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KERA's Think

100 EpisodesProduced by KERAWebsite

Think is a daily, topic-driven interview and call-in program hosted by Krys Boyd covering a wide variety of topics ranging from history, politics, current events, science, technology and emerging trends to food and wine, travel, adventure, and entertainment.

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How the heck are you supposed to pay for college?

September 28th, 2022


It can take hundreds of thousands of dollars to send a child to college these days. Ron Lieber, Your Money columnist for The New York Times, joins …

BFFs: The science of building friendships that last

September 27th, 2022


There’s a cottage industry of books written about finding and keeping a mate, but not nearly as many about finding and keeping friends. Marisa G. Franco is a professor at the University of Maryland who also writes for …

From the archives: Can you trust your mental health diagnosis?

September 26th, 2022


One psychiatric diagnosis can punctuate a life; six can alter its course completely. Sarah Fay, writer and currently on faculty in the English …

Neil deGrasse Tyson on why we should think more like scientists

September 23rd, 2022


Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who helps us find our place in the universe. The director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host and cofounder of the podcast “StarTalk” …

You could be better at thinking in daily life, here’s how

September 22nd, 2022


If we were only able to catch our biases when thinking, the world might be a better place. Woo-kyoung Ahn, John Hay Whitney Professor of Psychology …

How to make sure your only child still feels like a kid

September 21st, 2022


An only child soaks up a lot of parents’ attention – so much so that marriages can sometimes be harmed. Jancee Dunn joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the ways her own child has siphoned off focus from her husband, and how …

You don’t need to be exceptional to live a good life

September 20th, 2022


What if, to be happy, you didn’t need to be great, you just needed to be pretty good? Avram Alpert is a lecturer in the writing program at Princeton University and co-editor of Shifter magazine. He joins host Krys Boyd …

What blind people wish you understood about their lives

September 19th, 2022


From “blind rage” to “the blind leading the blind,” cultural touchstones of blindness are often negative. M. Leona Godin is a blind writer, performer …

Wasps are ‘pests’ worth protecting

September 16th, 2022


There are 10 times more wasps than bees – so why do we know so little about them? Seirian Sumner, professor of behavioral ecology at University …

Saving America’s wildlife will take more than national parks

September 15th, 2022


To make real strides in conservation, you’ve got to follow the money. Journalist Emma Marris joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how preserving nature …

Why your rituals make you feel better

September 14th, 2022


From over-the-top birthday parties to daily coffee breaks, rituals transcend cultures. Dimitris Xygalatas is an anthropologist and cognitive …

From the archives: Misunderstanding math has real-world consequences

September 13th, 2022


Fractions can be confusing – and that’s not great news for communicators. James C. Zimring, Thomas W. Tillack Professor of Experimental Pathology at …

From the archives: How to read people, even when they’re lying to you

September 12th, 2022


With our noses buried in screens and texts, it’s easier than ever to miss important social cues. Psychotherapist David J. Lieberman joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his ideas for how to pick up on subtext in spoken and …

Mixing the cuisines of Black and Jewish culture

September 9th, 2022


African and Jewish cooking are each the results of two cultures with histories of migration. Michael Twitty is a culinary and cultural historian and …

How Covid changed your children’s lives

September 8th, 2022


When U.S. schools closed due to Covid, children were cut off from support networks. Education journalist Anya Kamenetz joins host Krys Boyd to …

From the archives: How to heal your broken heart

September 7th, 2022


We’ve all experienced a broken heart – and it might make you feel better that there is science that explains why. Journalist Florence Williams joins …

The unfinished work of Reconstruction

September 6th, 2022


Is our current era of racial reckoning in America a third Reconstruction? Peniel Joseph is the Barbara Jordan Chair in Political Values and Ethics at …

From the archives: Why your boss wants you back at the office

September 5th, 2022


After Covid shut down the office, returning to a cubicle is a hard sell. Rani Molla, senior data reporter for Recode, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss …

One teen’s quest to become Internet famous

September 2nd, 2022


A fictional teen’s need to be recognized by her peers leads down a path of unintended catfishing on social media. Author Crystal Maldonado joins …

Rising seas, floods or droughts: Living with water as nature intended

September 1st, 2022


Water will always find its level, and in the age of extreme climate change, that’s bad news for low-lying cities hoping to keep it at bay. Erica Gies is a journalist and National Geographic Explorer, and she joins host …

Why Black Americans live sicker and die quicker

August 31st, 2022


There is no question that racism leads to health disparities among Black Americans. Linda Villarosa is a journalism professor at the City University of New York, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and …

Should America stop trying to rule the world?

