghanistan, two experts on counterterrorism — Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware— join Daniel for a special discussion. On the docket is a deep dive into many issues surrounding the exit. What could the US have done better, or differently? What could happen if ISIS-K and Al Qaeda vie for power in a Taliban-led society? Hoffman makes clear that in his opinion, the US should not be leaving. But what is the alternative? Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Professor Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where from 2010 to 2017 he was the Director of both the Center for Security Studies and of the Security Studies Program. In addition, Professor Hoffman is visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also Director of RAND’s Washington, D.C. Office. Professor Hoffman also served as RAND’s Vice President for External Affairs and as Acting Director of RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy. Appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as a commissioner on the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization, Professor Hoffman was a lead author of the commission’s final report. He was Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency between 2004 and 2006; an adviser on counterterrorism to the Office of National Security Affairs, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, and from 2004-2005 an adviser on counterinsurgency to the Strategy, Plans, and Analysis Office at Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad. Professor Hoffman was also an adviser to the Iraq Study Group. He has been a Distinguished Scholar, a Public Policy Scholar, a Senior Scholar, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.; a Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.; a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel; and, a Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a contributing editor to The National Interest and a member of the Jamestown Foundation’s Board of Directors; a member of the board of advisers to the FBI Intelligence Analysts Association; and, serves on the advisory boards to the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists and of Our Voices Together: September 11 Friends and Families to Help Build a Safer, More Compassionate World. Professor Hoffman holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University. In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded Professor Hoffman the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States. Jacob Ware is a Research Associate in the Counterterrorism and Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. 
August 31, 2021
Ep. 108: Steven Strogatz
"I don't have one philosophy that covers every student-- I just try to push everybody's buttons and see what happens." Mathematician Steven Strogatz is here. Known not just as a math professor to his students at Cornell University, he is a great explainer of math and why perhaps so many of us —from middle school, high school, and beyond — feel like math drops us and leaves us behind. Using some early disappointing math experiences to illustrate how curiosity and perseverance can prevail, Steven explains to Daniel how his passion for teaching and conveying what he calls “the beauty, the elegance, and the playfulness” of math drives him. He is also on the hunt for an elusive answer to a long-sought question…. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. After graduating summa cum laude in mathematics from Princeton in 1980, Strogatz studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He did his doctoral work in applied mathematics at Harvard, followed by a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard and Boston University. From 1989 to 1994, Strogatz taught in the Department of Mathematics at MIT. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1994. Strogatz has broad research interests. Early in his career, he worked on a variety of problems in mathematical biology, including the geometry of supercoiled DNA, the dynamics of the human sleep-wake cycle, the topology of three-dimensional chemical waves, and the collective behavior of biological oscillators, such as swarms of synchronously flashing fireflies. In the 1990s, his work focused on nonlinear dynamics and chaos applied to physics, engineering, and biology. Several of these projects dealt with coupled oscillators, such as lasers, superconducting Josephson junctions, and crickets that chirp in unison. In each case, the research involved close collaborations with experimentalists. He also likes branching out into new areas, often with students taking the lead. In the past few years, this has led him into such topics as the role of crowd synchronization in the wobbling of London’s Millennium Bridge on its opening day, and the dynamics of structural balance in social systems. He is the author of Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (1994), Sync (2003), The Calculus of Friendship (2009), and The Joy of x (2012). His most recent book, Infinite Powers (2019), is a New York Times Best Seller.
August 24, 2021
Ep. 107: Noel Paul Stookey
“Once you’re convinced that the root of all of us living creatures is love, then you’re always looking for the redemptive solutions that we may have."    Beloved singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey is here. Initially well-known as a member of the folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, he joins Daniel for a wide-ranging conversation about songwriting, music, American culture, and much more. At age 83, he is still singing, playing guitar, and bringing joy-- and maybe some peace-- to people the country over. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey has been altering both the musical and ethical landscape of this country and the world for decades—both as the “Paul” of the legendary Peter, Paul and Mary and as an independent musician who passionately believes in bringing the spiritual into the practice of daily life. Funny, irreverently reverent, thoughtful, compassionately passionate, Stookey’s voice is known all across this land: from the “Wedding Song” to “In These Times.”   Most recently Noel's musical political commentary entitled IMPEACHABLE (based on the familiar melody of UNFORGETTABLE) has reached viral status with the on-line community, yielding over a million facebook/youtube views.   While acknowledging his history and the meaningful association with Peter and Mary - the trio perhaps best known for its blend of modern folk music and social activism, rallying support for safe energy, peace and civil rights at some of the most iconic events in our history—including the 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Noel Paul has stepped beyond the nostalgia of the folk era.  Nearly $2 million, earned from Noel’s now-classic “Wedding Song,” were used to fund the work of other socially responsible artists, which inspired Noel, along with his daughter Liz Stookey Sunde, to launch MusicToLife in 2001. The nonprofit has introduced groundbreaking ways to bring music to life for social change through technology, entertainment, artist collaboration and education.  Whether judged by the subject matter of his current concert and recorded repertoire or by virtue of his active involvement with the MusicToLife initiative ( linking music fans to the expression of contemporary concerns via many different artists and musical genres, Stookey's current musical outlook continues to be fresh, optimistic and encouraging.
