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June 22nd, 2018 – Stranger than Science Fiction

Grounds for Science

How economists apply psychology to predict and understand human trends

and

Discerning science fact from fiction in the media

with Nicole Haloupek and Sam Leone

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 at 6:30 PM at Scarlet City Espresso Bar

Poking holes in bad scientific reporting

A substantial portion of scientific information in the media is wrong—not just exaggerated, not just incomplete, but entirely false or so garbled it leaves the audience understanding less than they did before. Even major, respectable publications regularly blunder, sometimes severely. I’ll share specific strategies that anyone, scientist or not, can use to determine whether a media representation of science is likely to be trustworthy. You’ll leave armed with tools to help you stay in the know, protect yourself from those who benefit from keeping us uninformed about science, and, of course, win arguments on Facebook.

An example of bad popular science: flat Earth theory

Credit: Wikimpan via Wikimedia Commons

Nicole Haloupek

Nicole Haloupek is a freelance science writer who completed her PhD in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley in 2017. As an ardent advocate for science and reason, she writes not only for fellow scientists but also for science enthusiasts—and even for those who wouldn’t list science among their favorite topics (yet). In addition to being a writer, Nicole works with dogs professionally, providing her canine clients with care, exercise, and training. She’s also a powerlifter and an avid reader, and she has an unhealthy obsession with tweaking her curry recipes.

Economists Don’t Always Assume People Are Rational – But Sometimes We Do

Since the 1980s, the Behavioral Economics Revolution has introduced ideas from psychology into mainstream economics. Through interactive experiments, we’ll discover how these ideas have made economists’ models both more predictive and more insightful. We’ll also consider how, on topics ranging from the minimum wage to global poverty, old-school economic theories remain invaluable to all of us.

Human psychology informs economic trends

Samuel Leone

Samuel Leone is an economics PhD student at U.C. Berkeley and a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. His research focuses on barriers to economic growth in the Middle East and Africa. His favorite pastime is definitely eating, but he also loves travel, ultimate Frisbee, and friendly political debates. Sam is originally from Massachusetts but his “wickeds” are slowly turning into “hellas.”

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