Wednesday's Show

Josué Menjivar via CC/Flickr http://bit.ly/2zqVOnr

The Science of Influence

Changing people’s minds is hard. And it’s a problem a lot of people encounter on Thanksgiving. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot studies decision-making. She says we can better influence people by understanding how the brain is wired.

Read More
Public domain

The swastika. Few symbols, few words even, evoke such visceral reactions in the Western world. It stands for genocide and hatred. But it wasn’t always that way. For centuries it symbolized good fortune, success, and well-being. It held deep religious and spiritual meaning for people around the world. Graphic designer Steven Heller has long been fascinated by the swastika, and he joins us Monday to discuss its power and history. Can it ever be seen in its original context again?

A.O. Scott is a long-time film critic for the New York Times, so it may seem strange that he’s now questioning the value of his work ... what the point of criticism actually is. Scott has written a book arguing that critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, and of our interactions with each other. In that way, he says, we’re all critics. Scott joins us for a discussion about art, pleasure, beauty, truth, and of course criticism. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, we’re talking about the relationship between the police and the public. Last week, Alex Wubbel’s arrest video went viral. She’s, of course, the nurse that wouldn’t allow Salt Lake Police Detective Jeff Payne to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant. The video showed what many saw as unreasonable escalation on Payne’s part. We’re using this as a jumping off point to explore how power and authority are wielded by American police, and what that means for those they are called to protect. 

iGen

Sep 6, 2017
Anthony Kelly via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/2xMGmgU

Five years ago, psychologist Jean Twenge noticed that teenagers were acting differently than the Millenial generation that preceded them. They were more depressed, and more suicidal. They sought less independence from their parents, hung out less with friends, and were less interested in sex. All these behaviors coincide with a pivotal cultural moment: 2012 was the first year a majority of Americans owned smartphones. Twenge joins us Wednesday to explain what she’s learned about today’s super-connected kids.

Memory's Last Breath

Sep 5, 2017

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. She was 61 years old at the time, and soon had to leave her post teaching at the University of Utah. So, Gerda started writing what she calls her field notes on dementia. She said she wanted to be like an anthropologist documenting a tribe. The result is a memoir. It’s called Memory’s Last Breath, and in it Saunders examines what losing her memory is doing her identity. Tuesday, we're rebroadcasting an interview with Saunders about her book and her life. (Rebroadcast)

The Hidden Brain

Sep 4, 2017

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam says that in some ways, human behavior is the ultimate frontier of science. After all, there’s a lot we don’t know about why behave the way we do. But if we can get a glimpse at the unconscious patterns that influence us, Vedantam argues we have the potential to make big changes in our lives and our world. Shankar Vedantam is host of the popular podcast Hidden Brain, and he joins us to explain how science and storytelling can improve the human experience. (Rebroadcast)

Don Quixote

Sep 1, 2017
nicointokio via CC/flickr, http://bit.ly/1Ylc8J2

 

Today, Don Quixote is regarded as one of the most important novels ever written. But when it debuted 400 years ago, Miguel Cervantes’ book was deemed unworthy of serious artistic consideration. Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latin American and Latino Culture, has a profound affection for the tale of don Quixote de la Mancha, and he says the wandering knight’s adventure through life mirrors our own. Stavans joins us Friday to explore how Don Quixote rose to global success and gave rise to modernity. (Rebroadcast)

The Seeds of Life

Aug 30, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

 

It’s a timeless question, asked by every kid that’s ever lived: where do babies come from? It turns out even the great scientific minds of the Enlightenment didn’t really have an answer. While navigators and cartographers seemed to have mastered the heavens and the Earth, other scientists were conducting bizarre experiments to put their finger on how exactly humans create life. Science writer Edward Dolnick joins us to tell the story of 250 years of searching and the meandering ways of scientific discovery. (Rebroadcast)

 

Questions surrounding suicide have been with us for at least as long as we’ve had written record, and the answers are as varied as the times and places where they were discussed. Tuesday, Doug's guest is the philosophy scholar Margaret Battin. She’s spent her career collecting the works of religious and secular thinkers regarding suicide. It has been considered noble, immoral, heroic and cowardly, and we’ll talk about what all of those views teach us about end-of-life issues today. [Rebroadcast]

Land on Fire

Aug 28, 2017
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public Domain

 

Nature writer Gary Ferguson says we are facing a “perfect storm” when it comes to wildfires. Climate change has led to less snow, longer droughts, and more wind and there’s a lot of fuel on the forest floors. The result is ten more weeks of fire season than we saw in the early '70s, and those fires are hotter and often beyond control. Ferguson joins us to talk about the role fire should play in a healthy ecosystem and the new reality of wildfire in the West. (Rebroadcast)

Pages

Films

This is a love story … beautiful, complicated, and sad. It’s about Bonnie, a poet, and Mark, a philosopher. We don’t want to say much more than that. You should just watch it.

Thursday's Show

Courtesy of Kristen Oney / Plimoth Plantation

The Real Story of the Pilgrims

When they landed at Plymouth almost 400 years ago, the Pilgrims faced countless challenges . Their story is the bedrock of the American experiment, but the facts of their survival have long been tangled up with the myths. (Rebroadcast)

Read More

Utah Profiles

Conversations with passionate and thoughtful people that make Utah unique.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1