149 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 • 34.6K 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.

    Dispatch 13: Challenge Trials

    Dispatch 13: Challenge Trials

    What if someone asked you to get infected with the COVID-19 virus, deliberately, in order to speed up the development of a vaccine? Would you do it? Would you risk your life to save others?

    For months, dozens of companies have been racing to create coronavirus vaccines. Finally, three have done it. But according to the experts, we’re not out of the woods yet; we’ll need several vaccines to satisfy the global demand. One way to speed up the development process is a controversial technique called a human challenge trial, in which human subjects are intentionally infected with the virus. Senior correspondent Molly Webster gets the lowdown from Public News Service reporter Laura Rosbrow-Telem and then tracks down some of the tens of thousands of people who have volunteered to participate in a challenge trial.

    Special thanks to Jonathan Miller.

    This episode was reported by Molly Webster and Laura Rosbrow-Telem and produced by Molly Webster and Pat Walters.

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

    • 26 min
    Deception

    Deception

    Lies, liars, and lie catchers. This hour of Radiolab asks if it's possible for anyone to lead a life without deception.

    • 57 min
    Breaking Benford

    Breaking Benford

    In the days after the US Presidential election was called for Joe Biden, many supporters of Donald Trump are crying foul.  Voter fraud. And a key piece of evidence? A century-old quirk of math called Benford’s Law.  We at Radiolab know Benford’s Law well, and have covered it before.  In this political dispatch, Latif and Soren Sherlock their way through the precinct numbers to see if these claims hold up. Spoiler: they don’t. But the reason why is more interesting than you’d expect.

    This episode was reported by Latif Nasser. 

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

    Links: 

    Walter Mebane, “Inappropriate Applications of Benford’s Law Regularities to Some Data from the 2020 Presidential Election in the United States”

    • 29 min
    Bloc Party

    Bloc Party

    In the 1996 election, Bill Clinton had a problem. The women who came out in droves for him in ‘92, split their vote in the ‘94 midterms, handing over control of the House and the Senate to the Republican Party. As his team stared ahead at his re-election bid, they knew they had to win those women back. So, after a major polling effort to determine who exactly their undecided ladies were, Clinton turned his focus toward the most important swing vote in the election: the soccer moms. 

    The soccer mom ushered in a new era of political campaigning, an era of slicing and dicing the electorate, engineering the (predominately white) voting bloc characters that campaigns have chased after. Security Moms. Nascar Dads. Joe Six Pack. Walmart Moms. 

    But what about everyone else? What about the surprisingly swingable corners of this country without a soccer mom in sight?  Inspired by this exceedingly cool interactive map from Politico, we set out on a mission to make an audio-map of our own. We asked pollsters, reporters and political operatives in swing states: what slice of your population is up for grabs? A slice that no one talks about? In this episode, we crawl inside the places that might hold our country’s future in its hands, all the while asking: are these slices even real? Are there people inside them that might swing this election? 

    This episode was reported and produced by Becca Bressler, Tobin Low, Sarah Qari, Tracie Hunte, Pat Walters and Matt Kielty, with help from Jonny Moens.

    Special thanks to Darren Samuelsohn, Josh Cochran, Elizabeth Ralph, and the Politico team for the original reporting and map that inspired this episode. 

    Also thanks to: Elissa Schneider, Wisam Naoum, Martin Manna, Ashourina Slewo, Eli Newman, Zoe Clark, Erin Roselio, Jess Kamm Broomell, Will Doran, John Zogby, Matt Dickinson, Tom Jensen, Ross Grogg, Joel Andrus, Jonathan Tilove, Steve Contorno, Heaven Hale, Jeff Shapiro, Nicole Cobler, Marie Albiges, Matt Dole, Robin Goist, Katie Paris, Julie Womack, Matt Dole, Jackie Borchardt, Jessica Locklear, Twinkle Patel, Bobby Das, Dharmesh Ahir,  Nimesh Dhinubhai, Jay Desai, Rishi Bagga, and Sanjeev Joshipura.

    Christina Greer’s book is Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, and Corey Fields book is Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American.

    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.    

    • 50 min
    How to Win Friends and Influence Baboons

    How to Win Friends and Influence Baboons

    Baboon troops. We all know they’re hierarchical. There’s the big brutish alpha male who rules with a hairy iron fist, and then there’s everybody else. Which is what Meg Crofoot thought too, before she used GPS collars to track the movements of a troop of baboons for a whole month. What she and her team learned from this data gave them a whole new understanding of baboon troop dynamics, and, moment to moment, who really has the power. 

    This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen.

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

    • 29 min
    What If?

    What If?

    There’s plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he’d do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa’s Transition Integrity Project doesn’t give us any predictions, and it isn’t a referendum on Trump. Instead, it’s a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution.

    This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music.

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

    You can read The Transition Integrity Project’s report here.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
34.6K Ratings

34.6K Ratings

ADDaD ,

It's hard to estimate the value of this podcast

This podcast stands out as pretty much constantly astounding. As someone who writes about science for a living, the 'scientific' concepts here are rendered in an enviably fascinating and pretty much idiot-proof way. It's a testament to the skills of the hosts in their use of the audio format that they can cruise through really complex stuff and give the ordinary listener entertainment and learning in a single scoop. This is the best. Now if they would only get season one on itunes....

gabrielle270 ,

Still my favorite podcast out there

I love this podcast. Every episode captures my attention quickly and I’m engaged for the entire story. I’ve seen some reviews lately criticizing their political bias and I have to disagree. I think these recent episodes have been really interesting and factual explorations of questions related to current events. It’s clear that so much research and work goes into each story and that they follow the story for what it is, not conform the story to their beliefs.

waltmitt ,

Used to be great

Identity politics took over radio lab. Sad sad day.

I am on the hunt for a podcast about science and nature not filled with partisan politics.

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