Show cover of The Measure of Everyday Life

The Measure of Everyday Life

The Measure of Everyday Life is a weekly public radio program featuring researchers, practitioners, and professionals discussing their work to improve the human condition. Independent Weekly has called the show ‘unexpected’ and ‘diverse’ and notes that the show ‘brings big questions to radio.' Episodes air weekly in the Raleigh-Durham, NC, media market (and also are streamed internationally through WNCU) and are available online the Wednesday following the original airing. WNCU produces the show with major underwriting from the nonprofit RTI International. Have thoughts on what we are doing? Let your voice be heard by rating us and joining the conversation on Twitter by following @MeasureRadio. For more information, see


Narcissism and News Personalization
What people now see presented on online platforms often reflects personal information about them, a situation which has raised alarms for some commentators. Might your personality affect whether you worry about data privacy protection and consequences for society? On this episode, we talk with Lisa Farman of Ithaca College about her work on this topic.
29:51 4/17/24
Uplifts Help Offset Traumatic Loss
Traumatic loss, such as the death of a person close to you, can affect your everyday wellbeing in many ways. On this episode, we talk with researchers who have explored ways people can cope with such loss: Alexandra Early of RTI International and Caitlin Reynolds and Shevaun Neupert of North Carolina State University.
29:31 4/10/24
Media Technology and Our Children
Parents often talk with family and friends about the roles of media in their children's lives, for better or worse. What can academic research tell us about what is ok for our kids? On this episode, we talk with Dr. Katie Davis of the University of Washington, author of a new book for MIT Press called Technology’s Child: Digital Media’s Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up.
29:35 3/13/24
Depopulation and the Future of Cities
The idea that we have more and more people on this planet has been prominent in recent decades but some researchers now project a future of declining population in some parts of the world, including the United States, which has implications for our physical infrastructure. On this episode, we talk with engineering researchers Sybil Derrible and Lauryn Spearing of the University of Illinois Chicago about a depopulated future. 
29:43 3/6/24
How Fatal Use of Force Affects Communities
We sometimes hear about fatal use of force by police officers and yet we tend to not talk about the potential long-term effects of those tragedies on community members who were not directly involved. On this episode, we talk with Kevin Strom and Sean Wire of the Center of Justice at RTI International about new research which investigates community and police department response to fatal use of force incidents. 
29:33 2/21/24
Pandemic Resilience in Secondary Education
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged and complicated school administration across the U.S. and around the world, we also are starting to hear stories of resilience. On this episode, we talk with Beth Glennie and Zach Smith of RTI International about their study of school enrollment and online achievement patterns in Hawai'i in the face of the pandemic. 
29:53 1/24/24
The Experiences of Black and Hispanic Science Researchers
As recently as 2021, more than 30,000 U.S. citizens earned a PhD and yet the demographics of that group do not reflect the U.S. population overall, particularly in the case of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. On this episode, we talk with Erin Velez and Ruth Heuer of RTI International and Lorelle Espinosa of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation about a new report documenting the experiences of Black and Hispanic science PhD candidates in the U.S.
29:41 1/10/24
Encouraging Organizations to Go Above and Beyond
At the end of each calendar year in the United States, many people talk about charity and voluntary contributions, much of which involves non-profit organizations. In recent years, U.S. government agencies and funders have asked non-profits for more formal evaluation of their work than ever before. On this episode, Aaron Horvath of Stanford University discusses surprising non-profit behavior to not only meet evaluation obligations but to voluntarily do more to share their stories.
29:55 12/20/23
The Future of Our Public Health Workforce
During the week of Thanksgiving in the US, many of us are busy with holiday meal planning and getting together with family. It is also a time when we can thank public health officials for Public Health Thank You Day. On this episode, we talk with Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation and Jenny Luray of Research!America about public health in America.
29:57 11/20/23
Women in Science
Women made crucial contributions to scientific inquiry for a long time and yet scientific professions has lacked equity in many ways. On this episode, we talk with Lisa M. P. Munoz, author of Women in Science Now: Stories and Strategies for Achieving Equity, about her journey in the sciences and about her efforts to spotlight stories of progress.   
29:38 11/15/23
Keeping Families Safe in the Current Media Landscape
You can find all sorts of content on social media platforms. Some organizations attempt to use social media to keep families safe but how successful has that work been? On this episode, we talk with Jennifer Manganello of the University at Albany and Lara McKenzie of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio about their work to encourage child safety.
29:58 11/1/23
Ending the Use of Race in Clinical Algorithms
Algorithms are essentially sets of instructions for what steps to take in response to input. They are embedded into many aspects of our everyday life and doctors even use algorithms to generate advice for patients. What should we do if we discover certain algorithms are based on flawed data or misleading analysis? On this episode, we talk with Adriana Joseph of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene about a new coalition to improve how we use clinical algorithms.    
29:46 10/18/23
Coping with Trauma
Emotional abuse and manipulation can cause harm in interpersonal relationships and for society. On this episode, we focus on the science of healing from interpersonal trauma with professional counselor Dr. Amelia Kelley, author of a new book on trauma recovery.    
29:36 10/4/23
Partnering with People with Intellectual and Developmental Challenges
