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KERA's Think

English, Human interest, 1 season, 395 episodes, 3 days, 9 hours, 32 minutes
About
Think is a daily, topic-driven interview and call-in program hosted by Krys Boyd covering a wide variety of topics ranging from history, politics, current events, science, technology and emerging trends to food and wine, travel, adventure, and entertainment.
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Life, liberty and the pursuit of grievances

This country was founded on a grievance, but 250 years later, we may be taking those sentiments too far. Frank Bruni, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why Americans are finding identities in grievances, why hardships have become so performative, and how we are missing out on what’s working for the country, collectively. His book is “The Age of Grievance.”
6/11/202446 minutes, 49 seconds
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The unfair hierarchy of eating disorders

Emmeline Clein joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her own struggles with an eating disorder, how she didn’t meet the weight requirements to be considered anorexic, and how we judge people based on their relationship with food
6/10/202446 minutes, 27 seconds
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The straight story about posture panic

Chances are you’re slumped over in your chair reading this — a constant in our modern world. Historian Beth Linker is the Samuel H. Preston Endowed Term Professor in the Social Sciences in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how posture ignited public health panics and race hierarchies of previous generations and why we should examine our previous beliefs to better understand fitness today. Her book is “Slouch: Posture Panic in Modern America.”
6/7/202446 minutes, 8 seconds
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The author of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ on race, social satire and beach reads

After the blockbuster success of his novel “Crazy Rich Asians,” Kevin Kwan is back with a new summer read. The author joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his new novel – which again dives into themes of class, race, and money. It’s also a fun romp through the tropes of 19th Century marriage plots with true love on the line. The book is “Lies and Weddings.”
6/6/202446 minutes, 37 seconds
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Are you too good at delaying gratification?

Are you too good at delaying gratification?
6/5/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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Decoding your dreams

After a long day when we lay down to rest, that’s when our brains really fire up to help us dream. Dr. Rahul Jandial is a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who oversees the Jandial Lab at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how dreams help or brains function, why they are essential to memory and why dreams across cultures are remarkably similar. His book is “This Is Why You Dream: What Your Sleeping Brain Reveals About Your Waking Life.”
6/4/202446 minutes, 37 seconds
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Sexism in sports

With Caitlin Clark making headlines in the WNBA, money in women’s sports is currently a hot topic. Macaela MacKenzie is a journalist who covers women’s equality and a contributor to Glamour magazine. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Title IX, the formation of professional women’s leagues, and their fight for equality on and off the playing field. Her book is “Money, Power, Respect: How Women in Sports Are Shaping the Future of Feminism.”
6/3/202445 minutes, 37 seconds
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Cancer is becoming a younger person’s disease

Bad news: more young people are getting cancer. The good news? Better drugs are targeting the disease. Dylan Scott, a reporter for Vox’s Future Perfect, and science journalist Jyoti Madhusoodanan, join host Krys Boyd to discuss the reasons why cancer is hitting earlier and earlier, and the scientific breakthroughs using the body’s own immune system to combat it.
5/31/202447 minutes, 1 second
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How Nicholas Kristof still has hope for the world

In his work as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Nicholas Kristof has seen the best and worst of humanity. The op-ed columnist for The New York Times joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his memoir, which details the danger of war zones and oppressive regimes – and the exhilaration of telling the stories of unsung heroes. The book is “Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life.”
5/30/202445 minutes, 54 seconds
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A.I could drive most languages to extinction

The ease of A.I. translating for us via apps is also speeding the erasure of lesser-used languages. Matteo Wong is a staff writer for The Atlantic, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the looming extinction of some 7,000 languages since A.I. is only using about 10 to learn from. Plus, we’ll ask the question: In this new landscape, what will it take for a language to exist? His article is “The A.I. Revolution Is Crushing Thousands of Languages.”
5/29/202445 minutes, 22 seconds
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You can love your kids but still regret having them

It’s possible to both love your children and regret having them – though very few parents would actually admit to those dual feelings. R.O. Kwon, author of the novel “Exhibit,” joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her interviews with parents who are made to feel like monsters because they wish their lives had taken different paths, how love for offspring doesn’t play into the conversation, and her own certainty that she never wants to be a mother. Her article “The Parents Who Regret Having Children” was published in Time.
5/28/202446 minutes, 8 seconds
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What makes a job worth doing?

 n pursuit of a distinguished career, are we missing out on a good life? Christopher Wong Michaelson is Opus Distinguished Professor and academic director of the Melrose and The Toro Company Center for Principled Leadership at the University of St. Thomas and on the Business and Society faculty at NYU’s Stern School of Business. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the differences between career and calling and how we assign meaning to our vocation. His book, written with Jennifer Tosti-Kharas, is called “Is Your Work Worth It?: How to Think About Meaningful Work.”
5/27/202445 minutes, 16 seconds
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The ancient inventions that made the modern world

Without nails and other simple inventions, we wouldn’t have bustling megacities of today. Roma Agrawal is an engineer, author and broadcaster best known for working on the design of The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest tower. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss simple inventions such as the rivet and string that we don’t think of as particularly revolutionary but which carry all the innovations of today on their shoulders. Her book is “Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World (in a Big Way).”This episode was originally aired, December 4th, 2023
5/24/202431 minutes, 23 seconds
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Living the Constitution’s many contradictions

Originalism is a legal argument that we should follow the Constitution to the letter; living that out is quite a conundrum. Author and journalist A.J. Jacobs joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his year of following the Constitution as closely as possible in his quest to understand what “American values” really mean in the 21st Century. His book is “The Year of Living Constitutionally: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Constitution’s Original Meaning.”
5/23/202445 minutes, 49 seconds
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The grief of institutionalizing a child

It wasn’t uncommon for previous generations to hide away family with disabilities in institutions. Jennifer Senior is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the story of her aunt Adele, who was sent away at age 6 because of intellectual disabilities. Adele’s existence was hidden from Senior’s mother for years – a loss for each sister that advanced approaches to treatment often prevent today. Her article is “The Ones We Sent Away.”
5/22/202446 minutes, 16 seconds
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Strategies to staying focused with ADHD

 We all could use tips on how to stop scrolling and pay better attention to the world around us. Jeff Karp is a biomedical engineering professor at Harvard Medical School and MIT, a Distinguished Chair at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his strategies for lengthening attention span coming from his experience with significant ADHD, and offers advice on how to put down our devices. His book is “LIT: Life Ignition Tools: Use Nature’s Playbook to Energize Your Brain, Spark Ideas, and Ignite Action.”
5/21/202445 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why prisoners rarely get furloughed

It wasn’t that long ago that life in prison actually lead to early release, and it was considered part of the tradition. Reiko Hillyer is associate professor of history at Lewis & Clark College, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history of prison furloughs in this nation – where life on the outside was a way of integrating inmates back into their communities – and how tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and ’90s changed the way we look at offenders today. Her book is “A Wall Is Just a Wall: The Permeability of the Prison in the Twentieth-Century United States.”
5/20/202446 minutes, 21 seconds
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What it takes to be top dog at a dog show

Some people tune into the sports; for others, the Westminster Dog Show is all the Super Bowl they need. Tommy Tomlinson is host of the podcast SouthBound and teaches magazine writing at Wake Forest University. He joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss the world of competitive dog shows, where the lives of dogs take on a new level of attention to detail. His book is called “Dogland: Passion, Glory, and Lots of Slobber at the Westminster Dog Show."
5/17/202446 minutes, 16 seconds
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When joy and heartbreak overlap

That first year of motherhood is a blur of heightened emotions; now compound that with the heartbreak of a marriage falling apart. Leslie Jamison teaches at the Columbia University MFA program, and she joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss her new memoir, “Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story,” about the intense joy she felt watching her child grow coupled with the duality of sorrow as she faced divorce. Her companion article, “The birth of my daughter, the death of my marriage,” was published in The New Yorker.
5/16/202445 minutes, 59 seconds
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The bad advice you’re getting about concussions

Cocooning with little activity and bed rest is still prescribed for concussion patients – and that could be harmful. Science journalist Isobel Whitcomb joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss the newest science of concussion – which shows dark rooms and a long break from communication actually sets back recovery times – and how medical science is working to better disseminate the newest, best advice. Their article, published in Slate, is “How We Got Concussions So Wrong.”
5/15/202444 minutes, 21 seconds
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How EV Batteries are getting a major upgrade

If the thought of running out of energy on long road trips is keeping you from a buying an EV, the next wave of technology is coming. Christopher Mims, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the growing life span of batteries for these high-tech cars, with a future promising as much mileage as gas-powered vehicles. His article is “The EV Battery of Your Dreams Is Coming.”
5/14/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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Paris through the eye of a food writer

Ruth Reichl made a name for herself writing about food for The New York Times and Gourmet magazine. And now she turns her talents to the world of fiction – while keeping one foot planted in her first love. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her new novel, which tells the story of a woman one a life-changing culinary trip to France. It’s called “The Paris Novel.”
5/13/202446 minutes, 19 seconds
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From Charley Pride to Beyoncé: The Black roots of country music

Beyoncé might’ve been the first Black woman to hit No. 1 on the Billboard country album chart, but she stands on the shoulders of giants. Alice Randall, the first Black woman to write a No. 1 country hit, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the Black roots of country music, from Grand Ole Opry acts that broke boundaries, to rising stars shaping the genre’s bright future. Her book “My Black Country: A Journey Through Country Music’s Black Past, Present, and Future.”
5/10/202446 minutes, 15 seconds
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Why so many people love the suburbs

More than half the U.S. population lives in the suburbs—so why all the dissing? Julie Beck is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how dismissing the suburbs discounts the very rich lives of those who choose to live there—plus we’ll examine how nostalgia and convenience play a part in what makes a place feel like home. Her article is “What the Suburb Haters Don’t Understand.”
5/9/202446 minutes, 27 seconds
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Is your culture cool with therapy?

Being a “third culture” kid—someone pulled between their immigrant parents and U.S. culture—can take a mental toll. Sahaj Kaur Kohli is the founder of Brown Girl Therapy, a mental health and wellness community organization for adult children of immigrants, and an advice columnist for the Washington Post. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why seeking out therapy is really difficult for the children of immigrants—from finding someone aware of cultural nuances, to understanding why sometimes family isn’t supportive. Her book is “But What Will People Say?: Navigating Mental Health, Identity, Love, and Family Between Cultures.”
5/8/202446 minutes, 4 seconds
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It’s 2024: Where are our flying cars?

A running joke in the tech world is that flying cars are perpetually three to five years away. So when will they ever be a reality? New Yorker staff writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the industry trying to create “electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles”—a.k.a. flying cars—and what it was like for him to actually fly one of the prototypes. His article is “Flight of Fancy.” 
5/7/202445 minutes, 46 seconds
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You're not crazy: Gaslighters are real

We bandy about the phrase “gaslighting” a lot these days, maybe it’s time for a refresher on what it really means. Kate Abramson, associate professor of philosophy at Indiana University Bloomington, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what defines gaslighting, what motivates perpetrators, and why the idea intrigues us so. Her book is “On Gaslighting.”
5/6/202445 minutes, 42 seconds
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Why screenwriters can’t make a living

The Writers Guild of America strike was settled – so why is selling screenplays in Hollywood harder than ever? Daniel Bessner is a contributor to Harper’s Magazine and an associate professor at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how investors are changing the business landscape for television and movie writers – and the ways writers hustle for any work. His article is “The Life and Death of Hollywood.”  
5/3/202447 minutes, 59 seconds
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Feathers, fur and freedom: The birth of the animal rights movement

The animal rights movement of today traces its roots to just after the Civil War. Bill Wasik, editorial director of The New York Times Magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a late 19th century wave of activism that moved our culture away from seeing animals as just property to a new way of viewing their lives with compassion. His book, written with co-author Monica Murphy, is “Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do About Animals.”
5/2/202445 minutes, 18 seconds
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Does spying on your kids really protect them?

For many parents, policing a child’s online activity is a challenge. Devorah Heitner, an expert in young people’s relationship with digital media and technology, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how to balance protecting kids with allowing them to have some level of autonomy, what to do when mistakes are made, and how to support them as they build identities online. Her book is “Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World.”
5/1/202446 minutes, 7 seconds
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Is ‘less than lethal’ force by police actually safe?

Police officers use a variety of means to subdue agitated and sometimes violent suspects, all of which involve risk. Serginho Roosblad, video producer for the Associated Press’ Global Investigations team, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss an investigation into why “nonlethal” techniques still led to more than a thousand deaths over a 10-year period. His Frontline documentary “Documenting Police Use of Force” debuts tonight on PBS stations.
4/30/202445 minutes, 10 seconds
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For Asian Americans, affirmative action is complicated

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, leading to an array of reactions from Asian Americans. OiYan Poon is a co-director of the College Admissions Futures Co-Laborative, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the diversity of feelings about the ruling among Asian Americans and how that’s shaped the ways they’ve understood the admission processes of select universities. Her book is “Asian American Is Not a Color: Conversations on Race,  Affirmative Action, and Family.”
4/29/202445 minutes, 42 seconds
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How rich is too rich?

What if it were possible to put a cap on capitalism? Christine Emba, staff writer for The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how extreme wealth buys influence while not necessarily providing innovation, and the idea of “limitarianism,” which allow for great wealth, but not uber wealth. Her article is “What Would Society Look Like if Extreme Wealth Were Impossible?”
4/26/202445 minutes, 20 seconds
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Free will does not exist

If everything happens for a reason, and those reasons are beyond our control, maybe we don’t have free will after all. Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his case against free will, which he says is the logical choice if you look at the ways our lives are shaped by forces that start from our very biology. And we’ll hear why, even without this control, we are still bound to be moral and decent humans. His book is “Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will.”
4/25/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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The unintended consequences of color-blind casting

Putting actors of color into historically white roles might not be as progressive as we’d like to think it is. Writer and filmmaker Kabir Chibber joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why colorblind casting still has roots in Euro-centric thinking, and how it often distracts us from actually confronting racism. His article in The New York Times is “Hollywood’s New Fantasy: A Magical, Colorblind Past.”
4/24/202445 minutes, 18 seconds
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She tried to abort her baby — it didn’t work

One woman’s failed abortion attempts turned into a positive for another woman, illustrating some of the real-life effects of new reproductive laws. Amber Ferguson of The Washington Post joins host Krys Boyd to discuss two women, one who didn’t want to give birth and another who couldn’t, and how the fall of Roe changed their lives. Her article is “After abortion attempts, two women now bound by child.”
4/23/202445 minutes, 54 seconds
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You might have to move because of climate change

Wildfire and hurricane seasons are growing more severe, forcing some Americans to rethink where they live. Abrahm Lustgarten is an investigative reporter writing about climate change at ProPublica and for The New York Times. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss where people might eventually resettle and the cities that could capitalize on that forced migration. His book is “On the Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America.”
4/22/202445 minutes, 51 seconds
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Guiding souls: The compassionate journey of a death doula

We celebrate the birth of a child, but so often the quietness of a death is left as an unceremonious moment. Alua Arthur, founder of Going with Grace, a death doula training and end-of-life planning organization, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how she’s devoted her career ushering individuals and families through the process of death, why she believes it’s a sacred moment, and how she encourages people to plan for plan for end of life with dignity. Her book is “Briefly Perfectly Human: Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real About the End.”
4/19/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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Climate change and its new ethical dilemmas

On a planet with 8 billion people, what’s the argument for an individual doing the right thing if it’s barely a drop in the bucket? Travis Rieder, faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, where he directs the Master of Bioethics degree program. He holds secondary appointments in the departments of Philosophy and Health Policy and Management, as well as the Center for Public Health Advocacy and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss our everyday challenges and the moral quandaries they put us in, and how to do the decent thing in a global and complex world. His book is “Catastrophe Ethics: How to Choose Well in a World of Tough Choices.”
4/18/202448 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is there a cure for medical racism?

Only 2-percent of Black women are physicians, which leaves millions without doctors that look like them. Uché Blackstock MD is the founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her family, her mother who was also a Harvard-trained doctor, as well as her sister, and how she’s devoted her career to understanding and addressing health inequities of different races. Her book is “Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine.”
4/17/202445 minutes, 54 seconds
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How the science of dying can help us live longer

Scientists are using the secrets of biology to unlock living well past current human life spans. Venki Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for uncovering the structure of the ribosome. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Venki runs a research group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the quest to live forever, if that’s even ethical, and what it looks like to alter our physiology. His book is “Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality.”
4/16/202448 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why no third party candidate has won the White House

As the 2024 election approaches, plenty of voters are asking why isn’t there a third option? Jeffrey Engle, Director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history of third-party candidates, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ross Perot, and how they’ve impacted – or not – presidential elections.
4/15/202446 minutes, 15 seconds
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How probation and parole feed mass incarceration

Vincent Schiraldi, founder of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and the Justice Policy Institute, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss parole and probation, which he calls a “recidivism trap,” and make the case that these practices should be abolished.
4/12/202445 minutes, 19 seconds
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Kids aren’t weak unless we make them that way

In our quest to head off childhood mental illness at its source, are the means outweighing the good? Author and journalist Abigail Shrier joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why, even as more adolescents are receiving mental health care than ever before, the numbers for those suffering continues to rise, and why our contemporary parenting styles and approaches to therapy might be part of the problem. Her book is “Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up.”
4/11/202446 minutes, 34 seconds
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Medical science is still catching up on women’s health

Modern medicine has a problem: the idea that men have bigger, and therefore better, bodies persists, even today. Dr. Elizabeth Comen is a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history of sexism in medicine and why lingering stereotypes still affect women’s medical care – even as women make up the majority of medical students. Her book is “All in Her Head: The Truth and Lies Early Medicine Taught Us About Women’s Bodies and Why It Matters Today.”
4/10/202445 minutes, 5 seconds
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From foster care to fostering hope

After a childhood of homelessness and foster care, a vision for how to advocate for those in poverty emerged. David Ambroz, Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the challenges of his upbringing from hunger to abuse, and why he’s made it his life’s work to fight for child welfare. His book is “A Place Called Home: A Memoir.”
4/9/202446 minutes, 47 seconds
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The bizarre history of Space Science

On the day of the total solar eclipse, we’ll explore the mysteries of the universe. Harry Cliff is a particle physicist based at the University of Cambridge and conducts research with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the anomalies that cannot be explained by current scientific theories, and the reasons we only understand about five percent of what makes up the vast reaches of outer space. His book is “Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe.”
4/8/202446 minutes, 34 seconds
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Between the Earth and the Sun: A guide to the Eclipse

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will stretch across the United States from south Texas to the northern tip of Maine, blotting out the sun for about four minutes within its 115-mile-wide path. In this special edition of Think, host Krys Boyd will prime listeners to have their best viewing experience and talk through the science of what’s actually happening 223,000 miles above our heads. To hear even more ways to navigate viewing the eclipse read: 8 things to know about the April 8 eclipse
4/5/202452 minutes, 52 seconds
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Are you really retired if you’re still working?

