Interviews By Topic

rock and roll

For author Jennifer Egan — whose novel "A Visit From The Goon Squad" documents the inner life of lifelong rock and roll stars—the pauses in rock ballads might say as much or more than the riffs.More

Marcel Marceau

For more than 60 years, the great French mime Marcel Marceau dominated stages around the world without ever saying a word. Shawn Wen documents Marceau's story in a book-length essay called “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause.”More

Not playing

John Cage’s "4’33” was first performed on August 29th, 1952, by pianist David Tudor. He came out on stage, sat at the piano, and did not play. The audience was not impressed. Kyle Gann tells the story in “No Such Thing as Silence."More

Reaching for 0 decibels

The world is getting noisier and it's hurting us. When George Mickelson Foy got worried about all of the toxic noise in his life, he set on a quest for absolute silence.More

A salmon-colored rock marks the spot of the One Square Inch project, which tries to preserve the most pristine soundscape in the contiguous United States.

One of the quietest places in the U.S. is a spot inside the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park in Washington. It's called "One Square Inch of Silence." And it was created by the acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton.More

A lonely Antartic landscape.

In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge became the first person to cross Antarctica alone. It took him 50 days. The thing that had the biggest impact on him was the silence.More

A whiskey drink

Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert argues that human vices are just as important as human virtues in shaping evolution.More

Tents of scientists during Antarctic summer

When Jane Willenbring was a young scientist working in Antarctica, she was the target of constant hazing by her team leader. Years later, she filed a complaint. David Marchant was recently found guilty of sexual harassment by Boston University.More

WORKER HARDER

In one recent study, 50 percent of people surveyed said they often or always feel exhausted from work. Emma Seppala says that it’s because collectively, we’re falling for outdated ideas about success.More

Chimpanzee

African chimps store caches of big rocks to throw at certain trees. And some scientists wonder, are these sacred trees?More

Ada and the Memory Engine.

Lauren Gunderson is currently the most produced playwright in America. And she has written at least half a dozen plays about the forgotten women who changed science. She says we're living in a golden age for these remarkable stories.More

Ann Bishop's Wikipedia page

Women are underrepresented on Wikipedia. So Emily Temple-Wood recruited people to write more articles about notable women. In return, she got rape and death threats. Now, every time she's trolled, she writes a new Wikipedia bio of a female scientist.More

Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas

One of the most famous experiments of modern science was a series of pioneering field studies of the great apes. They were all done by women, chosen by legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey. Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas tell this amazing story.More

#MeToo

For years, women in science have battled discrimination, old boys’ clubs and gendered stereotypes. Now they’re blowing the whistle on sexual harassment, and some eminent career scientists are being held to account.More

god and man

Yuval Noah Harari's sweeping and provocative Sapiens retells the history of our species from an entirely new perspective.More

An outhouse. For pooping

At the University of Colorado, microbiologist Rob Knight is exploring a new frontier — the human microbiome.More

Yogurt

The future belongs to a cultured dairy product, in science fiction writer John Scalzi's short story "The Day the Yogurt Took Over."  Read by Adam Hirsch.More

Suzanne Lee of BioCouture explains how to make clothes from bacteria

What if we could harness nature to grow clothing for us?  London-based fashion designer Suzanne Lee explains how.More