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Radiolab

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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. read less

Our Editor's Take

A need to know is part of the human experience. And that's what the Radiolab podcast is all about. It all starts with a question. Why is something the way it is? How does a particular innovation work? What are the repercussions of that groundbreaking court decision? For those who lean most into their curiosity, the deeper the question, the better. Seeking the answers is half the fun, and arriving at them is merely a step on the journey. One answer only leads to another question.

Radiolab takes all the elements of curiosity and condenses them into a podcast. Captivating in its subject matter and presentation, Radiolab is a podcast for those who wonder. Every episode asks a question, then seeks to answer it. The process involves investigative journalism and gripping storytelling. From the remote Galapagos Islands to exorcisms, the topics are diverse and fascinating.

Even the soundscapes are impressive. The music and sound design in each episode drive home the magnitude and emotion of the moment. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Latif Nasser, and Lulu Miller, Radiolab is the recipient of two Peabody Awards. Tune in for a deeper understanding of familiar topics. Listen to the universe expand with each surprising revelation.

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ScienceScience

Episodes

G: The World's Smartest Animal
16-02-2024
G: The World's Smartest Animal
This episode begins with a rant. This rant, in particular, comes from Dan Engber - a science writer who loves animals but despises animal intelligence research. Dan told us that so much of the way we study animals involves tests that we think show a human is smart ... not the animals we intend to study. Dan’s rant got us thinking: What is the smartest animal in the world? And if we threw out our human intelligence rubric, is there a fair way to figure it out?Obviously, there is. And it’s a live game show, judged by Jad, Robert … and a dog.The last episode of G, our series on intelligence, was recorded as a live show back in May 2019 at the Greene Space in New York City and now we’re sharing that game show with you, again. Two science writers, Dan Engber and Laurel Braitman, and two comedians, Tracy Clayton and Jordan Mendoza, compete against one another to find the world’s smartest animal. They treated us to a series of funny, delightful stories about unexpectedly smart animals and helped us shift the way we think about intelligence across all the animals - including us.Special thanks to Bill Berloni and Macy (the dog) and everyone at The Greene Space.EPISODE CITATIONS:Podcasts:If you want to listen to more of the RADIOLAB G SERIES, CLICK HERE (https://radiolab.org/series/radiolab-presents-g). Videos:Check out the video of our live event here! (https://fb.watch/qczu3n1ooA/) 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.
Cheating Death
09-02-2024
Cheating Death
In this episode, Maria Paz Gutiérrez does battle against the one absolute truth of human existence and all life… death. After getting a team of scientists to stand in for death (the grim reaper wasn’t available), we parry and thrust our way through the myriad ways that death comes for us - from falling pianos to evolution’s disinterest in longevity. In the process, we see if we can find a satisfying answer to the question “why do we have to die” and find ourselves face to face with the bitter end of everything that ever existed.Special thanks to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Steven Nadler, Beth Jarosz, Anjana Badrinarayanan, Shaon Chakrabarti, Bob Horvitz, John K. Davis, Jessica Brand, Chandan K. Sen, Cole Imperi, Carl Bergstrom, Erin Gentry -Lam, and Jared Silvia. This episode was made in loving memory of Dali Rodriguez.EPISODE CREDITS - Reported by - Maria Paz GutiérrezProduced by - Maria Paz Gutiérrezwith help from - Alyssa Jeong Perry and Timmy BroderickOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Maria Paz Gutiérrez and Jeremy Bloomwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Emily KriegerOur 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.