The dream to retire and live comfortably at age 65 is becoming more of a fantasy to millions of Americans. Teresa Ghilarducci is professor of economics and policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York City where she serves as the director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis and the New School’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab). She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why our golden years only look rosy for the wealthiest among us, why social security can’t keep up —  even if we work longer — and why going back to work is the only option for so many. Her book is “Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy.”
4/4/202445 minutes, 49 seconds
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Who has the right to choose their sex?

The argument for allowing children to change their sex goes far beyond avoiding the harms of body dysmorphia. Andrea Long Chu, book critic for New York magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why she believes it is an inalienable right to choose one’s sex, why children need to have agency in their own lives, and why the political left and right have their arguments for and against it wrong. Her article is “Why Trans Kids Have the Right to Change Their Biological Sex.”
4/3/202444 minutes, 45 seconds
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Why the best Presidents were the best Presidents

Not every POTUS is a leader for the ages, but the handful that are offer illuminating lessons on life for the rest of us. Historian Talmage Boston joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his dive into the lives and leadership styles of eight presidents, from Washington to Reagan, and the ways they shaped American society. His book is “How the Best Did It: Leadership Lessons From Our Top Presidents.”
4/2/202444 minutes, 38 seconds
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Small-town America is doing just fine, thanks

There’s a myth that rural America is dying when, in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the University of Southern California. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the small towns in the middle of the country that are thriving and, by many metrics, outperforming much larger urban centers. Her book is “The Overlooked Americans: The Resilience of Our Rural Towns and What It Means for Our Country.”
4/1/202445 minutes, 45 seconds
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Wild fun: How animals play

YouTube is filled with adorable videos of animals at play, and studying that play is helping uncover mysteries of evolutionary behavior. University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor David Toomey joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why piglets flop, dogs slide and octopuses play, and what that tells us about animal cognition and biology. Plus, we’ll dive deeper into the world of cephalopods. Toomey’s book is “Kingdom of Play: What Ball-bouncing Octopuses, Belly-flopping Monkeys, and Mud-sliding Elephants Reveal about Life Itself.”
3/29/202430 minutes, 11 seconds
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Why Evan Gershkovich remains in Russian jail

One year ago, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was imprisoned by Russian authorities and charged with espionage. Wall Street Journal assistant editor Paul Beckett joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what is known about Gershkovich’s condition in prison, the efforts to free him, and what journalism looks like in Putin’s Russia now.
3/28/202445 minutes, 30 seconds
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Could Ozempic some day treat addiction, too?

In this new Ozempic era, food cravings are going away, and scientists are searching for the reasons why. Brian Resnick is science correspondent at Vox and co-creator of the podcast “Unexplainable.” He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why new GLP-1 drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy seem to target appetite but actually work with brain chemistry, and what effect this might have on people struggling with addictions. His article is “Can you change what you crave?“
3/27/202446 minutes, 8 seconds
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How to have one-on-one meetings like a boss

To be a better manager, maybe it’s time to schedule more Zoom meetings? Steven Rogelberg is an organizational psychologist who holds the title of Chancellor’s Professor at UNC Charlotte for distinguished national, international, and interdisciplinary contributions. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why one-on-one check-ins with employees are proven to increase job performance – and why we avoid them anyway. His book is “Glad We Met: The Art & Science of 1:1 Meetings.”
3/26/202445 minutes, 15 seconds
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The psychology of the American voter

Going to the ballot box is good for democracy—and good for us. Michael Bruter, professor of political science at the London School of Economics and director of the Electoral Psychology Observatory (EPO), joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the psychology of voting, why it helps us feel connected to a larger purpose in life, and how voters make their choices. His book, with co-author Sarah Harrison, is “Inside the Mind of a Voter: A New Approach to Electoral Psychology.”
3/25/202446 minutes, 39 seconds
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Leaving the white evangelical church

Belonging to a church can offer a feeling of community, and leaving a church can feel like you’re leaving part of yourself behind. Sarah McCammon is national political correspondent for NPR and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss when politics get in the way of religious beliefs in evangelical churches, and how that’s driving some members away. Her book is “The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church.”
3/22/202439 minutes, 20 seconds
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What drives young people to vote

The election is set: President Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump Part II. Now eyes are on if two senior citizens can get young voters to even turn out. Sara Suzuki is a senior researcher at CIRCLE, a non-partisan, independent research organization focused on youth civic engagement in the United States at Tufts University. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the issues that are most important to young voters and how candidates can best reach them.
3/21/202445 minutes, 46 seconds
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How to speak up for yourself

Situations arise when we need to speak up, but doing so can feel out of character for some of us. Elaine Lin Hering joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how to voice an opinion, even when it’s uncomfortable, and how you can advocate for yourself and others. Her book is “Unlearning Silence: How to Speak Your Mind, Unleash Talent, and Live More Fully.”
3/20/202445 minutes, 51 seconds
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When your life partner is not your lover

Not every binding relationship is tied to an “I do.” Rhaina Cohen is a producer and editor for NPR’s documentary podcast Embedded. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss when friends become non-romantic partners, teaming up to weather finances and aging, and why we should work to protect these significant bonds. Her book is “The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center.”
3/19/202445 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why America won’t tax the rich

The current antitax movement can trace its origins to a seemingly innocuous property tax cap in California. Michael J. Graetz is professor emeritus at Columbia Law School and Yale Law School and a leading authority on tax politics and policy. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history of how we got to the enormous partisan divide we see today about taxation, and how race and class play into it. His book is “The Power to Destroy: How the Antitax Movement Hijacked America.”
3/18/202448 minutes, 7 seconds
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Inside the siege of Mariupol

Ukrainian video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, who was trapped in Mariupol during the onset of the war, documented the events for the Associated Press. On Sunday, he and his team won an Oscar for their documentary on this story. Frontline producer and editor Michelle Mizner  joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Chernov’s first-person account of life under siege, the horrors of a bombed maternity hospital and, ultimately, the power of the press. The documentary “20 Days in Mariupol” is available for streaming.
3/15/202446 minutes, 20 seconds
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What counts as sober today?

To be “California sober” means you don’t have to follow complete abstinence to consider yourself on the wagon. Ernesto Londoño is a New York Times reporter covering drug use and counternarcotics policy. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the changing views of sobriety, why some in the medical community feel like total abstinence is unrealistic, and how this is changing addiction treatment. His article is “What Does Being Sober Mean Today? For Many, Not Full Abstinence.”
3/14/202445 minutes, 9 seconds
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The economy is working despite what you think

Inflation is going down, unemployment remains at historic lows and we’ve avoided a devastating recession. But grocery prices have consumers rattled. Rogé Karma, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why food and fuel prices don’t factor into core inflation numbers but do influence how Americans feel about the economy – plus we’ll hear how this perception might shape the coming election. His article is “What Would It Take to Convince Americans That the Economy Is Fine?“
3/13/202446 minutes, 48 seconds
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The balancing act of a healthy brain

Our mental health is the result of a balancing act of chemical reactions and genetics. Camilla Nord leads the Mental Health Neuroscience Lab at the University of Cambridge. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the latest science of brain health – what works to return to equilibrium and why it sometimes doesn’t – and how everyday encounters can change our brain chemistry to make us feel better. The book is “The Balanced Brain: The Science of Mental Health.”
3/12/202445 minutes, 52 seconds
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Femme Fatale: Why women kill

When women commit acts of violence, they’re seen more as monsters than flawed human beings. Anna Motz is a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist and member of the Advisory Board for Female Offenders under the U.K. Ministry of Justice. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the traumas that lead to unspeakable crimes committed by women, her work inside the prison system, and why denying female violence is denying female agency. Her book is “If Love Could Kill: The Myths and Truths of Women Who Commit Violence.”
3/11/202445 minutes, 35 seconds
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The best communicators don’t talk much

The best communicators aren’t always the ones who talk the most in meetings. Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Charles Duhigg joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what makes certain people so adept at facilitating the exchange of ideas, how we can make ourselves heard, and how we can better navigate tough conversations. His book is “Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection.”
3/8/202446 minutes, 39 seconds
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A.I. is coming for knowledge workers

Relying on a dictionary or a library of materials to create something new is really just a centuries-old version of what A.I. does today. Dennis Yi Tenen, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we shouldn’t be afraid that A.I. is coming for jobs, how we’ve always turned to outside sources to help generate original works, and how the real conversation should be about who’s labor is valuable. His book is “Literary Theory for Robots: How Computers Learned to Write.”
3/7/202446 minutes, 1 second
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How Ashli Babbitt became a martyr for the right

The line between political discourse and religious fervor is getting thinner all the time. Jeff Sharlet is Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how American political leanings are taking the form of religious devotion – and how Ashli Babbitt, who was killed during the January 6 insurrection, has become a martyr for many on the far right. His book is “The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War.”
3/6/202445 minutes, 15 seconds
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Would Trump really go to prison?

Former president Donald Trump is facing a litany of legal troubles that are putting the legal system to the test. Ankush Khardori, senior writer for Politico Magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to weigh in on Trump’s immunity claims and the upheaval the justice system would see if a Trump conviction actually resulted in jail time. His article “What Happens, Exactly, If Trump Is Sentenced to Prison?” was published by New York Magazine.
3/5/202437 minutes, 48 seconds
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Copyrights are out of control

All around us is intellectual property covered by copyright laws. David Bellos, Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University, joins host Krys Boyd for a history lesson on how copyrights came to be, and what happens now that generative A.I. has entered the picture. His book is “Who Owns this Sentence? A History of Copyrights and Wrongs.”
3/4/202445 minutes, 50 seconds
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You can learn to be more confident

Walking into a room confidently can affect not only your performance in a meeting or presentation but also your overall brain health. Ian Robertson is co-director of the Global Brain Health Institute and T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Professor at the Centre for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the science of confidence, how it positively influences both the mind and body, and how it can make us both more innovative and happier. His book is “How Confidence Works: The New Science of Self-Belief.”
3/2/202452 minutes, 59 seconds
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Guaranteeing your right to vote

As the Supreme Court has chipped away at the Voting Rights Act, renewed calls have been made for ways to protect all Americans’ right to vote. Richard L. Hasen is professor of law and political science at UCLA and director of UCLA Law’s Safeguarding Democracy Project. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why he feels we need a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote, and why leaving it to the courts to decide who can vote is a bad idea. His book is “A Real Right to Vote: How a Constitutional Amendment Can Safeguard American Democracy.”
2/29/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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You won’t believe how much plastic you eat

If you’re able to bend a durable food container easily, it’s got plasticizer in it — and that means some of that container is ending up inside of you. Lauren F. Friedman leads the health and food content team at Consumer Reports. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss CR’s rigorous testing of fast foods and supermarket products to find the harmful chemicals that enter our bodies, and how we can reduce exposure to them. Her article is “The Plastic Chemicals Hiding in Your Food.”
2/28/202446 minutes, 3 seconds
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Breaking up with romance

The ideal woman to swipe right on is rooted in ideals of whiteness. Sabrina Strings, professor and North Hall Chair of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why she believes the relatively low numbers of Black women in relationships and marriages is a backlash to the Civil Rights movement and feminism, and why it’s time for a reworking of what modern love looks like now. Her book is “The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance.”
2/27/202431 minutes, 9 seconds
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Why gay people deserve an apology

Jonathan Rauch, contributing writer to The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the lasting harms had on not only career diplomats but the broader LGBTQ community across the country – and why he says it’s time for a reckoning.
2/26/202446 minutes, 1 second
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Who gets to make art and who gets to own it

In the elite art world, status is key to success—and not everyone can obtain it. Bianca Bosker is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how the art world operates, the role of gatekeeping in who gets shown and who can buy art, and how anyone can become a more discerning patron of the arts. Her book is “Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See.”
2/23/202431 minutes, 7 seconds
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The mysteries of the moon

With all the attention spent on learning more about the far reaches of space, the moon can be a forgotten wonder of our sky. Rebecca Boyle, science journalist and columnist at Atlas Obscura, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why the partnership between the Earth and the Moon is so critical for life on our planet, and why there are still so many mysteries to uncover about our celestial sister. Her book is “Our Moon: How Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are.”
2/22/202443 minutes, 2 seconds
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A just world starts with imagination

Real progress on racism and other social issues requires the imagination to think beyond our current approach. Ruha Benjamin is a professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she is the founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we are failing at imagining a better world and how thinking big is the path to unlocking good. Her book is “Imagination: A Manifesto.”
2/21/202436 minutes, 30 seconds
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If you think driving is getting worse, you’re right

After years of improving safety numbers, American streets are becoming more dangerous. Matthew Shaer is contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and an Emerson Collective fellow at New America. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how distracted and angry drivers are causing more crashes and automobile fatalities, why larger SUVs and trucks are part of the problem, and what can be done to reverse the trend. His article is “Why Are American Drivers So Deadly?”
2/20/202438 minutes, 48 seconds
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Xi Jinping is in trouble

China’s economy is struggling, and that impacts Xi Jinping’s next moves. Simone Gao is a journalist and host of Zooming In with Simone Gao. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how China’s economic woes affect the larger global economy, and why the Chinese populace might be losing patience with its leader. Her article “Xi Jinping’s once-unquestioned authority is showing cracks” was published by The Hill.
2/20/202430 minutes, 25 seconds
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The extraordinary influence of HBCUs

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a proven track record of producing exceptional graduates. Ayesha Rascoe is the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the many reasons why Black students turned to these institutions – a decision the Howard University graduate once made herself. Rascoe is a contributor to and editor of the book “HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience.”
2/16/202446 minutes, 21 seconds
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How big a deal is the Vatican’s decision to bless same-sex couples?

Pope Francis has formally approved priests blessing same-sex relationships. Host Krys Boyd talks with Francis X. Rocca, Vatican and global religion correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, about how the new ruling is being put into practice worldwide. We’ll also talk with Eder Díaz Santillan, creator and producer of the podcast “De Pueblo, Católico y Gay,” and lecturer at California State University, specifically about how gay Catholics are receiving the news.
2/15/202446 minutes, 5 seconds
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Fighting unjust policing from the inside

Making a lot of arrests and fighting crime isn’t necessarily the same thing. Edwin Raymond is a 15-year veteran of the New York Police Department and one of the nation’s leading voices on criminal justice reform. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss practices inside police departments that contribute to unequal patterns of enforcement, and his ideas on how these can change. His book is “An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America.”
2/14/202436 minutes, 23 seconds
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Why are we so polarized? Science has the answer

Is there a scientific explanation for our national polarization? Joel Achenbach is a reporter covering science and politics for The Washington Post. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why our emotions are getting the better of us when it comes to discussing politics, and why that means policy preferences will likely not lead to a meeting in the middle. His article is “Science is revealing why American politics are so intensely polarized.”
2/13/202436 minutes, 45 seconds
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The history of Gospel music

For generations of Black Americans, when times were tough – or when it was time to celebrate – gospel music provided the soundtrack. Shayla Harris is director and producer of a new PBS documentary series called “Gospel,” and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the legacy of this American art form, from its birth in churches to its rise to the mainstream.
2/12/202447 minutes, 20 seconds
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The decision to have kids feels more complicated than ever

Birth rates in the U.S. are on the decline – so why is that? Host Krys Boyd talks about why millennials are having fewer children than previous generations with Washington Post columnist Andrew Van Dam; population projections with Bryan Walsh, editor of Vox’s Future Perfect; and we’ll hear from philosophy professor William MacAskill on why the welfare of future generations should matter to everyone.
2/9/202448 minutes, 25 seconds
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The anxiety of going off Ozempic

Semaglutide drugs are all the rage for losing weight fast – and patients pay a lot to use them. Brad Olson is a news editor in The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways one of these drugs transformed his life and – now that he’s facing a future without it – his anxiety over gaining the weight back. His article is “A Weight-Loss Drug Changed My Life. Will It Solve My Problem?”
2/8/202435 minutes, 3 seconds
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Look out tastemakers—algorithms are coming for you

Scroll through social media and you’ll start to notice: the aesthetic is all the same. New Yorker staff writer Kyle Chayka joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how algorithms are homogenizing our design choices, how our desires are being anticipated by computers, and what this says for creativity and innovation. His book is “Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture.”
2/7/202431 minutes, 47 seconds
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Everything everywhere all at once: The threats to global democracy

Frank Langfitt has witnessed some of the defining events of our time, from the rise of Xi Jinping and the democracy protests in Hong Kong, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, most recently, the war in Gaza. NPR’s Global Democracy correspondent joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how these seismic shifts upend the lives of everyday people – and about how they challenge American power around the world.
2/6/202446 minutes, 21 seconds
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How public schools got so political

School boards used to be an anodyne way to get involved, but they’ve turned into hotbeds of political activity. Education journalist Laura Pappano joins host Krys Boyd to discuss this evolution – which dates back to at least the 1990s – and how school boards are now ground zero for much of the culture wars. Her book is “School Moms: Parent Activism, Partisan Politics, and the Battle for Public Education.”
2/5/202433 minutes, 3 seconds
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Calling out the colonizers

In our modern world, the term “colonizer” is as pejorative as it’s ever been. Roger Cohen is Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways we’ve historically discussed colonizers, how that’s changing, and how our new terminology is playing out in the war in Gaza. His article is “Who’s a ‘Colonizer’? How an Old Word Became a New Weapon.”
2/2/202433 minutes, 43 seconds
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The story of Volodymyr Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has become a symbol of resistance for the Ukrainian people. Time correspondent Simon Shuster joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his new biography of the comedian-turned-Ukrainian president, for which he interviewed Zelensky’s family, friends, military leaders and detractors to tell the story of his battle against Russia and struggle to keep the West engaged in the war. Shuster’s book is “The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky.”
2/1/202433 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why you need fear in your life

Fear is a natural human response – is there a way we can mitigate its harmful effects? Dr. Arash Javanbakht is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who currently serves as the director of the Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC) at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how fear works in the brain, its relationship to PTSD and trauma, and how we can tame it. His book is “Afraid: Understanding the Purpose of Fear and Harnessing the Power of Anxiety.”
1/31/202445 minutes, 37 seconds
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The battle over free speech on college campuses

Universities are struggling to protect free speech on campuses while safeguarding the well-being of all students. Len Gutkin, senior editor at The Chronicle Review, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the aftermath of the recent Congressional hearings on campus anti-Semitism and about how universities are struggling to maintain the tradition of being places that welcome the free exchange of ideas. His article, “A decade of ideological transformation comes undone,” was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
1/30/202434 minutes, 20 seconds
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Opposing parties’ governors vow to disagree better

Six in 10 Americans polled by the Pew Research Center say having political conversations with people they disagree with is generally stressful and frustrating. Does it have to be this way? Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (Republican) and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (Democrat) join host Krys Boyd to talk about why disagreement doesn’t have to lead to disrespectful rhetoric and insults, and about how we can have more productive political conversations. The conversation, “The Art of Disagreeing Better,” was conducted in front of a live audience at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
1/29/202447 minutes, 42 seconds
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In the multiverse, anything is possible

