After the Fact

After the Fact

www.pewtrusts.org/afterthefact
After the Fact is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts that explores the facts, numbers, and trends shaping our world.


Scientists at Work: The Art and Science of Saving Mangroves
Jun 17 • 17 min
Mangrove forests are natural protectors, shielding coasts from storms, sheltering species, and soaking up carbon. Reversing the decline of these habitats isn’t just a science—it’s an art, says marine biologist Octavio Aburto. He uses his camera along with…
Subsidizing the Decline in Ocean Health
Jun 7 • 13 min
Stat: 93. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. estimates 93 percent of marine fisheries worldwide are fished at or beyond sustainable catch levels. Story: A large part of overfishing is driven by subsidies—most of which go to large-scale…
The American Family: The Not So Golden Years
May 24 • 15 min
Stat: 46. The percentage of American adults who worry that they will not be able to live comfortably in retirement. Story: After all the hard work and child rearing, do Americans get to finally relax and retire with some financial stability? Research…
The American Family: The Financial Crunch of Families
May 17 • 21 min
Stat: $233,610. The cost of raising a child through age 17 for a middle-class American family, not including a college education. Story: From diapers to day care and beyond, it’s getting more expensive to raise a family in the U.S. And just keeping up…
The American Family: Postponing Parenthood
May 9 • 18 min
Stat: 86. The percentage of women ages 40-44 who are mothers, compared with 80 percent in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. Story: American women are waiting longer to have children—but are more likely to have kids than they were a decade…
The American Family: Waiting to Say ‘I Do’
May 3 • 24 min
Stat: 7. On average, Americans are waiting nearly seven years longer to get married than they did in 1968, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Story: Does putting off marriage mean people no longer want to say “I do?” To learn more about this trend, we…
Coming Soon—The American Family
Apr 26 • 0 min
Story: The American family is changing. We explore how over the next four episodes, taking you into the lives of American families through conversations at kitchen tables, in workplaces, and even in the family car on the way to after-school pickup. Host…
Scientists at Work: Teaching Robots to Think
Apr 12 • 13 min
Stat: 20 percent. The share of Americans who find the concept of machines doing most human jobs in the future extremely realistic. Story: Will robots take our jobs? They’ll need a human skill first—the ability to think. To find out just how near such a…
Who Is Generation Z?
Mar 29 • 13 min
Stat: 48%—Almost half the members of Generation Z—age 22 or younger—are racial or ethnic minorities. Story: Step aside, Millennials. There’s a new, younger group out there: Generation Z, which includes anyone born after 1996. To learn more about this…
Water, Water, Not Everywhere
Mar 15 • 15 min
Stat: 844 million. The amount of people worldwide who lack even a basic drinking-water service, according to the World Health Organization. Story: For many of us, it can be easy to take water for granted. Turn on the tap and it’s there. But today, the…
Scientists at Work: Why Are Giraffes Dying?
Mar 1 • 15 min
Stat: 40%—Across Africa, the number of giraffes has declined by 40 percent since 1979. Story: Giraffes are dying, and experts are trying to figure out why. Host Dan LeDuc speaks to two giraffe experts, ecologist David O’Connor and researcher Jenna…
The Grand Canyon National Park Turns 100
Feb 15 • 14 min
Stat: 1919—the year President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill establishing the Grand Canyon as a national park. Story: The Grand Canyon was dedicated as a national park 100 years ago. This anniversary commemorates the canyon’s legacy, but it has been around…
Living Longer: Our 100-Year Life
Feb 1 • 18 min
Stat: 100. More than half of children born in developed countries today will reach the age of 100. Story: If you knew you would live to 100, what would you do differently? Increasing longevity will expand and shift the traditional phases of life,…
Looks Can Be Deceiving: Deepfakes
Jan 18 • 19 min
Stat: 57 percent of social media news consumers expect what they see there to be largely inaccurate. Story: The rise of deepfakes—realistic fake videos made with artificial intelligence software—is beginning to make sorting fact from fiction even harder.…
The American Dream: Does Your Zip Code Determine Your Destiny?
