Jad Abumrad

Host, Radiolab

The son of a scientist and a doctor, Jad Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs, including On The Media, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Morning Edition, All Things Considered and WNYC's "24 Hours at the Edge of Ground Zero."

While working on staff at WNYC, Abumrad began tinkering with an idea for a new kind of radio program.  That idea evolved into one of public radio’s most popular shows today – Radiolab.  Abumrad hosts the program with Robert Krulwich and also serves as one of its producers.  The program won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and explores big questions in science, philosophy and mankind.  Under Abumrad’s direction, the show uses a combination of deep-dive journalism, narrative storytelling, dialogue and music to craft compositions of exploration and discovery.  Radiolab podcasts are downloaded over 10 million times each month and the program is carried on more than 500 stations across the nation and internationally. 

Abumrad is also the Executive Producer and creator of Radiolab's More Perfect, a podcast that explores how cases deliberated inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench.

Abumrad was honored as a 2011 MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant).  The MacArthur Foundation website says:  “Abumrad is inspiring boundless curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find ever more effective and entertaining ways to explain ideas and tell a story.” 

Abumrad also produced and hosted The Ring & I, an insightful, funny, and lyrical look at the enduring power of Wagner's Ring Cycle.  It aired nationally and internationally and earned ten awards, including the prestigious 2005 National Headliner Grand Award in Radio.


Jad Abumrad appears in the following:

Streaming While Homeless

Friday, February 22, 2019

The story of one streamer, who turned to Twitch during his darkest hour.

Remembering Joe Frank

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

On the anniversary of the death of a radio giant, Brooke and Jad Abumrad remember the transcendent nuttiness of Joe Frank. 

Our Amendments: The 1st

Monday, October 22, 2018

This season, the Radiolab spin-off More Perfect is exploring all 27 Constitutional Amendments in words and music. Jad Abumrad reviews one: the 1st.

Streaming While Homeless

Friday, August 17, 2018

The story of one streamer, who turned to Twitch during his darkest hour.

Podcast Mixtape: Radiolab Presents Robert or Robot?

Monday, May 07, 2018

Join Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, and critically acclaimed writer Brian Christian for a live exploration of communication in the 21st century. 


Joe Frank: The Known-Unknown

Friday, January 19, 2018

Influential and experimental radio host Joe Frank passed away earlier this week. He was 79. Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and writer Mark Oppenheimer join Brooke to discuss his work.

Staring Into the Abyss

Friday, December 29, 2017

Brooke explores our long fascination with nihilism: why it's popular today, and whether that's always been the case.

American Pendulum I

Sunday, October 01, 2017

If you can’t find justice in the Supreme Court, can you find it someplace else?

Radiolab Presents More Perfect Live: The First Amendment in the Digital Age

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Should you be able to say whatever you want online? Join Jad Abumrad and guests for a debate about the First Amendment in the digital age. 

Comments [13]

Podcast Mixtape: Radiolab Presents More Perfect

Monday, July 10, 2017

Would you give up your home if it could benefit the greater good? Watch video of our debate with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and More Perfect's Elie Mystal.

Comments [12]

Radiolab Presents: Ponzi Supernova

Friday, February 10, 2017

Madoff speaks.  Investigating the world's largest con with the team behind @Audible_com's #PonziSupernova.
Read More

Comments [28]

Beyond Pot Brownies (with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad)

Monday, August 22, 2016

We explore the science of weed-infused foods with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad. We’ll tell you how it tastes, how it makes us feel, and what happens when you eat way too much of it.

Talk With Radiolab about Your Addiction

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad wants to hear from those of you who have dealt with substance abuse. What treatment options were made available to you and which one did you choose?

Comments [6]

Mau Mau Deleted Scene

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Here's a deleted scene from our latest podcast.
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Comments [13]

When Your Conspiracy Theory Is True

Friday, June 19, 2015

The government actually WAS sending beams through the walls of Daniel Rigmaiden's apartment, and his attempt to figure out how changed how we understand surveillance.

Comments [19]

Not Your Mom's Pot Brownies (with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Dan and Radiolab's Jad Abumrad explore the new frontier of weed-infused foods. They'll tell you how it tastes, how it makes them feel, and what happens when you eat way too much of it.

Staring Into the Abyss

Friday, March 13, 2015

Brooke follows up on her conversation with Radiolab, and explores our longstanding fascination with nihilism: why it's popular today, and whether that's always been the case.

Comments [26]

In the Dust of This Planet

Friday, March 13, 2015

Radiolab host Jad Abumrad explores the philosophy that turned his brother-in-law's book cover into a celebrity fashion statement.

Comments [13]

The Music of La Mancha Screwjob

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A peek into making the musical mashups in our La Mancha Screwjob episode. 
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Comments [12]