If you want to get a physicist truly excited, ask about all the math and science involved in the search for other universes. Paul Halpern is professor of physics at St. Joseph’s University and a prolific science writer, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the search for parallel universes and how scientists account for unmeasurable figures in their theories. His book is “The Allure of the Multiverse: Extra Dimensions, Other Worlds, and Parallel Universes.”
1/26/202431 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why indigenous Americans are undercounted in the census

One of the challenges to counting all the people who identify as Native American or Alaska Native is squaring federal definitions of identity with tribal ones. Mark Trahant, editor-at-large for ICT, and Dee Alexander, Intergovernmental Tribal Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, join host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways the government counts tribal affiliation vs. the ways tribes count their roles, and how the U.S. government is encouraging cross-department data sharing and collection.
1/25/202433 minutes, 25 seconds
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Calming your brain in a busy world

Type-A people, with their drive, focus and relentless pursuit of perfection, are at risk of burnout and health problems. Dr. Romie Mushtaq is a physician and chief wellness officer for Evolution Hospitality. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what she calls the “busy brain” – linked to insomnia, ADD and anxiety – and offers strategies to tame overactive minds. Her book is “The Busy Brain Cure: The Eight-Week Plan to Find Focus, Tame Anxiety & Sleep Again.”
1/24/202437 minutes, 6 seconds
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Who controls your destiny? (It’s not you)

Each of us is the product of a long string of decisions and even chance that occurred long before we were even born – a thought that can boggle the mind. Brian Klaas is professor of global politics at University College London and host of the Power Corrupts podcast. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways our actions and even inactions affect not just our lives, but history, and how we find ways to knit all this chaos into neat versions of reality. His book is “Fluke: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters.”
1/23/202446 minutes, 49 seconds
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When defying the frontrunner feels dangerous

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, everyone from U.S. senators to local election workers have been threatened with physical violence. Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how these threats impact voting and how elections are conducted. His article is “How death threats get Republicans to fall in line behind Trump.”
1/22/202433 minutes, 27 seconds
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The right way to fail

It’s OK to fail at work, but there is a right way to do it. Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why corporate American approaches failure all wrong, and how to incorporate healthy lessons from flubs in the workplace. Her book is “Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well.”
1/19/202433 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why the Democrats are losing working class voters

The Democrats used to be the party of the working class, but they’re increasingly losing that audience. George Packer is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways cultural issues have divided the Republican and Democratic parties, and why it will be hard for Democrats to win back a class of workers that might just determine the outcome of this year’s elections. His essay is “What does the working class really want?”
1/18/202434 minutes, 3 seconds
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What Africa’s coups mean for democracy

There have been seven coups across Africa from 2020 to 2023. Murithi Mutiga, director of the Africa Program at the International Crisis Group, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the challenges democracy faces in the grip of political violence, and the risk of that violence spreading to the rest of the continent. His Foreign Affairs article, written with Comfort Ero, is “The Crisis of African Democracy.”
1/17/202435 minutes, 35 seconds
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The benefits of working for the man

The idea that owning will make you happy and fulfilled is part of the self-determinism ideal of the American Dream. Benjamin C. Waterhouse, associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss myths about being your own boss and why you might actually be happier working a regular 9-5 job. His book is “One Day I’ll Work for Myself: The Dream and Delusion That Conquered America.”
1/16/202436 minutes, 23 seconds
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What could you get done with more energy?

So, you’ve already fallen short on your New Year’s resolutions. Time to reset, recharge and start again! Jancee Dunn is the Well columnist for The New York Times, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a simple, step-by-step way to find energy in the New Year, from tips from psychologists to what to eat and how to exercise. Her series is “The 6-Day Energy Challenge.”
1/12/202437 minutes, 8 seconds
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Even wanted pregnancies after Dobbs are fraught

Anyone who can get pregnant in America has been touched by the fall of Roe v. Wade. The 19th News health reporter Shefali Luthra joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why life-saving treatments for miscarriage are now harder to get – and the people with high-risk pregnancies who are now in harm’s way. Her article “What it means to choose pregnancy in post-Roe America” was published by The 19th.
1/11/202432 minutes
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Inside the Duterte Regime’s murderous war on drugs

As president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte ordered extrajudicial killings as part of his war on drugs. Patricia Evangelista is a trauma journalist and former investigative reporter for the Philippine news company Rappler. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the killings, carried out by police and vigilantes, and the people whose lives were shaped by fear in a lawless time. Her book is “Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country.”
1/10/202446 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to give a speech without a script

You don’t have to be at TED Talk level to exhibit great public speaking skills. Matt Abrahams, lecturer in organizational behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss tips and tricks for capturing an audience, embracing improv to think on your feet and how to tame stage fright. His book is “Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot.”
1/9/202445 minutes, 41 seconds
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Why signing that online petition isn’t enough

You may have signed a petition online, but what about actually meeting in-person with your representative to advocate for a public policy change? Sam Daley-Harris founded Results, a citizen lobby committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss effective strategies for advocating for change that won’t leave you frustrated by the process. His book is “Reclaiming Our Democracy: Every Citizen’s Guide to Transformational Advocacy.”
1/8/202433 minutes, 16 seconds
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A look at eyeliner

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyeliner is a signifier of power. Journalist Zahra Hankir joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the religiosity, spirituality and cultural significance of eyeliner and its use throughout the ages and around the world. Her book is “Eyeliner: A Cultural History.”
1/5/202445 minutes, 58 seconds
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The gift of buying less

You might’ve heard of the “slow food” movement – maybe it’s time to try the “slow buy” movement, too? Chip Colwell, lecturer in anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the pact he made with his family that they buy no more than five items in a year and what it taught him about consumption in this country. His book is “So Much Stuff: How Humans Discovered Tools, Invented Meaning, and Made More of Everything.”
1/3/202434 minutes, 26 seconds
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What your child really needs from you

It isn’t hard for parents to love their children unconditionally, but they might not always like how they behave. Jeffrey Bernstein is a parent coach and psychologist. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss methods of dealing with a defiant child, offering advice on allowing kids to develop healthy coping skills and for parents to find peace in the house again. His article “What Children Need Most from Their Parents Isn’t Love” was published in Psychology Today.
1/2/202447 minutes, 13 seconds
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Best of 2023: Why we should put women in charge of climate change

Climate change affects us all, but women are often left to pick up the pieces of families in poverty and crisis caused by climate disasters. Zainab Salbi, co-founder of the nonprofit Daughters for Earth, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her efforts to empower women to counter climate change with activism, her previous work helping survivors of war and conflict and why she’s made justice for women her life’s calling. This episode originally aired Oct. 16, 2023.
1/1/202448 minutes, 46 seconds
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Best of 2023: Chatbots say wild things, and they learn it from us

Chatbots are becoming more sophisticated and are better able to mimic human speech. That can be exciting … and problematic. Washington Post tech reporter Gerrit De Vynck joins host Krys Boyd to break down what’s next for this new technology. His article is “Microsoft’s AI chatbot is going off the rails.” This episode originally aired March 6, 2023.
12/29/202346 minutes, 7 seconds
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Best of 2023: How to keep going when it feels like you’re getting nowhere

Feeling stuck in life is common, but good news: There are tried and true strategies for greasing the wheels. Adam Alter is professor of marketing and the Stansky Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He also holds an affiliated professorship in social psychology at NYU’s psychology department. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the emotions, thoughts and behaviors that hold us back — and tricks for flourishing amid our anxiety. His book is “Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most.” This episode originally aired July 6, 2023.
12/28/202331 minutes, 15 seconds
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Best of 2023: Do animals have inner lives?

For centuries, we humans have placed ourselves above other animals in part because of the belief that we are the only creatures with the cognitive ability to turn thought into speech. Science journalist Sonia Shah joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what it means now that researchers are discovering that animals communicate in languages, too, and the moral dilemmas that is bringing up for biologists. Her article “The Animals Are Talking. What Does It Mean?” appeared in The New York Times Magazine. This episode originally aired Oct. 13, 2023.
12/27/202331 minutes, 23 seconds
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Best of 2023: The many different lives of Latinos

The term “Latino” covers a vast array of experiences – new immigrants from Guatemala, third-generation Mexican-Americans and many, many others. Héctor Tobar, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and novelist, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his conversations with a multitude of voices identifying as Latino in the U.S. and the many ways they contribute history and culture to the American landscape. His book is “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino.'” This episode originally aired July 14, 2023.
12/26/202331 minutes, 41 seconds
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Best of 2023: The story of a recovering foodie

Many of us have a passion for good food and drink – but what happens when your high standards lead to disappointment more often than pleasure? Dan Ahdoot is a stand-up comic and restaurateur, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how his foodie obsessions took a toll on his happiness and relationships and how he finally learned to let go of the pursuit of perfection. He’s the author of “Undercooked: How I Let Food Become My Life Navigator and How Maybe That’s a Dumb Way to Live.” This episode originally aired on April 4, 2023.
12/25/202334 minutes, 24 seconds
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The gender politics of pockets

If there’s one thing a woman loves, it’s pockets in her outfit. Hannah Carlson teaches dress history and material culture at the Rhode Island School of Design. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the gender politics of why men get pockets when women don’t, and why pockets can be seen as signs of everything from laziness to respectability. Her book is “Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close.”
12/22/202331 minutes, 12 seconds
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Unpacking passport privilege

It’s much easier to act on your wanderlust if you hold a U.S. passport. Shahnaz Habib is a writer and translator who consults for the United Nations. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the privilege of who gets to travel and who doesn’t, and about how the Western-centric view of exploring the world differs from how other people across the globe look at leisure travel. Her book is “Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel.”
12/21/202331 minutes, 2 seconds
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Journalists of color carry extra burden

Black journalists may have the power of the pen, but that doesn’t shield them from racism while doing their jobs. James E. Causey is Ideas Lab reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the hate mail he’s gotten through the years, why he initially hid his pain from his readers and colleagues, and why he feels it’s time to confront hate head on. His recent column on the topic is headlined “I’m worn from years of racial slurs. But I’ll no longer be silent about bigotry.”
12/20/202345 minutes, 10 seconds
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Why do our bodies age?

As researchers continue their search for the fountain of youth, they’re turning their attention to an unlikely source: worms. Coleen T. Murphy is professor of genomics and molecular biology at Princeton and director of both the university’s Glenn Foundation for Research on Aging and the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity in the Aging Brain. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how worms and other simple organisms offer insights into the aging process and how we might slow it down. Her book is “How We Age: The Science of Longevity.”
12/19/202346 minutes, 23 seconds
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An astronaut’s guide to life

Astronaut Mike Massimino executed the most dangerous and complex mission in space shuttle history, so he knows a thing or two about leadership. He’s now a professor at Columbia University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how to build effective teams and pursue your biggest dreams. His book is “Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible.”
12/19/202330 minutes, 32 seconds
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Our constitutional right to lie

If lying became illegal, that probably wouldn’t curb “fake news.” Jeff Kosseff, associate professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what is constitutionally accepted free speech, and why he believes we need a marketplace of ideas so people can make up their own minds. His book is “Liar in a Crowded Theater: Freedom of Speech in a World of Misinformation.”
12/18/202332 minutes, 24 seconds
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An astronaut’s guide to life

Astronaut Mike Massimino executed the most dangerous and complex mission in space shuttle history, so he knows a thing or two about leadership. He’s now a professor at Columbia University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how to build effective teams and pursue your biggest dreams. His book is “Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible.”
12/14/202330 minutes, 32 seconds
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Getting around your community is a right not a privilege

Transportation systems have been historically marred by inequality. Veronica O. Davis is a civil engineer, planner, public speaker and community activist. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how we should measure success by counting how we move people instead of vehicles – and about how we might take a more human-centric approach to urban planning. Her book is “Inclusive Transportation: A Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities.”
12/13/202332 minutes, 53 seconds
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On comedy and cancel culture

The history of comedy is littered with pearl-clutching reactions to off-color bits. Historian Kliph Nesteroff joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how comedians have always pushed societal boundaries – and about how audience reactions range from complicity to virtue signaling. His book is “Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars.”
12/12/202346 minutes, 17 seconds
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The geography of American Poverty

There are parts of the country where upward mobility is simply unobtainable. Kathryn J. Edin, William Church Osborne Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the intersection of poverty and geography and why in rural parts of the country residents feel the American Dream is on life support. The book, written with co-authors H. Luke Shaefer and Timothy J. Nelson, is “The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America.”
12/11/202334 minutes, 15 seconds
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Could deep brain stimulation cure depression?

Treatment resistant mental illness is a debilitating condition, and scientists are searching for breakthroughs. Laura Sanders writes about neuroscience for ScienceNews. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the pros and cons of deep brain stimulation, where electrical pulses are delivered straight into the brain during surgery. Her article is “The science behind deep brain stimulation for depression.”
12/8/202332 minutes, 13 seconds
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Could facial recognition software send you to jail?

A.I. facial recognition software is not infallible, but law enforcement is using it as if it is. Eyal Press is a contributing writer for The New Yorker. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss cases of mistaken identity that sent innocent people to prison, all on the authority of tech that is still new and has unintended bias built in. His article is “In Front of Their Faces.”
12/8/202333 minutes, 54 seconds
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What the Hamas-Israel war means for Iran, Saudi Arabia and us

The recent hostage negotiations led by Qatar and Egypt are a window into how the Middle East as a whole is affected by the war in Gaza. Maria Fantappie, head of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa Program at Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss shifting political realities in a region with uneasy alliances. Her Foreign Affairs article, written with Vali Nasr, is “The War That Remade the Middle East.”
12/6/202346 minutes, 9 seconds
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Why we like politicians who talk tough

Although most Americans polled say they don’t want an aggressive U.S. foreign policy, the voting record tells a different story. Jeffrey A. Friedman, associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the rhetoric of presidential candidates and how voters are swayed by powerful stances. His article “The Politics of Looking Strong” was published in Foreign Affairs.
12/5/202333 minutes, 32 seconds
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Musician and comedian Reggie Watts on the joy of being weird

Comedian and musician Reggie Watts has embraced his weirdness and made a career of it. Watts starred as the bandleader on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden and IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang! He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his memoir about growing up mixed race in a small town, and how he embraced his differences to find what’s cool. His book is “Great Falls, MT: Fast Times, Post-Punk Weirdos, and a Tale of Coming Home Again.”
12/4/202346 minutes, 43 seconds
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David Brooks wants us to reconnect

David Brooks is on a mission to open hearts and minds. The New York Times columnist joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the skills we can learn to improve engagement and connection and develop character. His book is “How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.”
12/1/202333 minutes, 44 seconds
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War through the eyes of a child

Children who live in war zones face untold horrors that strip them of innocence. Zarlasht Halaimzai, writer and founder of Amna, which specializes in supporting the psychosocial well-being of refugees and other displaced communities. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her life growing up amid the bombs and guns of the war in Afghanistan, and her work to help heal the trauma of children living through conflict worldwide. Her article, published in The Guardian, is “‘I remember the silence between the falling shells’: the terror of living under siege as a child.”
11/30/202333 minutes, 35 seconds
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The brave college kids who saved the Negro spiritual

The end of Reconstruction can be chronicled by listening to the music of the era. Vann Newkirk, senior editor at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who sang songs that evoked passion and heartbreak, and in doing so, saved an American art form. His article is “How the Negro Spiritual Changed American Popular Music– and America Itself.”
11/30/202343 minutes, 52 seconds
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When will Millennials start having kids?

The demographic charts are clear: childlessness started to rise as soon as Millennials hit childbearing age. Andrew Van Dam writes the Department of Data column each week for The Washington Post. He joins host Krys Boyd to talk about why Millennials are not having children – from finances to lack of partners – even though they still want them. His article is “Millennials aren’t having kids. Here are the reasons why.”
11/28/202331 minutes, 7 seconds
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You don’t want to live on Mars

Visiting Mars one day is the ultimate trip from some tourists, but is that a good idea? Kelly Weinersmith, adjunct faculty member in the BioSciences department at Rice University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the impracticalities of space colonization and the conflicts it could create back on Earth. Her book, co-written with husband Zach Weinersmith, is “A City on Mars: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through?”
11/27/202333 minutes, 51 seconds
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What personalized medicine promised and what it delivered

Genetic medicine once looked like the future of health care, but its promises have yet to materialize. James Tabery is a professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Center for Health Ethics, Arts, & Humanities. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why precision medicines focused on gene technology benefit only the rich, while average citizens are left behind in this new model of curing disease. His book is “Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health.”
11/24/202333 minutes, 49 seconds
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Hate flying? Blame deregulation

Want to know why your flight was delayed and your baggage lost? Blame capitalism. Ganesh Sitaraman is a law professor and director of the Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why he feels unregulated capitalism created a handful of airline competitors – all too-big-to-fail and receiving government funding – and why he feels improvements are possible. His book is “Why Flying is Miserable: And How to Fix It.”
11/22/202333 minutes, 4 seconds
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Why your commute just keeps getting longer

How is it that we can travel anywhere in the world faster than ever before, but actual travel times have become slower? David Leonhardt writes The Morning, the flagship daily newsletter for The New York Times. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how a lack of investment in infrastructure has put the U.S. behind peer countries in nearly every category from education to transportation to even life expectancy. His book is “Ours Was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream.”
11/21/202331 minutes, 26 seconds
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Remember Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There was a time in the early 1990s when everyone seemed to have carpal tunnel syndrome—now, not so much. Health and science reporter Benjamin Ryan joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how carpal tunnel became an epidemic and what its disappearance says about how seriously we take workplace injuries today. His article published by The Atlantic is “Whatever Happened to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?”
11/20/202331 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why twins really are special

We have a fascination with identical twins, and twins themselves also grapple with ideas of selfhood. Helena de Bres is a philosophy professor at Wellesley College and a twin herself, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the endless questions she’s asked about her and her sister – and to reflect upon what being a multiple is really like. Her book is “How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins.”
11/17/202332 minutes, 55 seconds
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Wanting a gun isn’t about fear

Gun ownership in this country is as much about one’s identity as it is about self-protection. Alexandra Filindra is associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how 21st Century gun culture is a product of the 18th Century and how that has left non-white Americans with limited access to gun rights. Her book is “Race, Rights, and Rifles: The Origins of the NRA and Contemporary Gun Culture.”
11/16/202345 minutes, 44 seconds
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Did you know that curiosity is your superpower?

