Robert Krulwich

Robert Krulwich works on radio, podcasts, video, the blogosphere. He has been called "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide.

Krulwich is a Science Correspondent for NPR. His NPR blog, "Krulwich Wonders" features drawings, cartoons and videos that illustrate hard-to-see concepts in science.

He is the co-host of Radiolab, a nationally distributed radio/podcast series that explores new developments in science for people who are curious but not usually drawn to science shows. "There's nothing like it on the radio," says Ira Glass of This American Life, "It's a act of crazy genius." Radiolab won a Peabody Award in 2011.

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 has pioneered the use of new animation on ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight.

For 22 years, Krulwich was a science, economics, general assignment and foreign correspondent at ABC and CBS News.

He won Emmy awards for a cultural history of the Barbie doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout online advertising and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Krulwich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Oberlin College and a law degree from Columbia University.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:43 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Everything Dies, Right? But Does Everything Have To Die? Here's A Surprise

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 12:05 pm

A puzzlement.

Why, I wonder, are both these things true? There is an animal, a wee little thing, the size of a poppy seed, that lives in lakes and rivers and eats whatever flows through it; it's called a gastrotrich. It has an extremely short life.

Hello, Goodbye, I'm Dead

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:57 am
Fri September 12, 2014

What Makes A Star Starry? Is It Me?

Courtesy of Tyler Nordgen

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:55 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:26 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Mapping What You Cannot See, Cannot Know, Cannot Visit

Nature Video YouTube

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:54 am

When I was a boy I had a globe. I could take it in my hands, rest it on my lap, give it a spin and look down on Africa, Europe, North America and Asia spinning by.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:42 am
Wed September 3, 2014

A Giant Appears At The Edge Of An African Roadway

Courtesy of Marco Cianfanelli

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:40 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:36 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

When Venus Was Filled With Venusians — 50 Billion Of Them

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 9:13 am

What a difference 180 years makes.

Back in the 1830s, a Scottish minister and amateur astronomer named Thomas Dick tried to calculate the number of intelligent creatures in the universe. He assumed that all heavenly bodies supported intelligent life, maybe not exactly like us, but similar to us in size and habits of living. Then he took population figures for Great Britain and, assuming that space aliens lived just as densely, he projected populations onto various planets.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:40 am
Thu August 7, 2014

What A Balloon Shouldn't Do, But For Some Reason Does

SmarterEveryDay YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 4:03 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:04 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

How To Cross 5 International Borders In 1 Minute Without Sweating

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 10:25 am

So many nations are breaking up. Ukraine is in pieces. Moldova is teetering. Libya has no government to speak of. Sudan broke in two last year; now both sides are fighting. Yugoslavia is seven countries. Nigeria has a Christian/Muslim split. Syria has split so many ways it's barely there. Even Scotland is thinking of ditching Great Britain. With every break, we get new lines, new fences, new borders — further evidence of our failure to amalgamate, to get along.

The more borders we have, the more quarrels, the more wars. That's one way to think about borders — they're trouble.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:56 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Neil Whosis? What You Don't Know About The 1969 Moon Landing

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:29 pm

Forty-five years ago, this week, 123 million of us watched Neil and Buzz step onto the moon. In 1969, we numbered about 200 million, so more than half of America was in the audience that day. Neil Armstrong instantly became a household name, an icon, a hero. And then — and this, I bet, you didn't know — just as quickly, he faded away.

"Whatever Happened to Neil Whosis?" asked the Chicago Tribune in 1974.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:01 am
Wed July 9, 2014

A Tough Little Droplet Fights To Stick Around

Zach Heller Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:58 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:29 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Watch It Swallow An Entire Tree In Seconds

deniscimafinc YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:03 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:56 am
Thu June 26, 2014

What Not To Serve Buzzards For Lunch, A Glorious Science Experiment

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:07 pm

OK, I'm doing great science experiments. We've done sex (see previous post). On to lunch!

This is the story of a bird, a puzzle, and a painting. The painting, curiously, helped solve the puzzle, which is: How do vultures find food?

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:26 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Lights, Lights, Lights, Action! A Crazy New Light Projector

A dandypunk Vimeo

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:25 am

What can you do with a spotlight?

You can light a spot.

But what if you give yourself more options and invent a tool that lets light spill, splash or tighten into a beam as thin as a pencil line — a beam of light that can draw!

Draw what? Oh my God, so many things: a galloping unicorn, a friendly girl, a guy who kicks you in the face, a wormhole, a ball that splashes into a fluid, a cube, a spiral, a rabbit, a squid, a scribble.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:45 am
Wed June 11, 2014

How We Learned That Frogs Fly

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:51 am

There are places where frogs could be — but aren't.

And places where frogs could be — and are.

Ninety years ago, scientists were debating the question of animal dispersal. How come there are kangaroos in Australia, and none in southern Africa --which seems, environmentally, very kangaroo-friendly? Certain frogs show up in warm ponds in one part of the world, but warm ponds a thousand miles away have none. Why?

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:16 am
Wed June 4, 2014

How Chocolate Might Save The Planet

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 9:11 am

When you unwrap it, break off a piece and stick it in your mouth, it doesn't remind you of the pyramids, a suspension bridge or a skyscraper; but chocolate, says materials scientist Mark Miodownik, "is one of our greatest engineering creations."

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:04 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Jupiter's Dot And Mine. Why Life Is Unfair

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 8:58 am

When I was 9, my dad drew this picture of me. You will notice something on my left cheek — a little brown spot.

That's a mole. The doctor called it "a birthmark." My mom called it "a beauty mark." I was born with it. Having grown up before supermodel Cindy Crawford became famous, I was not familiar with the allure of beauty marks and, anyway, I'm a guy. My mom said it was hardly noticeable. I didn't believe her.

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