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Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 03:47 PM

Have an idea for us? We'd love to hear it. So many of our best stories come from experts and reporters, producers and show runners, movers and shakers outside of our show staff. To email us an idea, head over to our submissions page. Coming soon: an audio pitch line!


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Comments [450]

Yonatan A from Tel Aviv, Israel

I just saw this XKCD Comic about Crisper and found it hilarious :

Thanks for providing me the knowledge to be able to enjoy the joke !! :)

Apr. 19 2017 02:17 AM
______ ________ from the internet

Raised outside of any religious tradition, I have no congenital penchant for the perception or interpretation of prophesy, or for the active seeking of divine revelation. As I child I completely rejected the idea of divinity, and saw the adherents of organized religion as misguided fools, mental midgets who required scripture and dogma to guide their behavior and belief — and I have not strayed entirely from these sentiments. I have no great love or respect for those who would hold up their own religion above other religions, who would make war on religious grounds, who would use articles of faith to justify the persecution of others.

I created this website with only science in mind. Several years ago, when I first saw the footage of the collapse of World Trade Center, Building 7, I was stunned and perplexed. Curiosity led me to seek the causes of the collapse. Several months of research led me to the hotly contested topic of thermite. Ok, said I. Let’s see the evidence.

Allegedly a paper, documenting the presence of thermitic material in World Trade Center dust, was published in 2009. Every reliable source directed me to the same .pdf file, the same url. When I went to that address, my computer would go through the motions of downloading the file, but the file would never load. I could let my computer work on this task all day, and the task would never be accomplished. I attempted to obtain the paper in this way for several weeks, to no avail.

I sent $15 to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, to obtain a hard copy, which I proceeded to photocopy, in its entirety, and to distribute, both electronically and in hard copy, to the physics and chemistry departments of Smith College and UMASS Amherst, the Northampton district office of Jim McGovern, and after that, to whomever I could interest in the topic, completely at random. You can do this with any documents that you deem important and that you worry may be subject to electronic erasure. Once information is liberated in this manner, it is untraceable. This is the best method for undermining the Internet control structure.

At the end of the day, I checked again for the .pdf file, and somehow, magically, it appeared exactly where it was purported to be, with no exceptional loading time. A miracle.

A real investigation of 9/11/01 would start with dust samples, with documented chains of custody, from the World Trade Center catastrophe - hard evidence, easily tested, which undoubtedly the FBI possesses in abundance, but on the subject of which the Bureau remains eerily silent.

Seeing the profusion of disinformation, I decided to find the most reliable sources of scientific and anecdotal evidence, and to compile all the resources here in this blog. There are so many bad actors roaming around in cyberspace, it is hard to know who trust, but I trust my own discernment, and my own good intentions. I hope that you do too.

Apr. 08 2017 06:14 AM
______ _______ from the internet

Raised outside of any religious tradition, I have no congenital penchant for the perception or interpretation of prophesy, or for the active seeking of divine revelation. As I child I completely rejected the idea of divinity, and saw the adherents of organized religion as misguided fools, mental midgets who required scripture and dogma to guide their behavior and belief — and I have not strayed entirely from these sentiments. I have no great love or respect for those who would hold up their own religion above other religions, who would make war on religious grounds, who would use articles of faith to justify the persecution of others.

I created this website with only science in mind. Several years ago, when I first saw the footage of the collapse of World Trade Center, Building 7, I was stunned and perplexed. My innate curiosity led me to seek the causes of the collapse. Several months of research led me to the hotly contested topic of thermite. Ok, said I. Let’s see the evidence.

Allegedly a paper, documenting the presence of thermitic material in World Trade Center dust, was published in 2009. Every reliable source directed me to the same .pdf file, the same url. When I went to that address, my computer would go through the motions of downloading the file, but the file would never load. I could let my computer work on this task all day, and the task would never be accomplished. I attempted to obtain the paper in this way for several weeks, to no avail.

I sent $15 to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, to obtain a hard copy. With that in my possession, I proceeded to photocopy it, in its entirety, and to distribute it, both electronically and in hard copy, to the physics and chemistry departments at Smith College and UMASS Amherst, and the Northampton district office of Jim McGovern, and after that, to whomever I could interest in the topic, completely at random. I would urge others to do this with any documents that you deem important and that you worry may be subject to electronic erasure. Once information is liberated in this manner, it is untraceable. This is the best method for undermining the Internet control structure.

At the end of the day, I checked again for the .pdf file, and somehow, magically, it appeared exactly where it was purported to be, with no exceptional loading time. A miracle.

A real investigation of 9/11/01 would start with dust samples, with documented chains of custody, from the World Trade Center catastrophe - hard evidence, easily tested, which undoubtedly the FBI possesses in abundance, but on the subject of which the Bureau remains eerily silent.

Seeing the profusion of disinformation, I decided to find the most reliable sources of scientific and anecdotal evidence, and to compile all the resources here in this blog. There are so many bad actors roaming around in cyberspace, it is hard to know who trust, but I trust my own discernment, and my own good intentions. I hope that you do too.

Apr. 07 2017 06:26 PM
Chris from Ohio

Ever heard of the Mandela Effect? It's an interesting theory that some of us might be remembering alternate histories... or even living them. Remember the Berenstein Bears? If you do, you might not be remembering correctly... or are you? Same with the "Shazaam" movie starring Sinbad. If you remember that film, you're a victim of the Mandela Effect. Are we all living in alternate universes, slipping in and out of one-another's realities or just not getting our facts straight?

Apr. 05 2017 10:14 AM
Jacob Villalobos from Middlebury, VT

I've always had this subject bothering me. It's about diversity on college campuses and how many liberal arts schools across the nation are moving toward incorporating minorities in colleges that are predominantly white. There seems to be an underlying class division here at Middlebury College and I'm sure its presence is all around the nation. Although I am proud that I attend a school that prioritizes diversity, I also know that there is underlying tension between the minority and majority and that it stretches across not only race but class as well. An article by the New York Times about the income of college students across the U.S. brought about tension on my campus. Moreover, recent events such as the appearance of Charles Murray and the Trump election have left People of Color on campus feeling vulnerable and scared. The recent events have only increased tension on campus.

Apr. 02 2017 12:40 AM
Jemma R from East Coast

A little thing called "cursive handwriting" is no longer being taught in schools. This is the beginning of us literally losing our minds. 3,2,1...GO!

Apr. 01 2017 04:32 AM
Jill from NYC, NY

A story about the potential link between the wage gap and women's knowledge of negotiation.


Several women I've talked to reflected on their first job out of college, how they made less than men for the same work, & how they didn't have the negotiation skills entering the workforce to stop this from happening.

Personal Story:

It was my first job out of college and got a promotion after 8 months without a pay increase. I built up the courage to ask for a raise but was told several times over a few months that it 'wasn't the right time for the company'. I thought that was reasonable until I spoke with two of my male co-workers. Both of them had gotten at least one raise over that duration and knew that I was being taken advantage of.
They gave me tips about what I should do to convince management to give me a raise but I felt like their approach wouldn't work for me as a women. So I went to two of the more distinguished women at my company and asked them for advice. They told me, separately, that I shouldn't bother asking because the company wouldn't comply. They said that we had to look out for the company, which wasn't doing well. I was shocked by the difference in the response between my male & female co-workers. The women cared about the company and the men cared about themselves.

In the end, I realized my male co-workers were right and that this situation was my fault. The company knew that I was a young woman who had recently graduated from college and wouldn't know any better. They knew they could take advantage of me and I don't blame them for doing it.

But why is it that the other two young, male co-workers knew how to get a raise when they wanted one? Are they naturally more aggressive? Do they have more access to mentorship? I'm not sure.

What I am sure if of that I was an ambitious, aggressive 23 years women who graduated from business school with absolutely no negotiation skills. Compared to friends, I had it good. The larger question becomes, how are we expected to close the wage gap if woman don't know how to successfully negotiate their pay? If we don't talk about it, we will never be able to make any sort of advancements in this area.

Mar. 31 2017 01:58 PM
Rajeev Bhat from Seattle

I love some of your programs on scientific topics such as CRISPR, periodic table, Galapagos, role of RNA, history and the demise of antibiotics etc. These pod casts blew my mind and made for fascinating conversations with friends. There's enough stuff out there in the news of late that is depressing and make my mind shrink like your program "shots fired". Please produce more of the scientific topic programs that I find uplifting and help open up our my minds.

Mar. 30 2017 01:47 PM
Mary Kahl from Des Moines Ia

The Iowa statehouse is becoming a nightmare. The Republicans are introducing bills that are not written by them but by the ALEC group. They literally cut and paste and do not know a thing about what is in the bill. Drew Klein a lobbyist for the AFP (Americans for Prosperity) group has been busted for not registering as a lobbyist. The corruption in the statehouse is unbelievable . The Collective Bargaining bill-The Education bill is just the beginning.

Mar. 30 2017 12:43 PM
Robert Parsons

Hey, just listen to your podcast "shots fired". Now how about a show on the families of Police Officers who are shot and killed protecting your liberal ass....yeah didn't think so

Mar. 29 2017 08:17 PM
JenniferInOregon from Oregon

The 2017 Alzheimer's Advocacy Forum is occurring this week in Washington, DC. It would be fantastic to hear a story about early onset. I've met amazing individuals from all over the country at the forum. One family from Bend, Oregon spoke about their daughter, Rhonda. She was diagnosed in her early 30's, being the second youngest in Oregon at the time. While her memory was deteriorating Rhonda found out she was pregnant. I had the privilege of meeting her son Clay. This family struggled trying to get a correct diagnosis until OHSU finally delivered. Then the pregnancy and finally moving Rhonda into a care center where she lost her battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

A day in a memory care facility would enlightening. Finding out where the people came from and their journey with the disease.

Mar. 28 2017 10:43 PM
Kimberly from Austin, Texas

Russia- there ban on certain religons. Right now they are banning Jehovah's Witnesses there freedom of religion. April 5th 2017 will be the verdict. how can the Government decide what religion is ok or not?

Mar. 28 2017 11:12 AM
Jessica from Los Angeles, CA

Spurred on by a recent and highly upvoted GIF on Reddit -- you guys should look into the happenings behind the 1st human head transplant. Newsweek reported on it last year: and the Italian doctor has a corresponding TED talk. The GIF ( demonstrates how it would take place, and was posted days ago on Reddit, where it SOARED to the top of the front page. Some have said it's a complete shot in the dark/hoax, but it would be interesting to get a Radiolab interpretation of the story and the implications of these kinds of procedures moving forward.

Mar. 27 2017 06:33 PM
Emily Dixon from Chattanooga, TN

This is a link to a local story in Chattanooga Tennessee where a local reporter was fired from the WUTC station. The circumstances, topic and active meddling of lawmakers in the media would make an interesting story. Thanks guys! Love your work!

Mar. 27 2017 05:31 PM
Kirsten from San Francisco

The dark, nefarious underbelly that pervaded history's biggest, brightest circus companies. There are many stories, including my favorite, the story of the murder of tiny trapeze artist Lillian her own husband. He'd been her partner on the trapeze, but things soured after they married and he'd started drinking as she'd become more famous than him — a star of the era. During an evening performance, she plummeted to her death when the ropes mysteriously snapped. But was it all just an accident?

Mar. 23 2017 06:51 PM
Jack from Washington State

The Hijab. There seems to be a lot of controversy about this today. Is it a symbol of privacy, or a symbol of women's oppression? The interpretation of it today has been twisted in such a deranged way in the US. I'm confused on whether to support it or help women liberate themselves from it. RadioLab is so good at touching on all the nuances of a particular subject to help me get a much deeper understanding of something. I'd really like to see a story on this.

Mar. 23 2017 04:58 PM
Jimmy Pellegrini from Russia - Moscow

What happened to Sergei Magnitsky? - the man who uncovered Putin's $230 million tax fraud, that died in police custody by either: heart failure or being beaten to death.

Not sure if you want to turn over rocks in Russia... but THE PLOT thickens, as his lawyer has been thrown from his 4th floor apartment this week. Dun dun dun...

Mar. 22 2017 01:09 PM
Christina from Charleston, SC

The mysterious reporting of UFO's by U.S.A.F. pilots and NASA astronauts including one of the original Mercury Seven, Gordon Cooper. Often people who report ufo sightings are thought to be mentally unstable or delusional, however these professionals go went through rigorous psychological testing, so I would think their sightings should get a lot of weight. Basically, who do we believe and why?

Mar. 22 2017 09:08 AM

Gerrymandering is a problem that is pervasive across the uS and a lot of people don't realize that it is happening in the very districts in which they live.

Mar. 21 2017 09:29 AM
Lindsay from Baltimore

The gamma-frequency Christmas tree lights -- any positive effects? Or any effects at all?

Mar. 20 2017 02:15 AM
Autumn from Florida

I started Shots Fired and the farther along into the episode I got the more interested I became. My dad is a police officer in the Central Florida and also a soldier for the Florida National Guard, and it struck me that the large community of military individuals that Chitwood mentioned included my father. Your producers probably have the next episode already figured out, but I think it would be interesting if you looked into the police forces in the different areas around here, ESPECIALLY considering bike week and spring break just ended.
We have never had a huge issue with police brutality for as long as I can remember, but I’m also only 18 and want to find out more about it. I think it would be super cool if you guys looked into different officer’s thought processes or something along those lines!!

Thank you guys so much for all the shows. I listened to 6 hours worth of them with my best friend coming home from North Carolina on Thursday (: YOU ROCK!

Mar. 19 2017 09:44 AM
Faye from Florida

how about: Acquired savant syndrome?

I find it fascinating how someone can lead a seemingly normal life but when something drastic happens (mainly to the brain) they acquired an extra ordinary skills or talent that's so random and specific that it makes you really wonder about the secrets and intricacy of our mind.

Mar. 16 2017 04:45 PM
Christina from Folly Beach, SC

Pigeons! I've been in the dark about these interesting and charming birds and would love to hear more about them. Recently, I learned that pigeons were used for gathering and sending intelligence during both world wars, earning medals for valor in the process. There are some great pictures of military unmanned camera pigeons looking pretty jaunty. There were also large scale communication networks using pigeons in about the 5th century BC. In more modern times, pigeons have been trained by the USCG for search and rescue work, and messenger pigeons have reportedly carried contraband into prisons. Basically, pigeons are fascinating and have had a close relationship with us humans for thousands of years.

Mar. 13 2017 05:10 PM
Jennifer Bell from Pittsburgh, PA

Since it's impossible for me to boycott Daylight Savings Time, could you please cover the story of its history and efficacy? Like most people, I used to just grumble and put up with it. Now that I've learned that it doesn't really save energy, it feels like a personal affront. In a hundred years, people will laugh that we deliberately put the population through jet-lag.

And if you have any suggestions how to lobby for change, please let us know.

Mar. 13 2017 07:19 AM
Aaron from Los Angeles, CA

The History of the Zodiac.

Did you know that NASA has changed the calendar for the signs of the Zodiac? They also have added a new sign, Ophiuchus, making it now 13 zodiac signs in total.

Many people think that the origins of the Zodiac is based in Egypt or Babylon but some believe it is actually Hebrew in origin. Some even suggest it may be prophetic in some way which does make the new revelation of 13 signs quite interesting. Scorpio (which some say is the symbol of evil entering the world) is now 7 days (an important number in Hebrew numerology) and Ophiuchus is represented by a serpent (also significant in Hebrew, Christian tradition).

I have more questions than answers on this topic, but it is very intriguing and I would love to hear a Radiolab story on it!

Thanks for the consideration,


Mar. 10 2017 06:27 PM
SciFIGuy from Washington, DC

how about a story which talks about the intersection of the Singularity with the perfection of CRISPR. The AI with the ability to create a biological form on par with its intelligence. There's no need to destroy mankind, just leapfrog...

Mar. 10 2017 05:57 PM
Thorvald from Norway

Can you do a piece on the Fermi paradox? I just love hear this explained and discussed by different people!

Mar. 08 2017 08:52 AM
______ _______ from the internet

you could entitle the show: 'does ______ _______ exist?'

but you know that a show thus entitled would not be allowed to air.
the idea is so ludicrous because you know that i do exist. i attempt to communicate regularly, to anyone willing to listen, and to any unwilling - i do not discriminate. i have been doing this job for years.

have i been doing my job? have i done certain things that needed to be done, written some things that needed to be written? do all the lights light up and all the rotors spin in the right direction? have i done all within my exceptionally limited [by the willful disregard of all corporate content merchants, including you, robert krulwich and jad abumrad] power to urge people in a better direction, to reconcile people of different faiths, and to reconcile religious faith with science? do you believe these to be noble aims?

i have received nothing for my efforts but dead air.
you disappoint me.

do i exist?

Mar. 06 2017 10:10 AM
marley engvall from florence, ma

It is in a dwindling number of places that I am still allowed to post, and soon may be dwindling the number of places in which I can physically exist. Information and money systems are conspiring to stifle intellectual honesty, and individuality, more broadly. At what point can we consider this a humanitarian crisis? The 9/11 terror state has lost control of the national dialogue, but retains control over our bodies, our wealth and our means of communication. We, the truth-seekers, are being hung out to dry, and all of us - liars and truthers both - are gambling our children's future on the funny-money / stock-market / endless war paradigm, knowing it to be not a gamble at all, but rather a certainty, that this system will continue to subjugate every living creature to the profit motive long into the future, only to one day collapse or explode, if we neglect the task at hand.

The following hyperlinks need to be replicated at as many nodes as possible.
'American' soldiers are paid to combat the lateral sharing of intelligence.
If we do not fight like soldiers in this information war, we lose.

These are the codes, folks:

tiresome, i know,
but this is the task at hand.

Mar. 06 2017 07:39 AM
Dustin S Lind from Woodinville, WA

As a student in high school, I'm curious into knowing a little more about the standardized test, such as the ACT, SAT, PSAT, and all the other ones that may be required to attend a higher institution. There has been discussion into whether these kind of tests actually measure ones intelligence to the point where colleges are actually not requiring standardized tests anymore. I'd like to hear your input regarding everything about the standardized test.

Mar. 05 2017 12:56 AM
Jen Pohland from Beijing

In the past few years, with increasing ailments and health problems, I've delved into the deep pool of information regarding the human body, and everything about health that could maybe just put off death for a little bit longer. All that information about vitamins and nutrients, our organs and cells, how poly saturated fat gets turned into this, then gets converted to that, and how fat cells get stored etc etc. And every single time, instead of focusing on the topic, I always wonder how the heck do we know that?! How do we manage to watch what happens to nutrients in our body? How can we possibly test that our body starts burning the fat only after 15 minutes of workout?! Please explain how we learn what goes on inside our bodies at a microscopic level? Are we able to trust the information we receive?

Mar. 03 2017 10:07 AM

Do a story on commercial space flight: the rivalry between Spacex and Boeing. Maybe throw in the James Webb Space Telescope, mars updates and similar stuff. You can also dive into the history of space flight and the decay we have experienced over the last few decades until recently. You could talk about Russia as a parnter/rival, the political games and on and on. Lots of potential here.

Feb. 27 2017 05:43 PM
Michael Hansen from Yucaipa, California

So I just got done listening to the CRISPR update. The staff and guests of Radiolab were talking about all of the benevolent things that could be done with CRISPR in regards to curing diseases, and the not so benevolent slippery slopes that CRISPR technology could likely lead to in the future. But one evil little scenario kept on nagging at me as if it were the devils advocate on my shoulder in absence of the angel. It was mentioned the episode that KRISPR technology could be readily available in pill form at some time, and this got me thinking. What if some capable nefarious entity decided to use KRISPR as a biological weapon. Stop me if I'm wrong here, but if KRISPR can be used to mend genes for good, could it be used for evil as well. As quickly as MS could be cured, a new disease with unseen potential could be introduced into the population as well with precision unseen before. I know this sounds like a very slippery slope and the beginning of a conspiracy theory, but I feel that KRISPR could be a very powerful weapon in ways that construct the future in existential ways of both good and evil. Nod to Mr. Krulwich here, I think the world needs to be particularly careful with this technology.

Feb. 26 2017 09:13 PM
marley engvall from florence, ma

Stopping the war machine is akin to stopping a huge, steel locomotive. Great forces are required to accomplish the feat, but great forces are available to us.

All these years I have been trying to direct you to the brake lever.
Thermitic material is present in ALL World Trade Center dust.

Are we finally ready to pull the brake lever, and bring this train safely to a stop? Or will we continue to submit to the conditions of our self-constructed mental prisons, and just wait for the other shoe to drop?

All you need to do is speak honestly, and demand that your friends and family do the same. Do not be led to believe that your voice will not be heard, that your opinion doesn’t matter – that the voices and opinions emanating from your television are inherently more valid than your own. Those who choose to speak falsely about 9/11 are distinguishing themselves as enemies of the human race.

Feb. 22 2017 11:51 AM
Claudia Brodsky

How dare you continue to air the discredited judge's and prosecution's version of law enforcement's framing Stephen Avery, merely in order to fill airtime of a broadcast on "uncertainty"? Your lengthy transmission of the pseudo-wisdom of Avery's shameless, craven judge, and your psuedo-dramatic "this is the one of the worst things I have ever heard" repetition of the coerced "testimony" of Avery's mentally deficient nephew, caught word for word as it is being fed to him by detectives who have sequestered him away without counsel of parent present, are repulsive, enough to decide me never to hear your program again. Your 10 sec. coda, that listeners can hear Avery's "side of the story" on the documentary series "Making of a Murderer" adds insult to injury: it clearly indicates I am not the first to react with disgust and incredulity at your own purposeful exploitation of a man twice framed for others' personal professional purposes -- Radio Lab and a bottomlessly corrupt WI judiciary peas in a pod here -- and makes years;-long documentation of an excruciating truth a mere after-thought, even as Mr. Avery continues to rot in jail. You should be issuing a lengthy apology for your own selfish decision to air calumny long disproven, then -- and here is my "pitch" -- compose a multi-media program on how people who consider themselves journalists bias or preconception, let alone "scientists" of the mind (and upstanding moral citizens) could so be seduced by expedience and self-interest as to continue to promulgate, as if factual, an elaborately contrived false narrative of natural bestiality, long after the facts have been brought to light, on tape, on camera, and at epic length. That's my pitch; in the meantime, think of yourselves as the Trumps of broadcasting, dispensing whatever grisly lie gets you more hits.

Feb. 18 2017 01:21 PM

John Lurie and Lyme Disease. There's some mysterious stuff going on with him and his lyme disease. He is a complex person and that is a complex disease. Don't know if he'd be willing to participate, but it sure would be an interesting subject.

Feb. 17 2017 01:19 PM
Jonathan Wuori from Olympia, Washington

I'd love to hear a story about the music genre Vaporwave. From what I've gathered, it has an interesting story behind it. It originated on the internet and didn't really start in any part of the country in particular. People are taking samples from 80's songs and chopping them up, re-arranging them and slowing them down.

A good example you can look at is on YouTube:

Saint Pepsi "Enjoy Yourself"

This is a slowed down version of Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall".

Feb. 17 2017 11:54 AM
Pat from Dayton, Oh

Id like to hear an update on how that panhandler with the killer radio voice is doing and what his biggest challenges were and how he handled them. Does he have family? Is he in jail? Did he make the most out of the situation? Or...

Feb. 17 2017 05:44 AM
Andy from Milwaukee, WI

I would like to hear stories about sustainability and hope in the face of climate change.

What is the actual viability of ocean fertilization? More about seeding the upper atmosphere with sulphur? Does humanity have hope to fix what we've broken or is hope a foolish exercise? What would it mean to our collective psychology to have a solution to this problem? Would we all simply pollute more if a solution was found?

Thank you for making life better. :)

Feb. 16 2017 02:18 PM
Mark Hall from San Antonio, TX

Do a story on fake news. Who actually makes it, who it's targeted at, why it exists, why it's so rampant on social media, and what can we do to better sort out truth from lie. I think it's an important subject to cover. Between President Trump's accusing major news outlets of false news stories and propaganda to discredit his campaign/presidency, and The possibility of foreign and domestic groups creating fake news to manipulate elections, this is something that needs to be discussed.

Not just that, but also the editing of interviews and statements to skew the meaning of someone's statements to promote an opinion as fact. This happens quite often in our major news organizations and it doesn't seem to be illegal. Why is that?

I think a brief history of broadcast news and why it exists at all would be a good part to report on too. Maybe even why cable news exists would be good idea.

Feb. 15 2017 04:23 PM
Joshua from Pittsburgh PA

Hello, obviously I'm a big fan of Radiolab. This idea might be to broad but I think it would be interesting to hear about addiction. I personally have suffered from this disease and thankfully am currently in recovery. However, not a day goes by that I don't hear about this problem being labeled as an epidemic because of the constant overdoses from laced street drugs but also from prescription medication.

Society views addiction as a moral failing despite the scientific evidence to the contrary. I think this topic would fit perfectly for an episode of Radiolab.

Feb. 15 2017 04:09 PM
Tom from Australia

In the movie, Back to the Future 2, Doc says the criminal justice system is much more efficient since the abolition of lawyers.

My idea is what if did this happen? What we happen if we got rid of all lawyers?
Why are contracts so difficult to read that we require lawyers to go through them?
Why are they not written in plain unambiguous English?

What would the world look like?

Feb. 12 2017 04:59 AM
Rachel Bobich from Seattle, WA

Hey there!