Breaking Newsve About Zoozve
05-02-2024
Breaking Newsve About Zoozve
Less than two weeks since we released Zoozve, and we have BIG NEWS about our quest to name the first-ever quasi-moon! And that’s only the half of it! Listen to the episode “Zoozve” before you listen to this update! (https://radiolab.org/podcast/zoozve)EPISODE CREDITS -Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Ekedi Fausther-KeeysProduced by - Sarah QariOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qariwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kelleyand Edited by  - Becca BresslerEPISODE CITATIONS - Official announcement about Zoozve is available here! (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/files/Bulletins/V004/WGSBNBull_V004_002.pdf) If you’d like to see or sign up for the official asteroid naming bulletin that comes from the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature, you can do so here (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/).  If you’d like to buy (or even just look at) Alex Foster’s Solar System poster (featuring Zoozve of course), check it out here (https://zpr.io/dcqVEgHP43SJ). First 75 new annual sign-ups to our membership program The Lab get one free, autographed by Alex! Existing members of The Lab, look out for a discount code!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.
G: Relative Genius
02-02-2024
G: Relative Genius
Albert Einstein asked that when he died, his body be cremated and his ashes be scattered in a secret location. He didn’t want his grave, or his body, becoming a shrine to his genius. When he passed away in the early morning hours of April, 18, 1955, his family knew his wishes. There was only one problem: the pathologist who did the autopsy had different plans.In the third episode of “G”, Radiolab’s miniseries on intelligence, first aired back in 2019 we go on one of the strangest scavenger hunts for genius the world has ever seen. We follow Einstein’s stolen brain from that Princeton autopsy table, to a cider box in Wichita, Kansas, to labs all across the country. And eventually, beyond the brain itself entirely. All the while wondering, where exactly is the genius of a man who changed the way we view the world? Special thanks to: Elanor Taylor, Claudia Kalb, Dustin O’Halloran, Deborah Lee and Tim Huson. If you want to listen to more of BLINDSPOT: THE PLAGUE IN THE SHADOWS, SUBSCRIBE HERE (https://link.chtbl.com/blindspotpodcast?sid=radiolab). New episodes come out on Thursdays. EPISODE CITATIONSPodcasts:If you want to listen to more of the RADIOLAB G SERIES, CLICK HERE (https://radiolab.org/series/radiolab-presents-g). Websites:The Einstein Papers Project: https://www.einstein.caltech.edu/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.
Zoozve
26-01-2024
Zoozve
As co-host Latif Nasser was putting his kid to bed one night, he noticed something weird on a solar system poster up on the wall: Venus had a moon called … Zoozve.  But when he called NASA to ask them about it, they had never heard of Zoozve, and besides that, they insisted that Venus doesn’t have any moons.  So begins a tiny mystery that leads to a newly discovered kind of object in our solar system, one that is simultaneously a moon, but also not a moon, and one that waltzes its way into asking one of the most profound questions about our universe:  How predictable is it, really? And what does that mean for our place in it?Special Thanks to Larry Wasserman and everyone else at the Lowell Observatory, Rich Kremer and Marcelo Gleiser of Dartmouth College, Benjamin Sharkey at the University of Maryland. Thanks to the IAU and their Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature, as well as to the Bamboo Forest class of kindergarteners and first graders. EPISODE CREDITS -Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeys and Alyssa Jeong PerryProduced by - Sarah Qariwith help from - Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qari and Jeremy Bloomwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kellyand Edited by  - Becca BresslerEPISODE CITATIONS - Articles:Check out the paper by Seppo Mikkola, Paul Wiegert (whose voices are in the episode) along with colleagues Kimmo Innanen and Ramon Brasser describing this new type of object here (https://zpr.io/Ci4B3sGWZ3xi).The Official Rules and Guidelines for Naming Non-Cometary Small Solar-System Bodies from the IAU Working Group on Small Body Nomenclature can be found here (https://zpr.io/kuBJYQAiCy7s).All the specs on our strange friend can be found here (https://zpr.io/Tzg2sHhAp2kb).Check out Liz Landau’s work at NASA's Curious Universe podcast https://zpr.io/QRbgZbMU2gWW) as well as lizlandau.comVideos:Fascinating little animation of a horseshoe orbit (https://zpr.io/A9y6qHhzZtpA), a tadpole orbit (https://zpr.io/4qBDbgumhLf2), and a quasi-moon orbit (https://zpr.io/xtLhwQFGZ4Eh). Posters:If you’d like to buy (or even just look at) Alex Foster’s Solar System poster (featuring Zoozve of course), check it out here (https://zpr.io/dcqVEgHP43SJ). First 75 new annual sign-ups to our membership program The Lab get one free, autographed by Alex! Existing members of The Lab, look out for a discount code!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.
