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After the Fact

The Pew Charitable Trusts

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After the Fact is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts that explores the facts, numbers, and trends shaping our world. Each monthly episode will focus on a topic and data point from one of Pew’s research areas in environmental conservation, gover...Show More
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15:09 | May 11th, 2018

Stat: 64 percent of Americans say fake news is causing confusion over basic facts, according to the Pew Research Center. Story: It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to sort fact from fiction in this digital age. In this episode, we talk to Alan...Show More

18:40 | May 9th

Stat: 86. The percentage of women ages 40-44 who are mothers, compared with 80 percent in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. Story: American women are waiting longer to have children—but are more likely to have kids than they were a...Show More
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17:02 | Sep 28th, 2018

Stat: 7 in 10. That’s how many Americans say that debt is a necessity, even though they prefer not to have it. Story: Ten years after the global financial crisis, we explore Americans’ relationship with debt, and interview Dave Ramsey, the host of a...Show More

14:22 | Sep 4th

100 million—The number of people infected each year by a disease transmitted through a mosquito bite. Story: In our latest “Scientists at Work” episode, 2015 Pew biomedical scholar Lindy McBride discusses her research on one of the peskiest and de...Show More

17:03 | Aug 21st

Story: Our final installment of “After the Fact” fan favorites comes via the West Coast. Steven Bliss of the Public Policy Institute of California selected our first podcast, on the state of the American Dream. Researcher Erin Currier describes the f...Show More

23:09 | Aug 16th

Story: “After the Fact” fan favorites continue in August with our second selection. This week, Fred Dews, host of “Brookings Cafeteria,” chose our episode on the plight of endangered sharks and some of their unlikely champions (Episode 32). South Afr...Show More

20:21 | Aug 6th

Story: “After the Fact” has asked a few special guests to share their favorite episodes of the podcast throughout August. This week, Elaine Bowman, vice president of human resources for The Pew Charitable Trusts, picked our conversation on deepfakes ...Show More

00:46 | Aug 6th

Story: This month, “After the Fact” has asked a few special guests to share their favorite episodes of the podcast. Tune in throughout August to hear some of these “fan favorites” from our archives.

19:42 | Jul 22nd

Stat: 80,000. Chilean Patagonia has more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline, the longest in the world. Story: In the latest installment of our “Scientists at Work” series, Pew marine fellow Vreni Häussermann talks about Chilean Patagonia’s ecosys...Show More

17:47 | Jul 9th

Stat: 96 percent. Nearly all of America’s hospitals used electronic health records as of 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Story: Medical records have gone digital—a change that promises to make health care more ...Show More

17:38 | Jun 28th

Stat: 18. At least 18 British colonies existed in North America during the American Revolution—but, as we know, only 13 signed the Declaration of Independence. Story: In honor of the Fourth of July, join “After the Fact” on an audio tour of key ...Show More

17:12 | Jun 17th

Mangrove forests are natural protectors, shielding coasts from storms, sheltering species, and soaking up carbon. Reversing the decline of these habitats isn’t just a science—it’s an art, says marine biologist Octavio Aburto. He uses his camera along...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jun 17th

Mangrove forests are natural protectors, shielding coasts from storms, sheltering species, and soaking up carbon. Reversing the decline of these habitats isn’t just a science—it’s an art, says marine biologist Octavio Aburto. He uses his camera along...Show More

13:23 | Jun 7th

Stat: 93. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. estimates 93 percent of marine fisheries worldwide are fished at or beyond sustainable catch levels. Story: A large part of overfishing is driven by subsidies—most of which go to large-sc...Show More

15:55 | May 24th

Stat: 46. The percentage of American adults who worry that they will not be able to live comfortably in retirement. Story: After all the hard work and child rearing, do Americans get to finally relax and retire with some financial stability? Resear...Show More

21:57 | May 17th

Stat: $233,610. The cost of raising a child through age 17 for a middle-class American family, not including a college education. Story: From diapers to day care and beyond, it’s getting more expensive to raise a family in the U.S. And just keeping ...Show More

24:50 | May 3rd

Stat: 7. On average, Americans are waiting nearly seven years longer to get married than they did in 1968, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Story: Does putting off marriage mean people no longer want to say “I do?” To learn more about this trend...Show More

00:49 | Apr 26th

Story: The American family is changing. We explore how over the next four episodes, taking you into the lives of American families through conversations at kitchen tables, in workplaces, and even in the family car on the way to after-school pickup. H...Show More

