Hi, Dax Shepard here. I’m fascinated by smart people with a unique point of view. On this show, I leverage people’s vague awareness of me as an actor to talk with a bunch of bona fide experts. It’s a soothing mix of brain candy and defensive humor (my response to feeling intellectually outclassed). Join me on a layman’s journey through the Land of Specialists!
Brad Edwards is a nationally recognized Board Certified Civil Trial attorney who specializes in providing civil representation for children, victims of sexual abuse, and victims of violent crimes. He is most notable for representing over 50 girls in the Jeffrey Epstein case. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the details of the Jeffrey Epstein case, the ways in which he manipulated his victims and he recalls the times he spent with Jeffrey one-on-one. Dax asks Brad about his opinion on Epstein’s death and Brad talks about the hurdles of this case. The two talk about the ways income inequality played a role in the power dynamic, Ghislaine Maxwell’s involvement, and his book, Relentless Pursuit: My Fight For The Victims of Jeffrey Epstein.
Angela Duckworth is an American academic, psychologist and MacArthur Genius grant winner. She is the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control. Angela chats with the Armchair Expert about the components of grit, her inclination to study achievement and the amorphous quality to intelligence. Dax talks about fulfillment vs. success and Angela talks about the imperative of intentional role modeling. The two discuss objectivism in The Fountainhead, the detriment of comparison and Angela evaluates Dax and Monica's grit.
Travis Pastrana an American professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won X Games gold medals in supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. Travis chats with the Armchair Expert about how he started riding dirt bikes at age 4, his risk/reward philosophy on life and his goal to make motocross safer and more accessible. Dax asks about addiction in the sport and Travis talks about his harrowing injuries. The two discuss having kids in conjunction with dangerous hobbies and Travis talks about the future of his profession.
David Sinclair is an Australian biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard known for his research on aging and longevity mechanisms. David chats with the Armchair Expert on his field of advancing the age of an organism, the stigma around aging research and his existing accomplishment of reversing the age of eyes in mice. Dax asks why humans have evolved to die and David explains the epigenome and it’s part in longevity. The two talk about the ethical questions surrounding this issue and David explains the potential for erasing diseases eventually leading to 300 and 400 year long life spans.
Jud Brewer is an American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author. He studies the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using fMRI technology and has used his findings to treat addictions. Jud chats with the Armchair Expert about contentment vs. excitement, how meditation dissolves the sense of self and the biological reasons humans have cravings. Dax talks about how food scientists flavor foods to lose their taste and Jud gives Dax and Monica a test on openness. The two talk about the neurological reasons we behave the way we do and Monica reveals a big update in the fact check.
BONUS EPISODE with Jennifer Eberhardt (social psychologist who is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University) is the first in a monthly series on dissecting the Black experience in America. Jennifer chats with the Armchair Expert about her work in police reform, her personal experiences with racism and the biological impact of cultural biases. Dax asks if there are any model police departments and Jennifer shares a story of when she got arrested. She talks about having “the talk” with her sons and she shares the details of many psychological experiments she did on race and discrimination.
Nina Vasan is a professor at Stanford University and the Founder and Executive Director of Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation. She is the Chief Medical Officer of Real, a new women's mental health company and a psychiatrist at Silicon Valley Executive Psychiatry, a boutique concierge clinical for executives, entrepreneurs, and elite performers. Nina chats with the Armchair Expert about her personal experience with anxiety/depression, the continued prevalence of stigma and the loop of actions, thoughts and emotions. Dax asks about the concern of treating addiction with psychiatric drugs and Nina discusses how technology can aid in this problem. They talk about mental health as a three-pronged bio, psycho and social endeavor and they discuss the tenets of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Jeff Sachs an American economist, academic, public policy analyst and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor. He is known as one of the world's leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. Jeff chats with the Armchair Expert about his career in international economics, what he’s learned from advising other countries and his propensity to model Scandinavia’s middle way economic model. Dax asks about communism in theory vs. in practice and Jeff implores us to take care of one another. The two talk about how the history of WWI has led to today and Jeff describes ways in which we couldn’t have a more balanced economy.