Our Little Stupid Bodies
12-01-2024
Our Little Stupid Bodies
Sometimes a seemingly silly question gets stuck in your craw and you can’t shake the feeling that something big lies behind it. We are constantly collecting these kinds of questions from our listeners, not to mention piling up a storehouse of our own “stupid” questions, as we lovingly call them. And a little while back, we noticed a little cluster of questions that seemed to have a shared edgy energy, and all led us to the same place: Our own bodies. So, today on Radiolab, we go down our throats and get under our skin, we take on evolution and anatomy and molecular cosmetics, to discover some very not-stupid answers to our seemingly stupid questions.  Special thanks to Mark Krasnow, Sachi Mulkey, Kari Leibowitz, Andrea Evers, Dr. Mona Amin, Benjamin Ungar, Praby Singh, Brye and Rachel Adler EPISODE CREDITS:  Reported by - Molly Webster, Becca Bressler, Latif Nasser, and Alan Goffinskiwith help from Ekedi Fausther-KeeysProduced by - Sindhu Gnanasambandan, Becca Bressler, Alyssa Jeong Perry, Molly Webster with help from - Matt KieltyOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Jeremy Bloom with mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kelley, Emily Kriegerand edited by  - Pat Walters and Alex Neason   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.
Zeroworld
29-12-2023
Zeroworld
Karim Ani dedicated his life to math. He studied it in school, got a degree in math education, even founded Citizen Math to teach it to kids in a whole new way. But, this whole time, his whole life, almost, he had this question nagging at him. The question came in the form of a rule in math, NEVER divide by zero. But, why not? Cornell mathematician, and friend of the show, Steve Strogatz, chimes in with the historical context, citing examples of previous provocateurs looking to break the rules of math. And he offers Karim a warning, “In math we have creative freedom, we can do anything we want, as long as it’s logical.”Listen along as Karim’s thought exercise becomes an existential quest, taking us with him, as he delves deeper, and deeper, into Zeroworld. EPISODE CREDITS: Reported by - Lulu MillerProduced by - Matthew Kieltywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeys, Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Matthew Kieltywith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kellyand Edited by - Pat Walters Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab 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.
Death Interrupted
15-12-2023
Death Interrupted
As a lifeguard, a paramedic, and then an ER doctor, Blair Bigham found his calling: saving lives. But when he started to work in the ICU, he slowly realized that sometimes keeping people (and their hopes) alive just prolongs the suffering. He wrote a book arguing that a too-late death is just as bad as a too-early one, and that physicians and the public alike need to get better at accepting the inevitability of death sooner.  As the book hit the bestseller list, Blair’s own father got diagnosed with a deadly case of pancreatic cancer. Blair’s every impulse was in direct contradiction of the book he just wrote. What should he do? And how can any of us know when to stop fighting death and when to start making peace with it?Special thanks to Lucie Howell and Heather Haley.EPISODE CREDITS:  Reported by - Latif NasserProduced by - Simon Adlerwith help from - Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Simon Adlerwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Natalie Middletonand edited by - Pat Walters EPISODE CITATIONS: Books:  Blair Bigham, Death Interrupted: How Modern Medicine is Complicating the Way We Die (https://zpr.io/a33mEMW64X5h)   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, X 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.
