Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Space — the final business frontier
Jul 16 • 38 min
Fifty years ago today, the Saturn V rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the first men to walk on the moon. Today, we’ll mark that milestone by looking ahead to the exploration, colonization and militarization of space. By some…
The end of history (majors)
Jul 9 • 34 min
This week, Kai and guest host Reema Khrais talk about the importance of history and what happens when we don’t relate it to the present.
The view from Shanghai
Jul 2 • 31 min
This week, we go beyond the headlines and political rhetoric to try and understand daily life in the world’s second-largest economy.
How did CEO pay get so bloated?
Jun 25 • 34 min
We’re kicking off a new series focusing on a topic that comes up a lot around here: Is the economy working for everybody? Today we’re talking about CEO pay. Some chief executives make up to 1,000 times more than their average employees. It didn’t used to…
Bonus: This Is Uncomfortable, episode 2
Jun 22 • 23 min
Marketplace has a brand-new podcast: “This Is Uncomfortable.” Every Thursday, host Reema Khrais tells stories about life and how money messes with it. This week’s episode is all about the baggage that comes with crying at work, and it features a certain…
What’s in a face?
Jun 18 • 33 min
San Francisco banned government agencies from using facial recognition last month, citing civil liberty concerns. It’s a baby step in regulating technology that could make some aspects of life safer and more convenient, but comes with a host of unintended…
The internet as we know it rests on 26 words from 1996
Jun 11 • 33 min
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act established that online platforms are not responsible for what users post on them. Can that stand today?
Your crash course on the Indian economy
Jun 4 • 42 min
Newly reelected Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces significant challenges, including the highest unemployment in 45 years and losing special trade status with the U.S.
Huawei and the tech cold war
May 28 • 36 min
The fight over Chinese tech could change the race for 5G and rewire the global economy.
Antitrust the process
May 21 • 32 min
The conversation around antitrust is expanding, and tech giants could get caught up in it.
How to survive climate change
May 14 • 38 min
It may be too late to avoid the worst consequences of our warming planet. But we could still adapt to them.
What. The. Fed.
May 7 • 34 min
Seriously … what’s a central bank to do? The Federal Reserve’s got quite the puzzle on its hands.
CRISPR for beginners
Apr 30 • 34 min
The gene-editing tool is ushering in a biotech revolution. Here's what you need to know.
What does “Medicare for all” actually look like?
Apr 22 • 37 min
As the idea inches toward the mainstream, we unpack how it could affect the economy.
The future of work is anchor jobs and side hustles
Apr 16 • 34 min
A string of IPOs cements the gig economy as part of working life.
The Explainathon strikes back
Apr 9 • 35 min
It’s our the fifth Explainathon, the semi-biannual challenge when Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood try to answer as many of your questions as possible. This one has everything: Privacy regulation! Social Security! 5G! The college admissions scandal! The dark…
Why your tax refund might be lower this year
Apr 2 • 37 min
… And why that’s not so bad, even if it feels that way.
How do drug epidemics end?
Mar 26 • 25 min
In its new season, The Uncertain Hour is trying to find out.
The Great British Break-Off
Mar 19 • 39 min
The United Kingdom voted for Brexit almost three years ago, but there’s still no deal in place to politically and economically untangle itself from Europe. The BBC’s Ros Atkins tells us why we should care about Brexit.
A year after Cambridge Analytica, what have we learned?
Mar 12 • 29 min
The scandal made us think differently about Facebook. Here’s what to do about it.
Quantum computing for normals
Mar 5 • 37 min
What’s the size of a refrigerator, prefers -460 degrees Farenheit and has nations racing to master it? Starts with Q …
The 2020 election will be all about socialism
Feb 26 • 33 min
NPR’s Sam Sanders on democratic socialism and his time reporting on Sen. Bernie Sanders (no relation). He spent much of 2015 and 2016 embedded in the Bernie Sanders campaign.
What’s the deal with the Green New Deal?
Feb 19 • 35 min
It’s more about the political climate. It’s an ambitious plan to de-carbonize the American economy while adding new jobs in infrastructure and alternative energy.
The Oscars are a mess
Feb 12 • 43 min
New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris helps us make sense of it.
When memes are moneymakers
Feb 5 • 29 min
It’s our dankest episode yet. We get you up to speed on memes before we ask the money question: Where is the profit when they go viral?
Can we shut down the shutdowns?
Jan 29 • 38 min
How did closing the government became a political weapon in the first place?
Think before you major
Jan 22 • 36 min
The years of your life, the mountains of debt… more people wonder if higher ed pays off.
Do it for the ‘gram
Jan 15 • 33 min
And by “it” we mean “deleting Facebook.” Wait, what?
Back to design school
Jan 8 • 25 min
Can design thinking help us solve this country’s problems at scale? What about existential-crisis scale?
The problem with platforms
Dec 30, 2018 • 19 min
As a year of social media scandals ends, let’s revisit our talk with internet law professor Kate Klonick.