Science and Technology

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

lonely plant

Once you acknowledge that plants are intelligent and sentient beings, moral questions quickly follow. Should they have rights? How can we think of plants as "persons"? Plant scientist Matt Hall sorts out these ideas with Steve.More

plant

Plants are intelligent beings with profound wisdom to impart—if only we know how to listen. And Monica Gagliano knows how to listen.More

Robin Wall Kimmerer (left) and Anne Strainchamps (right)

Emerging science in everything from forest ecology to the microbiome is confirming that our relationship with plants and animals is deep. Ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer also draws on Native knowledge to explain our intimate relationships with plants.More

woman

Skin color is loaded with assumptions about race and identity, but skin itself has its own fascinating history. Steve Paulson spoke with anthropologist Nina Jablonski to find out more.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

sky

Magician Nate Staniforth has a dangerous idea for you. Tonight, after dark, go outside and look up to the sky.More

Andreas Weber in the Grunewald Forest in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Weber is a German biologist and philosopher with a highly unconventional way of describing the natural world, one in which "love" is a foundational principle of biology.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

crocodile eye

The feminist eco-philosopher Val Plumwood was one of the few people to survive a crocodile's death roll. The attack reoriented her thinking about life, death, and what it means to be human.More

lady in shadow

Guy Leschziner is a sleep physician, running one of the largest sleep clinics in Europe, with a specialty in bizarre conditions. He told Steve about the moment he first realized how much sleep matters.More

(Left to Right) Venice Williams, executive director of the Alice's Garden urban farming project, gives Anne a tour.

Venice Williams, an ordained minister, runs Alice's Garden Urban Farm in Milwaukee. She finds connection and spirituality on this land, which was once a location of the Underground Railroad.More

exercise

Exercise is good for you. And while that might seem pretty obvious, Dr. Claudia Reardon says that it goes deeper than that — specific exercises can actually act as effective treatments for specific mental illnesses.More

Fruit bodies of the fungus Psilocybe pelliculosa

After the excesses of the 1960s — and an ensuing moral panic — psychedelic research was outlawed by the United States government for decades. But today, the research is blossoming as a promising treatment for depression and anxiety.More

Putting aside the question of whether there's any validity to it, the ancient science of astrology has a lot in common with contemporary data science. In fact, data scientist Alexander Boxer calls astrology humanity’s very first set of algorithms.More

A bee's communication infrastructure

Tania Munz recently wrote a biography of Karl von Frisch — the German scientist who cracked the mystery of the honeybee’s waggle dance, which shows the rest of the hive precisely where to find a new food source miles away.More

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