Vivek Murthy is an American physician and former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. Vivek chats with the armchair expert about the health implications of loneliness, how his childhood as an outsider made him more compassionate and why he became interested in public policy. Dax wonders about the dilemma between liberty and equality on health legislation and Vivek talks about the biggest boat rescue in human history. He talks about what he learned from a patient who won the lottery and the lessons he’s taken from patients on their deathbeds.
Ibram X. Kendi is an American author and historian who teaches at American University. From July 2020, Kendi will join Boston University to launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Ibram sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the definitions of racism vs. anti-racism, the importance of acknowledging moments of racism in your life and his own racist beliefs that he has worked on shedding. Dax wonders if it’s realistic to ask people to prioritize issues that don’t directly affect them and Ibram equates fighting racists ideas to fighting addictions. They talk about the police system, how to educate children and the unspoken element of gun deaths in America.
Heather McGhee is an American political commentator, political strategist, currently a distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive U.S. think tank. Heather sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss race in America - her takeaway from going to a white school but living in a black neighborhood and her theory that racism comes at a cost to all races. Dax asks about the economic impact of systemic racism and Heather talks about her epiphany watching Black Panther. They talk about colorism, the history of police interfacing with the black community and the hope of change.
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer prize winning author, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Jon chats with the Armchair Expert about this early fascination with politics, attending Ronald Reagan's inauguration as a young boy and the importance of delineating historical figures from saints. Jon states his position on confederate statues and Dax asks what factors distinguished his pulitzer prize winning book from the others. The two talk about how age has affected their career outlook and they debate the impact of Christianity in the modern world.
Dr. Laurie Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Laurie chats with the armchair expert to discuss 5 ways to increase happiness during quarantine, the neuroscience behind deep breaths and why studying animals is better than studying humans. Dax connects Laurie's principals to the principals of AA and Laurie talks about the negative impact of academic grades. The two discuss the scientific effects of giving and the connection between anthropology and psychology.
Rajiv Shah is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a former American government official, physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 2010–2015 under President Obama. He also held many leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Raj chats with the Armchair Expert about the economics of the healthcare system, leading the U.S response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Rockefeller Foundation's commitment to expand Covid-19 testing. Dax asks what he learned from Bill and Melinda Gates and Raj talks about having to address the crisis in Haiti only 6 days into the job. They two talk about America's interest in expanding American values around the globe, vaccinations and the importance of agriculture in humanitarian efforts.
Dan Heath is an American bestselling author, speaker and fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Dan chats with the Armchair Expert about why certain ideas stick, the emotionality behind urban legends and the benefit of thinking upstream. Dax implores those to think about the financial benefits to upstream social reform and Dan explains that every system is designed for its outcome. The two talk about systemic preventions that have a lasting impact, getting caught in a bad plan loop and they commiserate about being older dads.
David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, television personality and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group. David chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up Korean American, his first time eating ramen in Japan and how he found his way into cooking. Dax talks about elitism in food and David discusses how depression led him to open Momofuku. The two talk about self-medicating, the responsibility to share one’s painful experiences and the importance of asking for help.
Glennon Doyle is an American author known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior and bestseller Carry On, Warrior. Glennon chats with the Armchair Expert about her struggle with addiction, falling in love with a stranger and her realization about forgiveness. Glennon talks about overcoming societal memos and Dax questions if following your personal truth is a realistic goal. They discuss the responsibility of highly sensitive people and why control and love are inherently at odds.
Jessica Lahey is an American teacher and author. She writes the bi-weekly 'Parent-Teacher Conference' advice column for the New York Times, is a regular contributor to the Atlantic and wrote the book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica chats with the Armchair Expert about the importance of childhood autonomy, the level of parental involvement to maximize childhood growth, and the profundity of the word 'yet' when engaging with children. Dax asks about the concept of "desirable difficulties" and Jessica explains why the internet hasn't replaced the need for learning facts. The two discuss loving your children for who they are; not who you want them to be, how to commit information to long term memory and allowing kids to have ownership of their knowledge.