People who face challenges from intellectual and developmental disabilities comprise important audiences for many public health communication efforts. What are the best ways to support and work with people in those audiences? On this episode, we talk with communication researchers Molly Lynch, Linda Squiers, and Sidney Holt of RTI International about their work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CommunicateHealth to improve the ways we engage with people in a range of situations.  
29:41 9/20/23
Friendships and High School Dropout
As another school year starts in the United States, we have opportunities to support students who are considering dropping out of school. On this episode, we talk with Marie-Hélène Véronneau of the University of Quebec at Montreal about interpersonal factors which seem to help reduce high school dropout.   
29:36 9/13/23
Dogs, People, and Science
Chances are that you or someone you know has a dog in the house. What do we know about the relationships between people and dogs? On this episode, we talk with authors of The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection, Jen Goldbeck of the University of Maryland and science writer Stacey Colino.   
29:38 9/6/23
Loneliness and Social Media
Social media may play a role in our collective loneliness but researchers now also are attempting to use social media tools to reduce loneliness. On this episode, we talk with two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professors, Barbara Frederickson and Allison Lazard, about their new work to improve mental health using new communication tools. 
29:36 8/30/23
Artificial Intelligence and People
A new generation of artificial intelligence applications have flooded many workplaces and smartphones. What types of relationships will people have with artificial intelligence technologies? On this episode, we talk about the human dimension of human-computer interaction with Dr. Roshni Raveendhran of the University of Virginia.
29:32 8/16/23
Equity, Education, and Childcare
Daycare and early childhood education sites are more than vibrant places with children laughing and eating snacks. Such places also offer important opportunities to promote equity and justice. On this episode, we talk with Dr. Iheoma Iruka of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along with three co-authors, she’s written a new book called We Are the Change We Seek: Advancing Racial Justice in Early Care and Education. 
29:43 8/9/23
How to Talk about Public Safety Reform
In recent years, protests and dialog have emerged regarding the roles police units should play in responding to public safety needs. On this episode, we talk with two people involved with producing a new documentary on public safety reform in Durham, NC: Dilsey Davis of RTI International’s Transformative Research Unit for Equity and Ryan Smith, Director of the Community Safety Department for the City of Durham.
29:51 8/2/23
Evaluating with Equity
Phrases such as “racial equity” and "social equity" have been prominent in recent years. How to evaluate social interventions with equity in mind has received less attention, though. On this episode, we talk with RTI International researchers Daniela Pineda and Brittany Wood about new guidance from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
29:41 7/5/23
Social Norms and Corruption
We know that social norms can influence many types of behavior. Can social norms predict corruption? On this episode, we talk with Lisa McGregor of RTI International, Richard Nash of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church of Besa Global about their work to understand patterns of corruption around the world.
29:13 6/7/23
Giving Voice to Air and Water Quality Concerns
We are fortunate to be able to breathe air and drink water. Everyone doesn’t enjoy the same air and water quality, though. How can we know whether what we consume is safe? What do people think about the air and water in their area? On this episode, we talk with Dr. Courtney Woods of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about her work to elevate resident voices. 
29:55 5/24/23
Parenting Practices and Child Wellbeing
The last few years have been challenging for many families. How should we be raising children amidst a changing world? What can we learn from various contexts around the world? On this episode, we talk with Katherine King, director of early childhood development programs at RTI International. 
29:58 5/17/23
Social Media as a Research Tool
Any single social media post does not necessarily reflect public opinion, and yet researchers also have found creative ways to use social media tools to assist their work. On this episode, we talk with Stephanie McInnis and Jessica Sobolewski of RTI International about how they are using social media to answer key questions about public health. 
29:51 5/10/23
The Future of Our Shorelines
Recently, news headlines have highlighted challenges that homeowners are facing as the Atlantic Ocean rises and changes the shape of our coastline. On this episode, we talk with Kiera O’Donnell of Duke University about the preferences that residents of coastal communities have expressed about future development.   
29:23 5/3/23
Climate Change and Baseball
Over the course of a century, baseball has entertained fans throughout the United States and in various parts of the world. The experience today is not quite the same as it used to be, though. In this episode, we talk with Christopher Callahan of Dartmouth College, lead author of a new paper which looks at how climate change may already have affected the game of baseball. 
29:30 4/26/23
Stories of Police Reform
In recent years, our news headlines have spotlighted challenges in the relationships between local police departments and the communities they serve. On this episode, we talk with Neil Gross and Leon Nixon about their new audiobook, Walk the Walk: How Three Police Chiefs Defied the Odds and Changed Cop Culture. 
29:29 3/15/23
A History of Patriarchy
Authors sometimes can illuminate aspects of our everyday lives which we sometimes take for granted. Angela Saini does that with her new book, The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule. On this episode, she joins to discuss her historical analysis and assessment of our present condition. 
29:41 3/8/23
Saving Snakes
We often hear about snakes as a symbol of ill intention in popular culture and yet that characterization is at odds with what conservation scientists understand to be the nature of the animals. On this episode, we talk with Nicolette Cagle of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She is author of a new book called “Saving Snakes.”
29:24 3/1/23