Radiolab

Navigate
Return Home

Radiolab Archive

Below are all the hour-long episodes of Radiolab.

To get all the latest Radiolab episodes and shorts delivered as soon as they're released, subscribe to our podcast. To listen to Radiolab on the old wireless, check with your local public radio station to see when Radiolab is scheduled. If we're not on the schedule yet, tell them that you'd like them to carry us!

Where to Listen Podcast Index

Season 12

  • Blood

    The metaphor, magic, and money coursing through our veins...

    Read More
    Illustration of a hand holding a vial of blood

    Blood

  • Blame

    We've all felt it, that irresistible urge to point the finger. But why do we need blame and how is new technology complicating accountability? 

    Read More
    Making their points

    Blame

  • Apocalyptical

    In this new live stage performance, Radiolab turns its gaze to the topic of endings, both blazingly fast and agonizingly slow.

    Read More
    Jad Abumrad with a T-Rex during Radiolab Live: Apocalyptical

    Apocalyptical

  • Black Box

    This hour, we examine three very different kinds of black boxes—those peculiar spaces where it’s clear what’s going in, we know what’s coming out, but what happens in-between is a mystery.

    Read More

    Black Box

  • Dead Reckoning

    From a duel with the world's deadliest disease to a surprising peek into the way doctors think about death, in this hour Radiolab tries to reckon with the grim reaper.

    Read More

    Dead Reckoning

  • What's Left When You're Right?

    From the stage to the cage, a series of showdowns that leave us wondering about the price of being right ... or coming from the left.

    Read More

    What's Left When You're Right?

  • 60 Words

    This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace.

    Read More

    60 Words

  • Things

    This hour we investigate the objects around us, their power to move us, and whether it's better to look back or move on, hold on tight or just let go.

    Read More

    Things

  • Galapagos

    Today, the strange story of a small group of islands that raise a big question: is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening?

    We are dedicating a whole hour to the Galapagos archipelago, the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose -- and possibly answer -- critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth.

    Read More

    Galapagos

Season 11

  • The Fact of the Matter

    Getting a firm hold on the truth is never as simple as nailing down the facts of a situation. This hour, we go after a series of seemingly simple facts -- facts that offer surprising insight, facts that inspire deeply different stories, and facts that, in the end, might not matter at all.

    Read More
    Illustration: a forest of questions

    The Fact of the Matter

  • Inheritance

    Stories of nature and nurture slamming into each other, & shaping our biological blueprints.

    Read More
    Illustration of a crystal ball revealing DNA

    Inheritance

  • Bliss

    Stories of striving, grasping, tripping, and falling for happiness, perfection, and Bliss.

    Read More
    Illustration of a ladder to the moon

    Bliss

  • Speed

    The inhumanly fast world of high-speed trading, an excruciatingly slow experiment, and a physicist plays Zeus.

    Read More
    Illustration of person jumping over the hands of stopwatch

    Speed

  • Are You Sure?

    Stories about walking the tightrope between doubt and certainty.

     

    Read More
    A narrow rope bridge

    Are You Sure?

  • 23 Weeks 6 Days

    A tiny baby, born at 23 Weeks and 6 days -- roughly halfway to full term. And a whole universe of medical and moral questions.

    Read More
    Juniper French in the NICU

    23 Weeks 6 Days

  • Inner Voices

    How the voices in our heads shape us, for better and for worse.

    Read More
    Photo illustration of inner workings of man's skull

    Inner Voices

  • Known Unknowns

    Stories of trying to chart the unknown, by measuring and making sense of things just beyond our grasp.

    Read More
    Illustration of a man and woman

    Known Unknowns

  • Of Men and Myths

    A hat that goes viral, an idea that gives birth to computer science, and a life-saving maneuver.

    Read More
    Illustration of a photophone receiver

    Of Men and Myths

  • The Power of Music

    The physical and psychological power of music... from a Disco hit that saves lives, to Beethoven's drive to push listeners to the brink.

     

    Read More
    Hand playing the piano

    The Power of Music

Season 10

  • Talking to Machines

    What can machines tell us about being human?

