May 25, 2017

We all want to help people (hopefully). But why? And what’s the best way to actually help? This week on Innovation Hub, we’ll explore what it means to lend a hand. First up, we’ll find out the reason why many people want to donate to charity. Or give away one of their kidneys. Or even run a marathon. According to Jessica Tracy, the reason behind all of these things, is actually one of the seven deadly sins: pride. Tracy is a psychologist, and a professor, and she explains why pride is an emotion that’s key to human civilization. 


Then, how does a scientist halt the spread of Lyme disease? Well, you could kill the deer that the ticks live on… but it turns out, people don’t exactly like it when you propose murdering cute deer. But MIT’s Kevin Esvelt may have a solution. He wants to release thousands of genetically-engineered mice onto an uninhabited island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. To put his plan into action, though, he’ll need something absolutely critical… the people of Martha’s Vineyard’s permission.  

 After that, we’ll look at an entirely new approach to helping people. Aid organizations often give out blankets, food, and supplies to refugees. But what if these non-profits just gave refugees money? Radha Rajkotia of the International Rescue Committee says that the aid community should trust refugees to know what’s best for themselves and their families. 


 And finally, from giving money to transferring it. We’ll find out how the Panic of 1837 helped give rise to our modern communication network.


Western Union, Jessica Tracy, pride, Kevin Esvelt, Radha Rajkotia

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