RadioLab

Friday 7:00 PM -8:00 PM
  • Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich

Radiolab is an experiential investigation that explores themes and ideas through a patchwork of people, sounds, and stories. In each episode, Radiolab experiments with sound and style allowing science to fuse with culture, and information to sound like music.

Hosted by Jad Abumrad with co-host Robert Krulwich, Radiolab is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder; who are curious about the world, but also want to be moved and surprised. Radiolab won a Peabody Award in 2011.

Mortality

Jun 21, 2014

06/28/2014 - Is death a disease that can be cured?  We filter the modern search for the fountain of youth through personal stories of witnessing death - the death of a cell, the death of a loved one...and the aging of a society.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91562-mortality/

Musical Language

Jun 20, 2014

06/21/2014 - What is music? Why does it move us? How does the brain process sound, and why are some people better at it than others?

We re-imagine the disastrous debut of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 1913 through the lens of modern neurology, and we meet a composer who uses computers to capture the musical DNA of dead composers in order to create new work.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91512-musical-language/

New Normal

Jun 12, 2014

06/14/2014 -

In this hour of Radiolab: reframing our ideas about normalcy. Evolution results from the ability of organisms to change. But how do you tell the difference between a sea change and a ripple in the water? Is a peacenik baboon, a man in a dress, or a cuddly fox a sign of things to come? Or just a flukey outlier from the norm? And is there ever really a norm?

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91693-new-normal/

Who Are You?

Jun 12, 2014

06/07/2014 -

This hour of Radiolab centers around a chilling question: how well can you ever really know the people around you?

We talk to neuroscientists, primatologists, actors, zookeepers, and fathers who are all trying to get inside another’s mind--from how a newborn sees his dad, to a rare disorder that turns family members into impostors.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91717-who-are-you/

Black Box

Jun 12, 2014

05/31/2014 - This hour, we examine three very different kinds of black boxes—those peculiar spaces where it’s clear what’s going in, we know what’s coming out, but what happens in-between is a mystery. From the darkest parts of metamorphosis, to a sixty year-old secret among magicians, to the nature of consciousness itself, we confront the stubborn gaps in our understanding.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/black-box/

Deception

May 22, 2014

05/24/2014 -Lies, liars, and lie catchers. This hour of Radiolab asks if it's possible for anyone to lead a life without deception. We consult a cast of characters, from pathological liars to lying snakes to drunken psychiatrists, to try and understand the strange power of lying to yourself and others.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91612-deception/

Oop

May 22, 2014

05/17/2014 -Oops. In this hour of Radiolab, stories of unintended consequences.

You come up with a great idea. You devise a plan. You control for every imaginable variable. And once everything’s in place, the train hops your carefully laid tracks. In this episode, one psychologist's zeal to safeguard national security may have created a terrorist, while one community's efforts to protect an endangered bird had deadly consequences. And against all odds, a toxic lake spawns new life.

05/10/2014 - This hour we explore perhaps the most iconic Patient Zero of all time: Typhoid Mary; dive into the molecular detective story to pinpoint the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; ask whether you can trace the spread of an idea and in the end, we find ourselves faced with a choice between competing claims about the origin of the high five.

http://www.radiolab.org/search/?q=patient+zero#q=patient%20zero

Blame

May 2, 2014

05/03/2014 - We've all felt it, that irresistible urge to point the finger. But new technologies are complicating age-old moral conundrums about accountability. This hour, we ask what blame does for us -- why do we need it, when isn't it enough, and what happens when we try to push past it with forgiveness and mercy?

http://www.radiolab.org/story/317421-blame/

Race

Apr 24, 2014

04/19/2014 - When the human genome was first fully mapped in 2000, Bill Clinton, Craig Venter, and Francis Collins took the stage and pronounced that "The concept of race has no genetic or scientific base." Great words spoken with great intentions. But what do they really mean, and where do they leave us? Our genes are nearly all the same, but that hasn't made race meaningless, or wiped out our evolving conversation about it.  This hour of Radiolab a look at race.

The Soul Patch

Mar 29, 2014

04/05/2014 - In this episode, stories of unlikely and surprisingly simple answers to seemingly unsolvable problems.  We get to know a man who struggles, and mostly fails to contain his violent outbursts...until he meets a bird who can keep in in check.  Then, Oliver Sacks and Chuck Close, who are both face-blind, share workarounds that help them figure out who they're talking to.  Ana senior center stumbles upon an unexpected way to help Alzheimer's patients - by building a bus stop.

Dinopocalypse

Mar 24, 2014

03/29/2014 - We all know what happened to the dinosaurs, right? Well, at least we thought we did.  IN this episode Radiolab runs the clock back 66 million years to tell a story of cataclysmic destruction and surprising survival.  Along the way, we get to meet our great, great, great, great, great (etc!) grandmother and a few other surprise guests.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/dinopocalypse/

Pop Music

Mar 24, 2014

03/22/2014 - This hour of Radiolab: pop music's pull.  Some songs have the nefarious power to stick mercilessly in our heads, and some songs have the transcendent allure to overcome cultural differences.  We ask how songwriters create these songs seemingly out of the ether, listen in on the music of a deaf man hears, and examine the timeless appeal of the Elvis of Afghanistan

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91629-pop-music/

Zoos

Mar 8, 2014

03/15/2014 - In a cruel trick of evolution, humans can stand just three feet from a ferocious animal and still be perfectly safe.  This hour, Radiolab goes to the zoo to ask what's with our need to get close to "wildness"?  We poke at where we stand in this paradox -- starting with the Romans, and ending in the rain forest of Belize ... staring into the eyes of a wild jaguar.

