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Drayton Discourse Ep.1 | Prof. Cass Sunstein

‘The Drayton Discourse’ is a recently launched interview series by the Academic Events division of the Economist’s Society! Sitting home? Need some inspiration? World renowned academics and leaders would be joining this interview series, giving the viewers their perspectives about the current situation, their work, and even a bit chit-chat about their life!

For the first interview, we have Prof. Cass Sunstein, co-author of the seminal behavioral economics book – Nudge. Following we give a short summary of the interview, to hear the full conversation, tune into the youtube channel here:

Any conversation right now is incomplete without the current pandemic! Emphasising on Homo Habitus, a rather cheeky twist on Homo Sapiens, Prof Sunstein spoke about the importance of habit in human behaviour. One of the major changes Covid-19 will bring about would be a change of permanent habit: towards social interaction and stepping out.

Speaking of governance, he said that the current lockdown has given rise to what he calls ‘libertarian paternalism’. A form of big daddy government which doesn’t make the decisions for you, but steers you in a particular direction. This led on to an interesting discussion about the ‘information cascade’ and how it has had a major impact on the pandemic decisions. Expect to hear some examples from the Ebola outbreak for a better understanding on this phenomenon.

Why star wars? What made him write a book on star wars. One story which is worth hearing from this interview. In addition, although quite classic, but in case you were thinking about which movie to watch next, he gives his suggestion in the interview!

To end, lockdown may have given us all some extra free time (or maybe not?), but his love for dogs and other things he likes to do is something which would be quite a delightful ending to see. So, what are you waiting for? Tune in right away!


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