My name is Rachel Bobich, 25 year old, athletic, driven and "healthy" female.
I moved to Seattle 1.5 years ago to pursue my career as a geologist and began to reside in a 1910-built, old, "not the cleanest or kept up" building in the central district of Seattle. I did not choose the place as my boyfriend and his best friend moved up before I could as I was helping out at our Geology field camp in Arizona.
Over the course of the next 1.5 years, I developed a host of crazy symptoms: runny and watery eyes, blurred vision, burning lungs and throat. Disclosure: I already know at this time I have serve allergies and asthma at this time as I grew up as one of those kids that lived in a bubble and with very clean homes, new schools, etc. (with a loving but slightly OCD-clean freak of a family in south Florida). I ignored it thinking it was just the typical allergy.
However, my symptoms begin to progress and add on: brain fog, fatigue, confusion, trouble concentrating, irritability, de-stabilization, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations and irregular beats, blurry vision in my left eye, extreme vertigo and constant dizziness, trouble sleeping, sever pain in my neck and back, joint pain as if i was 65, dark circles, forgetfulness, constant "flu" like symptoms. I went from doctor to doctor: neurologist (5 different), cardiologist (2 different), general practice, vestibular (VNG & vertigo testing), psychology, psychiatry, name it. No one could find the reason as to why I felt to terrible and remained dizzy daily. I also got nice, fat bills in the mail and am now on a payment plan with everyone.

Things changed Jan. 1, 2017 of this year when I went on a month long vacation to my home in Florida. Within a couple of weeks, a lot of my main allergy related symptoms cleared up, my dizziness went away, my brain fog and inability to complete the smallest of tasks vanished. I was my normal self again: motivated, driven, cheery, working out twice a day, enjoying life! I came back to Seattle Jan 24th determined that I will overcome the weird depression and flu slump I somehow found myself in everyday. I was prepared to take it by storm!
Today is Feb 10th. Since then, all of my symptoms have rushed back in like a truck hitting you in the face.
Then something else hit me.
I don't know why I didn't see it this entire time, especially as a detail-oriented, health-minded, "allergic-to-everything" type of girl.
I started to google like crazy.
Posts, after blogs, after articles of families and individuals dealing with the same thing I am still going through, and with no answers. Why isn't this a bigger deal? Why don't medical professionals ask you about your living and working environments? Why isn't it more prominent in places with higher mold factors (Seattle: damp, old and cold..a perfect host).

Feb. 10 2017 05:35 PM

I been wanting you guys to do a story on Shamanism in Mongolia ( and world wide.) I'm a Mongolian that was raised in the states and yet I keep encounter Shamanism. For example, there are 3 million Mongolian people in the world and maybe a little over 18,000 in the us? So compare to other ethnic groups in the U.S it's rare to find a Mongolian person. I've only known full of Mongolian friends. Yet how come every other Mongolian person I befriend or run into happens to be a Shaman?! what are the chances?

Here are some examples:

I had a Mongolian best friend in middle school that I reconnected later in life. Apparently she started getting her calling to be a Shaman. It started with bizarrely vivid dreams that later become reality, she would start guessing what other people were going to say, and seeing and hearing the other dimension. She said it was annoying AF.

Another Mongolian best friend I met in high school, she was a completely normal teenager that liked to party, fashion and make up ( basically everything but shamanism or spirituality,) ended up getting her calling to be a Shaman.

I also met a cute guy at a coffee shop that I ended up hitting it off with, turns out his roommate is Mongolian and of course she was a shaman too. The day he met me, he told his roommate " I met this girl that I'm excited about" and in his surprise she replied " She's Mongolian right?" Like what the actually *&^%?!

I'm sure being Mongolian increases your chance of encountering a Shaman but I still think it's odd. Which got me thinking? How does Shamanism actually work? and how are people chosen? Can Shamans actually help the world become a better place?

My father says, every thousand or so year as the older generation of Shamans pass on they must choose the next generation of Shamans. So they pick a soul a thousand year before they actually reincarnate. If you have been chosen then it is your duty to help, serve and guide the human race by allowing the spirits through your physical form. Now( my) generation is the one that was chosen. You could start getting your call early as childhood to senior years but once the call has started you have limited time. You can post pone your destiny but most likely series of bad events will start occurring. ( It's quite scary! you can start getting really ill or people around you could die or get injured.) That means you have to start taking responsibility and accept the spirits.
I have not gone back to Monoglia, but even growing up here I was lucky enough to met few authentic Shamans and it was been an amazing experience. But what the heck is going on Mongolia?
With this new wave of Shamans in this generation, Shamanism is getting a lot of attention. I heave heard that Shaman abilities are glorified and many normal folks want them. There are of course bad people exploiting this perfect situation. Phony "Shamans" would take peoples money and leave them wasted in a paranormally charged area over night.

Feb. 06 2017 07:07 PM
Mark from Germany

Do an episode on some part of Mathematics. The fun and intriguing kind such as the Mandelbrot set, infinite sums, etc. there are lots of entertaining & informative youtube videos by Vihart, 3blue1brown, numberphile, Mathologer and occasionally vsauce. Historically, Mathematics are quite interesting as well, check out this list of "badass" mathematicians:

particularly interesting persons are:
Alexandre Grothendieck (broke out of a concentration camp to assassinate Hitler), Évariste Galois, Erdos, Grigori Perelman (humbelness in person), Gauss, Goedel and Euler..

kind regards,


Feb. 06 2017 04:54 PM

Can yall discuss the Mandella effect. I recently found out about it & am fascinated by it (even though I don't believe it).

Feb. 06 2017 02:44 PM
Pamm Larry from California

How about how corporate interests are spinning "science" to make more money and continue poisoning us. Cigarette companies, sugar, pesticides. Now they are going after the IARC.

Feb. 06 2017 01:03 PM
Line Røkke Nilssen from Oslo, Norway

Loving the show. Thanks for keeping things real in the times we are currently in.

So what about making an episode about Cambridge Analytica, Psychometry and how this perhaps have affected your previous election and most importantly how this can change the future of democracy?

Or a curiosity: Here in Norway we have an area called Hessdalen, which has an observed and scientifically researched phenomenen of occuring lights, which were of course reported as UFOs, but actually can be explained physically:

Looking forward to your future episodes.

Feb. 06 2017 04:07 AM
Robert kirkwood from Dallas, Georgia

Hey there, new listener but I thoroughly enjoy the show. I know you guys are looking for more personal experiences, but I would be greatly interested in a show on the origins of money or capitalism. Who specifically spear headed it's structure, and why is their no modern fuctional prepposed alternative? This topic looms over my conscious as human who feels the oppression of a system designed inherently to benefit a small percentage of the population. Although im aware that if you work hard, and are lucky, the chances of accending past the middle-upper class almost seems like a fantasy. Why is no one acknowledging this huge division between are class structure? It's almost like a new age of serfdom and royalty. I know it goes hand in hand with are booming population as well. I know economics professionals would insist its based off survival of the fittest but thats not a good correlation considering the level of effort some people put out to others and what they get in return. Quantifying someone by the job position they hold seems a little arbitrary in nature as well. Aren't we worth the same? I know are ability to shape this world is one of the forces that drive us to this desire of resource control and empire construction. I know are society started off small communes who collaborated to pull their resources together to make it all through. When did we make the switch to taking control of your fellow man instead of working beside him? Did we really spend decades demonizing this thought to the point where we wont even address the issue in a scientific nature?

Feb. 04 2017 11:56 PM
Sophia Rosicky from Portland Oregon

Hi my name is Sophia Rosicky and I am a seventh grade art student at ACMA. I love radio lab. I was just wondering if you ever thought about the fact that you are the only person who can see the world from your perspective. That to someone else something could look totally different. For all you know you could be trapped in a coma, unable to wake. Just thought you might want to hear my idea. I know that it sounds pretty general and silly but someone else could think differently because we are all in our own world. lol.

Feb. 02 2017 02:10 PM
marley engvall from florence, ma

It is important to remember, in times like these, that Betty White still loves us. Unconditionally. And this is never going to change.

Jan. 31 2017 11:42 AM
Daniel from Hershey, PA

The microbiome in health and disease! Fecal transplants are actually supposed to be a very effective therapy, and a small group of scientists are actually determining how it can influence cognition and emotion.

Jan. 29 2017 10:35 PM
John Mitchell from NorCal

Hope for the Climate - Letters from the Future

Hello, I am an engineer located in Northern California. I have devoted significant time to the study of the science of climate change and the development of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies over the last 6 years.

In this growing cultural awareness of the terrible implications of global warming, there is a great paralysis associated with the lack of understanding of real, concrete strategies for protecting our collective future. I have access to the most recently published peer-reviewed science that, coupled with direct observations of rapid changes in our climate show that our current models vastly understate the near-term impacts and 'tipping points' that will fundamentally change our relationship with our natural environment over the next 10 years. (for example: see this informative video abstract of a published paper. note that this direct feedback to warming is not included in our current model projections )

I would like to help develop an engaging episode that speaks to this vital issue of our times. Perhaps we can look at the near term impacts that are expected and how the models underestimate them and then look at the technologies that are currently available and in development here in California and elsewhere that can be utilized within an effective mitigation strategy.

The letters from the future portion would look at the overarching societal transformations that would result from the national (World War II-scale) mobilization where we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by OVER 100% within the next 10 year (atmospheric capture of CO2 and soil carbon sequestration is an integral part of this project - leading to greater than 100% reductions).

For example, the implementation of new solar and wind with battery storage technology, distributed (victory garden) type agriculture and the availability of low-cost high-intensity electric powered public transportation will transform the most basic social structures.

We can address these issues in an engaging, hopeful way, in this time of growing climate-induced dystopia.

Jan. 29 2017 04:42 PM
Marley Engvall from florence, ma

What are we teaching our children by allowing 9/11 to remain unexamined?

9/11 was a big ugly lie, and everybody knows it.

Jan. 28 2017 11:21 PM
Bill Doorley from Pittsburgh, PA, USA


I'm not able to listen to Radiolab as often as I'd like, but I enjoy it both on the air and as a podcast. Often it helps me to think differently about myself and the world around me.

I was just listening to this week's show on WESA, Pittsburgh, and I heard the phrase, "At this point, George had a wife and two children." The story went on, but for some reason that phrase caught my attention. I hear it, or similar phrases, all the time, and often in the context of a scientist's ongoing life and work.

But how does it happen? How does a scientist find that special someone, and is their process different from, say, a plumber in Peoria or a salaryman in Sapporo or a mariner in someplace that begins with "M"? And what kind of a person chooses to live with someone whose answer to "How was your day, dear?" might be something like, "Awful. We got the power up to six-point-five TeV, but then the magnetic field collapsed."

As a hopeful bachelor myself, though I'm a technical writer rather than a scientist, I think it might be interesting to find out how scientists find their soul mates (given that "soul" is not a scientific concept).

Bill Doorley

Jan. 28 2017 01:20 PM
William H Davis from Nausea, New Hamster

Please remove your dreadful programme from the airwaves. Each time I hear the awful grating, whining, dentist-drill voice of your host I have an overwhelming desire to smash my radio.


Jan. 28 2017 12:11 PM

How about a look into the case of Scott Peterson? During my early years of college, I took a part time job at a call center making follow up calls for leases on Fords, one of my calls was to a Scott Peterson in that area after this event. Needless to say I did not make the call and the whole story has always irked me since. Also creepy that he resembles Ben Affleck.

Jan. 27 2017 11:26 AM
mae herbert

please do something about unsolved cases or something i think that would be really cool. maybe a little series of them? or just one big episode about the most interesting unsolved case you find?

Jan. 26 2017 10:45 PM
Thomas Westfall from Suffolk, Virginia

Minimalism. The Art, the Music, and most importantly, the social movement. United and Global minimalist perspectives. When did minimalism begin? 60 years ago? Ancient eras? Japan? Why are people currently becoming minimalist? Social, Culture implications?

Jan. 26 2017 12:56 PM
Jesse De Sousa from Shenzhen, China

The underground and scary gutter oil industry of China! It may have spread to other parts of the world as I saw people collecting sewage yesterday in Vietnam.

Possible lines of discussion:

- background
- health effects
- detection technology (or lack of)
- profitability
- growing popularity in poor countries

Jan. 24 2017 05:01 AM
Ross McGrory from Baltimore, MD

Your show is incredible. Would love to hear something on immunotherapies directed against cancer, e.g. CAR-T therapy, one that trains your immune cells to eradicate cancerous cells.

Thank you.

Jan. 23 2017 01:29 AM
Allen Husker from Mexico City

Peak Oil seems to have been reached. There isn't anything to replace oil in the world in terms of energy very cheap and very transportable and available 24/7. I'm a geophysicist who thinks about these things. Would love to hear your take on it. On the short term this seems way more problematic than Climate Change, but it doesn't get nearly the same press. The two are obviously related. The more me and colleagues have looked into this, the more difficult it is to not think that humanity is headed for a big decline.

Jan. 22 2017 10:47 PM
Team J from Virginia

Why is a rodeo rider supposed to hang on for eight seconds? Longer? Shorter?
Eight seems pretty arbitrary; what's up with that?

Jan. 20 2017 10:15 PM
Kathy Haselmaier from Fort Collins, Colorado

Let's hear more about raising expectations for women in the workplace. I started exploring this idea here and wish others build on it:

Jan. 19 2017 07:47 PM
Ryan from Raleigh, NC

Nothing concrete, but I absolutely loved the More Perfect series and would really like to see more episodes to explore some key Supreme Court cases. I'm an attorney and we often read these case opinions for what they mean from a legal perspective. By the time they reach our highest court l, the facts tend to be relegated to th sidelines, /'d the legal issues take center stage. But the More Perfect series did a great job of going behind the curtain and the facade of sterile legal issues to give a glimpse into the real-life humans behind the cases and the issues they face in a way that really made the issues come alive for me.

Jan. 19 2017 06:58 AM
Atom from Cedar City Utah

You should do an episode on broken heart syndrome. when someone dies of a real broken heart. There are so many cases of people dying from a loss of a loved one. it would really be a fantastic concept.

Jan. 18 2017 04:08 PM
Erin Thomas from Riverside, CA

I live in California and the biggest thing that everyone forgets to emphasize about decisions made during Katrina was it was AUGUST in New Orleans. Heat and humidity, even if you are used to it, can sap your strength and decision making abilities in short order. So when you say it was 4 days, no it was 96 sweltering hours with little or no food and drink. And sick patients...frantic time!

Jan. 17 2017 10:40 PM

Ephisode on TTHM's it's a larger problem than the lead in Flint and you never hear anyone talk about it.

Jan. 17 2017 05:40 PM
Daniel from Hershey, Pennsylvania


New listener and still catching up, but I'm loving what I've listened to thus far.

It would be interesting to hear more of the story surrounding the unethical treatment of animals by Santa Cruz Biotechnology. They are one of the most wide-spread suppliers of antibodies for research use, and were ordered to pay what is apparently the largest fine ever under the Animal Welfare Act, at 3.5M, to the USDA. Also, >1000 of their animals have also mysteriously 'disappeared' before their hearing last April. Oh, and they had a secret animal facility as well... If you find this topic story-worthy, I'm sure I will enjoy your take on the matter.

Jan. 16 2017 10:37 PM
T corey from Palmyra pa

An episode on nuclear weapons and the near misses (accidents). The documentary Command and Control recently shown on PBS only touched the surface. The book with the same name is much more detailed and frightening. The insanity of nuclear policy (9000 nuclear weapons targeted at Moscow in the 60s!) and the near catastrophes from accidents. Over 1000 "broken arrow events". Excellent book, interesting subject. We are going to spend 1 trillion $ over the next decade to upgrade our nuclear weapons.

Jan. 12 2017 01:20 PM
Richard Dziadul from Connecticut

I would like to see an episode on rebellion. What happens when an American state attempts to break the Status Quo and rebel against the fossil fuel industry.

This episode would be centered around Small Solar and the movement that has taken hold. The exciting story of how a state started a program that has become a movement.

The state is Connecticut and the movement is supported by the Connecticut Green Bank.

State actions too boring to be a rebellion? Just remember Starwars, The Rebellion is a state sponsored enterprise. Think Alderon.

Jan. 12 2017 11:32 AM
Mary from Irvine, CA

"Nature is the best designer"

I my opinion, one of the most important ideas to the future of engineering is biomimickry: using solutions we can find in nature for engineering challenges. Some of my favorite examples are: the artificial leaf, turning water into O2 and H2 being developed at MIT by Nocera and Silver; anti fouling/anti corrosion surfaces based on the Carnivorous Pitcher Plant being developed by Joanna Aizenberg; and biomimetic buildings that use schemes modeled on living organisms to generate energy and regulate temperature (review by Talasek of the National Academy of Sciences). Of course there are myriad more examples.

I think it would make a great episode to speak with evolutionary biologists to talk about how several of these organisms evolved over time to have these "super powers" work. This could be interspersed with interviews with the engineers, exploring some of the challenges they had and their insights. I think we would learn a lot about nature AND about some great projects shaping the face of engineering.

Jan. 07 2017 02:48 PM
Paul from White Plains, NY

I have a topic close to my heart that you might find interesting:
I'm currently 55 years old, but when I was around 14, my close neighborhood friend and I use to attend synagogue every Saturday in Bayside, Queens, NY. My father was the Rabbi of the synagogue at the time. As traditionally observant jews we did not travel on the Sabbath and would walk to and from synagogue on that day. We lived about half a mile from each other and the synagogue was situated between our family homes.
Most Sabbaths after synagogue I would spend the day at my friend's house. One time it was getting late and time for me to go home. He said he would walk me back to my house so we could goof around (as usual) and enjoy each others company along the way. He walked me home and when we arrived, I told him, I would walk him back to his house now. This went on all afternoon until sunset and the Sabbath had ended. But the most interesting part was the conversation we were engrossed in along the way. We had stumbled upon a paradox. It started when one of us in the course of conversation said, "you know there is an exception to every rule". To which the other responded "well, there is an exception to every rule except the rule that there is an exception to every rule". We pondered this for a while and one of us responded, "if there is an exception to every rule, except the rule that there is an exception to every rule ... well then, that is the exception to the rule that there is an exception to every rule." Of course, this lead to what is commonly called "an endless loop", or is scientific terms - recursion. What was most remarkable to me, was that that conversation was going on while we had decided to walk each other back and forth to each others homes that afternoon. We were in fact acting out the very conversation we were having. What came first, the act of walking back and forth as inspiration for the topic of our conversation, or the conversation influencing our actions. This too, is an endless loop and a reminder of how incursion influences our lives.

Jan. 07 2017 10:54 AM
nik from Australia

NDE near death eperience

Jan. 05 2017 10:53 PM
dharrel from Los Angeles

Art as a catalyst for revolution. How have paintings, music, theater caused revolt or outcry? How have specific pieces of art changed the course of history?

Dec. 29 2016 12:18 PM
Yaiza from Galicia, Spain

Hello, I´ve been an avid listener since I was once marveled by "The distance of the moon" episode, since I was not aware of how many others have such love for Italo Calvino´s work. For that and for many more, I´d like to congratulate you and to wish you many many years of success.
My idea would be the lives of women artists, inventors, engineers, etc. because I don´t know how this topic is treated in other countries, but here in Spain we are not taught about them.
Other idea that would delight me beyond imaginable would be an episode about Nikola Tesla, since I´m absolutely obsessed with his life and inventions!!
Whether you find my ideas interesting or not, thank you for the many hours of knowledge and entertainment (and books, "In the dust of this planet" is fascinating!!!) and I hope you can offer us many more!

Dec. 27 2016 06:05 PM
Jake from Nashville TN

Yeah - come to Music City and rip down the curtain.

See the remarkable talent here that goes unnoticed. Underground. Musicians with home studios that are just as good or better than Music Row studio as far as quality. Meet those who write magnificent songs, fun songs that will never see the light of day due to Corporate rule.

Meet people who have performed with A List artists, playing in front of tens of thousands and now have to sell real estate, fix refrigerators or drive for Uber to buy food.

Meet top notch musicians who play for free because of their love or music and no one will hire them because they are not Mainstream. They are however, probably some of the best musicians in the world!

See the exploiting of musicians all day long downtown on Broadway. $10 an hour - maybe - no breaks for four hours helping sell booze and bar food, all the while seeing stickers and logos saying - It's All About The Music.

See how 44 million views of one of my songs sync'd to video on Facebook - gets $0.00 in Royalties because ASCAP is not monitoring Facebook. "We're working on it," they told me.

YeAH - Come to Nashville

Dec. 27 2016 03:59 PM
richard pauli from Seattle

How about telling us how effective ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers have been with their support of key information shows. They seem inordinately successful in suppressing reports on the causes of global warming from carbon emissions and promoting the continued commerce in carbon fuels.

I'm amazed to notice that NONE of the Sunday TV news shows have yet learned of global warming or of climate science and the cause of our overheated world. I do notice they have decades of heavy advertiser support from the American Petroleum Institute and other carbon fuel industries.

Is it really that easy? The Koch brother offer tremendous support for so many science shows. There may have been one or two shows about clean environments or the atmosphere, but nothing that amounts to showing a clear connection to both carbon fuel and the onslaught of opinion manipulation by that industry.

I am severely disappointed to hear ExxonMobil as a RadioLab supporter...(did I hear that right?) perhaps I misheard. Please tell me that you are aware of the most important news story before all of civilization... and how can you possibly rise above the interests of your underwriters?

Dec. 25 2016 07:45 PM
Rudy Fentz from Portland Maine

How about immoral science experiments that have led to breakthroughs? Immoral causes that have led to positive effects. Could the US have ever survived without slavery of Africans and genocide of Natives? Is it immoral to inherit the benefits of an immoral act, that you had no participation in?

Dec. 22 2016 03:16 PM
kyle northrup from denver

I would love to hear a piece on mentoring. I was personally mentored as a kid and I could not be more grateful for the path it led me to. I would love to get you in touch with one of the best mentoring programs I've ever experienced. The show might even delve into the psychological and statistical impacts that mentoring has on young minds, as well as get into the psychology of the mentors themselves (why they might be interested and what they have learned). Let me know if you are interested and if I can be of any help!
Love the show,

Dec. 21 2016 12:31 PM
Bruce McBain from Sagamihara, Japan

Informative and interesting as usual. If Robert Krulwich could stop introducing himself every 30 seconds, we'd appreciate it!

Dec. 21 2016 06:23 AM
Dave Bekken from Portland, OR

Marriage. Marriage is what brings us, together, today... What a big intersection between soul, science, politics, power, love, triumph, struggle, friendship, creation, god.... here is the node.

Dec. 21 2016 12:09 AM
Susan Elliott from Milford, Massachusetts

My world was upended when I discovered the existence of a bill of sale for a man, Hosea, in my home town of Franklin, Massachusetts back in colonial times. The very stonewalls my brothers used to navigate may have been built by people of colour who were enslaved. Since then I have discovered there were many more slaves in the area, including Charles Paine (enslaved while in the Continental line in the Revolution!), Caesar and many more. Lawyers, doctors, and ministers were the worst offenders. You can read the owners's diaries for first hand accounts. I will never look at a village green the same way again in New England.

Dec. 20 2016 01:04 PM
Eleni from Norway

How about something around the history of media. Can we trust the media any more and what they report. The reporting on Aleppo has been very controversial. How connected is global media these days. How can we as receivers of the news trust the media and know it is fact. What is fact and what is opinion?

Dec. 20 2016 10:37 AM
Jon Bender from Austin, TX

I highly recommend doing an episode on the concept of 'energy' - what is energy? How do scientists in various fields think of energy? --- Another idea, I would love to see an episode exploring the relationship between science and art. Specifically, how science has lead to specific examples of art and how art has lead to the progression of science. What can we learn from these obvious connections?

Dec. 19 2016 11:50 PM
Stephanie Gannon from New Jersey

How about the reasons behind caregiving. Why do some people push it away and other people make it they're whole life.

Dec. 19 2016 06:26 PM
Efrain Solis from Katy, TX

Malcolm Baldrige and the accidental case of transformation change. Series looking at his legacy and those who use the Baldrige framework. Full disclosure my organization just won the 2016 award with 3 other organizations.

Dec. 18 2016 11:04 PM
David Anderson from Corvallis, Oregon

Please revisit the Gamma episode and ask this question:
Is the frequency of fluorescent light and LED light a consideration in the development of Alzheimer's? Can we alter the frequency of modern lighting and promote the plaque cleaners. What about the frequency of audible input? In a world in which everyone has earbuds in their ears, maybe the study of gamma should be expedited to ascertain we are not creating the problem with input.
Obviously solving the problem with input is amazing!

Your program is the BEST produced input in the world. I do not understand how you keep producing such amazing material! Keep up the great work!

Dec. 18 2016 04:40 PM
Stan from Aoteraoa

Cut Price Petrol is now commonplace, but when, where and how did it start?
Well it all began with a (stolen) truck load of hens eggs in a pub in Ashton in Makerfield, UK in the '70s.

Dec. 18 2016 03:51 PM
Jim Vandiver from Smithfield, VA

This is a second comment concerning the Gamma rate for reversing Alzheimer. I wondered if my laptop screen refresh rate could be changed, but apparently not, at least not to 40 hertz. Too bad, but for anyone with a CRT, this is a thought that might be useful since those screen refresh rates should be adjustable to 40 hertz. Imagine if we could do this to smart phone screens. I still have to look for a strobe app....

Dec. 18 2016 01:09 PM
vishu from san francisco, ca

I'd like a show on norms - for culture at large - national to local to family. Different cultural, family and socio-economic backgrounds lead to different norms. It'd be fun to explore the range and point out some interesting outliers. There may be disagreements in what someone might find interesting or as outliers.

Dec. 17 2016 03:04 PM
Joel from El Paso

Why don't you sell merchandise? Do you have any idea how many people would but a Radiolab coffee mug? Radiolab shirts, hoodies, laptop stickers, hats, beanies... i'd buy and i'm sure many others would as well

Dec. 16 2016 10:39 PM
Bruce Allen from Norman, OK

Jad keeps saying things like "Christ!" I wonder how far it would take him if he said "Mohammed!" or "Allah!". I am through with Radio Lab.

