Podcasts

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One hundred years ago, America entered the First World War. It was sparked by one of history’s most notorious wrong turns. That single blunder ignited a conflict that would claim more than 37 million casualties and sow the seeds of geopolitical strife for generations to come. This week, the PBS program American Experience is airing a three-part examination of WWI. Podcast host Dan Carlin appears in the program, and he joins us Monday to discuss the war’s outbreak and its place in history.

Science Vs

Nov 7, 2016

Monday, we’re offering a break from the political hubbub and talking about an awesome podcast called Science Vs. It’s created and hosted by the young Australian journalist Wendy Zukerman. In each episode, she pits a scientific fad against scientific facts. She’s tackled stuff like organic food, gun control, fracking, and, perhaps most memorably, the female G-spot. Zukerman will join us to talk about using facts, heart, and humor to confront the uninformed opinions we’re all at least a little guilty of.

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 Tuesday, he joins us to explain how science and storytelling can improve the human experience.

Legal journalist Elie Mystal says the Supreme Court is our least transparent branch of government and people are very uninformed about it. That’s where WNYC’s Radiolab is stepping in. They’ve created their first spin-off series and it’s focused on the court and what its rulings mean for “we the people.” Mystal is legal editor of More Perfect, and Monday, he and host Jad Abumrad join Doug to talk about getting past the wonkiness and bringing the stories of our highest court to life.

Our guest Wednesday is radio producer Starlee Kine. Her podcast Mystery Show is the number one podcast on iTunes, but while she’s out solving cases for clients – mysteries that can’t be solved on the Internet – she tries to downplay all the radio equipment she totes along. Kine says she’s been thinking of herself as more of a detective than a journalist these days. She’ll join us Wednesday to talk about her career, her love of mystery, and about her new role as a microphone-packing PI.

James Ellis / NPR

For 15 years, the journalist Alex Blumberg enjoyed a pretty respectable career in public radio. He was an executive producer on This American Life, and he co-hosted NPR's Planet Money podcast. Given that success, why did he quit his day job, ditch public radio, and go it alone as a business entrepreneur? Don't worry, Blumberg hasn't gone too far afield. His new pursuit: it's a podcast company. He joins us Tuesday to explain his career change and to share his story of getting a startup off the ground.