Andrew Marantz is a journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. Andrew sits down with the Armchair Expert (pre social distancing) to discuss working as a journalist and specifically his time researching internet trolls and the direct ways in which they impact society. He talks about his experience getting to know many white nationalists and the revelation they aren’t always people you would expect. Dax wonders if there is an effective way to attack hateful ideologies without forgoing free speech and Andrew encourages social media companies to implement more foresight.
Stephen Dubner is an author, journalist, and podcast/radio host. He is co-author of the Freakonomics book series and host of Freakonomics Radio. Stephen sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss being drawn to counterintuitive thinking, his journey to Judaism and looking at politics through an objective lens. Dax asks about Stephen’s childhood and Stephen talks about popular Freakonomics pieces. The two weave in and out of many topics including the prevalence of artificial insemination in turkeys, the uptick in pedestrian deaths and the potential of eating humans.
Lydia Denworth is a science journalist and author. She is the contributing editor for Scientific American and writes for Psychology Today. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time. Lydia sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about the biology of friendship, the science of social bonding and the evidence that we are social animals. Dax asks for suggestions to aid social development for kids who struggle to make friendships and Lydia details how friendship impacts mortality and longevity. They also touch on Lydia's work in the Deaf community, quality vs. quantity in friendships and Lydia explains why Monica is Exhibit A in the necessity of friendship.
Tom Silver is a Hypnotherapist with over 35 years of experience developing powerful, proven therapeutic hypnosis methods. Tom sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his relationship with sobriety, how he stumbled into hypnosis and the depth of the subconscious mind. Dax asks about the distinction between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist and Tom talks about his experience hypnotizing Guillermo on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. In the second half of the episode, Tom hypnotizes Miniature Mouse. He hooks her up to an EEG and they note the difference in her brain waves in and out of hypnosis. Dax and Monica have another long distance fact check in which they dissect the experience.
Adam Mosseri is the current CEO of Instagram. Adam sits down in the attic to talk about how he landed a job at Facebook, the responsibility of social media and the rise of the individual. Dax wonders if Mark Zuckerberg likes McDonalds and Adam talks through the reasoning behind the hiding likes trial. The two discuss how Facebook got intertwined with Cambridge Analytica, designing platforms to have a certain energy and Dax thinks men's preferences boil down to circles.
BJ Fogg is an author and social science research associate at Stanford. BJ sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his approach to changing behavior, growing up in the Mormon faith and his new book Tiny Habits. Dax commends BJ's approach of habit building by stating "after I blank, I will blank" and BJ talks about overcoming a childhood condition. The two discuss the behavior grid, lowering the bar on aspiration and technology in regards to behavior.
Peggy Orenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy and Boys & Sex. Peggy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her research in talking to young boys, why parents need to be open with their kids about sexual realities and the impact of pornography. Dax asks how boys can stand up to injustice without losing their social capital and Peggy talks about the uncoupling of pleasure and sex. The two talk about the double standards that exist in the way we perceive young males and young females, how gay communities navigate sex and the misconceptions boys and girls hold about the opposite gender.
Ezra Klein is an American journalist, blogger, and political commentator who co-founded Vox. Ezra sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the current state of polarization, how liberty and equality can work in tandem and the impact of media on the world. Dax asks about his debate with Sam Harris and Ezra details the prevalence of NIMBY-ism. The two talk about the effects of political transparency, the misconception about identity politics and the pros and cons of universal basic income.
Chris Voss is an American businessman, author, and professor. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference. Chris sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his time as a hostage negotiator, what drove him to law enforcement and the benefits of de-escalation. Dax wonders about the evolution of terrorism and Chris talks us through the hostage negotiation of Jill Carroll. He talks about the power of saying no, the concept of bending reality and the ways in which we can win negotiations in our daily lives.
