Science and Technology

man on mars

Fear about the future of the planet keeping you up at night? Aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin has a solution: it’s time to settle Mars. More

AI hand from space

Futurist Amy Webb tells us we can have a utopian future — if we are vigilant.More

Life springs eternal

Even facing the bleakest outcomes that climate change might inflict on our planet, we have to have faith in a new future. That’s something writer Anne Lamott has been struggling with too.More

Barren wastes

Journalist and essayist Roy Scranton has been called "our Jeremiah of the Anthropocene." His book "We’re Doomed. Now What?" is a hard-headed — often terrifying — look at how climate change could transform our planet, and how that impact might shape our daily thoughts and experiences.More

bright brain

How neuroscientist Tali Sharot accidentally stumbled on what’s known as “the optimism bias” — our hard-wired belief that our future will be better than our past or present.More

Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.More

forest

Claire Peaslee is a naturalist who lives in Point Reyes, California, a place decimated by recent forest fires that sits literally on top of the San Andreas Fault. Yet she finds hope there through pilgrimage.More

Adam Kucharski virus graphic

The COVID-19 pandemic was some epidemiologist’s nightmare when Adam Kucharski was writing "Rules of Contagion." The book draws on ideas from “outbreak science” to illuminate how and why viruses spread.More

Vaccine vial

Married couple Ilan Kedan and Christina Lombardi work at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and they each decided to participate in two separate medical trials for COVID-19 vaccines.More

A vaccine bottle with a looming virus

Science writer Sarah Zhang has reported extensively on the newly-developed COVID-19 vaccines — how they work, the logistical and psychological challenges of the roll out, and what they mean for our society.More

Spruce Grain Picea #0909-11A07 (9,550; Sweden) Rachel Sussman

Photographer Rachel Sussman has documented 30 of the oldest living things in the world. Beautiful and romantic, her photos document both the adaptation and fragility inherent to surviving for tens of thousands of years. More

Clock

He’s one of the most frenetically productive, wired guys on the planet, but digital media theorist Douglas Rushkoff is backing away from the clock.More

Clock of the Long Now

Alexander Rose tells Anne Strainchamps about the Clock of the Long Now — an all mechanical clock being constructed in the high desert of Western Texas designed to run for ten thousand years.More

TC Boyle

How does a hummingbird survive in subzero winter temperatures? Why endure them at all? Author T.C. Boyle couldn’t understand why the small bird would be anywhere near his mountain writing retreat, but he found the answer in Bernd Heinrich’s “Winter World.”More

Polar bear

Depending on where you live, winter can be tough to get through.  It’s cold, it gets dark early, the weather’s messy.  Naturalist Bernd Heinrich shares some amazing stories about the ingenious ways animals survive winter.More

walrus

Knowing how animals survive winter is good, but how do animals sound in winter? For that we turn to Douglas Quin, an award-winning sound designer and composer whose album "Fathom" contains underwater field recordings from the polar regions of the earth.More

Daily touch is about moving your skin

What happens when an entire nation is social distancing and avoiding contact? Dr. Tiffany Field, founder and director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, tells Anne about the power of therapeutic touch. More

texting people in the dark

Could being digitized be a way for all of us to become immortal? Maybe, but not in a way we would particularly enjoy, as this story from listener Mark Pantoja illustrates.More

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