August 30th, 2022


With China on the rise, has the American Century’s time run out? Daniel Bessner is Joff Hanauer Honors Associate Professor in Western Civilization in …

How to become a big-picture thinker

August 29th, 2022


Focusing on addressing problems in the short term often closes a door to more considered, long-term thinking. Ari Wallach is a futurist and the founder and executive director of Longpath Labs, and he joins host Krys …

Robots are lifelike, but they’re not alive

August 27th, 2022


A Google engineer recently made headlines for saying his A.I. creation had come to life – a claim that ultimately led to his firing. Cade Metz, a …

Poetry, laughter and pain: a Mexican American writer shares her life

August 26th, 2022


Erika L. Sánchez made a splash with her New York Times bestseller “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” and now she’s out with a memoir. Sánchez is a poet, novelist and essayist, and she joins guest host Courtney …

Meet the migrant rebels who sparked the Mexican Revolution

August 24th, 2022


A little-known pair of newspaper owners helped fuel the Mexican Revolution — and they set up shop here in America. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Thomas E. …

Why we can trace today’s America to Reconstruction

August 23rd, 2022


The America we know today is perhaps not primarily the work of the Founding Fathers but rather those who put the country back together following the …

Why you should care about this missing salamander

August 22nd, 2022


The World Economic Forum lists biodiversity loss as a global threat. Vox environmental reporter Benji Jones joins guest host Courtney Collins to …

A philosopher on why we should care about future generations

August 19th, 2022


We might consider how our actions will affect the lives of our children and grandchildren. But what about the dozens of generations that hopefully …

The truth about the Trump administration’s family separation policy

August 18th, 2022


The Trump administration’s family-separation policy had a profound effect on the immigration system. Caitlin Dickerson, staff writer at The Atlantic, …

How to change your mind so you can change your body

August 17th, 2022


It’s impossible to fight against your genetics, but you can chart a new course by focusing on your mind. Selena Bartlett is an author and host of the podcast “Thriving Minds.” She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how a …

Money and magnetism: Inside the lives of door-to-door salespeople

August 16th, 2022


Door-to-door salesmen are often reviled, but some are turning the profession into an art form. New Yorker staff writer Tad Friend joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the tactics of today’s D2D salesmen and how they perfect …

Mourning a loved one is complicated by suicide

August 15th, 2022


After her mother’s suicide, Laura Trujillo faced a reckoning. Trujillo is managing editor for Life and Entertainment at USA Today, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the shock she faced when her mother took her own …

Would you really be happier with someone else?

August 12th, 2022


Does the modern quest for personal happiness ruin perfectly good marriages? Joshua Coleman is a psychologist in private practice and a senior fellow …

When did parenting get so competitive?

August 11th, 2022


June Cleaver made parenting look so simple, while perfect soccer moms today can make it seem unachievably hard. Andrew Bomback is an associate …

Who takes care of you when you die?

August 10th, 2022


Many of us do all we can to avoid thinking about death. But what if every day you went to work and death was part of your job? Journalist Hayley Campbell joins host Krys Boyd to talk about people who deal exclusively in …

What it’s like being autistic in a neurotypical world

August 9th, 2022


It’s fairly common for a person with autism to “mask” their condition so as to appear to be neurotypical. Devon Price is a social psychologist and …

Why Americans are giving up on college

August 8th, 2022


Americans owe trillions in student loan debt, even as education is seen as a public good. Will Bunch, national opinion columnist for the Philadelphia …

