429 episodes

Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Radiolab Radiolab

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 89 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Distance of the Moon

    The Distance of the Moon

    In an episode we last featured on our Radiolab for Kids Feed back in 2020, and in honor of its blocking out the Sun for a bit of us for a bit last week, in this episode, we’re gonna talk more about the moon. According to one theory, (psst listen to The Moon Itself if you want to know more) the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth, the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact. And it was MUCH closer to Earth than it is today. This idea is taken to its fanciful limit in Italo Calvino's story "The Distance of the Moon" (from his collection Cosmicomics, translated by William Weaver). Read by Liev Schreiber, the story is narrated by a character with the impossible-to-pronounce name Qfwfq, and tells of a strange crew who jump between Earth and moon, and sometimes hover in the nether reaches of gravity between the two.

    This reading was part of a live event hosted by Radiolab and Selected Shorts, and it originally aired on WNYC’s and PRI’s SELECTED SHORTS, hosted by BD Wong and paired with a Ray Bradbury classic, “All Summer in a Day,” read by musical theater star Michael Cerveris.


    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 40 min
    The Moon Itself

    The Moon Itself

    There’s a total solar eclipse coming. On Monday, April 8, for a large swath of North America, the sun will disappear, in the middle of the day. Everywhere you look, people are talking about it. What will it feel like when the sun goes away? What will the blocked-out sun look like? But all this talk of the sun got us thinking: wait, what about the moon? The only reason this whole solar eclipse thing is happening is because the moon is stepping in front of the sun. So in today’s episode, we stop treating the moon like a bit player in this epic cosmic event, and place it centerstage. We get to know the moon, itself — from birth, to middle age, to … death.

    This episode was reported by Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Becca Bressler, Alan Goffinski, Maria Paz Guttierez, Sarah Qari, Simon Adler and Alex Neason, and produced by Matt Kielty, Becca Bressler, Pat Walters, Maria Paz Guttierrez, Alan Goffinski and Simon Adler.

    It was edited by Becca Bressler and Pat Walters. Fact-checked by Diane Kelly and Natalie A Middleton. Original Music and sound design by Matt Kielty, Jeremy Bloom, and Simon Adler. Mixing help from Arianne Wack.

    Special thanks to Rebecca Boyle, Patrick Leverone and Daryl Pitts at the Maine Gem and Mineral Museum in Bethel Maine, Renee Weber, Paul M. Sutter, Matt Siegler, Sarah Noble, and Chucky P.

    EPISODE CREDITS:

    Reported by - Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Becca Bressler, Alan Goffinski, Maria Paz Guttierez, Sarah Qari, Simon Adler and Alex Neason Produced by -Matt Kielty, Becca Bressler, Pat Walters, Maria Paz Guttierrez, Alan Goffinski and Simon Adler Original music and sound design contributed by - Matt Kielty, Jeremy Bloom and Simon Adlerwith mixing help from  - Arianne Wack Fact-checking by - Natalie Middleton and Diane Kelley and Edited by  - Pat Walters and Becca Bressler

    EPISODE CITATIONS:

    Books - Rebecca Boyle’s book, Our Moon: How the Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution and Made Us Who We Are.

    PEOPLE IN NORTH AMERICA, HERE'S HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR USED ECLIPSE GLASSES (https://zpr.io/D6wB7dA4Sb3m)
    *unless you want to hold onto them till the next one on August 23rd, 2044


    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 49 min
    Short Cuts: Drawn Onward

    Short Cuts: Drawn Onward

    As a treat for the first palindrome date of the calendar year 2024, 4/2/24, (for those who use U.S. formatting of dates anyway), we are releasing a special audio palindrome. A piece that plays the same forward and backward. It’s called “Drawn Onward” and it comes from the producers Alan Goffinski and Sarita Bhatt. It originally aired on the wonderful BBC show Short Cuts which curates fresh, experimental, adventurous audio journeys.