Dec. 15 2016 02:55 PM
Todd A MacKenzie from Geisel Medical School, Hanover, NH

Randomize Everyone: You ever been to see your doctor, and the doctor suggests a couple or more treatment options. And when you ask which one is better the doctor shrugs. They don’t know – not enough is known about the differences between the two treatments. And it is not just that the doctor does not know, no one knows because there has been little or no effort to collect evidence on the difference. Medicine makes an effort to study some of the big questions in prescribing treatments usually by means of the randomized controlled trial, which is the gold standard of trials. But there is many times more open questions then studies. We believe one solution to this quandary is to “Randomize Everyone”. Simply put, anytime you a patient is facing a choice of multiple treatment options, and little is known to guide the choice, the patient be randomized to treatment. We envision a healthcare system that does not just treat, but which learns at the same time. Right now the healthcare and the research are too separated. This will need some buy-in from anyone who ever sees a doctor, that is, all of us. It means a conversation about consent to research and the benefits of Randomizing Everyone.

Dec. 15 2016 01:29 PM
Heidi from Switzerland

Have you ever heard of Bruce Lee in Bosnia? My husband recently took a group of students to Bosnia to learn about the war there in the 1990s. He came home with the most unlikely story of finding common ground, healing after conflict and finding the soul of a community that I've ever heard. I immediately thought of Radiolab. Check it out!

Dec. 14 2016 07:37 AM
Annika from Massachusetts

Maybe something on the society's we create as children and the history and reasons why we do that.

Dec. 09 2016 09:33 AM
Liz from San Diego

How can the life of Leonardo Da Vinci teach us to harness our potential?

I'd love to listen to a show exploring the life and psychology of the most written about/talked about artist Leonardo Da Vinci.

Starting as an illegitimate Florentine boy with a narrow opportunity for a career and growing into the most famous artist of his time and ours, Leonardo Da Vinci is the epitome of the idea that we can accomplish anything! Using the age-old (but reluctantly accepted) recipe of practice and action (much like the 10,000 hour rule from the novel Alexander the Great), Da Vinci was fervent to stay a man of action.
Anything he was interested in he would try - from painting to war engineering to performing autopsies to flight. He says:

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

We all know that this is much easier said than done...

Leonardo was a restless soul whose interests and ideas were constantly accumulating. He constantly wrote in notebooks and sketched ideas, filling over 50,000 pages in his lifetime. Perhaps writing a note was the first step in accomplishing his many ideas? Maybe he kept a certain mindset that was a catalyst to his accomplishments? Is there a recipe to stimulating action and greatness in the mind that he figured out?

That being said, let's explore the ways that can we find motivation like Leonardo Da Vinci in order to achieve great things!

Dec. 08 2016 12:31 AM
David Schuerger from Germany

Why not dedicating a show to the science of pain/chronic pain/ fibromyalgia /CRPS/CFS and the possibilities to treat them. Also the ongoing science around these diseases. You could take up the story of whitney dafoe and his father ron davis who is a renowned genetist who took part in the human genome project and is now dedicated to solve the problem of CFS. All those diseases are still misteries to our medical system and there are a lot of people suffering from those diseases. Also funding from the NIH is very low to do research in those medical areas. Furthermore there is a lot of controversy around these illnesses whether they are real or not although there are hundreds of papers stating their existence....

Dec. 05 2016 07:14 AM
Steven from Kansas

This may be a topic better suited for More Perfect, but I would like to hear a report regarding the 2016 Supreme Court case Utah v. Strieff in which the Court ruled that an illegal stop by police does not render further discovered illegal activity inadmissable thus in effect rendering the protection provided by the 4th amendment non-existent.

Dec. 03 2016 09:52 AM
Alex Brunning from Alberta, Canada

Hi guys!

Forgive me if it's already been done, I'm still working my way through the library, but I think it would be cool to cover something along the lines of keeping up with technology.

With new technology being designed to be as user friendly as possible, there are still people every day falling behind and/or refusing to keep up. It's always been interesting to me that a toddler can pick up a phone and figure it out in minutes but an older person will often get frustrated and become unwilling to work with it.

Thanks, love the show!

Dec. 02 2016 12:40 PM
Laura from Bend, OR

I would be interested in a show on meditation, specifically having you look into claims of controlling body functions that are normally uncontrollable (medical perspective) or people who claim to be able to will things to happen (physics perspective) and maybe throw a religious perspective in there too?

I'd also be interested in learning more about mirror neurons and similar scientific research occurring in that realm. Also an update on CRISPR! (might be too soon?)

Dec. 02 2016 12:54 AM
Hunter from Virginia

"Playing the Numbers" a form of lottery that I have little understanding of. I have met many die-hard advocates of this form of lottery, many of which are reasonable people. Very superstitious but given the popularity of the game at many gas stations around where I live I assume that people must get paid sometimes. There is a rumor of a local who makes all of his income from the game.

Dec. 01 2016 11:45 AM
J from NYC

How about a story on fake news since it''s tearing our country apart.

Nov. 30 2016 08:03 PM
glglg from London, United Kingdom

a follow up on the jury episode which looks at the Indian justice system where jury trials were outlawed in the 1960's after one very publicised murder trial.

Nov. 30 2016 12:29 PM
Steve from Florida

Plant Blindness: This topic could incorporate other forms of "blindness" or general lack of awareness in modern humans.

Nov. 29 2016 07:54 AM
Linda from NYC

How about a story on annoying language trends and how they are used even by professionals, and how it can obscure meaning, cause the listener to lose respect/interest, and seriously dumb down discussions and presentations. For example, in a radiolab episode, when discussing the history of the law regarding jury selection, the presenter states that it was found "illegal -totes illegal". Because I do not assume people are trend following idiots, I immediately thought he must be referring to some case law, and that it is annoying they'd not clarify the what the Totes case was that made this illegal. Turns out it's totally, but the dimwit thinks it is cute to abbreviate words.

Not every experience is a "journey", radiolab. And here's a thought, why not analyze, or think about, or discuss instead of relentlessly "unpacking" things.

Other pathetic word choices include, but are not limited to describing everything as "meta", like the invisibilia airheads do. People should stop referring to any trend or concept or fact that has come to light as a "thing", as it "how did that become a thing?" or "that's a thing now". It is also possible to influence or persuade or affect and not always "inform". You don't sound more intelligent defeaulting to this trendy talk. In fact the opposite and sometimes the actual meaning is obscured. There are SO many examples... I don't need to list them. You know when you are doing it.

Why? These shows are publicly supported and tax exempt. There should be some basic standard.

It would be interesting, very interesting, for the worst culprits of trendy dimwit speak to do a show on it. Try that.

Nov. 27 2016 03:58 PM
Ari M. from Haines, Alaska

Hello I am currently resident in Alaska working with the disabled as a direct service professional at REACH. I love listening in on topics that come from a range of different perspectives, especially from the disabled point of view. It is a beautiful and almost life changing experience learning about what it's like seeing life from another person's shoes and especially important to have that understanding. Breaking the fears and beliefs that most people have about the disabled. And being that you are looking for ideas for a new podcast, I would love to hear just that, only this disability comes from the senses. And people who lack the sense of pain, physical pain and what the world is like for just them. It is a real phenomenon, and I have had friends that have worked with clients who lack the sense of pain and who are practically fearless. I think this would be a fascinating topic to investigate.
Ari M.

Nov. 27 2016 02:47 PM

I always wondered what is the scientific explanation behind "simple pleasures". Why do people enjoy dancing and singing, for example? Why music moves us or dance or watching something beautiful is enjoyable...

Nov. 23 2016 07:32 PM
Suzette T. from Redondo Beach, CA

I'd love to hear a follow-up on your reporting of mosquitoes in your "KILL ‘EM ALL" podcast. How has the program been doing? Has it changed any with the Zika virus spreading? When Zika was being blasted all over our media, you guys were the first ones I thought about. I freaking love you guys and love what you do! Thank you!

Nov. 23 2016 01:42 PM
Daniel Hoffman from Collingswood NJ

I'm an animator and a fine artist. these two worlds seem to reach completely different audiences and have very different impacts. I would love to listen to an episode about the impact of art, be it "fine art," commercial art, or otherwise.

Nov. 23 2016 01:32 PM
Dan DeGroodt from Portland Oregon

Just heard the Allen and Emily show where he was writing things on her hand because she is now hearing impaired. Very sad show topic glad it had a happy ending

Nov. 20 2016 07:22 PM
irv from irvtown

Depersonalization Disorder- a feeling of unreality; you feel like you are not real
Derealization- A feeling of unreality where the outside world doesn't feel real.
Here's a place where you can find a group of people trapped in this hell:

Nov. 19 2016 01:54 PM
Winston from Spain

An interesting topic for a show could be the history of writing. This might be more of history than science, but you could involve archaeology and anthropology certainly. You could talk about alphabets like the Roman, Greek, and Cyrillic ones, and other writing systems more based on syllabograms and ideograms like ancient Egyptian and Mayan writing systems. Pictographs you could also discuss too. You could also discuss things like the Chinese writing system, and many others. You could also show how many ideograms are in fact used in English writing, like #, &, %, et cetera. Some systems evolved slowly from drawings, and some were invented largely by one person (aware of already existing writing systems.)

Nov. 19 2016 05:25 AM
Lisa from Florida

I just finished listening to the Se12th episode "Eye in the Sky". What prevents another nation-state from hiring this company to launch planes over a foreign city? Russia over NYC or US over Moscow? If this was developed by and for the military, I suspect this already exists.

Nov. 17 2016 01:49 PM
Richard from Texas

Could you please explain the science behind the collapse of the Twin Towers and Tower 7 on 9/11? I still don't understand how it happened. I have watched enough YouTube and read the 9/11 commission report, the 9/11 commission report omissions, and the debunking of the omissions, and the debunking of the debunkers... but I would appreciate something other than NIST and conspiracy theorist explanations. Total collapse of all three buildings doesn't make sense to me yet. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the wake and in the name of that day. Mass surveillance.. torture.. war.. political leaders... How different would our world be if that day hadn't played out that way? Maybe you can't answer all of those but as far as the chemistry and the physics of the collapse I would love to hear your take RL!

Nov. 15 2016 09:27 AM
Rye from Lawrence, Kansas

My work is the only 24/7 crisis and suicide hotline serving the entire state of Kansas. With just a futon and 4 phones we've taken over 17,000 calls in 2016 alone but we are on the brink of financial collapse (will not see next year, pending miracle), it was founded almost 50 years ago. I work the overnight shift full-time but otherwise the phones are staffed by trained volunteers from the community.

A piece on Headquarters Counseling Center would be good for Radiolab and potentially life-saving for us.

Nov. 14 2016 02:27 AM
Amanda Furr from San Antonio, Texas

Self driving cars are supposed to kill a driver to avoid hitting a crowd. Does that mean a well timed row of mannequins in the middle of a private drive at night would result in the perfect murder? Driver is killed by car and evil character takes car computer duping mannequins away.... PS. Thanks Jab for the show you did for the Mind Science Institute in San Antonio TX. That was awesome!

Nov. 13 2016 10:20 PM
Peter Ross from San Jose

Well we know your good stuff doesn't come from here.

Nov. 12 2016 10:11 PM
Diana Strickland from San Antonio, TX

With an outcry for Constitutional Amendment for straight plurality voting in the US ringing in my ears, I worry about unintended consequences. There's a branch of discrete math that studies Election Theory. Evidently, (surprisingly!) straight plurality voting can result in some interesting paradoxes where favored candidate does not win, and a widely disliked candidate can. Is there a mathematically-provable *optimal* way to evenly value each vote, and without occasional terrible outcomes? Is there a way to preserve the Federal nature of our Democracy and do so?

Nov. 11 2016 12:09 AM
Stephen Lee from Saint Thurial, France

In light of the recent election of Donald Trump, and the wave of nationalism spreading across the western world, it would be interesting to revisit the "New Nice" segment of the "New Normal" episode. In this segment about the domestication of foxes, Richard Wrangham argues that humans are systematically "domesticating" ourselves by removing "bullies" from society. If his theory has merit, how do we explain our current state of affairs?

Nov. 10 2016 04:59 AM
Ghamdan Al-Eryani from Yemen, but at Australia atm

A single Individual.

Stories demonstrating the power of an individual to shape society/world and disease (e.g Cancer starts from 1 cell forgetting how to die). A lot of medical research is heading towards single-cell analysis instead of the usual averaging out results across millions of cells (tissue sampling).

Nov. 09 2016 10:51 PM

Quantum Entanglement would be interesting. Maybe based on the story of the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paper and how it's interpretation led to how we still study today.

Nov. 05 2016 07:21 PM

I big debate I hear in English class is do difficulties and difficult situations in life inspire personal growth or personal destruction. I would love to hear a story about this. I have a story about the personal growth piece on some stuff I really haven't heard being talked about before on here, or I know quite a few people with other stories that would be willing to share them. Might be interesting.

Nov. 05 2016 07:16 PM
Annick from New Haven, CT

A podcast on the new era of consumer genetics and the impact it has on families and sense of self would be fascinating. As part of the IVF generation, I am fascinated by people my age who are now finding relatives through 23andMe. I found my bio dad and five half-siblings when I was 24 through 23andMe. My brother found his biological father and half-sister last year. We've had radically different experiences and found radically different sperm donors. What is the impact of this on IVF kids but also sperm donors who end up having families of their own? The whole search for kin seems one fraught with risk but also reward and just brings up so many questions about what family actually means to various people. Is it biological? Is it social? Is it both? What can genetically-related kin tell truly tell us about ourselves?

Nov. 04 2016 04:13 PM
Amalia from Seattle

alleged war criminals that are living peacefully without retribution. Look up "act of killing". How are in some parts of the world we go after these individuals and in others they are let to roam free? be regarded as heroes?

I would find that fascinating.

Nov. 04 2016 11:52 AM
Brian from MD

How about a story on THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in world? Each year THON raises ~$10 million for pediatric cancer patients and research through the year round efforts of 15,000 college students. Many facets to the story and make sure to send a reporter to the climatic 46 hour dance marathon in mid February.

Nov. 01 2016 04:58 PM
Luke Bahrou from Detroit

Deja Vu - The sensation of feeling 100% sure that you've experienced a sequence of events at another time in your life, even though the circumstances could not have existed in the past.

Oct. 31 2016 04:27 PM
Cody C from Oceanside, California

Everyone who smokes seems to have a love of Bics... nobody knows of the lead danger they insidiously contain! (which is in the flint used for a spark)... Which brings up a whole new question: Is it the smoking or the lighter causing the cancer?

Oct. 31 2016 02:27 PM
Valky from NYC, NY

Environmental Psychology - History and modern research.

Oct. 31 2016 12:35 PM
Chris Kiesler

How are our brains different due to technology. Are kids raised on telephones and apps hurt by their use?

Oct. 30 2016 04:29 PM

How about a story on animal migration? How do they find their way?

Oct. 29 2016 06:08 PM
Peleg from Israel

- The world is a loud place, especially cities. It affects our health. Still, we don't have to go out on the street to encounter noise, we don't even have to open a window. Just make coffee, do your laundry, try to vacuum a rug, or cook with a stove ventilator overhead, and your ears get overcorwded by a loud, nearly unbearable noise. then you ask yourself, why on Earth aren't the companies who make these home appliances, investing R&D resoucres in making the damn machines quieter?!
Right after that, you step into a theatre to watch the latest action movie, which blasts your ears out and you wonder - was it always so loud in movies?

Oct. 29 2016 06:51 AM
Veronica Hennessey from Eugene, OR

The Kennewick Man! the remains of a body was found on national river bank in Kennewick Washington a few years ago. archeologists dated it to pre native Americans and they have drastically different features. the local tribe claimed it was their ancestors and all study of the remains have stopped. but, is it their ancestor? or is everything we know about native American history wrong??

Oct. 28 2016 12:45 PM
Ayub M. Iman from Conshohocken, PA

So, I want to hear about why the sum of all positive integers = -1/12
ex: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + ... = -1/12.
this fact is used everyday in physics to compute results that can be tested, so it's not nonsense but very bizarre.
why is -1/12 found in other bizarre places like the analytic continuation of the zeta function and why are we not using Cesàro summation to allow us to assign infinite series values.

I want you guys to go crazy with mathematics for few episodes... please guys.

Oct. 27 2016 03:03 PM
Alex from Chicago

My wife has been dealing with an incredibly mysterious hives breakout since June 2016...coincidentally, it was a month before our wedding. No allergists or any doctors had an explanation for this and dismissed it as a passing annoyance. Of course, everyone else had ideas -- stress. But we knew this wasn't the case. (And an eventual cortisol level test proved it!) Seriously, this girl meditates on the daily and we had a relatively stress free time planning our wedding. Since the "stress" of planning a wedding, the hives have persisted. Multiple blood tests were inconclusive. Finally, we started working with a functional med dr. who at least seems to be on a path to sorting this all out though we've just started this new approach and are eager to see if any changes result.

Without going too deep, this case ties into hypo/hyper-thyroidism, leaky gut, a whole slew of auto-immune conditions (e.g. Hashimoto's and M.S.) and affects a larger part of the population than we are, or at least I was, even aware of. And as an (un)limited-time bonus includes tons of pertinent questions about what we're all putting into our bodies!

As we are slowly discovering, this topic has heaps of depth and breadth and would be a pretty mess for your staff of world-class investigators and journalists. Finally, and best of all, this could potentially help thousands, if not millions, who are dealing with myriad thyroid or other auto-immune conditions find help in a place they didn't expect.

While we continue to wade through these dense, murky waters we may as well be as helpful and informative as possible...

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Oct. 25 2016 02:35 PM
Jenny from Montreal

I'd like to know more about the way women and men react differently to medication. Lately, I keep hearing sound bites and second-hand bits of information that hint about a potential (or upcoming?) shift in how women and men should get treated for the same ailments. Not just based on the individual's obvious checklist, i.e. weight, height, medical history, etc. but with gender as a starting point.
Is it really "a thing"?

Oct. 25 2016 12:45 PM
Xriva 18707 from MountainTop, PA USA

Aquaponics - a closed loop growing system for plants and fish. Can be used in urban settings. Uses a tiny fraction of the water used in traditional farming. Also - no fertilizers nor pesticides. Way cool topic - still 'newish', but with enough people doing it that you can find places to visit.

Oct. 25 2016 09:20 AM
Gina from Wilmington, NC

Do a show on our universe as a simulation. And if you could throw something about what that would mean about psychics and dreams in there - all the better.

Oct. 25 2016 12:01 AM

Do a show on BSL-4 Labs and BSL-4 agents or do a show on Antibiotic resistance.

Oct. 24 2016 04:00 PM
Dwight from Ohio

- Is the Planet Earth Conscious?
- A show about NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming
- Massive radio hypnosis
- A radio show that talks about Theater Radio
- A show about D.M.T.
- A show talking about ASMR- (Autonomous sensory meridian response)

- A radio show that talks and presents different aspects of hearing effects and sound waves and other things. (wear head phones during the show to have a hearing experience. different psychological effects of sounds and voices.

-A personal request is " how you edit the show together so it flows, what to cut, how much, what do you all do during interviews. I think it would be cool if some how you give us a making of Radio Lab, or even a contest to put out for student to try and land that perfect flowing edit of a story.

Oct. 22 2016 06:49 PM
Victoria Vass from Raleigh, NC

I don't have stories for you but I have things I would love to hear about.

Primitive technology/earth skills and wisdom, the ways it is being lost around the world as cultures die out
The idea of integrating back into our ecosystems using highly advanced technology, instead of living in our moonscape on top of the natural world

Oct. 20 2016 02:57 PM
Anna Matthews from Boulder, Colorado

Prairie dogs. They are a Keystone species being driven to extinction in the American West. They are quite a sophisticated and unique species but are in the way of agriculture and ranching and have been demonized. Boulder, Colorado seems to be ground zero in the fight to save them.

Oct. 19 2016 06:08 PM
Katherine from New York

Any story with Hope Jahren. Her book Lab Girl was fantastic and I would love to hear her talk more about trees, seeds, and other plant stories.

Oct. 19 2016 04:14 PM
Paul Grimm from Indianapolis

I would love to hear an episode about language. I would be happy to get some contacts with good stories for you. For example, I grew up in Luxembourg and our trash man knew 8 languages. One story I have is from my Spanish teacher going on a mission trip to Venezuela. She went down with a lady who was there for a while and at the end of the mission trip a priest wanted her to speak and she was trying to say I'm embarrassed because of the priest (having her speak). But she said that she was embarazada because of the priest. Embarazada means pregnant.

Oct. 19 2016 01:36 PM
Nicholas Gully from Helmetta, New Jersey

I will keep this short and sweet. I would love to hear an episode on the impact humans are having on species around the world. Something following the lines of Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Sixth Extinction". I believe there is a lot of interesting stuff that can be discussed.

Thank you!

Oct. 19 2016 09:14 AM
Lance Claasen from Johannesburg South Africa


Have you ever done a show on worker owned and managed organisations. Currently most capitalist economies are based on an us and them. The owners and the workers. This has built conflict into the system. What if you make the workers the owners and the managers and negate the inherent problems of us and them.

Germany has a system called co-determination where they have worker representation on the boards of companies. It has been so successful that business leaning Theresa May is favour of it ( .

Some of the wine farms in South Africa, have also adopted a similar system, where workers were given ownership of the farms they live on (complete disclosure, I wrote this piece)

If we need to bridge the gap in income, is this not a possible route. It will result in capping executive pay, limiting industrial action and having a board that looks at the overall health of the institution instead of the bottom line.

Many Thanks
Lance Claasen

Oct. 19 2016 06:30 AM
Stiggy Vanderskeen from Earth

Please do a show on the earth not being a spinning globe. The phenomena of the earth being flat and the sun and moon and wandering lights being closer than what we are told. The moon landings being a hoax and NASA being involved with a major hiding of the true form of Earth.

Oct. 17 2016 01:41 PM

how about 1984

Oct. 17 2016 09:04 AM
Kelly from Portland

Hi, My name is Kelly. I was listening to news and heard a man discussing his strong feelings about the detrimental affects of immigration on the United States . When his wife joined the interview I noted she had a difficult time speaking English and was obviously from another country. That news clips made me wonder about the term "cognitive dissonance". I wonder how one can hold a belief in direct opposition to their actions. How does one reconcile an action that is in direct opposition of a strongly held belief? I think this would be a fascinating radio lab episode.

Oct. 16 2016 06:23 PM
Issara Willenskomer from northern California

Hello, my girlfriend and I are huge fans of your show! Here's my pitch – I grew up in the woods of Mendocino County, in northern California. As a boy I spent much of my time wandering alone in the woods and climbing trees. Recently, I have been made aware of the 'Mutch hypothesis' – the idea that trees evolved traits that use fire to support their own viability (for their own health and to ward off competitors). In specific instances, it may turn out that the leaves of these trees, and the litter patterns they form may be more flammable than in wetter climates. If this is true, this means that our entire idea of tree and forest health has to be reconsidered. It has been known that for thousands of years, the indigenous tribes of north America used fire as a tool to keep the forests and grasslands healthy. The first europeans who came north America described it as an exquisite park, with ample walking room between towering trees, and teeming with wildlife. Now, when you walk in the woods, there is little room to maneuver between the multitudes of brush, and most of the former populations of wild animals are no longer with us. I would love to learn what you discover on this fascinating topic as it challenges all we know about forest management, the politics and economics of ranching wild government land, the dynamics of an ancient natural world, and how our ignorance of the complexity of systems has resulted in massively unanticipated consequences for all. Thank you for your consideration.

Oct. 16 2016 11:59 AM
Nora Sawyer from Eugene, OR


My name is Nora. I am 20 years old; leaving for Panama this January to study abroad. I am utterly ecstatic, but also completely terrified. Thus my question to you is as follows: Why travel? Travel and migration are a part of our evolutionary history, yet they impose inherent risk to our survival. Still, I believe they have proven to be invaluable tools to humanity. Without travel and migration our knowledge of the world around us would be extensively limited. If no one traveled, we would only know the environments and people of where we lived and nothing more. So other questions I have are: What do humans gain from travel? What has humanity gained? How does travel change us? What about travel entices us? Even when travelers survive unpredictable misfortune, what makes them willing to hop onto to a plane once again and start a new journey?

"The mountains are calling and I must go. ~John Muir

Oct. 16 2016 02:50 AM
Ryan from Colorado Springs

I think it would be interesting to hear about Marxism in America. Marxist thinkers throughout time have talked about America as the belly of the beast and the embodiment of capitalist corruption (spec. Che Guevara). McCarthyism showed us that people in the highest levels of American government saw communism/Marxism as the antithesis to everything America stands for. Yet some great Marxist thought has come out of America.

Oct. 15 2016 05:49 PM
Tyler Reed Smith from Durango, Colorado

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) does not allocate raised funds toward research for the Cure--their mission statement. Rather, over 80% of their profits are funneled into the MASSIVE Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes pharmaceutical industry. Said industry funds the JDRF in return. This capitalistic relationship between big pharma and a nonprofit organization prolongs the wait for a cure to one of the most widespread diseases in the nation. It also calls into question JDRF's status as nonprofit.

Steve Richert, a diabetic advocate for Type 1 Diabetics and founder of Living Vertical, a popular community forum for diabetics, is trying to get this message out there. But as one would imagine, a man and his website cannot reckon with big pharma.

I'm 21 years old. I was diagnosed at the age of 5. This is an absolutely unfortunate and incredibly challenging disease. It has been made even worse by the greed of corporations. RadioLab, please cover this issue.

Oct. 14 2016 01:21 PM
Audrey Muzingo from Mobile, AL

I wrote to you guys about this maybe a year ago and you probably thought I was crazy, which I wouldn't blame you for. I certainly have no data. But I wish somebody with the time to do so would at least look for statistics to see if it's worth doing an investigation on this hypothesis: If alcoholism is at least somewhat genetically linked, if alcoholics have a higher average fecundity rate than non-alcoholics, if intoxication is shown to increase human promiscuity and subsequent live births, then genetic alcoholism could be viewed as a uniquely human "adaptation" (maladaptive as it may be in social and practical realms). Yeah, a lot of "if"s there, but I don't know, I've seen much hairier dot-to-dots in journals.