Jared Cohen is an American businessman. He is currently serving as the CEO of Jigsaw and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton and he is the author of Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America. Jared sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his obsession with history, the impact of social media on world crises and he teaches us how to win the week. Dax asks about his collection of presidential hair and Jared talks about how he learned to transfer his visible ticks to invisible ones. The two debate the importance of presidential fidelity and the narrowing center in American politics.
Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist, philosopher, and podcast host. In Sam’s return to Armchair Expert, he discusses what it means to live an examined life. He touches on the concepts of being deliberate with one’s attention, consciousness as experience and the value of meditation. Dax believes Sam holds paradoxical interests and Sam admits he is increasingly leaning away from controversy. The two start the episode with an interesting thought experiment and they discuss the complexity of gurus.
Ronan Farrow is an American journalist. Ronan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood growing up among 10 siblings, the discomfort of having a public family and his commitment to uncovering the truth. Dax is obsessed with Ronan’s wunderkind status and Ronan corrects Dax on calling him the “vanguard of the me too movement.” The two talk about universal insecurities, Ronan gives a piece of advice to celebrity parents and Dax and Monica beg him to be their best friend.
Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, speaker and podcast host. Malcolm joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the value of gleaning information from other cultures, growing up in a college library and our inability as humans to read others. Dax claims that Malcolm is our most referenced person on the podcast and Malcolm shames Dax for using the derogatory term of “jogger”. The two geek out over cars, they talk about how media shapes public perception and they give credit to people they met early in life who affected the trajectory of their lives.
Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology and the host of the TED podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant. Adam visits the armchair expert to discuss overcoming introversion, being a super taster and the difference between givers and takers. Dax debates Adam on his latest Atlantic article and Adam talks about the importance of criticism. The two talk about growing up in Michigan, the necessity of tenure and how genius is often a result of quantity not quality.
Laura Beil is a journalist and podcast host. Laura sits down with the Armchair Expert on this Thanksgiving day episode to talk about having to work on your feet as a journalist, her specific draw to the medical field and how she stumbled into podcasting. Dax theorizes on Laura’s Dr. Death podcast and Laura claims a story is never done, it is only due. The two talk about her new podcast, Bad Batch, that focuses on the stem cell industry, they eat Taco Bell together and Monica and Dax thank Laura for serving the best podcast of 2018.
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. Jonathan sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his struggle to eat vegetarian, his first book getting rejected by every publisher and he walks us through a traumatic childhood event he experienced. Dax wonders if Jonathan was nervous to write a second book following the success of his first and Jonathan talks about the efficacy of moderate changes. The two talk about climate change, hypnosis and there is a special visitor in the fact check.
Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science until 2008. Richard joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to science, his theory on evolution and the lack of language diversity in English cultures. Dax admits he has been a fan of Richard since college and Richard declares what shows he’s watching on Netflix. The two talk about atheism, the evolutionary cause of death and the distortion of objectivity due to human filters.
Liz Plank is an author, journalist and political correspondent at Vox. Liz sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss how to include men in the conversation on masculinity, her observation on American race relations and her solution to Twitter negativity. Dax praises Liz for changing Olympic guidelines and Liz delineates the components to a female orgasm. The two debate gender in sports, responsibility of the media and Dax experiences an unexpected mishap while taking a picture with Liz.
Monica Lewinsky is an American anti-bullying ambassador to the Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Programme, on the advisory board of Project rockit, founding board member of The Childhood Resilience Foundation and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She sits down with the armchair expert to discuss overcoming trauma, cyber bullying and her experience being publicly labeled as a negative archetype. Monica talks about being an upstander and Dax is impressed by Monica’s resilience. The two discuss chasing and breaking patterns, public shame and the ways in which they both seek safety.
