Do You Really Want Consistent Politicians?
It's one of the most common attacks in the political arsenal: Labeling a candidate a "flip-flopper." The human brain craves predictability, according to neuroscientists, and when politicians appear inconsistent our brains don't like it. Often, we feel betrayed. NPR science correspondents Jon Hamilton, Alix Spiegel and Shankar Vedantam explored the science of political consistency on Monday's Morning Edition. They'll join guest host John Donvan to talk about why we're hard-wired to appreciate consistency, and whether voters see a politician's change of heart as a betrayal or as good judgment.
Op-ed: 'I'm No Longer A Catholic. Why Are You?'
After the recent controversy over birth control, health coverage and the Catholic Church, writer Soraya Chemaly declared: "I'm No Longer a Catholic. Why Are You?" In a piece for The Huffington Post, she explains why she had to walk away from the church. Many women, she writes, "work hard to change the institution, stay true to their church and value it for all of the good that it does." For her, that wasn't an option: "Why on earth would I continue to pay any attention to men... who expect me to not only believe wrong, perverted, ideas about me, my gender and sexuality, but also ask me to transmit that information to my children?" Chemaly joins guest host John Donvan on the Opinion Page.
Women's Rights After The Arab Spring
Popular movements during the Arab Spring drove out autocratic leaders across the Middle East while paving the way for democratic elections in Egypt and Tunisia. In Egypt, those elections put Islamists in control of the lower house of parliament, and last week the upper house picked an Islamist as speaker. Those developments worry many women's rights activists, who fear that a shift toward democratically elected Islamist rule will result in less personal and political freedom for women. A number of activists recently accused Human Rights Watch of not doing enough to support women's rights in Arab Spring countries and to hold Islamist governments accountable. Guest host John Donvan speaks with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro and women's rights workers about the status and role of women in Islamist governments.
Teller Tells All
"Magic — normally deemed entertainment fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas — has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world." On stage, Teller, half of the magician team of Penn & Teller, rarely says a word. In this month's Smithsonian Magazine, he reveals some of his magician's secrets of deception and explains why some in the scientific community find magicians like him, "sexier than lab rats." Magicians, he writes, have studied human perception for thousands of years, while "neuroscientists are novices at deception." "At the core of every trick," he argues, "is a cold, cognitive experiment in perception." Teller joins guest host John Donvan to talk about his piece, "Teller Reveals His Secrets."