Dec 29, 2023Liked by Stuart Ritchie, Tom Chivers

I think you guys strike the right balance. Looking forward to more next year.

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Have a Happy New Year! See ya next year

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Random future topic suggestions:

- Are 'blue zones' an artefact of poor record keeping? Alex Tabarrok has a short post here: https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2023/09/the-real-secret-of-blue-zones.html

- Does the contraceptive pill change the type of person women are attracted to? (And perhaps the (perceived?) general Zoomer backlash to the pill - it all sounds very unscientific.)

- Do surrogacy opponents have any scientific basis to their claims? Blocked and Reported did a good episode on this recently: https://www.blockedandreported.org/p/premium-mother-hunger

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In recent weeks there has been a lot of discussion in the media about DEI initiatives, and I’ve heard many statements to the effect that “studies show that diversity improves the talent of the workforce” or something similar. I would love to hear you guys do a deep dive into what this class of studies show and how reliable they are.

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Thank you for this episode!!! I'm an insanely anxious person who tilts towards negativity and pessimism so I really appreciate episodes like this as a counter to my doom and gloom outlook. A wonderful way to start 2024, thank you!

Re: the drug interventions for obesity, I share some of your optimism and I'm glad it's working for many people. My main concern about it is exactly the same as what you mentioned; people will put on weight as soon as they stop, and this is already the case with other drug interventions like for blood pressure. You mentioned that this will also be the case if you stop dieting, but that's why I think the best management of any of those issues will be lifestyle changes that people can stick to, not a passing, very restrictive diet for example, since I started eating more protein in every meal, I'm less hungry overall meaning I eat less. Sure if I stop doing this I'll put on weight, but I've been able to keep it up very consistently as it's not a restrictive diet. Same with incorporating an exercise regime I enjoy, etc. I accept your point that this type of intervention simply hasn't worked for a lot of people and I agree that drugs are then better than just telling people to do things that they won't do. I just really would love there to be a way to help people incorporate longer term changes into their busy, messy lives. The risk is that practitioners will simply resort to a drug-first and drug-only treatment model, when there may be other things that could work (e.g being shoved on the pill for acne or endometriosis rather than trying to figure out what is actually wrong). Also, I am more concerned about drug treatment for obesity on children, I'm not sure if your research drilled down inro effects and risks for kids Vs adults.

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