Podcast episode

Truth (or the lack of it) in politics and how to think critically with help from Descartes – EP123

Why politicians need to stop lying and cut the endless BS. Episode 123 of Economics Explored features a conversation with Philosophy Professor Deb Brown, Director of the Critical Thinking Project at the University of Queensland. Deb also chats with show host Gene Tunny and guest co-host Tim Hughes about what it means to think critically, drawing on her expertise in philosophy, including her study of Descartes. 

About this episode’s guest – Professor Deb Brown

Deborah Brown is Professor, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia. During her time in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deb has coordinated a wide range of projects focusing on critical thinking. She has been instrumental in establishing connections and partnerships within the school sector, including with the Queensland Department of Education, as well as building partnerships across UQ and with international education providers. 

As part of her role, Deb works to link the UQ Critical Thinking Project into relevant projects within the university to provide educators with an understanding of how to embed critical thinking in classroom practice and assessment and to maximise outcomes for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Deb has established a professional development program for educators, booster courses for school and university students and research collaborations with a diverse range of researchers from the broader UQ community. 

Deb has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and a Master of Arts and PHD from the University of Toronto.

Abbreviations Deb uses:

  • NAPLAN: National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy
  • SES: Socio-economic status

The Australian ABC News article Deb was quoted in:

Is telling the truth too much to ask of our politicians?

A book Deb highly recommends:

On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt

Article on the AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) nuclear submarine agreement:

What is the AUKUS partnership?

NPR report on Trump-Trudeau argument about the US’s trade balance with Canada:

Trump Admits To Making Up Trade Deficit In Talks With Canadian Prime Minister

Note that the allegation made by President Trump was that the US was running a trade deficit with Canada, whereas the US typically has a trade surplus with Canada (i.e. typically US exports of goods and services to Canada exceed imports to the US from Canada). The White House argued that President Trump was referring to the trade balance relating to goods only and excluding services. 

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. 

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Podcast episode

EP98 – Political legitimacy with Prof. Phillip LeBel

In Risk and the State, Professor Phillip LeBel argues the political legitimacy of governments worldwide is “under trial from questions of borders and national identity, from rising economic inequality, from the way in which information is gathered, managed, and disseminated, and from varying perceptions of risk.”

In EP98 on political legitimacy, host Gene Tunny interviews  Prof. Phillip LeBel about his new book published earlier this year by Brown Walker Press: Risk and the State: How Economics and Neuroscience Shape Political Legitimacy to Address Geopolitical, Environmental, and Health Risks for Sustainable Governance.  

Phillip LeBel is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Montclair State University, NJ. With a career combining academic research and teaching with professional consulting, Professor LeBel has accumulated a record of economic expertise in a variety of domestic and international fields. Over the years, he has lived in and/or worked in 30 countries, including Africa, East Asia, Central America, and Latin America.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

Podcast episode

EP93 – Public Choice theory with Dr Brendan Markey-Towler

What happens when economists assume politicians and bureaucrats are self-interested and pursue their own agendas? Economics Explored host Gene Tunny and returning guest Dr Brendan Markey-Towler discuss the theory of public choice, a field of economics which helps us predict how politicians and bureaucrats will behave. They consider what public choice theory means for the growth of government and the types of political institutions we should have.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.