148 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

    • Documentary
    • 4.7 • 35.1K 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.

    Post Reports: Four Hours of Insurrection

    Post Reports: Four Hours of Insurrection

    We’re all still processing what happened on January 6th. Despite the hours and hours of video circulating online, we still didn’t feel like we had a visceral, on-the-ground sense of what happened that day. Until we heard the piece we’re featuring today. The Washington Post’s daily podcast Post Reports built a minute-by-minute replay of that day, from the rally, to the invasion, to the aftermath, told through the voices of people who were in the building that day -- reporters, photojournalists, Congresspeople, police officers and more. It’s some of the most visceral reporting we’ve heard anywhere on this historic moment. Listen to their full episode here.

     

    • 39 min
    More Money Less Problems

    More Money Less Problems

    Back in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning and the shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt, a quirky-but-clever idea to save the economy made its way up to some of the highest levels of government. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib proposed an ambitious relief bill to keep the country’s metaphorical lights on: recurring payments to people to help them stay afloat during the crisis. And the way Congress would pay for it? By minting two platinum $1 trillion coins. (You read that right). 

    In this episode, we take a jaunt through the evolution of our currency, from the gold-backed bills of the 19th century, to the most powerful computer at the Federal Reserve. And we chase an idea that torpedoes what we thought was a fundamental law of economics. Can we actually just print more money? 

    This episode was reported by Becca Bressler and was produced by Becca Bressler and Simon Adler.

    Special thanks to Carlos Mucha, Warren Mosler, David Cay Johnston, Alex Goldmark, Bryant Urstadt, and Amanda Aronczyk. 

    To learn more about these ideas check out: 

    Stephanie Kelton's book The Deficit Myth

    Jacob Goldstein's book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing and the Planet Money podcast

    Betsey Stevenson's podcast Think Like an Economist 

    This website for more about #MintTheCoin

    And for a fun quick read, check out this WIRED article about the surprising origin of the trillion dollar coin.

     

    • 28 min
    Sight Unseen

    Sight Unseen

    As the attacks were unfolding on the Capitol, a steady stream of images poured onto our screens. Photo editor Kainaz Amaria tells us what she was looking for--and seeing--that afternoon. And she runs into a dilemma we've talked about before. In December of 2009, photojournalist Lynsey Addario, in was embedded with a medevac team in Afghanistan. After days of waiting, one night they got the call - a marine was gravely wounded. What happened next happens all the time. But this time it was captured, picture by picture, in excruciating detail. Horrible, difficult, and at times strikingly beautiful, those photos raise some questions: Who should see them, who gets to decide who should see them, and what can pictures like that do, to those of us far away from the horrors of war and those of us who are all too close to it?

    Episode Notes:

    To hear Kainaz Amaria talk more about the filter, check out: 

    this post on ethical questions to consider around the sharing of images of police brutality and her interview on On The Media about the double-standard in many U.S. newsrooms when it comes to posting graphic images. 

    Special thanks to Chris Hughes and Helium Records for the use of Shift Part IV from the album Shift









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

    • 36 min
    A Terrible Covid Christmas Special

    A Terrible Covid Christmas Special

    This year was the worst. And as our staff tried to figure out what to do for our last episode of 2020, co-host Latif Nasser thought, what if we stare straight into the darkness … and make a damn Christmas special about it.

    Latif begins with a story about Santa, and a back-room deal he made with the Trump administration to jump to the front of the vaccine line, a tale that travels from an absurd quid-pro-quo to a deep question: who really is an essential worker? 

    From there, we take a whistle-stop tour through the numbers that scientists say you need to know as you wind your way (or preferably, don’t wind your way) through our COVID-infested world. Producer Sarah Qari brings us her version of the Christmas classic nobody ever dreamt they’d want to hear: The Twelve Numbers of COVID.

    You can check out Martin Bazant’s COVID “calculator” here.

    This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Sarah Qari, and was produced by Matt Kielty, Sarah Qari, and Pat Walters.

    Special thanks to Anna Weggel and Brant Miller, Catherine, Rohan, and Finn Munro, Noam Osband, Amber D’Souza, Chris Zangmeister, John Volckens, Joshua Santarpia, Laurel Bristow, Michael Mina,  Mohammad Sajadi, James V. Grimaldi, Stephanie Armour, Joshuah Bearman, Brendan Nyhan

    And for more on the proposed Santa vaccine deal, see Julie Wernau and her colleagues' reporting at the Wall Street Journal here.

    Original art for this episode by Zara Stasi. Check out her work at:  www.goodforthebees.com. 

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

    • 49 min
    The Ashes on the Lawn

    The Ashes on the Lawn

    A global pandemic. An afflicted, angry group. A seemingly indifferent government. Reporter Tracie Hunte wanted to understand this moment of pain and confusion by looking back 30 years, and she found a complicated answer to a simple question: When nothing seems to work, how do you make change?

    This episode was reported by Tracie Hunte, and produced by Annie McEwen and Tobin Low. Fact-checking by Diane Kelly. 

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

    • 51 min
    Enemy of Mankind

    Enemy of Mankind

    Should the U.S. Supreme Court be the court of the world? In the 18th century, two feuding Frenchmen inspired a one-sentence law that helped launch American human rights litigation into the 20th century. The Alien Tort Statute allowed a Paraguayan woman to find justice for a terrible crime committed in her homeland. But as America reached further and further out into the world, the court was forced to confront the contradictions in our country’s ideology: sympathy vs. sovereignty. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Jesner v. Arab Bank, a case that could reshape the way America responds to human rights abuses abroad. Does the A.T.S. secure human rights or is it a dangerous overreach?

    Additional music for this episode by Nicolas Carter.

    Special thanks to William J. Aceves, William Baude, Diego Calles, Alana Casanova-Burgess, William Dodge, Susan Farbstein, Jeffery Fisher, Joanne Freeman, Julian Ku, Nicholas Rosenkranz, Susan Simpson, Emily Vinson, Benjamin Wittes and Jamison York. Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., who appears in this episode, passed away in October 2016.

    Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.

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

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
35.1K Ratings

35.1K Ratings

kunlaou ,

When you can’t find the right words, you find radiolab

All lives are a collection of stories, some shared, some private. Radiolab weaves a magical space that has traversed so many of my own stories, it is near impossible to recognize every graceful stitch.

Irreplaceable.

From1791 ,

Goodbye After Five Years

After five years of listening, Radiolab has succumbed to their own internal biases. Perhaps, in a few years time, they will look back on these last few months of shows with perspective and realize how they tarnished what they worked so hard to build. It’s disheartening to say goodbye, but goodbye. For those reading this, move to another show that is less of an echo chamber.

Momlf ,

You used to be my #1

Miss the old Radiolab! 5 star podcast in the past!!! Please stop with the politics and the mainstream media and go back to the amazing podcast you used to be. I know I am not the only one who feels this way.

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