Jan 4 • 19 min
Stat: 50. The percentage of American children today who will grow up to earn more than their parents did. Story: That’s down from over 90 percent for children born in the 1940s and its says a lot about the current state of the American Dream. John…
The Power (and Peril?) of New Technologies
Dec 21, 2018 • 14 min
Stat: Four in 10 Americans say technology has improved their lives most in the past 50 years. Story: To end 2018, we look ahead at the promise of new technologies, which also bring challenges for societies. To understand the issues, we speak to Arati…
Scientists at Work: The Secret Life of Manatees
Dec 7, 2018 • 18 min
Stat: 21. The number of African countries where manatees live. Story: If you’ve ever seen a manatee, odds are you were in Florida, where these aquatic relatives of the elephant may have poked their faces above the water’s surface to get a look at you. But…
What Religious Type Are You?
Nov 21, 2018 • 17 min
Stat: 39 percent. That’s how many Americans say they’re highly religious. Story: When asked about their religion, most Americans identify with a traditional faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam. The Pew Research Center recently looked beyond familiar…
From Idea to Art: Exploring the Creative Process
Nov 9, 2018 • 23 min
Stat: $764 billion. That’s how much the arts contribute to the U.S. economy each year. Story: The creative process for artists can seem mysterious—what sparks an artist’s initial idea and how does that idea become reality? Host Dan LeDuc talks to Pew Arts…
Midterm Outlook: What’s on the Minds of Voters?
Oct 26, 2018 • 15 min
Stat: 61 percent. That’s how many voters say they’re enthusiastic about voting in November. Story: Traditionally, voters don’t flock to the polls for the midterm elections. But this year, the Pew Research Center found that voters are more enthusiastic…
A World in Motion: Global Demographics Explained—Part 2
Oct 19, 2018 • 14 min
Stat: 7 out of 10 babies born in London have at least one parent who wasn’t. Story: London is on track to exceed 9 million people in three years and most of the new babies there have at least one foreign-born parent. One area in particular is emblematic…
A World in Motion: Global Demographics Explained-Part 1
Oct 12, 2018 • 12 min
Stat: 70 percent. That’s how many children now born in London have at least one foreign-born parent. Story: In many ways, the metropolis of London is a microcosm of what’s happening around the globe. People move across borders and flock to urban centers,…
Dave Ramsey Talks American Debt
Sep 28, 2018 • 17 min
Stat: 7 in 10. That’s how many Americans say that debt is a necessity, even though they prefer not to have it. Story: Ten years after the global financial crisis, we explore Americans’ relationship with debt, and interview Dave Ramsey, the host of a…
Scientists at Work: Craig Mello on the Mysteries of Genetic Code
Sep 14, 2018 • 16 min
Stat: Four. That’s how many letters in the DNA alphabet make up every living thing. Story: How does genetic information transmit across generations? While trying to find out, scientists Craig Mello and Andrew Fire quite by accident made a discovery in…
The Future of Fish and Chips
Sep 7, 2018 • 14 min
Stat: North Atlantic cod have nearly tripled since 2006 to 118,000 tons. Summary: Overfishing has strained most global fish stocks. But the European Union has made progress bringing back one species: North Atlantic cod. The flaky white fish—a British…
Scientists at Work: Ira Flatow Talks Science
Aug 24, 2018 • 12 min
Stat: 44 percent. The percentage of Americans who think the public doesn’t know enough about science to understand new findings in the news. Story: Ira Flatow, the host of “Science Friday,” has been with National Public Radio since it went on the air in…
The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
Aug 10, 2018 • 15 min
Stat: At least 2 million Americans get antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Story: Nearly a century after Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, bacteria continue to develop the ability to defeat antibiotics. Doctors are concerned about the…
Event Rebroadcast: U.S. Senator Susan Collins on Addressing Rising Drug Prices
Aug 3, 2018 • 38 min
Stat: $477 billion. That’s the amount spent on prescription drugs in the United States last year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Story: Skyrocketing prescription drug prices have long troubled U.S. Senator Susan Collins of…
Save the Sharks
Jul 23, 2018 • 22 min
Stat: At least 63 million sharks are taken from the ocean every year. Story: And that’s the low estimate; others range as high was 273 million. That worldwide catch is threatening some species with extinction. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with…
What Is the Blue Economy?
