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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Freakonomics’ author comes to campus

Photo by Photo by: Wesley Holmes

Luke Bacon (left), junior biomedical science major, and Mike Duncan, sophomore business honors and finance major, work to advertise for the upcoming Freakonomics event.

Throw an extra word in front of economics — “freaky” — and the Stephen Dubner way of thinking comes to light. 

Dubner, an award-winning journalist best known for his work “Freakonomics,” will deliver a lecture Thursday evening at Texas A&M to discuss his work, offer career advice and promote his new book. 

The book “Freakonomics” is the result of a collaboration of Dubner and Steven Levitt that tells stories about everything from cheating teachers to unusual baby names in order to show that economics is, at its core, the study of incentives. Published in the United States in 2005, 4 million copies were sold in 35 languages. The success of the book spawned the creation of a follow-up book called “Superfreakonomics,” a documentary, a radio show and a blog.

MSC Bethancourt, a professional development organization, will host the event. Amy Brooke, MSC Bethancourt chair and English senior, said the organization hopes students learn about a new and better way of processing information through the event.

“The purpose of the lecture is to provide students with an opportunity to expand their minds with new ways of thinking,” Brooke said. “MSC Bethancourt focuses so much on learning and critical thinking, and we want to bring what we love to the A&M student body.”

Brooke said the interest in Dubner expands beyond just his scheduled lecture on Thursday. She said Dubner’s Freakonomics podcast receives about 5 million downloads per month.

“Aside from his work as an author he also runs a podcast, which I listen to all the time and highly recommend to any student,” Brooke said. “This campus is a perfect place for someone like Stephen Dubner, because we are all as excited about what he is saying as he is.”

Brooke said the main focus of the lecture will be on Dubner’s latest book, “Think like a Freak,” which is a self-help book aimed at assisting professionals in innovation, business and marketing. 

Luke Bacon, MSC Bethancourt vice-chair and a nonprofit management certificate candidate, said Dubner’s presentation will make students think critically and apply knowledge to a vast majority of topics.

“He will be presenting material from his new book ‘Think Like a Freak’ that takes traditional economic principles and uses them to look at unusual subjects and reveal the hidden side of everything,” Bacon said. “Students who attend can expect to learn more about a variety of subjects they likely haven’t been exposed to, and to gain an excitement for the limitless scope of economics.”

Brooke said the lecture will not only challenge students to alter their current methods of thinking, but also help them improve on important life skills that will be crucial in future careers.

“Attending this program could teach students a whole new way to approach situations, which helps with leadership, communication and creative problem solving, which are all crucial in today’s workplace,” Brooke said. “There are so many students here that are genuinely excited to learn. That is why organizations like MSC Bethancourt exist, to provide knowledge hungry students with outlets for learning about things they might not get from their classes.”

Dubner’s lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Auditorium. Tickets are required for the event and can be purchased in the MSC Box Office for $5 for students and $7 for non-students.

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