Oct. 14 2016 12:20 AM
Balasubramanian Murugan from San Ramon CA

I get it,

It is tough to settle on a single topic, But the question which intrigues me the most is from the talk from Mr. Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? in Ted talks.

A show on it would be interesting.

Love Radiolab.........

Oct. 13 2016 11:01 PM
Amy from London

I'd love to have an episode on Quantum Entanglement. I would like to better understand this in layman's terms, particularly thinking about how it might effect our day to day lives, and especially relationships. I'm training as an Art Therapist so what is going on at the nano level and how this could impact therapeutic relationships is of particular interest to me.

Also - I read Norman Doidge's book - The Brain's Way of Healing, and was fascinated by many of the topics in that - using visualisation to manage chronic pain, using light to treat traumatic brain injury, and a device called a Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS), which is applied to the tongue and can basically re-wire the brain in quite confounding ways. I've worked quite a bit with people with Survivors of Acquired Brain Injury, and this book made me feel hopeful about how we might begin treating neurological conditions in common practice.

There also seemed to be a coming together of Western and Eastern medical practices in the examples explored in this book(stimulating the body in different ways and using energy such as light to initiate healing)and I think that is both very interesting and timely.

So if any of the aforementioned tickles your fancy, I'd be delighted to hear you talk about it!...All day long. :-)

Oct. 13 2016 01:19 PM
Dwayne from Mississippi

The Mandella Effect. Is there something happening that changes little details in time or are masses amount of people remembering things wrong?

Oct. 10 2016 09:42 PM
Brian Kelley from Virginia


I know that a newspaper like the Washington Post is said to be written at an "8th grade" reading level (sentence length, vocabulary, syntax, etc.). My understanding is that most journals are edited to be at such levels. Tabloids might write at a lower level, and science journals might write a higher level. This reading level is our verbal literacy.

Journalism also covers mathematical literacy, such as when there are stories on the DOL monthly jobs reports, the daily close of NYSE, political polls, and climate change. Most of this math is really statistics, and it got me thinking how rarely I see any math beyond arithmetic and statistics. Algebra, trigonometry, calculus, topology, etc. seem to be considered above the expected literacy of the audience, even though these fields profoundly shape our world. Apart from people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, and Marcus du Sautoy, there are few individuals that come to my mind who have been able to bring math into mass media.

What are the editorial rules on math literacy for your program, NPR at large, journalism generally, how did these rules come to be, and why has this topic consistently been considered too "boring" to get its due?

Brian Kelley

Oct. 08 2016 02:17 PM
John from Sycamore, IL

When I'm not listening to radiolab, I like to read. And, I've read a lot of great books thanks to this show. How about a list of recommended books on your website?

Oct. 07 2016 09:39 PM
julie from san francisco

I work in inpatient psychiatry and I am repeatedly in the position of explaining to providers and loved ones of mentally ill individuals that the law allows patients to be released from the locked unit before they have been treated for their illness. I know this is our legal system now (at least in San Francisco County), but it would be fascinating to find out how we got here, i.e., evolution from a system that allowed us to indefinitely institutionalize the mentally ill and how legalities around forced psychiatric treatment differ from state to state, county to county, etc.

In my work, there is a constantly shifting line between an individual's right to liberty and the inhumanity of allowing someone to live a wretched life as a consequence of untreated illness.

I think this kind of investigation/exploration would be a great service to many seeking to understand the legal constraints of forced mental health treatment.

Oct. 01 2016 05:48 PM
Robin from Florida

Why is it so popular now? What is the brain tingly feeling that the ASMR community keeps talking about?

Sep. 26 2016 02:41 PM
Janna Rancifer from Houston

Neurodegenerative disorders.. not neurogenesis.

Sep. 24 2016 12:57 PM
Janna Rancifer from Houston

I'd love to hear you guys do a podcast on prion diseases.

Mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, CJD (sporadic, variant, and iatrogenic types), MAS, and various other neurogenesis disorders are all linked by proteinaceous infectious particles. Truly a revolutionary idea in modern biology.

It would make for a fascinating listening experience.


Sep. 24 2016 12:53 PM
Joyce Scheffey from Great Barrington, MA 01230

Tried to join up and make a donation. I was cut off (moved along) in the middle of writing my comment. Then unable to finish my comment ... and was further stumped by your required answer to your question as to what stations I listened to. My answer would have been "none of the above". It wasn't an option. (I listen to your Podcasts on NPRone) So, you don't get my donation and I don't get the satisfaction of telling you how wonderful you are ... and how much I learned, and am grateful for "14 DAY RULE".

Joyce Scheffey

PS: Sorry not to be "brief".

Sep. 24 2016 12:45 PM
benjamin from Sacramento Ca

Have you ever really thought about elevators? They seem so simple, however i work in the industry and there is a lot more to them than meets the eye.

Things like Infant abduction systems, medical emergency systems, how do they work in prisons? how does a car determine where it will go next? what myths are there about elevators (the whole holding the call button inside the car to get a non stop flight down, almost everything in movies)

Elevators move people up and down (and in rare cases diagonally) but no one gives them a second though. Some twirl as they go up (as is the elevator being installed at apple headquarters) and new ones don't have anything holding them up physically, except magnets, and work like a highway where multiple cars share the 'road'.

Sep. 23 2016 11:38 AM
Jesse from Pittsburgh

I'm no conspiracy theorist, in fact, I hate them almost entirely. But every once in a while, our government is up to something it ought not be up to, case in point, spying on Americans and Snowdon's whistleblowing. That's not as exciting as some of the popular conspiracy theories out there, but my point is that it's not crazy that our government might be something. I would like an episode based on conspiracy theories. Ones that are surely false, yet linger on the inherent for decades (and why they have such sticking power) and others that might just have a little life to them (while it never actually happened, like operation Northwoods).

Sep. 21 2016 09:43 AM
Andrea Toth

I would love to hear the about the act of being frightened or startled and how your brain reacts to it? Does everyone get startled and have the same reaction - like your heart fell out of your body, hair raises, sometimes a pain to the head?

How that relates to the creation of sayings like " you scared the bejesus outta me" or "you scared the living hell out of me".... is there any relation?

Sep. 16 2016 04:40 PM
Elle from Hawaii

Prion disease. Classified as neither a living organism, virus or bacterium. Infection leads to debilitating neurological symptoms and eventually death. History of kuru and ritual cannibalism is one interesting aspect of prion disease.

Sep. 15 2016 04:59 AM
Leonel from Montevideo, Uruguay

here in Uruguay is the story of a ex guantanamo prisioner Diyabhi he is in hunger strike. he want go back to his family in siria. hi has been in guantanamo for 13 years he is free now but he cant fly to another country .. so he is stuck here in uruguay has no money no goverment help ( he refuse to sign an agreement leter, he was free man ) the only help he recives are from civilians.
strong story of life y think there is a good story of what freedom means.
I have the contact to interview him . thanks

Sep. 13 2016 08:47 PM
Nancy Ferguson from Santa Barbara

Alligator bit kangaroo. Kangaroo retaliated, stomped scaly tail. Mnemonic for members of Supreme Court.

Sep. 13 2016 10:35 AM
Dieter from Belgium

I'm not sure if this possible to do, but I think you could get a story about IPv4 and IPv6?

Basically, the history of the internet, the behind the scenes evolution and all the growing pains it had.

For something we all use, most people have no clue of the technical implications involved into keeping this up and running.

But it might not work, too esotoric, maybe :)

Sep. 13 2016 08:05 AM
Nelson Sulouff from Arizona USA

Establish a goal to attach electrical generators on all exercize equipment that wantonly waste human energy resisting gravity or friction the world over. Collect electrical energy thus generated into the general electrical grid for use in equipment that performs work in useful creative human endeavor. At the same time consider collection of the carbon dioxide wantonly pumped into the atmosphere in exercise emporiums and make use of it converting it into dry ice or some other useful chemical substance.

Sep. 10 2016 02:37 AM
Christopher from Michigan

I would love an episode on the case of Kelli Peters where she was framed by a couple in California.

Sep. 09 2016 03:18 PM
Beth Loveland

This is the 3rd time in 6 years that I've suggested this... maybe I just can't take a hint.
BUT, I would love to hear some stories about the affect of the full moon on human behavior. Folks in the ER, teachers, and cops all swear by it, but is it true??

Sep. 07 2016 09:57 PM
LJ from Nevada

There is a huge debate going on all across America and that is, whether marching band is a sport or not. To me, yes it is a sport, but it would be interesting to hear what you think.

Sep. 07 2016 12:58 AM
James from United States

As a follow up to the Tasmanian Devil's transmissable tumors, Discover Magazine recently reported on some possibly hopeful findings about the emergence of a second strain of the facial tumors, which could suggest that the emergence of the transmissable tumors is not new to the Devils. Since the populations that were first observed seem to be surviving (although not yet thriving), there is evidence that they are evolving a way to fight the cancer.

The article also makes mention of the completeness of Tasmanian Devil genetic sampling both before AND after the observation of the facial tumors, which helps provide a longitudinal picture of genetic change that may have occurred in response to the facial tumors.

Would love to hear a follow-up from you as well!

Sep. 06 2016 01:04 PM
James from United States

As a follow up to the Tasmanian Devil's transmissable tumors, Discover Magazine recently reported on some possibly hopeful findings about the emergence of a second strain of the facial tumors, which could suggest that the emergence of the transmissable tumors is not new to the Devils. Since the populations that were first observed seem to be surviving (although not yet thriving), there is evidence that they are evolving a way to fight the cancer.

The article also makes mention of the completeness of Tasmanian Devil genetic sampling both before AND after the observation of the facial tumors, which helps provide a longitudinal picture of genetic change that may have occurred in response to the facial tumors.

Would love to hear a follow-up from you as well!

Sep. 06 2016 01:03 PM

Hi Team! I am a long time fan and I have found your podcast therapeutic. I was wondering if you could help the nation heal. It sounds like a big task but you have all the answers already. I just want you to bring all of your concepts full circle and put a nice bow on it for me--for us. I am specifically talking about race relations and police misconduct. Radiolab and Invisibilia have presented many stories that--if the whole world knew--we would be at a better place. Examples: The Obama Effect, the concept of noncomplementary behavior, the wisdom of the crowd, Stanley Milgram, the concept of entanglement, human nature, the concepts in More Perfect etc.


Thank you for all you do.

Sep. 02 2016 05:16 PM
Adam from San Anselmo, CA

I can't remember if you guys have already done a show about the abrupt changes that we experience in life. For example, author David Sedaris has talked about how he loves the fact that he has no idea what he will be interested in next year or next month. There may be something around the corner that will completely change our lives, and we have no clue what that might be. For me, that sense of what's next often gives me hope in seemingly hopeless situations. I just think it is a fascinating topic that has the makings for some great stories.

Aug. 30 2016 05:31 PM
Keith from Montreal

The other assasinated US presidents. Garfield and McKinley.

Aug. 30 2016 08:48 AM
Allison from Nashville, TN

There is a novel written by Daniel Quinn called "Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit", about modern civilization and the ethics behind how humanity has become what it is today and how society has shaped us. In an every growing universe where technology is constantly improving and the population continues to grow exponentially, this book touches on sustainability and societal collapse on a global scale. The focus of the story relates to how modern ideas of society and civilization have created two "types" of people, the "Leavers" and the "Takers", their stories of evolution and the effects they have on the world. This book won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991 and after reading it I realized how much the world needs to know about the story of Ishmael.

Aug. 22 2016 11:33 AM
Jeff Hatch from New Hampshire

My name is Jeff Hatch. Im an ivy-league educated, retired NFL football player that now works in the drug and alcohol treatment industry. I've also acted and done stunt work for some years and have been painting for 20 years now. The coolest thing Ive ever done is gotten sober. So many people today are struggling with substance abuse issues, but so often we stigmatize those problems and those seeking help have no idea where to turn to get it. I'd love to give a little insight into that from what I see in my daily life working in the field, and maybe some perspective on those other areas I've had the luck to get some experience in. Respect and love Radiolab!!

Aug. 18 2016 10:24 PM
Lucia duff-gay from Westby, Wisconsin

Dear radiolab, I have an idea!
Maybe you can use this for more perfect, I just don't know how to submit an idea to that yet.
i have been a fan for years, and I have always dreamed of having my submission put on the radio.
here is the link, PLEASE check it out. It would make more than my day if you could mention my name in the podcast. My name is pronounced lu-sha. Thank you so much! 😊😆😘

Aug. 13 2016 06:45 PM
Erika from Greeley, CO

Hello Radio Lab. I am intrigued by the topic of hiding. I have a passion for what I call "hidey holes" Anything with a nook, a recess, a grotto, the corner of a library. Blanket forts, hide and seek, anything with a little place,a little refuge to hide. Assuming this is a leftover primal instinct for shelter. But I think this topic would make a great show.

Aug. 08 2016 12:37 PM
Brad Maverick from merica

Hey radiolab. You should do a story about the guy who claimed to make his car run on water and die before he made money from his invention paid off. Some say that the invention was real and worked and others claim he was a fraud. Still would interest me to know about inventors who make wild claims like Tesla's earthquake machine. I think you did a similar story about that though. What's new in scientific study that is amazing and seems barely believable and the like. p.s. enough of the evolution vs creation apes and tales from the primordial ooze. You know you do it just for filler and to get krolvich all happy or whatever. Mabee do a show about poop. Wait you did that one to. Wait! The pee show! Election year has you doing more perfect. I don't have anything really good. My favorite show is the one about deception. In particular Hope Ballantyne. What ever happened to her? She probably married a millionaire. She must still visit her daughter. Stake out her mom's house already. Com'n FBI agents! Get it together. How do I slow light down at home so I can store it in my pantry in a mason jar. You know what I'm saying. Stop trying to rip off the this American life type stuff with tape recorder guy episode. Hey tape recorder guy, your friend would still be alive but you got high. Sorry that's mean of me.

Aug. 03 2016 05:59 AM
Joel Wetzel from Dublin, TX

Conspiracy theories are rampant but they're not always wrong. This and the notion that propaganda doesn't happen in the U.S. have me wishing for a way to tell what's what. Would you mind helping out? Science has such a hold over us but it's in large part still theories we're working with. The fact that science is a process and not a database of knowledge is lost on most people. Something can be true yet not trigger our senses; not everything that's true can be proved empirically. Thank you for the shows; they help keep me sane.

Jul. 29 2016 04:52 PM
Nicholas Schultz from Missouri


Jul. 27 2016 10:05 AM


Jul. 24 2016 02:04 PM
Dee Fogel from Dallas

Would you consider an article about the overlap of the symptoms of anxiety and ADHD? Both my children were diagnosed and medicated for ADHD when they were younger and it took a while for us to realize that the issue was Anxiety. Not many parents or teachers realize how these disorders overlap in symptoms and, with both my children, the teachers were insistent that an ADHD diagnosis and medication was the answer. I have heard this repeatedly from other parents of anxious children and professionals in Psychology as well. ADHD meds are hard on the system and have side effects. In some cases, they also increase anxiety to the edge of panic and paranoia which does help to make the child 'settle down'. To push these meds so easily onto our kids (my second child was handed a prescription after a questionnaire and 10 minute consult with a pcp) could easily be doing harm that would be avoided by a better awareness of childhood anxiety.
Thank you for your show. Our family listens in every week! :)

Jul. 24 2016 01:20 PM
Shawn Shannon from Denver, CO

You've covered the mysteries of CRISPR(part 1)and cell evolution (cellmates). A story on human chromosome 2 would fit nicely into that biology groove. It's thought to be a combination of 2 ape chromosomes that were somehow fused, stuck inside one another telomeres and all. Cheers

Jul. 21 2016 01:56 PM
Zac from CO

Could you do an episode about microchips and how they work. Maybe spice it up with details on how they can show information on the screen from the bits to bytes and all that stuff

Jul. 19 2016 04:02 PM
Tomasz from Gdansk,Poland

Idea i would love to hear about is Synesthesia - "Hearing in Colors" .
I found that i have synesthesia and would love to hear about other people experiences, how it works etc...
Somehow when i hear some name of a person, car, month or anything that has a name it is as if it was written to my memory in specific color. f.e. I have lost countless arguments in my childhood when i was so sure that that car was green , this person was wearing blue tshirt etc. just because when somebody says "Porsche" , "Anna" - in my brain it is in a specific color.

Reading about this i found that people can have Mirror-touch synesthesia -individuals feel the same sensation that another person feels (such as touch).

Perhaps it might be interesting topic not only for me as I try to understand that better ;)

Jul. 12 2016 10:41 AM
Don-Michael Hart from Birmingham, AL

LOVE this podcast, my absolute favorite.

Virtual reality, and the V.R. headsets that are apparently going to be the next platform post the smart phone; the good, the bad, the ugly of the whole know how y'all do!!!

Jul. 01 2016 01:19 AM
Wendy from Syracuse, NY

Along the lines of the comment about adoption: How is the use of sperm banks for artificial insemination (AI) affecting the gene pool?

I have been wondering about this for some time. There was a piece done on another show (I can't recall it) that included real life stories of people who had encountered their half siblings without knowing that they were related. We are a mobile society. Suppose a man donates his sperm to more than one bank and is used by multiple women? Suppose a woman chooses a particular donor in the Midwest and moves to the East coast and another woman does the same? Predicting or calculating the possibility of these chance events is tricky, but it is possible. Consanguineous relationships can result in disastrous genetic effects, the rate of AI has increased due to an increase in infertility.
How about that for a topic?? I pitched this to Talk of the Nation years ago to no avail.

Jun. 26 2016 06:56 AM
Ben from Melbourne, Australia

Hi. What about a show on the evolution of the zombie archetype. They loom large in current pop culture as a brain-eating, highly infectious juggernaut. But they began as a seemingly real phenomenon from Hiatian voodoo and previously Africa. I saw a documentary a couple of decades ago that explained that in Haitian culture the penalty for murder or similar heinous crimes was capital-ish punishment, whereby a witch doctor would give them a potion that would comatose them. They would then be buried and a funeral take place where the family would say goodbye. The soul was believed to leave the body, but it would remain just barely alive. The witch doctor would dig up the body a day or two later and be able to reanimate the body enough so that it could follow simple directions. They would then sell this soulless, undead body (legally and culturally devoid of its original identity) to the wealthy to use as domestic labor. The truth and history of this origin story would be worth investigating in itself. But then how did Hollywood latch on to it and transform it into its current incarnation?

Jun. 20 2016 01:15 AM
Lily Gordon from Gainesville, FL

An episode about the failed experimental "utopian" religious societies in America such as New Harmony and the Oneida Community would be very interesting. What were the ideas/motivations behind these communities, and in each case what were the fatal flaws?

Jun. 18 2016 06:47 PM
Lindsey from Oregon

Adoption. How the rules have changed over time? Any effects on the adopted child or the mother who gave her child up for adoption? What happens when you find out that you are adopted later in life? I am curious if anyone has found loop holes around old laws or if there are any stories surrounding those circumstances. I have a half sister out there somewhere and I don't know if I will ever be able to meet her. Closed adoptions were the norm back when she was born. I think about it all the time and wonder what she is doing and if she is happy. I know my mom would love to at least know that she is doing fine. She might not even know that she is adopted. Just a shot in the dark here. Thanks :)

Jun. 14 2016 12:51 PM
Peg from Florida

Recently the death penalty has been in the news because foreign manufacturers of the drugs required will no longer sell these products to us for this purpose. Mostly because these countries have eliminated the death penalty as a form of punishment.
I have read many items attesting to the fact that it does not serve as a deterrent to murder so why do we still use it? A friend made the point (as seen on numerous episodes of Law & Order) that prosecutors can use it to help negotiate plea deals.
My question is does this happen frequently enough to justify the ridiculously high cost of prosecuting a capital murder case? Plus death row inmates typically live in better conditions than the general population - not idea but they are usually segregated and don't appear to be at as much risk of inmate on inmate crimes. What is our fascination with the death penalty and why can't we let it go?
This may not be a good fit for your program but I wish someone would address it.

Jun. 11 2016 07:58 PM

Talk about peace walks: A peace walk or peace march, sometimes referred to as a peace pilgrimage, is a form of nonviolent action where a person or groups of people march a set distance to raise awareness of particular issues important to the walkers.

Jun. 09 2016 03:07 PM
Mostafa Hussein from Egypt

Who watches the watchers ?

I think it would be great to have a show on where the power trail ends. Tax havenns, Central banks - "QE", security taps, use of big data... we're stepping into an age where the silent few have the authority, power and access to information to take action with massive global impact ..I think it's the quintessential challenge of our times to have access to information. Should we really be okay with how complex life has become? should we be more cautious of what we assimilate in society? With information opaqueness.. are we assuming that some issues cannot be open to crowd thinking? What are the benefits/risks that can come with a more dispersed critique of ideas floating around in government? How do we know that the current checks and balances in place are designed to tackle new and old problems? Has the watchers's noble lie/divine lie been completely replaced with materialistic incentive mechanisms? Should we be okay with that ?

Jun. 07 2016 03:00 PM
Mike from Atlanta

We are on the verge of eradicated two diseases: Guinea worm and polio. Only one other disease, smallpox, has ever been eradicated. I'd love a story about disease eradication, others that may be emerging to be eradicated, and the consequences (good and bad) of disease eradication.

Jun. 06 2016 04:08 PM
Kim from NY

I would like to hear your take on the "Mandela Effect." To explain it simply, there are many people out there who distinctly remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s and watching footage of his funeral on television. Many say his widow was scrutinized for displaying fake emotions at his funeral, then later she became president of South Africa. These memories are filled with all sorts of detail and many stories match up.

I have been reading the website of the same name all day and don't know what to make of it. Seems like a perfect topic for RadioLab.

If you pursue this, please also discuss the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears controversy as well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jun. 05 2016 06:06 PM
Karen from Seattle

What to expect when you are aging (A LA What to expect when you're expecting)

Jun. 02 2016 06:28 PM

I really enjoyed your story on CRISPR.

I just saw a talk on something called "Gene Drives" on TED.

"CRISPR gene drives allow scientists to change sequences of DNA and guarantee that the resulting edited genetic trait is inherited by future generations..."

Are Homo Sapiens going to be extinct in this century? Are we going to be taken over by a new species that has been genetically modified to be superior? Remember that Star Trek episode ""Space Seed" with Khan? I think we are getting close...

Jun. 02 2016 05:21 PM
Ray from Wichita, KS

I think it would be a cool show topic if it was on malware (MALicious softWARE). Computer viruses. Sounds boring at the surface but when you dive in deeper, there is a VAST network, no pun intended, of underground malware "authors" who write malware with the intent to create devastation or make mad money. Some malware was originally intended to not be released into the wild (the internet) but accidently makes it's way out and becomes the newest kid on the block. Some of today's worst malware is written by teenagers still in highschool.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts your files making them virtually impossible to recover unless you pay money to get the decryption key. Some prices I've personally seen are anywhere between $200 and $600 and sometimes even more. You guys actually did a segment on this in the past. There are a lot of different types of ransomware but most, if not all of them, are so sophisticated that they even have a HELPDESK!

There are banking information stealing malware that sits on your computer dormant until you go to a banking website and it records every keystroke and sends your account number, username, password and/or pin number to a predefined server in either China, N. Korea, Russia (or surrounding countries), Somalia, etc.

There's also malware that sits on your computer and when called upon, it takes control of your computer and hundreds of thousands of other computers to take part in a targeted attack against something else on the internet. These are called botnets (robot networks). Dumb robots waiting for their next command from their "master". People can RENT these botnets on the "deep web" which is like the black market on the internet. People rent these botnets to create a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which could bring companies internet facing servers to their knees.

There is SO much more to malware than the overly simplified and, dare I say, frankly outdated word as [computer] "virus". This topic is incredibly deep and when you bring in "the Dark Web", it gets even more deep and very very intriguing. I encourage you guys to take a look at this. If nothing else, you guys might be able to get a few people to talk to you guys about the Dark Web. That alone would fill an hour long show lol. Plus it would be really cool.


- Ray

Jun. 02 2016 10:38 AM
Sonja Mae from Eugene, OR

A story about probability. My friends had this crazy experience where in 12 hours they experienced a series of really bizarre events that seem almost impossible that they all happened within such a short period of time. Here is the breakdown: Four women in a car. Driver stops to pick up a book in the middle of the road, swerves to turn around, runs over a bunny with animal activist in the car. One of the women is a complete stranger that is getting driven to the airport as a favor for other friends. Bunny dies, the ride to the airport is delayed, new girl misses her flight because she flings the trunk open to quickly to get her luggage and busts our the rear window. New girls goes home with animal activist to stay the night, leaves chocolate on the bed, which gets eaten by her dog, dog goes to the vet, new girl (from the midwest) gets transported to the driver's house then attends a hippie new age event that spooks her, so she goes home and walks up to the front door to enter and falls through the front porch. Needless to say, she has never returned to Eugene =)

May. 31 2016 11:13 AM
Amelia Fitch from Oregon

It would be awesome to have a podcast about weird history in small towns, particularly towns which have taken an entirely different path in modern society. I grew up in Astoria, Oregon. There is some incredible history in my hometown. Particularly the the stories of sailors being shanghaied. There is a network of underground tunnels leading from trapdoors in old saloon locations. The Astor Street Opry Co. puts on an annual show, "Shanghaied in Astoria," to commemorate these stories.

May. 30 2016 11:31 PM
Marcus from California

I read this story in a National Geographic Magazine about a toddler (Gardell Martin) who fell in an icy stream on March 2015 and was dead for an hour and a half. Three days and a half later he left a hospital alive and well. I would love if Radiolab could do a podcast on this story and/or subject.