One way to bridge deep divides is to get curious about the people on the other side. Scott Shigeoka has taught at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the University of Texas at Austin. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what he calls deep curiosity, which pushes people to move beyond biases to see the value in another person’s worldview. His book is “Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World.”
11/15/202334 minutes, 22 seconds
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Beyoncé, Björk and Donald Trump: What makes divas tick

Divas fill stadiums with screaming fans, and we still can’t get enough of their star power. Spencer Kornhaber, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the magnetism, narcissism and perfectionism of the people we call divas … and why they matter so much to the rest of us mere mortals. His book is “On Divas: Persona, Pleasure, Power.”
11/14/202346 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to get better at self-improvement

The difference between top performers and the rest of us can often be traced back to an ability to maximize potential. Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss strategies for Average Joe’s to excel. His book is “Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things.”
11/13/202333 minutes, 28 seconds
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Can a democracy survive minority rule?

Nowhere else in the world does a presidential candidate win the popular vote but lose the election due to an electoral college. Harvard government professor Steven Levitsky joins guest host John McCaa to discuss how minority rule undermines democracy and why the U.S. is vulnerable to partisan takeovers from both the left and the right. His book, written with co-author Daniel Ziblatt, is “Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point.”
11/10/202346 minutes, 58 seconds
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Think America’s too divided? Blame the Founding Fathers

The framers of the Constitution warned against forming political parties, buy they happened anyway. H.W. Brands is Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, and he joins guest host John McCaa to discuss the early days of the Republic, when Federalists and Anti-Federalists battled it out and planted the seeds of our current state of division. His book is “Founding Partisans: Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, Adams and the Brawling Birth of American Politics.”
11/8/202329 minutes, 24 seconds
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What it’s like to survive cardiac arrest

The ability to remain aware during cardiac arrest is little understood. Sam Parnia, Director of Critical Care and Resuscitation Research in the Department of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss his research into cognitive awareness during resuscitation and why studying it has profound implications for our understanding of the gray area between life and death. His journal article was published in Resuscitation.
11/7/202331 minutes, 16 seconds
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In small town Texas, cops ask a psychic for help

In best-selling author Julia Heaberlin’s latest page-turner, a heroine is pulled between science and psychic visions. She joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss her new novel, featuring a cast of characters trying to solve the disappearance of a missing child, and the prominent role Texas plays in her writing. Her book is “Night Will Find You.”
11/6/202347 minutes, 1 second
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Could we some day create new living things in a lab?

The medical field has been pretty successful in creating insulin pumps, dialysis machines, pacemakers and other instruments to assist organs with their natural functions. Philip Ball is a science writer and former editor of the journal Nature, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the next frontier: organic matter designed to help faulty organs while living in the body. His article “Synthetic Morphology Lets Scientists Create New Life-Forms” appears in Scientific American.
11/3/202331 minutes, 44 seconds
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The evolution of marriage

Marriage is as old as recorded history, but philosophers and other intellectuals have been mostly quiet on the subject. Devorah Baum is a writer, film director and associate professor in English literature at the University of Southampton. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why marriage is left out of philosophical discussion and what the institution actually means for power dynamics and utopian ideals. Her book is “On Marriage.”
11/2/202333 minutes, 34 seconds
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When social movements march into your relationship

Since the death of George Floyd and advent of #metoo, societal movements are making their way into couples counseling sessions. Orna Guralnik is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalyst and an academic who serves on the faculty of the N.Y.U. postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about what she’s seen in her practice, where couples are bringing to the table issues of race and privilege and trauma like she hasn’t seen before. Her article in the New York Times Magazine is “I’m a Couples Therapist. Something New Is Happening in Relationships.”
11/1/202330 minutes, 12 seconds
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MDMA’s journey from dancefloor to doctor’s office

Once known only as an illicit party drug, MDMA is now being seriously studied as a tool to help treat patients’ mental health. Science journalist Rachel Nuwer was among the inaugural recipients of the Ferriss–UC Berkeley Psychedelic Journalism Fellowship. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how MDMA – once a Schedule 1 drug – is now being heralded as a treatment for PTSD and other afflictions. Her book is “I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World.”
10/31/202346 minutes, 1 second
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The devilish decade: A look back at the 2000s

When looking back at the 2000s, is the decade defined more by George W. Bush or “Gossip Girl”? Kristian Vistrup Madsen is a writer based in Berlin, and he joins host Krys Boyd to make the case that the aughts were marked by sexualization, obscenity and war – and why we ate it up. His article published in The White Review is “Chains or Whips? The Cruel Decade and its Aftermath.”
10/30/202332 minutes, 57 seconds
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The beauty of the bilingual brain

Bilingual speakers effortlessly mix multiple languages into conversation – but something much more complex and fascinating is happening in their minds. Washington Post columnist Theresa Vargas and Sarah Phillips, a postdoctoral scholar in the neurology department at Georgetown University Medical Center, join host Krys Boyd to discuss bilingualism in our culture and the neurological pathways that allow language switching to flow so freely.
10/27/202346 minutes, 58 seconds
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Who would benefit from breaking up Big Tech?

There’s a growing call for the federal government to consider breaking up some of the country’s largest tech companies – similar to how it went after railroad barons of the 19th century. Elizabeth Nolan Brown is a senior editor at Reason and the main author of Reason’s morning newsletter, the Reason Roundup. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why this focus on anti-trust lawsuits isn’t popular with the general population and may be blowing the problems created by big tech well out of proportion. Her article is “The Tech Giants Were Always Doomed.”
10/26/202331 minutes, 24 seconds
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Could Kamala Harris be president?

With a president in his 80s and an election season looming, where is Kamala Harris? Elaina Plott Calabro, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the work the vice president has been doing the last three years, why it’s been mostly invisible, and her struggle to convey her readiness for the top job to voters. Her article is “The Kamala Harris Problem.”
10/24/202332 minutes, 1 second
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Feeling lonely? It’s time to get creative

When we’re feeling lonely, maybe the best thing to do is pick up a paint brush or pen and express how we’re feeling. Dr. Jeremy Nobel is a primary-care physician, public health practitioner and poet with faculty appointments at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Art & Healing, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how we can use creative expression to connect with others. His book is “Project UnLonely: Healing Our Crisis of Disconnection.”
10/23/202333 minutes, 57 seconds
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Your brain is better on music

If you instantly feel better when a favorite song comes on the radio – or just feel seen when a sad song plays – you’re tapping into humankind’s deep connection with music. Larry Sherman is professor of neuroscience at the Oregon Health and Science University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how music works in the brain and how it affects our emotions. His new book is “Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Making and Listening to Music.”
10/23/202343 minutes, 19 seconds
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What do animals need from us?

A vast network of volunteers and professionals alike is connected by a love of animals and a duty to protect them from harm. Kendra Coulter is professor in management and organizational studies at Huron University College at Western University and a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the animal advocates battling abuse and pushing for pro-animal policies in legislatures – and how their work benefits humans, too. Her book is “Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection.”
10/19/202332 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why LBJ and MLK needed each other

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act with The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. standing at his side. Peniel Joseph is the Barbara Jordan Chair in Political Values and Ethics at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and professor of history and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the contentious but essential relationship between the president and Civil Rights leader. His essay appears in the book “LBJ’s America: The Life and Legacies of Lyndon Baines Johnson.”
10/18/202335 minutes, 20 seconds
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Who benefits from our broken immigration system?

Policies created by both the left and right have failed to curb illegal immigration. Marcela Valdes, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the continued inflow of international migrants to the U.S. and how employers here benefit from their arrival. Her article is “Why Can’t We Stop Unauthorized Immigration? Because It Works.”
10/17/202347 minutes, 12 seconds
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Conservation is about people, too

Stories of deadly predators abound, but often those animals fear humans much more than we must fear them. Adam Hart is professor of science communication at the University of Gloucestershire. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the realities of people who live among predators and why the line between conservation and eradication is a difficult tightrope to walk. His book is “The Deadly Balance: Predators and People in a Crowded World.”
10/16/202333 minutes, 16 seconds
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Do animals have inner lives?

For centuries, we humans have placed ourselves above other animals in part because of the belief that we are the only creatures with the cognitive ability to turn thought into speech. Science journalist Sonia Shah joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what it means now that researchers are discovering that animals communicate in languages, too, and the moral dilemmas that is bringing up for biologists. Her article “The Animals Are Talking. What Does It Mean?” appeared in The New York Times Magazine.
10/13/202330 minutes, 59 seconds
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Is online privacy even possible?

The internet is not free – we pay for it with our personal information sold with every click. Atlantic staff writer Charlie Warzel joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the vast and unregulated systems set up to capture our data, and why even stricter data capture policies in the E.U. won’t help repair breaches of our privacy. His recent article on the topic is called “What is Privacy?”
10/12/202332 minutes, 28 seconds
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For a comedian, imposter syndrome is no laughing matter

For Aparna Nancherla, the hardest part of performing for a crowd is believing she should even be there in the first place. The L.A.-based comedian’s work has been seen on late-night television, HBO, Netflix and Comedy Central. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how depression, anxiety and imposter syndrome make it into her work – and the ways her art reflects her mental state. Her book is “Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome.”
10/11/202346 minutes, 10 seconds
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A standing desk is not enough

We’ve come a long way as a species from hunter-gatherers to sedentary jobs at a keyboard. Manoush Zomorodi is host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a six-part series exploring the relationship between technology and the body, and the tools we can use to offset the harms screens and sitting are doing to our health. The NPR podcast is called “Body Electric.”
10/11/202335 minutes, 48 seconds
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When eulogies are complicated

When asked to deliver his father’s eulogy, Rev. Esau McCaulley realized he needed to figure out how to understand the relationship between his dad’s many shortcomings and the obstacles he faced during his lifetime. McCaulley is associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and theologian in residence at Progressive Baptist Church, a historically Black congregation in Chicago. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the deep work that led him to seeing his father in a new light and how his father’s struggles are echoed in the experiences of many Black Americans. His book is “How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South.”
10/9/202332 minutes, 24 seconds
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We don’t talk enough about phosphorous

After billions of years of Earth’s development, it’s still the same five elements that shape so much of human evolution. Stephen Porder is associate provost for sustainability and professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology at Brown University. He is also a fellow in the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus and how these building blocks of life affect the climate. His book is “Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth’s Past and Will Shape Our Future.”
10/6/202350 minutes, 20 seconds
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Lessons from Lincoln on effective politics

Even in the face of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln engaged constructively with his political adversaries. Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Lincoln as the politician, deftly negotiating encounters with his critics as he sought to build a social revolution and hold the nation together. His book is “Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America.”
10/4/202332 minutes, 28 seconds
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Earth has warmed and cooled before. So what’s different now?

The temperature range that can sustain human life on Earth is incredibly narrow. Michael Mann is Presidential Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Science, Sustainability and the Media at the University of Pennsylvania. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the precarity of human evolution and how previous changes in temperatures have affected life on the planet. His book is “Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis.”
10/3/202332 minutes, 53 seconds
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Abortion may soon be legal in some unexpected states

When the Supreme Court knocked down Roe v Wade, it seemed like the question of where someone could seek an abortion was settled. Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss efforts to get abortion rights on the ballot in several states, and how those pushes are resulting in popular wins. Her article is “The Surprising Places Where Abortion Rights Are on the Ballot and Winning.”
10/2/202331 minutes, 35 seconds
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Why some people can’t stop lying

We’ve all told the occasional white lie, but what makes someone a true liar? Christian L. Hart is professor of psychology at Texas Woman’s University, where he is director of the Psychological Science program and director of the Human Deception Laboratory. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the psychology of people who lie all the time and how we can make sure we don’t become their next victim. His book, written with Drew A. Curtis, is “Big Liars: What Psychological Science Tells Us About Lying and How You Can Avoid Being Duped.”
9/29/202330 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to sharpen your five senses

Is it possible to take our five senses to new, heightened levels? Maureen Seaberg is a columnist for Psychology Today, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the science of the senses; understanding how we see, hear and touch at the molecular level; and what it means for human potential. Her book is “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: The Astonishing New Science of the Senses.”
9/28/202332 minutes, 32 seconds
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When college is a waste of money

A decade ago, a large majority of Americans believed in the value of a college education. More recently, that sentiment has fallen off a cliff. Paul Tough is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why only a third of Americans now say they have a lot of confidence in higher education and why the U.S. is an outlier globally when it comes to college popularity. His article is “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That?”
9/27/202330 minutes, 12 seconds
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We don’t make it easy to get sober

Nationally, about 43 million people are believed to need treatment for substance abuse – and if they actually seek it out, many will hit real barriers to finding care. Wilson M. Sims is a writer and behavioral health worker, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his own journey from addict to working for a behavioral health company helping fellow addicts navigate the roadblocks to becoming sober. His essay, “Unknown Costs,” was published by Longreads.
9/26/202332 minutes, 10 seconds
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The many ways we monitor undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants face daily worries about government surveillance. Asad L. Asad is assistant professor of sociology at Stanford University, where he is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his research into the ways immigrants take part in U.S. systems – like registering with the IRS – while also fearing they will be deported for taking part. His book is “Engage and Evade: How Latino Immigrant Families Manage Surveillance in Everyday Life.”
9/25/202346 minutes
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The patience of turtles

In trying to reconcile human impact on nature, perhaps we should turn to one of our planet’s longest living creatures. Sy Montgomery joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her visit to the Turtle Rescue League, where injured turtles are given a second chance at life, and asks why these creatures have such a treasured place in our hearts. Her book is “Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell.”
9/22/202347 minutes, 24 seconds
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If aliens visited, would we even know?

There are countless sci-fi tales centered on contact with aliens, and an astrophysicist has an idea of how that could really happen. Avi Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, the founding director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative and the director of the Institute for Theory and Computation within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss identifying and having contact with an extraterrestrial and the implications it would have for humankind. His book is “Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars.”
9/21/202334 minutes, 29 seconds
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When you forgive, you don’t have to forget

The way we’re taught to forgive might never actually lead to reconciliation. Myisha Cherry is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where she also directs the Emotion and Society Lab. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why models of traditional forgiveness are wrong and offer guidance for individuals and families on how to forgive and heal. Her book is “Failures of Forgiveness: What We Get Wrong and How to Do Better.”
9/20/202331 minutes, 24 seconds
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There’s more to American history than what white people did

American history is largely taught through the lens of white people’s experiences. Michael Harriot is a columnist at theGrio.com, where he covers the intersection of race, politics and culture. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a new way to look at historical narratives – one that reworks the American story to include the voices most often overlooked. His book is “Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America.”
9/19/202332 minutes, 57 seconds
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Is the Navy stuck in the past?

The military is built around tradition and protocol — which can be problems if you’re looking for innovation. Eric Lipton is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss new global threats that require change by the U.S. Navy and the resistance by top brass to bend to the future. His article is “Faced With Evolving Threats, U.S. Navy Struggles to Change.”
9/18/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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What’s a fishwife, anyway? A history of words about women

Words we use in the English language to describe women have changed through the centuries – sometimes for good and sometime, not so much. Jenni Nuttall teaches medieval literature at the University of Oxford. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss transformations in the English language that take on femininity and how words have influenced how we view female roles in society. Her book is “Mother Tongue: The Surprising History of Women’s Words.”
9/15/202331 minutes
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Treating anxiety has become a cottage industry

There’s a big market for products that promise to reduce anxiety – but maybe consuming our way to happiness isn’t the most efficient strategy. Julie Wernau writes about health and medicine across the U.S. for The Wall Street Journal’s health and science bureau. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why strategies to combat stressors are popular—but sometimes clinically untested. Her article is “The Booming Business of American Anxiety.”
9/14/202332 minutes, 4 seconds
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Racial justice starts in your community

In the fight for racial justice, it’s important to highlight success stories when they happen. Ruha Benjamin is professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and founding director of the school’s Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about emerging racial justice programs and policies making a difference and the inspiration we can take from that work to do better in our own lives. Her book is “Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want.”
9/13/202345 minutes, 43 seconds
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They’re not stereotypes about Black people — they’re lies

Confronting racism means reckoning with harmful stereotypes. Omékongo Dibinga is a poet and senior professorial lecturer of intercultural communication at American University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the road to anti-racism by taking on the lies that persist today that undermine Black lives, and to offer ways to reset our thinking toward a future of equality. His book is “Lies about Black People: How to Combat Racist Stereotypes and Why It Matters.”
9/12/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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Meet the women who helped win WWII

In World War II, 350,000 American women served in uniform. Lena S. Andrews is a military analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the women who filled many roles — from codebreakers to parachute riggers — who fought and died for this country and whose stories are not often told. Her book is “Valiant Women: The Extraordinary American Servicewomen Who Helped Win World War II.”
9/11/202346 minutes, 34 seconds
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How climate change affects the human body

We regularly hear about how climate change affects the ecosystem, but we rarely hear about how it affects human bodies. Jeff Goodell is an author and senior fellow at Atlantic Council, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why increasing heatwaves kill the most vulnerable and how they will affect food supplies and water resources – even disease outbreaks. His book is “The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet.”
9/8/202347 minutes, 12 seconds
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Why we love celebrities more than heroes

Celebrity has changed significantly from the days of Charles Lindbergh to today’s social media influencers. Landon Y. Jones is a former managing editor for People Magazine, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the underbelly of fame — including its corrosive effects on culture. And we’ll also hear about stars using their platforms for good. His book is “Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers.”
9/7/202346 minutes, 22 seconds
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You know someone who has had an abortion

Statistically, we will all know someone who will have an abortion in their lifetime — we just don’t talk about it. Hannah Matthews is an abortion doula, activist, clinic worker and journalist, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what she feels is left out of the typical abortion narratives and her experience working with patients during the procedure. Her book is “You or Someone You Love: Reflections from an Abortion Doula.”
9/6/202346 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why we need forests that have never been touched by humans

When it comes to forest management, who’s the better steward: foresters or Mother Nature herself? Joan Maloof is the founder and director of the Old-Growth Forest Network and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the role old-growth forests play in the ecosystem and the different approaches that are being taken to saving them. Her book is “Nature’s Temples: A Natural History of Old-Growth Forests.”
9/5/202345 minutes, 31 seconds
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How well do you know your dogs and cats?