Nadine Burke Harris is an American pediatrician who is the 1st and current Surgeon General of California. She is known for her work in adverse childhood experiences. Nadine visits the Armchair Expert to discuss the impact childhood trauma has on health and longevity, she talks about her own experience with childhood adversity and she gives tools to buffer those who have many ACEs. Nadine talks about the screening process she pioneered and Dax wonders if parents will ever be truthful in admitting their contribution to childhood trauma. The two talk about the study that first led to ACE research, they discuss how awareness leads to shame reduction and Monica and Dax are in awe of Nadine's uniphile status.
Lori Gottlieb is an American author and psychotherapist. She sits down in the attic to discuss her transition from entertainment to therapist, her willingness to listen to career advice and the importance of the patient/therapist relationship. She talks about the privilege of being let into someone’s thoughts and Dax wonders if she’s ever fallen in love with a patient. The two talk about the unfamiliarity of change, her rule for couples therapy and what it’s like seeing her patients out in the world.
Dave Asprey is an entrepreneur and author. He founded Bulletproof 360, Inc., and Bulletproof Nutrition Inc. He has also written multiple books. Dave sits down in the attic to discuss his transition from tech to nutrition, his experience working through PTSD he developed at birth and his journey to lose weight. Dave talks about the benefits of delayed ejaculation and Dax wonders what the evolutionary purpose is for death. The two talk about embracing placebo, the impact of gratitude and Monica and Dax take a field trip on the fact check.
Duane "Dog" Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter is an American reality TV star and bounty hunter. Dog sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss why he joined the Devil's Disciples, how he got the name Dog The Bounty Hunter and his longest hunt. Dog talks about his connection to Tony Robbins and Dax sees many similarities between Dog and his dad. The two talk about being in public-facing marital relationships, building armor to cover trauma and creating moral boundaries within immoral situations.
Pete Carroll is an American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the USC Trojans of the University of Southern California. Pete joins the Armchair Expert to discuss overcoming his stature as a kid, the importance of being present and his this three basic rules. Pete talks about learning from failure and Dax is enamored by Pete's skin. The two discuss the value of being a salesman, learning how to be competitive and the power of self-actualization.
Dr. Steven Gundry is an American doctor, former cardiac surgeon and author. Dr. Gundry sits down in the attic to discuss his early work in heart transplants, the degeneration of the human microbiome and his theory on lectins as they impact health. Dr. Gundry talks about training as a scrub tech when he was in medical school and Dax is extremely interested in crapsules. The two talk about the evolution of humans, why medical residents are forced to work on no sleep and Monica and Dax host a moonlight fact check.
Tal Ben-Shahar is American and Israeli professor and author in the areas of positive psychology, organizational psychology and leadership. Tal sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his road from squash player to Harvard professor, his trick for mitigating road rage and his psychological approach to solving structural problems. Tal gives tips on building resilience and Dax questions the validity of self-help. The two talk about the reasons behind escalating systemic depression, the idea that humans have more commonalities than differences and the concept of ritualizing positive behavior.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is an American politician serving as the 42nd and current Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. Mayor Garcetti sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to public service, his love of jazz piano and the overwhelming issue of homelessness in Los Angeles. Dax asks about the future of motorized scooters and Mayor Garcetti talks about his love of napping. The two discuss pragmatism over party and Eric divulges the best restaurant in Los Angeles.
Dr. Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D. is a dual-trained brain surgeon and neuroscientist at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Rahul sits down in the attic to discuss intermittent fasting, emigrating from India as an eight-year-old and how he redirected some of his negative qualities into positive ones. Dax wonders if it takes a certain level of arrogance to choose brain surgeon and Rahul gives a breakdown of the human body as it relates to mechanics. The two talk about modern approaches to fighting cancer and the importance of keeping the brain stimulated.
