Interviews By Topic

Black Lives Matter is just one movement whose online presence took root among black Twitter users.

One person’s bubble can be another person’s safe space — a place where you don’t have to pretend and where you can feel supported and understood. For many black Americans, that place is Twitter. Media scholar Meredith Clark explains why.More

American economist James Buchanan won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Historian Nancy Maclean wanted to know where the billionaire Koch brothers got their libertarian ideas, and she found that the economist James Buchanan was a huge influence. She says most people don’t realize just how disruptive these ideas are.More

"Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis" book cover

Joe McMoneagle was a "remote viewer" for the U.S. military. Using ESP — or was it a clever magic trick? — he identified the Soviet's secret Shark submarine. McMoneagle and journalist Annie Jacobsen recount this history of government psychics.More

Phos-chek drop during the 2013 Springs Fire

Reflecting on the devastating fires in California, we revisit a conversation with a longtime "hotshot" crew firefighter, Mary Pauline Lowry.  More

The Foo Show set, in virtual reality.

What's it like to host a talk show in virtual reality? We talk avatars with Will Smith, host of “The Foo Show.”More

Making music online and off

If you’re a music-loving teen in a tiny town with no music scene, Bandcamp is a lifesaver. Jes Skolnik, editor of the Bandcamp Daily, weighs the pros and cons of online music communities.More

Mark and Laurie, The Wedding

Our digital producer, Mark Riechers, tells us why he got married in a movie theater.More

Death By Audio

Matt Conboy, co-founder of one of NYC’s most famous indie music venues, tells us how “Death By Audio” died.More

Wooden Japanese figures

Author Min Jin Lee grew up Korean-American and she thought she knew her ancestors.  But when she moved to Tokyo, she discovered a history she didn’t know. The history of Koreans in Japan.More

 Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel prize. Here's the best stuff he's said to us.More

Torah and jad - exhibits in Big Synagogue Museum, Wlodawa - Poland. (CC BY 2.5)

The story of one famous mathematician’s obsession with the ancient and mystical and numerical world of the Kabbalah, from Shlomo Maital of the podcast "Israel Story."More

The beauty of nature.

Frank Wilczek is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at MIT. He's kind of obsessed, in his own way, with understanding the universe. Specifically, he’s interested in what he calls “the beautiful question." Is the universe naturally, inherently beautiful?More

Plastic crochet corals from the "Crochet Coral Reef" project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

What if the geometric structure of the universe has been hidden, for centuries, in crochet? Margaret Wertheim can help you get there with a ball of wool, a crochet hook, and some non-Euclidean geometry.More

Student activist and Raza studies student Pricila from the film "Precious Knowledge."

Teachers Curtis Acosta and Jose Gonzalez explain the origins of Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program—and how their personal histories in school led them to teach these courses.More

paint brushes

Humanities programs are under siege. Their budgets are getting slashed as critics say schools should focus on job skills. But essayist Mark Slouka believes this is a tragic mistake.More

Ulixes mosaic at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. 2nd century AD.

Daniel Mendelsohn was surprised—and unnerved—when his 81-year father enrolled in his seminar on "The Odyssey." And then delighted to see how his dad’s cranky comments excited his students. The experience also brought Daniel closer to his dad.More

listening intently

A listener reminds us that it wasn't just teenage boys listening to Pink Floyd in 1973. More

Philip K. Dick sitting in chair

Jonathan Lethem considers Philip K. Dick one of his literary heroes.  Lethem talks about how Dick was able to combine his brilliant imagination with his original mainstream ambitions to produce the groundbreaking literary science fiction that he's known for.More

Pages