August 17, 2021
Ep. 106: Daniel Sherrell
"If we continue to power our economy with fossil fuels, human civilization will not be able to be sustained long-term or perhaps even through the end of the century." Millennial climate organizer Daniel Sherrell is here, with a new book in tow. He and Daniel talk climate, his passion for activism, what is really happening to our world, and what the average person can do if they feel so compelled. His book, Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World is described as "a new kind of book about climate change: not what it is or how we solve it, but how it feels to imagine a future–and a family–under its weight.”  It is a personal book, filled with passion and rage, and in this conversation Daniel articulates how his love for planet earth— the seasons, the coastlines, the people, the biodiversity— drives his ambition to make a difference while he still can. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Daniel Sherrell is an organizer born in 1990. He helped lead the campaign to pass landmark climate justice legislation in New York and is the recipient of a Fulbright grant in creative nonfiction. Warmth is his first book. More can be found about him at He asks listeners who wish to become involved in climate issues to visit the following sites:
August 10, 2021
Ep. 105: Leana Wen
"Public health is not just about the care people receive in the hospital. It's about the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they have access to, the environment in which they live-- that all can determine if they are healthy." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Renowned public health official Leana Wen is here, discussing her path from Chinese immigrant to admired physician. In her new book Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health, she speaks about her upbringing in Shanghai, her dreams since childhood to become a doctor, and her great mentors in the USA, including former Representative Elijah Cummings. Leana and Daniel of course also journey into the world of music, about with they share a passion. Dr. Wen also offers some candid advice for the public as they try to navigate the complex, changing landscape of COVID-19.  Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. A nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, she is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, writing on health policy and public health, and an on-air commentator for CNN as a medical analyst. The author of the critically-acclaimed book on patient advocacy, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), she has a forthcoming memoir to be published July 27th, Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health (Metropolitan Books, 2021). Previously, she served as health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, where she led the nation’s oldest continuously operating health department to combat the opioid epidemic and improve maternal and child health. She has also worked as director of patient-centered care research in the department of emergency medicine at George Washington University; president of Planned Parenthood; global health fellow at the World Health Organization; consultant to the China Medical Board; and distinguished fellow at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity.Currently, Dr. Wen serves on the board of directors of Glaukos Corporation and as the chair of the advisory board of the Behavioral Health Group. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Baltimore Community Foundation. Her previous board experience includes being board chair of Behavioral Health System Baltimore for four years and serving on boards and advisory of boards to more than ten nonprofit and venture-backed health innovation companies. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Wen has received recognition as one of Governing's Public Officials of the Year, Modern Healthcare's Top 50 Physician-Executives, World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, and TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Dr. Wen lives with her husband and their two young children in Baltimore.
August 03, 2021
Ep. 104: Supreme Court Panel
"Since the 1970s the Court has been moving to the right. Bill Clinton was a centrist who appointed centrist justices, not liberals. Looking forward, the justices will be more unified around the 2nd amendment than they will around overturning Roe v. Wade." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. The United States Supreme Court finished its term recently, and we have two great experts to give us a guided tour of what just happened. Major cases were decided about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), freedom of speech, religious liberty, and other hot-button issues. Daniel is joined by Rorie Solberg and Nancy Maveety, two experts who shed light on the cases that were decided and the nuances of the many different opinions. How much should we make of some of the odd pairings and unanimous rulings? Is there a new 'conservative center' of the court forming, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett? And what should we expect from the new term, starting in the fall? Nancy Maveety is Chair of Political Science at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she teaches courses in constitutional law, judicial decision-making, and her latest special topics class "Booze,