May. 30 2016 12:33 PM
Rob from NC

I have a friend named Eric and he lives in the desert in Arizona in an old Sonic Drive-In. Eric is a disabled vet and he makes beautifully strange and really interesting sound art to deal with his PTSD. He has zero aspirations of fame and is perfectly content living his life the way he chooses. I feel to profile him would be an interesting exploration in to the idea of art as therapy and modern transcendentalism

May. 28 2016 02:49 PM
ejiloise from the afterlife

coming back from the dead afterlife and souls i really really want somthing positive towards the idea of souls and death and ghosts
creepy too

May. 26 2016 08:45 PM

Jonestown!! I think this matches radiolab dynamics very well. Here a short description from wikipedia.

"Jonestown" was the informal name for the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project formed by the Peoples Temple, an American religious organization under the leadership of Jim Jones, in northwestern Guyana. It became internationally notorious when on November 18, 1978, a total of 909 Americans[1] died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed "revolutionary suicide" by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions.people died in the remote commune, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city.

May. 26 2016 05:46 PM
coyote from washington

Archaeology in America: its not really about discovering the ancient past, its about NOT discovering anything to allow pipelines, highways, private ownership of property. Today's profession of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) is about picking the "right" archaeologist that finds "nothing" otherwise he/she is on a blacklist.
Discover the real world of archaeology and how many skulls get thrown behind trees, bodies put into plastic bags when burial sites are discovered, and all the dirty little secrets of Departments of Archaeology and historical Preservation that the government doesn't want you to know about.

May. 26 2016 03:46 PM

Hey! The Like and Dislike buttons don't work. I was signed in and trying to like some ideas, but nothing took.

At any rate, I'd like to hear a story on the measurability of intuition. Why do some people just know something is wrong (my sister) and others have no such inkling (me)?

May. 26 2016 12:17 PM

I recently read about the history of the world-famous song "La Cucaracha" and is more interesting than one can imagine. It is not a silly children's song. For instance:

It's specific origin is uncertain.

The cockroach's uneven, five-legged gait is imitated by the song's original 5/4 meter, formed by removing one upbeat (corresponding to the missing sixth leg) from the second half of a 6/4 measure:

It was of huge moral booster and unifying song for the rebel army in the Mexican revolution as it has hidden political messages which the rebel army in the Mexican Revolution used to make fun of their enemies.

If the material is not enough, you can talk about classic world-known songs, it would be could to know its origins.


May. 26 2016 05:50 AM
Norm from Indianapolis

Hey, August 8, 2016 is World Yodel Day. I could see a piece about the interwoven tradition of Yodeling across cultures. Bart Plantenga, from the Netherlands, has written a couple books on the subject. The Secret History of Yodeling and Yodeling HIFi. I am collaborating with Peter Lim in Korea on a project for World Yodel Day. This would be right up RL's alley.
Keep up the amazing work. Here are some resources:

Thanks for your consideration

May. 24 2016 06:32 PM

i would love a story about the idea of ghosts and coming back from the dead, creepy plz

May. 24 2016 05:54 PM
Victoria Selwyn

I'd love it if you did a show on the science and neurology of shell shock.

May. 24 2016 03:07 PM
Kim from Germany

Deadly snowflakes. (For plants not humans)

There are snowflakes that do not form around "normal" aerosol like dust but around a bacteria called Pseudomonas syringae.

This bacteria plays due to the ice forming ability a role in biotechnology and agricuture, used for example for artifical snow at ski resorts (1).
There was a study in 2008 where scientist found the organism at 18 different sites around the world including Canada, USA, Pyrenees, Alps and Antarctica(2).

The problem is that if this bacteria infects a plant it causes the water in the cells to freeze and therefore to expand. The cells will basicly explode. The resulting desease in trees has the name "bleeding canker". A survey by the Forestry Commission in the UK showed that "that in 2007 49% of horse chestnut trees showed some degree of symptoms" (3).

There is also a theory on how Pseudomonas syringae could influence the climate change. It gets warmer, as a result the bacteria will reproduce faster and they will cause at the same time more frequent snow falls. white snow reflects more sunlight which could again lead to an cooling of the atmosphere (4).

(4) I can't find any study for this other than Harald Lesch (prof of physics and science journalist) talking about it: (in German)

May. 24 2016 11:14 AM

I tried to "like" Jackie D from Savannah, Georgia's comment about Lyme disease but it wouldn't work. Please consider the topic of Lyme disease. Over 300,000 people per year are diagnosed with Lyme disease. This number may actually be quite low because people are often misdiagnosed with conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, MS, and many more autoimmune conditions. It is a shocking and heartbreaking situation that deserves way more attention than it is getting. It is a persistent bacteria that is very difficult to treat. For more information has a list of over 700 studies that show evidence of the bacteria's persistence. There are prominent doctors in the field that would most likely speak on your program about chronic Lyme disease they include: Dr. Jemsek an infectious disease doctor in D.C, Dr. Stephen Phillips, a doctor specialized in Zoonosis, Dr. Neil Specor, a doctor that got Lyme carditis, and also Dr. Martz who was mis-diagnosed with ALS who is now dedicated to researching Lyme disease. Please help to shed light on the science of Lyme disease as a persistent bacteria. So many people are suffering and it is a heartbreaking situation.

May. 24 2016 10:52 AM
Tracy from Arizona

Ditto on the chronic Lyme suggestion. So many people are suffering and can't get treatment. Including my son. This is a much bigger issue than Zika.

May. 24 2016 10:47 AM
Jackie D from Savannah, GA

Everyone is talking about the Zika virus these days, but there is an insect-borne disease that is right under our noses and is MUCH more insidious. This is a subject that is timely, divisive, and affects hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people - Chronic Lyme Disease. The CDC refutes it, but it is a stark reality for so many, including myself. New research has found that many diseases, including ALS and MLS are indeed chronic Lyme in disguise. The documentary "Under Our Skin" is an eye-opener and if you haven't watched it, please do! Regardless, this topic needs much more attention and I would love to hear it as a podcast on Radiolab.

May. 24 2016 09:39 AM
nanothermite from marley engvall

If you were not marching to orders from the Pentagon, you could do a program on the evidence of advanced thermitic material in all World Trade Center dust, and the implications of this evidence on our understanding of the 9/11 event.

You could outline the mechanisms by which the truth has been suppresed for the last decade-and-a-half.

Or you could continue to serve the fascists.

May. 23 2016 05:54 PM
Antonio Pallares from Quito, Ecuador

what makes societies flourish, science behind their activity, if theirs a difference in character between individuals from a depleting society (less active), a increasingly energetic society and a stagnant society. Maybe explain how some ancient cities once great slowly depleted. Explain how in America how a city with great imprtance in colonial times like Quito was not able to continue to grow as quickly as rather unimportant settlements like what New York was before

May. 22 2016 10:21 PM
Future from Planet Earth

Future of Energy! There is so much bashing of people about how they pollute with CO2 that they don't even want to think about it, failing to see that our brains can think up the solution for it. So please call plasma physicist Francis Chen and talk about fusion. And also talk about A traveling-wave reactor (TWR) - a very safe fission reactor that can use nuclear waste and make clean energy for decades and therefore quickly replace oil and coal all over the world. PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS!

May. 22 2016 07:24 PM
Servando from Saltillo, Mexico

Can you guys make one on boredom.

May. 22 2016 12:47 PM
Jelly Fats from New Orleans

I'm not sure if you've done a story on North Korea, but it would be great to hear something...anything about it!

May. 20 2016 11:01 PM
Anna from NYC

Veganism. Not in relation to animal cruelty or harm to the planet, but regarding its ability to treat and reverse cardiovascular disease and stop the growth of cancerous tumors (facts!.) The documentary Forks Over Knives outlines so much compelling evidence that the western diet is intrinsically related to the epidemics of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes and that a plant based, no oil diet can be more effective than any medication or expensive procedures to treat and prevent these diseases. Veganism needs to lose its hippie connotations and people need to be educated that everything they've believed since childhood, that dairy and meat are good for them, is simply not true (I know it was hard for me to accept too!.) Please interview Doctor Essylstein and Doctor Campbell. Or debunk their research and prove that meat and dairy are healthy and don't contribute to these common diseases, either way, I think the exploration will be illuminating...

May. 20 2016 11:07 AM
Andrew Cleveland from Cape Town, South Africa

We were talking this over with a bunch of friends the other night, and we would love to hear about how you guys go about creating a podcast from beginning to end. There seems to be a set formula that you work to but we would love to hear about how you got to that formula.

May. 19 2016 03:19 PM
Alison from Denver

I am fascinated by the scores from these comments. The collective 0s seem to point to...well, something - some sort of phenomenon. What has us all eager to share ideas but not to comment or rate others?

May. 18 2016 11:45 PM
CSS from Tokyo

Just read Daniel Sack's book on Moral Re-Armament as background research for an academic article I'm writing... the group is really hard to pin down. Are they con artists? A cult? True believers? They've had a motley crew of powerful supporters over the years, inspired the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous, claimed to help win the Cold War, and an offshoot group -- Up With People -- performed several times at the Super Bowl. They had a global reach (I was tracing the performance of a show they produced using young Japanese performers, which toured both N. & S. America and Europe), still exist (as Initiatives of Change), and most of the literature on them (aside from the Sack book) is fantastical hagiography (in my opinion) and exaggerated claims for global influence. And yet, they don't really seem to have been the key players they claimed to be. Indeed, I hadn't heard of them until I stumbled across them in the archives. The story could go in lots of directions...

May. 18 2016 05:52 AM
Milonee Mehta from Warren, NJ

Doomsday seed vault in the arctic (

May. 17 2016 05:18 PM
BK from California

The story about ants was very interesting. However, it is nonsense to extrapolate from the experience of ant colonies to the experience of large cities. If Radiolab wants to make claims about the nature of cities, why don't they ask someone who has actually studied cities? As an urban theorist I found this episode - after the story about ants - utterly grating and had to stop listening.

May. 15 2016 02:24 PM

Can you guys do a show on health foods/ supplements and their claims? especially the fermented cod liver oil and its claim that it could reverse tooth decay? There are so many health food claims out there, It makes me wonder if any of them are actually reliable.

May. 15 2016 02:20 AM
Chris Hussey from Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia

Hi guys. Love your work.

I would love to hear an episode that explored the concept of ownership over things. This is different between cultures. When do we ever own anything? What does that mean? Does it make us more important? I live in Australia and it is interesting to see the Aboriginal view on ownership.

May. 14 2016 09:43 PM
Rose from ohio

A cattle rancher's wife turned vegan and threatened divorce. So she bought her husband's farm and re-fashioned it into an animal sanctuary.

The coverage here is annoying, they joke that she's crazy because she sings and say some sexist things. But you could talk about veganism and the cognitive dissonance people experience with different animals. Killing dogs is normal in other countries but horrifying here. But killing other farm animals who aren't inferior or different in any major way at all is really easy for us.

May. 13 2016 07:05 PM

I'm a high school history teacher who used 3 of your Radiolabs in my classroom to practice listening skills. I did Slow as an introduction, then FuGo and finally Nazi Summer Camp. The last two fit in great with my WW II unit. Next year I'm looking to introduce this skill earlier in the year, so I would love to have a podcast about Greek or Roman Democracy? Or about the class differences during the French Revolution (and others). Or maybe something about the Industrial revolution. All of these topics will be covered in the first semester and would love to use something from you group to introduce listening skills earlier. Love the podcasts!

May. 11 2016 04:27 PM
Jason from Melbourne, Australia

Please do a podcast on NAPLAN testing in Australia! The results of these tests effect house prices in suburbs in Melbourne and all over the country and if you extrapolate the trends you reach some very scary conclusions. People would love it!

May. 11 2016 03:34 AM
Mike from Lake worth, FL

Just listened to, and enjoyed, episode Bigger Than Bacon. How about an episode on how many times Molly Webster, and her cohort, say the word 'like' in normal conversation and how that conversational pattern came to be?

May. 10 2016 11:50 AM

If there was a way to donate money through iTunes, I'd be willing to do that. Just a thought.

May. 09 2016 09:40 PM
Sophie Walker from Santa Monica, CA

I understand your podcast has most likely reviewed this topic because it's pretty fair to say that it's a common disorder but I personally think you should go more into depth on the disabilities of being deaf and/or color blind because while people know what these mutations are they do not have the understanding of what it would be like, and there should be more of a perspective side to it.

May. 09 2016 04:18 PM
tyler from Almeda, CA

themes on 'ab·bre·vi·a·tion'. The topic has always confounded me and I believe you folks would be able mine this topic for some interesting stories.
E.g. why we abbreviate words/phrases/ideas for language and communication. Shakespeare (e'er=ever, ope=open, etc.) How to explain twitter and other newer forms of abbreviation (lol, wwjd, wtf). Or genesis of coding languages that are based on abbreviations.
Abbreviated line structures in chemistry.
An explanation of interesting abbreviations like (eg., a.m./p.m.).
Are there any languages that do not use abbreviations?

May. 09 2016 04:10 PM
Kathy from Maine, USA

You have great topics and I have always enjoyed Robert Krulwich, but the choppy editing is difficult to hear. It isn't edgy. It's just annoying. I want to listen but I can't.

May. 07 2016 09:22 PM
Robert Alger from Boston

After listening to a recent Radiolab Podcast, I was left with a question. If my mother was black and my father was white, could I only tell half of a Harriet Tubman joke?

How about a show on the difference between skin color and culture.

May. 07 2016 12:21 PM
Jonathan Witzel from Pittsburgh,PA

Evolution of ideas and concepts. (Religion, Technology, Thought)

May. 07 2016 09:57 AM
Charli McKee from Raleigh, NC

Hey there,

HUGE fan of Radiolab--in light of the annual expeditions to the peak of Mount Everest currently, I would love to hear a story about mountaineering, but more scientifically: the psychological makeup of fear and how some people are just better at acting in the face of it rather than others. Stories could range from mountaineers, special ops, astronauts, slack-lining (tightrope walking), Alex Honald's recent free climb of El Capitan, to people who've been dubbed "heroes."


May. 06 2016 02:50 PM
Andres from Philadelphia

More than an idea is a question. My cat is able to distinguish when the sound of a bird (or a mouse, a dog, etc...) comes from my computer and when it is real. How is that possible?

May. 05 2016 07:18 PM
Annie Malkus from WI


May. 05 2016 06:37 PM
Amber Tucker

I'd love to hear a show on the inheritability of trauma, especially about how it relates to race (over-diagnosis of ADHD in young black boys, incarceration of people with mental illness, etc).

May. 05 2016 12:55 PM
Amelia Van Howe from Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Radiolab staff,

Thank you so much for your great podcast! I do quite a bit of long distance driving and your stories are my favorite companions. In short, I would love to hear a podcast on music's effect on memory.

While listening to your podcast "Things" I started thinking about the ways in which music connects us to our past and to the world. A classmate of mine recently wrote an excellent paper describing how music contains all our memories and experiences and the sum total of the worlds' music creates the memory and the soul of the world. Delving into this idea in more detail, we are defined by our memories and I believe that music helps us relive memories in ways that objects cannot (Oliver Sacks' "Musicophilia" has some excellent examples!). For me, memories conjured by objects are almost always accompanied by a sense of bitterness in that those memories seem fixed and static. However, as a musician, I might have the opportunity to play the same piece multiple times. Each time I relive, recreate, and build upon the memory of that particular piece. For both musicians and non-musicians, how does music both fix us in place temporally while simultaneously transporting us to the past?

May. 04 2016 11:11 PM
mike schwanke from Madison, Wi

It would be great if you guys could do a story on genetics and how it might affect our lives in the future. Ethics of CRISPR-Cas9, Google's big data involvement with 23 and me, how a lack of universal healthcare could lead to a genetic overclass of human beings. Fun stuff like that.

May. 04 2016 10:40 AM
Jim Abbot from Atlanta

It would be something of a miracle if you haven't already done this, but what's the basis for the oft-repeated claim that humans are "hard-wired" for stories? And to the extent that neuroscience, cognitive psychology, etc. can show that's true or largely true, what are some of the implications? I mean, isn't that really at the core of the story that This American Life recently did (#584) on the canvassers who have had some success in changing people's minds on controversial issues in a 20-minute conversation? (If those researchers had been able to measure the release of oxytocin ... cf. Paul Zak's research). In a completely different area, to what extent is the endless debate about effective teaching in schools missing this crucial element: any teaching, even in STEM fields, that does not reckon with our craving for stories is doomed to fall short of its potential, at best, or to fail utterly, at worst. Or this: with our mental processing speeds making huge leaps, as we spend more and more and more time staring at the screens of our smartphones, what are the implications for the inherently slow neural processes that are characteristic of empathy-eliciting and -strengthening engagement with stories, which invite us to understand the intentions, goals, emotions and other mental states held by their characters?

Another way to say this, I suppose, is as follows: what's the absolute best case for the work that Radiolab itself does? Why should anyone bother? You know, why not just put it all in a bullet-pointed memo and be done with it? (N.B. Though that would make me, or at least my left brain, tragically sad.)

May. 02 2016 01:47 PM
JJ from Durham

I think a story on sleep would be great. The book Time, Love, Memory by Jonathan Weiner gives a compelling story about sleep in the simplest of organisms, the fruitfly. This World is full of characters naming genes Clockwork orange and pushing the boundaries of analytics to answer the simplest question; Why do we sleep? or Why is sleep evolutionarily conserved in organisms from fruitflies to bearded dragons to humans. Much of the mechanisms of the internal clock are the same.

May. 02 2016 09:57 AM
chris blythe from Portland, Oregon

Is there really someone for everyone? Are some people destined to live and die alone? What could be the up side of this?

May. 01 2016 02:16 PM
Stephen from Reno

Osteopathic medicine in the US! It seems there are two systems of education of medical education and they both grant just about equal rights in practicing medicine. Why are there two systems and what are the distinctions??

Apr. 29 2016 01:53 AM
Kristen from Michigan

Science-fiction: How real science relates to common sci-fi concepts

Apr. 27 2016 06:51 PM
Beth from Louisiana

Hi guys! I am a huge fan of the show. Here are my pitches, but after reading them back, they are pretty gloomy...they sound more like 60 minutes stories.

-Schitzophrenia: social stigma, homelessness, disorganized thoughts, how it is so hard to make an adult get treatment, and why they wont stay on meds (my adult brother is schitzoaffective). Peoples fixed delusions can be fascinating!

-Indigent defense (virtually non-existent in Louisiana) People are unable to get court appointed lawyers- Public Defenders office is overwhelmed and incompetent. Legal Aid is same and wont call people back. Court Appointed attys just don't show up to court or will not talk to you because of the way they get assigned here (a Judge just randomly appoints an attorney who probably specializes in a totally different kind of law- i.e. an estate planning atty to a criminal case). So many people are railroaded through the system here without any kind of defense. Many are illiterate or not competent to understand what is required of them or what is going on...its pretty bad. Very sad.

-Public Schools(I'll tell you the parish if you are interested) are still literally teaching Bible in science class along with many other violations of separation of Church and State. The school Board knows about it and encourages this type of discrimination. ACLU has sent several letters to the Board. Also several corruption scandals involving misappropriation of funds...all mixed up with the local churches. It's bizarre.

Anyway, that's what's up in North LA!



Apr. 27 2016 06:24 PM
Meredith from Austin, Texas

I've been teaching a little over a decade and, during that time, I've noticed an increasing number of students diagnosed with neurodiversities. My colleagues are somewhat divided on this issue- is it that there are actually more students with neurodiversities nowadays, or are their parents and doctors overly sensitive? Or have students been misdiagnosed for years and diagnosticians are just now getting things right? As a biology teacher, I'm fascinated by epigenetics, and wonder if environmental factors are affecting genetic switches that control brain development. On a large scale, I wonder if the human race is experiencing evolution of the human brain? Could that be responsible for the trend? Our children's brains are changing. Why? And how do we respond?

Apr. 27 2016 03:08 PM
Mort from Japan

While listening to 'Cellmates' I was reminded of articles I read on the possible connection between Entropy and the Origin of Life.

So while 'Cellmates' focused on the accidental creation of mitochondria for all living things on earth, it would be interesting to go on to explore theories on why simple life forms emerged at all, and whether it was an accident.

Apr. 27 2016 12:13 AM
Justin from Germany

I would like to hear a podcast about the Fightinggame community.
Its big in NY and i would really like to hear your thoughts about it.
But eSport in general would be interesting, alot of people dont seem to know that something like it exist.

Apr. 26 2016 12:38 PM
James from Fort Worth, Texas

How much do you know about building technologies? How about construction science? For something that affects all of us almost constantly no one seems to be thinking or talking about it. There is sooo much there in terms of new technology like 3D printing, solar everything, smart cities. How does the city program you? How about Chinese megacities? Your episode "Cities," while I love everything you do, was more like an episode of 'This American Life' than a radio show about science! Let's see cites part 2, part 3, part... Best from Texas, James.

Apr. 26 2016 11:26 AM
Ryan Vossoughi

You guys should do a podcast on LEGO.

Apr. 26 2016 05:00 AM
Patrick from Pacific Northwest

Just though an interesting follow up to 'on the edge' would be a story about Christian Fletcher the surfer. Couldn't be a more similar story. Couldn't be more different people.

Apr. 25 2016 07:19 PM
Robby T from Annapolis MD

Hey I have 2 ideas for you

A story about how my parents have the same Birthday.

The phenomenon of girls screaming... Sounds creep right.. But I mean girls seem more likely to scream them boys. Not being sexist I just find this to be true. For instance when I girl jumps off a diving board there's this outburst usually high pitched holar. Guys don't do this as much ... Or do they? I haven't studied the matter. Also there's a phenomenon of staying whoo while doing something exhilarating l, like traveling at a high speed whoo whoo! How do theses interns feelings result in this external outburst which seems to be natural , we don't decide I'm going to scream I'm going to exclaim

Perhaps I should just become a scientist and study these things so I could get on the show:) but ain't nobody got time for that !

Apr. 25 2016 02:47 PM
Jennifer from NY,NY

Using DNA as a barcode. I am thinking there's more to the story of these face swapping apps on snapchat. :/

Apr. 23 2016 12:32 PM
Jennifer Patek

How about cars? About the secrets of the unusual automobiles that have been on the roads sinse the late 1800s?

Apr. 22 2016 10:25 PM
Riken Maharjan from Funtown

How about an episode about an argument "where people argue about modern arts like graffiti, and random panting not being a real art". Are those even real art. You can talk about changes in generation. From bach to Skrillez. Generation and their art.

Apr. 22 2016 06:44 PM
Ddia from NYC

The anecdotal one-off stories (though some were beautiful) like the one on debates, figure skating???, or KPOP could really be done by any other radio show. What makes me excited and a long-time obsessive follower of radiolab is precisely because you set a meta-theme and curate juxtaposing stories to really challenge our ideas about 'race' or 'color' or 'language'. You can take any worthwhile news headline today and extract a larger theme from it. What on earth is happening where you need to ask the listeners what to research and produce?? Please don't continue to do podcasts on random topics.... I'm only mad and disappointed because I love you guys.

Some themes you could curate multiple stories for:

Bodies (in terms of social justice, psychology, physical health, physics)
Activism (passive and truly active social, environmental, political reform)
Design (what people think it is and what fields like speculative design and Transdisciplinary Design are really doing, the surprising, varying implications of design)
Subjectivity (how it likes up against Truth -- scientific, from those with power)

Apr. 22 2016 03:29 PM
Lauren from Chicago

I would love to hear an episode about the science behind "chemistry" between people. What makes people attracted to one another?

Apr. 22 2016 09:31 AM
Soliday from Cambodia

It would be really cool if you can do something about ghost and the reality of science. Or can be how many people believe different things example it can be superstition.

Apr. 21 2016 12:01 AM
Petra Eastaugh from South Africa

Do a follow up on the Blood episode. I was in South Korea when I heard it, and in South Korea a lot of people ask 'what blood type are you?' as polite conversation / ice breaker. A lot of Koreans believe that knowing someone's blood type will give you a basic picture of who they are. A little like knowing someone's star sign ^_^

Apr. 20 2016 04:50 PM
Eric S Anderson from Rock Island, Illinois

Chiropractic Neurology

A gentleman I did some work for a couple years ago was having tremendous problems with concussions and concussion symptoms. He figured in his life time he had been knocked out 4 or 5 times. He had done tons of treatments and meds with no successes. He then pursued chiropractic neurology and finally started getting relief and his life back. Google "Ted Carrick concussion" There is a Nightline video from about 2012.

Apr. 20 2016 11:13 AM

A follow up to your Musical Language episode (season 2): could you arrange to feed this four-chord popsong medley

to EMI, thereby producing the ideal pop song?

Apr. 19 2016 10:09 PM
Sofia from Chi

The biology of Trauma, The idea of Sustainability, Gender fluidity in Biology

Apr. 19 2016 04:11 PM
Erik Czerwin from Rockford, IL

I think a really cool story would be on the Hobby Rocketry community. It's a small community in the nation/world, but between Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK, it's a sizable community with a handful of dedicated manufacturers. Most people don't realize that there are friends and neighbors of theirs building rocketry products that can reach the limits of earth's atmosphere! It's a unique community with people of all political and ethnic stripes coming together to share in a fascination of building rockets in one's basement or garage then pushing them to extremes. There have been a few controversies over the years, one involving a lawsuit with the ATF. Aerotech (one major manufacturer) suffered a fire at its production plant that shifted the hobby considerably, and recently, another manufacturer suffered another fire (Cesaroni Technology). These "backyard scientists" develop lots of unique solutions to highly complicated problems, and they do so without armies of technicians. They just do it with their own know-how and shared information. When rocketeers start mixing their own rocket motors, it gets even more complicated, and actually somewhat secretive.
This would work well as a story on its own, or as part of a larger episode/series that involves looking into the communities of homemade hobby scientists... Really, a fascinating story to tell that can't be adequately summed up in just a couple paragraphs...

Apr. 19 2016 03:29 PM
toby from Oakland, CA

Collective consciousness and the discovery of certain math/science concepts around the same time in different locations of the world. And why/how?