Jennifer Newsom is an American documentary filmmaker and actress. Jennifer joins us on this episode of Experts on Expert to discuss her documentary The Mask You Live In, the value of teaching empathy at a young age and the fear surrounding the toxic masculinity conversation. Dax wonders what it’s like to travel with secret service and Jennifer discusses the increasing need for “feminine” traits in business. The two talk about conscious capitalism and the role both genders play in building stereotypes.
Steve Madden is an American fashion designer and businessman. Steve sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling different from an early age, his experience going to prison and the surreality to watching his life on the big screen. Dax is excited to learn Steve is sober and Steve talks about managing his ego. The two talk about the trap of narcissism and Steve discusses growing his business from $1100 to over a billion dollars.
Dr. Alex Katehakis Ph.D., MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S is the Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles and the author of Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction, Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation: A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment and co-author of Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence. Dr. Alex sits down in the attic to discuss the role shame plays in sexual dysfunction, the indicators of love addiction and the practice of tantric intimacy. She talks about the multiple factors that lead to disassociation and Dax believes dolphins are very sexual. The two discuss the different types of relationships young people are engaging in and they talk about the impact of pornography on developing minds.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author best known for her books Eat Pray Love, Committed and Big Magic. Elizabeth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up on a Christmas tree farm, her highest moment during the Eat Pray Love process and she talks about a tragic moment that led to a deep realization. Elizabeth recalls getting her first short story published and Dax dissects his young attraction to rogue writers. The two discuss methods of female empowerment and Elizabeth talks about her positive relationship with fear.
Erin Lee Carr is an American documentary film director, writer, and producer. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her journey to sobriety, her interest in complicated humans and growing up with parents who are addicts. Dax asks about Erin’s relationship with her father and Erin talks about creating boundaries in her filmmaking. The two talk about process-oriented work, her need to speak for those who are silenced and how AA meetings taught her how to listen.
Samin Nosrat is an American chef and food writer. She is a regular food columnist for the New York Times magazine and has a docuseries on Netflix called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Samin visits the attic to discuss how community is tied to food, her first experience at Chez Panisse where she eventually worked and her realization that mistakes lead to growth. Dax describes some of his favorite at home recipes and Samin talks about how she cried in every episode of her documentary series. The two talk about food systems, the importance of asking for help and Samin wishes Americans had more words for “restaurant”.
Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy) is American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer. Bill sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the importance of facts, the pros and cons of shooting Bill Nye the Science guy in Seattle and he declares all kids love science. Dax wonders if Bill has any taste buds left after eating too many frozen marshmallows and Bill talks about his parents' fascinating journeys. The two discuss the Wright brothers, the impact of Steve Martin and the future of Science.
Esther Perel is a Belgian author and psychotherapist. Esther sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the true definition of eroticism, the unrealistic expectations we put on our partners and how the status of a couple affects the whole family. She finds the current lack of sex education unacceptable and Dax wonders if Esther’s husband is intimidated by her. Esther delineates the complexities of infidelity, she insists we break societal labels and she talks about the residual effect of growing up with parents who survived the Nazi concentration camps.
Dr. Eric Topol is an American cardiologist, geneticist, digital medicine researcher and the director and founder of Scripps research institute. The good doctor sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the benefits of applying Artificial intelligence to our healthcare system, he talks about the concept of deep leaning and he relays the importance of human to human interaction in medicine. Dax wonders if we are spending too much money on end of life care and Eric debunks the notion that AI will fully replace humans. The two talk about the futile search for pain relief and the doctor gets everyone excited about the advent of a smartphone full body scan. Also, Monica and Dax get a special surprise call in the fact check.
Michael Gervais is a high-performance psychologist and co-founder of Compete to Create. In this episode of Experts on Expert, Michael sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss working on the RedBull Stratos project, the nuisance of overcoming mental obstacles and his work with Microsoft employees to maximize work performance. The two talk about the mindfulness revolution, optimal coaching techniques and steps to train your mind.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter and CNN medical correspondent. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss wanting to change his name to Steve as a child, performing surgery in a wartime environment and he breaks the misconception that brain size is the primary factor in intelligence. Dax and Sanjay share a Michigander past and they discuss some of the failing components of our current healthcare system. He talks about recent findings in CTE and leaves us with advice on ways to maximize health and prolong life.
