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 | October 19th, 2021

Cannabis and car crashes

Matt, Chris, and Don discuss a study on the role of cannabis in car crashes, they talk about something called “lay epidemiology”, and Chris gets mellow.

Free Associations Podcast | October 5th, 2021

White privilege and health

Matt and guest hosts Lori Dean and Dustin Duncan discuss a study on how white privilege affects health, they talk through the role of neighborhoods and health, and Lori tells us about her new favorite TV show.

Free Associations Podcast | September 21st, 2021

Migraine prevention AND treatment?

Matt and guest hosts Michelle Caunca and Sarah Ackley discuss a study on a new treatment to stop migraines, they talk about stitching together multiple datasets to study lifecourse epidemiology, and Michelle tells us about how doctors react to observational epidemiology.

Free Associations Podcast | September 7th, 2021

Obamacare and medical debt

Matt, Jess, and guest host Erica Walker discuss a study on whether The Affordable Care Act reduced medical debt, they consider the role epidemiologists play in communicating information about COVID, and Erica fights off various wild animals.

Free Associations Podcast | August 24th, 2021

Do sugar taxes really work to reduce sugar consumption?

Matt and guest hosts Hoda S. Abdel Magid and Geetika Kalloo discuss a study on whether a tax on sugar sweetened beverages reduces consumption in South Africa, they talk through ethical guidelines for peer reviewers, and Simone Biles makes a return appearance.

Free Associations Podcast | August 10th, 2021

Do birthdays cause COVID?

Matt and guest hosts Bertha Hidalgo and Rachel Widome review a study on whether COVID transmission was more likely after a birthday, they discuss teaching epidemiology online, and Matt is pretty shocked by how much a journal costs.

Free Associations Podcast | July 27th, 2021

More nurses, fewer deaths?

Matt and Chris (in another summer two-person episode) review a new study on whether mandating the nurse to patient ratios can improve hospital outcomes, discuss what happened with the FDA approval of aducanumab, and Chris give us all the haikus he can.

Free Associations Podcast | July 13th, 2021

Infecting mosquitos with a bacteria to prevent a virus?

Matt and Chris (in a rare two-person episode) examine a study that tested infecting mosquitos with Wolbachia to prevent dengue, discuss whether we should be training students in “legal epidemiology”, and Chris tells us what happens when we drink with strangers.

Free Associations Podcast | June 29th, 2021


Matt, Chris, and Don discuss a study on the effectiveness of MDMA for treatment of PTSD, they look at whether electronic passports for COVID vaccination are ethical and legal, and Matt goes into the history of peer review.

Free Associations Podcast | June 15th, 2021

Is this show going down the tubes?

Matt, Chris, and Don discuss a study on the effectiveness of ear tubes for ear infections, they consider the role of funders in international research, and Don goes cicada hunting.

Free Associations Podcast | June 1st, 2021

A new drug for weight loss?

Matt, Chris, and Jess examine a study of using a diabetes medication for weight loss for obesity, they discuss whether Africa needs unique solutions to COVID-19, and Jess is a bit sheepish.

Free Associations Podcast | May 18th, 2021

Addressing malnutrition through the microbiome

Matt, Chris, and Jess look at a study of whether or not a new microbiota-driven supplement does better at combatting malnutrition than traditional approaches, they discuss the importance of code review, and Matt looks to the future on mRNA vaccines.

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