Apr. 18 2016 04:09 PM
Brendan from South Dakota

1- Intrusive thoughts

2- Thorium-based nuclear power

3- The Big Short. Do the people portrayed in the film think the movie narrated their experiences accurately? What is their take on current market situations; will this happen again?

Apr. 18 2016 09:08 AM
j from NC

I'd like to hear two shows:

1) Who is Barry Soetoro? A FACTUAL investigation of who this guy is, what and where he's from?

2) An investigation into the truth (or otherwise) of the falsified data that has become the religion of Anthropomorphic "climate change". There hAS BEEN SO MUCH DISHONESTY FROM THE PROPOGANDISTS, i'D LIKE TO HEAR THE TRUTH.

Apr. 18 2016 07:39 AM
Mike McSweeney from New York

A Movie.

Here's what it could look like:

-Mike McSweeney

Apr. 17 2016 08:31 PM
Annie from Australia

I'd like to hear a show on alternative economic systems that don't rely on infinite consumerism and increase in population to promote growth.

Apr. 17 2016 07:19 PM
marley engvall from florence, massachusetts

You could do a show on the politicization of science. While we are taught to trust in the disinterested objectivity of the scientific method, it is becoming ever more clear that some scientific findings are suppressed, others promulgated, to protect or advance powerful interests.

To acknowledge the link between autism and vaccine-related heavy metal poisoning would be extremely costly for Big Pharma, and so the science is assiduously suppressed, or 'debunked.'

Likewise, to acknowledge that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled demolition, or to acknowledge that NANOTHERMITE is present in all World Trade Center dust, would cause the American people to examine their relationship to the military-industrial complex, and would ultimately bring about the end of war.

Many powerful interests believe their welfare to be intimately tied to the perpetutation of war, so the physical science of 9/11 is systematically ignored, since it can no longer be 'debunked.'

This, of course, leads back to a whole complex of other interesting topics, ranging from cognitive dissonance to trauma conditioning, the manufacture of 'popular opinion,' the work of Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman, Cass Sunstein, the Tavistock Institute, etc.

Awareness of the mechanisms of mind control is essential to overcoming their effects.

Apr. 17 2016 12:29 PM
Menji Zen from NYC

Orchids! Being the second largest plant family (about 10% of all the plant species), orchid encompasses the idea of diversity, ranging from the ordinary $9.99 grocery plant that is readily accessible to the tree-dwelling treasure that lured victorians into mad murders..we use orchid as a symbol of feminine beauty (nail salon front desk for example), but ironically the word orchids came directly from a word that meant testicles in ancient Greek. Biologically, orchids are also very fascinating, they developed very cunning and specific mimicry of its pollinators and its has an very interesting relationship with fungi etc.

Susan Orleans wrote a pretty popular book on orchids, there're so many interesting stories about people's obsessions over this particular family of flowering plants. Also, it would be interesting to hear you guys narrating the beautiful colors and forms of orchids :)


Apr. 16 2016 09:56 PM

Ultrasound. The things we can't hear. I study endangered flying squirrels and it was recently discovered they make ultrasonic calls. We record the calls to monitor them. But lots of things make ultrasound, including bats, insects, and other rodents!

Apr. 16 2016 09:33 PM
Dillan Mohottige from Orlando, FL

In this political climate, RadioLab would be remiss if it didnt do an episode on the science of politics. For example the science and psychology of fascism.

Apr. 16 2016 09:13 PM
Robby from Severna Park MD

Alright I just found something out that's hella funny , to me at least.
I know a person, who got a new number on their phone... But then he started getting some weird texts... The former number holder, well may have been in a different line of business something the new numbers owner knows nothing about. When he realizes the former number holder was an escort.. Well this is just very interesting to me. I bet you could go crazy with this type of material people getting new numbers.. That aren't new,

and surely there's stories out there of people getting calls from people they don't know, that lead them in directions or down paths they would have not expected.

Apr. 14 2016 01:52 PM
Mike from Colorado

Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) — Imagine the results from your annual checkup reveal something potentially threatening. Now imagine having noninvasive surgery a few days later, potentially having you back to mowing your lawn or hanging with friends the very next day. No incision. No scarring. Minimal recovery time. All that’s required of you is to settle into a big “tanning bed” for a few hours. It’s in its infancy, but it’s here; we’re using it and in many cases it’s the future of the OR.

Apr. 14 2016 01:17 PM
Patric from Cincinnati

Throughout many of your shows, you ask psychological questions. You rely on traditional psychology (think: the-brain-does-it reasoning), it would be interesting to see what you made of Gibson's Ecological Psychology through Dynamic Systems Theory explanations. It will be sure to rock your and listeners' worlds! (Or at least provide an alternative to the brain-of-the-gaps perspective.)

Apr. 14 2016 12:33 PM
Robby from Severna Park Maryland

OK here's an idea. Hypothetically if someone dug a hole straight to the earth to the other side of the earth hypothetically they drove a clean hole all the way to the other side. If you jumps in the hole and started bawling what happens when he reads the other side of the earth or as you approach a gravity pushes you down One Direction but what happens when it starts pushing from the other?

Apr. 14 2016 02:40 AM
kara from switzerland

frogs in scandinavia whose water exits their cells during winter, to pool into the intercellular space, and then freeze solid... only to wait until the spring to thaw out again!

Apr. 13 2016 12:29 PM
Robby Tollett from Annapolis MD

Okay thanks first of all for making me question how blue the sky really is, and many other thought provoking explorations 😏🤔😅💦

Okay so just off the dome here's a few ideas

Lifeguarding (different aspects of this relationships you have with fellow lifeguards, the idea of others lives being in your hands)

Also not sure if it's been done any but finding bodies or seeing the dead. My friends a police officer in training and he told me he found a dead body while on the job, he just said he found it, so I asked him what that was like and he continues to give me way more detail about what it was like and even how the body was (not what he may have expected, it had decomposed and was alien)

Okay and escorting I know that's been done to death but maybe a look at the high end DC racket for escorting and the kinds of clients these woman.. And men encounter .

Okay so many more ideas, but those are some thanks

Apr. 12 2016 09:24 PM
Factorialist from California

History and societies reactions to hirsute woman. Why female facial hair is a taboo.

Apr. 12 2016 02:41 PM
jeff gladden from South Bend, IN

Apr. 12 2016 12:25 PM
Katelyn from United States

I am a millennial. Truly, what will our life look in the decades to come in terms of taxes to pay back how much Obama has borrowed during his term (doubled our national debt)? What will it look like for our children's generation? I think this is an important and timely topic in thinking about the Sanders/Clinton fight. Clinton will have very similar policies to Obama and if this trend continues we will have a great time in the present, but how much will we regret it in the next 4 decades? I would love an economist's take on this issue.

Apr. 12 2016 12:18 PM

Got to agree with Mike from Boston. How about a story on society's need to be heard in the modern day.

Apr. 11 2016 01:26 PM
Waitu Gou from Minneapolis

Planet 9/Planet X...old science vs. current (January 2016) science vs. conspiracy theorists vs. alternate history folks.

Apr. 10 2016 02:32 PM
Kristina from Kentucky

I LOVE RADIOLAB! My favorite NPR Show. Thank you for what you do.

I am a senior at Eastern Kentucky University, working on a Bachelor's in Psychology. I hope to one day be a helper in Domestic Violence.

Right now I am taking a class that is addressing ethics within the helping field.

A topic that seems to be a hot bottom issue is, should counselors be able to deny services based on religious beliefs? My knee jerk is no, this doesn't fall in line with the ACA's code of ethics. However Tennessee is entertaining it. Would love for you guys to do your magic here and over turn this bolder. Thank you for all you do.

Apr. 10 2016 11:10 AM
Mike from Boston

I really like the content of your show. My suggestion has to do with the format. The "patter" back and forth between the two story narrators is so annoying as to make it impossible to listen to. It's interesting that I didn't mind it at first - the first few shows anyway - but then it became so irritating that I just shut the show off. An auditory experience that goes from somewhat interesting and innovating to annoying - maybe you should do a show on that.

Apr. 10 2016 08:52 AM
Brittnie Vargas from Los Angeles


During my last semester of college I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, an Auto Immune Disease that causes severe inflammation in the joints.I went from being a track and field athlete to using a wheelchair every time I went to Disneyland. It would be awesome if you guys discussed how Auto Immune Diseases (not just R.A. but M.S., Psoriasis etc.) work and what people THINK causes them, since no one seems to really know. It one of the bodies mysteries and something, I think is perfect for Radio Lab!

Apr. 08 2016 05:07 PM
Robert Machin from Lithuania


You have to do a podcast on THE STAR DUST MYSTERY.

Just look into it, it is an incredible story.


Apr. 08 2016 07:15 AM
JJ McGill from Durham

I think a story about the Blood Banking industry would be very interesting. Three areas of interest would be the industrial nature of blood harvesting, production, and purchase of products, the cost of a "used donated" product, and Sickle Cell Anemia patients deemed "incompatible with Life."

The fact that there is a massive manufacturing component to a single donation that could be shipped all over the country is pretty interesting. There are usually 14+ tests and A single donation can be used in up to 11 different products.

A donation center and manufacturing is highly regulated but government funded for the American Red Cross. There is a constant flow of cash with an upcharge at each step. I always found it peculiar that an item that was donated, Whole Blood, could cost about $360 to the hospital and they usually upcharge the recipient. It is like being in a ball park knowing that you only can purchase their $8 1 Liter bottle of water. I guess if you are dieing of thirst it you pay and just thank God there is water.

The incompatibility of blood goes beyond the blood type. There is a history of weird named antigens, crazy theories and relentless research to find blood antigens. Just like kidney match recipients blood has to match as well. A person with many transfusions and can grow antibodies against donor blood. Sickle Cell Anemia patients have it worst as they can grow antibodies to a wide range of antigens. After years of transfusion they can be deemed "Incompatible with Life." It is a death sentence to some patients. They wait until their next excruciatingly painful sickle crisis assuming death is just around the corner.

Apr. 07 2016 06:23 PM
Amy Shandick from killeen, texas

The connection between therapeutic remedy of tattooing. When tattoos are applied in the proper environment with a calm energy, the wearer of said design is no matter what going to experience trauma from the pain of receiving the tattoo. Being the environment is calm, the wearer can then utilize the design as a focal point to bring them down from an anxiety attack. Reason is, all trauma, good and bad, creates a 'fold' if you will or permanent impression on the brain. When we wish, we can reconnect to that moment because the tattoo is a conduit to that moment. Thus assisting the wearer to calm down by focusing on the tattoo and utilizing breathing techniques. I have taught this to numerous clients of mine, including a large amount of military, as we tattoo in near fort hood, largest military base in the country.

Apr. 07 2016 03:03 PM
Charles Peden from Benbrook, TX

So there's this guy in the Netherlands who has Asperger's syndrome and a significantly high I.Q. He grows increasingly interested in I.Q. testing and begins designing his own tests. He starts his own high I.Q. societies with extremely high minimum I.Q. requirements. But, as fate would have it, this guy in the Netherlands is also unable to tell lies. This may be a unique condition related to his Asperger's syndrome.

Regardless of the cause of his inability to lie, such an odd trait is something that would seem credible and probably fairly insignificant except for one thing: he says he was visited by a future member of one of his highest I.Q. societies. The future member installed a t-mail client on his computer so that he could communicate with him through time (t-mail being a variant of e-mail that allows sending a message to past or future). In fact, one can now ask a question of the remotely future members of one of his high I.Q. societies through t-mail on his website.

Currently I seem to hold the world record for t-mail questions deemed "excellent" by the future Giga Society members (a total of one question).

Apr. 07 2016 03:20 AM
Ty from Texas


Apr. 06 2016 11:37 PM
Trevor Fritz from Juneau, AK

Consider producing an episode around Lyme disease. There is a huge multifaceted story. There is a lot to read about (see link below), but try to stick to peer reviewed journals.

Apr. 06 2016 02:45 PM
Charley from SF CA (formerly adjunct at UCSF, ret)

Mitochondria: What are they and what do they do? Are they bacteria in service to our cells and muscles?

My doc, a specialist in medical genetics/Stanford, says the medical model is upside down--that all organic Dz, and our prognosis to infectious Dz, is a function of our mitochondrial health--in short, Disease may be a symptom of Mitochondrial Disease itself.

It also is our time clock for aging and death, and with a mutation, some die age fast and die young and experience things like poorer health, and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Sound familiar?

Apr. 06 2016 02:03 AM
Lauren from Washington D.C.

- How do we know what we do not know? How can we say "It's on the tip of my tongue," "I would recognize it if I heard it," or "Eh, that's long gone... There's no way I am going to remember..."? How are we assessing this distance?

- Technology as a collective brain. If a question occurs to a friend and me at dinner, we may google it, receive a crowd-supplied result, and then regurgitate the information that we read on the device. What effect does that have on independent thought? Is our brain being censored or moving away from critical thinking? What will it mean for a population to be at 75% independent thought and 25% digitally-fed thought? 50/50? 25/75? 10/90? How easily could technology introduce something to/remove something from the brain? How long would it take people to stop using a correct word just because a red squiggly appeared under it when we typed?

- Your side. Behind the scenes of a journalist and the nuanced stakeholder conflicts you face. Perhaps expand into a larger discussion about motivations in business: Like journalists who start with an interest in spreading truth but are battered by media engines that are interested in money. Or doctors who want to save lives in a hospital but are smothered by paperwork, pharmacies, management, etc. Do profit-driven corporate models corrupt or fail to reward intrinsic motivations? Is there an hourglass-shaped response to motivations as corporate power increases? As in... could mega mega mega wealthy corporate models actually start to devalue money due to sheer abundance and subsequently increase the value of interpersonal and personal reward? Perhaps a side-by-side look at a contemporary Google employee's conflicts, benefits, and rewards for intrinsic motivation as a window into changing values at very wealthy companies.

Apr. 05 2016 03:47 PM
Molly Sullivan from Chicago

Hi Im a 17 year old art student and I would love to hear a storie about artist and not just artist but kids who aspire to be artist. I feel people overlook the art world and dont understand what its like to live and breath art and live to become one.
Life has tought many of us aspriring artist that fine arts is the worst degree to get which is kinda insane becuase of how influential art is, just as history is broken down into events and eras art is similarly broken in down in movements and style such as Baroque, fabism, and abstract expressionism in respones to the historical events. Were practically visual historians.
So breifly speacking I think a storie on the impact of art and history and the meaning it gives today as well as the people who persue it as a career would be kinda cool.

Apr. 05 2016 12:42 PM
Caroline from Arizona

Who owns science?

For years the scientific community has been debating the ownership of science. Specifically science that has been funded by public dollars, yet is made unavailable to the public by publishers.

One researcher in Russia has made waves by creating the Napster of scientific journal articles and due to her Russian citizenship... she may be spared from legal ramifications? Her case is ongoing.

Apr. 05 2016 12:26 PM
Axel from Argentina

I just heard your podcast summer nazi camp and it reminded me of a movie I can't believe you mentioned. It's called Harts war and tells the story of a POW camp in nazi Germany and the discrimination towards black soldiers within the camp. This particular clip portraits what your podcast talks about: i don't believe it's a matter of having 78 rules, because society had the bible and the constitution providing rules of conduct towards other human beings.. In this case it's just plain racism.. Another tainted chapter in the history of the US.

Apr. 04 2016 11:30 PM
Linda from Ithaca, New York

There's some great info about matriarchal ancient Egypt and long periods of peace therein. I saw this in on Netlix via 'The Pyramid Code' lol--it's better than it sounds. I see peace in matriarchal periods (like Crete in Greece) as an extension of your show on people in a survey (representative sample?) newly believing in the inevitability of war in very recent times and contrary evidence. Public opinion/beliefs helps shape policy--you could extent on that idea, too. Love. That. Show. Concept. War is not inevitable. Eco-feminism relates to the status of women and the environment as interconnected ideas--a respect for life and life-givers/ lack thereof.
Also, an off-shoot related topic idea: Emotion and cognition are related in thought/interdependent in memory, including thought inception. Additionally: turmeric and ginger and dementia, alzheimer's prevention (there's extensive research).
On a related note to matriarchy, an old classmate of mine completed a graduate project on the correlations between higher sexual assault in conservative areas.
I know this isn't directly related, but I'd like to know, do u have podcast recommendations somewhere on your website? Love your recommendations and can't remember what you've said. Thanks for inspiring and informing me, emotionally and intellectually, even when I haven't agreed. For instance, will you discuss real evidence (peer-reviewed studies, although some scientists are paid by industry) concerning GMO related health issues? Also, a show on pesticides, etc exposure and cancer, including living within a mile of chemical farms would be highly informative. Many chemicals and cancer are also linked--body products for instance. There is extensive evidence for this. I have sources. How about bees and pesticides? Lastly, how about a show on civility, respect, real niceness? Does our culture encourage or discourage this and why? In what ways?

Apr. 04 2016 08:38 PM
Bob Duncan from Ohio

I work with endurance athletes as an elite coach. A few years ago I started working with a Marine veteran with a traumatic brain injury. Today he works for Team Semper Fi. He has revealed to me a staggering number of veteran suicides (on the order of 22 per day). I'd like a show revealing why so many of our veterans turn away from available help and to suicide. I, as a combat vet, feel some of the effects of PTSD but cannot come to grips with the severity that leads so many to take their lives.

Apr. 03 2016 05:39 PM
Mighty_Borlaug from Havre, Montana

I live in North Central Montana and service several small towns that dot the 'High Line' area. Named after the raised roadbed that the Railroad uses, this area is sparsely populated and dying in slow motion.
The incredible sadness I feel as I drive through these areas (I drive a yellow truck and sell frozen food door-to-door) is palpable. Every year another older family moves out, has the kids move out or dies. Empty homes that fail to fill with life again are now being demolished proactively throughout the region. As though belonging to a mouth of decayed teeth, these homes are ripped apart, burnt, recycled or all three until the natural grasses of the area take them over again. Whole blocks of housing are slowly, inexorably turning into enormous vacant lots year by year.
I point the episode to the towns of Turner, Hogeland and Harlem Montana. Each used to be serviced by the trainlines and only Harlem keeps a modest number of grain elevators active on the High-Line. As the trains began to pull out of these places, one by one, their life blood and relevance dwindled away. I was just a child when the trains left these places and now, having returned as an adult, I can feel the ugly crawl of a town wasting away.
I feel this essential phenomena can be recorded anywhere but here in North Central Montana, it has a sensation that pulls hard at you as more and more sections of the horizon become dotted with old buildings that only hint at the lives that once lived there.

Apr. 02 2016 11:41 PM
Nik from Tokyo

Having lived over seas for over 13 years away from my home in Canada I realize that tipping is an evil construct. I'd like to know where this scourge started and why it continues in this day and age. Most of the world does not partake in this evil endeavor but North America revels in it. Why? Most people who live outside of the tipping nations don't know why this exist or even how to do it. I have even heard of cases of pubs asking customers not to come back because of a low tip. They would rather lose business than take a 'low' tip. Ridiculous.

Apr. 02 2016 05:55 PM
Bob Anderson from MInneapolis, MN

I would like to see your take on the speed of light. Why is there a speed of light. How does something accelerate from 0 to the speed of light instantly?

Apr. 02 2016 10:04 AM

I don't know if you guys are the right people to do this but I'd like to see someone do a podcast on how new platforms and easier self publishing and developing tools have led to a huge growth in the amount of independent video games being produced today. We see games featuring game play that is new and interesting but also tackling topics seldom or never seen in video games before when only a few large companies controlled the market.

There are game jams where very small teams will work for two or three days straight to make a game and then the final products are judged and awarded prizes. In fact perhaps you guys could pick a few indie devs to talk to, and they love to talk about design and narrative, and interview them, talk about their work, tie it into the broader indie movement, and then follow the game jam. See what development for these very small indie teams is like, see what kind of really interesting stuff is being done with games today, and get to actually play brand new games at the end of the whole thing.

That would be super interesting and now that I think about it your outsider status would likely give a fresh perspective in a medium covered mostly by people who have grown up with video games and make it relatable to a wider audience.

Apr. 02 2016 03:19 AM
Kevin from Austin, TX

I wish Radiolab would go back to the hour-long science episodes they became famous for. I haven't listened to a new episode in over a year because nearly all of them have been human interest stories that would be a better fit on This American Life.

Apr. 02 2016 02:34 AM
Hugo from Rhode Island

Explore the brain science and observed psychology behind "taking sides" -the whys and hows, from politics to protests, from group projects to family issues and arguments, from team sports to corporate structures, from animals to humans... What makes us choose a side or decide to follow or disband? And what do the people (or animals) who find themselves in the middle or with unpopular opinions think and experience when looking at the division? It seems like we often make a lot of these decisions without much thought or provocation, and I wonder how much of it is instinctual, how much of it is rational, and how much of it is conscious thought.

Apr. 01 2016 04:40 PM
lisa from SF bay area

Trypophobia. I have trypophobia, but i can't do any research on it because most searches include photos of things that set trypophobics off. A radio story on it would be wonderful! no images to make me queasy. (if you do a story on it though, please make the photos click through so i can still access the page without seeing the picts.)
thanks! hope to hear about it soon

Apr. 01 2016 12:48 PM
Danielle Hammonds from Kingsport, TN


Apr. 01 2016 10:41 AM

You have to expand on the Darkode one and add stories like the one from Andrés Sepúlveda, the political hacker that for 10 years worked for rightwing candidates in latin america.

Mar. 31 2016 02:39 PM

How about an in depth investigation of the psychology behind bigotry, racism
and the willingness to believe fear mongers. For example.....less than 10%
of terrorist acts are committed by Muslims. Actually fewer than committed by
radical Jewish Groups, according to FBI. How do so many people fall victim to
this sort of obvious manipulation?

Mar. 31 2016 01:05 PM
N Lyons from Silicon Valley

Where did the Basque language come from? It doesn't seem related to nearby languages.

Are genes really selfish? Are memes real or an author's hallucination?

Are 473 genes really the minimum number necessary? How can you claim that if you don't know what the function of a third of them is?

Where is the out-of-bounds line in science research? Has that been in the same place over time or has it drifted? What I really want to ask is: do you think R&D on autonomous killing machines is a good or bad idea? Who decides where that line is?

Mar. 31 2016 01:43 AM
Kelly from Madison WI

I would like to hear about meta-messaging and how what we say is likely to be interpreted by others or in other words is there predictable ways that people will receive a message regardless of intent in the sending of the message. What ways are likely to produce certain results or patterns? A good book that I have been reading is Therapeutic Communication, Knowing what to say when by Paul L. Wachtel and he is a professor of clinical psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Also I would like to hear more about how communication affects and effects us, particularly how bad and negative communication affects us - maybe even how it ties into social and emotional intelligence. I also want to hear about human error in regards to books such as The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, and Being Wrong, Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz. And I would like to know if different types of meditation change the brain in certain distinct ways, what those ways are and how they would benefit us, if there are certain things that are harmful with some mediation practices. Are there exercises one can do that can actively shape the intuition system of the brain to be more efficient in helping the cognitive thinking part of the brain to make more accurate connections? Lastly, cause I have too many ideas to put down and don't want to waste your time, I would like to explore the idea more of different personalities being more receptive or having a preference into how they receive their communication. The idea being that their personalities are a product of how their brains are organized and thus their preferences are how they are best able to understand and work with the information stimulus. A good book for that is the beginning of The Art of Dialogue, Exploring personality differences for more effective communication by Carolyn Zeisset.

Mar. 30 2016 02:26 PM
Min from Texas

My mind is constantly being blown by the field of biomechanics, and how much humans depend on the natural environment for health and well-being. We disrupt our 'natural' biomechanics with modern inventions (baby bottles, chairs, beds, pillows, positive-heeled shoes, screens, cars, counter-height workstations ...), which leads to unintended consequences (too-small jaws that require orthodontics, pelvic floor disorders, myopia, heart attacks, loss of bone density ...). I think the future of human health depends, in part, on our ability to deliberately add back in some of the of the tasks we think we've invented our way out of, and hacking those we can't. And for what's truly gone ... what's the future human evolving to look/behave like?

Mar. 29 2016 08:50 PM
Carl from Sweden

I'm very interested to know more how people with autism experience the world.
I would love to hear your take on it :)

Mar. 29 2016 12:43 PM

- video of Ryan Walsh's debate!!!!

so, ya!!!

Mar. 29 2016 12:31 AM
Keeper the dwag

i loved crisper part I.
but wait!
i just relized theres no
CRISPER PART II!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar. 28 2016 07:33 PM
Jennifer from USA

Peru usually sends a team to the International Mathematical Olympiad that is low-income and indigenous. Although the kids are about two years younger (college starts at 16 in Peru) than the average competitor, Peru does quite well at the IMO. Many of the Peruvian kids are educated in public gifted schools.

Why does Peru's intellectual elite come from the poorer classes?

Mar. 27 2016 05:33 PM
marley engvall from florence, massachusetts

What happens when objective truth ceases to exist? Aguably the most unfortunate consequence of the 9/11 tragedy, once we have gotten past the initial overwhelming grief for victims and their families, is the realization, fiteen years later, that we have been robbed of the scientific method. Scientific "truth," if we allow the big ugly lie of 9/11 to remain unexamined, is whatever the CIA decides to feed to the talking heads on TV. When WTC 7 collapsed inexplicably at 5:20 on the afternoon of 9/11/01, its roof accelerated toward earth at a rate indistinguishable from free-fall for 2.23 seconds. The official 'scientific' lie about the collapse of the twin towers, promulgated by Zdenek Bazant & company, is that one-sixth of each redundantly reinforced steel tower, crushed the lower five-sixths, and then each magical pile-driver, presumably undamaged during its descent through such enormous inert mass, crushed itself against the earth.

The lakes of molten steel, which kept the heaps of rubble and human remains smoldering for the next two months, had nothing to do with the advanced thermitic compounds discovered by Niels Harrit, Steven Jones, Jeffery Farrer, Kevin Ryan, et al. in their 2009 study of the topic, which can be found here:

Until we have broken free from the trauma-based conditioning of the American terror state, the scientific method is dead.

