We are working closely with Rice University to monitor the continued impact of Covid-19 on our community. The health and safety of our guests and staff are our top priority. All gatherings at Baker Hall through April 30 have been canceled. A current list of scheduled online events is available at bakerinstitute.org/events and will be updated with new webcasts and webinars. Please refer to emergency.rice.edu/coronavirus for additional information and updates.

Policy Matters


“Policy Matters: Points and Perspectives from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy” aims to help policymakers and citizens alike build a deeper, more balanced understanding of pressing public policy challenges.

The podcast will draw upon the institute’s research on topics such as health care, fiscal policy, U.S.-Mexico relations, energy policy and the Middle East, presenting insights from fellows in brief yet in-depth interviews.

Each week, listeners will hear analysis of a timely and relevant policy issue. Episodes this season include an appraisal of Mexico’s new government with Tony Payan, director of the Baker Institute Mexico Center; an assessment of Houston’s response to Hurricane Harvey a year after the storm with Jim Blackburn, Rice faculty scholar and professor in the practice of environmental law; an examination of the human cost of opioid addiction with Maureen Wittels, founder of the Houston chapter of Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing, featuring special guest host Katharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy; a discussion of  “Right to Try” Laws with Kirstin R.W. Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy; and an assessment of the Sino-U.S. geopolitical rivalry with Gabriel Collins, Baker Botts Fellow in Energy & Environmental Regulatory Affairs, among other topics. Bonner Means Baker Fellow Joe Barnes serves as host.

Stream episodes below and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or other podcast streaming platforms.