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Social Science

Pop-Up Ideas

BBC Radio 4

Tim Harford presents a series of talks inspired by ideas in anthropology, culture and the social sciences

14:05 | Jan 1st, 2014

"How boring would the world be," asks Simon Garfield, "if we knew precisely where everything was?" Simon reflects on the many mistakes and deceptions in some of our best-loved maps. He begins with the map of the London Underground where lines on the...Show More

14:11 | Dec 25th, 2013

The geographer and polymath Jared Diamond argues that apparently slight differences in geography can have profound consequences for the culture and history of nations.

13:58 | Dec 18th, 2013

Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, argues that how we see the world depends on where we stand on it. He takes us back to the Hereford mappamundi - with its unicorns, griffins, cannibals and fabled ci...Show More

13:54 | Dec 11th, 2013

Tim Harford returns with a new series of Pop Up Ideas. This time Tim and his guests tell intriguing stories inspired by maps. In the first talk, Tim argues that maps - for all their beauty - can be dangerous. In the hands of powerful people, the map...Show More

13:43 | Jul 30th, 2013

Tim Harford presents the last in the series, 'Pop-up Ideas'. Tim explores the concept of 'The Tragedy of the Commons' - a term coined by the American ecologist Garrett Hardin in a hugely influential 1968 essay. He compares Hardin's work to that of ...Show More

13:59 | Jul 23rd, 2013

One of the world's most influential counter-insurgency experts, David Kilcullen, whose ideas were described by the Washington Post as "revolutionizing military thinking throughout the West", talks about the time-bomb of rapidly-growing coastal mega-c...Show More

14:12 | Jul 16th, 2013

Tim Harford is joined by Gillian Tett for the second in this new series of talks inspired by ideas in anthropology and the social sciences. The financial journalist describes how her background in anthropology led her to predict the financial crisis...Show More

13:07 | Jul 9th, 2013

Tim Harford (the Financial Times' 'Undercover Economist' and presenter of Radio 4's More or Less) is joined by Malcolm Gladwell, David Kilcullen and Gillian Tett for a new series, 'Pop-up Ideas'. Following on from his earlier Radio 4 series 'Pop-up ...Show More

13:26 | Feb 13th, 2013

Tim tells the story of Chris Ferguson who applied game theory to poker and won - big time. But, as Ferguson would find out, there's always a bigger game.

13:55 | Feb 6th, 2013

Tim Harford tells the story of Bill Phillips - war hero, engineer, crocodile-hunter, and one of the fathers of macro-economics.

13:53 | Jan 30th, 2013

Tim Harford tells the story of Thomas Schelling, an economist who helped America and the Soviet Union to avoid nuclear war.

13:51 | Jan 23rd, 2013

Tim tells the story of Al Roth, who worked out how to create a clearing-house for kidneys.

13:38 | Jan 16th, 2013

Tim Harford weaves together economic ideas with remarkable personal histories in some unusual locations. The presenter of Radio 4's More or Less speaks to an audience from a shop window on London's Regent Street, and turns his attention to heated pan...Show More