If you could talk to your pets, what would you want to know? This hour, host Krys Boyd won’t be interviewing any animals, but she will talk with some folks who know them very well. We’ll start with a conversation about puppies with Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. Then we’ll hear from Jonathan B. Losos, an evolutionary biologist and cat expert at Washington University in St. Louis. We’ll then wrap up the show by hearing Courtney Collins’s conversation with veterinarian Karen Fine about how her job requires her to care for the well-being of people, too.
9/1/202346 minutes, 26 seconds
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In Oregon, an experiment in drug laws

It’s been one year since Oregon decriminalized drug possession as part of a new approach to treating drug abuse. Jack Holmes is a freelance writer who most recently spent eight years at Esquire magazine, and he joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss why heroin and fentanyl are now easily-accessible street drugs, and if this radical way of confronting addiction as a behavioral-health issue is doing more harm than good. His article in Esquire is “The Land Beyond the Drug War.”
8/31/202332 minutes, 26 seconds
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In math, there are no dumb questions

If you loathe math, it might be because of the way it was taught to you, not math itself. Eugenia Cheng is scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and honorary visiting fellow at City University of London. She joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss why we should approach math education as a journey of imagination, and why there are no dumb questions in the search for answers. Her book is called “Is Math Real?: How Simple Questions Lead Us to Mathematics’ Deepest Truths.”
8/30/202333 minutes, 47 seconds
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In a YA novel, a Black girl navigates Jim Crow

YA novels often focus on school and dating – but they are increasingly trusting readers to engage with heavier topics. That’s the case with “For Lamb,” which follows a lynching and encourages young adult readers to dive deep into the darker side of American history. Lesa Cline-Ransome is the book’s author, and she joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about the story, which follows a girl named Lamb navigating the friendships and dangers of the Jim Crow South for a young Black girl.
8/29/202347 minutes, 22 seconds
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When science silences debate

During the pandemic, the worlds of science and politics became entwined. Jason Blakely is a Harper’s Magazine contributor and associate professor of political science at Pepperdine. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what he calls “scientism,” when scientific authority silences political debate, and why relying on data might not always be the best approach to problem solving in a crisis. His essay is “Doctor’s Orders.”
8/28/202330 minutes, 47 seconds
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How big state schools spend all of that tuition

State universities used to be bargains – these days, not so much. So where are those big schools spending students’ skyrocketing tuition? Wall Street Journal higher education reporter Melissa Korn joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a look into 50 flagship state universities and how inflows of cash are not necessarily benefiting students – and how those schools justify their decisions. Her article is “Colleges spend like there’s no tomorrow.”
8/25/202334 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why you love your favorite song

There’s neuroscience behind why you love that Taylor Swift banger. Susan Rogers is a cognitive neuroscientist and professor at Berklee College of Music, as well as a multiplatinum record producer. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why our brains respond to certain music, our music personality types, and how music can shape identity. Her book, written with co-author Ogi Ogas, is “This is What it Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You.”
8/24/202333 minutes, 44 seconds
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It’s hard to trust others, but you should try anyway

When you feel like you can’t trust someone, the rest of the relationship pretty much breaks down from there. Peter Kim, professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how trust is created and, maybe more importantly, how it can be restored. His book is “How Trust Works: The Science of How Relationships Are Built, Broken, and Repaired.”
8/23/202329 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Hidden Harms of CPR

On TV it looks so easy: CPR done right saves lives. But that’s not the whole story. Dr. Sunita Puri is program director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Chan School of Medicine, where she is an associate professor of clinical medicine. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why the aftermath of CPR is rarely talked about – usually because it involves a life that has been saved but not fully restored. Her article in The New Yorker is “The Hidden Harms of CPR.”
8/22/202334 minutes, 11 seconds
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Listen up! Good hearing could fight off dementia

One way to help ward off dementia is to make sure your hearing is as good as possible. Frank R. Lin is director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery. He joins Krys Boyd to discuss why we shouldn’t brush off hearing loss as a symptom of old age and the connection between good hearing and cognitive health. His study “Hearing intervention versus health education control to reduce cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss in the USA” was published in The Lancet.
8/21/202329 minutes, 40 seconds
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For old-school conspiracy theorists, QAnon crossed a line

For conspiracy theorists dedicated to the moon landing, Bigfoot and UFOs, the development of QAnon, crisis actors and government false flags have introduced unwanted political and financial elements to their favorite pastime. Annie Kelly is a postdoctoral researcher working on conspiracy theories and a correspondent for the podcast “QAnon Anonymous.” She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how these old-school skeptics raised on late-night call-in radio fear modern day conspiracy theorists are giving their passion a bad name. Her recent New York Times essay is headlined “Even Conspiracy Theorists are Alarmed by What They’ve Seen.” 
8/18/202332 minutes, 8 seconds
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Do animals talk to each other?

Animals make a cacophony of sounds – from bird chirps to dog barks to whale songs. Ever wonder what they’re saying to each other? Nicholas Mathevon is a professor specializing in bioacoustics, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how animals use sound to intimidate, mate, emote and more. His book is “The Voices of Nature: How and Why Animals Communicate.” 
8/17/202331 minutes, 19 seconds
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Marijuana and psychedelics: New thinking about old substances

As drug laws loosen up nationwide, users and those who care for them are evolving the way they think about some illicit substances. This hour, we’ll talk specifically about two categories with growing user bases: cannabis and psychedelics. We’ll start with a conversation with Washington Post reporter David Ovalle, who reported recently on people who develop dependencies and even addictions to marijuana – and how their conditions are often not taken all that seriously. And then we’ll speak with Wired contributor Chris Colin, who wrote about the growing community of facilitators who guide users through a psychedelic experience – and about how our societal views of psychedelics have evolved since these drugs were introduced.
8/16/202331 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bogus medical research is everywhere

Insights derived from clinical trials is what pushes medicine forward. And when a trial is conducted in error – or sometimes even fraudulently – the repercussions can reach far and wide. Richard Van Noorden is an editor for the journal Nature, and he joins Krys Boyd to talk about how bias, error and, yes, even fraud, infect clinical trials – and what can be done to clean them up. His recent article is headlined “Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed?”
8/15/202331 minutes, 43 seconds
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Attention is a skill you need to practice

The world offers a lot to stimulate our senses – so much, in fact, that it’s hard to pay attention these days on any one thing. Christian Madsbjerg joins us to talk about how we can recapture our ability to focus on things that matter and reestablish our connection to the people around us. His book is called “Look: How to Pay Attention in a Distracted World.” 
8/14/202328 minutes, 32 seconds
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Elon Musk basically owns space

Elon Musk’s Space X has 4,500 satellites circling the globe, worrying military and political leaders. Cade Metz is a technology reporter for The New York Times. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Starlink, the satellite internet company Musk runs that accounts for more than 50 percent of all active satellites, and the issues it’s raising for global security. His article is “Elon Musk’s Unmatched Power in the Stars.” 
8/11/202329 minutes, 53 seconds
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A lesson on trans-friendly schools

Being a trans student in school means navigating political and administrative landmines. Aidan Key is a speaker, author and educator on issues related to gender inclusion, is the founder of GenderDiversity.org and TransFamilies.org. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss practical tips for parents and school staff to approach trans students with a sense of welcoming, creating a safe space for them to learn. His book is “Trans Children in Today’s Schools.”
8/10/202330 minutes, 33 seconds
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The world’s full of scams – here’s how they get you

Hindsight is 20/20 after falling for a scam; the trick is avoiding one in the first place. Daniel Simons is professor in the department of psychology at the University of Illinois, where he directs the Visual Cognition Laboratory. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the many ways we get taken for a ride and the faulty thinking that got us there so we can be aware next time. His book, written with co-author Christopher Chabris, is “Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do about It.” 
8/9/202329 minutes, 42 seconds
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Stop trying to be perfect

Social media pressures to look and be the best can be crushing — but it doesn’t have to be this way. Thomas Curran, professor of psychology at the London School of Economics, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how freeing ourselves of the drive to be perfect can actually make us better at our jobs and in life. His book is “The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough.” 
8/8/202332 minutes, 59 seconds
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How the Supreme Court grabbed power from the president

With the latest ruling knocking down student loan debt relief, the Supreme Court showed its power over the executive branch. Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the “major questions doctrine,” which allows the court to veto actions by a federal agency for economic or political reasons, and why its use picked up when President Biden took office. His article is “How the Supreme Court put itself in charge of the executive branch.”
8/7/202330 minutes, 42 seconds
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The maestro of mystery

When a scholar is offered the chance to authenticate a lost masterwork, a mystery unfolds. Best-selling author Brenden Slocum joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss themes of authorship, authenticity and art from his novel about uncovering the truth about a composer’s legacy. His book is “Symphony of Secrets.” 
8/4/202346 minutes, 52 seconds
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Global sperm counts are down. Is it time to worry?

Across the globe, studies show that men are less fertile, which has created quite the business opportunity. Simon van Zuylen-Wood is a features writer at New York magazine, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a burgeoning industry of at-home sperm testing and whether or not amping up reproduction should be a priority for our warming, resource-strapped planet. His article is “Sperm Fever.”
8/3/202330 minutes, 13 seconds
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When unloading a house, it’s seller beware

We’ve all seen the signs for “We Buy Ugly Houses” – what’s really going on with this business practice? ProPublica reporter Anjeanette Damon joins host Krys Boyd to discuss their long look into how HomeVestors of America acquires homes, and the way the business model is set up to reward franchisees. The article is “The Ugly Truth Behind “We Buy Ugly Houses.’” 
8/2/202346 minutes, 14 seconds
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At anti-porn camps, echoes of conversion therapy

Is deprogramming teens from porn addiction as cruel as harmful conversion therapies for LGBTQ populations? Historian and journalist Hallie Lieberman joins host Krys Boyd to discuss wilderness programs that purport to treat porn addiction with questionable methods and, critics say, promote abuse. Her article “Inside an Abusive Anti-Porn Camp for Teens” was published in Reason Magazine.
8/1/202334 minutes, 25 seconds
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In Nigeria, DNA testing is a part of courtship

Nigeria has the highest global concentration of sickle cell disease in its population. Harper’s contributor Krithika Varagur joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Nigeria’s approach to “genetic responsibility,” and what couples are up against when they meet a mate whose genes when combined with their own could produce a child with the painful disease. Her article is “Love in the Time of Sickle Cell Disease.”
7/31/202335 minutes, 47 seconds
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How TV learned to take teenagers seriously

Shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “My So-Called Life” were pioneers of prestige TV in that they took the experiences of teenagers seriously. Entertainment journalist Thea Glassman joins host Krys Boyd to make the case that teen shows of yesterday paved the way for today’s diverse, complex and compelling teen storylines. Her book is “Freaks, Gleeks, and Dawson’s Creek.”
7/28/202332 minutes, 43 seconds
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Beyond Beyond Burgers: The future of ‘meat’

Lab-grown meat is here. Who’s going to eat it? Annie Lowrey, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the new world of “cultivated meat” – animal proteins combined with other chemicals to produce the texture and flavor of meats – and how manufacturers are hoping to make them taste even better than the real thing. Her article is “Open Your Mind to Unicorn Meat.”
7/27/202333 minutes, 56 seconds
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You should really spend more time with people

The pandemic kept us apart; it’s time to rediscover the beauty of being together. Andy Field is an artist, writer and curator, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the magic of life in cities surrounded by strangers, and the ways we can interact with people to spark creativity. His book is “Encounterism: The Neglected Joys of Being In Person.”
7/26/202331 minutes, 13 seconds
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In movies and TV, Asian American stories are claiming the spotlight

For much of Hollywood history, the myth of the model minority has limited the roles available to Asian-American actors. Matt Stevens is an arts and culture reporter for The New York Times. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the new wave of angry, messy and action-oriented roles for Asian-American actors – from “Beef” to “Everything Everywhere All at Once” – and how this evolution has chipped away at harmful stereotypes. His article is “For Asian American Actors, Playing a Hot Mess Is Liberating.”
7/25/20231 hour, 51 seconds
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Your favorite movies would not be the same without John Williams

What would the Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies be without their memorable musical scores? Frank Lehman, associate professor of music at Tufts University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the brilliance of composer John Williams, whose oeuvre augments the action and adventure of the modern classics we love. His article in the New York Times is “How to Write Music for Rolling Boulders.”
7/24/202333 minutes, 43 seconds
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Hollywood’s big bet on Barbie

The upcoming “Barbie” movie will introduce the beloved doll to a new generation. At the same time, older generations are pondering why she’s even still around? Kelly Gilblom, global business editor for Bloomberg News, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the gamble Warner Bros. is taking on Barbie – and the attempted modernization of Mattel behind the scenes. The article, written with Thomas Buckley, is “Barbie Goes to the Movies.”
7/21/202331 minutes, 45 seconds
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Hollywood’s shut down. Now what?

TV and movie actors have joined Hollywood writers for the biggest strike in four decades. Dominic Patten, senior editor for Deadline, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the move, which has effectively shut down the industry as negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke down. Plus, we’ll hear how streaming and A.I. have brought new complications into discussions of fair wages, royalties and studio profits.
7/20/202332 minutes, 27 seconds
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Meet the humans who power A.I.

Behind ChatGPT or Bard, there’s a programmer who cataloged every single item in play. Josh Dzieza, an investigations editor covering tech, business and climate change for The Verge, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the tedious work it takes to create the artificial intelligence that seems so quick and breezy – and his own crack at the job that confounded him. His article is “AI Is a Lot of Work.”
7/19/202331 minutes, 46 seconds
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The eternal allure of old books

Behind the comfort of an old book is the wild story of how it got to your home. Oliver Darkshire is an antiquarian bookseller at Henry Sotheran Ltd., and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss one of the world’s oldest bookshops and a profession that makes more memories than it does money. His new book is “Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller.”
7/18/202331 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why does a potato chip have 20 ingredients?

Next time you reach for that bag of chips, you might be surprised by the very long list of ingredients on the bag. Chris van Tulleken, associate professor at University College London and a practicing infectious diseases doctor, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss ultra-processed foods and how their manufacturers create products designed for profit over people. His book is “Ultra-Processed People: The Science Behind the Food That Isn’t Food.”
7/17/202331 minutes, 5 seconds
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The many different lives of Latinos

The term “Latino” covers a vast array of experiences – new immigrants from Guatemala, third-generation Mexican-Americans and many, many others. Héctor Tobar, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and novelist, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his conversations with a multitude of voices identifying as Latino in the U.S. and the many ways they contribute history and culture to the American landscape. His book is “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino.'” 
7/14/202331 minutes, 15 seconds
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The right questions for better health

Who makes the best doctor? When is the best time of year to have a baby? Answers to questions like these are in medical data. Dr. Anupam B. Jena is an economist, physician, the Joseph P. Newhouse Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard and host of the Freakonomics, MD podcast. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss questions you can consider in advance of a health event to be better prepared to make solid decisions when the time comes to see a doctor. His book, co-authored with Dr. Christopher M Worsham, is “Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health.” 
7/13/202331 minutes, 5 seconds
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What we could learn from Vienna’s public housing

For a great example of public housing practices, look to Vienna, Austria. Francesca Mari, contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the way housing is set up in Vienna and why it’s become a model for building wealth and security for even low-income renters. Her article is “Imagine a Renters’ Utopia. It Might Look Like Vienna.” 
7/12/202330 minutes, 56 seconds
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What our quest for alien life says about humanity

The search for life in the universe helps reaffirm what it means to be human. Jaime Green is a science writer and series editor of The Best American Science and Nature Writing. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the science, even science fiction, that inspires astronomers to look for life in the cosmos and what it means for those of us living back on Earth. Her book is “The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos.” 
7/11/202331 minutes, 59 seconds
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Are we deluding ourselves about the value of travel?

If you need a souvenir from a great trip, was it all that memorable to begin with? Agnes Callard, associate professor in philosophy at the University of Chicago, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why our wanderlust might be just a panacea for staving off the hands of time and how we may need to rethink our global adventures. Her essay “The Case Against Travel” was published in The New Yorker. 
7/10/202346 minutes, 9 seconds
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The real beneficiaries of affirmative action

Affirmative action had been in place for decades, now schools must fine-tune the process. Bertrand Cooper joins host Krys Boyd to make the case that race-conscious admissions by universities frequently benefit students who are already from elite backgrounds and that it’s time to also consider socioeconomic status if we’re ever going to actually level the playing field. His article in The Atlantic is “The Failure of Affirmative Action.”
7/7/202346 minutes, 35 seconds
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How to keep going when it feels like you’re getting nowhere

Feeling stuck in life is common, but good news: There are tried and true strategies for greasing the wheels. Adam Alter is professor of marketing and the Stansky Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He also holds an affiliated professorship in social psychology at NYU’s psychology department. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the emotions, thoughts and behaviors that hold us back — and tricks for flourishing amid our anxiety. His book is “Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most.”
7/6/202330 minutes, 46 seconds
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How criminals do their banking

Billions of dollars are being stolen from individuals, businesses and governments … and banks are turning a blind eye. Kurt Eichenwald, senior investigative editor at The Conversation, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his reporting into sham bank accounts being opened by crime rings with real and fake identities and the large profits they make for financial institutions. His article written with David Maimon is called “Heists Worth Billions.”
7/5/202346 minutes, 45 seconds
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How South Korea became the beauty capital of the world

Whether you realize it or not, your beauty routine is very likely imported from South Korea. Elise Hu is a correspondent and host-at-large for NPR and host of TED Talks Daily. She joined host Krys Boyd to discuss K-beauty – which prioritizes perfection – its reach across the globe, and the consumerism that has crept into our very skin. Her book is “Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital.”
6/30/202329 minutes, 18 seconds
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Translating trauma for asylum seekers

Translating the credible fear interviews of asylum seekers means finding the language to accurately relay trauma. Alejandra Oliva is an essayist, translator and immigrant justice advocate, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her work as a translator on the border, how it relates to her life as a Mexican-American woman, and what it takes to actually become a U.S. citizen. Her book is “Rivermouth: A Chronicle of Language, Faith, and Migration.”
6/29/202331 minutes, 2 seconds
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Fixing what the Fair Housing Act didn’t

The Fair Housing Act recognized more than half a century ago that with redlining and racist policies, neighborhoods were never segregated by choice. Leah Rothstein is a consultant to affordable housing developers and local governments, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss solutions to alleviate inequalities that remain in communities to this day. Her book, written with her co-author and father Richard Rothstein, is called “Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law.”
6/28/202331 minutes
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Loathe small talk? You’re not alone

If you dread small talk and squirm in the corner at parties, the return to in-person get-togethers has probably been unwelcome. Julie Beck, senior editor at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how we can regain that pre-pandemic confidence in social situations. Her podcast is “How to Talk to People.”
6/27/202331 minutes, 45 seconds
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How a plan for hemp riches went up in smoke

6/26/202331 minutes, 38 seconds
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How old is too old to be president?

President Joe Biden is 80-years old, and he’s soon to ask the American people for four more years in office. Vanity Fair contributing editor Chris Smith joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways both Republican and Democratic strategists view President Biden’s age and how voters might assess his abilities. His article is “The Question of Joe Biden’s Age: ‘It’s a Legitimate Concern.'”
6/23/202330 minutes, 32 seconds
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The science of figuring out if ice cream is good for you

Good news: A bowl of ice cream might be good for you. And researchers are now trying to figure out why. David Merritt Johns is a journalist and public health historian, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the surprising results of studies about food that’s traditionally been considered off-limits, and what it says about scientific experimentation and unconscious bias baked into the system. His article published in The Atlantic is “Nutrition science’s most preposterous result.”
6/22/202330 minutes, 23 seconds
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Imagine growing up in the Ice Age

Finding fossils from the Ice Age is difficult; finding fossils of children in the Ice Age is next to impossible. April Nowell, Paleolithic archaeologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria in Canada, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the efforts to uncover the mysteries of childhood in the Ice Age, what raising children meant for evolution and society, and how archeologists attempt to find traces of the past. Her article in Aeon is “Children of the Ice Age.”
6/21/202331 minutes, 19 seconds
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Meet the eco-warriors fending off invasive plants

A lesser-discussed threat of climate change is the loss of biodiversity due to the encroachment of invasive species. Wired contributor Sonya Bennett-Brandt joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the plants that kill native flora and choke ecosystems – and the people who are dispatched to quell the spread. Her article is “The Secret Life of Plant Killers.”
6/20/202331 minutes, 22 seconds
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How to talk to your kid about weight

Even with cultural messaging about body positivity, talking to children about weight is still tricky. Journalist Virginia Sole-Smith joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss the ways we talk about bigger bodies, dieting and inclusion with kids – and about the pressures parents feel to get it right. Her book is “Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture.”
6/16/202330 minutes, 58 seconds
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We all hate open-space offices, so why are they still around?

