Interviews By Topic

Starling

Elena Passarello’s latest book, “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” is a journey through stories of the wild ones: the mammoths, spiders, birds and primates that have left their marks on our society. To the Best of Our Knowledge host Anne Strainchamps talked with Passarello about the “animal gaze” and the legacy of Mozart’s starling, among other animal tales.More

broken heart

Every week, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond host the popular "Dear Sugars" podcast, where they read listener letters and give relationship advice. Sometimes, they have to parse the questions people think they're asking from the ones simmering beneath the surface.More

A flower at the end of life

Author and professor Simon Critchley offers a dangerous idea that concerns time. And death.More

Choose something from 2018 and leave it behind.

Anne shares a yearly ritual for leaving behind something you regret, and moving into the new year a little bit lighter. More

David Giffels and his dad

A few years ago, David Giffels took on an unusual woodworking project — he started building his own coffin. With his 80-year-old father. But after losing his mother and best friend suddenly, his woodworking project took on a whole new meaning.
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Goshawk in flight

Shattered by her father's sudden death, writer Helen Macdonald began dreaming of wild hawks.  In an effort to move beyond her grief, she bought and trained a wild goshawk — one of the world's fiercest birds of prey.   But between the bird and her grief, she became, in her words "more hawk than human."More

"The Dark Is Rising" by Susan Cooper

Wizarding fiction didn't start with "Harry Potter," says the author of "H is for Hawk." Every year, MacDonald reads this tale of a boy who finds out he's one of the "old ones," part of a series from author Susan Cooper. She says it reconnects her with a sense of wonder inspired by what might lurk beneath the surface of the seen world.More

deray on Twitter

Maybe you can do without social media, if your life is already pretty comfortable. But you know what? Some people can't wait for something better to come along. They need social media today. Like organizer DeRay Mckesson.More

Mark's facebook ephemera

We shared our lives on Facebook, and in return, we got rampant privacy abuse. It might feel right to end our relationship, but as digital producer Mark Riechers discovered, that's more complicated than you might think.More

Girl with phone

Jaron Lanier — the visionary computer scientist who helped build the internet and invent virtual reality — thinks the solution to our Facebook problems is clear.More

happy people social-ing on phones

Ethan Zuckerman directs the Center for Civic Media at MIT. He argues that simply quitting these platforms isn't enough — we have to stick around and demand something better.More

Trees

Botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger tells Anne that the lives of trees and human beings are inter-related all the way down to the molecular level.More

The forest organism

Suzanne Simard is a forest ecologist who's revolutionizing our understanding of trees. She has discovered that trees use underground networks to communicate and cooperate with each other. It turns out that whole forests can exist as a superorganism.More

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold

Mountain climber Tommy Caldwell takes us inside Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan.More

That Tree in April 2017

Mark Hirsch took 365 photos — one a day for a year — of a single Bur oak tree. The project changed his life.More

give the gift of a clean kitchen

Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn on how to spend money on ourselves and others in a way that maximizes happiness.More

Cash

Journalist Anand Giridharadas says that sometimes, major philanthropic gifts are a lot less altruistic than they may appear.More

Ways to help Jay

In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page. More

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