A 4-Track Mind
08-12-2023
A 4-Track Mind
In this short episode that first aired in 2011, a neurologist issues a dare to a ragtime piano player and a famous conductor. When the two men face off in an fMRI machine, the challenge is so unimaginably difficult that one man instantly gives up. But the other achieves a musical feat that ought to be impossible. Reporter Jessica Benko went to Michigan to visit Bob Milne, one of the best ragtime piano players in the world, and a preternaturally talented musician. Usually, Bob sticks to playing piano for small groups of ragtime enthusiasts, but he recently caught the attention of Penn State neuroscientist Kerstin Bettermann, who had heard that Bob had a rare talent: He can play technically challenging pieces of music on demand while carrying on a conversation and cracking jokes. According to Kerstin, our brains just aren't wired for that. So she decided to investigate Bob's brain, and along the way she discovered that Bob has an even more amazing ability—one that we could hardly believe and science can't explain. 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.
Boy Man
01-12-2023
Boy Man
Could puberty get any more awkward? Turns out, yes. Writer Patrick Burleigh started going through puberty as a toddler. He had pubic hair before he was two years old and a mustache by middle school. All of this was thanks to a rare genetic mutation that causes testotoxicosis, also known as precocious puberty. From the moment he was born, abnormally high levels of testosterone coursed through his body, just as it had in his father’s body, his grandfather’s body, and his great-grandfather’s body. On this week’s episode, Patrick’s premature coming of age story helps us understand just why puberty is so awkward for all of us, and whether and how it helps forge us into the adults we all become.Special thanks to Craig Cox, Nick Burleigh, and Alyssa Voss at the NIH.EPISODE CREDITS:Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Kelsey Padgett, Ekedi Fausther-Keeys, and Alyssa Jeong PerryProduced by - Pat Walters, Alex Neason, and Alyssa Jeong Perry with help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keyes and Matt Kieltywith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane A. Kellyand Edited by  - Pat Walters EPISODE CITATIONS:Music -  "The Light" by Cate Le Bon & Group Listening.Articles -To read Patrick’s own writing about his experience with precocious puberty and to see photos of him as a child, check out his article in The Cut, “A 4-Year-Old Trapped in a Teenager’s Body” (https://zpr.io/athKVQmtfzaN)In her spare time, our fact checker Diane Kelly is also a comparative anatomist, and you can hear her TEDMED talk, “What We Didn’t Know about Penis Anatomy” (https://zpr.io/MWHFTYBdubHj) 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.
Shrink
24-11-2023
Shrink
The definition of life is in flux, complexity is overrated, and humans are shrinking. Viruses are supposed to be sleek, pared-down, dead-eyed machines. But when one microbiologist stumbled upon a GIANT virus, hundreds of times bigger than any seen before, all that went out the window.  The discovery opened the door not only to a new cast of microscopic characters with names like Mimivirus, Mamavirus, and Megavirus, but also to basic questions: How did we miss these until now? Have they been around since the beginning? What if evolution could go … backwards? In this episode from 2015,  join former co-hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich as they grill Radiolab regular Carl Zimmer on these paradoxical viruses – they’re so big that they can get their own viruses! - and what they can tell us about the nature of life.  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.
The Interstitium
17-11-2023
The Interstitium
In this episode we introduce you to a part of our bodies that was invisible to Western scientists until about five years ago; it’s called "the interstitium," a vast network of fluid channels inside the tissues around our organs that scientists have just begun to see, name, and understand. Along the way we look at how new technologies rub up against long-standing beliefs, and how millions of scientists and doctors failed to see what was right in front (and inside!) of their noses. We also find out how mapping the anatomy of this hidden infrastructure may help solve one of the fundamental mysteries of cancer, and perhaps provide a bridge between ancient and modern medicine.Special thanks to Aaron Wickenden, Jessica Clark, Mara Zepeda, Darryl Holliday, Dr. Amy Chang, Kate Sassoon, Guy Huntley, John Jacobson, Scotty G, and the Village Zendo EPISODE CREDITS -  Reported by - Lulu Miller and Jenn BrandelProduced by - Matt Kieltywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeyswith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Natalie Middletonand Edited by  - Alex Neason EPISODE CITATIONS - Articles: Check out reporter Jenn Brandel’s companion essay to this episode in Orion magazine, titled, Invisible Landscapes (https://zpr.io/NKuxvYY84RvH), which argues that the discovery of the interstitium could challenge established practices of compartmentalizing in science and society.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.
