The Studies Show Podcast
The Studies Show
Episode 38: Lead and crime
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Episode 38: Lead and crime

The episode that was supposed to be Episode 37
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Many Western countries, most notably the US, had a major decline in their crime rate in the 1990s. About 20 years earlier, the US had banned the use of lead in gasoline. Perhaps you wouldn’t think those two facts are related - but many researchers think this wasn’t a coincidence.

After getting distracted and doing a whole episode on lead and IQ a couple of weeks ago, Tom and Stuart get to the subject they intended to cover: the lead-crime hypothesis. How strong is the evidence that the presence of lead in a child’s early environment increases their propensity for crime when they grow up? And how strong is the evidence that lead removal (at least partly) caused the declining crime rate?

The Studies Show is brought to you by Works in Progress, the magazine full of new and underrated ideas for advancing science, technology, and humanity. They have a new issue out right now, which opens with a fascinating essay on the decline of drink-driving. Check it out at worksinprogress.co.

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Credits

The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.

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The Studies Show Podcast
The Studies Show
A weekly podcast about the latest scientific controversies, with Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie