Interviews By Topic

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.More

Person at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

A wide range of writers — now celebrated with commercial and critical success — work to celebrate an evolving literary canon without limiting it. More

Wheat

Kamut is arguably the oldest grain in the world. Bob Quinn, who runs the multi-million dollar nonprofit Kamut International, argues that it's an example of what can be right in a very wrong American agricultural world.More

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

If a disaster wiped out our ability to grow crops, how would the survivors rebuild civilization? Back in the 1990’s Cary Fowler wondered the same thing. So he created the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – otherwise known as the Doomsday vault.More

bamboo graffitt

If climate change is the most urgent problem facing humanity, why are there so few novels about it? Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh believes that’s a big problem. He says climate change is less a science problem than a crisis of imagination.More

Western hemisphere of the moon

The moon explodes and the earth is doomed. Neal Stephenson's 800-page novel "Seveneves" spans 5,000 years of human survival in outer space.More

Karl Ove Knaussgard

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about his autobiographical novel, “My Struggle,” as well as his unorthodox approach to writing.More

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. More

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.More

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. As part of a whole radio hour examining work, we hear snippets of Terkel's wisdom on how life for blue collar workers has changed over the years.More

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.More

Data streams

Yuval Noah Harari is the big-thinking historian who warns that whoever owns the data owns the future. He told Steve Paulson that it’s become the most important resource in the world.More

flee or stay our social media platforms?

A pioneering computer scientist thinks we should delete our accounts, while an internet ethicist argues we should fix the system rather than abandon it entirely.More

internet of nonsense

Viral videos and memes are good for a laugh — but how often do you think about where they came from? Digital culture scholar Whitney Phillips says the internet is both playful and mean. And we’re not good at telling the difference.More

man playing guitar

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.More

Oakwood residents and singers

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" producer Shannon Henry Kleiber shares a story about her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, and the power of music.More

man reviewing photograph

Anne Basting has found asking people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia open-ended queries, rather than pointed yes or no questions that require remembering something specific, can create powerful connections.More

cello player

After a 40 year career as a psychologist, Francine Toder decided to start playing the cello. The experience convinced her that music – and in fact all the arts – may be the best way to stimulate the brain and improve well-being late in life.More

Pages