Interviews By Topic

Walt Disney

Cultural anthropologist Scott A. Lukas describes the history and cultural significance of theme parks such as Disney World.More

Ferris wheel

At one point there were more than 1,500 amusement parks across America. Historian Lauren Rabinovitz says they helped ease the country into a period of rapid technological change.More

Super punch.

After spending time with a real-life superhero in Seattle called Phoenix Jones, author Jon Ronson wonders if people like him can actually fight crime.More

Searching the stars

For more than 30 years, the scientists at the SETI Institute have been looking and listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. And recently, some of them decided to get a bit more proactive.More

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson makes the case for why constantly searching for answers doesn't have to dispel our sense of awe and wonder faced with the seemingly unknowable universe.More

Solar eclipse

Journalist David Baron describes how witnessing a total solar eclipse set him on a path to examine how eclipses have propelled many inquisitive minds deeper into the sciences to see more deeply into the universe.More

boats

Novelist and short story writer Ben Marcus is a novelist and short story writer talks about how the addictive quality of language is a big part of what makes short stories so powerful.More

You've probably seen Jesse Eisenberg in films like "The Social Network," "The Squid and the Whale" and "The End of the Tour." But have you read his fiction debut?More

against nature

How do you go from producing riveting stories about real people for "This American Life" to writing surreal short stories? Diane Cook is the person to ask.More

You see an ad that promises the comforts of a nice suburban home, along with a full-time job. There's just one catch — you only spend half your time there; you spend the other half living in a prison cell. That's the premise behind Margaret Atwood's novel, "The Heart Goes Last," a blend of dystopia and social satire.More

Environmentalist Jennifer Jacquet recommends "Last Chance to See" by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.More

ruined boats

There’s a lot of scientific debate about the future of climate change. But have you ever considered the worst case scenario? David Wallace-Wells gives us one terrifying glimpse into the future.More

Piles and piles of books

With her decision to step down as the chief book critic for the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani sent the book world reeling. In this piece from our archive, authors reflect on the impact of the NYT's' infamous head book critic.More

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.More

reading a story

Can a better life story make you happier? Psychologist Tim Wilson thinks so, and he describes a technique he calls "story-editing" to create a more hopeful and meaningful life narrative.More

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