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RadioLab
Saturdays from 12-1 p.m.

Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

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  • This episode begins with a rant. This rant, in particular, comes from Dan Engber - a science writer who loves animals but despises animal intelligence research. Dan told us that so much of the way we study animals involves tests that we think show a human is smart ... not the animals we intend to study. Dan’s rant got us thinking: What is the smartest animal in the world? And if we threw out our human intelligence rubric, is there a fair way to figure it out?Obviously, there is. And it’s a live game show, judged by Jad, Robert … and a dog.The last episode of G, our series on intelligence, was recorded as a live show back in May 2019 at the Greene Space in New York City and now we’re sharing that game show with you, again. Two science writers, Dan Engber and Laurel Braitman, and two comedians, Tracy Clayton and Jordan Mendoza, compete against one another to find the world’s smartest animal. They treated us to a series of funny, delightful stories about unexpectedly smart animals and helped us shift the way we think about intelligence across all the animals - including us.Special thanks to Bill Berloni and Macy (the dog) and everyone at The Greene Space.EPISODE CITATIONS:Podcasts:If you want to listen to more of the RADIOLAB G SERIES, CLICK HERE (https://radiolab.org/series/radiolab-presents-g). Videos:Check out the video of our live event here! (https://fb.watch/qczu3n1ooA/) Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • In this episode, Maria Paz Gutiérrez does battle against the one absolute truth of human existence and all life… death. After getting a team of scientists to stand in for death (the grim reaper wasn’t available), we parry and thrust our way through the myriad ways that death comes for us - from falling pianos to evolution’s disinterest in longevity. In the process, we see if we can find a satisfying answer to the question “why do we have to die” and find ourselves face to face with the bitter end of everything that ever existed.Special thanks to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Steven Nadler, Beth Jarosz, Anjana Badrinarayanan, Shaon Chakrabarti, Bob Horvitz, John K. Davis, Jessica Brand, Chandan K. Sen, Cole Imperi, Carl Bergstrom, Erin Gentry -Lam, and Jared Silvia. This episode was made in loving memory of Dali Rodriguez.EPISODE CREDITS - Reported by - Maria Paz GutiérrezProduced by - Maria Paz Gutiérrezwith help from - Alyssa Jeong Perry and Timmy BroderickOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Maria Paz Gutiérrez and Jeremy Bloomwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Emily KriegerOur newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Less than two weeks since we released Zoozve, and we have BIG NEWS about our quest to name the first-ever quasi-moon! And that’s only the half of it! Listen to the episode “Zoozve” before you listen to this update! (https://radiolab.org/podcast/zoozve)EPISODE CREDITS -Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Ekedi Fausther-KeeysProduced by - Sarah QariOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qariwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kelleyand Edited by - Becca BresslerEPISODE CITATIONS - Official announcement about Zoozve is available here! (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/files/Bulletins/V004/WGSBNBull_V004_002.pdf) If you’d like to see or sign up for the official asteroid naming bulletin that comes from the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature, you can do so here (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/). If you’d like to buy (or even just look at) Alex Foster’s Solar System poster (featuring Zoozve of course), check it out here (https://zpr.io/dcqVEgHP43SJ). First 75 new annual sign-ups to our membership program The Lab get one free, autographed by Alex! Existing members of The Lab, look out for a discount code!Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Albert Einstein asked that when he died, his body be cremated and his ashes be scattered in a secret location. He didn’t want his grave, or his body, becoming a shrine to his genius. When he passed away in the early morning hours of April, 18, 1955, his family knew his wishes. There was only one problem: the pathologist who did the autopsy had different plans.In the third episode of “G”, Radiolab’s miniseries on intelligence, first aired back in 2019 we go on one of the strangest scavenger hunts for genius the world has ever seen. We follow Einstein’s stolen brain from that Princeton autopsy table, to a cider box in Wichita, Kansas, to labs all across the country. And eventually, beyond the brain itself entirely. All the while wondering, where exactly is the genius of a man who changed the way we view the world? Special thanks to: Elanor Taylor, Claudia Kalb, Dustin O’Halloran, Deborah Lee and Tim Huson. If you want to listen to more of BLINDSPOT: THE PLAGUE IN THE SHADOWS, SUBSCRIBE HERE (https://link.chtbl.com/blindspotpodcast?sid=radiolab). New episodes come out on Thursdays. EPISODE CITATIONSPodcasts:If you want to listen to more of the RADIOLAB G SERIES, CLICK HERE (https://radiolab.org/series/radiolab-presents-g). Websites:The Einstein Papers Project: https://www.einstein.caltech.edu/Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • As co-host Latif Nasser was putting his kid to bed one night, he noticed something weird on a solar system poster up on the wall: Venus had a moon called … Zoozve. But when he called NASA to ask them about it, they had never heard of Zoozve, and besides that, they insisted that Venus doesn’t have any moons. So begins a tiny mystery that leads to a newly