    Read More
    Wire head

    Talking to Machines

  • Games

    Winners, losers, underdogs -- what can games tell us about who we really are?

    Read More
    Basketball hoop

    Games

  • Loops

    The surprising ways that loops steer…and sometimes derail…our lives.

    Read More
    Train spiral

    Loops

  • Patient Zero

    We hunt for Patient Zeroes from all over the map.

    Read More
    Mexico City train passengers wearing surgical masks

    Patient Zero

  • The Bad Show

    We wrestle with the dark side of human nature, and ask whether it's something we can ever really understand, or fully escape.

    Read More
    The Bad Show

    The Bad Show

  • Escape!

    Stories about traps and getaways ... about getting stuck, and breaking free.

    Read More
    Open bird cage

    Escape!

  • Guts

    A look at the messy mystery in our middles, and what the rumblings deep in our bellies can tell us about ourselves.

    Read More
    Guts

    Guts

  • When Brains Attack!

    Strange stories of brains leading their owners astray, knocking them off balance, and, sometimes, propelling them to do amazing things.

    Read More
    Brains on a shelf

    When Brains Attack!

  • Ghost Stories

    Real-life people try to pin down, and make peace with, mysterious figures that haunt them, prod them, and fade out of existence.

    Read More
    Spooky silhouette

    Ghost Stories

  • Colors

    Radiolab rips the rainbow a new one.

    Read More
    Dark side of the eye

    Colors

Season 9

Season 8

  • Oops

    Stories of unintended consequences -- from a psychologist who may have helped create a terrorist, to a toxic lake that spawned new life.

    Read More

    Oops

  • Words

    It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But in this hour, we try to do just that.

    Read More

    Words

  • Falling

    We plunge into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, and upend some myths about falling cats.

    Read More
    trip and fall

    Falling

  • Cities

    One tidy mathematical formula may hold the key to how cities work. We take to the streets to test the numbers, & ask what really makes cities tick.

    Read More
    Cityscape

    Cities

  • Fate and Fortune

    Stories about the tug of war between force of will and fate.

    Read More
    Moon and stars

    Fate and Fortune

Season 7

  • Animal Minds

    Communicating across species -- from bringing pets to church, to a rescued whale that may have found a way to say thanks.

    Read More
    Dog and man

    Animal Minds

  • Lucy

    Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We're all great apes, but that doesn’t mean we’re one happy family.

    Read More

    Lucy

  • Limits

    A journey to the edge of human limits -- from a bike race that makes the Tour de France look like child’s play, to a mind-stretching memory competition.

    Read More

    Limits

  • Famous Tumors

    Say hello to the growth that killed Ulysses S. Grant, & get to know the woman whose cancer cells changed modern medicine.

    Read More
    HeLa cells treated with a microtubule stabilizing drug, paclitaxel. Stained for DNA (blue), tubulin (green) and actin (red).

    Famous Tumors

  • Who Are You?

    How well can you ever really know the people around you?

    Read More

    Who Are You?

Season 6

  • Stochasticity

    How stochasticity -- a wonderfully smarty-pants word for randomness -- drives our lives, and the patterns we see around us.

    Read More
    Blobs of light

    Stochasticity

  • After Life

    Eleven meditations on how, when, and even if we die.

    Read More
    Foggy road

    After Life

  • Parasites

    Tales of lethargic farmers, zombie cockroaches, and even mind-controlled humans (kinda, maybe).

    Read More
    Schistosome parasite

    Parasites

  • New Normal?

    Peacenik baboons, a man in a dress, and cuddly tame foxes. Stories of adaptation, and reframing ideas about normalcy.

    Read More
    Candies in a pea shell

    New Normal?

  • Numbers

    Love 'em or hate 'em, you rely on numbers every day. We ask how they confuse us, connect us, & even reveal secrets about us.

    Read More
    Numbers

    Numbers

Season 5

  • Choice

    We turn up the volume on the voices in our heads, and try to get to the bottom of what really steers our decisions.