From Somali nomad to California soccer mom

August 5th, 2022


Shugri Said Salh’s life as a nurse and soccer mom is a long way from where she started – living as a nomad in Somalia. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her childhood marked by war and her immigration to the U.S., …

Viruses don’t treat everyone equally (because society doesn’t)

August 4th, 2022


With the Covid pandemic, one thing became clear: health outcomes are linked to socioeconomic status. Stephen W. Thrasher is Daniel H. Renberg chair …

A teacher on what it really takes to educate children

August 3rd, 2022


Students often assume their teachers know everything. But the reality is teachers are just as eager to learn, too. Educator Phillip Done is a recipient of the prestigious Charles Schwab Distinguished Teacher Award and a …

Are we worrying our way into a recession?

August 2nd, 2022


Is a recession likely? Depends on who you ask. Ben Casselman, economics and business reporter for The New York Times, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss …

A protein in blood could unlock youth

August 1st, 2022


Scientists are zeroing in on blood proteins as a tool that could regenerate aging organs. Journalist Eilene Zimmerman joins host Krys Boyd to discuss …

From the archives: The photos you throw away tell a story

July 29th, 2022


The stories behind discarded photographs are as intriguing as the images themselves. Sociologist Jeff Ferrell is editor of the New York University …

How did NASA get those cool images of the universe?

July 28th, 2022


Jaw-dropping images released from the James Webb Space Telescope have both scientists and laypeople awestruck. Lee Billings, senior editor of space and physics for Scientific American, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss …

You’re tired of reading the news (and it’s not just you)

July 27th, 2022


Even for those in the media, reading the news can be tedious—and that’s an ominous sign for the industry. Amanda Ripley, host of the Slate podcast “How To!” joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why many of us are tuning out, …

Covering Uvalde took a toll on Latino journalists

July 26th, 2022


When a reporter covers tragedy, it’s especially tough when the community effected is their own. Liliana Soto is assistant professor of practice at …

The moments that made their mark on music

July 25th, 2022


The Western world has been shaped by music, from 11th Century hymns to jazz today. Stuart Isacoff is a pianist, writer and the founder of Piano Today magazine. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the history of Western …

We can all use a little help with our grammar

July 22nd, 2022


Every region of the country has an accent, but it also has a writing style that sets it apart. Ellen Jovin, founder of Syntaxis, a communication …

Pessimistic world leaders can be dangerous

July 21st, 2022


Optimistic leaders show patience when dealing with public and foreign policy, while pessimistic leaders take more risks. Daniel Drezner, Professor of …

How poverty steals peoples’ dreams

July 21st, 2022


Inequality can even have an impact on something money can’t buy: our dreams. Karen A. Cerulo, professor of sociology at Rutgers University and editor …

Giving back the sense of touch to amputees

July 19th, 2022


When the pandemic hit, we stopped touching one another, the irony being: Humans need touch to stay healthy. National Geographic writer Cynthia Gorney joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why, out of the five senses, touch is …

Is the US Border Patrol overstepping its boundaries?

July 18th, 2022


Within 100 miles of the border and coastlines, the Border Patrol can conduct warrantless stops and interrogations. Reece Jones is a Guggenheim Fellow …

From the archives: The case for talking about race at work

July 15th, 2022


Corporations are looking to implement anti-racist policies within their organizations – and some of that work involves actually talking with the …

Why guns are deadlier than ever

July 14th, 2022


The gun control debate often focuses on the number of bullets a weapon can fire at one time. Phil Klay joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the technology …

Black Native Americans work to reclaim their identity

July 13th, 2022


The Creek Nation recognized Black people as full citizens until that ruling was revoked in the 1970s. Caleb Gayle is a journalist and professor at …

Why blood mystified doctors for centuries

July 12th, 2022


For something that’s inside all of us, it’s taken physicians several millennia to understand blood. Dr. Dhun Sethna is a clinical and academic …

Imagine finding a T. Rex

July 11th, 2022


With all the Jurassic Park movies, seeing a T-rex has become fairly common today. But just imagine the wonder of unearthing the first skeleton at the turn of the last century. David K. Randall, senior reporter at …

Your kids make the best philosophers

July 8th, 2022


If you’ve ever had to say, “because I said so” to a little human asking “but why?” you’ve argued with a young philosopher. Scott Hershovitz is director of the Law and Ethics Program and professor of law and philosophy …

Can debating make you a better listener?

