Latest Stories

Roland Griffiths
Articles

Roland Griffiths helped pioneer the use of psychedelics to treat people with cancer who are scared of dying. Then he got his own terminal diagnosis. He talked with Steve Paulson in January 2023 about his personal LSD journey when he "talked" with his cancer.

Length: 
18:43
person and dog
Articles

Ecofeminist philosopher Donna Haraway has a reputation for tackling the big intellectual questions of our time. She’s also obsessed with dogs — their biological, cultural, political and personal history.

Length: 
10:58
Stained glass in the chapel on Dog Mountain
Photo Gallery

If you are now or have ever been a dog lover, there’s a place you need to go — Dog Mountain in Northern Vermont. 150 acres of hills, trails, and ponds just for pups, plus a dog chapel for memorializing lost pets and an annual summer dog party.

Length: 
7:58
a dog on the trail howls
Articles

Dogsledders Blair Braverman and Quince Mountain have built an outdoor adventure life in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where they train teams of dogs to race. But for the husband-and-wife team, the pack is also part of their family.

Length: 
17:27
the looming monster of american myth
Audio

Social critic Alissa Quart says the American ideal of the self-made, rugged individual is built on a lie. In her book "Bootstrapped," she argues that even the people who preached the gospel of self-reliance, like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Henry David Thoreau, didn’t live up to it themselves. 

Length: 
8:21
an online number going up
Audio

When producer Angelo Bautista was growing up, he dreamed of being in the internet. Not on the internet, but inside of it. Now, he's torn about social media. He's still addicted to scrolling, but posting about his own life — that's another story. But if nobody sees you on the internet, do you exist? 

Length: 
6:30
a woman looking in a mirror
Articles

When you look online, you might think the most important pursuit in life is self-creation — optimizing, curating, branding yourself. Social critic Tara Isabella Burton says our current obsession with personal identity has deeply religious roots, which then got co-opted by advertisers and the self-help movement.

Length: 
14:08
The Sandman. Writer Neil Gaiman on the set of The Sandman.
Audio

Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" graphic novel is now a Netflix series. Gaiman has made a career out of tapping into our unconscious dreams and fears. In 2003, Steve Paulson traveled to Gaiman's home in Wisconsin to talk about where his story ideas come from.

Length: 
10:58
The American carnival
Audio

Kurt Andersen says there’s something quintessentially American about fantasy — from Hollywood to our homegrown religions. The message is that you can create your own reality. But what happens when political leaders believe their own fantasies?

Length: 
16:05
two adults near a portal to Disneyland
Audio

Disney theme parks aren't just for kids. Plenty of adults say they're happy places. But a lot of people love to hate on "Disney adults." So what happens to our childhood love of fantasy when we grow older? Producer Angelo Bautista has the story.

Length: 
21:26
Robert (left) and Kofi (right) together in 2008. (Robert Hanserd)
Audio

Two friends of 20 years — Robert Hanserd and Emmanuel Kofi Bempong — show what a relationship between African Americans and Ghanaians can be.

Length: 
10:39
American plane in Africa
Audio

Just as thousands of African Americans are moving to Ghana, some Ghanaians are migrating to the West. Literature professor Ato Quayson explains that it raises a difficult question: should they stay in Africa or pursue a high-profile career in North America or Europe?

Length: 
9:16
L to: Yeleyeni Songsore and her husband; Mawiyah Kambon and Kamal Kambon; Kwaku Asantu Maroon Asare
Articles

At least 1,500 Black Americans have moved to Ghana since 2019, when the government declared its "Year of Return" initiative, calling on Africans in the diaspora to return to Africa. As the US continues to confront its history of racism and police brutality against Black people, many are heeding Ghana's call.  

Length: 
20:36
fireflies
Articles

As a documentary poet, Camille Dungy writes not just about headline-making news, but about news on a more intimate scale — about motherhood, marriage, and her garden. It’s an approach she says was very much inspired by the "godmother" of documentary poetry, Muriel Rukeyeser. 

Length: 
16:13
Boots at right angles.
Articles

Kaia Sand is a journalist whose day job is executive director of the community newspaper Street Roots in Portland, Oregon. She’s also a poet and she uses both lenses – journalism and poetry – to write about the people she knows and things she sees firsthand in her city. 

Length: 
10:16
Articles

We asked Arab-American poet Philip Metres to write an original poem in the style he’s known for — documentary poetry — a genre that blends techniques from journalism and poetry to offer a fresh way of hearing today’s news.

Length: 
23:04
David Rooney.
Audio

Clocks control us – but who controls clocks? David Rooney gives us a brief political history of clocks. And a look at their future.

Length: 
30:27
Jenny Odell
Articles

Lately it’s been feeling like time is speeding up.  Whether it’s the news cycle, social media, the information economy or global warming, the pace of life is accelerating beyond what many of us can handle. Jenny Odell blames the clock. 

Length: 
18:02
Natalie Merchant
Audio

Singer Natalie Merchant rediscovered poetry in the company of her young daughter. Why does she love the poems by Victorian and early 20th century poets?

Length: 
14:18
Picking up leaves on a leisurely hike.
Dangerous Ideas

Our lives have never been more optimized to save us time. But is it all time well spent? Maybe it’s time to embrace inefficiency, argues typewriter collector and philosopher Richard Polt.

Length: 
3:39
Digital projector
Articles

Eliza Smith is the CEO and cofounder of Cosmic Standard, a podcast company. She also has a new podcast in the works – based on fear. She tells Anne Strainchamps that horror stories help her manage and work through her anxiety.

Length: 
14:01
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Audio

When it comes to wonder and awe, historian and poet Jennifer Michael Hecht, the author of “Doubt” and “The End of the Soul,” says there’s another, even older tradition we can all access – poetry.

Length: 
16:15
Dacher Keltner
Articles

Psychologist Dacher Keltner says that awe is a unique experience, distinct from all other emotions, and it can make us feel better in a lot of ways.

Length: 
14:29
Lulu Miller
Articles

Lulu Miller's latest project is a "Radiolab" podcast series for children: "Terrestrials." She explains for how nature and child-like sensibility can help adults rediscover a sense of wonder.

Length: 
18:39
David Olson in his lab.
Articles

Could you get the same therapeutic benefits of a psychedelic drug without actually tripping? Neuroscientist David Olson wants to re-engineer psychedelic molecules to remove the trip. If successful, he might revolutionize the treatment of mental disorders.

Length: 
16:35
Charles Raison
Audio

Psychedelic therapy has shown great promise for treating depression, but it's still unclear why exactly it works. Psychiatrist Charles Raison wants to know if it's the drug or the trip that makes psychedelics so potent. Is it biology or consciousness?

Length: 
17:23
phantom islands
Interactive

Uzbekistani electronic musician Andrew Pekler is fascinated by "phantom islands" — islands that 15th and 16th century explorers made up to please wealthy patrons of their expeditions. So, he built an digital map of them, and added a soundtrack.

Length: 
10:25
Anne's mental map.
Audio

Bill Limpisathian is a professor of cartography and specializes in a brand new field – map cognition, or how we use and see and think about maps in the brain.

Length: 
9:20
Articles

Samoan journalist Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson was born and raised on the island of Savai'i. Rising sea levels washed away the small barrier islands that protected her home, eventually, forcing people to move — just one example of climate change disappearing islands in the South Pacific.

Length: 
19:22
Charmaine Minniefield
Audio

"Praise houses" were places where Black people would gather in secret to affirm their African identity and cultural practices. Artist-activist Charmaine Minniefield explains how her Praise House Project pushes back against the erasure of history.

Length: 
12:47

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