Science and Technology

The many realities

How do you know what’s real? Start with your senses — if you can see, touch, hear or taste something, it’s real — right? Not necessarily, according to cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan.More

Spruce Grain Picea #0909-11A07 (9,550; Sweden) Rachel Sussman

Photographer Rachel Sussman has documented 30 of the oldest living things in the world. Beautiful and romantic, her photos document both the adaptation and fragility inherent to surviving for tens of thousands of years. More

Clock

He’s one of the most frenetically productive, wired guys on the planet, but digital media theorist Douglas Rushkoff is backing away from the clock.More

Clock of the Long Now

Alexander Rose tells Anne Strainchamps about the Clock of the Long Now — an all mechanical clock being constructed in the high desert of Western Texas designed to run for ten thousand years.More

The plants Brooke keeps on hand.

As a plant ecologist, Brooke Hecht knows plants. But then a few years ago, while at a professional conference, her young daughter who'd tagged along got sick. And that's when the healing powers of plants came to the rescue.More

TC Boyle

How does a hummingbird survive in subzero winter temperatures? Why endure them at all? Author T.C. Boyle couldn’t understand why the small bird would be anywhere near his mountain writing retreat, but he found the answer in Bernd Heinrich’s “Winter World.”More

Polar bear

Depending on where you live, winter can be tough to get through.  It’s cold, it gets dark early, the weather’s messy.  Naturalist Bernd Heinrich shares some amazing stories about the ingenious ways animals survive winter.More

walrus

Knowing how animals survive winter is good, but how do animals sound in winter? For that we turn to Douglas Quin, an award-winning sound designer and composer whose album "Fathom" contains underwater field recordings from the polar regions of the earth.More

lonely plant

Once you acknowledge that plants are intelligent and sentient beings, moral questions quickly follow. Should they have rights? How can we think of plants as "persons"? Plant scientist Matt Hall sorts out these ideas with Steve.More

plant

Plants are intelligent beings with profound wisdom to impart—if only we know how to listen. And Monica Gagliano knows how to listen.More

Robin Wall Kimmerer (left) and Anne Strainchamps (right)

Emerging science in everything from forest ecology to the microbiome is confirming that our relationship with plants and animals is deep. Ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer also draws on Native knowledge to explain our intimate relationships with plants.More

woman

Skin color is loaded with assumptions about race and identity, but skin itself has its own fascinating history. Steve Paulson spoke with anthropologist Nina Jablonski to find out more.More

Daily touch is about moving your skin

What happens when an entire nation is social distancing and avoiding contact? Dr. Tiffany Field, founder and director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, tells Anne about the power of therapeutic touch. More

sky

Magician Nate Staniforth has a dangerous idea for you. Tonight, after dark, go outside and look up to the sky.More

Andreas Weber in the Grunewald Forest in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Weber is a German biologist and philosopher with a highly unconventional way of describing the natural world, one in which "love" is a foundational principle of biology.More

texting people in the dark

Could being digitized be a way for all of us to become immortal? Maybe, but not in a way we would particularly enjoy, as this story from listener Mark Pantoja illustrates.More

Brain activity

After months of isolation, the COVID-19 lockdown is rewiring your brain. Neuroscientist David Eagleman says our brains are continually in flux, responding to the surrounding world. And the silver lining of coronavirus? It's probably boosting your creativity.More

Phineas Gage

In 1848 Phineas Gage suffered a gruesome accident. BIasting through rock to build a new railroad in Vermont, an explosion sent a 3-foot, 13-pound iron rod straight through his skull. Remarkably, Gage lived, but brain science changed forever.More

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