Interviews By Topic

Elizabeth Krohn says she left her body, went somewhere else, met and talked to God. And then came back to dream the future. What does her experience tell us about where religion comes from?More

 A herd of topi.

The fact that so many animals migrate — sometimes thousands of miles — has puzzled people over the ages. Why do they take such risky journeys? Conservation biologist David Wilcove studies migration, and he says the scale of migration is staggering.More

The Maasai have lived alongside the Serengeti wildlife for generations.

Science journalist Sonia Shah, herself the child of Indian immigrants, has long been fascinated with the way animals, people and even microbes move. She says migration is both a crisis and an opportunity.More

Earth

N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy — set in a futuristic world grappling with power, racism and oppression, with a dash of magic thrown in — is rooted in the historical moment we’re now living in.More

rainforest

Ann Patchett's "State of Wonder" is a story about medical ethics and self-discovery when everything seems lost. Patchett tells Anne about her own experience visiting the Amazon while researching her novel.More

A false bull

Mark Sundeen tells Anne he accepted an advance to write a travel book about bull-fighting in Spain. What he wrote instead was an over-the-top fake documentary.More

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök

Writer Neil Gaiman retells the ancient Norse myth of the Twilight of the Gods and apocalyptic end of the world in his stunning new collection, “Norse Mythology.”  We added some dark radio magic.More

Pro-bee is pro-human

When we talk about bees, usually we mean honeybees. Or bumblebees. But that’s just two out of 20,000 different species of bees. Thor Hanson tells Anne about how different species of bees and humanity have developed dependence on one another.More

UFO

Until more recently, African fiction, like Africa itself, has historically been divided by the polarizing logic of colonialism. But the next generation is taking on genre fiction, including sci-fi. In "Lagoon," written by Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor, aliens land in Lagos.More

sky

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

Site of Thoreau's Hut, Concord, Mass.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." Those famous lines from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" have inspired generations of people — including his biographer, Laura Dassow Walls.More

man in color and shape

Tool-making? Agriculture? Language? French neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene believes there’s an even more basic cognitive skill that gave humans an evolutionary jump start — geometry.More

Jordan Ellenberg, geometer

Math superstar Jordan Ellenberg reveals the geometrical underpinnings of pretty much everything — from pandemics to voting districts to the 14th dimension. If geometry is indeed "the cilantro of math," Ellenberg could convert even the most die-hard hater to the joy of shapes.More

Catan

Board game critic Eric Thurm argues that games carry subliminal messages — and that even some of the most innocuous games are often more political than we think.
 More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

A man with totalitarian ideas and conspiracy swirling around him.

Examining both historical and present-day moments of widespread loneliness, philosopher Samantha Rose Hill argues we must understand our feelings of loneliness — otherwise they could be exploited to control us.More

A Black woman with her face on her knee

Poet Claudia Rankine spoke to Anne about the loneliness of being Black in America, and how the social isolation of the pandemic woke Black Americans up.More

Conversation with Samantha, the artificial intelligence

To a certain extent, loneliness is part of the human condition. You can be lonely anywhere, even surrounded by friends. But modern life has exacerbated it, and that requires modern solutions. Indie game designer Jason Rohrer has one — an artificial friend named Samantha.More

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