You know who thinks open-office designs are a good idea? People with offices. Scientific American contributing editor George Musser joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how the open-office plan took off, the downsides its designers didn’t anticipate, and what a better office layout might look like. His article is “Fixing the Hated Open-Design Office.”
6/15/202330 minutes, 23 seconds
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Joy is made sweeter because we know pain

Sometimes joy can be found in moments of relief from life’s burdens. Ross Gay is an author and poet who teaches at Indiana University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his essay collection about finding meaning in bleak times to create compassion, hope, and to better connect to our shared humanity. His book is “Inciting Joy: Essays.”
6/14/202328 minutes, 35 seconds
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What makes big projects fail?

Some megaprojects, like the Empire State Building, are success stories while others, like Boston’s Big Dig, flop on a massive scale. Bent Flyvbjerg, First BT Professor at Oxford and VKR Professor at ITU, Copenhagen, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss grand-scale projects and why some become famous, while others become infamous. His book, co-written with journalist Dan Gardner, is “How Big Things Get Done: The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project, from Home Renovations to Space Exploration and Everything In Between.”
6/13/202330 minutes, 50 seconds
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The beauty of beetles

Insects can give us the creepy-crawlies, but they can also fascinate and spark innovation in the human world. Entomologist Arthur V. Evans joins host Krys Boyd for a primer on the world of beetles – some 400,000 species strong – their ability to survive, and their importance to ecosystems. His book is “The Lives of Beetles: A Natural History of Coleoptera.”
6/12/202329 minutes, 36 seconds
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It’s time to check in with your senses

Our eyes and ears do a lot of the heavy lifting to guide us through the world – what if we attempted to engage with all of our senses equally? Author Gretchen Rubin joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss her awaking to relearn how to see, taste, touch, smell, and hear, and why she found life richer and more fulfilling when she slowed down. Her book is “Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World.” 
6/9/202330 minutes, 14 seconds
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You don’t need the best of everything

We’re awash in a world of rankings – but is acquiring the best hair dryer or washing machine always worth the effort? Writer and critic Rachel Connolly joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the best-of lists we consume to make sense of our lives and how we use them to gain a false sense of control over a world with limitless choice. Her piece in The New York Times Opinion section is “The Tyranny of ‘the Best.”
6/8/202330 minutes, 5 seconds
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When bad people make great art

When great artists do very bad things, do we discard their work wholesale? Claire Dederer joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the lens #metoo has put on work created by flawed men, and how we balance our sense of morality and ethics with a love of what are widely considered masterpieces. Her book is “Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma.” 
6/7/202333 minutes, 3 seconds
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Your watery eyes don’t deceive you: Allergies are on the rise

With all the TV commercials for treatments for hay fever to eczema it’s clear that many people suffer from allergies. Theresa MacPhail is a medical anthropologist and associate professor of science and technology studies who researches and writes about global health, biomedicine and disease. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why allergies are getting worse and what the world’s best allergy clinicians are doing to combat them. Her book is “Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World.”
6/6/202331 minutes, 5 seconds
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You should schedule more time to do nothing with your friends

We are all scheduled to the gills, but actually setting aside time dedicated to nothing in particular is key to both maintaining relationships and your health. Sheila Liming teaches at Champlain College, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we need to ditch the calendars and find time to just sit with friends and strangers – and how that strategy is a potential solution to our epidemic of loneliness. Her book is “Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time.” 
6/5/202330 minutes, 6 seconds
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The alliances and rivalries of Cold War-era journalists

During the early years of the Cold War, the Washington press corps was quick to deliver the U.S. company line without much public skepticism. Kathryn J. McGarr is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why the media after WWII often presented a monolithic view of the world while keeping their readers and listeners in the dark about the truth. Her book is “City of Newsmen: Public Lies and Professional Secrets in Cold War Washington.”
6/2/202345 minutes, 48 seconds
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How toxic masculinity reads to a gay man

Models of macho masculinity are everywhere —but for young, gay men, are they meant to be how-to manuals or merely thirst traps? Manuel Betancourt is a queer culture writer and film critic, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his upbringing in Colombia and how that shaped his views on being a man and his deconstruction of modern male toxicity. His book is “The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me About (Desiring) Men.” 
6/1/202331 minutes, 26 seconds
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Deception is a part of our nature (and nature itself)

Nature is full of imposters – from animals that impersonate other animals down to genes and even individual cells that get by through dishonest means. Lixing Sun is a distinguished research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Central Washington University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the role of deceit in the lives of plants and animals. His book is called “The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars: Cheating and Deception in the Living World.”
5/31/202345 minutes, 12 seconds
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The many identities of Gen Z

Gen Z-ers are more likely to identify as gender fluid, trans or nonbinary than older generations. The question is: Why? Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the various theories as to why this generation seems more comfortable with an array of identities. Her book is “Generations: The Real Difference Between Gen Z, Millenials, Gen X, Boomers and the Silent Generation.”
5/30/202332 minutes, 41 seconds
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Our dark moods have a lot to teach us

We all go through dark periods – it’s an experience that connects us as humans. Mariana Alessandri is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about reorienting out mindsets so that we don’t feel bad about feeling bad and instead interpret our suffering as a sign that we’re sensitive and in touch to the world around us. Her book is “Night Vision: Seeing Ourselves through Dark Moods.”
5/26/202330 minutes, 46 seconds
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You’ve only got one life – here’s how to make the most of it

Some of the simplest questions have the most complex answers. Among them: What makes a good life? Ryan McAnnally-Linz is associate director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how we can assess our daily lives to discern if we’re making the most of the time we have – and about how we can right the ship if we’ve strayed off course. His book, written with Miroslav Volf and Matthew Croasmun, is “Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most.”
5/26/202331 minutes, 12 seconds
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Workplace bullies and how you can stop them

Bullying, unfortunately, doesn’t end when we leave the playground. Megan Carle is founder of Carle Consulting LLC, where she gives workshops on handling workplace bullying. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about why bullies act the way they do and how we can keep them from derailing our careers. Her book is “Walk Away to Win: A Playbook to Combat Workplace Bullying.”
5/24/202330 minutes, 1 second
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Facing an ethical dilemma? Here’s some help

Our daily lives are filled with ethical dilemmas – from what we eat to where we shop and how we move about the world. As the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, Peter Singer thinks about these conundrums for a living. He joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how we can make choices that lead to what he calls “maximum good.” Singer is the author of numerous books, including “Animal Liberation Now: The Definitive Classic Renewed” and “Ethics in the Real World: 90 Essays on Things That Matter.”
5/23/202331 minutes, 5 seconds
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If you can’t tell if a purse is a knockoff, does it matter?

As the prices for luxury goods rise, so does the shadow industry happy to fill the demand for cheaper knockoffs. Amy X. Wang is assistant managing editor of The New York Times Magazine, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the market for imitation purses, shoes and other hot items – and about how it’s increasingly tough to tell the difference between the fakes and the genuine article. Her story “Inside the Delirious Rise of ‘Superfake’ Handbags” appears in The New York Times Magazine.
5/22/202333 minutes, 21 seconds
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What happens if we don’t raise the debt ceiling

The nation faces a default of its debts as soon as June 1. Robert Hockett is a professor of law at Cornell University, an adjunct professor of finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a senior counsel at Westwood Capital. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the repercussions of a debt default and the political and legal maneuvers available to avoid it. His New York Times Opinion piece is “This Is What Would Happen if Biden Ignores the Debt Ceiling and Calls McCarthy’s Bluff.”
5/19/202330 minutes, 5 seconds
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Does it matter how long we work if it all gets done?

There’s a reason a Slack notification can trigger anxiety — these days WFH means not a moment off. Fred Turner is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University and a 2022 Guggenheim fellow. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the established workday patterns that the pandemic upended – and how workers can wrestle back control of the clock from their employers. His article in the New York Times is “You Call This ‘Flexible Work’?”
5/18/202331 minutes, 25 seconds
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What’s up with inflation? Check tire prices

A nail in your tire isn’t just a pain to repair but a potentially devastating financial hit when the bill comes due. Michael Grabell is a senior editor with ProPublica. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the rise in tire prices — 21.4 percent over the last two years — and how tires offer a window into stubborn inflation and supply-chain issues that continue to hamper the global economy. His article is “Overinflated: The Journey of a Humble Tire Reveals Why Prices Are Still So High.”
5/17/202328 minutes, 48 seconds
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Gun sellers peddle more than just weapons

Defending the 2nd Amendment is one of the bedrocks of conservative politics – to the point that gun culture and conservative culture are nearly one and the same. Jennifer Carlson is associate professor of sociology and of government and public policy at the University of Arizona. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her in-depth interviews with gun sellers to better understand how they market a certain brand of American individualism – and we’ll hear about the rise in gun ownership among liberals. Her book is “Merchants of the Right: Gun Sellers and the Crisis of American Democracy.”
5/16/202332 minutes, 52 seconds
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The superpowers of sensitive people

Like introversion, being highly sensitive offers extraordinary and under-appreciated traits. Jenn Granneman, author and founder of online communities Sensitive Refuge and Introvert, Dear, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the joys of sensitivity, from creativity to intelligence, and offers ways for the sensitive to navigate through a harsh world. Her book, written with co-author Andre Sólo, is “Sensitive: The Hidden Power of the Highly Sensitive Person in a Loud, Fast, Too-Much World.”
5/15/202328 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why do we still judge women who don’t have kids?

Women who choose not to have children are not abnormal. Peggy O’Donnell Heffington is an instructional professor of history at the University of Chicago, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the many reasons women live childless – from infertility to lack of social support to a desire to live a different life than society prescribes. Her book is “Without Children: The Long History of Not Being a Mother.”
5/12/202346 minutes, 1 second
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It’s giving linguistics: How young people slay English

For some people, using slang is, like, not the vibe. But for others, it’s hella easy to embrace in everyday life. Valerie Fridland is a professor of linguistics in the English department at the University of Nevada, Reno. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why she thinks we should embrace our changing language — slang, vocal fry, and all — and celebrate its ingenuity. Her book is “Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English.”
5/11/202333 minutes, 1 second
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We need more research on women athletes

To be an elite athlete, you need to follow the latest science and training routines — which, unfortunately, are built for men. Journalist Christine Yu joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the gender gap in sports science and how the rise in women’s athletics is finally changing the game. Her book is “Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes.”
5/10/202328 minutes, 8 seconds
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The myth of American self-reliance

There’s an American myth that with enough self-determination we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps in hard times. Alissa Quart, executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we’ve put so much effort into the ethos of DIY independence, and the need for a larger social safety net to address poverty. Her book is “Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream.”
5/10/202332 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Holocaust education misses

Holocaust education was brought about to battle antisemitism, but perhaps there’s more that could be done. Dara Horn joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why focusing on the atrocities of WWII hasn’t stopped growing antisemitism today – and to offer ways we need to expand education about Jewish life to combat it. Her article published in The Atlantic is called “Is Holocaust Education Making Anti-Semitism Worse?”
5/8/202331 minutes, 55 seconds
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Pregnant people deserve better

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate compared to the world’s wealthy nations. Host Krys Boyd and guest host Courtney Collins talk with journalists about how pregnant women in the U.S. are facing a health crisis. They’ll discuss the complications of navigating pregnancy as an immigrant or without health insurance, and how Covid-19 has caused even more challenges to maternal health care.
5/5/202345 minutes, 5 seconds
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The tech that could change babymaking

In Japan, scientists created baby mice from a mouse’s tail cells — and they were perfectly healthy. New Yorker staff writer Emily Witt joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the quest to move beyond IVF to IVG – a process that involves using nonreproductive cells to produce offspring – and the potential for same-sex couples to each be biologically related to their child. Her article is “Fertile Ground.”
5/4/202334 minutes, 46 seconds
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Are we over Twitter?

Twitter revolutionized how we communicate; it also might’ve broken human interaction. Willy Staley is story editor for The New York Times Magazine, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Twitter beyond Elon Musk’s takeover, how it’s changed how we talk with one another over the last 15 years, and if it’s all been worth it. His article is “What Was Twitter, Anyway?”
5/3/202333 minutes, 9 seconds
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The purr-plexing evolution of cats

House cats are more akin to wild animals than dogs are (something cat owners already know). Jonathan B. Losos, evolutionary biologist at Washington University and the founding director of the Living Earth Collaborative, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the evolution of our feline friends and explore the relationship we humans have with Felis catus. His book is “The Cat’s Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savanna to Your Sofa.”
5/2/202331 minutes, 20 seconds
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The case for letting children vote

Ending child labor at the beginning of the last century allowed children more room to grow – but there’s still work to be done. Drexel University law professor Adam Benforado joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why cracks in public education and juvenile justice have left children vulnerable, and why making kids a policy priority bodes well for all our futures. His book is “A Minor Revolution: How Prioritizing Kids Benefits Us All.”
5/1/202332 minutes, 3 seconds
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The science, culture, and history of periods

Half the world has a menstrual cycle, and yet it’s still greatly misunderstood. Kate Clancy, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the science of periods, reproductive health, and the ways we hide this simple fact of nature from daily life. Her book is “Period: The Real Story of Menstruation.”
4/28/202334 minutes, 59 seconds
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There have always been trans people in Texas

Texas lawmakers have filed 30 bills targeting trans rights this legislative session. April Ortiz is a writer, artist and professor, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss coming out as transgender in the face of discrimination and the hate she feels in her home state, and why living in Uvalde strengthened her resolve to tell her story. Her essay, “I am a trans Texan,” was published by the Texas Observer.
4/26/202332 minutes, 59 seconds
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Untangling the true story of a scandalous shipwreck

In the 1740s, a shipwreck produced stories of heroes and mutineers — but who was telling the truth? New Yorker staff writer David Grann joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a British warship called the Wager, which wrecked in Patagonia, and the conflicting stories of its surviving castaways. And that was just the beginning of the chaos! Grann’s new book is “The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder.”
4/25/202343 minutes, 21 seconds
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Studying the universe before there was light

No matter how many galaxies astrophysicists can see, when it comes to understanding the early days of the universe they are still in the dark. Emma Chapman is a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Nottingham. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the 100 million years missing from the timeline of the universe, and efforts to uncover the secrets of the stars. Her book is “First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time.”
4/25/202329 minutes, 58 seconds
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You know your rights, what about your obligations?

In these politically divided times, it can be hard to come to a consensus on what makes a good citizen. Richard Haas, president of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why rights alone will not guide the country into a unified future, and why we must ask what democracy requires of us to make it work. His new book is “The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens.”
4/24/202328 minutes, 19 seconds
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From the archives: Why you don’t know that people of color were some of the first environmentalists

Marginalized communities often feel the impact of climate change the most. Leah Thomas, founder of The Intersectional Environmentalist climate justice collective, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the links between racism, environmentalism and privilege and to offer ways to have underrepresented voices heard in climate policy discussions. Her book is “The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet.”
4/21/202345 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why so many adults feel traumatized by their adoption

The prevailing narrative is that adult adoptees should be grateful, which ignores the deep trauma that adoption can create. New Yorker staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar joins host Krys Boyd to tell the stories of adult adoptees grappling with their feelings of transracial adoption, international placement and even adoptions that on the outside look like a perfect fit. Her article is called “The Fog.”
4/20/202331 minutes
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It won’t be easy getting Evan Gershkovich back from the Russians

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained by Russia last month and accused of espionage – further eroding U.S.-Russian relations. Warren P. Strobel covers intelligence and security in the Journal’s Washington bureau, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the very tricky road ahead to secure Gershkovich’s release. His article is “Evan Gershkovich’s Arrest Marks a New Era of Hostage Diplomacy.”
4/19/202327 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why fictional villains are often portrayed as disabled

From disabilities to disfigurements, fictionalized villains are reflections of an ableist worldview. Jan Grue, a professor at the University of Oslo and himself disabled, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss villains from Disney to 007 – and how these portrayals of people with disabilities spread harmful ideas. His article, “The disabled villain: why sensitivity reading can’t kill off this ugly trope,” was published by The Guardian.
4/18/202334 minutes
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Is your intelligence about nature or nurture?

Intelligence is better measured across a spectrum, rather than with a simple IQ test. Rina Bliss, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her work in epigenetics, working to understand how human intelligence grows and changes in response to our surroundings. Her book is “Rethinking Intelligence: A Radical New Understanding of Our Human Potential.”
4/17/202335 minutes, 8 seconds
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How learning a new skill helps you appreciate mastery

Thousands took up sourdough baking during the pandemic, but how many actually mastered it? New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what it takes to master a skill and to explain why the real benefit comes not in becoming a virtuoso but, rather, in just forcing your brain to try something hard. His book is “The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery.”
4/14/202331 minutes, 11 seconds
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The year before your kid moves away to college is a big deal

Like countless others, Mary Louise Kelly juggles the demands of a career with motherhood. The host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her memoir, which centers on her sons’ final years of high school and her realization that once they graduate, their daily family time spent together is likely at an end. Her book is “It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs.”
4/13/202333 minutes, 55 seconds
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The trauma of slavery did not end with Emancipation

Emancipation freed enslaved people, but it didn’t do much to help them succeed. Kidada E. Williams is an associate professor of history at Wayne State University. She joins host Krys Boyd to tell the stories of people trying to rebuild their lives after slavery, and how for many life was just as difficult in the years that followed. Her book is “I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction.”
4/12/202333 minutes, 41 seconds
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The surprising musicality of animals

A love of music connects us as people – but did you ever stop to think that animals might have a favorite song, too? New Yorker staff writer Burkhard Bilger joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his profile of neuroscientist and musician David Sulzer, who is trying to define what music is, exactly, and how studying animals’ connection to music is helping in that pursuit.  His article is “The Wild World of Music.”
4/11/202329 minutes, 44 seconds
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Want to strengthen your brain? Learn another language

Higher brain function might be as easy as learning to say “hello” in several different languages. Viorica Marian is Ralph and Jean Sundin Endowed Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and professor of psychology at Northwestern University. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why she believes we all have the capacity to be multi-lingual and how that effects the ways we perceive the world. Her book is "The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds."
4/10/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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Where are flying cars? Predicting future technology

“Futurist” sounds like a fairly new job title, but previous generations were full of people writing about their educated guesses of what was to come. Yale neurologist Dr. Steven Novella is one of America’s foremost scientific skeptics, and he joins host Krys Boyd for a look at what earlier futurists got right and what they missed in order to better fine-tune our current predictions. His book is “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Future: What Yesterday’s Science and Science Fiction Tell Us About the World of Tomorrow.”
4/7/202330 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why do you care so much about your job?