    Special thanks to Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt, Josie Long, Eleanor McDowall, BBC Short Cuts

    EPISODE CREDITS:

    Reported by - Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt
    Produced by - Axel Kacoutié
    with help from - Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt
    Original music and sound design contributed by - Alan Goffinski
    Mixed by - Axel Kacoutié

    EPISODE CITATIONS:

    Articles - BBC Short Cuts full episode: Meeting Myself Coming Back

    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 13 min
    Finding Emilie

    Finding Emilie

    This is a segment we first aired back in 2011. In it, we hear a story of a very different kind of lost and found. Alan Lundgard, a college art student, fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Nine months after Alan and Emilie made it official, Emilie's mom, Susan Gossiaux, received a terrible phone call from Alan. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie lost in a netherworld, and how Alan found her again.

    Then, at the end of the episode, and a full decade later, we catch up with Emilie and talk about her art, her heart, a dog named London, and the movie The Fifth Element.

    EPISODE CITATIONS -

    Exhibitions: Emilie L. Gossiaux - Other-Worlding (https://queensmuseum.org/exhibition/other-worlding/) at the Queen’s County Museum, through April, 7th, 2024. 

    Video: A video of Emilie Gossiaux painting with the BrainPort (https://youtu.be/1xYi9oZMVWI?si=kDBtRlVE62g9AI0V)

    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 38 min
    Throughline: Dare to Dissent

    Throughline: Dare to Dissent

    On today’s show, we’re excited to share an episode from our friends at the podcast Throughline.

    Sometimes, the most dangerous and powerful thing a person can do is to stand up not against their enemies, but against their friends. As the United States heads into what will likely be another bitter and divided election year, there will be more and more pressure to stand with our in-groups rather than our consciences.

    So the Throughline team decided to tell some of the stories of people who have stood up to that kind of pressure. Some are names we know; others we likely never will. What those people did, what it cost them, and why they did it anyway.

    Check out the full version of “Dare to Dissent” here:

    https://www.npr.org/2023/11/30/1198908264/dare-to-dissent



    EPISODE CITATIONS:

    Books -Defying Hitler: the White Rose Pamphlet (https://zpr.io/wAXJuTzqFBvw), by Alexandra Lloyd, fellow by special election in German at the University of Oxford.

    King: A Life (https://zpr.io/iGAEggJJnFNE), by Johnathan Eig.

    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 41 min
    Staph Retreat

    Staph Retreat

    What happens when you combine an axe-wielding microbiologist and a disease-obsessed historian? A strange brew that's hard to resist, even for a modern day microbe.

    In the war on devilish microbes, our weapons are starting to fail us. The antibiotics we once wielded like miraculous flaming swords seem more like lukewarm butter knives.

    But today we follow an odd couple to a storied land of elves and dragons. There, they uncover a 1000-year-old secret that makes us reconsider our most basic assumptions about human progress and wonder: What if the only way forward is backward?

    Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler.

    Special thanks to Steve Diggle, Professor Roberta Frank, Alexandra Reider and Justin Park (our Old English readers), Gene Murrow from Gotham Early Music Scene, Marcia Young for her performance on the medieval harp and Collin Monro of Tadcaster and the rest of the Barony of Iron Bog.


    Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!

    Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.

    Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

    Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
89 Ratings

89 Ratings

AshishG1983 ,

Great stories

Interesting and informative stories about various themes.

creative-cookie ,

My Favourite Podcast

Radiolab is by far one of the best Podcast station in list of select podcasts that I listen to. When I listen to an amazing podcast or podcast series, I think that they cannot top this. And they come up with more of them and my mind is blown. Brilliant stuff.

T-AdAck ,

What an amazing show

This is my all time favorite show(at-least for now). The curiosity and inquisitiveness of the hosts, combined with brilliant editing, makes for a show that unravels literally, at least for me, the mysteries of life.

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