“Radiolab is a show about curiosity.”
That’s how they self-describe, and, really, it’s pretty apt. The basic format is a collection of stories centered on a particular topic (so, similar to This American Life, but more research and less narrative). You never really know what you’re going to get with Radiolab, topic-wise. It could be about language, or space, or colors, and the angle is always unique and often surprising. Nearly every time I listen to Radiolab, I’m struck with one of those mind-squeezing moments where you can actually feel your brain working to process a concept. Lots of “ah-ha!” and “really?!” moments.
The most recent episode, “The Fact of the Matter,” was on facts and the nature of truth and what really matters when working with those two concepts. That sounds a bit dry, but things get pretty emotional, especially during the second story on the Hmong people. This part is especially interesting to me because the story itself is on facts/truth, and then, through a discussion between the show’s producers, you also see the concept being explained through the story play out in “real life,” in the actual production of the story. It’s a little too meta for me to describe accurately, but have a listen. It’s worth it.
*I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. Because I love to learn. Because it’s a medium unlike any other. And, mostly, because there are so many good stories being told through audio. Worth a Listen is my way of sharing things I’ve found that struck me as particularly thoughtful, or funny, or moving, or just…worth a listen. If you’ve heard something recently that’s sticking with you, please share!*