148 episodes

A two-time Peabody Award-winner, Radiolab is an investigation told through sounds and stories, and centered around one big idea. In the Radiolab world, information sounds like music and science and culture collide. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show is designed for listeners who demand skepticism, but appreciate wonder.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin.
© WNYC Studios

Radiolab WNYC

    • Documentary

A two-time Peabody Award-winner, Radiolab is an investigation told through sounds and stories, and centered around one big idea. In the Radiolab world, information sounds like music and science and culture collide. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show is designed for listeners who demand skepticism, but appreciate wonder.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin.
© WNYC Studios

    Body Count

    Body Count

    Right now, at this very moment, all across the planet, there are 7.6 billion human beings eating, breathing, sleeping, brushing their teeth, walking their dogs, drinking coffee, walking down the street or running onto the subway or hopping in their car, maybe reading a summary of a podcast they’re about to hit play on … and the number is only going up. Everyday 386,000 babies are born (16,000 an hour). We’re adding a billion new people every 12 years.

    So here’s a question you’ve probably never thought about: Are there more people alive right now than have ever lived on the planet in history? Do the living outnumber the dead? Robert got obsessed with this odd question, and in this episode we bring you the answer. Or, well, answers.

    This episode was reported by Robert Krulwich and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters, with help from Neel Dhanesha. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Music and mixing by Jeremy Bloom. Special thanks to Jeffrey Dobereiner.

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 45 min
    60 Words

    60 Words

    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.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Man Against Horse

    Man Against Horse

    This is a story about your butt. It’s a story about how you got your butt, why you have your butt, and how your butt might be one of the most important and essential things for you being you, for being human. 

    Today, reporters Heather Radke and Matt Kielty talk to two researchers who followed the butt from our ancient beginnings, through millions of years of evolution, and all the way to today, out to a valley in Arizona, where our butts are put to the ultimate test.  

    This episode was reported by Heather Radke and Matt Kielty and was produced by Matt Kielty, Rachael Cusick and Simon Adler. Sound design and mixing by Jeremy Bloom. Fact-checking by Dorie Chevlen.

    Special thanks to Michelle Legro.

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 58 min
    There and Back Again

    There and Back Again

    Here's a simple question: When an animal disappears in the winter, where does it go? Oddly enough, this question completely stumped European scientists for thousands of years. And even today, the more we learn about the comings and goings of the animals, the deeper the mystery seems to get. We visit a Bavarian farm with an 11 year old, follow warblers and wildebeests around the world, and get a totally new kind of view of the pulsing flow of animals across the globe.  

    This episode was reported by Robert Krulwich and Jackson Roach and produced by Pat Walters, Matt Kielty, and Jackson Roach. 

    Special thanks to Allison Shaw, David Barrie, Auriel Fournier, and Moritz Matschke.

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    And check out:

    The Truth about Animals by Lucy Cooke

    No Way Home: The Decline of the Great Animal Migrations by David Wilcove 

    The migration video Jad and Robert watch in this episode!

    • 44 min
    Things

    Things

    From a piece of the Wright brother's plane to a child’s sugar egg, today: Things! Important things, little things, personal things, things you can hold and things that can take hold of you. This hour, we investigate the objects around us, their power to move us, and whether it's better to look back or move on, hold on tight or just let go.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Breaking Bongo

    Breaking Bongo

    Deep fake videos have the potential to make it impossible to sort fact from fiction. And some have argued that this blackhole of doubt will eventually send truth itself into a death spiral. But a series of recent events in the small African nation of Gabon suggest it's already happening. 

    Today, we follow a ragtag group of freedom fighters as they troll Gabon’s president - Ali Bongo - from afar. Using tweets, videos and the uncertainty they can carry, these insurgents test the limits of using truth to create political change and, confusingly, force us to ask: Can fake news be used for good?

    This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler.









    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 1 hr 3 min

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