13:41 | Apr 12th

Stat: 20 percent. The share of Americans who find the concept of machines doing most human jobs in the future extremely realistic. Story: Will robots take our jobs? They’ll need a human skill first—the ability to think. To find out just how near suc...Show More

13:28 | Mar 29th

Stat: 48%—Almost half the members of Generation Z—age 22 or younger—are racial or ethnic minorities. Story: Step aside, Millennials. There’s a new, younger group out there: Generation Z, which includes anyone born after 1996. To learn more about thi...Show More

15:51 | Mar 15th

Stat: 844 million. The amount of people worldwide who lack even a basic drinking-water service, according to the World Health Organization. Story: For many of us, it can be easy to take water for granted. Turn on the tap and it’s there. But today, t...Show More

15:45 | Mar 1st

Stat: 40%—Across Africa, the number of giraffes has declined by 40 percent since 1979. Story: Giraffes are dying, and experts are trying to figure out why. Host Dan LeDuc speaks to two giraffe experts, ecologist David O’Connor and researcher Jenna S...Show More

14:58 | Feb 15th

Stat: 1919—the year President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill establishing the Grand Canyon as a national park. Story: The Grand Canyon was dedicated as a national park 100 years ago. This anniversary commemorates the canyon’s legacy, but it has been...Show More

18:58 | Feb 1st

Stat: 100. More than half of children born in developed countries today will reach the age of 100. Story: If you knew you would live to 100, what would you do differently? Increasing longevity will expand and shift the traditional phases of life, a...Show More

19:43 | Jan 18th

Stat: 57 percent of social media news consumers expect what they see there to be largely inaccurate. Story: The rise of deepfakes—realistic fake videos made with artificial intelligence software—is beginning to make sorting fact from fiction even h...Show More

19:50 | Jan 4th

Stat: 50. The percentage of American children today who will grow up to earn more than their parents did. Story: That’s down from over 90 percent for children born in the 1940s and its says a lot about the current state of the American Dream. John ...Show More

14:31 | Dec 21st, 2018

Stat: Four in 10 Americans say technology has improved their lives most in the past 50 years. Story: To end 2018, we look ahead at the promise of new technologies, which also bring challenges for societies. To understand the issues, we speak to Ara...Show More

18:26 | Dec 7th, 2018

Stat: 21. The number of African countries where manatees live. Story: If you’ve ever seen a manatee, odds are you were in Florida, where these aquatic relatives of the elephant may have poked their faces above the water’s surface to get a look at yo...Show More

17:10 | Nov 21st, 2018

Stat: 39 percent. That’s how many Americans say they're highly religious. Story: When asked about their religion, most Americans identify with a traditional faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam. The Pew Research Center recently looked beyond familiar...Show More

23:42 | Nov 9th, 2018

Stat: $764 billion. That’s how much the arts contribute to the U.S. economy each year. Story: The creative process for artists can seem mysterious—what sparks an artist’s initial idea and how does that idea become reality? Host Dan LeDuc talks to ...Show More

15:54 | Oct 26th, 2018

Stat: 61 percent. That’s how many voters say they’re enthusiastic about voting in November. Story: Traditionally, voters don’t flock to the polls for the midterm elections. But this year, the Pew Research Center found that voters are more enthusiast...Show More

14:23 | Oct 19th, 2018

Stat: 7 out of 10 babies born in London have at least one parent who wasn’t. Story: London is on track to exceed 9 million people in three years and most of the new babies there have at least one foreign-born parent. One area in particular is emble...Show More

12:38 | Oct 12th, 2018

Stat: 70 percent. That’s how many children now born in London have at least one foreign-born parent. Story: In many ways, the metropolis of London is a microcosm of what’s happening around the globe. People move across borders and flock to urban c...Show More

16:01 | Sep 14th, 2018

Stat: Four. That’s how many letters in the DNA alphabet make up every living thing. Story: How does genetic information transmit across generations? While trying to find out, scientists Craig Mello and Andrew Fire quite by accident made a discovery...Show More

14:07 | Sep 7th, 2018

Stat: North Atlantic cod have nearly tripled since 2006 to 118,000 tons. Summary: Overfishing has strained most global fish stocks. But the European Union has made progress bringing back one species: North Atlantic cod. The flaky white fish—a Britis...Show More

