#008: Science-Based Politics (And a Better Way to Elect Presidents) | A Leap of Doubt

What could possibly explain the astonishing phenomenon of a candidate as inexperienced and manifestly unqualified as Donald Trump sweeping first the Republican nomination and then the general election? Joining me on this episode to muse on this question is John C. Wathey, an author and computational biologist whose research interests include protein folding, evolutionary algorithms, and the biological forces behind religion. He joins me on this episode to discuss the death of the Republican Party, what went wrong and what’s not working in our current political systems (including his own perspective as an expert on algorithms about what possibilities exist for electoral college reform), the problems inherent in the primaries system, and ways to create a better system that upholds democracy and utilizes science as a way of solving problems.

Relevant Links:

Interview with John Wathey on my other podcast Trolling with Logic

John Wathey’s website:

John C. Wathey, “What Should Replace the Republican Party”

John C. Wathey, “There’s a Better Way to Elect Presidents,”

John C. Wathey, “It’s Time to Ditch the Primaries,”

Clare Malone, “The End of a Republican Party,”

Danny Kleinman, “Imagine There’s … a Democratic Voting System,”


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The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.