Sleep

Feb 24, 2014

03/01/2014 - Birds do it, bees do it...yet science still can't answer the basic question: why do we sleep?  Every creature on the planet sleeps - from giant humpback whales to teeny fruit flies.  What does it do for us, and what happens when we go without it?  We take a peek at iguanas sleeping with one eye open, get in bed with a pair of sleep-deprived new parents, and eavesdrop on the uneasy dreams of rats.

Dead Reckoning

Feb 24, 2014

02/22/2014 - From a duel with the world's deadliest disease to a surprising peek into the way doctors think about death, in this hour Radiolab tries to reckon with the grim reaper.  And, in the end, we confront the question at the heart of it all - when the time cpmes to finally leave, how do we want to go?

Sperm

Feb 9, 2014

2/15/2014 - Matthew Cobb takes us back to 1677, when Anton Van Leewenhoek first identified sperm and there was much talk of souls and miniature men residing in the seminal fluid. Upon observation it became clear that there were an awful lot of those little guys that never turned into babies! Jad wonders: why so many sperm?

Fate and Fortune

Feb 5, 2014

2/8/2014 -This hour, we question what decides the trajectory of our lives -- individual force of will, or fate?

If destiny isn't written in the stars, could it be written in our genes? Kids struggle to resist marshmallows, and their ability to holdout at age 4 turns out to predict how successful they're likely to be the rest of their lives. And an unexpected find in a convent archive uncovers early warning signs for dementia in the writings of 18-year-olds.

02/01/14 - DESPERATELY SEEKING SYMMETRY - This hour, Jad and Robert set out in search of order and balance in the worl

http://www.radiolab.org/story/122382-desperately-seeking-symmetry/

Help

Jan 27, 2014

1/25/2014 - HELP - What do you do when your own worst enemy is...you?  Radiolab looks for ways to gain the upper hand over those forces inside us--from unhealthy urges, to creative insights -- that seem to have a mind of their own.  We meet a Cold War negotiator who, in order to quit smoking, backs himself into a tactical corner, and we visit a clinic in Russia where patients turn to a radical treatment to help fight their demons.  Plus, Elizabeth Gilbert on doing battle with your muses.

Stress

Jan 27, 2014

1/18/2014 - STRESS - Stress may save your life if you're being chased by a tiger.  But if you're stuck in traffic, it may be more likely to make you sick.  This hour we take a long hard look at the body's system for getting out of trouble.  Stanford University neurologist (and  part-time "baboonologist") Dr. Robert Sapolsky takes us through what happens on our insides when we stand in the wrong line at the supermarket, and offers a few coping strategies.  Plus:  the story of a singer who lost her voice, and an author stick in a body that never grew up.

Blood

Jan 27, 2014

1/11/2014 - BLOOD - From medicine to the movies, the horrifying to the holy, and history to the present day  -- we consider the power and magic of the red liquid that runs through our veins.  We meet an artist who opened his veins and got labeled a terrorist, douse ourselves in the meat and metaphors of blood in Shakespeare, wonder if clues to a gory fountain of youth could be lurking in the red blood cells of mice, and trace the complicated supply chain that gets blood from arms to operating tables.

Time

Jan 27, 2014

1/4/2014 - TIME - This hour of Radiolab, we try our hand at unlocking the mysteries of time.  We stretch and bend time, wrestle with its subjective nature, and wrap our minds around strategies to standardize it...stoppign along the way at a 19th-century railroad station in Ohio, a track meet, and a Beethoven concert.

Bliss

Jan 27, 2014

12/28/2013 - BLISS - Moments of total, world-shaking bliss are not easy to come by.  Maybe that's what makes them feel so life-altering when they strike.  And so worth chasing.  This hour: stories of striving, grasping, tripping, and falling for happiness, perfection, and ideals.  From one man's quest to save the world by inventing a new language, to an explorer who hits the jackpot when he uncovers a double-pack of Cheez Doodles on an expedition to the South Pole.

The Good Show

Jan 27, 2014

12/21/2013 - In this episode, a question that haunted Charles Darwin: if natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another?  Is altruism an aberration, or just an elaborate guise for sneaky self-interest?  Do we really live in a selfish, dog-eat-dog world?  Or has evolution carved out a hidden code that rewards genuine cooperation?

http://www.radiolab.org/story/103951-the-good-show/

The Bad Show

Jan 27, 2014

12/14/2013 - Cruelty, violence, badness...This episode of Radiolab wrestles with the dark side of human nature, and asks whether it's something we can ever really understand or fully escape.  We reconsider what Stanley Milgrim's famous experiment really revealed about human nature, meet a chemist who scrambles our notions of good and evil, and talk to a man who chased one of the most prolific serial killers in US history...then got a chance to ask him the question that had haunted him for years:  why?

Original version repeats Thursday, Oct 31st at 1:00pm --- Montana version repeats Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:00pm

Space ships crashing to earth—an alien invasion—a battle for the planet. On October 30th, 1938, the Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air’s War of the Worlds broadcast caused panic, frightened some listeners, and entertained others, around the country. 

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