    Read More
    Shelves of candy jars

    Choice

  • Sperm

    We examine our beginnings, take a tour of the animal kingdom, and ponder a world where frozen sperm can last for all eternity.

    Read More

    Sperm

  • Race

    Radiolab asks what race is, and whether it's fixed or fluid, genes or culture?

    Read More
    Race

    Race

  • Diagnosis

    Humans love to solve problems. This hour, Diagnosis -- our attempt to find out what's wrong, and give it a label.

    Read More

    Diagnosis

  • Yellow Fluff and Other Curious Encounters

    Stories of love and loss in the name of science.

    Read More
    'City of Ferrara' Airship. The original picture, by Carlo Burzagli, is dated 1914.

    Yellow Fluff and Other Curious Encounters

Season 4

  • Laughter

    We all laugh. This hour of Radiolab asks why.

    Read More

    Laughter

  • Deception

    Lies, liars, and lie catchers. And the strange power of lying to yourself.

     

    Read More
    Fingers crossed

    Deception

  • War of the Worlds

    Martians, mass media, and hysteria -- how War of the Worlds sparked panic in the 1930s, & fooled audiences again and again for decades.

    Read More

    War of the Worlds

  • (So-Called) Life

    The uneasy marriage of biology and engineering raises big questions about the nature of life.

    Read More
    DNA Double Helix

    (So-Called) Life

  • Pop Music

    Nightmarish stories of musical hallucinations, songs with the power to transcend language, & the triumphant return of the Elvis of Afghanistan.

    Read More
    vinyl record

    Pop Music

Season 3

  • Placebo

    The healing powers of belief, from the symbolic power of the doctor coat, to the very real stash of opium in your brain.

    Read More
    Pill

    Placebo

  • Sleep

    Birds do it, bees do it...yet science still can't answer the basic question: why do we sleep?

    Read More
    Sleeping lamb

    Sleep

  • Zoos

    Blood-thirsty Romans, frozen carcasses, wild jaguars, and a question: how do you build a better cage?

    Read More
    tiger paw

    Zoos

  • Memory and Forgetting

    Remembering is a tricky, unstable business. This hour: a look behind the curtain of how memories are made...and forgotten.

    Read More
    Faded photos

    Memory and Forgetting

  • Mortality

    The modern search for the fountain of youth, and personal stories of witnessing death.

    Read More

    Mortality

Season 2

  • Detective Stories

    Mystery, intrigue, and a goat standing on top of a cow.

    Read More
    Man ducking into phone booth

    Detective Stories

  • Musical Language

    We explore the line between music and language, and turn to physics and biochemistry to ask how sound becomes feeling.

    Read More
    Learning to play piano

    Musical Language

  • Morality

    For thousands of years philosophers have debated the essence of morality. Now, neuroscientists may have answers.

    Read More
    Photo of 'Cupid and Pan,' oil on canvas attributed to Federico Zuccaro circa 1600, at the Getty Center

    Morality

  • Where Am I?

    Radiolab examines the connection between your brain and your body -- and what happens when it breaks.

    Read More
    X-ray of skull

    Where Am I?

  • Space

    We ponder our insignificant place in the universe, and boldly go after stories of romance & cynicism in Outer Space.

    Read More
    Horsehead nebula

    Space

Season 1

  • Who Am I?

    The "mind" and "self" were formerly the domain of philosophers & priests. But this hour, neurologists lead the charge.

    Read More
    Neon brain

    Who Am I?

  • Stress

    Stories of stress -- from a singer who loses her voice, to an author caught in a body that never grew up.

    Read More
    Hand squeezing stress ball

    Stress

  • Emergence

    What happens when there is no leader? We look at the bottom-up logic of cities, Google, and even our brains.

    Read More
    Emergence

    Emergence

  • Time

    The strange, subjective nature of time -- from a sped-up spin through childhood, to a really, really slowed-down Beethoven symphony. 

    Read More
    Clockwork

    Time

  • Beyond Time

    Fighting the inevitable march of time -- or at least the common sense view of it.

    Read More
    Stopwatch

    Beyond Time