Funky Hand Jive
10-11-2023
Funky Hand Jive
Back when Robert was kid, he had a chance encounter with then President John F. Kennedy. The interaction began with a hello and ended with a handshake. And like many of us who have touched greatness, 14 year old Robert was left wondering if maybe some of Kennedy would stay with him. Back in 2017, when this episode first aired, Robert found himself still pondering that encounter and question. And so with the help of what was brand new science back then, and a helping hand from Neil Degrasse Tyson, he set out to satisfy this curiosity once and for all.EPISODE CREDITS:Produced by - Simon Adlerwith help from - Only Human: Amanda Aronczyk, Kenny Malone, Jillian Weinberger and Elaine Chen. EPISODE CITATIONS: Videos: The Handshake Experiment (https://zpr.io/buzgQeJJLqvY)Books: Neil deGrasse Tyson's newest book is called "Astrophysics for People in A Hurry." (https://zpr.io/idRcrMu3Kj8c) Ed Yong, “I Contain Multitudes.” (https://zpr.io/ff5imFP3kA6s) 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.
Toy Soldiers
03-11-2023
Toy Soldiers
Back in February of 2022, anyone who knew anything thought the War in Ukraine would be over in a few weeks. Russia simply had more bodies to fight with and more steel to kill with.Fast-forward to today, however, and the war is anything but over. Ukraine has held and regained territory with shocking resilience. Stranger still, a small, cheap gadget that up until now was little more than a toy, has been central to their success.Today on Radiolab, we track the deployment of this weapon and wonder what happens when you have to look your enemy in the eye before you pull the trigger. Special thanks to Anna Kaliusna and her team for her footage from the frontline, Yulia Tarisuk for her help with all things Ukrainian language related. And Hanna Rose Shell for her helping us understand the history of camouflage. EPISODE CREDITS:Reported by - Simon AdlerProduced by - Simon AdlerOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Simon Adler and Jeremy Bloomwith mixing by - Jeremy BloomFact-checking by - Natalie Middletonand Edited by - Becca Bressler   EPISODE CITATIONS:AUDIO:On the Media, “The Fog of War” (https://zpr.io/8NKDM2xHWzRp)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.
Border Trilogy Part 3: What Remains
27-10-2023
Border Trilogy Part 3: What Remains
While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh. This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness. In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.” First aired in 2018 and over three episodes, Radiolab investigates this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it. Part 3: What Remains  The third episode in our Border Trilogy follows anthropologist Jason De León after he makes a grisly discovery in Arivaca, Arizona. In the middle of carrying out his pig experiments with his students, Jason finds the body of a 30-year-old female migrant. With the help of the medical examiner and some local humanitarian groups, Jason discovers her identity. Her name was Maricela. Jason then connects with her family, including her brother-in-law, who survived his own harrowing journey through Central America and the Arizona desert. With the human cost of Prevention Through Deterrence weighing on our minds, we try to parse what drives migrants like Maricela to cross through such deadly terrain, and what, if anything, could deter them. Special thanks to Carlo Albán, Sandra Lopez-Monsalve, Chava Gourarie, Lynn M. Morgan, Mike Wells and Tom Barry.CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode, when it originally aired, incorrectly stated that a person's gender can be identified from bone remains. We've adjusted the audio to say that a person's sex can be identified from bone remains. CITATIONS: Books:Jason De Léon’s book The Land of Open Graves (https://zpr.io/vZbTarDzGQWK) Timothy Dunn’s book Blockading the Border and Human Rights (https://zpr.io/VTPWNJPusaCn)Joseph Nevin's book, Operation Gatekeeper (https://zpr.io/UTnHFzRstAEw)Articles:Rubio-Goldsmith, Raquel, Melissa McCormick, Daniel Martinez, and Inez Duarte. 2006. “The ‘Funnel Effect’ & Recovered Bodies of Unauthorized Migrants Processed by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2005.” (https://zpr.io/R3wSpyVCXQhJ) SSRN Electronic Journal.Check out more of Caitlin Dickerson's reporting for The Atlantic (https://zpr.io/GAfC2nfEaBeK). 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.
Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line
20-10-2023
Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line
While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh. This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness.  In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.” First aired in 2018 and over three episodes, Radiolab investigates this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it. Part 2: Hold the Line After the showdown in court with Bowie High School, Border Patrol brings in a fresh face to head its dysfunctional El Paso Sector: Silvestre Reyes. The first Mexican-American to ever hold the position, Reyes knows something needs to change and has an idea how to do it. One Saturday night at midnight, with the element of surprise on his side, Reyes unveils ... Operation Blockade. It wins widespread support for the Border Patrol in El Paso, but sparks major protests across the Rio Grande. Soon after, he gets a phone call that catapults his little experiment onto the national stage, where it works so well that it diverts migrant crossing patterns along the entire U.S.-Mexico Border. Years later, in the Arizona desert, anthropologist Jason de León realizes that in order to accurately gauge how many migrants die crossing the desert, he must first understand how human bodies decompose in such an extreme environment. He sets up a macabre experiment, and what he finds is more drastic than anything he could have expected. Special thanks to Sherrie Kossoudji at the University of Michigan, Lynn M. Morgan, Cheryl Howard, Andrew Hansen, William Sabol, Donald B. White, Daniel Martinez, Michelle Mittelstadt at the Migration Policy Institute, Former Executive Assistant to the El Paso Mayor Mark Smith, Retired Assistant Border Patrol Sector Chief Clyde Benzenhoefer, Paul Anderson, Eric Robledo, Maggie Southard Gladstone and Kate Hall.CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece, when the episode originally published in 2018, incorrectly stated that Silvestre Reyes's brother died in a car accident in 1968; it was actually his father who died in the accident.  We also omitted a detail about the 1997 GAO report that we quote, namely that it predicted that as deaths in the mountains and deserts might rise, deaths in other areas might also fall. The audio was adjusted accordingly. EPISODE CREDITS:  Reported by - Latif Nasser with help from - Tracie Hunte Produced by - Matt Kielty with help from - Bethel Habte, Latif Nasser EPISODE CITATIONS: Art: Jason de Leon's latest work is a global participatory art project called Hostile Terrain 94 (https://zpr.io/dNEyVpAiNXjv), which will be exhibited at over 70 different locations around the world in 2020.  Read more about it here (https://zpr.io/uwDfu9bXFriv).     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.
Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence
13-10-2023
Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence
While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh. This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness. In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.” In a series first aired back in 2018, over three episodes, Radiolab investigates this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.Part 1: Hole in the FenceWe begin one afternoon in May 1992, when a student named Albert stumbled in late for history class at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas. His excuse: Border Patrol. Soon more stories of students getting stopped and harassed by Border Patrol started pouring in. So begins the unlikely story of how a handful of Mexican-American high schoolers in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country stood up to what is today the country’s largest federal law enforcement agency. They had no way of knowing at the time, but what would follow was a chain of events that would drastically change the US-Mexico border. Special thanks to Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, Estela Reyes López, Barbara Hines, Lynn M. Morgan, Mallory Falk, Francesca Begos and Nancy Wiese from Hachette Book Group, Professor Michael Olivas at the University of Houston Law Center, and Josiah McC. Heyman at the Center for Interamerican and Border Studies. EPISODE CREDITS:  Reported by - Latif Nasser, Tracie HunteProduced by - Matt Kieltywith help from - Bethel Habte, Tracie Hunte, Latif NasserCITATIONSBooksJason De Léon’s book The Land of Open Graves here (https://zpr.io/vZbTarDzGQWK)  Timothy Dunn’s book Blockading the Border and Human Rights here (https://zpr.io/VTPWNJPusaCn)  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.