Radiolab

Sunday 7 p.m.
Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich
Robert Krulwich

Radiolab is an experiential investigation that explores themes and ideas through a patchwork of people, sounds, and stories. In each episode, Radiolab experiments with sound and style allowing science to fuse with culture, and information to sound like music.

Hosted by Jad Abumrad with co-host Robert Krulwich, Radiolab is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder; who are curious about the world, but also want to be moved and surprised.

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Composer ID: 
50e742e9e1c8e204c0dccad1|50e742a4e1c8e204c0dcca8a

Audio Archive

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:46pm

    Today, a lady with a bird in her backyard upends our whole sense of what we may have to give up to keep a wild creature wild.

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014 3:58pm

    Today, the strange story of a small group of islands that raise a big question: is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening?

    We are dedicating a whole hour to the Galapagos archipelago, the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose -- and possibly answer -- critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth.

  • Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:17pm

    Learn a new language faster than ever! Leave doubt in the dust! Be a better sniper! Could you do all that and more with just a zap to the noggin? Maybe.

    Sally Adee, an editor at New Scientist, was at a conference for DARPA - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - when she heard about a way to speed up learning with something called trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). A couple years later, Sally found herself weilding an M4 assualt rifle, picking off enemy combatants with a battery wired to her temple. Of course, it was a simulation, but Sally's sniper skills made producer Soren Wheeler wonder what we should think of the world of brain stimulation. 

    In the last couple years, tDCS has been all over the news. Researchers claim that juicing the brain with just 2 milliamps (think 9-volt battery) can help with everything from learning languages, to quitting smoking, to overcoming depression. We bring Michael Weisend, neuroscientist at Wright State Research Institute, into the studio to tell us how it works (Bonus: you get to hear Jad get his brain zapped). Peter Reiner and Nick Fitz of the University of British Columbia help us think through the consequences of a world where anyone with 20 dollars and access to Radioshack can make their own brain zapper. And finally, Sally tells us about the unexpected after-effects of a day of super-charged sniper training and makes us wonder about world where you can order up a state of mind.

  • Friday, June 13, 2014 2:00pm

    A plum-sized lump of metal takes us from the French Revolution to an underground bunker in Maryland as we try to weigh the way we weigh the world around us.

  • Friday, May 30, 2014 11:20am

    This hour we investigate the objects around us, their power to move us, and whether it's better to look back or move on, hold on tight or just let go.

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10:06am

Mon April 1, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Trapped By The Web — But For How Long? Take the Kelberman Challenge

I'm Google Dina Kilberman

You sit down, turn on the computer, up comes an image, could be anything, a cloud, a koala bear, a video. On the right side of the screen there are more images like it, or almost like it, so you click on one of those, just because ... because what? Because it's there? Because it's waiting? Because, for no conceivable reason, you suddenly have a yearning for balloon pictures? You don't plan this, you have no plan, but you keep going, gently pulled by the lure of "next."

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5:33am

Mon April 1, 2013
The Two-Way

It's Almost Cicada Time! Help Radiolab Track #Swarmageddon

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:39 am

A newly emerged adult cicada dries its wings on a tree in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

If history proves correct, Magicicada Brood II will emerge this spring after living underground for 17 years.

In many places along the Eastern Seaboard — from North Carolina to Connecticut — the cicadas will fill the skies, breed and then quickly die. National Geographic points out that historically, this group, known as Brood II, has been so prolific that picking up their carcasses can sometimes feel like raking leaves in the fall.

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10:00am

Thu March 28, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Six-Legged Critters In Dicey Places: What Science Reporters Do To Get Your Attention

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:19 pm

YouTube

We're not as daring as Magellan (who died) or Columbus (who went crazy) or Henry Hudson (who froze), but in our dainty little way, we take astonishing risks. Well, maybe not astonishing. Maybe just embarrassing.

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9:14am

Wed March 27, 2013

4:05am

Sat March 16, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

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