Jul 13, 2018 • 22 min
Stat: The ocean generates $2.5 trillion of economic benefits around the world each year. Story: Fisheries, tourism, and shipping are some of the ways we quantify the monetary value of the ocean—but it also drives weather patterns and provides more than 1…
Our Flag Is Still There: A Visit to the Star-Spangled Banner
Jun 29, 2018 • 13 min
Stat: The flag that inspired our national anthem has 15 stars and stripes. Story: It flew over Fort McHenry in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. And after the fight, it was what Francis Scott Key was looking for when he asked, “Oh say does…
Event Rebroadcast: The Southern Ocean—Where Sport, Diplomacy, and Marine Protected Areas Meet
Jun 15, 2018 • 41 min
Stat: Antarctica is home to more than 9,000 species found nowhere else on Earth. Story: They include Adélie and emperor penguins that depend on the waters that surround the continent. In 2016, 24 countries and the European Union created the world’s…
Scientists at Work: ‘The Jane Goodall of Penguins’
Jun 8, 2018 • 17 min
Stat: The penguin population in Punta Tombo, Argentina, has declined by 43 percent since 1987. Story: Not all of those birds are dying: Many are relocating to areas with more prey—a move aided by their ability to swim 170 kilometers a day—and 200,000…
Event Rebroadcast: How Today’s Generations are Changing the World
Jun 1, 2018 • 44 min
Stat: By midcentury, there will be 2 billion elderly people in the world—and 2 billion young Story: For the first time there will be as many of each group —and together they’ll account for more than 40 percent of the world’s population. This will have…
Dental Care Gaps in America
May 25, 2018 • 14 min
Stat: 63 million Americans, many of them children, live in areas with a shortage of dental care. Story: To help alleviate this, a new kind of dental provider is being created: dental therapists, who are much like physician assistants in a medical office.…
Finding Facts
May 11, 2018 • 15 min
Stat: 64 percent of Americans say fake news is causing confusion over basic facts, according to the Pew Research Center. Story: It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to sort fact from fiction in this digital age. In this episode, we talk to Alan…
Serve the Country, Save the Parks
Apr 24, 2018 • 9 min
More than a third of America’s national parks are battlefields, cemeteries, and other sites that honor our military veterans. But those 156 landmarks are awaiting $6 billion in needed repairs—accounting for nearly half of the National Park Service’s $11.6…
The Value of Non-partisanship
Apr 9, 2018 • 29 min
With political discourse at a stalemate, we traveled to Middle America to find some middle ground. Former Representative Lee Hamilton (D) and former Senator Richard Lugar (R) represented Indiana for a combined 70 years and always kept talking to each…
Event Rebroadcast: A Conversation With Governor Bill Haslam
Mar 14, 2018 • 18 min
How can states use data to make government work better? Known as a national leader for his efforts to make state government more efficient, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam shares what he’s learned over two terms about tripling the state’s rainy day fund,…
Rising Spirituality in America
Mar 5, 2018 • 19 min
Americans have become less religious but more spiritual over time, with 59 percent saying they regularly feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being. Host Dan LeDuc interviews the Pew Research Center’s Greg Smith about these trends. We also turn…
The Millennials Aren’t Kids Anymore
Feb 16, 2018 • 12 min
Move aside, baby boomers. Millennials are one of the largest living generations, and they are not kids anymore. The oldest millennials are now 37, and they are making their mark on the workplace, politics, and America’s public opinion landscape. We…
What’s Happening in the States
Feb 7, 2018 • 21 min
Money makes policy. As states plan for the future, tax revenue helps them decide what it can be. And nearly half the states still don’t have the revenue they did before the Great Recession. Host Dan LeDuc interviews Pew’s Kil Huh about this and then goes…
The Next Generation
Jan 31, 2018 • 18 min
While millennials have dominated headlines, there’s a new generation in town—people born after 1995. This group includes teens today, and they are facing significant challenges, including increased rates of depression. We discuss the implications of…
Event Rebroadcast: Deep Seabed Mining and the Environment
Jan 5, 2018 • 19 min
The ocean floor is rich with abundant marine life and mineral deposits, but the newly forming seabed mining industry could threaten these pristine environments. We hear about the challenges and opportunities on this issue from Michael Lodge,…
Technology Today and Tomorrow
Dec 21, 2017 • 19 min
Today, 88 percent of Americans are connected online, according to the Pew Research Center, and nearly half of adults use voice assistants. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of these digital advances with Lee Rainie, director of the center’s internet…
Poverty and Connecting to Opportunity in Philadelphia
Dec 6, 2017 • 17 min
The national poverty rate has gradually declined, but poverty in Philadelphia remains stubbornly high at 25.7 percent—the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities. We discuss the story behind the numbers with Larry Eichel, who leads Pew’s Philadelphia…