John Kim is a licensed therapist, life coach and author. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his commitment to redefining masculinity, why he created The Angry Therapist blog and his view on expired relationships. John talks about the deep communication barrier with his parents and Dax wonders if John's marriage was a result of feeling "other" his whole life. The two talk about living in a fatherless nation, they discuss what it means to live a "through me" life and John tells a notable story involving sexual exploration and a stone fruit.
Johann Hari is a Swiss English author and journalist. Johann sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the many factors that have impacted his research on addiction and mental health, he explains why he is disillusioned by the idea that addiction is purely chemical, and he talks about the importance of community and love in depressive people. Johann talks about his own personal experience with anti-depressants, trauma and familial addiction that led him to his exploration. Dax debates Johann about the importance of tough love and he wonders if models of rehabilitation in other countries can be mapped on to America.
Johann is the author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections: Uncovering the real causes of depression and the unexpected solutions.
Reshma Saujani is an Indian American lawyer, author, politician and founder of the tech organization Girls Who Code. She sits down in the attic to discuss how she spent her childhood trying to assimilate, what it felt like when she reached a lifelong status goal and she talks about her mission to promote bravery. Dax asks Reshma about what she learned from two failed elections and Reshma discusses her relationship with religion. Dax and Reshma debate the roles of biology and culture on gender differences and Dax wants to go back in time and visit Monica’s grandma.
John Gottman is an American psychological researcher, an award-winning speaker, author, a professor emeritus in psychology and co-founder of the Gottman Institute. John sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his research on thin slicing and predicting marital success. He notes how having a daughter turned him into an instant feminist and He talks about the different ways men and women view sex. The two talk about a father's crucial role to a child, they delve into the four horsemen of the apocalypse and John urges couples to foster curiosity.
Dr. Phil McGraw is an American television personality, author, psychologist, and the host of the television show Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil comes to the attic after accidentally going to the wrong house and happily surprising a nice woman. He sits down to discuss growing up around an alcoholic father, he talks about his 10-7-5 theory on life and he reflects on his career before the Dr. Phil show. Dax asks how he handles negative misconceptions about him and Dr.Phil talks about his first meeting with Oprah. The two dissect why they often feel emotionless, they discuss what it’s like to be both fallible and in an advisory position and Dax wonders about the mechanics of sun tea.
Todd Rose is the co-founder and president of the Populace, author of multiple books and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Todd sits down in the attic to discuss his research on dark horse achievers, he talks about his low point when he was employed giving enemas, and he stresses the importance of finding your motivation. Dax wonders if we live in a world that is able to support this kind of evolved attitude and Todd praises Dax's correct pronunciation of "attic". The two share a visceral memory of the smell of the great salt lake, they delineate the 4 steps to realizing your potential and Dax offers Monica a generous 2019 Christmas present in the fact check.
Bret Weinstein is an American biologist and Evolutionary theorist. Bret sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the boundaries of empathy, the concept of metaphorical truth and the bonding dynamics between males and females. Dax and Bret advocate for the protection of intellectual discourse and the two agree that there isn't a universally effective human diet. Bret talks about the evolvement of monogamy, the trajectory of gossip over time and Dax teaches Bret about the mechanics of the hall pass.
Scott Harrison is the founder and current CEO of the non-profit charity, Charity: Water. Scott sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his unconventional childhood and his career as a club promoter turned philanthropist. He attempts to disarm Dax's skepticism and he explains why giving begets giving. Scott delves into his mothers' struggle with the world, he talks about his feelings of powerlessness and he explains the rare financial model behind Charity: Water.
Jonathan Haidt is an author, moral psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss moral panic on college campuses, the benefits of independence in childhood and the inherent difference in moral attitudes between the political left and right. The two talk about the failure of American systems, the ways in which we are breeding a generation of anxiety/depression and Monica and Dax pontificate on whether incest is immoral in the fact check.
