Anything but Dismal
Pilot Season: Impacts of the Pandemic
Episode 1: Sports and the Pandemic
Reporter: John Whitehead
Release date: July 15, 2020 9:00 pm ET
In this episode, we look at how the pandemic has impacted sports and sporting events and how we can open the pro sports season again. Reporter John Whitehead speaks with sports economists Pam Wicker and Brad Humphreys about the spread of COVID-19 at sporting events, the use of bubbles in training, and the implications of ghost games for the players and the fans. Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, presents solutions to a few little problems. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, highlights the work of Jill Harris and Trevon Logan, two sports economists who have completed some impactful research in sports economics, and the work of Larry Moreno, a student-athlete from St. Francis College.
Episode 2: Behaviors to Fight COVID-19
Reporter: Sarah Jacobson
Release date: July 19, 2020 7:00 pm ET
In this episode, we look at how lessons from behavioral economists can be used to encourage people to take actions that will reduce the spread of COVID-19. Reporter Sarah Jacobson speaks with behavioral economists Syon Bhanot, Paul Ferraro, and Linda Thunstrom about how role modeling, peer pressure, and messaging from trusted experts can help encourage people to adopt behaviors that will slow the spread of COVID-19. Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, presents solutions to a few little problems. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, explains the international Mask Project and highlights the work of Anne Karing and Velario Capraro, two behavioral economists working on impactful research related to COVID-19.
Episode 3: Online K-12 Education
Reporter: Jimena González-Ramírez
Release date: July 26, 2020 7:00 pm ET
In this episode, we look at how lessons from education research can be used to reduce the learning losses from online learning. Reporter Jimena González-Ramírez speaks with education researchers Carycruz Bueno, Maya Escueta, and Cassandra Hart about the learning losses associated with online learning and how technology and other innovative approaches can be used to reduce these losses. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, explains the "Bored Teacher" project and highlights the work of Nick Huntington and Gema Zamarro Rodriguez, two education economists working on research that can be used to improve learning outcomes of disadvantaged groups. We'll close our episode with Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, who will share small solutions to improve online learning at home.
Episode 4: Food Consumption during the Pandemic
Reporter: Lynne Lewis
Release date: August 5, 2020 12:00 noon ET
In this episode, we focus on the impact of the pandemic on our food system. Reporter Lynne Lewis speaks with agricultural economists Jill McCluskey and Norbert Wilson about the unique challenges associated with the rapid increases in food prices and the dramatic changes in food shopping behaviors that have occurred due to the pandemic. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, introduces us to Shastia, a cake artist from Austin Texas and highlights the work of Anne Byrne and David Ortega, two economists working on research related to food insecurity. We'll close our episode with Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, who will highlight changes made at DeLorenzo's the Burg in Levittown, PA and Chesterfield Farm in Pittsville, MD and share other small solutions people have undertaken due to the pandemic.
Episode 5: Overcoming Racial Bias
Reporter: Nathaniel Burke
Release date: August 12, 2020 12:00 noon ET
In this episode, we focus on overcoming racial bias. Reporter Nathaniel Burke speaks with crime economists Robynn Cox and Elizabeth Luh about police practices that have targeted the Black community and increased the incarceration rates of this population. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, introduces us to the Sadie Collective, a mentoring and networking community aimed at addressing the pipeline and pathway problem that Black women economists face, and highlights the work of Jevay Grooms and Mackenzie Alston, two black women economists who are breaking through some of those barriers. We'll close our episode with Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, who will highlight how local communities have found a little way to make a big difference.
Episode 6: Inequality and Unemployment Since COVID-19
Reporter: Luke Jones
Release date: August 21, 2020 12:00 noon ET
In this episode, we focus on the pandemic’s impact on the workforce. Reporter Luke Jones speaks with economists Kate Bahn, Diane Lim, and Julieta Yung about how the pandemic is amplifying inequalities for women, Black, and Latinx workers. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, introduces us to charities that are helping those with workplace needs and highlights the work of Laura Montenovo. We'll close our episode with Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, who will highlight how businesses, communities, and working women are adapting to the new landscape.
Reporter: Micaela Wood
Release date: August 28, 2020 12:00 pm ET
This episode invites you behind the scenes to learn how and why we put this show together. Our lead reporter, Micaela Wood, put together clips from our Big Solutions team members to learn about their motivations and highlight some of the funny experiences we’ve had along the way. Jasmine Fuller, Cool Things Reporter, introduces us to her team. Matt Lazzarino, Little Solutions Reporter, introduces us to his team. We close the episode with some bloopers and other fun moments from our reporting.