Radiolab

Radiolab

WNYC Studios

Society & Culture>Documentary

150 episodes

Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio shows in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Radiolab is co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.


  • 23 JUL 2021
    The Queen of Dying
    1h 48s

    If you’ve ever lost someone, or watched a medical drama in the last 15 years, you’ve probably heard of The Five Stages of Grief. They’re sort of the world’s worst consolation prize for loss. But last year, we began wondering… Where did thes...

  • 19 JUL 2021
    Breaking News about The Other Latif
    2m 1s

    A major development in the case of Guantanamo detainee Abdul Latif Nasser. To listen to our series about him, go to theotherlatif.org.

  • 15 JUL 2021
    G: Unfit
    53m 35s

    In the past few weeks, most people have probably seen Britney Spears' name or face everywhere. When she stood in front of a judge (virtually) and protested the conservatorship she's been living under for the past 13 years, one harrowing det...

  • 09 JUL 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 6
    27m 9s

    Lift Every Voice: Episode Six from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  Black Swan Records was first to record the anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing. From a family's Thanksgiving dinner, we...

  • 02 JUL 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 5
    42m 23s

    Roland Hayes and the Lost Generation: Episode Five from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  Here’s the extraordinary story of Roland Hayes, another great (and largely forgotten) creator o...

  • 29 JUN 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 4
    12m 34s

    Our Harlem Moon: Episode Four from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  In this spin-off tale, Ethel Waters hijacks a degrading song and makes the music her own.

  • 26 JUN 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 3
    41m 30s

    Black No More, White No More: Episode Three from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  We follow Harry's grandkids and great grandkids as they grapple with his legacy in their own lives.

  • 19 JUN 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 2
    43m 1s

    Dreams Deferred: Episode Two from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  The story of the post Black Swan years. We follow Harry’s Supreme Court battle to desegregate the South Side of Chica...

  • 18 JUN 2021
    The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 1
    1h 6m 4s

    The Rise and Fall of Black Swan: Episode One from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.  Harry Pace founded Black Swan Records exactly 100 years ago. Pace launched the career of Ethel Waters...

  • 11 JUN 2021
    Breath
    1h 31m 3s

    We’ve just barely made it to the other side of a year that took our collective breaths away. So more than ever we felt that this was the time to go deep on life’s rhythmic dance partner. Today we huff and we puff through a whole stack of st...

  • 27 MAY 2021
    The Rhino Hunter
    52m 10s

    Back in 2014, Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a hunting trip to Namibia to shoot and kill an endangered species.  He’s a professional hunter, who guides hunts all around the world, so going to Africa would be nothing new.  The target on th...

  • 21 MAY 2021
    The Dirty Drug and the Ice Cream Tub
    46m 23s

    This episode, a tale of a wonder drug that will make you wonder about way more than just drugs.   Doctor-reporter Avir Mitra follows the epic and fantastical journey of a molecule dug out of a distant patch of dirt that would go on to make...

  • 13 MAY 2021
    Brown Box
    28m 34s

    You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?

  • 05 MAY 2021
    Kleptotherms
    44m 6s

    In this episode, we break the thermometer watch the mercury spill out as we discover temperature is far stranger than it seems. Five stories that run the gamut from snakes to stars. We start out underwater, with a snake that has evolved a d...

  • 22 APR 2021
    Deep Cuts
    24m 10s

    Today, Lulu and Latif talk about some of their favorite episodes from Radiolab’s past that hold new power today.   Lulu points to an episode from 2008:  Imagine that you're a composer. Imagine getting the commission to write a song that wil...

  • 15 APR 2021
    The Septendecennial Sing-Along
    19m 36s

    While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely bir...

  • 02 APR 2021
    What Up Holmes?
    48m 14s

    Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one gu...

  • 25 MAR 2021
    Elements
    1h 13m 36s

    Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of ma...

  • 19 MAR 2021
    Escapescape
    32m 19s

    As we hit the one year mark since the first U.S. state (California) issued a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we put out a call to see if any of you would take us to your secret escape spot and record audio there. And y...

