Some weeks ago my friend and colleague Dr Dave O’Brien interviewed me for a podcast on his New Books in Critical Theory series. I’m delighted to be in such eminent company (not to mention being called a critical theorist) – recent podcasts from William Davies on the happiness industry and Liz McFall on the insurance and credit markets, not to mention the splendid Swedes Isabelle, C-F, and Francis, talking about their recent edited volume on value practices in life sciences (which I’m in!). Listen to them all. So without further ado, here’s the link to the podcast. Thanks Dave!
Back in August I recorded an interview for Talking Books on newstalkfm. Susan Cahill, whose show it is, had really got her teeth into my book and asked me all sorts of difficult questions. Why had I used Borges’s fable as a metaphor for economics – no one has ever asked me that before, although fortunately I did have good reasons! So I had to think on my feet a few times, but I think it’s a great interview, all the better for hearing an author really challenged once or twice. And from my point of view, there’s nothing more flattering than having someone take real interest in what you’ve written; that’s true any time, but even better when others can listen to it on the radio. Thanks Susan! The interview was broadcast on 4 October 2015 and you can listen to it here.
How should we teach economics? That’s the question raised by economics students all over the world, who have signed up to a petition for pluralist economics, an economics in touch with history, philosophy, and (God forbid) the rest of the social sciences. It seems pretty reasonable to me, although students would have to wake up to some tricky problems about the nature of economics science if they got what they wanted. On the other hand, you might say that scientists don’t need to know philosophy of science to be, say, biologists, and that’s true too. Perhaps if you want to study society, you should study sociology, and that’s more or less what Manchester University’s economics faculty said to its students. To me it seems that problem is just as much our expectations of economics, and the place in society that economics expects. Anyway, that’s enough for now; if you want to hear me and Professor Geoffrey Wood arguing the case on BBC Radio 3’s Freethinking, you can do so here.
To wrap it all up, on 25 February, I was invited onto Toronto Global TV’s breakfast show. Here’s the video and here I am!
Not to mention a trip to Sun TV for Michael Coren’s discussion and topical issues show The Arena…
I celebrated publication day with this interview on BBC News’ Meet the Author, hosted by the delightful Nick Higham. It’s available on iplayer until 12 February, and you can find it here. Otherwise, here’s the two of us in full flow.
On Thursday evening I caught up with my old friends at BBC Radio Three with an interview on Free Thinking: how Channel Four’s (atrocious) Benefits Street has become the centrepiece for a battle over welfare payments and the (un)deserving poor. I followed a column by another former New Generation Thinker, the Oxford historian Jonathan Healey, who told us how these voyeuristic rogues galleries of the ‘idle poor’ go right back to the 16th century. You can listen to the show here: Jonathan and I get the last 15 minutes or so.
Going back a bit in time, but for the archive, here are some links to the AHRC BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers contest and the broadcasts that resulted.
In January 2012 I broadcast a column for Radio 3’s The Essay. On the subject of The Entrepreneur, you can find it on iplayer here.
The media were quick to get hold of the contest in 2011: the Guardian had some pleasant things to say – I especially like ‘young’ – while in the Telegraph Rowan Pelling begged to be spared from a ‘buzzy new breed‘ of academics. Young doesn’t seem so flattering in Pelling’s article. you have to take the rough with the smooth, I think, but I would point out that ‘relevance’ is exactly the kind of ‘virtue’ that you are going to get if you insist on assessing education with market metrics like ‘impact’, a strategy of which the Telegraph would generally, one assumes, approve. I’ve had some thoughts about this kind of logic, and if you want to know more, you should read my book!