Mar. 26 2016 11:15 PM
Mark from Vancouver

Consider going back to what I will call your old format. The one which had better researched and longer shows. When I first started listening to Radiolab I was always excited for new episodes, but now I find I am really just disappointed with each new episode. It's not just me:

Please give us back the show we fell in love with.

Mar. 26 2016 07:27 PM
Pete from USA

Pabnenkoek2012 is a YouTuber. His videos blew my mind. He is like Newton abd Einstein of super mario 64. He discovers the laws that governs the game.

Mar. 26 2016 06:48 AM
PB from Washington

With the current climate regarding the War on Drugs & the legalization of marijuana in several states (Washington, included), it would be interesting to hear a story on marijuana. As a graduate student in Neuroscience, I know several professors in my department who are beginning to explore questions of safety and the medical relevance of marijuana.
Washington state is an interesting place to explore this question - with the advent of "safe drug sites" where people could safely use heroin (
Studies on shelters like these have shown that the support provided by such sites actually gives many addicts a safe place to quit & a protective community which can help them reduce their drug use.
There are many interesting topics to explore here, and I would love to hear a piece about any of them.

Mar. 25 2016 02:16 PM

'I have this friend' who seems to have an compulsion for rubbing silky fabrics with her fingers. Ok, I only know she does this because I do it too. Although our methods are slightly different, it's definitely a compulsive (if not addictive for some) behavior. For me, I need to rub the silk between my fingers, on my eyelids, and behind my ears, and sometimes with my toes. I've been trying to search the internet to see what the heck is wrong with us, and find that there are many adults that secretly rub blankies behind closed doors. I can't find any clinical info on it, much less, a name for it, just lots of forums with folks confessing they do it. It seems that having a silk edged blanket when very young is a commonality, as well as thumb sucking. It's just weird and embarrassing, and seems more common than you might think, and my friend (and I) want to know more about it.

Mar. 25 2016 11:15 AM
Kurtis M from Youngstown, OH

How plants exploit humans for their own success.

Michael Pollan most notably explores this topic in his book "Botany of Desire." However, this evolutionary practice is commmonly taught in various biology sciences.

Just a fun way to explore how evolution is equally dependent on other living things as the surrounding environment.

Mar. 25 2016 08:55 AM
Kristen Hall from San Francisco

Loving the Debatable episode!
Around minute 52 the podcast skips... just as we are hearing the judge's breakdown of Ryan's final speech!! Would love to hear what was said!

Mar. 24 2016 09:34 PM

Tex Avery

Mar. 24 2016 05:33 PM
Rose Schreiber-Stainthorp

Cave Paintings: an exploration of the roots of creative expression, art, and the [human?] phenomenon of representation and metaphor.

Mar. 24 2016 03:40 PM
ex-postdoc from Houghton, Michigan

Corruption and mismanagement in our National Lab system (specifically Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos). It's great - it's got politics, scandal, cool science, and human interest. Inform the public about the mismanagement of their tax dollars that are supposed to be going to science, but are actually being embezzled by for-profit companies that George W. Bush put in charge of these labs.

Mar. 24 2016 01:35 PM
Jen from USA

Auras and the effect of the energy around the body?

I have a family member that is sort of a mystic and believes the energy around a person is what people see when they see you. I have doubts of many of these practices..But she does kill the battery in watches within the day just by wearing the watch and if a cellphone is on her person for too long during the day, the battery will be drained and the phone will start acting very strange. She also has a trick where she tries to push your arms down while you resist, then "breaks up the energy field" and is able to push your arms down with no resistance no matter how hard you try. I doubt these things are related but I haven't found the science behind what is going on (I haven't looked very hard) and it could be fun to do a show about these people and what they're seeing.

Mar. 24 2016 01:02 PM
Nancy Tompkins from New York City

Accents and vocal affectations in America...from Mid-Atlantic English to the bizzare "creaky voice" and "uptalk" of today....

Mar. 24 2016 12:58 PM
Carl Zimmer from his house

Have me on the show again. I have many good ideas!!

Mar. 24 2016 12:26 PM
Katja from Paris

Hey RadioLab,
Katja from Paris , France here.
Maybe you have some story about French ? It would be just great if you could.

Looking forward to your next episode

Mar. 22 2016 06:22 PM
Tyson Justis from Ellensburg, wa

Feral childern. How and why they became feral and their life after being reintroduce into society.

Mar. 22 2016 05:49 PM
Adam Shaw from Maryland

Catching blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay and how it affects the ecosystems also the decimation of the oyster population

Mar. 22 2016 10:58 AM
Elizabeth from Denver

the science of summer! heat waves, heat shimmer, the engineering of the ice cream truck, the warm-month-migrations of butterflies, birds and people (among so much else), the urban myth of murder rates connected to temperature rates (96* ?) Those fires during the russian summer a few years back....

Mar. 22 2016 12:17 AM
Pete from USA

How big is 52!?

Mar. 21 2016 08:31 PM
David from Houston

1) Citations, authority, narratives, and shaky truth in the information age (in short, the story of how we determine who to trust in the information age)
2) Human 2.0: Human-machine interfaces, prosthetics, and human modification (in short, the story of existing interfaces, the experiences of differently abled people, and where implants/modifications are taking us)
3) The nano-scale: crafting, tools, and techniques at the atomic level... and what they are building at the macro scale (in short, where nano tools are going and how hyper efficient / effective tools are going to change our world)
4) Artificial Intelligence - to what and whose purposes? (AI is mostly in the hands of large corporations, and when it is extended to the general populace, it is through cloud services. This would be a thinking through the purpose of AI and how it is employed)
5) Economics and government policy: If NAFTA, TPP, ect are net benefit for our economy, does it matter how those benefits and cost are allocated. Do those who benefit owe anything to those who lose?
6) Currency Wars (Competitive Devaluation), negative interest, and the common man (in short, the story of how central bank measures are effecting the man on the street)

Mar. 21 2016 03:53 PM
Don Knott from Portland, OR

personal stories that can effect the whole nation or world to think about how we live. Keeping it simple works.

Mar. 21 2016 12:47 AM

Vaccines! I heard that these people who refuse them do so to fight big government. Could you explore this issue? I really don't understand why they would put themselves before the community. Herd immunity is important.

Mar. 20 2016 08:06 PM
Polly Guest from UK

The perception and reality of the generation gap-its power.The negatives and positives

Mar. 20 2016 02:34 AM
Bill Kinnear from Burlington Vermont

Yea you Guys should episode about how Greedy Greedy PBS is Getting!
NPR will be doing the same thing Soon?

Mar. 19 2016 11:47 PM
Joe from Portland OR

The show is awful anymore, what do debating and Gary Hart's sexual indiscretions have to do with science? A show on the holographic universe theory or anything actually science related would be nice.

Mar. 19 2016 01:34 AM
marley engvall from florence, massachusetts

You could do a show on the mechanics of truth suppression and cognitive dissonance, focusing on the vast propaganda apparatus of the corporate media, the mechanics of trauma conditioning, cognitive infiltration, stigma, and the limiting of 'mainstream opinion.'

Mar. 18 2016 04:58 PM
Caraline Roussos from Frisco,TX

Wine! My husband and I are Greek wine importers and are new to the wine society. The love of the grape runs deep. People pay a lot for it, build lives around it and get excited to see it. Cheers!

Mar. 18 2016 03:12 PM
Yoel from Austin, TX

Trickle-down economics. How is it supposed to work? When does it work? When doesn't it?

Mar. 18 2016 01:35 PM
JH from New York

Big Numbers.

There are so many big numbers that are hard to wrap our minds around. Googol, Googolplex, Grahams Number etc. I always found it fascinating how difficult it is to comprehend the scale. Atoms in the universe? Googol laughs at it. Possible move in a chess game - 10^20 times more than googol!

Something about big numbers makes the imagination go wild, and I'm sure you guys could make a great show out of it.

Mar. 17 2016 05:34 PM
Ben Temple from Oregon

RL Team,

Traveling for business, in the back of a car in the Dong Guan area of China (another story about the morality of all of us consuming products which cause such harm to the environment - an my internal struggle with making these products!) when the guy next to me starts talking about how Iphones are smuggled over the Chinese Border from Hong Kong for profit. He gets into some of the details of how the smugglers pull it off with large numbers and staking on the boarder patrol to see when duty is light ect. Then he says that that has been shut down do due to release schedule changes from Apple (Apple used to release in Hong Kong 2 weeks before China - now it is simultaneous). So now the smugglers have gotten into the source code of the apple website and created programs to exploit that code to automatically order very many iphones which in turn causes sell outs and results in inflated prices, allowing the smugglers, who are now iphone scalpers, to sell at profit.

The larger story for me is the morality of scalping- the exploitation of a system where supply and demand are out of balance. Who is to blame? The people selling the tickets for not implementing a more dynamic pricing model that reflects demand? The people buying the scalped tickets for supporting something that is bad for the overall system, or is all the blame squarely on the unscrupulous Scalper? I have always wondered - maybe your team can help me wonder more. Thanks!

Mar. 17 2016 10:48 AM
Sophie Bouchard from Winnipeg

First, thanks for all you guys work. I love how you bring colourful images in mind as I listen.

I would love to hear about how as a culture we pass from excluding and punishing children, to jump into the behavioural framing, to raising you kids with neuro-science in mind. Also, what is the law versus the ethic of punishment. Why there is still a grand part of the population that believe spanking is ok and what to do instead.

On a more positive note, i would love to hear more about inspiring people that devote themselves to changing for the best their world like Pierre Lavoie (a man from Quebec).

Thank you!

Mar. 16 2016 12:34 PM
les from london UK

Hey Radiolab, loving your work.
I recently went to see an exhibition about neanderthals and modern homo sapiens. The biggest thing I noticed is that with the homo sapiens there was a huge amount of evidence of create thought i.e. lots of carvings, paintings and examples of creativity and artistic skill being held in very high regard whereas with the neanderthals there was almost nothing. I know us modern homo sapiens interbred with neanderthals but overall we homo sapiens won and are still around and creativity and the arts is still held in very high regard.
I was wondering if you think there is a connection with artistic creativity and being able to tell a story has something to do with our success and why is art and storytelling still held in such high regard.

Mar. 16 2016 06:16 AM

Hey Radiolab! I would love to hear some stories about botany and maybe explore hydroponics and the new developing version of farming that involves computers.

Mar. 15 2016 09:51 PM

I think it would be really cool to hear a show about synthesia, when your senses are mixed up. Some people can see colors and others can even feel the touch that others feel. Its really interesting! I want to know more about how people get synthesia and the impact on there lives.

Thank You!

Mar. 15 2016 04:02 PM
booke from utah

essential oil companies are sweeping the western culture and impacting the way people feel about modern medicine and things like vaccines and doctors in general. i would love to hear a scientific evaluation of this in only the way you guys know how to do it! one of the alarming factors is the MLM aspect of distributing these types of oils. so are they saving lives and fighting cancer or just making people rich and providing a false sense of security in the health world?

Mar. 15 2016 02:54 PM

What I would love to see is an episode on toxicology. Be it about venom, poison animals, and poison used by humans through history.

Mar. 15 2016 02:41 PM
Steve from Colorado

Please get back to making shows about science and technology!

Mar. 14 2016 08:31 PM
elan from Boston

I would love an episode about taste.
You've covered vision, hearing, smell, but not taste!

Some blind people use their taste buds wired to cameras to see
cilantro tastes like soap to some people?
taste memory?
who figured out taste buds? and that BOGUS q-tip test we had in school as kids?

Mar. 14 2016 12:13 PM

Knowing Jad's background as a composer, and your previous episodes on the impact of music, you should do a sound episode! You could go into the bodily effects of different pitches and volumes, and do a historical section on possibly John Cage or Olivier Messiaen. Then, wrap it up with the long term effects of our noise-impacted society. Currently background noise in the modern world (like HVAC noise, draining pipes, etc) is at an all time high, and scientists are very worried about the possible long term impacts on our world if we don't quiet down!

Mar. 14 2016 10:57 AM
K from Maine

Local newspaper published this recently. Very interesting and would love more details.

Mar. 14 2016 10:43 AM
Tanya from California

The life of a teacher in this country contrasted with that of a teacher in Finland. The way Finland changed the culture in their country around teaching and schools. The teacher shortage developing in this country and the possible consequences.

Mar. 14 2016 10:41 AM
GLADYS OLIVER from Michigan

I think a story on Conspiracy Theories would be great. The story doesn't have to focus on any one theory but more as to why conspiracy theories exist. How they happen.

Mar. 14 2016 07:54 AM
Mari from United States

THE ELEPHANT in the room. ADDICTION. Or narrow it down to Alcoholism, whatever. This is a Major affliction in the US. Stories about how people have overcome addictions and those who never could...this is a HUGE concern and problem that is swept under the rug....

Mar. 14 2016 01:45 AM
Sam Litvin from San Diego

BITCOIN. aka e-cash. The biggest change to our currency system in over two thousand years.

Mar. 13 2016 10:12 PM
Caitlin the baker from San Francisco

Dreams, their function, lucid dreams, etc.

Mar. 13 2016 05:45 PM
Bob from Youngstown

Giants, whether it be pumpkins, humans, planets, megafauna, or island gigantism.

Mar. 13 2016 03:26 PM
Ryan Ginsburg from Brooklyn, NY

The following is the micro problem:
I moved to Bushwick 6 months ago and since then I have really enjoyed the whimsicality of the area. It feels like there is always a new art installation when I'm walking around my neighborhood but lately it's been feeling like my area is shifting toward a demographic that isn't putting in as much as they are getting out of it. My question is how can you keep a place from completing the gentrification cycle? What makes a neighborhood turn from hip to boutique? How can we empower families that have lived there for decades to maintain both their homes and the integrity of their community, and take advantage of the massive economic opportunities that accompany a rise in rent?

The following is the macro problem:
The natural world is in dire straights. Sure there is still seemingly endless natural beauty to be found but major systems are deteriorating and this is a direct result of human activity. We are stripping the land bare and their are three major reactions to this trend:

1). This is something I am vaguely or not aware of but either way I'm not that concerned.
2). This is something I'm aware of, about which I am concerned but there will be (a) technological advancement(s) that save(s) us from the consequences of our actions.
3). This is something I am aware of, about which I am concerned and we must change our ways to prevent major, irreversible effects of our current path.

What can make people dead in their tracks?
What can make people think about what their doing?
What can connect people and connect us to the natural world?

The two things that I think would address both the micro is teaching people the importance of and the ability to take up art and agriculture.

With a connection to one's food comes an understanding that the world is finite and that anything done in excess disrupts a natural process somewhere, somehow.

With the ability to express oneself in either a tangible or sharable form comes the realization that you have something that someone else can enjoy.

Much more elaboration is needed but basically, if you encouraged sustainable urban agriculture and public art, both on an individual basis, the world would be a much more stable place, physically and mentally.

Mar. 13 2016 12:22 AM
Casey from Melbourne

I'd like to hear more on the groupthink, secondary process thinking and cognitive biases, especially in relation to pseudoscience and strange beliefs, and how ideas are propagated in the modern world.

Thanks for your amazing work!

Mar. 12 2016 07:26 PM
Rory from Australia from Australia

the history of dimethyltryptamine in Australia is a fascinating one, with fascinating and at times dark moments throughout. apart from a privileged few not many at all know its details. it would take some work to put together but it's something that definitely deserves to be told. here's a brief sketch of a few interesting tid-bits:

in the 1950s a botanist named White published papers with the CSIRO on the presence of what he called 'simple tryptamine' in certain trees in the acacia genus

In the late 80s a young Phd candidate in organic chemistry with an interest in psychedelic culture stumbled across this information, and performed a successful extraction at a certain university lab. his yield was shared quietly among friends

extreme caution is exercised by those in the know in relation to distributing information about this discovery, only ever referred to as 'clever business'

It was soon discovered however that the tree species had been mis-identified

This led the people involved to embark on a guerilla science project to use whatever they could to identify the alkaloid profiles of as many different acacia species as possible, with some very interesting results . The body of information that emerged surpassed any held by government or university institutions (there are over 900 in Australia, the second largest behind eucalypts)

Information gradually bega filtered out

A American figure well known in academically oriented psychedelic culture was known to visit Australia and smuggle vegemite jars of extract back to America. This extract however was harvested from a rare species endemic to 1 particular location

Overharvesting of this species eventually led to decimation of this rare species, and certain circles took it upon themselves to protect it by any means necessary (violence included)

Eventually a bush fire breaks out on the mountain where this species grows, which is rumoured to have been set by those wishing to protect the species. Acacias are known to be among the first species to spring up after a bushfire, often serving the purpose of sheltering subsequent growth from other species. The Australian bush's evolution is coextensive with, and in some instances dependent upon the occurrence of bushfires. It is rumoured that the fire was set to allow the species to regenerate

'Changa' is invented (a very cool story in itself)

Underground 'Aussiehuasca' healing circles emerge, largely through the efforts of an incredibly colourful yet reckless, very immature young troubadour, with very mixed results

Guerrilla science merges with academic investigation through the efforts of an anonymous senior research fellow

Information begins to be disseminated through the psychedelic conferences called 'ethnobotanica' and 'entheogenesis Australis'

There are many more quite incredible events in this history, and a number of characters which I would possibly be able to persuade to become part of the project

Mar. 12 2016 04:52 AM
Rachael from Iowa City

The Monster Study at the University of Iowa:

Mar. 11 2016 04:00 PM
Jocelyn from Utah

If you are looking for a follow up to the CRISPR story, maybe take a look at the epigenetic engineering rise. It uses a lot of the same molecular tools that CRISPR and other genetic engineering techniques use, but instead of making physical changes to the DNA structure itself, it changes marks on the DNA that turns them on and off. This can include histone modifications, and DNA methylation. This could be a better answer to the gene editing question for diseases because it doesn't have the same long term evolutionary risks. It would not be heritable in the same way DNA changes are, although changes in the gametes could still cause problems - we don't yet have a good scientific understanding of how these marks get passed onto the next generation (they are all erased in the sperm and egg after/during fertilization, but imprinted genes status appear to be conserved and re-marked) It's a long ways from being as developed as CRISPR, but interesting nonetheless

Mar. 11 2016 03:15 PM
Beth from Madison, WI

A story about K2, the holy grail of high altitude mountaineering! Much more dangerous than Everest, there are some statistics that 1 in 4 people die attempting to reach the summit.

Mar. 11 2016 12:15 PM

Well, I have a natural science for finding hidden natural stories, mostly for things people are quite unaware of working by themselves, that change our world. I could even help you making them presentable in you beautiful way, like by suggesting ways to explore around the center of a natural design pattern.

So in practice I might point out that the organization of natural systems most often involves some "culture" making its "home" as a "private domain" where it can develop its own unique way of living. There's your home and my home. There are animal homes. There are homes for every social culture, for every business and industry, for every "audience" and for every "market". Nature's full of them, and they all have features in common and that are uniquely individual. So wherever you see "growth" it's very likely you'll find something making its home! ;-)

Mar. 11 2016 09:50 AM
Sean from Colorado

I would love to hear a show about training. Reading any sort of world record shows the crazy feats people are able to accomplish. People can memorize the order of over 1000 cards, or lift over a ton of weight; and runners are close to breaking a 2 hour marathon. I want to know what people to do to be the best in the world and how has training changed over time.

Mar. 11 2016 12:04 AM
keeper quail from canada

i loved the one about hip hop i hope you do another one like it

Mar. 10 2016 05:49 PM
Hanre from Santa Barbara

I would love to hear more about sleep paralysis, where you wake up conscious but paralyzed just before the R.E.M. sleep cycle, to find that there is someone/something else in the room staring at you. I didn't find out until recently that people are experiencing the exact same phenomenon all around the world.

Mar. 10 2016 05:24 PM
Felix from Chicago

The history, chemistry, and socio-economics of corn tortillas. Just to give you a flavor, it started with the Mayans and Aztecs who used lime (calcium hydroxide) to soften and remove the husks. This had the side effect of making available niacin and amino acids... Anyway, it's a rabbit hole of interesting facts.

Mar. 10 2016 02:45 PM

Can you please do something on breastifeeding? For some women - giving birth is actually the "easy part" of having a child. Breastfeeding is a nightmare.
Some women have too much milk and have to struggle with breast infection for months, some women have too little milk, some women have no milk and teir lives revolve around trying to get milk for their baby, etc etc.
And also, why is there so much shame around it? (just look at how breastfeeding is portrayed in movies) And what about all the myths surrounding it? Does it really reduce cancer? I had to be on and off antibiotics for months due to constant breast infection, what did women do before? What about all the Black mothers who had to give up their babies to breastfeed white women who had trouble feeidng their own babies. There's so little information about this and nothing feels concrete. Thank you

Mar. 10 2016 07:53 AM
MT from Japan

Even though I submitted a story idea... on a second thought, I remembered that we didn't have CRISPR Part II!!!

WE ARE WAITING.... that story was really awesome!

Mar. 09 2016 11:17 PM
Ryan from Vancouver Canada

Natural Remedies that we can't explain... yet.

Are there any Natural Remedies that scientifically we haven't been able to fully understand what's happening? What are the theories? And what have these treatments consistently been able cure/remedy to date? And maybe dive into famous stories of treatments that are now debunked.

To start. Look into something called an Accu-o-Matic. This is a device used by acupuncturists. I believe its history is that it was created by a German (maybe Swedish) researcher decades ago. It's premise is to work just like a acupuncture needle, but using a positive and negative electric charge directly to the skin. My father had one of these devices and was always obsessed by it. He got it from a family practitioner, a western medical doctor but also a ancient Chinese medicine doctor, who had one of these machines and my father became obsessed and ended up purchasing one. The machine is a bit odd to describe. A small grey and black box with a few dials and a meters on the front. Two cords extend out from the machine, one the patient holds in their hand (I believe to ground the current?) and the other the practitioner uses to treat the acupuncture point with the selected electrical current. At first you'd imagine this is a bit of "witch doctoring", but growing up with this thing, I've always been back and forth on if it works or not. And I have always wanted to hear about a study of someone testing this thing out. Whether people believe it work or not, the one point that has always baffled me is how the meter reacts to the skin on a specific point where a Acupuncture is located. Now, you have acupuncture points all over the body (see one of those white naked acupuncture dolls for reference), but they are very small and specific. Strangely this machines meter won't react until it slides over the part of the skin where these points are supposedly located. I know our bodies have all sorts of currents throughout so this could be just coincidence. But why do they line up exactly with these points? And these points were located and documented thousands of years ago. Ancient Chinese medicine? How is this possible, and what the heck don't I know? I'm not sure what to believe, but this has always baffled me. Does it prove there is merrit and more to acupuncture then our Western medince gives credit? Or some trickery that we can test?

I am sure there are thousands of stories like this to research through. So many that are already dis-proven as being outlandish and unreal, but I'm sure there have to be more that baffle us even today. I'd love to hear something on this as I grew up under these things and would love to hear more.


Mar. 08 2016 07:47 PM

Private Drones hazard and privacy

Artificial Intelligence

Internet Social Media addiction

Alien intelligent life

Life after climate change

Life after increasing animal extinction

How United States will change when Caucasians become minority

Millennials Entitlement

Mar. 08 2016 06:02 PM
Ryn from Denver

history, culture and science of beer
1.there is evidence that beer catalyzed agricultural habits, some of the most significant revolutions and political 2.actions in history happened over beer. has a host of under represented health benefits
4. the science of making beer is crazy and you could talk about fungi which looks to be popular.
5. beer is creating major hiccups in cultural identity think the difference of german beer and the american craft revolution. Germany has strict standards on beer but the US is putting everything they want into it and totally redefining how we think of beer
6. drinking beer would be a necessary part of your job. it would be irresponsible to repot on beer if you didn't sample and familiarize yourself with the subject.

Mar. 08 2016 05:35 PM
sam c from west hollywood

if you have spent anytime in Pasadena or West Hollywood early in the morning, you probably know about this...but if haven't you would hear these absurdly loud squawking birds. It is so loud that you know that these aren't normal you look up in the trees...and i know it sounds crazy but there are large groups of wild green parrots that live in LA.

I have heard all sorts of explanations as to why they are here, or why there are so many. One explanation is that a pet truck crashed decades ago and accidentally released all these green parrots. And they just happened to thrive.

Could be a fun one..

Mar. 08 2016 04:22 PM
Sophie from Oakland

The science of love! You've hinted around it a couple of times. But what happens in the brain, does love at first sight exist, what does it even mean? Do animals feel love the way we do?

Mar. 08 2016 03:12 PM
Francine from Brooklyn

Do a show on Misophonia (NPR has already done a segment on its polar opposite ASMR " Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response"). I've had Misophonia most of my life,which I think started after a head injury at the age of 3 in a car accident. As an adult, I do find that the use of anti-depressants have dulled my knee jerk reactions to trigger sounds, but know first hand the bizarre anger that manifests during an episode. Dr. Marsha Johnson, AuD. is one of the leading researchers of this condition.

Mar. 08 2016 10:17 AM
Quzette Bosman from South Africa / Namibia

Agree on the FUNGI!! vote for the mushroom. Question it a democrate?

Or VERY COOL - THE VANASHING OF THINGS. From lakes in Africa to your Car keys, your money and your sanity!

Mar. 08 2016 06:43 AM
Sara from Fullerton, CA

When I was growing up in Oklahoma, there were a lot of old wive's tales about how animals could predict the weather. For example, if a big storm was coming, all the cows would sit down together under a tree.
It would be really cool to learn about if animals really know if some sort of big weather change was coming.

