Interviews By Topic

earth

Historian Iain McCalman’s Dangerous Idea? The Anthropocene — the idea that humans have fundamentally changed our global climate. It’s scary, but we’re also seeing people come together in unprecedented ways to solve planetary problems.More

Crossing the plains of the Gnostic Gospels

The religion scholar Elaine Pagels introduced the world to the ancient Gnostic Gospels. 25 years later, she's finally ready to talk about how her own grief — after the deaths of her young son and husband — shaped her religious imagination.More

Resevoir

We've heard plenty about micro-dosing with LSD — in articles, books, even on this show. But psychiatrist Anna Fels has a new micro-dosing proposal. Not with a drug – with lithium.
 More

Mind/body

Remember debating the mind-body duality in college? You probably argued the meaning of Descartes’ adage “I think, therefore I am” in your dorm. Maybe you even delved into the idea of what is consciousness. But for Lauren Slater, author of “Prozac Diary,” the mind-body argument isn’t just a debate or an intellectual pursuit.More

Doors across borders.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.More

Lady Liberty

Historian Carol Anderson walks us through the timeline of truly free and fair elections in the United States, a period she says lasted from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 until a fateful Supreme Court decision in 2013.More

Voting Day

Could we make our elections more secure, more inclusive, or just more fun? Depends on who you ask, and we asked a lot of people.More

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" By Shirley Jackson (Penguin Classics)

Laurence Jackson Hyman, son of the famed horror author Shirley Jackson, recommends her 1962 classic tale for its scares, suspense, and strangeness. More

A house in Savannah, Georgia — one of America's most haunted cities.

The Sorrel-Weed House has been called the “most haunted house” in Savannah, Georgia, and its “ghost tour” is a big tourist attraction. But historian Tiya Miles found another story of slavery and racial stereotypes buried in this history.More

"Disappearance at Devil's Rock" by Paul Tremblay

The horror and fantasy novelist recommends a chilling pair of ghost stories from Paul Tremblay that flip genre conventions on their head. More

Ghosts

Steve Paulson's family has lots of stories of the paranormal, but Steve is the family skeptic. So he did his own investigation, talking with skeptic Michael Shermer, religion scholars Tanya Luhrmann and Jeff Kripal, channeler Paul Selig, and his Aunt Marge Bradley.More

Math of the universe

On October 10, Steve spoke with physicist S. James Gates, Jr. and science writer Margaret Wertheim about the universal language of the universe: math. Can we see the hidden order of the natural world by studying the equations that govern it? And can we see true beauty in numbers?More

"Skin" by Kathe Koja

Citing the book's enormous influence on her own work, novelist Gemma Files recommends Kathe Koja’s horror story set against the backdrop of 1990s counterculture scenes of art, body modification and underground music.More

striped floor

In collaboration with David Lynch, Mark Frost co-created one of the most enduring fictional universes of all time — Twin Peaks. Bookending the series' return to TV in 2017 after 25 years, Frost has written two innovative novels that take a deep dive into the history of the surreal logging town. More

Guy under stress

According to one estimate there may be as many as 50 million workers in the on demand economy, and they're not all Uber drivers or freelancers. Economist Guy Standing has a word for this new and very insecure economic class: "the precariat."More

Robot boy

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  More

Art Official Age cover

Chuck Klosterman thinks the Internet has ruined a lot of things, including death.More

"I Will Bear Witness" by Victor Klemperer

The author of "Lincoln in the Bardo" recommends Victor Klemperer's two-volume diary that reads as a slow-motion picture of what the Holocaust looked like before it was known Holocaust.More

Pages