Our approach to work is ever-evolving – from where we physically do our jobs to the meaning we derive from our careers. Derek Thompson writes about our work lives for The Atlantic, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how everything from mass automation to a global pandemic has many of us rethinking how we spend those 40+ hours a week. The new collection of his writing about work is called “On Work: Money, Meaning, Identity.”
4/6/202329 minutes, 52 seconds
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We’re doing the wrong things to fix poverty

How can a country as rich as the United States have so many people living at or below the poverty line? Sociologist Matthew Desmond won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for his book “Evicted,” and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his follow-up investigation, which centers on the idea that affluent Americans in ways known and unknown keep poor people poor. Desmond’s new book is “Poverty, by America.”
4/5/202331 minutes, 34 seconds
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The story of a recovering foodie

Many of us have a passion for good food and drink – but what happens when your high standards lead to disappointment more often than pleasure? Dan Ahdoot is a stand-up comic and restaurateur, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how his foodie obsessions took a toll on his happiness and relationships and how he finally learned to let go of the pursuit of perfection. He’s the author of “Undercooked: How I Let Food Become My Life Navigator and How Maybe That’s a Dumb Way to Live.”
4/4/202333 minutes, 56 seconds
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Will new weight loss drugs change fat-shaming culture?

To drop a dress size or two, some celebrities and other wealthy people are turning to prescriptions designed for very heavy people to lose significant weight. Jia Tolentino is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how – with enough money – it’s easy for anyone to get their hands on these drugs – and how people who take them might underestimate the health risks. Her article is “The Ozempic Era.”
4/3/202330 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ari Shapiro on journalism, music and being human

Ari Shapiro, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, has stories to tell from his years in journalism. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his new memoir, a collection of essays that tell poignant stories ranging from his time on Air Force One, to fleeing with Syrian refugees, to performing cabaret with Alan Cumming. It’s called “The Best Strangers in the World: Stories from a Life Spent Listening.”
3/31/202345 minutes, 52 seconds
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The mental health effects of caring for dementia patients

Often, the challenge for caring with those with forms of dementia is trying to understand the loss of time and context of one’s mind. Dasha Kiper is consulting clinical director of support groups at CaringKind (formerly the Alzheimer’s Association). She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the disconnect between the healthy mind of a caregiver and the ailing mind of a patient, and the counterproductive ways we try to help but cause harm instead. Her book is “Travelers to Unimaginable Lands: Stories of Dementia, the Caregiver, and the Human Brain.”
3/30/202333 minutes, 32 seconds
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Making U.S. cities more pedestrian-friendly is an uphill battle

The pandemic lockdown emptied roadways of cars and provided a brief look at what cities could look like with less-congested streets. Reis Thebault is a West Coast correspondent for The Washington Post. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the battles cities are waging to permanently ban cars in certain places in order to create public spaces for walkers and bicyclists, and why this is a watershed moment for the future of public works. His article is “Inside the movement to remake America’s city streets.”
3/29/202331 minutes, 32 seconds
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Unscrambling the science and history of eggs

The simple egg is a universal symbol of power and nourishment. Designer and author Lizzie Stark joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history and culture of eggs – from world cuisine to motherhood – and how we’re still awed by such a humble object. Her book is “Egg: A Dozen Ovatures.”
3/28/202334 minutes, 46 seconds
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From the Archive: The jobs used to deny disability benefits are stuck in 1977

The Social Security Administration is using decades-old job data to bar applicants from disability benefits. Lisa Rein covers federal agencies and the management of government in the Biden administration for The Washington Post. She joins host Krys Boyd to detail how the administration has spent $250 million to modernize its vocational services but still uses outdated market data to determine benefits for 15 million people. Her article is “Social Security denies disability benefits based on list with jobs from 1977.” This episode originally aired on January 18, 2023
3/27/202345 minutes, 36 seconds
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Plenty of people hear voices nobody else can hear

Have you ever felt like another being was near you even when you were completely alone? Ben Alderson-Day is an associate professor of psychology and a fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Durham University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the psychology and neuroscience of feeling watched or hearing voices as he tries to unravel a phenomenon felt by people the world over. His book is “Presence: The Strange Science and True Stories of the Unseen Other.”
3/24/202334 minutes, 11 seconds
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Is the state too quick to remove children from their families?

When a murder-suicide of parents and six children occurred in California, questions about the foster care and adoption system were raised. Journalist Roxanna Asgarian joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the family that adopted those children from the foster system in Texas, and why checks and balances on child removal from birth families aren’t as thorough as they should be. Her book is “We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America.”
3/23/202332 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why an online community for exchanging free stuff became controversial

The Buy Nothing movement started as a way to share items between strangers. The trouble came when corporations wanted in. Wired contributing writer Vauhini Vara joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the founders of The Buy Nothing Project, Inc, a movement with fervent followers that were mad when the platform went to an app backed by investors, and the questions that raises about what makes something called free, actually free. Her article is “The Battle for the Soul of Buy Nothing.”
3/22/202333 minutes, 51 seconds
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The big business of blood: Exploitation in the plasma industry

Twenty-million people sell their plasma each year, and the most vulnerable populations are usually the first in line. Journalist Kathleen McLaughlin joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her own journey with an auto-immune disease and her research into where blood plasma really comes from – a journey through the for-profit blood industry that stretches all the way to China. Her book is “Blood Money: The Story of Life, Death, and Profit Inside America’s Blood Industry.”
3/21/202331 minutes, 45 seconds
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Technology has racial biases—and its human developers are responsible

Implicit bias is a problem for humans, and humans are programming it into computer algorithms. Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why net neutrality is a myth, the racism and ableism built into systems, and why A.I. needs more diverse human role models. Her book is “More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech.”
3/21/202332 minutes, 7 seconds
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What if we didn’t think of time as money

Our days are marked by appointments dictated by the clock. What would happen if we just walked away? Artist and author Jenny Odell joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why she believes our clock-watching is tied to for-profit goals and not the reality of nature, and to offer ways to slow down and take in the beauty of the true rhythms of life. Her book is “Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock.”
3/17/202346 minutes, 44 seconds
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The mysteries of memory and how to improve it

Memory is key to who we are and, yet forgetting is so common. Boston University School of Medicine neurology professor Andrew E. Budson joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his work studying memory, how to control what you remember and how diet plays into this ability. His book, with co-author Elizabeth A. Kensinger, is “Why We Forget and How to Remember Better: The Science Behind Memory.”
3/16/202330 minutes, 5 seconds
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Does being an American kill your ancestral culture?

Ethnocide refers to a systematic erasure of an ancestral culture. Barrett Holmes Pitner, founder of The Sustainable Culture Lab, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why Black Americans have faced ethnocide since the beginning of the slave trade, why the post-Trump world has spotlighted this issue further, and the way it continues to shape the future. His book is “The Crime Without a Name: Ethnocide and the Erasure of Culture in America.”
3/15/202332 minutes, 28 seconds
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Meet your new AI shrink

The next job for sophisticated chatbots might be to stand in for mental health professionals. Dhruv Khullar is a contributing writer at The New Yorker and a physician and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the shortage in the mental health field and the development of predictive algorithms that promise to spot suicidal triggers. His article is “Talking to Ourselves.”
3/14/202336 minutes, 5 seconds
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Cities are full of wildlife, if you know where to look

Urban landscapes are spreading throughout the globe, pushing nature out. Ben Wilson joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the modern quest for biodiversity within cities, how ancient civilizations lived alongside grasslands and rivers, and what we can do to reclaim green spaces. His book is “Urban Jungle: The History and Future of Nature in the City.”
3/13/202335 minutes
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From the Archive: The late Judith Heumann on her 50-year fight for disability rights

Judith Heumann has used a wheelchair since childhood – which forced her to fight for her right to an education. And that was just the beginning of her activism for disabled rights. Today, she’s an internationally recognized leader in the Disability Rights Independent Living Movement who served in the Clinton and Obama administrations and was the World Bank’s first adviser on disability and development. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her life’s work, the lawsuits and sit-ins that changed history for people with disabilities, and what it means to rebel against entrenched norms and win. Her book, co-authored with Kristen Joiner, is “Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution.” This episode originally aired on June 17, 2021.
3/10/202345 minutes, 46 seconds
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From the Archive: The impossible expectations on American mothers

The perfect mother on TikTok or Instagram is a far cry from the reality of motherhood off the screen. Jessica Grose is an opinion writer at The New York Times who writes the newsletter On Parenting, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what successful parenting really looks like, from her own stories of pregnancy and child-rearing to the societal expectations we have for parents. Her book is called “Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood.” This episode originally aired on January 11, 2023.
3/9/202345 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why governments have such a hard time hiring

The nationwide shortage of police officers has made headlines, but cities are struggling to recruit for jobs of all types. Daphne Duret is a staff writer for The Marshall Project. She joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss why jobs from garbage collectors to first responders are falling out of favor, and what’s being done to boost numbers. Her article is “It’s Not Just a Police Problem, Americans Are Opting Out of Government Jobs.”
3/8/202346 minutes, 6 seconds
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What veterinarians do for pet parents

Veterinarians might not care for humans, but they still tend to members of the family. Karen Fine is a veterinarian working in Massachusetts, and she joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss her dream to become a vet and the lessons she’s learned about care, life and heartbreak along the way. Her book is “The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality.”
3/7/202346 minutes, 9 seconds
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Chatbots say wild things, and they learn it from us

Chatbots are becoming more sophisticated and are better able to mimic human speech. That can be exciting … and problematic. Washington Post tech reporter Gerrit De Vynck joins host Krys Boyd to break down what’s next for this new technology. His article is “Microsoft’s AI chatbot is going off the rails.”
3/6/202333 minutes, 24 seconds
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Psych lessons from one of Yale’s most popular classes

The field of psychology mines the depths of our personalities, but it also says a lot about brain function, too. Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the science of the mind, from nature vs. nurture, to what these insights can tell us about the most hot-button topics of our time. His book is “Psych: The Story of the Human Mind.”
3/3/202333 minutes, 53 seconds
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David Cross on why he’ll never stop doing stand-up

David Cross is known for his razor-sharp wit and commentary. The performer, writer, producer, Emmy Award winner and two-time Grammy Award nominee joins host Krys Boyd to talk about his new show that plumbs topics like raising children in America, cops and abortion, and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. His show, which is touring in 40 cities across North America, is “David Cross: Worst Daddy in the World.”
3/2/202337 minutes, 14 seconds
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Are celebrities pandering to queer fans with gender-fluid style?

With new standards of gender fluidity, dressing in femme styles is en vogue—but is it co-opting gay culture? Mark Harris, a contributor to T: The New York Times Style magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Gen Z’s approach to sexuality through fashion, and the questions it raises about LGBTQ labeling and identity. His article is “Is Celebrity ‘Queer Baiting’ Really Such a Crime?“
3/1/202334 minutes, 10 seconds
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Staying athletic as you age is a mental game

Don’t let middle age stop you from pushing your physical boundaries. Steven Kotler, Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his quest to keep his mental and competitive edge with trick skiing, and talks about the benefits of testing your limits. His book “Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad.”
2/28/202331 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to have police reform and lower crime rates, too

After the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, there were ample calls for reckoning in law enforcement. Neil Gross, professor of sociology at Colby College, is a former patrol officer in the police department in Berkeley, California. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how three police departments have taken on reform efforts, trying to change police culture from the inside to view justice from a new lens. His book is “Walk the Walk: How Three Police Chiefs Defied the Odds and Changed Cop Culture.”
2/27/202330 minutes, 56 seconds
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From the archives: The true history of lie detector tests

The polygraph was heralded as an infallible way to detect a criminal, but soon after, controversy arrived. Writer and director Rob Rapley joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the invention of what is known as the lie detector test, its uses and abuses, and how it’s used today. His American Experience film, “The Lie Detector,” is available on PBS streaming apps. This episode originally aired on January 10, 2023.
2/24/202347 minutes, 55 seconds
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Menopause doesn’t have to be this bad

Women have suffered through hot flashes and hormone fluxes thinking there was no help for symptoms of menopause. New York Times Magazine staff writer Susan Dominus joins host Krys Boyd to talk about hormone therapy, which was once regularly prescribed but now is rarely used following a flawed study that doctors are hesitant to move past. Her article is “Women Have Been Misled About Menopause.”
2/23/202333 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why freedom of speech is not absolute

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but that protection isn’t absolute. Dennis Baron, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss times when employers, schools and, yes, the government have the authority to curtail what you say. His book is “You Can’t Always Say What You Want: The Paradox of Free Speech.”
2/22/202329 minutes, 41 seconds
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From the Archives: Mourning a loved one is complicated by suicide

After her mother’s suicide, Laura Trujillo faced a reckoning. Trujillo is managing editor for Life and Entertainment at USA Today, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the shock she faced when her mother took her own life, the dark secret she had to plumb to move forward, and where she ultimately found peace. Her book is “Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal.” This podcast was originally aired on August 15th, 2022.
2/21/202345 minutes, 29 seconds
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Presidents come and go, but Putin remains

Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, but Vladimir Putin’s provocations toward the West have been ongoing for decades. Frontline filmmaker Michael Kirk joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Putin’s relationship to not only President Biden, but to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The PBS Frontline documentary “Putin and the Presidents” is now streaming at PBS.org.
2/20/202346 minutes, 7 seconds
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The lies you’ve heard about fat people

In an era of increased sensitivity to everyone’s personal experience, anti-fat bias remains an openly pervasive form of discrimination. Aubrey Gordon writes under the pseudonym of “Your Fat Friend,” is co-host of the Maintenance Phase podcast and a columnist with Self magazine. She joins host Krys Boyd to debunk myths about fat people’s health and the ease of losing weight in order to further fat acceptance and fat justice in this country. Her book is “’You Just Need to Lose Weight’ and 19 Other Myths About Fat People.”
2/17/202334 minutes, 17 seconds
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If you needed asylum, who would believe you?

No matter how closely you stick to the truth, it only really matters if the person you’re talking to believes you. Dina Nayeri is on faculty at the University of St Andrews, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how trust is codified in boardrooms, hospitals, the asylum process and elsewhere – and the relationship between trust and privilege. Her book is “Who Gets Believed? When the Truth Isn’t Enough.”
2/16/202334 minutes, 2 seconds
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You have to work on platonic relationships, too

Forging and maintaining adult friendships requires a lot of self-reflection and work. Author Christie Tate joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a dear friendship she developed in recovery as she examined her hang-ups and deepest fears, leading her to personal breakthroughs. Her book is “B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found.”
2/15/202333 minutes, 20 seconds
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The early history of hip-hop

Fifty years ago, a DJ spun some records in an unconventional way at a back-to-school party and created an art form that dominates pop music today. Hasan Jeffries is associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss hip-hop’s birth in the Bronx and its dual identities of both protest music and party music. Hasan was a consultant for and is featured in the documentary series “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World,” which airs this month on PBS.
2/14/202345 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why identity conversations are so uncomfortable

Conversations about race, gender and sexuality can be tricky—but they don’t have to be. Kenji Yoshino is Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law and the faculty director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss practical tools for approaching discussions about equity and identity, with ideas to help members of marginalized communities speak up. His book, co-written with David Glasgow, is “Say the Right Thing: How to Talk About Identity, Diversity, and Justice.”
2/13/202332 minutes, 3 seconds
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You’ll probably get fooled—learn to live with it

P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute — and we’re all worried we’ll be the next one. University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Tess Wilkinson-Ryan joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why our fear of being duped affects decision-making and how we can rethink our trust in one another. Her book is “Fool Proof: How Fear of Playing the Sucker Shapes Ourselves and the Social Order―and What We Can Do About It.”
2/10/202330 minutes, 47 seconds
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When you suspend students, they might not come back

Punishing kids for being late to school often means students won’t show up to school again at all. Tara García Mathewson is a reporter covering inequality and innovation in K-12 education and oversees coverage for Hechinger en Español as the languages editor. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how suspensions for missing class have resulted in higher dropout rates, lower college attendance, even involvement with the criminal justice system. Her report, “Education Suspended,” is a collaboration between The Hechinger Report and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.
2/9/202331 minutes, 52 seconds
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We’re closer to the end of the world than we’ve ever been

The Doomsday Clock, which counts down how close humanity is to total destruction, is now at 90 seconds to midnight. Rachel Bronson is president and CEO of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which recently updated the clock. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the factors that have ticked us closer to disaster – from the war in Ukraine to Covid and climate change – and the ways we can still intervene to stave off danger.
2/8/202332 minutes, 19 seconds
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What TV and books get wrong about women

Cultural expectations for women run deep and are highly controlled. Sophie Gilbert is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and she joins host Krys Boyd to Western beauty standards and how the portrayal of women characters in books, movies and television affects the lives of women in the real world. Her book is called “On Womanhood: Bodies, Literature, Choice.”
2/7/202333 minutes, 39 seconds
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Would you trust Elon Musk with your life?

What does the chaos surrounding Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter say about his approach to building cars at Tesla? Christopher Cox, an editor at New York magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the risks Musk is taking as Tesla develops self-driving technology and what his management approach means for the rest of us. Cox’s article for The New York Times Magazine is “Elon Musk’s Appetite for Destruction.”
2/6/202332 minutes, 23 seconds
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What it's like to be a puppy

Between housetraining and playtime, the first year of a puppy’s life is also marked by a burgeoning personality. Alexandra Horowitz, senior research fellow and head of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, Columbia University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her observations of her own puppy, Quid, and the major milestones dogs make in the first year of their lives. Her book is “The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves.”
2/3/202333 minutes, 18 seconds
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The role of your brain in long Covid

Long Covid has real symptoms but isn’t always detected by medical tests. Natalie Shure of The New Republic joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why long Covid is confounding doctors and may well have a psychological component that shouldn’t be overlooked. Her article is “We Might Have Long Covid All Wrong.”
2/2/202330 minutes, 56 seconds
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From the archives: We need to start paying attention to boys’ problems

In the quest for gender equality, it’s easy to overlook that many men have not fared well in recent years. Richard V. Reeves is director of the Boys and Men Project for the Brookings Institution. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss ground lost in the classroom and workplace for boys and men, and about how helping men doesn’t mean giving up on gender equality. His book is “Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It.” This episode originally aired on September 26, 2022.
2/1/202344 minutes, 8 seconds
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The U.S. wasn’t founded on free markets

The idea that what’s good for corporations is what’s good for Americans has its roots in early 20th Century ideology. Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science at Harvard and author of “The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market.” She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the public relations campaigns designed to crush regulations and unions. Her essay “The Magic of the Marketplace,” written with Erik M. Conway, is included in “Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past.”
1/31/202332 minutes, 52 seconds
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Could Big Tech have stopped January 6?