  • 12 MAR 2021
    Dispatch 14: Covid Crystal Ball
    27m 14s

    Last summer, at a hospital in England, a man in his 70s being treated for complications with cancer tested positive for covid-19. He had lymphoma, and the disease plus his drugs weakened his immune system, making him particularly susceptibl...

  • 25 FAB 2021
    The Ceremony
    47m 13s

    In November of 2016, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, le...

  • 19 FAB 2021
    Red Herring
    35m 18s

    It was the early 80s, the height of the Cold War, when something strange began happening off the coast of Sweden. The navy reported a mysterious sound deep below the surface of the ocean. Again, and again, and again they would hear it near...

  • 12 FAB 2021
    Facebook's Supreme Court
    44m 8s

    Since its inception, the perennial thorn in Facebook’s side has been content moderation. That is, deciding what you and I are allowed to post on the site and what we’re not. Missteps by Facebook in this area have fueled everything from a ge...

  • 29 JAN 2021
    Smile My Ass
    34m 56s

    Candid Camera is one of the most original – and one of the most mischievous – TV shows of all time.  Admirers hailed its creator Allen Funt as a poet of the everyday. Critics denounced him as a Peeping Tom.  Funt sought to capture people at...

  • 16 JAN 2021
    Post Reports: Four Hours of Insurrection
    39m 20s

    We’re all still processing what happened on January 6th. Despite the hours and hours of video circulating online, we still didn’t feel like we had a visceral, on-the-ground sense of what happened that day. Until we heard the piece we’re fea...

  • 15 JAN 2021
    More Money Less Problems
    28m 13s

    Back in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning and the shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt, a quirky-but-clever idea to save the economy made its way up to some of the highest levels of govern...

  • 13 JAN 2021
    Sight Unseen
    36m 54s

    As the attacks were unfolding on the Capitol, a steady stream of images poured onto our screens. Photo editor Kainaz Amaria tells us what she was looking for--and seeing--that afternoon. And she runs into a dilemma we've talked about before...

  • 07 JAN 2021
    A Note from Radiolab
    NaNs

    In the past few weeks, there have been a lot of conversations about the tolerance of harassment and bad behavior in our industry and in particular of a person who worked on our show five years ago, Andy Mills. The Radiolab team wants to say...

  • 23 DEC 2020
    A Terrible Covid Christmas Special
    49m 36s

    This year was the worst. And as our staff tried to figure out what to do for our last episode of 2020, co-host Latif Nasser thought, what if we stare straight into the darkness … and make a damn Christmas special about it. Latif begins with...

  • 18 DEC 2020
    The Ashes on the Lawn
    51m 59s

    A global pandemic. An afflicted, angry group. A seemingly indifferent government. Reporter Tracie Hunte wanted to understand this moment of pain and confusion by looking back 30 years, and she found a complicated answer to a simple question...

  • 10 DEC 2020
    Enemy of Mankind
    56m 33s

    Should the U.S. Supreme Court be the court of the world? In the 18th century, two feuding Frenchmen inspired a one-sentence law that helped launch American human rights litigation into the 20th century. The Alien Tort Statute allowed a Para...

  • 03 DEC 2020
    The Great Vaccinator
    41m 59s

    Until now, the fastest vaccine ever made - for mumps - took four years. And while our current effort to develop a covid-19 vaccine involves thousands of people working around the clock, the mumps vaccine was developed almost exclusively by...

  • 25 NOV 2020
    Dispatch 13: Challenge Trials
    26m 32s

    What if someone asked you to get infected with the COVID-19 virus, deliberately, in order to speed up the development of a vaccine? Would you do it? Would you risk your life to save others? For months, dozens of companies have been racing t...

  • 19 NOV 2020
    Deception
    57m 20s

    Lies, liars, and lie catchers. This hour of Radiolab asks if it's possible for anyone to lead a life without deception.

