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Anthropology, Inc. - Why We Love Cats...and People - Please Explain

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Friday, February 22, 2013

We’ll find out how anthropological research is being used by corporations to find out the needs, fears, and desires of consumers. Peter Trachtenberg talks about how searching for a lost cat led him to ponder his relationships with felines and with people. Then on Please Explain we’ll find out about endocrine-disrupting chemicals and how they affect human health.

Using Anthropology to Understand Consumers

Graeme Wood discusses how companies have started using social scientists to probe the deepest needs, fears, and desires of consumers. He’s joined by Min Lieskovsky, who specializes in ethnographic research. Graeme Wood’s article “Anthropology Inc.” is in the March 2013 issue of The Atlantic.

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On the Love of Cats and Persons

When his favorite cat Biscuit went missing, Peter Trachtenberg set out to find her. He talks about that journey, which took him 700 miles and into the history of his relationships with cats and with his wife.

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Please Explain: Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health

There’s growing concern that endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to health problems in humans, and this month a report issued by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme called these chemicals a "global threat" that should be addressed. Heather Patisaul, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, and Urvashi Rangan, director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group at Consumer Reports, explain what endocrine disruptors—like BPA, phthalates, some pesticides and fire retardants—are, where they’re found, and how they affect human development and health.

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