July 7th, 2022


Debate can turn even the shiest person into a confident orator. Bo Seo is a two-time world champion debater and a former coach of Harvard College …

Uncovering family secrets can set you free

July 6th, 2022


When a wooden duck goes missing, a woman looking to find herself ends up in the center of a mysterious caper. Linda Holmes, co-host of NPR’s Pop …

From the archives: How animals perceive reality

July 5th, 2022


The animal kingdom perceives the world in wild and unusual ways. Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer on staff at The Atlantic, joins host …

What it's like living with voices in your head

July 1st, 2022


Some people who hear voices are actually choosing to embrace them rather than seeking to silence them. Caroline Mazel-Carlton, director of training …

Are we showing too much love on social media?

June 30th, 2022


We live in an age of double-heart emojis and spilling your guts on the internet. Author Caitlin Macy joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why emotional overreaction has become the norm – even expected – and how that’s given …

Dr. Deborah Birx on the politics of COVID

June 29th, 2022


When the pandemic took hold in 2020, the federal response was already woefully behind. Dr. Deborah Birx, senior fellow at the Bush Institute and …

The pioneering plastic surgeons of WWI

June 28th, 2022


Wounded soldiers returning from WWI were heroes – though many with severely scarred or disfigured faces were ashamed to be seen in public. Science …

Dobbs and the future of abortion

June 27th, 2022


Now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v Wade, what comes next? The University of Texas at Austin Law Professor Elizabeth Sepper joins host …

How animals perceive reality

June 24th, 2022


The animal kingdom perceives the world in wild and unusual ways. Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer on staff at The Atlantic, joins host …

Did COVID kill the SAT?

June 23rd, 2022


The SAT has been a cornerstone of college admissions — that is, until COVID. New Yorker contributor Eren Orbey joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how …

Why mom does the dishes and dad mows the lawn

June 22nd, 2022


If chores are divided unequally in your household, blame societal norms. Kate Mangino is a gender expert and regular contributor to Fathering …

How to make the most of your time in prison

June 21st, 2022


So, you’re going to prison. You’d probably like some advice about what to expect. New York Times Magazine contributor Jack Hitt joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the coaches who offer advice for those up against jail time …

How to not raise a racist

June 17th, 2022


It would be helpful to most parents to have a playbook for teaching children about racism. Britt Hawthorne is an anti-bias and antiracist …

Why it’s hard to eat healthy, even for doctors

June 16th, 2022


Aristotle, even Freud, had detailed theories as to why it’s hard to resist that pint of ice cream in your freezer. Dr. Raj Telhan joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his quest to give up refined sugar and how it made him …

Why war is surprisingly rare

June 15th, 2022


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have seemed inevitable, but the reality is unfriendly neighbors usually find a way to avoid war. Christopher Blattman is the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at …

Roe v. Wade might end — how did we get here?

June 14th, 2022


Roe V. Wade seemed like a decision set in stone, when in reality, it’s been chipped away at for the last 50 years. Rosemary Westwood, host and public health reporter with WWNO/WRKF, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the …

From the archives: Did humans evolve to need meat?

June 13th, 2022


What would our world look like if everyone gave up eating meat? Roanne van Voorst is a futures-anthropologist, president of the Dutch Future Society …

Why it’s good to spill your secrets

June 10th, 2022


Research says that we hold as many as 13 secrets at any given time. Columbia University’s Michael Slepian joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why …

Should all #MeToo violators be punished the same way?

