Science and Technology

The forest organism

Suzanne Simard is a forest ecologist who's revolutionizing our understanding of trees. She has discovered that trees use underground networks to communicate and cooperate with each other. It turns out that whole forests can exist as a superorganism.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental.” And though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold

Mountain climber Tommy Caldwell takes us inside Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan.More

That Tree in April 2017

Mark Hirsch took 365 photos — one a day for a year — of a single Bur oak tree. The project changed his life.More

Ways to help Jay

In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page. More

Anger on the brain

Other than getting angry, is there a better way to respond to people who’ve treated you badly? A smarter way to deal with injustice? Richard Davidson thinks so. He says what we need is to learn how to love.More

Kambui Olujimi: The Drop, from the series InDecisive Moments, 2017. Glass, approx. 30 x 20 x 20 inches. Courtesy the artist.

It’s hard to wrap your head around climate change. How do you really take in the concept of planetary change over decades or even centuries? Visual artist Kambui Olujimi explores different ideas about time in his one-man show “Zulu Time.”More

earth

Historian Iain McCalman’s Dangerous Idea? The Anthropocene — the idea that humans have fundamentally changed our global climate. It’s scary, but we’re also seeing people come together in unprecedented ways to solve planetary problems.More

Resevoir

We've heard plenty about micro-dosing with LSD — in articles, books, even on this show. But psychiatrist Anna Fels has a new micro-dosing proposal. Not with a drug – with lithium.
 More

Mind/body

Remember debating the mind-body duality in college? You probably argued the meaning of Descartes’ adage “I think, therefore I am” in your dorm. Maybe you even delved into the idea of what is consciousness. But for Lauren Slater, author of “Prozac Diary,” the mind-body argument isn’t just a debate or an intellectual pursuit.More

A semi-motionless ashtray

Why the filmmaker is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science.More

Pick your poison

Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.More

Math of the universe

On October 10, Steve spoke with physicist S. James Gates, Jr. and science writer Margaret Wertheim about the universal language of the universe: math. Can we see the hidden order of the natural world by studying the equations that govern it? And can we see true beauty in numbers?More

Robot boy

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  More

"Poison Squad" Volunteers taking in a dinner with a side of Borax.

Science writer Deborah Blum on the government scientists who made the case for food regulation by "eating dangerously."More

A poison garden

Amy Stewart is a serious gardener with a side gig – writing about all the plants that could kill you.More

A glowing radium clock.

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

Baby, new to this world

If you think of your life as a series of births, what changes? Why does the birth metaphor matter?More

Pages