Interviews By Topic

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 a debate or an intellectual pursuit. It’s a personal choice, one that is both necessary and terrible.More

Frances Jensen is both a neuroscientist and a mother of two (former) teenagers. She talked with To the Best of Our Knowledge Executive Producer Steve Paulson about the positive “plasticity” of teenage brains as well as teens’ propensity for risk-taking.More

Teen brain

If teens have trouble remembering where they put their homework, how are they going to marshall a legislative agenda? On the other hand, maybe teens have mental advantages adults don’t. Steve Paulson asked neuroscientist Frances Jensen to weigh in.More

Teens on stage

Around the country, teen poets are writing and joining in a community of spoken-word artists, with plenty of competitions and arts organizations drawing young people into the world of poetry.More

Angie Thomas

The hit young adult author on how she channeled feelings in the wake of a tragedy into her debut novel, "The Hate U Give."More

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

Angie Jiang goes to Washington

Have you ever tried to lobby a US Senator? How about when you were 17? Angie Jiang did. She’s a high school senior. She’s on the swim team. She loves Beyonce. And she’s an advisor to the UN.More

Teens walk out against gun violence on March 14 in Madison, Wis.

As we hear out the ambitions of today's teen activists, politicians and artists, what do they think adults need to do to help them change the world?More

Tyler Ruzich

Generation Z is arguably shaping up to be one of the most activist generations in recent memory. In Kansas, six teenagers running for governor. Tyler Ruzich is one of them — running as a Republican "for a new generation."More

Students testing their DNA

What's it like to discover that your own genetic ancestry is both black and white? At West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Anita Foeman leads the DNA Discussion Project, where students use DNA testing to learn about their mixed bloodlines.More

jefferson

For years it was rumored that Thomas Jefferson had a sexual relationship with Sally Hemings. Then legal historian Annette Gordon-Reed proved it. She tells the complicated story of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship.More

Ben Marcus talks about another one of the stories he chose for the "New American Stories" anthology — "Going for a Beer" by Robert Coover.More

a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery.

Steve Paulson was surprised to discover that a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery. With the help of Erin Hoag of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, he searches for the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left). Robert was Ruben Gee‘s first child to his white wife, Aurelia. Henderson was his second child to his slave, Venus. Henderson was born a slave.

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by geneology. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

“Refugees didn’t live in town. The overwhelming majority were stuck in a camp with layers of razor-wire-topped fences that evoked comparisons to Guantánamo from some of its residents. Meant for 600, its population had, during my late-October visit, swelle

Molly Crabapple's art — her drawings, paintings and posters — have ignited various political causes, from the Occupy Movement to protests against the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo. She tells Anne how art can be a political tool.More

Historical photo of the St. Louis Arch

Edward McPherson on The Legacy of the St. Louis Arch.More

Frank Stella, Double Gray Scramble, 1973. Screenprint on white Arches 88 mould-made paper, 29 x 50 3/4 inches. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Gemini G.E.L. and the Artist, 1981.5.98 © 2016 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New Yor

Frank Stella sits down with Steve Paulson to talk about a lesser known aspect of his remarkable career — his work as a printmaker.More

Street art that reads "Love is Color"

Maybe you're familiar with art therapy — making art to cope with pain. Philosopher Alain de Botton has a different idea. He thinks just looking at great art can be therapeutic.More

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