WNYC's Radio Lab is Back for Season 3

Read on for a guest-posted ad for WNYC’s radio lab (http://www.radiolab.org)

Through its innovative structure, WNYC’s RADIO LAB (www.radiolab.org) blends storytelling, interviews with top scientists, music and innovative sound design to explore big ideas such as Morality, Space, Identity.

The hosts are Jad Abumrad, one of public radio’s youngest producers, and Robert Krulwich, veteran broadcast journalist for ABC with a sub-speciality in science. Together they create a “two guys chatting in a bar” feel, making complex scientific ideas accessible and exciting.

The series launches in NYC on WNYC on Friday, May 18, but will be available to anyone, anywhere as a podcast starting May 22. Podcasts and on-demand streaming can be found at http://www.radiolab.org.

An afternoon of video games with a Harvard sleep expert. A first-hand look at the psychological power of the doctor’s white coat. A lesson on the dire effects of sleep deprivation, through the eyes of a new mother.

Radio Lab, WNYC, New York Public Radio®’s highly-acclaimed show about wonder, discovery, and big ideas, is back!

Season 3 launches nationally on WNYC on Friday, May 18, and will air on over 100 public radio stations around the country throughout the spring and summer. Program descriptions below.

This season, co-hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich tackle five new fascinating topics: Placebo, Sleep, Zoos, Memory and Forgetting and Mortality. They begin with seemingly simple questions — Could the best medicine be no medicine at all? Is there such a thing as a good cage? Is love a more powerful force than memory? – that serve as a launch pad into the unknown. Embarking on a curiosity spree, they unearth the implications of the latest scientific findings, stumble into surprising stories, and traverse philosophy, history, and culture, checking in all along the way with the scientists doing the real work.

May 18 – June 15
Special 5-Week Season of Radio Lab
Fridays: 2pm on WNYC AM 820 / 3pm on 93.9 FM
Sundays: 6pm on 93.9 FM
Via live webstream and on-demand at http://www.wnyc.org

June 11 – 15
Encore of all five episodes
Daily: 2pm on WNYC AM 820 / 3pm on 93.9 FM
Via live webstream and on-demand at http://www.wnyc.org

PROGAM DESCRIPTIONS – in order of broadcast

Could the best medicine be no medicine at all? The hour begins with a skeptical Kwakiutl Indian trained in shamanistic healing. He knows that his ritual healing is just a trick and yet he wonders: why does it work? With new research demonstrating the startling power of the placebo effect, Radio Lab examines the chemical consequences of belief and imagination. Jad Abumrad tours a hospital with his father, Dr. Abumrad, and witnesses the power of the white coat. After visiting 18th century France to witness the first double-blind placebo test, the show ends with reporter Gregory Warner’s visit to a Christian faith healer in a lakeside tent revival in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

Every creature does it – from giant hump back whales all the way down to fruit flies – and yet science still can’t answer the basic questions: Why do sleep? What is it for? In Radio Lab’s search for the answer we visit Harvard sleep researcher Dr. Robert Stickgold to play video games before dropping in on MIT’s Dr. Matt Wilson as he peers into the brains of slumbering rats. We hear from a mother who is sleep deprived and learn from UPENN’s Dr. Alan Pack about the toxicity of sleep deprivation. Our last stop in the hour is with Dr. Guilio Tononi for a theory on what slow wave sleep might be doing for our brains that is so important, we literally cannot live without it.

In a cruel trick of evolution, humans can stand just three feet from a ferocious wild animal and still be perfectly safe. Is there such thing as a good cage? Neuroscientists are looking into the brains of caged animals to see the effects. But how far are we willing to go to do what is best for the animals in our care? NPR science desk reporter Nell Boyce takes us to Toledo, OH for a carcass feeding and reporter Jocelyn Ford goes one step further to a live animal feeding at a rural zoo in China. We end the hour with the story of one man’s promise to a big cat at the Bronx zoo — which took him to all they way to Belize to fulfill — to create the world’s first jaguar preserve.

Memory and Forgetting
According to the latest research, recall is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process. It’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory.

Is death a fact of life or a disease that can be cured (as some scientists claim)? When Dr. Leonard Hayflick discovered in 1962 a phenomena known as the ‘Hayflick Limit’ — that cells have a natural limit to their reproduction — the study of longevity was born. We hear from Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, whose tinkering with worm DNA brings her face-to-face with a grim reaper gene. We filter the modern search for the fountain of youth through personal stories of witnessing death…the death of a cell, the death of a loved one…and the aging of a society.

WNYC, New York Public Radio, is New York’s premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820. As America’s most listened-to public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC FM and AM extend New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country and air the best national offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. For more information, visit http://www.wnyc.org.

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