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:

The Third. A TED Talk.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years.
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She's Alive!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Our final trip into the Dollyverse.

Traveling Creatures: live music from the series

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Two more live songs we loved by two bluegrass musicians: Nora Brown and Amythyst Kiah.

Dixie Disappearance

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Is it possible, at this moment in time, for everyone to be included in Dolly Parton’s America?

Dolly Parton's America

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Assignment:  What is Dolly Parton's America?

Dolly's Wildflowers: live music from the series

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

While touring the Dollyverse, we bumped into a bunch of amazing musicians not named Dolly. In this bonus ep, we play you a few of the sounds we heard.

The Only One For Me, Jolene

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

One of Dolly’s most iconic and successful songs is “Jolene,” a song about a romantic rival trying to steal her man... but, what if it isn't?


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jad accompanies Dolly on the way to the red carpet premiere of 9 to 5 the Musical in London, a revival that brings the film and the music back into conversation in the #MeToo era. 

Neon Moss

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

On the mountaintop, we go back in time, and across the world - to discover the unlikely connection between Dolly's home and Jad's father Naji.

Tennessee Mountain Trance

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

We journey to the center of the Dollyverse: Dollywood. And find much more than we hoped for.

'Dolly Parton's America'

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Jad Abumrad on the new podcast, 'Dolly Parton's America.' 


I Will Always Leave You

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The story of Dolly's grand metamorphosis. 

Radiolab Presents: Dolly Parton's America

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

We enter the Dollyverse.
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Sad Ass Songs

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

We enter the Dollyverse.

Blood and Beauty

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Today we explore a different way of looking at evolution and what it may mean for the course of science.


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.