discovered kind of object in our solar system, one that is simultaneously a moon, but also not a moon, and one that waltzes its way into asking one of the most profound questions about our universe: How predictable is it, really? And what does that mean for our place in it?Special Thanks to Larry Wasserman and everyone else at the Lowell Observatory, Rich Kremer and Marcelo Gleiser of Dartmouth College, Benjamin Sharkey at the University of Maryland. Thanks to the IAU and their Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature, as well as to the Bamboo Forest class of kindergarteners and first graders. EPISODE CREDITS -Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeys and Alyssa Jeong PerryProduced by - Sarah Qariwith help from - Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qari and Jeremy Bloomwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kellyand Edited by - Becca BresslerEPISODE CITATIONS - Articles:Check out the paper by Seppo Mikkola, Paul Wiegert (whose voices are in the episode) along with colleagues Kimmo Innanen and Ramon Brasser describing this new type of object here (https://zpr.io/Ci4B3sGWZ3xi).The Official Rules and Guidelines for Naming Non-Cometary Small Solar-System Bodies from the IAU Working Group on Small Body Nomenclature can be found here (https://zpr.io/kuBJYQAiCy7s).All the specs on our strange friend can be found here (https://zpr.io/Tzg2sHhAp2kb).Check out Liz Landau’s work at NASA's Curious Universe podcast https://zpr.io/QRbgZbMU2gWW) as well as lizlandau.comVideos:Fascinating little animation of a horseshoe orbit (https://zpr.io/A9y6qHhzZtpA), a tadpole orbit (https://zpr.io/4qBDbgumhLf2), and a quasi-moon orbit (https://zpr.io/xtLhwQFGZ4Eh). Posters:If you’d like to buy (or even just look at) Alex Foster’s Solar System poster (featuring Zoozve of course), check it out here (https://zpr.io/dcqVEgHP43SJ). First 75 new annual sign-ups to our membership program The Lab get one free, autographed by Alex! Existing members of The Lab, look out for a discount code!Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • We're thrilled to present a piece from one of our favorite podcasts, Love + Radio (Nick van der Kolk and Brendan Baker). Producer Briana Breen brings us the story: Diane’s new neighbors across the way never shut their curtains, and that was the beginning of an intimate, but very one-sided relationship. Please listen to as much of Love + Radio as you can (loveandradio.org). And, if you are in Seattle Area, or plan to be on Feb 15th, 2024 come check out Radiolab Live! and in person (https://zpr.io/fCDUTEYju76h). Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Sometimes a seemingly silly question gets stuck in your craw and you can’t shake the feeling that something big lies behind it. We are constantly collecting these kinds of questions from our listeners, not to mention piling up a storehouse of our own “stupid” questions, as we lovingly call them. And a little while back, we noticed a little cluster of questions that seemed to have a shared edgy energy, and all led us to the same place: Our own bodies. So, today on Radiolab, we go down our throats and get under our skin, we take on evolution and anatomy and molecular cosmetics, to discover some very not-stupid answers to our seemingly stupid questions. Special thanks to Mark Krasnow, Sachi Mulkey, Kari Leibowitz, Andrea Evers, Dr. Mona Amin, Benjamin Ungar, Praby Singh, Brye and Rachel Adler EPISODE CREDITS: Reported by - Molly Webster, Becca Bressler, Latif Nasser, and Alan Goffinskiwith help from Ekedi Fausther-KeeysProduced by - Sindhu Gnanasambandan, Becca Bressler, Alyssa Jeong Perry, Molly Webster with help from - Matt KieltyOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Jeremy Bloom with mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kelley, Emily Kriegerand edited by - Pat Walters and Alex Neason Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • First aired way back in 2009, this episode is all about a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness, Stochasticity, and how it may be at the very foundation of our lives. Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, hear from two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria. EPISODE CITATIONS: Videos - Stochasticity Music Video (https://zpr.io/uZiH9j9ZU6be) Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Karim Ani dedicated his life to math. He studied it in school, got a degree in math education, even founded Citizen Math to teach it to kids in a whole new way. But, this whole time, his whole life, almost, he had this question nagging at him. The question came in the form of a rule in math, NEVER divide by zero. But, why not? Cornell mathematician, and friend of the show, Steve Strogatz, chimes in with the historical context, citing examples of previous provocateurs looking to break the rules of math. And he offers Karim a warning, “In math we have creative freedom, we can do anything we want, as long as it’s logical.”Listen along as Karim’s thought exercise becomes an existential quest, taking us with him, as he delves deeper, and deeper, into Zeroworld. EPISODE CREDITS: Reported by - Lulu MillerProduced by - Matthew Kieltywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeys, Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Matthew Kieltywith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kellyand Edited by - Pat Walters Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • First aired back in 2009, this episode is all about one thing, or rather a collection of things. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, chances are you rely on numbers every day of your life. Where do they come from, and what do they really do for us? This hour: stories of how numbers confuse us, connect us, and even reveal secrets about us.