Robert Krulwich is co-host of Radiolab, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning program that examines big questions in science, philosophy and the human experience through compelling storytelling. Today, Radiolab is one of public radio's most popular shows. Its podcasts are downloaded over 4 million times each month and the program is carried on 437 stations across the nation. In addition to Radiolab, Krulwich reports for National Public Radio. “Krulwich Wonders” is his NPR blog featuring drawings, cartoons and videos that illustrate hard-to-see concepts in science.
For 22 years, Krulwich was a science, economics, general assignment and foreign correspondent at ABC and CBS News. Krulwich has been called “the most inventive network reporter in television” by TV Guide. His specialty is explaining complex subjects, science, technology, economics, in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. On television he has explored the structure of DNA using a banana; on radio he created an Italian opera, “Ratto Interesso” to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates; he also pioneered the use of new animation on ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight.
He has won Emmy awards for a cultural history of Barbie, the world famous doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and an Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout, and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Krulwich also won the AAAS Science Journalism Award for a 2001 a NOVA Special, Cracking the Code of Life, The Extraordinary Communicator Award from the National Cancer Institute, and an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award.
Krulwich earned a BA in history from Oberlin College, a law degree from Columbia University in 1974.
Look inside most machines today and what do you find? Computer chips functioning mysteriously. Gaze at a 1920's Rube Goldberg cartoon and what do you find? Machines powered by hungry parrots and angry ladies. Will future tools stay inscrutable or become more Rube-like? Here's a guess.
Reporter Emily Graslie explores natural history museums, showing us what's going on behind the scenes. Her viewers write her, of course, and in this video, she reads some of those letters. They're not about science. Or Museums. They're about Emily. And it's embarrassing.
Today's a day to share, so that's why I want to share this moment: Two girls are on a city street, trying to figure out who's going to be friends with the nastiest person they can think of. Not an easy problem, but they solve it. Gorgeously.
A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.
Something strange happens when you slosh wine in a wineglass. The wine doesn't just settle. Some of it starts to "cry." That is, little droplets of wine slide down and then mysteriously creep up again, dripping, then climbing, dripping, climbing, over and over, pushed by some force that doesn't seem to end. What's going on?
You're high, high up. You lean over and look way, way down. Then you leap. Meet my favorite leapers: An Austrian who falls for 24 continuous miles, a medieval musician who leaps off a tower, a movie stuntman who lands on a chain of cardboard boxes, and my favorite, a man who almost falls into the sky.
Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see.
In the 1960s, Americans lived very long lives — among the longest in the world. Since then, we've improved our lot, but not as fast as the French, the Australians, the Swedes, the British, the Canadians, the Dutch, the Germans and the Japanese. They are galloping away from us. What happened?
Writer Malcolm Gladwell calls them "eminent orphans" — an intriguingly large number of successful politicians, statesmen, poets, scientists who lost a parent when they were young. Why the pattern? Is it just coincidence? Or is it something more?
Daniela Rus' lab at MIT is inventing new, ever more remarkable "reconfigurable robots." Don't know what they are? Well, take a look at what her grad students have made and prepare to be frightened — or delighted. Me? I'm kinda delighted.
This fall, the staff of WNYC's Radiolab is producing their second multi-city tour, Apocalyptical. In this new live stage performance, Radiolab turns its gaze to the topic of endings, both blazingly fast and agonizingly slow. Today Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich join The Takeaway today to discuss some of the topics they're exploring and how we look at endings today.
Zoos are where you go to look at "them," the animals. But not in this video of a zoo in Amsterdam. Here, differences melt away, and all the animals, including the ones with hats, coats and strollers, are just as curious, just as odd, just as silly as the monkeys, hippos and tigers.
Ready, get set, go! Let's compare a sperm whale plowing through the ocean to a human sperm plowing through a glass of water: The whale barely notices the water it's in; the sperm — oh, gee — it's got a problem. How it solves that problem — being much closer to the size of the water molecules around it — is ... well, masterful.