  • 13 NOV 2020
    Breaking Benford
    29m 35s

    In the days after the US Presidential election was called for Joe Biden, many supporters of Donald Trump are crying foul.  Voter fraud. And a key piece of evidence? A century-old quirk of math called Benford’s Law.  We at Radiolab know Benf...

  • 02 NOV 2020
    Bloc Party
    50m 37s

    In the 1996 election, Bill Clinton had a problem. The women who came out in droves for him in ‘92, split their vote in the ‘94 midterms, handing over control of the House and the Senate to the Republican Party. As his team stared ahead at h...

  • 31 OCT 2020
    How to Win Friends and Influence Baboons
    29m 19s

    Baboon troops. We all know they’re hierarchical. There’s the big brutish alpha male who rules with a hairy iron fist, and then there’s everybody else. Which is what Meg Crofoot thought too, before she used GPS collars to track the movements...

  • 23 OCT 2020
    What If?
    41m 23s

    There’s plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer,...

  • 08 OCT 2020
    Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer
    39m 36s

    With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there's been a lot of debate about how much power the Supreme Court should really have. We think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful beings, issuing momentous rulings from on high. B...

  • 02 OCT 2020
    No Special Duty
    45m 14s

    What are the police for? Producer B.A. Parker started wondering this back in June, as Black Lives Matter protests and calls to “defund the police” ramped up. The question led her to a wild story of a stabbing on a New York City subway train...

  • 25 SEP 2020
    Insomnia Line
    34m 30s

    Coronasomnia is a not-so-surprising side-effect of the global pandemic. More and more of us are having trouble falling asleep. We wanted to find a way to get inside that nighttime world, to see why people are awake and what they are thinkin...

  • 19 SEP 2020
    More Perfect: Sex Appeal
    53m 17s

    We lost a legend. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18th, 2020. She was 87. In honor of her passing we are re-airing the More Perfect episode dedicated to one of her cases, because it offers a unique portrait of ho...

  • 17 SEP 2020
    Falling
    56m 27s

    There are so many ways to fall—in love, asleep, even flat on your face. This hour, Radiolab dives into stories of great falls.  We jump into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, upend some myths about falling cats, and plunge into...

  • 11 SEP 2020
    Bringing Gamma Back, Again
    36m 47s

    Today, we return to the lab of neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, which brought us one of our favorite stories from four years ago - about the power of flashing lights on an Alzheimer’s-addled (mouse) brain. In this update, Li-Huei tells us about...

  • 04 SEP 2020
    Fungus Amungus
    31m 48s

    Six years ago, a new infection began popping up in four different hospitals on three different continents, all around the same time. It wasn’t a bacteria, or a virus. It was ... a killer fungus. No one knew where it came from, or why. Today...

  • 27 AUG 2020
    Translation
    1h 5m 9s

    How close can words get you to the truth and feel and force of life? That's the question poking at our ribs this hour, as we wonder how it is that the right words can have the wrong meanings, and why sometimes the best translations lead us...

  • 21 AUG 2020
    Lebanon, USA
    42m 21s

    This is a story of a road trip. After a particularly traumatic Valentine's Day, Fadi Boukaram was surfing google maps and noticed that there was a town called Lebanon... in Oregon. Being Lebanese himself, he wondered, how many Lebanons exis...

  • 14 AUG 2020
    The Wubi Effect
    55m 2s

    When we think of China today, we think of a technological superpower. From Huawei and 5G to TikTok and viral social media, China is stride for stride with the United States in the world of computing. However, China’s technological renaissan...

  • 07 AUG 2020
    Uncounted
    50m 35s

    First things first: our very own Latif Nasser has an exciting new show on Netflix. He talks to Jad about the hidden forces of the world that connect us all. Then, with an eye on the upcoming election, we take a look back: at two pieces from...

  • 31 JUL 2020
    Invisible Allies
    41m 59s

    As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they’ve come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weat...

  • 24 JUL 2020
    Baby Blue Blood Drive
    1h 6m 45s

    Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at.  But beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs and survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions.  And...