January 16, 2020 9:00 pm

Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Explores Cheating in Sports

Cheating. It’s always had a presence in sports and in life. In sports, I’m sure you can think of numerous examples that have defined careers and eras. The Chicago ‘Black Sox.” Lance Armstrong. Tim Donaghy. Diego Maradona. The New England Patriots. And the list goes on. Why is cheating so prevalent in sport? Will it ever stop?

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly explore all aspects of cheating: who does it, why they do it, and if they can stop or want to stop.

StarTalk Sports Edition’s photo of host Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, Gary O'Reilly, Chuck Nice.

StarTalk Sports Edition host Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice.

To kick things off, Neil, Gary, and Chuck are joined in studio by Dr. Lee Igel, Associate Professor at NYU Tisch Institute of Global Sport, whose research includes medical ethics and sports business. Can there be cheating in a doctor’s office? You’ll learn about the enormous pressure team doctors face to get players ready to play week in and week out. We ponder what goes on in the infamous “blue tent” on the sidelines of NFL games.

Even though cheating may seem like a clear-cut ethical decision, if everyone is cheating, do you have an ethical responsibility not to cheat, or, do you have a team responsibility not to fall behind? We discuss Lance Armstrong’s decision to cheat in the Tour de France. We explore steroid use in football and baseball.

Then, we catch up with Lisa Shu, behavioral scientist and organizational psychologist at the London Business School. Lisa takes us inside the mind of a cheater. She breaks down why cheaters are made, not born. You’ll learn why cheaters never consider themselves cheaters. Neil tells us about the mathematical idea of renormalization. Is cheating a random act or does it come in a recognizable pattern? Find out if cheating can create a domino effect in the arena it’s being conducted.

Lisa explains what form of punishment is the most effective way to stop cheating. We also ponder if alerting the world to cheating could create “better” cheaters. Lastly, we debate the difference between cheating and innovation. All that, plus, discover if we will ever cure sports of cheating.

Tune in for Cheating in Sports this Friday at 3pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

Find new episodes of StarTalk Sports Edition in the main StarTalk feed every other Friday at 3pm ET.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up
– Ian Mullen

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