The podcast of George Lakoff’s conversation at the 2017 Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas is now available. Photo: Pete Rosos

Political messages gain added strength when they’re delivered in a way that matches how our brains process information. Pioneering cognitive linguist George Lakoff says that America’s leading progressive politicians have ignored the science, while Donald Trump and the right wing have connected with voters with dangerous effectiveness.

In October 2017, Lakoff, a former distinguished professor at UC Berkeley, sat down with journalist Daphne White at the fifth annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas, to discuss how so many people underestimated the man who became the 45th president of the United States.

Berkeleyside’s 24th episode of the Uncharted Berkeley podcast has just been released and it features that conversation. Each episode of the podcast is one of the conversations recorded at the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas which takes place every year in Berkeley, and is produced by Berkeleyside.

Lakoff’s appearance at Uncharted followed on from an interview of the linguist, also by White, published by Berkeleyside in May last year, which proved to be the news site’s most popular story of 2017.

Berkeleyside will be releasing more conversations from the 2017 festival as podcasts over the coming weeks. Next up: Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair Joan Williams on class cluelessness.

Subscribe to the Uncharted Berkeley podcast, on iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts.

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions? Email