Mar. 07 2016 05:50 PM
Brianna from United States

I have yet ANOTHER idea: the marine biology lab that I worked at during college has been studying the biodiversity and biomass of oil rigs off of California. Oil rig structures support A LOT of life, and so there is a push to actually leave them in place after the wells are capped to create man-made reefs. I think it's an interesting representation of our place in the natural world - we often view ourselves as separate, and that any affect we have must be a negative affect. The oil rig structures could be very easily argued as positive or negative. This ties in to the idea that I think there is a huge paradox in the philosophy of wildlife management: we are attempting to preserve wild spaces, which on the surface seems like a no brainer. But that definition of 'preserve' is 'to maintain something in its original or existing state'. And yet, isn't the very foundation of biology that the natural world is CONSTANTLY changing? It's very essence, in the philosophical meaning of the word, is change. Biology students are taught evolution, and good courses and professors will explain that we often unconsciously harbor a huge misconception about evolution: that animals are evolving *towards* something, that there is *drive* behind their evolution. If a biology student were to be questioned on this misconception, I think they would definitely answer, "No, that's preposterous, of course there is no drive behind evolution, it is simply a matter of natural selection." And yet, wildlife management, at least to me, seems to insist on the idea that nature has already achieved this ideal state, and more specifically, a state in which humans somehow never existed or interacted with the environment. Our co-mingling with the environment seems to be its downfall, but isn't that rhetoric misleading? How could it be its downfall, when it was never striving for perfection? To relate it back to the oilfields, we have altered the environment, but in this case, it could be interpreted as ultimately 'good' or 'beneficial'. Would the marine environment be better off without the rigs, because it would be returned to its natural state, therefore ensuring its preservation? But what is it that we are trying to preserve? An environment with no trace of human impact? Is that realistic, practical, or even necessary at this stage? So many questions! I believe this does relate back to an episode you had about the whooping cranes...its a very interesting topic

Mar. 07 2016 05:39 PM
Lucía aznar from Mexico

I would love to hear a podcast of what will come first.... animals and human mutation due to DNA modification ( xmen style) or machines becoming a independent from humans ( the matrix)... am it be real?? Or is it all just a bunch awesome comics

Mar. 07 2016 02:38 PM
Jack H from Des Moines, IA

I love it when you guys do science... I think it would be really cool to do a show on the recent proving of gravity waves. It could cover the gamut of recent discoveries then prequal that with Einstein's theory of relativity (complete with thought experiments) so people have a better understanding of the basics of gravity! Science has taken a backseat in the not-too-distant past and it should be revitalized to bring in a new generation of curious, exploration-minded youngsters who can re-invigorate a passion for all things astronomical.

THANKS! Love your show!


Mar. 07 2016 11:41 AM
mike from New Jersey

You should do a podcast on the Alt-Right/Trump phenomenon! People would get a kick out of the feedback loop between the two.

Got any questions, just hit me up. :)

Mar. 07 2016 12:25 AM
Michelle from Indiana

Do a show about how jobs are being replaced by technology. Where does that leave people who need to find employment in an ever evolving economy?

Mar. 06 2016 11:16 PM
Ariel from La Paz

Hugh Glass real story

Mar. 06 2016 10:26 PM

Falling in love across borders. I know a Westerner who is in love with a woman in a country within the Middle East, which I will not name.

He travels extensively back and fourth to see her and they keep it on the down low to the max, as what they are doing is illegal.

And she visits him from time to time in the Western country he lives in.

Do something along those lines.

Mar. 06 2016 07:23 PM
Diego Calderon-Arrieta from Durham, North Carolina

Please do one on how different graduate schools are addressing diversity & inclusion, social equity, and making sure students of different backgrounds, gender, sexuality, disability-ability, race, etc., feel safe on their campuses

Mar. 06 2016 09:22 AM
BRIAN K CHAMBERLAIN from Perrysburg, Ohio

I often wonder on the social aspects of the internet and how it is changing our society. World-wide we are all in contact now. Are the photographs I post on a website in the ether forever? Is the age of me viewing a photograph from 100 years ago over? I can look at archived gelatin based photographs from 100 years ago, but the last 4 years of digital photos are at the mercy of the usefulness of the hard drives I store them on. I post songs at a website. Will they be in the endless data of the internet long after I am dead? These are very exciting times for all of us to experience. We have no idea where this explosion of technology is taking us.

Mar. 05 2016 11:57 PM
Lisa from Cambridge, MA

We could use an episode that not only addresses the scientific soundness of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), but also why there is still so much fear-mongering among the general populace in spite of the acceptance of genetic modification by any scientist worth his or her salt.

Mar. 05 2016 07:00 PM
MB from NC

Alpha-gal allergy - Mammal meat allergy caused by a tick bite.

Mar. 05 2016 05:43 PM

Look forward your fabulous show every week! Thanks for exploring the cutting edge of understanding.
How about Haruko Obokata and the STAP stem cell scandal where a bright, enthusiastic, highly competent PHD not only had her doctorate pulled but could not reproduce experiments creating pluripotent cells Not only having to retract her Nature article but bring down the Riken Center research center for developmental biology, and seeing the suicide of an eminent researcher ... she still believes there is something there...

Mar. 05 2016 05:29 PM
Lynx Gallagher from Maui, Hawaii

Dear Radiolab folks,
FUNGI, FUNGI, FUNGI, FUNGI! Do a damn radio lab about fungi! You like bread? Fungi. You like Booze?Fungi! You like not to die from the Bubonic plague? Fungi! You like Ringworm? Well, can win em all.
Thank you for your time and attention,
As my friend Danny says,
Yours in Spores,

Lynx Gallagher
P.s. Did you know some mushrooms glow in the dark?

Mar. 05 2016 04:31 PM
Bob from Raleigh, NC

Dear Radio Lab staff,

Thank you for lighting out synapses with your imaginative stories, you all help connect cultures and ideas so wonderfully well!

I propose we focus on the Attica Prison Riot of 1971, and the story of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) that arose from the rage and tragedy that followed the riots. Attica's Riot is a lesser known chapter of Modern American history that has great relevance to current social issues in the US, and in larger questions of prison reform in the world. (Example: America has 5% of the world's population, but holds 25% of the world's prison population).

This story goes beyond riots, violence, and talking points and instead focuses on a group of inmates and volunteers involved in “The Think Tank” at Green Haven Maximum Security Prison in the 1970s. The Think Tank was a group of former Attica inmates (and volunteers/other non Attica prisoners) that wanted to respond to the riots and help young offenders avoid recidivism. It invented the AVP as a workshop based approach to teaching prisoners options out of conflict.

The workshops were primarily led by and for prisoners and one /two community volunteers, and without direct involvement of prison staff. Prisoners, in with other prisoners, with one or two volunteers, and no correctional officers. Not a traditional prisoner program. AVP is currently active in over 33 states and 45 countries today, and is still a grass roots, volunteer and prisoner run operation. Despite such modest means, this project has helped in international conflict reconciliation, notably with Hutus and Tutsi's in Rwanda, as well as in communities across Sudan, Burundi, Palestine and others.

The piece could be told in three acts, transporting listeners across 45 years of history in the first 20 minutes, and from Attica to Africa by the end of the hour.

Alternatively, it could also fit into a wider tale on resolving conflict from unexpected events or places. Who knew the tragedy of Attica's rage and riots would lead to a prisoner based alternatives to violence movement that would help heal Rwandan genocide victims?

Maybe a theme of “rising up from the ashes” or “an eye for an option?”

Anyhow, it's got interesting places, involves a lot of "everyman" types of people, is multi cultural, and most importantly shows some extremely effective efforts that are being done by citizens and inmates in working towards solving a big problem of preparing inmates for life after prison.

Hope this sparks some interest!

Thank you!


Mar. 05 2016 01:23 PM
Laura from New Jersey

I really love radiolab! Everything you do introduces me to new things and opens my mind. I would like to hear radiolab do show on child soldiers. It seems to be a very serious issue, children are kidnapped from their villages and forced into murder, they are tortured and raped, and if they finally do escape then they are shunned by their families.

Thank you

Mar. 04 2016 10:13 PM
Mychal Sargent from Eugene Oregon

This may be a bit vague, but I would live to hear Radiolab take on the Large Hadron Collider.

What kinds of things they are creating and researching. What the collider sounds like while it is on. How the research they are doing can effect the world and our understanding of the universe.

Love you guys!!

Thank you,

Mar. 04 2016 07:07 PM
Randa from Warson

Organoids are totally amazing. From one stem cell and the right cocktail little organoids (baby intestine or baby brain etc) are created. They duplicate in a dish how a tissue functions. They are taking to take over. It only takes one stem cell from a person to generate an organoid that will allow diagnosis of disease or the screening of many drugs to determine drug sensitivity of a particular tumor in a dish.

Mar. 03 2016 10:40 PM

what to do with untapped human potential?

in line with cgpgrey's "humans need not apply" id love to hear ideas for how to utilize the untapped human potential. taxis and truckers get replaced by autos, what do we do with those hundreds of thousands of people's brain power?

the doomsday part should get mentioned but should not be the center of the story. sort of like at the end of the episode worth, you guys just say 'hey we get the utility for putting a price on nature, but at the same time, theres stuff thats priceless'

sort of like with basic research, you cant say exactly how much it will be worth, cause its impact cant be known.

so yeah, what do we do with all the brains?

Mar. 03 2016 04:00 PM
Jacob Mueller from Raleigh, North Carolina


I would like to hear a busies related story on technological advances in productivity if it is leading to improved output by the global workforce. Do things like email allow us to do more or is there some other type of limit to productivity that these technologies cannot overcome.

Mar. 03 2016 03:35 PM
Bruce Cantarim from Curitiba, PR, Brazil

Hi there.

I've been listening to some of the podcasts in the archive, and one story in particular led me to some question, Thought I've might share them with you guys.

In Inheritance, there's the Grandpa starving at 9 year old thing, where the grandchildren became less prone to heart deceases, diabetes and etc.

The moment I listened to it, I instantly remembered the subject of passage to manhood rituals of tribes in the past, where the kid had to leave the village, survive by his own means, and only return as a man. Maybe... that had a genetic purpose somehow? Did they knew something?

And what about that feeling, that need, that we, males, feel of having somekind of passage, rite, alone, being it a trip or something, when were in puberty? Could it be, somehow, that we know that our offspring would be stronger if we did that? Maybe in our code? Or collective memory?

Anyway, just thought that these questions might lead to an interesting follow up subject for that story.

Thanks for the great show!

Mar. 03 2016 10:01 AM
Reginald from Welland

I would like to listen to a show about piles of things.

Biggest piles of things.
Weird piles of things.
Piles of snow.
Piles of leaves.
Piles of sand.
Piles of money.

Mar. 03 2016 02:01 AM
Brianna from Oregon

I have another idea - a very good friend of mine, Sarah Marshall, author of the article 'Remote Control' published in The Believer in 2014 ( will soon be publishing an article on Ted Bundy and the concept of 'psychopaths'. Her thesis is that the term 'psychopath' is a blanket term for people with severe mental illness, and that it also dehumanizes the person it is being applied to. The term 'psychopath' makes somebody into evil incarnate, whereas applying mental illness to someone like Ted Bundy would humanize him in a way that we aren't comfortable with. I've read her rough draft, and it's SUPER interesting.

Mar. 02 2016 04:03 PM
jen hutton from Kansas City

I would love for you delve into why people love to study genealogy. I can't quite figure out my own obsession with it and it is one of America's top pastimes (so I've it really?) Also I would love to hear stories about how DNA and how people have used their DNA analysis to track down or confirm family stories. I have had it help me confirm that the single mother of my ancestor, Israel Hoover, was in fact related to the Hoovers of President Hoover fame. She was only 13 when she gave birth! I was also able to confirm a suspected Epps ancestor...and he was Free African American. (My family is white.) I would love for other's to know how it works, and why they should check it out.

Mar. 02 2016 02:35 PM
Conrad from Maryland

Microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip technology, and the bizarre world of super-laminar flow.

Mar. 02 2016 12:37 PM
Adam from California

Visit the Channel Islands of California. The oldest human bones in North America found there. Learn about all of the native skeletons that were looted in the early 1900's by Americans (where did they end up?). Look into The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and its implications on the study of these first "Americans" [Google: ucsd chancellor bones]. Tell the story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. Interesting stories there.

Mar. 02 2016 12:02 PM
Emily from Kansas City

Neri Oxman, and her research titled "material ecology." Architecture and design built using chemistry and bibliophilia.

Mar. 02 2016 11:52 AM
Carel Voltaire from Boston

Uses of silk medical application. There is a researcher at Tufts university that uses the material in a myriad of ways.

Mar. 02 2016 08:43 AM
Zoe from Melbourne, Australia

The world of fangirls/boys and fandoms (see: tumblr). There is some nigh on inconceivable stuff that goes on in there, gives us a very strange insight into the human psyche. I'd love to give you my experience too!

Mar. 02 2016 06:04 AM
Omar Zubair from Alabama

Alvin Lucier

Mar. 02 2016 05:43 AM
Meryem Mustafa from Melbourne, Australia

Cardinal George Pell. Spotlight the movie.
Very topical. Need radiolab to delve into the story

Mar. 02 2016 12:24 AM
Michael Cortes from Miami

Effects of alcohol on creativity

Mar. 01 2016 09:33 PM
Melina from Sydney from Sydney, Australia

Wow I'd love to hear a radiolab podcast on most of the topics suggested in the comments!

-Irrational fears and the exploration of uncovering the root cause. ie. having a fear of tornadoes/E.T due to something benign as having watched the Wizard of Oz/Close Encounters of the 3rd kind as a child.

- Yes please do the second part to Antibodies part 1: Crispr!

- Yes please on the wonderful world of mushrooms.

- Aggression and songbirds (see Tim Low's book: Where Song began)

- Heterogeneity of disorders and what constitutes true pathogenicity once the culprit 'gene' is found in this age of genome sequencing.

Thanks folks, we really love your work.

Hope you can make it to Australia in the future!

Mar. 01 2016 07:29 PM
Ann from Phoenix, AZ

Playing God. How biologists and other researchers make fertilization happen for the animals they are studying. An example is when fisheries scientists squeeze eggs and sperm from fish, swirl the eggs and sperm together in a bowl to fertilize the eggs, and voila: pearly, fertilized eggs. Scientists then raise the young and release them into the wild to increase or restock a population.

Mar. 01 2016 06:21 PM
Megan from Houston TX


I think maybe an episode on Hypnosis would be interesting.
Hypnosis is used for a number of different things and there are claims that it has even healed people.
There is an author/ certified hypnotherapist who passed away in 2014, her name is Dolores Cannon and she has used hypnosis in past life regression therapy and people who claim to have been abducted by ET's. They recall these events, smells, and feelings then when they wake up they have no recollection of what they have said. Being put under hypnosis your'e fully awake but in altered state of mind.
She also claims she has found a way our bodies can heal themselves through Quantum Healing Therapy. Her daughter Julia Cannon is now teaching her mothers technique. It's very interesting and I would like to learn more about hypnosis and what is going on with our physical brains. Maybe hypnosis has the answer to if we have a soul or not. I personally believe we do :) But I know you guys would do a great job on a episode like this.

Mar. 01 2016 05:28 PM
Laura from Milwaukee, WI

There has been evidence surfacing recently that the old idea that planets with life like ours are unusual is a false one. It would be interesting to hear more about what the current research shows us about life on other planets, and what technology is under development right now that will allow us to identify other inhabited planets. Thanks!

Mar. 01 2016 05:27 PM
Amanda from Huntington Beach, CA

Hi Guys!

I've only been listening for a few months so I may have missed this episode but I would really like to hear your take on ADD and ADHD. I've that its real and needs to be medicated but also that it's a byproduct of our education system. It would be really nice to hear what you dig up!

Thanks for being awesome!

Mar. 01 2016 02:09 PM

I would love to listen to more episodes like your early work when dealing with big concepts of science.

Mar. 01 2016 01:30 PM
John from Lafayette, IN

Make a show about income inequality. I grew up in Morocco Indiana. A tiny mostly white town. Montel Williams did a show that featured my high school in the 90s that focused on the "wigger" craze. I know that sounds super offensive, but not my words. Pretty well off country white kids emulating black culture when their a
fairly impoverished black counterparts live just across state lines.

Across state lines was Pembroke Illinois and Hopkins Park. MTV True life I'm Flat broke documented a case from there. I think Oprah may have visited there.

It's fascinating how different my childhood was compared to a kid who grew up just 10-15 minutes away.

Mar. 01 2016 05:11 AM
Will Jasper from Guam

I've only been listening to your program for a few years, but I've devoured all of your material many times over. I listened to two of your older episodes back to back yesterday. John Luther Adams (which was really more of a hosting on your part, but regardless) and In The Dust Of This Planet. The latter greatly focuses on the concept of nihilism and it's role in society. Rather interestingly, the former also addresses this concept in a way. You mention in Dust that Nietzsche himself viewed nihilism as a sort of starting point. A philosophical perspective that allows you to achieve a sort of inner peace when used with the right amount of hope for a long enough time.

In John Luther Adams, Mr. Adams himself seems to have found what I see as that "other side" of nihilism. Specifically, when he talks about coming to Alaska and the power of the natural world in that State. How blatantly obvious it is upon arrival that the universe doesn't really give a damn about you as an individual. He talks about how comforting that is. Having grown up in Alaska myself, I couldn't agree with him more. In resisting the temptation to go on a philosophical ramble, I'll get to the point. I think a show about the concept of "purpose" could be quite interesting for you to explore. More specifically, a show that explores the implications on the human condition (to use a cliche) if there is in fact no purpose to the universe. Granted, I don't quite know where you would start with this, and it doesn't really fit with your current trend of tackling specific stories as a way to explore our world. I wanted to throw the idea into the pot all the same though.

I find the perspective that the universe doesn't "care" about me to be very calming and comforting. Not because the universe is cold and uncaring and harsh, but because "caring" doesn't even enter into the equation. The universe just IS. And as just another part of it, we just ARE as well. As they say, "And the world turns."

Feb. 29 2016 11:43 PM
Philip Deveney from Minneapolis

An episode on the vast emptiness of matter, exploring what makes molecules of differing elements weigh more or less in similar proportions(numbers of atoms), and the fact that if a single grain of sand were composed of only neutrons and protons with no space between them, it would theoretically weigh around 11 million pounds. Neutron stars are thought to be that dense, but luckily most matter isn't. If it were, well you should look it up....

Feb. 29 2016 10:41 PM
John from Ohio

Modest Mouse lyrics? God, I hope you were joking.

Feb. 29 2016 08:45 PM
Kinni from Athens, GA

What about looking at meat consumption? So many of us consume it but we dont realize the environmental impact?

An episode on multilingualism? But going into language in depth and then working up like what age do multilingual kids begin to differentiate. By what age do you have to learn a language by to become fluent? Why do some people retain accents while others dont?

Look at Japanese criminal system. How their society may differ in prison population and why so many elders are committing crimes there.

Feb. 29 2016 07:59 PM
Meredith from Buffalo, NY

What about an in-depth look at the C8 chemical waste leak, DuPont, and its horrible impact on local farmers?

Feb. 29 2016 05:12 PM
Ryan from Texas

People are constantly talking about the impact of electronic devices on peoples lives, but rerely talk about the the impact of modern industrial and mechanical design for these products. It would be great to hear about the process from some of the larger companies that we are familiar with that strive in this realm, and how good design has changed modern life for better or worse.

Feb. 29 2016 04:24 PM
Lawrence Bailey from Phx, AZ

I saw a meteor strike the earth back in 1963 or 64. It was summertime. It came from the direction of the sun. It was so fast I was not sure which direction it came from. From the earth or from the sky. There was a grey smokey path left curling in the air. I kept my eyes locked on the intersection at the surface of the ground a few feet from me and got down on my knees to closely examine the surface for any signs. As I watched within seconds a tiny wisp of smoke appeared from that point. The surface was packed hard dry dairy manure. I was astounded.. And saw a point of black appear. Then the smoldering point expanded slowly and I backed up slowly not wishing to interrupt whatever I was witnessing. It was about three or four feet wide by the time dairy farmer Henry Hellman saw this from his back door and came yelling angrily about me playing with matches. He started stomping out the smoldering spot and I joined in with the stomping to show my solidarity with him while trying to explain what happened. He was not interested. I was 13 years old. Now my question is what are the odds, are there other persons who have witnessed a meteor actually strike the surface of our planet? How common is it? I would sure like to hear a Radiolab segment on this subject. I would like to know more about this sort of thing. Radiolab has covered other subjects in fantastic ways. I love Radiolab and listen on NPR in Phx. Az.

Feb. 29 2016 03:48 PM

What is the scientific explanation behind humor? Why does it exist? What is it even? Do other animals find things funny? Is humor correlated to anything (intelligence, mating success, blah blah)? Is it a way to signal something as not threatening? Have there been places that have no humor? Why does it feel good?

Thanks! You guys are awesome!

Feb. 29 2016 03:35 PM

I'd be interested in a story about how socioeconomic status influences lives now and the perception of what life will be like in the future. I'd be curious to see your teams' take on it. I recently did an exercise in a college class I teach asking the 20-somethings to envision their lives at 70 years old -- they drew pleasant pictures of themselves with glasses and wrinkles, surrounded by pets, with vacation homes and lots of grandchildren. However I know that for young people who live in poverty there is nothing like that future in store for them. It has me thinking-- thanks for your show!

Feb. 29 2016 11:32 AM
Rafael from Montreal

1- You made a show called "Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR", is there going to be a part 2? could you expand on that, the CRISPR subject?

2- Maybe something about workers directed enterprises, like Mondragon in Spain, how a change toward this kind of enterprises might shape the society at large. It would be great to hear you guys interviewing Prof. Richard Wolff and others and hearing the critics as well.


Feb. 29 2016 10:39 AM
celeste from san diego ca

2 ideas

1- how left handed people use both sides of the brain to process information ---how this could be utilized by science . Also why is it that this mutation has remained steady in the gene pool (less than 10 %) while mutation such as red hair is slowly become extinct.

2- I have heard that by the year 2050 we will ALL be eating insects---(many in developing Countries already do) expand on this topic

Feb. 28 2016 11:03 PM
John from ohio

Dark matter

Feb. 28 2016 10:36 PM

The approaching greater application of driverless cars and the positive & negative economic/social effects on industries like trucking and delivery etc. Try to predict where the effects of perceived economic benefits & hinderances lie after the adaption is wide...will it mean that are millions of more jobs lost? will it mean less CO2 emissions? Will it mean that we are a step closer to the "sharing economy," in which things like AirBnB and other modern nomads, show that the most efficient form of capitalism acts as a dysfunctional form of modern, more emotional, socialism.

There's a lot there guys. Use any or none of decide.


Jeff H

Feb. 28 2016 10:28 PM
marley engvall

9/11 was a big ugly lie, and everybody knows it.

World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed in 18 seconds, 2.23 seconds in free-fall. Objective historical truth does not cease to be, simply because the fascist news apparatus assiduously ignores it. It festers and deepens artificial rifts within our society, precludes the formation of any cohesive cultural and national identity, perpetuates the very dangerous mythology that surrounds the last decade of illegal wars and occupations, and will ultimately lead us down the path to another century of war and degradation.

My hunger strike is set to begin September 11, 2016. I intend to either bring about official recognition of historical truth, or die trying.

Feb. 28 2016 10:05 PM

Thanks for all of the great content, so far.

The human stories behind science are great. Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" could prob give a few new routes.

Besides science oriented material.. Exploring the life and lyrics of Isaac Brock, Modest Mouse front man could be a fun listen. Another could be the story of Home, WA. Or perhaps aquaculture for food production in the US, pro/con vs beef, pork, poultry.


Feb. 28 2016 09:51 PM
Brianna from United States

Fisheries observers. I am a fisheries observer myself in Alaska. We are a third party present on commercial fishing boats and collect data on what fishermen catch, locations, how much, data for research projects, etc...and this data gets used by fisheries managers for establishing quotas, modelling fish populations, etc... There are well established programs in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries in their respective EEZs, as well as observers meant to observe vessels on the high seas (in international waters). We also get involved with enforcement issues: though we are not enforcement ourselves, we are required to record any illegal activity, and if we feel safe, we can talk to the crew to try and change their behavior. I can't speak for other observer programs, but at least in Alaska, there is usually only one observer on board, and so you can see what I'm getting at about feeling 'safe'. Sadly, a fisheries observer went missing under very suspicious circumstances last year off of Peru ( There are just a plethora of stories about what observers have seen and experienced on fishing boats, caused by nature and humans alike. This is not to say that observers are perfect: we are often straight out of college, maybe have never lived away from home before, let alone get on a boat to live with strangers in very cramped conditions...and then have to tell fishermen how to do their job. As you can imagine, this can create some tense situations.The program isn't perfect either, and fishermen have a lot of very legitimate complaints, about observers and the observer program itself.
Observers love that they have a job that they think is helping the environment, is pretty flexible, and gives them the opportunity to see amazing things in the marine environment. I'm not sure how easy it would be for you to report on this, because at least with Alaskan fisheries, all of the data is owned by the government and so is technically classified.

Feb. 28 2016 05:26 AM
Bram moffitt

A story about gravity waves.

Feb. 27 2016 09:11 PM
Dan from Australia

I'd love to hear an episode on mushrooms/ mycology with Paul Stamets From Fungi Perfecti

In a TED talk he did he discussed 6 different ways that mushrooms can be used to save the world.
They can be used to Restore habitat that’s been devastated by pollution, Naturally fight flu viruses and other diseases
Kill ants, termites, and other insects without using pesticides and Create a sustainable fuel called Econol.

On another occasion he talks about turkey tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor).
These have been having fantastic results as an adjunct cancer therapy.
An extract of the mushroom has been shown to strengthen the immune system of people going through Chemo and/or radiation therapies

A link to one of the studies

I'm not sure what the story is but i find this stuff exciting and fascinating

Feb. 27 2016 01:06 PM
chris from Montana

I've heard stories about sperm, but what about eggs?

Feb. 26 2016 06:42 PM

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