June 9th, 2022


In the #MeToo era, should the punishments for all offenders be the same? New York Times columnist Pamela Paul joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the …

Imagine you got transplant surgery in the 16th century

June 8th, 2022


The medical community is still perfecting transplant surgeries – something doctors have been working on since ancient Egypt. Paul Craddock is an …

Unboxing Shein: The real cost of cheap fashion

June 7th, 2022


The price paid for a $12 swimsuit gets very expensive environmentally when you consider the landfills full of discarded clothing. But that hasn’t …

How to make your anxiety work for you

June 6th, 2022


Imagine if we all just embraced our anxiety rather than trying to seek to eradicate it. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is a professor of psychology and …

The Bachelor and Real Housewives say more about us than we think

June 3rd, 2022


The Bachelor and Real Housewives seem like trash TV until you also consider they might be a mirror to society’s values. Danielle J. Lindemann, …

Hello, sobriety influencers. Goodbye, Alcoholics Anonymous?

June 2nd, 2022


Americans are drinking less, and the ones that are looking to quit altogether have new models by which to fashion their sobriety. Virginia Heffernan is a contributor at Wired and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss our …

What medical science didn’t know about vaginas

June 1st, 2022


The fact of the matter is, even today, we know an awful lot more about male reproductive organs than female ones. Science journalist Rachel E. Gross …

Do you still have privacy in the digital age?

May 31st, 2022


The line between a public’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy is murky. Amy Gajda is the Class of 1937 Professor of Law at Tulane …

From the archives: How America mythologizes war

May 30th, 2022


America has a nostalgic reverence for World War II, which in some ways has shaped our national identity. West Point English professor Elizabeth D. Samet joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the picture of American …

The trait mass shooters have in common

May 27th, 2022


The notion that a good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun hasn’t stopped the continued wave of mass shootings. Seamus McGraw joins host …

Is classical liberalism dead?

May 26th, 2022


Illiberal forces are on the rise throughout the country and the world. Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He joins host …

You may not be in a union, but you've benefitted from one

May 25th, 2022


The recent Amazon warehouse unionization vote is just part of a long history of labor movements in this country. Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly …

How alphabetical order made the modern world

May 24th, 2022


We take alphabetization for granted, but it’s a relatively new way to classify the things we hold dear. Judith Flanders, social historian and senior …

Chronic pain is all in your head – but it’s still real

May 24th, 2022


There’s a long history, going back centuries, of treating some people’s pain and ignoring others. Haider Warraich is a doctor at Brigham and Women’s …

The number one killer of creativity is fear

May 20th, 2022


The rigor of scientific research might have unlocked the mystery of the creative spark. Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times science reporter Matt …

Inside a mind with severe ADHD

May 19th, 2022


A diagnosis of severe ADHD can be hard to swallow, but it can also offer a new understanding of yourself. Rebecca Schiller is co-founder and trustee …

Has the digital world broken American democracy?

May 18th, 2022


It’s pretty clear at this point that social media connects us and also divides us. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt joins host Krys Boyd to discuss …

The next disaster is coming. Are you ready?

May 17th, 2022


From extreme weather events to plane crashes, disasters are always looming. Juliette Kayyem is Robert and Renee Belfer Senior Lecturer in Public …

What a nurse didn’t know until she became a patient

May 16th, 2022


A diagnosis of breast cancer meant a nurse became the patient. Theresa Brown is an author and registered nurse, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss being on the other side of treatments, her frustrations with being …

Dying insects and migrating trees: our planet in peril

May 13th, 2022


Of all the species on Earth, humans have easily had the biggest impact. This hour, we’ll look at how our actions have affected everything from the …

How Shakespeare killed off his characters

May 12th, 2022


To be or not to be? That might be a better question for science than Shakespeare. Kathryn Harkup joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the many ways The Bard killed off his characters, their feasibility in real life and …

Beyond batteries: What we need to store renewable energy

May 11th, 2022


If there is to be a shift to renewable energy, there must be a focus on developing batteries that can meet the challenge. New Yorker contributing writer Matthew Hutson joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why there needs to …

A Planet Money journalist on the man who made bond trading sexy

May 10th, 2022


The bond market is high risk, high reward and cutthroat. Mary Childs is co-host and correspondent for NPR’s “Planet Money” podcast. She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about Bill Gross, known as “The Bond King,” his rise …

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