140 episodes

Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio shows in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Radiolab is co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Radiolab WNYC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 5 Ratings

Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio shows in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Radiolab is co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

    Kleptotherms

    Kleptotherms

    In this episode, we break the thermometer watch the mercury spill out as we discover temperature is far stranger than it seems. Five stories that run the gamut from snakes to stars. We start out underwater, with a snake that has evolved a devious trick for keeping warm. Then we hear the tale of a young man whose seemingly simple method of warming up might be the very thing making him cold. And Senior Correspondent Molly Webster blows the lid off the idea that 98.6 degrees Farenheight is a sound marker of health. 

    • 44 min
    Deep Cuts

    Deep Cuts

    Today, Lulu and Latif talk about some of their favorite episodes from Radiolab’s past that hold new power today.  

    Lulu points to an episode from 2008: 

    Imagine that you're a composer. Imagine getting the commission to write a song that will allow family members to face the death of a loved one. Well, composer David Lang had to do just that when a hospital in Garches, France, asked him to write music for their morgue, or 'Salle Des Departs.' What do you do? This piece was produced by Jocelyn Gonzales.

    And Latif talks about an episode Jad made in 2009. Here’s how we described it back then:

    Jad--a brand new father--wonders what's going on inside the head of his baby Amil.

    (And don't worry, you don't need kids to enjoy this podcast.) The questions here are big: what is it like to be so brand new to the world? None of us have memories from this time, so how could we possibly ever know? Is it just chaos? Or, is there something more, some understanding from the very beginning? Jad found a development psychologist named Charles Fernyhough to explore some of his questions.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

    • 24 min
    The Septendecennial Sing-Along

    The Septendecennial Sing-Along

    While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely birds to giant whales to swarming cicadas.

    In this podcast, David explains his urge to connect and sing along, and helps break down the mysterious life cycle and mating rituals of the periodical cicadas into something we can all relate to.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

    • 19 min
    What Up Holmes?

    What Up Holmes?

    Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one guy: a Supreme Court justice named Oliver Wendell Holmes. Even weirder, you can trace it back to one seemingly ordinary 8-month period in Holmes’s life when he seems to have done a logical U-turn on what should be say-able.  Why he changed his mind during those 8 months is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the Supreme Court.  (Spoiler: the answer involves anarchists, a house of truth, and a cry for help from a dear friend.)  Join us as we investigate why he changed his mind, how that made the country change its mind, and whether it’s now time to change our minds again.

    This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Sarah Qari.

    Special thanks to Jenny Lawton, Soren Shade, Kelsey Padgett, Mahyad Tousi and Soroush Vosughi.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

     

    further reading:

    Thomas Healy’s book The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes CHanged His Mind - And Changed the History of Free Speech In America (the inspiration for this episode) plus his latest book Soul City: Race, Equality and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia.

    The Science article that Sinan Aral wrote in 2018, along with Soroush Vosughi and Deb Roy: “The Spread of True and False News Online”

    Sinan Aral’s recent book The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy and our Health - And How We Must Adapt

    Zeynep Tufekci’s newsletter “The Insight” plus her book Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest

    Nabiha Syed’s news website The Markup

    Trailer for “The Magnificent Yankee,” a 1950 biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Anthony Lewis, Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment

    • 48 min
    Elements

    Elements

    Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of matter that matters. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again.

    Special thanks to Emotive Fruition for organizing poetry performances and to the mighty Sylvan Esso for composing 'Jaime's Song', both inspired by this episode.

    Thanks also to Sam Kean, Chris Howk, Brian Fields and to Paul Dresher and Ned Rothenberg for the use of their song "Untold Story:The Edge of Sleep". 

    Check out Jaime Lowe's book Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Escapescape

    Escapescape

    As we hit the one year mark since the first U.S. state (California) issued a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we put out a call to see if any of you would take us to your secret escape spot and record audio there.

    And you astounded us with what you brought in. 

    In this soundrich, kaleidoscopic episode, we journey around the planet and then, quite literally, beyond it. Listen only if you want a boatload of fresh air, fields of wildflowers, stars, birds, frogs, and a riveting tale involving Isaac Newton and a calm beyond any calm you knew could exist.

    This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Lulu Miller, with production support from Jonny Moens and Suzie Lechtenberg. 

    Special thanks to:

    Lynn Levy, who went on to host the space-a-licious series, The Habitat, and edit (among other things) the powerful and beautiful new podcast Resistance.

    Merav Opher, an astronomy professor at BU, who now directs the SHIELD DRIVE Science Center which is studying the data collected by the Voyagers at the edge of the heavens, or--err, the “heliosphere” as the scientists call it.

    Edward Dolnick, The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

    Ann Druyan, one of the creators of the 1977 Golden Album traveling on the Voyager probe, has recently released a new series on National Geographic,  “Cosmos: Possible Worlds”

    A.J. Dungo, who submitted a postcard while surfing, is author of the mesmerizing graphic novel, In Waves, a memoir about surfing and grief.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

    • 32 min

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5 Ratings

5 Ratings

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