3Qs: When true crime becomes a pop culture phenomenon

On Wednesday, the man whose con­vic­tion was pro­filed on the hugely pop­ular “Serial” pod­cast, returns to court for a post-​​conviction hearing. Here, law pro­fessor Daniel Medwed, an expert in wrongful con­vic­tions, says that “Serial” and Making a Mur­derer have high­lighted some of the chief flaws in our crim­inal jus­tice system. But he also says that he is dis­mayed by how the pro­grams pre­sented their cases.

3Qs: Do low gas prices hurt the economy?

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. reached a seven-​​year low on Monday, according to AAA, dip­ping to $1.83. Here, oil and gas expert Jef­frey Born, pro­fessor of finance in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, explains why falling gas prices might be good for your wallet but bad for the economy.

3Qs: Debating the ethics of Rolling Stone’s controversial ‘El Chapo’ interview

Rolling Stone on Sat­urday pub­lished an article by Oscar-​​winning actor and activist Sean Penn that sparked a national debate about jour­nal­istic ethics. We spoke with John Wihbey, an assis­tant pro­fessor of jour­nalism and new media at North­eastern, who exam­ines the inter­view with noted Mex­ican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

3Qs: Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran

The two Middle East nations are in the midst of a height­ened diplo­matic con­fronta­tion that has gar­nered the atten­tion of the global com­mu­nity. Pro­fessor Valen­tine Moghadam, an inter­na­tional affairs expert, explains why rela­tions between these coun­tries have been strained for some time.

3Qs: Making sense of the encryption debate

Last week, pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in both the Repub­lican and Demo­c­ratic debates offered some inter­esting views about the Internet. Here, Daniel Wichs, an expert in modern cryp­tog­raphy and an assis­tant pro­fessor of com­puter sci­ence, weighs in on the debate about Internet security.

The growth of physics research, and its changing impact on our lives

Over the past cen­tury, the dis­ci­pline of physics has expanded expo­nen­tially, crossing bound­aries into areas as diverse as biology and engi­neering. Net­work sci­en­tists in the lab of Albert-​​László Barabási ana­lyzed how this growth drives tech­no­log­ical break­throughs that improve our lives.

3Qs: Is Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the US even legal?

The leading Repub­lican pres­i­den­tial can­di­date this week called for a ban on all Mus­lims entering the country. Law pro­fessor Wendy Parmet says this ban would fly in the face of U.S. con­sti­tu­tional values, morality, and human rights.

3Qs: IMF names Chinese yuan one of world’s elite currencies

Kamran Dad­khah, asso­ciate pro­fessor of eco­nomics, dis­cusses the inclu­sion of the Chi­nese yuan as a world reserve cur­rency, and the impli­ca­tions this deci­sion might have for the inter­na­tional economy going forward.

3Qs: #GivingTuesday and how to measure the impact of your gift

Today is #Giv­ingTuesday, dubbed as a global day ded­i­cated to giving back. Pro­fessor Patricia Illing­worth says that while the day can greatly ben­efit char­i­ties, there are con­cerns with the unof­fi­cial hol­iday and that people should con­sider the impact of their char­i­table gifts.

3Qs: What using the name ‘Daesh,’ rather than ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL,’ really means

Three fac­ulty members—Jonathan Kaufman, director of the School of Jour­nalism, Shakir Mustafa, teaching pro­fessor of Arabic, and Heather Lit­tle­field, asso­ciate teaching pro­fessor in linguistics—explain the dif­fer­ences among the names ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh and why they matter.