12:59 | Aug 24th, 2018

Stat: 44 percent. The percentage of Americans who think the public doesn’t know enough about science to understand new findings in the news. Story: Ira Flatow, the host of “Science Friday,” has been with National Public Radio since it went on the ai...Show More

15:20 | Aug 10th, 2018

Stat: At least 2 million Americans get antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Story: Nearly a century after Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, bacteria continue to develop the ability to defeat antibiotics. Doctors are concerned about ...Show More

38:51 | Aug 3rd, 2018

Stat: $477 billion. That’s the amount spent on prescription drugs in the United States last year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Story: Skyrocketing prescription drug prices have long troubled U.S. Senator Susan Collins o...Show More

22:16 | Jul 23rd, 2018

Stat: At least 63 million sharks are taken from the ocean every year. Story: And that’s the low estimate; others range as high was 273 million. That worldwide catch is threatening some species with extinction. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks ...Show More

22:29 | Jul 13th, 2018

Stat: The ocean generates $2.5 trillion of economic benefits around the world each year. Story: Fisheries, tourism, and shipping are some of the ways we quantify the monetary value of the ocean—but it also drives weather patterns and provides more ...Show More

13:27 | Jun 29th, 2018

Stat: The flag that inspired our national anthem has 15 stars and stripes. Story: It flew over Fort McHenry in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. And after the fight, it was what Francis Scott Key was looking for when he asked, “Oh say ...Show More

41:41 | Jun 15th, 2018

Stat: Antarctica is home to more than 9,000 species found nowhere else on Earth. Story: They include Adélie and emperor penguins that depend on the waters that surround the continent. In 2016, 24 countries and the European Union created the world’s...Show More

17:45 | Jun 8th, 2018

Stat: The penguin population in Punta Tombo, Argentina, has declined by 43 percent since 1987. Story: Not all of those birds are dying: Many are relocating to areas with more prey—a move aided by their ability to swim 170 kilometers a day—and 200,00...Show More

44:18 | Jun 1st, 2018

Stat: By midcentury, there will be 2 billion elderly people in the world—and 2 billion young Story: For the first time there will be as many of each group —and together they’ll account for more than 40 percent of the world’s population. This will ha...Show More

14:03 | May 25th, 2018

Stat: 63 million Americans, many of them children, live in areas with a shortage of dental care. Story: To help alleviate this, a new kind of dental provider is being created: dental therapists, who are much like physician assistants in a medical of...Show More

09:49 | Apr 24th, 2018

More than a third of America’s national parks are battlefields, cemeteries, and other sites that honor our military veterans. But those 156 landmarks are awaiting $6 billion in needed repairs—accounting for nearly half of the National Park Service’s ...Show More

29:46 | Apr 9th, 2018

With political discourse at a stalemate, we traveled to Middle America to find some middle ground. Former Representative Lee Hamilton (D) and former Senator Richard Lugar (R) represented Indiana for a combined 70 years and always kept talking to each...Show More

18:04 | Mar 14th, 2018

How can states use data to make government work better? Known as a national leader for his efforts to make state government more efficient, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam shares what he’s learned over two terms about tripling the state’s rainy day fu...Show More

19:30 | Mar 5th, 2018

Americans have become less religious but more spiritual over time, with 59 percent saying they regularly feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being. Host Dan LeDuc interviews the Pew Research Center’s Greg Smith about these trends. We also t...Show More

12:57 | Feb 16th, 2018

Move aside, baby boomers. Millennials are one of the largest living generations, and they are not kids anymore. The oldest millennials are now 37, and they are making their mark on the workplace, politics, and America’s public opinion landscape. We d...Show More

21:12 | Feb 7th, 2018

Money makes policy. As states plan for the future, tax revenue helps them decide what it can be. And nearly half the states still don’t have the revenue they did before the Great Recession. Host Dan LeDuc interviews Pew’s Kil Huh about this and then ...Show More

18:41 | Jan 31st, 2018

While millennials have dominated headlines, there’s a new generation in town—people born after 1995. This group includes teens today, and they are facing significant challenges, including increased rates of depression. We discuss the implications of ...Show More

19:52 | Jan 5th, 2018

The ocean floor is rich with abundant marine life and mineral deposits, but the newly forming seabed mining industry could threaten these pristine environments. We hear about the challenges and opportunities on this issue from Michael Lodge, secretar...Show More

