Ideas from the Trenches - Too Dumb for Democracy

(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)


There are 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada, toiling away in relative obscurity on things their friends and families often don't understand. This is the fourth episode in our series attempting to turn a young scholar's PhD work into an hour of radio. Producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic meet University of British Columbia student David Moscrop. He argues that modern democracy just isn't built right for our brains... and so it dooms us into dumb thinking. He's got an idea for fixing that.

We're motivated by our so-called 'lizard brains'.... You change the structure and the way things operate are going to change. But at the moment the incentives are all there to do things at a base level."

UBC PhD Candidate David Moscrop

Guests in the program (in order of appearance):

Tanya Chartrand - Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University.

Tali Mendelberg
- Professor of Politics at Princeton University and author of The Race Card: Campaign messages, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality and The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation and Institutions.

Joseph Heath - Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Author of Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy and Our Lives.

trenches-4-moscrop.jpgDavid Moscrop is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of British Columbia.

trenches-4-moscrop-highschool.jpgDavid Moscrop holding fort as high school prime minister back in 2002.

trenches-4-moscrop-howell.jpgPhD candidate David Moscrop being interviewed by Tom Howell outside the student council door at St. Peter's Secondary School in Peterborough, Ontario -- his alma matter.

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