Interviews By Topic

The thoroughly domesticated dog

Merrill Markoe loves dogs. She’s written two novels and many comic essays about our furry friends. Doug Gordon sat down to talk with her about how dogs became our besties.  More

revolutionary soldier

In the final volume of Laurie Halse Anderson's “Seeds of America” trilogy, white colonists everywhere can be heard talking about liberty and freedom – just not for African Americans. More

soldiers return home

For some veterans, coming home from war can often be a struggle. In his book "Tribe," journalist Sebastian Junger offers a nuanced and thought provoking take on why it’s so difficult and complicated for some returning veterans. More

Books and a figure

There’s a theory that reading fiction helps us learn to understand other people — and in the process, become kinder, better, more empathetic ourselves. Joshua Landy says fiction can help us be kinder and more empathetic. More

shame sad face sign

Can shame also be used for public good?  There’s a judge in Texas who’s famous for his creative – and controversial – shame-based sentences.  To hear how they work, let’s go back to Thanksgiving evening, 1996. Houston, Texas. More

Giant inflatable rat in front of Wells Fargo

Maybe shame – painful as it is – has some value. Maybe it’s not just an emotion, but a social tool. Jennifer Jacquet thinks that there’s an upside to shame. More

adults playing with Lego

Mary Kay Zuravleff's Dangerous Idea? Universal Recess.More

The word "sex" on an iron pillar

Robin Rinaldi was mid-life, mid-career and mid-marriage when she placed that ad. It launched her wild oats project – a year spent exploring sex.More

An offender  of prostitution exposed to public shame

Think there's a renaissance of public shaming online? You're right. There's something about the anonymity of social media has people who probably seem perfectly nice in person, posting vicious, scathing, humiliating comments online.More

Corporate Quotas

Talking about diversity is not always easy, but poet and writer Sofia Samatar believes it's crucial. She believes institutions should focus less on meeting quotas, and instead foster open and nuanced conversations about difference.More

Twins

Bioethicist Julian Savulescu says we have a moral obligation to use new technology to create the best possible children.

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College Students

Free speech advocate Greg Lukianoff believes universities are coddling students in the name of emotional well-being, with damaging effects to students' mental health.More

Friendship

Anthropologist Nina Jablonski believes we could reduce implicit bias in the future by teaching children about the evolutionary origins of humans and why we look different.More

White women at Concert

For most of her life Debby Irving was largely unaware of race. Then, when she was in her 40s, she enrolled in a course on race and cultural identity, and overnight became hyperaware of the privileges she'd been afforded throughout her life as a result of her white skin color.More

Protest

Philosopher Naomi Zack believes that if your goal is to fight racism, a good first step is to stop talking about your own privilege. She says we should instead focus the conversation on violations of rights. More

Rock climber Alex Honnold burst onto the scene a few years ago with some breathtaking solo climbs in Zion and Yosemite, and he’s pushed the limits for what climbers thought possible.More

Poet David Whyte finds inspiration in everyday words. In his book "Consolations," Whyte examines the deeper, often surpising meanings of 52 ordinary words.More

"Solo Faces" by James Salter

Writer David Morris explains why "Solo Faces" by James Salter is one of his favorite books.More

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