Radiolab comes to KPCC

Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of WNYC's Radiolab.
Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of WNYC's Radiolab.
The New York Observer

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Since 2005, the public radio program "Radiolab" has brought listeners fascinating stories about science and the human experience. Now the show is part of KPCC's weekend lineup.

"Radiolab" is essentially a show about science, but not in the traditional way. The show features seemingly mundane one word show titles like "Stress" and "Zoos," but it uses creative audio and storytelling techniques to present the topics in ways that are both extraordinary and educational.

"Radiolab" co-hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich also don't sound like the typical public radio show hosts. At times, it seems more like they are having a conversation at a diner. Abumrad says that's exactly how the show began years ago when the two became regular breakfast buddies who bounced ideas off of each other over breakfast.

"Fast forward many years and now we do it with a big thick pane of glass between us and with the intent of editing the life out of it," said Abumrad. "But it’s still like those conversations we used to have at the diner."

Krulwich says "Radiolab" approaches stories in a way that's different from other NPR programs. Typically, Krulwich says, reporters will learn everything they can about a story and then assume a position of knowledge.

"We stumble around, we don’t know the answers to the questions we ask, literally, and we work our way toward a conclusion," said Krulwich.

That approach even extends to the way the show presents funding credits: the guests, not announcers, read them via a voice mail message. And if they flub, that's not removed during editing, as it often would be on other shows.

"Radiolab" airs on Saturday at 3 p.m.