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.

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    • Documentary
    • 3.3 • 3 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.

    The Ceremony

    The Ceremony

    In November of 2016, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let's just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency. It's an undertaking that involves some of the most elaborate security and cryptography ever done (so we've been told). And math. Lots of math. It was all going great until, in the middle of it, something started to behave a little...strangely.

    Reported by Molly Webster. Produced by Matt Kielty and Molly Webster. Denver Ceremony station recordings were created by media maker Nathaniel Kramer, with help from Daniel Cooper. 

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

    • 47 min
    Red Herring

    Red Herring

    It was the early 80s, the height of the Cold War, when something strange began happening off the coast of Sweden. The navy reported a mysterious sound deep below the surface of the ocean. Again, and again, and again they would hear it near their secret military bases, in their harbors, and up and down the Swedish coastline. 

    After thorough analysis the navy was certain. The sound was an invasion into their waters, an act of war, the opening salvos of a possible nuclear annihilation. 

    Or was it? 

    Today, Annie McEwen pulls us down into a deep-sea mystery, one of international intrigue that asks you to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your deepest beliefs could be as solid as...air.

    This episode was reported by Annie McEwen and produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Sarah Qari, with sound design by Jeremy Bloom. 

    Special thanks to Bosse Lindquist.

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

    • 35 min
    Facebook's Supreme Court

    Facebook's Supreme Court

    Since its inception, the perennial thorn in Facebook’s side has been content moderation. That is, deciding what you and I are allowed to post on the site and what we’re not. Missteps by Facebook in this area have fueled everything from a genocide in Myanmar to viral disinformation surrounding politics and the coronavirus. However, just this past year, conceding their failings, Facebook shifted its approach. They erected an independent body of twenty jurors that will make the final call on many of Facebook’s thorniest decisions. This body has been called: Facebook’s Supreme Court.

    So today, in collaboration with the New Yorker magazine and the New Yorker Radio Hour, we explore how this body came to be, what power it really has and how the consequences of its decisions will be nothing short of life or death.

    This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler.

    To hear more about the court's origin, their rulings so far, and their upcoming docket, check out David Remnick and reporter Kate Klonick’s conversation in the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast feed.

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

     

    • 43 min
    Smile My Ass

    Smile My Ass

    Candid Camera is one of the most original – and one of the most mischievous – TV shows of all time.  Admirers hailed its creator Allen Funt as a poet of the everyday. Critics denounced him as a Peeping Tom.  Funt sought to capture people at their most unguarded, their most spontaneous, their most natural.  And he did. But as the show succeeded, it started to change the way we thought not only of reality television, but also of reality itself.  Looking back at the show now, a half century later, it’s hard NOT to see so many of our preoccupations – privacy, propriety, publicity, authenticity – through a funhouse mirror, darkly.

    This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and produced by Matt Kielty. 

    Special Thanks to: Bertram van Munster, Fred Nadis, Alexa Conway, the Eastern Airlines Employee Association and Eastern Airlines Radio, Rebecca Lemov, Anna McCarthy, Jill Lepore, Cullie Bogacki Willis III, Barbara Titus and the Funt family. 

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

    • 34 min
    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

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