Interviews By Topic

Karl Ove Knaussgard

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about his autobiographical novel, “My Struggle,” as well as his unorthodox approach to writing.More

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. More

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.More

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. As part of a whole radio hour examining work, we hear snippets of Terkel's wisdom on how life for blue collar workers has changed over the years.More

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.More

Data streams

Yuval Noah Harari is the big-thinking historian who warns that whoever owns the data owns the future. He told Steve Paulson that it’s become the most important resource in the world.More

flee or stay our social media platforms?

A pioneering computer scientist thinks we should delete our accounts, while an internet ethicist argues we should fix the system rather than abandon it entirely.More

internet of nonsense

Viral videos and memes are good for a laugh — but how often do you think about where they came from? Digital culture scholar Whitney Phillips says the internet is both playful and mean. And we’re not good at telling the difference.More

man playing guitar

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.More

Oakwood residents and singers

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" producer Shannon Henry Kleiber shares a story about her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, and the power of music.More

man reviewing photograph

Anne Basting has found asking people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia open-ended queries, rather than pointed yes or no questions that require remembering something specific, can create powerful connections.More

cello player

After a 40 year career as a psychologist, Francine Toder decided to start playing the cello. The experience convinced her that music – and in fact all the arts – may be the best way to stimulate the brain and improve well-being late in life.More

Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee achieved a first recently – he became the first transgender man ever to box at Madison Square Garden. He talked to Angelo Bautista about what he learned about male violence and why men fight.More

boxer

Producer Charles Monroe-Kane on how the boxing world has sidestepped brain injury in the ring.More

Start of an amateur boxing match, Rayne, Louisiana. 1938. Photographer Lee Russell

In light of recent boxing tragedies, Charles and Steve are grappling with the ethics of boxing. It’s a debate that’s probably going on in a lot of places and will – unfortunately – continue.More

Toni Morrison, via Penguin Randomhouse (Michael Lionheart)

In a conversation from 2003, Toni Morrison reflected on how the civil rights movement had the unintended consequence of magnifying class differences.More

The first image of a black hole.

Steve spoke with Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan about the search for invisible parts of the universe, dark matter, and the mind-boggling nature of black holes.More

Francis Halzen, the lead scientist of the IceCube Neutrino Detector, explains how light sensors buried deep in the ice at the South Pole detected a neutrino that traveled four billion light-years.More

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