Free Associations Podcast

With a sense of humor and a healthy dose of skepticism the hosts talk us through popular health studies and hyperbolic news headlines while teaching us how to ask the right questions.

Free Associations Podcast | May 21st, 2024

The effects of early cessation of oxytocin

Matt, Jess, and guest host Salma Abdalla discuss a study of early discontinuation of oxytocin during delivery, they try to predict the future of journals alongside a mass editorial board resignation, and Matt and Salma reveal their love for octopuses.

Free Associations Podcast | April 23rd, 2024

Tweets and changes in racial sentiments

Matt, Jess, and guest host Allegra Gordon discuss a study using tweets to see if there have been changes in racial sentiment over time, they debate whether in-person or remote work is better for paradigm shifts, and Allegra tells us how birds are smarter than people who don’t want birds nesting on their roofs.

Free Associations Podcast | March 26th, 2024

Human mobility and economic segregation

Matt, Jess, and guest host Jonathan Jay discuss a study using cell phone data to see if living in cities gives us better economic integration, they explore whether AI will be developing our hypotheses in the future, and Matt naps with penguins.

Free Associations Podcast | February 27th, 2024

Workplace interventions for cardiometabolic health

Matt, Jess, and guest host Amruta Nori-Sarma examine a study testing the effect of a workplace intervention for cardiometabolic health, they discuss mental health as a human right, and Amruta tells us about the power of Taylor Swift.

Free Associations Podcast | January 30th, 2024

A blood-based screening for cancer?

Matt, Jess, and guest host Salma Abdalla discuss a study testing the efficacy of a blood-based cancer screening tool, they debate the role of the workplace in mental health, and Salma sees if she can pronounce the word “bubbles” while sounding angry.

Free Associations Podcast | January 2nd, 2024

Do taxes and warning labels affect meat purchases?

Matt, Jess, and first-time guest host Allegra Gordon discuss a study of the effect of taxes and warning labels on purchases of red meat, they lament the impact of disinformation campaigns, and Matt tells us how AI is going to take our grant writing jobs.

Free Associations Podcast | December 5th, 2023

Neighborhood environment and childhood physical fitness

Matt, Jess, and guest host Jonathan Jay discuss a study on child opportunity in the built environment and physical fitness, they debate whether to get rid of discussion sections, and Jon invites us to consider the Golden Bachelor.

Free Associations Podcast | October 3rd, 2023

Wildfires and medical visits

Matt, Jess, and guest host Amruta Nori-Sarma examine a study of the effect of proximity to wildfires on medical visits, they discuss housing as harm reduction, and Matt goes to Olive Garden.

Free Associations Podcast | September 5th, 2023

Can hearing aids prevent dementia?

Matt, Jess, and guest host Salma Abdalla examine a study on the use of hearing aids to prevent dementia, they discuss whether loneliness is a public health problem (and, as usual, descend into talking about COVID), and Salma tells us the difference between coffee and concrete.

Free Associations Podcast | August 1st, 2023

A breakthrough for meningitis vaccination?

Matt and Jess go solo and Jess hosts for the first time! They discuss a study of the effectiveness of a new meningitis vaccine, whether active shooter drills do anything more than scare kids, and debate the best movie candy.

Free Associations Podcast | May 30th, 2023

Is coffee bad for your heart?

Matt, Jess, and Chris examine a crossover study of the effects of coffee consumption on heart health, they discuss the commercial determinants of health, and Chris gives a heartfelt goodbye to the podcast and to BU.

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