RWJF Pioneering Ideas Podcast: Episode 1 | Behavioral Economics, the Science of Placebo Studies & More

Aug 6, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by

Please note that this podcast player might not work in some versions of Internet Explorer. Please view this page in another browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari. You may also access the episode via SoundCloud.

Welcome to the first episode of the Pioneering Ideas podcast. Get insight into the Pioneer funding strategy in a Q&A with Brian Quinn. Next, in a conversation about our recent Behavioral Economics Call for Problems (time stamp: 4:35), director Lori Melichar and Drs. Kevin Volpp and David Asch, co-directors of the Foundation's Behavioral Economics Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, talk about the pros and cons of making proposals public so ideas can spread. Then Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk, a Pioneer grantee, talks about the developing science of placebo studies (9:25). And Senior Program Officer Paul Tarini talks with Pioneer grantee Ben Heywood about how PatientsLikeMe could change medical practice and research (13:10). It's a stimulating mix of conversations, all of which offer a window into what, exactly, constitutes a pioneering idea. Listen now or download the episode:


Reading List

Learn more about the ideas and projects discussed in this episode.

  • Meditation Without God – "Ted Kaptchuk and colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that subjects with irritable bowel syndrome who took placebo pills had a significantly better outcome than a matched control group that received no treatment," the Washington Post reports. "The twist in this experiment was that the subjects were actually told they were getting an inert placebo. Yet it worked."
  • A New Type of Research for the Information Age – As patients increasingly share their experiences online, it is time to update the ethical approval process for research studies to reflect this, says Paul Wicks of PatientsLikeMe.
  • Pioneering the Use of Personal Health Data – Trace the evolution of the personal health data projects we’ve funded over the years, including our current Health Data Exploration.

Listen to Past Episodes

Check out past episodes of the Pioneering Ideas podcast, where we explore topics like the science of choosing and the radical effect of empathy on innovation.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.