1) Flu Fighter
Smithsonian Sidedoor: Killer Viruses and One Man's Mission to Stop Them, Feb. 14
The 1918 flu killed between 50 and 100 people worldwide. The 1957 flu was not so brutal, largely because of one person: Dr. Maurice Hilleman. He’s “credited with saving more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century,” says host Tony Cohn. This pod profiles Hilleman and recounts the only time we’ve averted a pandemic with a vaccine. The parallels drawn between Hilleman and Superman are strained, but there’s no doubt about Hilleman’s heroics. An excellent, if slightly scary, listen in our own flu-ridden time.
Go Deeper: Watch the doc HILLEMAN – A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children
The gender pay gap hasn’t been studied in depth. Jonathan Hall, of Uber’s public policy and economics team, tells host Stephen J. Dubner that’s “because of the dearth of data, and because people find it uncomfortable.”
2) Decoding the Gender Pay Gap
Freakonomics Radio: What Can Uber Tell Us About the Gender Pay Gap?, Feb. 6
But there’s been a breakthrough on one front: A “big, juicy new piece of research, with a huge and detailed data set drawn from an economic ecosystem that’s practically made for this kind of analysis.”
The data stems from Uber’s drivers. Dubner and Hall, and Rebecca Diamond of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and chairman of the University of Chicago economics department John List, explore the data in depth and come to some surprising conclusions.
Spoilers: Male Uber drivers make about 7 percent more money per hour on average than female drivers. The authors of the research cite three factors accounting for the gap: time and location of driving (20 percent), driver experience (30 percent) and average driving speed (50 percent). Turns out men drive 2 percent faster.
Go Deeper: The Study: The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence From Over a Million Rideshare Drivers.