What's on This Week

03.29.2015
Is there any evidence that vaccines cause autism? Any at all? If the answer is no, then why is anti-vaccination on the rise? Autism. Jenny McCarthy. Measles at Disneyland. How did...
07.20.2014
(was 03.29.2015)
Science is moving out of the lab and into the pages of literary fiction.  This week, we introduce the “Lab Lit” movement and talk about why fiction needs more realistic portrayals...

On Our Minds

Some studies suggest that we get happier as we age. Some of us also get wiser, and neuropsychiatrist Dilip Jeste believe that changes in the brain might help explain why old...
Bill T. Jones
​ Choreographer Bill T. Jones is in danger of becoming an icon. In danger, he says, because “icons are there to gather dust and for somebody to come along and smash. No, no—I...
​ Monroeville, Alabama is famous for being the home of Harper Lee, who immortalized the town—and the racial inequities in its justice system—in her much-beloved novel To Kill...
​ Jackie Lyden’s decades-long career as a journalist took her to war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Northern Ireland. But for her latest project, she’s trying on a new hat,...
Flickr user Rocco339 In 2006, Los Angeles Times reporter Jill Leovy launched a blog that attempted to cover every murder in Los Angeles. It was no small task—there were about...

"Citizen" Wins National Book Critics Circle Award

Poet Claudia Rankine's masterful poetry collection, "Citizen: An American Lyric" has won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. In it, she tells stories of racially fraught encounters, from everyday micro-aggressions to openly hostile encounters with police. It paints a portrait of the indignities African Americans often face.

Citizen challenges readers to grapple with their own preconceptions about race. Much of the book is ambiguously written, forcing readers to consider their own attitudes to the injustices or the racial assumptions they ascribe to them.

In her interview with To the Best of Our Knowledge, Rankine says, “You often hear people say, ‘You know, I don’t think about race. I see people.” Rankin says. “So I wanted people to read these pieces and see their own minds place one body in a black body or a brown body, [and] place another body in a white body.”