Latest Podcast Extras

Women in STEM

Every Time You Troll Me, A Scientist Gets Her Due

Every time this medical student gets harassed online, she writes a new Wikipedia bio of a female scientist.  

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Jet engine

Does Empathy Have a Design Flaw?

We talk to two experts —Chuck Pezeshski and Indi Young— who think about the role empathy can play in tackling massive design and engineering problems.

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A group on an island

What If Richard Dawkins Had It All Wrong?

Forty years ago Richard Dawkins wrote the landmark book “The Selfish Gene,” where he argued that the gene is what drives evolution. But what if he got it all wrong?

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Neil Gaiman Brings Us to the End of the World

Chaotic headlines out of Washington, ice melting in Antarctica, world temps rising and global conflict on the rise… it could be worse.  It could be Ragnarok.  

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Philip Glass

Philip Glass at 80

It’s really hard to exaggerate the influence that Philip Glass has had on contemporary classical music. In honor of his eightieth birthday, here's a re-aired conversation with the composer about his memoir, "Words Without Music."

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Daniel Schorr on How Journalists Keep Politicians Honest

We’re revisiting a conversation with the late Daniel Schorr, a legend and former senior news analyst for NPR who passed away in 2010. When he spoke with Steve Paulson in 2008, he used the outgoing Bush administration as a reminder of the role journalists play in holding their feet to the fire of facts.


The Art of Criticism: Mark Greif on Why He’s “Against Everything”

In this podcast, Mark Greif, co-founder of the literary magazine n+1 and author of “Against Everything,” reflects on the art of being a cultural critic.

Putting Music to the City of Broad Shoulders

In this extended interview, Charles Monroe-Kane talks to David Nagler about what Carl Sandburg's poems mean personally, and what it took to set them to music.

Remembering Huston Smith

Last week we lost one of the great scholars of religion. Huston Smith died at the age of 97. Smith's book “The World’s Religions” sold more than three million copies and is perhaps the most important book ever written on comparative religion. Here's an excerpt of Steve Paulson's 2002 interview with Huston Smith.