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.

Cities

Sep 19, 2014

09/06/2014 - In this hour, we take to the street to ask what makes cities tick.  There's no scientific metric for measuring a city's personality.  But step out on the sidewalk, and you can see and feel it.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91732-cities/

Loops

Aug 23, 2014

08/30/2014 - Our lives are filled with loops that hurt us, heal us, make us laugh, and  sometimes leave us wanting more.  This hour, Radiolab investigates the strange things that emerge when something happens, then happens again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and...well, again.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/161744-loops/

Escape

Aug 16, 2014

08/23/2014 - The walls are closing in, you've got no way out...and then, suddenly, you escape!  This hour, stories about traps, getaways, perpetual cycles, and staggering breakthroughs.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/187571-escape/

60 Words

Aug 9, 2014

08/16/2014 - This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/

Lucy

Aug 2, 2014

08/09/2014 - Chimps.  Bonobos.  Humans.  We're all great apes, but that doesn't mean we're one happy family.  This hour of Radiolab: stories of trying to live together.  Is this kind of cross-species co-habitation an utterly stupid idea?  Or might it be our one last hope as more and more humans fill up the planet?  A chimp named Lucy teaches us the ups and downs of growing up human and a visit to The Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa highlights some of the basics of bonobo culture (be careful, they bit).

Memory And Forgetting

Jul 26, 2014

08/02/2014 - This hour of Radiolab, a look behind the curtain of how memories are made...and forgotten.  Remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process--it's easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added.  And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91569-memory-and-forgetting/

Who Am I?

Jul 21, 2014

07/26/2014 -The "mind" and "self" were formerly the domain of philosophers and priests. But in this hour of Radiolab, neurologists lead the charge on profound questions like "How does the brain make me?"

We stare into the mirror with Dr. Julian Keenan, reflect on the illusion of selfhood with British neurologist Paul Broks, and contemplate the evolution of consciousness with Dr. V. S. Ramachandran. Also: the story of woman who one day woke up as a completely different person.

Words

Jul 21, 2014

07/19/2014 - It's almost impossible to imagine a world without words.  But this hour, we try to do just that.  We meet a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke, and retrace the birth of a brand new language 30 years ago.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91725-words/

Morality

Jul 21, 2014

07/12/2014 - Where does our sense of right and wrong come from?  We watch chimps at a primate research center sharing blackberries, observe 3-year-olds fighting over toys, and tour Eastern State Penitentiary--the country's first penitentiary. Plus, a story of land grabbing, indentured servitude, and slumlording in the fourth grade.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91508-morality/

07/05/2014 - More often than not, a fight is just a fight...Someone wins, someone loses.  But this hour, we have a series of face-offs that shine a light on the human condition, the benefit of coming at something from a different side, and the price of being right.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/whats-left-when-youre-right/

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.

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