Science

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The Happiness Curve

Sep 11, 2018
National Gallery of Art / Public Domain

Around our 40s, there's a feeling of malaise and discontentment that can hit us all, even when we're at the top of our game. It turns out it is part of a natural cycle and life gets better after 50.

Psychedelic flax landscape.
AK Rockefeller / CC via Flickr

The writer Michael Pollan is with us to talk about his book on psychedelics. It’s about their potential to heal mental illnesses, and to explore the subject, Pollan took a few trips himself.

Wild Horse Country

Sep 6, 2018

The wild horse is a majestic, beloved, and federally protected icon of the American frontier with a history as epic as the land it inhabits. It’s also the subject of heated controversy and dispute.

Large scientific equipment pointing at time lapse of night sky.
Cover "Aliens" / Picador

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili joins us to explain what life on other planets could like, where it could be, and what would happen if we found it - or it found us.

Sea turtle ensnared in plastic netting.
Photograph by Jordi Chias / National Geographic

Plastics. They’ve changed medicine, transportation, and food and water safety. But they've also become a global headache. There's more than six billion tons of plastic trash in the world. What can be done about the problem of plastics?

Larry Smith via CC/Flickr

Tuesday, we're talking about beavers. Nature writer Ben Goldfarb says beavers were crucial in shaping America's landscape and its human history. Then we killed them by the score. He joins us to explain why we should learn to love beavers.

No idea from psychology has saturated popular culture like Hermann Rorschach’s inkblots. Friday, writer Damion Searls join us to talk about Rorschach’s life and the influence of his iconic creation.

Thursday, we’re asking this question: Is it true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney went looking for answers. He joins us to talk about pushing past perceived limitations. (Rebroadcast)

Wednesday, we're talking about your compulsions. Everyone has them. Maybe you're a neat freak, or maybe it's exercise. But compulsions don't necessarily mean your brain is broken. In fact, they're a perfectly natural response to anxiety.

Photo by Andrew Morffew, CC via Flickr

Serious researchers long shied away from so-called anthropomorphism. But biologist John Shivik says animal personalities and emotion are key to understanding how species evolved. So why are some animals shy and others ornery?

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