The Jan. 6 committee hearings were a highly produced public display, but they largely left out how social media was used to organize the insurrection. Cat Zakrzewski is a technology policy reporter at The Washington Post. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the political pitfalls the committee faced when confronting the pivotal role of social media, and why it’s so hard to regulate big tech. Her article is called “What the Jan. 6 probe found out about social media but didn’t report.”
1/30/202342 minutes, 19 seconds
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How to experience moments of awe every day

One emotion is unlike any other in that it can connect us with humans and nature alike: awe. Dacher Keltner is professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and the faculty director of UC-Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a relatively new field of research studying awe, how it can transform the mind and body, and his own personal experiences with it. His book is “Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.”
1/27/202335 minutes, 50 seconds
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Some of the greatest minds in history were autistic

The same traits that make autism a social and neurological challenge might also lead to great discoveries. Simon Baron-Cohen is professor of developmental psychopathology and director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why he believes innovation comes with certain brain patterns and why it’s time to celebrate those who think differently. His book, now out in paperback, is “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention.”
1/26/202334 minutes, 19 seconds
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From Star Trek to Star Wars: Our obsession with space

“To infinity … and beyond!” “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” The wonder of space has fueled movies and television shows for decades. Margaret A. Weitekamp is chair of the space history department at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where she curates the Social and Cultural History of Spaceflight Collection. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how popular culture has tapped into our fascination with space – from Star Trek and Star Wars to Buck Rogers and Buzz Lightyear. Her book is “Space Craze: America’s Enduring Fascination with Real and Imagined Spaceflight.”
1/25/202333 minutes, 13 seconds
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Cutting people off from opioids may not be the solution

Reducing the use of addictive opioids is a noble goal, but people in pain still need help. Maia Szalavitz is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss policies that keep chronic pain patients from accessing their drugs and where they turn when prescriptions aren’t an option. Her article is “Entire Body Is Shaking’: Why Americans With Chronic Pain Are Dying.”
1/24/202328 minutes, 54 seconds
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The border is about more than undocumented immigration

The U.S.-Mexico border is about much more than just heated immigration policy. Geraldo Cadava, professor of history and Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the many symbiotic ways the United States and Mexico work together and why misinformation is distracting from the bigger picture. His essay “The Border” appears in “Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past.”
1/23/202330 minutes, 22 seconds
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From the archives: Why does the government care about labeling your gender?

A person’s sex designation on official documents has a lot to do with the state they live in. Paisley Currah is professor of political science and women’s & gender studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the category of “sex” on government documents and what that says about the future of transgender rights. His book is “Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity.” This episode originally aired on August 16, 2022.
1/20/202344 minutes, 9 seconds
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The new Gold Rush? Prospecting solar power

In the rapidly expanding solar industry, a lack of oversight has some crying foul. Harper’s contributor Hillary Angelo joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Nye County, Nevada, where 20,000 acres of public land have been earmarked for solar-farm construction—a potential weapon against climate change that also threatens the local ecology, and angers neighbors. Her Harper’s article is called “Boomtown.”
1/19/202333 minutes, 47 seconds
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How you can stop wasting food

One lesser-discussed strategy to fight climate change: clean your plate. Susan Shain is a reporting fellow for Headway, a section of The New York Times. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how food waste is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as commercial aviation, and how one public awareness campaign in Ohio is taking on the battle and winning. Her article is “How Central Ohio Got People to Eat Their Leftovers.”
1/18/202334 minutes, 34 seconds
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How our attention warps American politics

Social media can act as a sounding board for issues in American politics, and it can also add to those problems. Megan Garber, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the media landscape that has brought us to this divided point in American history, and how our desire to be constantly entertained feeds into the cycle. Her Atlantic Editions book is “On Misdirection: Magic, Mayhem, American Politics.”
1/17/202335 minutes, 23 seconds
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Why you should be scheduling time for fun

Of all the things on our daily to-do list, one thing most of us probably leave off is: Have fun. Mike Rucker, organizational psychologist and charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why adding fun back into the daily grind will make you more productive and lead to a happier life. His book is “The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life.”
1/13/202333 minutes, 14 seconds
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Do your friends hold the key to your happiness?

The research is pretty clear that to live a happy life, we’ve got to connect deeply with other people. Robert Waldinger is professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development at Massachusetts General Hospital and cofounder of the Lifespan Research Foundation. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why friendships, marriages, even book groups, form the basis for a more meaningful existence, and why it’s never too late to form new, lasting bonds. His book, written with co-author Marc Schulz, is called “The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.”
1/12/202335 minutes, 28 seconds
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What Dry January can do for you

After the excess of the holidays, Dry January is a popular way for people to experiment with sobriety and reset their habits. Richard De Visser, Reader in Psychology at Brighton & Sussex Medical School and the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the benefits of abstaining from alcohol, who participates and why, and if the practice really produces a healthier relationship with drinking in the long run.
1/11/202331 minutes, 16 seconds
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The real science of James Bond

James Bond has escaped many a sinister plot to kill him, but how many of those methods could actually work in real life? Kathryn Harkup is a scientist-turned-author, and she joins host Krys Boyd to explore the wild world of 007 – from whether gold paint could really kill you to the feasibility of volcano lairs for bad guys. Her book is “Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond.”
1/10/202346 minutes, 43 seconds
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Kids need to talk about death, too

Conversations about death are difficult, but with a child, they can be especially hard. Elena Lister is associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and senior consulting analyst for grief at Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how parents and educators can talk about grief with a child in a nurturing way. Her book, co-written by Michael Schwartzman, is called “Giving Hope: Conversations with Children About Illness, Death, and Loss.”
1/10/202340 minutes, 3 seconds
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What’s in store for the world in 2023?

As we begin 2023, it’s time to look into our crystal balls and anticipate what the coming year will bring. Tom Standage is an editor at The Economist, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the top 10 issues the magazine predicts will make the biggest headlines this year, from Ukraine and China to inflation to what might be a bright spot in combating climate change. The series of articles is “The World Ahead.”
1/6/202336 minutes, 39 seconds
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When twins raised on different continents are reunited

When twin girls are adopted out, one remaining in Vietnam and one moving to America, notions of family are challenged. Erika Hayasaki is a professor in the Literary Journalism Department at the University of California, Irvine, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss two sisters raised worlds apart and the questions that arise about transnational adoption. Her book is “Somewhere Sisters: A Story of Adoption, Identity, and the Meaning of Family.”
1/5/202333 minutes, 4 seconds
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There are still ways to expand on the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, but there’s still more work to be done. Ben Mattlin is a journalist who is also disabled, and he joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss the progress the disabled community has made to raise awareness about opportunities for increased access. His book is “Disability Pride: Dispatches from a Post-ADA World.”
1/4/202346 minutes, 9 seconds
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A move to America expanded her palate—and her waistline

When Rabia Chaudry’s family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan, they embraced all things American—including our love of fast food. Chaudry joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about how the fat-filled and processed foods of her childhood have gradually given way to a love of Pakistani recipes – and how concerns about body image transcend the immigrant experience. Her book is “Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: A Memoir of Food, Fat, and Family.”
1/3/202345 minutes, 37 seconds
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Best of Think: Neil deGrasse Tyson on why we should think more like scientists

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who helps us find our place in the universe. The director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host and cofounder of the podcast “StarTalk” joins host Krys Boyd to make a case for the rationality of science – and to help us look at global challenges in new ways. His book is “Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization.”
12/30/202245 minutes, 16 seconds
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Best of Think: How to make your anxiety work for you

Imagine if we all just embraced our anxiety rather than trying to seek to eradicate it. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Hunter College, the City University of New York, where she directs the Emotion Regulation Lab. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why, she says, anxiety is tied to hope, and why linking it to disease is an outmoded way of thinking. Her book is “Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good For You (Even Though It Feels Bad).”
12/29/202246 minutes, 11 seconds
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Best of Think: How immigrants use food to connect their old and new lives

One way to understand the immigrant experience is through food. Author Madhushree Ghosh joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her memoir, which takes us on a trip through America to South Asia, where she recounts the cooks and food stalls and recipes that have given her insight into her own rich lived experiences. Her book is “Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory and Family.”
12/28/202245 minutes, 28 seconds
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Best of Think: What the South has to say about America

Imani Perry is an Alabama native who eventually grew up in northern cities. And after becoming a professor of African American studies at Princeton, she thought it might be time to revisit the South to take another look. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her return to her Southern home with fresh eyes, weaving in the stories of the good-tempered with a darker history. Her book is called “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation.”
12/27/202245 minutes, 36 seconds
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Best of Think: A wandering mind is a creative mind

It can be hard to focus on one task — and that might be good for you. Cognitive neuroscientist Moshe Bar joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why divided attention can lead to bigger discoveries — from lessening anxiety to better connecting the dots of our daily lives. His book is “Mindwandering: How your Constant Mental Drift Can Improve Your Mood and Boost Your Creativity.”
12/26/202245 minutes
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Best of Think: His violin was his ticket out. Then it went missing

When a great-great-grandfather’s violin turns out to be a Stradivarius, a rural Black child’s future opens up. Author Brendan Nicholaus Slocumb joins host Krys Boyd to talk about his novel, “The Violin Conspiracy.” It’s a thriller, which explores class and race in contemporary classical music circles and involves the theft and ransom of a treasured instrument, a family inheritance called into question.
12/23/202245 minutes, 31 seconds
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Best of Think: Your attitude about aging could be a self-fulfilling prophecy

It might not be aging that causes health decline, but ageism. Becca Levy is a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and a professor of psychology at Yale. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the beliefs around aging and how policy changes and positive thinking can create successful outcomes. Her book is “Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live.”
12/22/202244 minutes, 28 seconds
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Best of Think: Would you really be happier with someone else?

Does the modern quest for personal happiness ruin perfectly good marriages? Joshua Coleman is a psychologist in private practice and a senior fellow with the Council on Contemporary Families. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how our culture of individualism puts pressure on relationships, feeling like a failure for not being able to repair a faltering marriage, and how to know it’s time to walk away. His article in Aeon is called “The Right Person.”
12/21/202244 minutes, 46 seconds
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Best of Think: What medical science didn’t know about vaginas

The fact of the matter is, even today, we know an awful lot more about male reproductive organs than female ones. Science journalist Rachel E. Gross joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the pioneering researchers and biologists from around the world working to better understand the uterus, ovaries, and vagina, in ways that fall outside the realm of just baby-making faculties. Her book is called “Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage.”
12/20/202245 minutes, 46 seconds
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Best of Think: How animals perceive reality

The animal kingdom perceives the world in wild and unusual ways. Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer on staff at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what seems like animal magic powers – from magnetic fields and sonar to complex vision and heightened smell. His book is “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us.”
12/19/202245 minutes, 32 seconds
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Getting to the bottom of our obsession with butts

Thirty years ago, Sir Mix-a-Lot sang “Baby Got Back.” But the fascination with the derriere is as old as time itself. Heather Radke is an essayist and contributing editor and reporter at Radiolab. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss our understanding of the backside – from evolutionary biology to its sexualization – and why power points in its direction. Her book is “Butts: A Backstory.”
12/16/202233 minutes, 37 seconds
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Damien Chazelle takes us on a dizzying ride through old Hollywood

Late 1920s Hollywood was a glamorous place to be – and it was also an era of great upheaval in the movie world with the transition from silent films to talkies. That moment is the setting for Damien Chazelle’s new film, “Babylon,” and the writer and director talks with guest host Courtney Collins about his characters’ pursuit of their artistic passions and about how Hollywood tells its own story through movies.
12/15/202246 minutes, 43 seconds
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States lose from lotteries, too

We all wish we could win the lottery, but for some, lotteries feel like the only shot at achieving the American Dream. Jonathan D. Cohen joins host Krys Boyd to discuss state lotteries, promoted as a source for revenue in lieu of taxes, and the outsized appeal they have to poor populations. His book is “For a Dollar and a Dream: State Lotteries in Modern America.”
12/14/202232 minutes, 37 seconds
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How do we get all that cardboard we use?

Holiday gifting is upon us, and that means box after box made of cardboard. Matthew Shaer is contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss where cardboard comes from, how supply can barely keep up with demand, and why the industry is recession-proof. His article is “Cardboard Has Taken Over Our Lives. Where Does It Come From?”
12/14/202233 minutes, 10 seconds
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Why we call some animals pests and not others

Why do we snuggle alongside our dogs and cats and then call an exterminator when we see a rat? Bethany Brookshire is a science writer and host of the podcast Science for the People. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why some animals are demonized over others, what our human-centric view of the world means for wildlife management, and why we choose certain furry companions as pets. Her book is “Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains.”
12/12/202232 minutes, 8 seconds
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You don’t have to be an influencer to be influential

It’s estimated that each of us influences 2.8 people a day – so what impact are you making on them? Tommy Spaulding, founder and president of the Tommy Spaulding Leadership Institute, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why being mindful of our interactions with others can lead to a more meaningful life and even help us to achieve our personal goals. His book is “The Gift of Influence: Creating Life-Changing and Lasting Impact in Your Everyday Interactions.”
12/9/202244 minutes, 37 seconds
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Scientists saw Covid coming—but we didn’t listen

Scientists warned for years that a coronavirus could trigger the next big pandemic, but those warnings were largely ignored. Science writer David Quammen joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what we know about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and how it spread so quickly in the human population. Plus, we’ll meet the virologists trying to head off future pandemics. His book is “Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus.”
12/8/202230 minutes, 32 seconds
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Some hospice care is for-profit. Is that a problem?

For-profit hospice-care providers can expect the highest profits with the least amount of care is provided. ProPublica reporter Ava Kofman joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why the yield margins are so high, and the ways some companies are maximizing Medicare benefits to the detriment of those in their care. Her article is called “Endgame: How the Visionary Hospice Movement Became a For-Profit Hustle.”
12/8/202233 minutes, 46 seconds
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How to create a sense of belonging wherever you are

We live in deeply divided times, but scientific research says there are proven ways to meet in the middle. Geoffrey L. Cohen is professor of psychology and the James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business at Stanford University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why establishing connections and reflecting on core values are keys to creating empathy. His book is “Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides.”
12/6/202233 minutes, 24 seconds
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10 scenarios that could end the world—should you worry?

There are so many ways the world could meet a catastrophic end, but don’t worry, experts are working on which one is the most plausible. Joel Achenbach is a reporter covering science and politics for The Washington Post. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the scientists working on ways to save planet Earth from extinction and how to manage all that existential dread. His article is called “Asteroids! Solar Storms! Nukes! Climate Calamity! Killer Robots!”
12/5/202232 minutes, 33 seconds
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From the archives: New ways to detect alien technology

The search for aliens is shifting from looking for signs of life to scouring the cosmos for signs of technology. New York Times Magazine science writer Jon Gertner joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the search for traces of machines throughout the universe, and what happens if we actually find them. His article is “The Search for Intelligent Life Is About to Get a Lot More Interesting.” This episode originally aired on October 17, 2022.
12/2/202244 minutes, 35 seconds
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A professional poker player on knowing when to fold ’em

In a culture focused on winning, it can be hard to know when to walk away. Annie Duke is a former professional poker player, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why quitting is a key element of success and how to know when it’s time to fold ’em and move on. Her book is “Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away.”
12/1/202233 minutes, 23 seconds
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How Lincoln calibrated his moral compass

Abraham Lincoln was president of a divided country, and the lessons from his life might help guide America today. Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer, the Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his biography of the 16th president, from birth to assassination, and Lincoln’s conviction that slavery must be ended as a moral evil. His book is “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle.”
11/30/202233 minutes, 10 seconds
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How the planet’s physical features shape global affairs

Geopolitics is more than international relations – it’s also rooted in the very real maps and boundaries that define places. Daniel Immerwahr, associate professor of history at Northwestern University, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why map reading is key to understanding hot spots around the globe and how topography is related to history. His article “Are we really prisoners of geography?” was published by The Guardian.
11/29/202234 minutes, 25 seconds
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What could we do on the moon that we couldn’t 50 years ago?

With the launch of Artemis I, NASA has placed its focus back on the moon. Joseph Silk is Bloomberg Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University and a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris and the Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Oxford. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss what lunar exploration looks like more than 50 years since the first moon landing, from new powerful telescopes to potential mining. His book is “Back to the Moon: The Next Giant Leap for Humankind.”
11/28/202233 minutes, 5 seconds
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How dogs became our best friend

There are plenty of reasons why we love our dogs – and now science has turned its eye on our furry companions to better understand why we can’t live without them. Animal expert Jules Howard joins host Krys Boyd to discuss advancements in dog research, what we know about dog cognition and emotion, and the decades of study that brought us to where we are today. His book is called “Wonderdog: The Science of Dogs and Their Unique Friendship with Humans.”
11/23/202234 minutes, 36 seconds
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Fixing our mistakes doesn’t start with sorry

We’re often told to forgive and forget, but it’s important to not skip over the repair for what was broken. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is an author, speaker and scholar in residence at the National Council of Jewish Women. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss apology, consequences and restitution in the modern world using the works of a medieval philosopher as her guide. Her book is “On Repentance And Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World.”
11/22/202235 minutes, 2 seconds
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We all need a refresher on the Constitution

It’s time to test how well you know the U.S. Constitution. Julie Silverbrook, constitutional scholar in residence at iCivics, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss 35 new short-form videos designed to engage children about the basics of American democracy. And while the program is designed for kids, we’ll also talk about gaps in what adults understand about the law of the land. The series is called “The Constitution Explained.”
11/21/202235 minutes, 2 seconds
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The power of small poems

The Wall Street Journal called Billy Collins “America’s favorite poet,” and now he’s back with a new book. The former U.S. poet laureate joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his new work full of small poems, built to pack an emotional punch in just a few, short lines. The collection is “Musical Tables: Poems.”
11/18/202234 minutes, 31 seconds
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A sense of humor is good for your health

Don’t cry over spilled milk – the healthiest response to bad news is to just laugh. Health journalist Carolyn Todd joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how well-being is tied to a mindset that embraces levity, and how humor can combat toxic stress. Her article “When Everything Is Heavy, a Touch of Humor Can Help” was published by The New York Times.
11/17/202228 minutes, 55 seconds
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How should we memorialize those who were enslaved?

Germany has used public spaces to memorialize deaths from the Holocaust. Should America do the same for formerly enslaved people? Atlantic staff writer Clint Smith joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the shortcomings of America’s reckoning with its treatment of indigenous populations and enslaved peoples, and what should be done to address deeper questions of public memory. His article is “Monuments to the Unthinkable.”
11/16/202233 minutes, 34 seconds