Our Favorite Radio Stories of 2017

Radio is an ephemeral medium, but some stories have staying power. We remember the magical moments of chemistry in certain interviews; the brilliant sound design that emerged from particular studio sessions; the stories that took us places and those that changed us.

This year, Charles Monroe-Kane went home. And took his microphone with him. His portrait of his hometown, in the Rust Belt of Northeastern Ohio, is a story of rampant opioid abuse, poverty and joblessness. And of the brave, stubborn, caring people who’ve stayed because it’s home.

Steve Paulson and Anne Strainchamps were on vacation in Yellowstone National Park when they recognized one of the world’s leading wolf biologists. Their tag team interview brought the Park’s famous wolves to life, and made us cry and laugh.

Doug Gordon interviewed himself and gave us a charming, funny, painful and true portrait of life with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Mark Riechers invited us into one of the most intimate moments of his life when he told the story of getting married in a historic movie palace, and even shared audio from the ceremony.

All these stories, Joe Hardtke’s sound design shimmers, adding layers of depth and brilliance. They are a delight to listen to – which is why we keep going back to them. Enjoy and thanks for listening along with us this year.

The Lucky Inn in Center of the World, Ohio
Photo Gallery

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.


African chimps store caches of big rocks to throw at certain trees. And some scientists wonder, are those trees sacred to them?

Anne interviews Rick McIntyre during a wolf watching session.
Photo Gallery

Wolf biologist Rick McIntyre took a moment from his own wolf watching to explain the lives of Yellowstone wolves, one he's observed first hand almost every day for 22 years.

Bob Hansmen

One professor crosses St. Louis’ racial divide.

Sonic Sidebar

To The Best Of Our Knowledge producer Doug Gordon explains what it’s like to live with obsessive compulsions.

Plastic crochet corals from the "Crochet Coral Reef" project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

What if the geometric structure of the universe has been hidden, for centuries, in crochet? Margaret Wertheim can help you get there with a ball of wool, a crochet hook, and some non-Euclidean geometry.


It means “a couldn’t-care-less attitude,” and it’s a personal mantra for comedian Norm MacDonald.

Duca V Carlson
Sonic Sidebar

A Teen Vogue editor finds herself arguing with Tucker Carlson. And then it gets worse.

Mark and Laurie, The Wedding
Sonic Sidebar

Our digital producer, Mark Riechers, tells us why he got married in a movie theater.

Show Details 📻
Activist, Scientist, Animal Rights Activist
Wildlife biologist
C. H. Candler Professor of Psychology, Emory University
Rick McIntryre
Wolf biologist, Yellowstone National Park
Bob Hansman
Professor of Architecture
Doug Gordon
Lauren Duca
Journalist and Editor for Teen Vogue
Last modified: 
December 22, 2017