Jonathan Haidt is the author of The Righteous Mind, The Happiness Hypothesis and The Coddling of The American Mind.
Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist and podcast host. As the most referenced person on Armchair Expert, Sam enters the attic with an unparalleled reverence. On this special Thanksgiving episode of Experts on Expert, Sam makes our podcast dreams come true. The two discuss Sam’s commitment to honesty, they talk about the country’s political polarization and they consider the idea of separating art from the artist. Dax wonders if Sam operates out of fear, Sam talks about his battle with Batman and Sam attempts to take his foot out of Dax’s mouth.
Jerry Buting (Making A Murderer) is an American criminal defense attorney and author. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the mechanics of the justice system, his perpetual desire to root for the underdog and his recent book- Illusion of Justice. Dax asks Jerry about stereotypes in jury selection and Jerry breaks down the necessity of burden of proof. The two talk about the secret skills of an attorney, ethics in justice, false confessions and how the Steven Avery case catapulted him to dreamboat status.
Dr. Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew on Call, Loveline, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew) is a board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist, and media personality. On this episode of Experts on Expert, Dr. Drew discusses balancing ambition and family, how gut instinct is linked to the brain, and his reasoning for advocating the 12 step program. The two talk about monogamy and sex addiction, they list the myriad effects of suboxone and they chat about our ego's inability to separate self and family. Dr. Drew details some of his public blunders, he talks through the criticisms of Celebrity Rehab and Monica and Dax engage in a strange Foley exercise in the fact check.
Author, professor and Israeli historian, Yuval Noah Harari discusses the differences between our experiential and narrative selves, he talks about a not so distant future in which AI will drastically alter the workforce and he theorizes on why the technological evolution could potentially warrant the return of communism. The two discuss the idea of myths, virtual reality and security. Dax and Monica mourn the fact that they only had an hour with Yuval and Dax takes an armcherry song request in the fact check.
Yuval Noah Harari is a tenured professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of the international bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
Broadcast journalist and Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison discusses the difference between Canadian journalism and American journalism, his reluctance to appear self-aggrandizing and his most haunting experience as a journalist. Dax praises Keith's spectacular ability to craft language and Keith tells the story of how he cut off his thumb. The two discuss the impossible role of a step-parent, the correct way to evade spousal homicide and the duality of career ambition.
Jon Favreau an American political commentator, creator and co-host of Pod Save America and the former Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama. Jon discusses his heartbreak on the 2004 Kerry campaign, his devotion to the democratic ideal of persuasion and he details his farcical experience sharing a name with the other Jon Favreau. Dax chooses to see America as two spouses in a rocky marriage and Jon shares the story of his first meeting with Barack Obama. The two debate whether it's productive to be inundated with current events, they pinpoint what distinguishes an average speech from a great one and Dax wonders if Jon is the Ma Anand Sheela to Obama's Bhagwan.
Author and humorist, David Sedaris discusses behavioral tics, and value of writing without preciousness and his provocative encounters at book signings. David talks about the authors he is inspired by and Dax tells a story about why he can't drink Pellegrino. The two of them breakdown the dilemma of sharing family stories, the current culture of sensitivity and their mutual path to sobriety.
David Sedaris -- is the author of Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You are Engulfed in Flames, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls and Theft by Finding. He is a contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4.
In this inaugural episode of Experts on Expert, Dax speaks to author and child psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogel about human patterns of behavior, the impact of social media on the family and the importance of free-reign grandparenting. Wendy gives advice on how to speak to children and Dax asks for reassurance on his parenting strategy. The two of them breakdown the moral dilemma of behavioral diagnoses, the role of fear and Wendy discusses a study that uncovered the one thing every child wishes they could tell their parents.
Dr. Wendy Mogel is a practicing clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, New York Times bestselling author and international public speaker.