Impacts of Illegal Fishing
Nov 28, 2017 • 18 min
Up to 1 in 5 fish taken from the sea is caught illegally, costing as much as $23.5 billion globally each year and harming ocean health and fishing communities. We discuss solutions with Peter Horn, who leads Pew’s work from London on satellite technology…
Antibiotic Resistance: When Drugs Don’t Work Anymore
Nov 10, 2017 • 17 min
Carl Romm was just 27 when he lost his life to a strain of bacteria that could not be treated—a superbug. Antibiotic resistance is a growing global health threat, sickening 2 million Americans each year and killing 23,000. It’s been 30 years since a new…
Bonus: Responding to the Opioid Crisis
Nov 2, 2017 • 10 min
President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency—but what will it take get patients the treatment they need? Following our recent episode on opiate misuse, this bonus edition delves deeper with Shawn Ryan of BrightView…
Treating the Opioid Epidemic
Oct 27, 2017 • 22 min
The nation’s opioid epidemic has been making headlines, and much is required to curtail this public health crisis. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Cindy Reilly, who directs Pew’s work on this issue, and Dr. Shawn Ryan, chief medical officer at…
Event Rebroadcast: The New Age of Invention
Oct 13, 2017 • 47 min
The digital revolution is transforming innovation. Putting this knowledge to purpose is changing how we live, communicate, and govern. This episode features a rebroadcast of a discussion on technological innovation with contributors to Trend, Pew’s…
From TV to Twitter: How Americans Get News Now
Sep 29, 2017 • 11 min
The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who get it on television is narrowing, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, 67 percent of people say they get at least some of their news through social media. In this episode,…
Reform in the Most Incarcerated State
Sep 15, 2017 • 11 min
Louisiana has the highest imprisonment rate in the U.S., giving it the unenviable label of “most incarcerated state.” Its leaders intend to change that with comprehensive criminal justice reform passed this summer that aims to reduce crime and…
Event Rebroadcast: A Tale of Two Floods
Aug 30, 2017 • 26 min
The devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey have left thousands of Texas residents homeless. As the recovery begins, we’re rebroadcasting a conversation between Joseph Riley, former mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, now a Pew distinguished fellow, and…
The Financial Toll of Flooding—Part 2
Aug 18, 2017 • 8 min
We’ve seen devastating news coverage following a big storm, but what happens after the flood? Pew’s Fred Baldassaro travels to Norfolk, Virginia, to meet with Skip Stiles, founder and executive director of Wetlands Watch. They tour neighborhoods in the…
The Financial Toll of Flooding—Part 1
Aug 4, 2017 • 14 min
It’s hurricane season and extreme weather events are on the rise. Along with the catastrophic losses that families face after the flood is the economic burden on taxpayers through the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s the financial lifeline for those…
Event Rebroadcast: Can Technology Save the Earth?
Jul 18, 2017 • 60 min
The planet is facing increased environmental pressures—from warming oceans to species loss. At the same time, new tools such as satellite monitoring and forensic science continue to support conservation gains around the world. But will technology…
Our Blue Planet–Protecting the Ocean
Jun 22, 2017 • 22 min
Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life as we know it. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures, isn’t getting the care it needs. That’s why leading scientists say…
Inventing the Future
May 23, 2017 • 13 min
Technology is transforming our world and our workplaces. With the quick pace of change, the future can be as unsettling as it is exciting. However, in this episode, Brian David Johnson says we can invent the future. As a futurist for major…
America’s National Parks: Upkeep Required
Apr 19, 2017 • 17 min
More than 331 million visits were made to America’s national parks last year—to hike stunning trails, drive scenic roads, and climb stairs in historic structures. But as the number of visitors has been growing, so have the maintenance needs for…
Public Attitudes on Childhood Vaccines
Apr 5, 2017 • 9 min
While concern about childhood immunization stirs debate, Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans—88 percent—believe that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc discusses that data point…
Less Incarceration, Less Crime
Mar 20, 2017 • 19 min
States are finding new ways to get smart on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment. After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent…
The State of the American Dream
Jan 31, 2017 • 16 min
Struggling to pay bills and set aside savings? You’re in good company: 92 percent of Americans say financial stability is more important to them than moving up the economic ladder. That’s just about everybody, and it makes for a new version of the…
Introducing After the Fact
Jan 9, 2017 • 1 min
Join experts from The Pew Charitable Trusts and other special guests for the story behind the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges. Whether it’s data on the financial plight of American families or research on how to…