19:14 | Dec 21st, 2017

Today, 88 percent of Americans are connected online, according to the Pew Research Center, and nearly half of adults use voice assistants. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of these digital advances with Lee Rainie, director of the center’s inter...Show More

17:03 | Dec 6th, 2017

The national poverty rate has gradually declined, but poverty in Philadelphia remains stubbornly high at 25.7 percent—the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities. We discuss the story behind the numbers with Larry Eichel, who leads Pew’s Philade...Show More

18:38 | Nov 28th, 2017

Up to 1 in 5 fish taken from the sea is caught illegally, costing as much as $23.5 billion globally each year and harming ocean health and fishing communities. We discuss solutions with Peter Horn, who leads Pew’s work from London on satellite techno...Show More

17:36 | Nov 10th, 2017

Carl Romm was just 27 when he lost his life to a strain of bacteria that could not be treated—a superbug. Antibiotic resistance is a growing global health threat, sickening 2 million Americans each year and killing 23,000. It’s been 30 years since a ...Show More

10:35 | Nov 2nd, 2017

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency—but what will it take get patients the treatment they need? Following our recent episode on opiate misuse, this bonus edition delves deeper with Shawn Ryan of BrightVie...Show More

22:41 | Oct 27th, 2017

The nation’s opioid epidemic has been making headlines, and much is required to curtail this public health crisis. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Cindy Reilly, who directs Pew’s work on this issue, and Dr. Shawn Ryan, chief medical office...Show More

47:02 | Oct 13th, 2017

The digital revolution is transforming innovation. Putting this knowledge to purpose is changing how we live, communicate, and govern. This episode features a rebroadcast of a discussion on technological innovation with contributors to Trend, Pew’s j...Show More

11:52 | Sep 29th, 2017

The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who get it on television is narrowing, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, 67 percent of people say they get at least some of their news through social media. In this epi...Show More

11:35 | Sep 15th, 2017

Louisiana has the highest imprisonment rate in the U.S., giving it the unenviable label of “most incarcerated state.” Its leaders intend to change that with comprehensive criminal justice reform passed this summer that aims to reduce crime and incarc...Show More

26:36 | Aug 30th, 2017

The devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey have left thousands of Texas residents homeless. As the recovery begins, we’re rebroadcasting a conversation between Joseph Riley, former mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, now a Pew distinguished fellow...Show More

08:44 | Aug 18th, 2017

We’ve seen devastating news coverage following a big storm, but what happens after the flood? Pew’s Fred Baldassaro travels to Norfolk, Virginia, to meet with Skip Stiles, founder and executive director of Wetlands Watch. They tour neighborhoods in t...Show More

14:38 | Aug 4th, 2017

It’s hurricane season and extreme weather events are on the rise. Along with the catastrophic losses that families face after the flood is the economic burden on taxpayers through the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s the financial lifeline for ...Show More

1:00:51 | Jul 18th, 2017

The planet is facing increased environmental pressures—from warming oceans to species loss. At the same time, new tools such as satellite monitoring and forensic science continue to support conservation gains around the world. But will technology hel...Show More

22:23 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life as we know it. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures, isn’t getting the care it needs. That’s why leading scientists say that 30 pe...Show More

13:16 | May 23rd, 2017

Technology is transforming our world and our workplaces. With the quick pace of change, the future can be as unsettling as it is exciting. However, in this episode, Brian David Johnson says we can invent the future. As a futurist for major corporatio...Show More

17:17 | Apr 19th, 2017

More than 331 million visits were made to America’s national parks last year—to hike stunning trails, drive scenic roads, and climb stairs in historic structures. But as the number of visitors has been growing, so have the maintenance needs for those...Show More

09:55 | Apr 5th, 2017

While concern about childhood immunization stirs debate, Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans—88 percent—believe that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc discusses that data point and ...Show More

19:23 | Mar 20th, 2017

States are finding new ways to get smart on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment. After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent sin...Show More

16:01 | Jan 31st, 2017

Struggling to pay bills and set aside savings? You’re in good company: 92 percent of Americans say financial stability is more important to them than moving up the economic ladder. That’s just about everybody, and it makes for a new version of the Am...Show More

01:00 | Jan 9th, 2017

Join experts from The Pew Charitable Trusts and other special guests for the story behind the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges. Whether it’s data on the financial plight of American families or research on how to protec...Show More