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...
9:36 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:28 am

When I first saw this," says cell biologist Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, "it was with total amazement."

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:56 am
Wed December 25, 2013

This Is Bo, Who's Putting New Beats In New Places. You Should Meet Him

boburnham YouTube

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:34 am

Every so often — and it isn't often, because while I'm always looking, always hoping, it's so rare to find — but this week it happened. A friend sent me an email that said, "You've got to check out this video."

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:17 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Weekend Special: Name That Sound!

Dan Quinn YouTube

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 2:15 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:46 am
Fri December 20, 2013

One Man. One Cat. Multiplied

Courtesy of Mike Holmes

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:08 am

We start with a man called Mike and a cat called Ella. Two creatures.

Nothing odd about them, except that Mike has a beard and Ella is a touch chunky. Otherwise, they could be any cat and guy. Except ...

When you think about it, no one is ordinary. You could put a totally bland cat-and-guy couple in front of a hundred people, ask them to look, and each one would see a very different pair, different in a thousand subtle ways, because everybody looks at everything with different eyes.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:04 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Finding Grandpa On My Dinner Plate (Part 2)

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:03 am

I could tell you stories about guys who sit down to lobster dinners (there are several; I've even done one myself ) and the waiter says, "May we suggest ..." and he shows the man a very, very large lobster. The larger the lobster, the older it is, and this one, he says, taking it out of the tank, is 50 or 60 years old.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:24 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Why We Need Grandpas And Grandmas (Part 1)

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:55 pm

Oldsters, it turns out, matter. They matter a lot. And not just in human families. I've been reading a new book called The Once and Future World, by J. B. MacKinnon, which points out that when we humans hunt game, when we fish the sea, we often prize the biggest animals because they have the biggest tusks, or the most protein, so they're the ones we kill first.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:16 am
Mon December 16, 2013

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

YouTube

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:29 am

Maybe you've seen this, (it's gotten around), but I'm still gobsmacked. Totally amazed. We're in northern Italy looking at the face of the Cingino Dam, and here and there on the vertical stone wall, you'll see a few dark specks.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:23 am
Tue December 10, 2013

What Happened On Easter Island — A New (Even Scarier) Scenario

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 1:39 pm

We all know the story, or think we do.

Let me tell it the old way, then the new way. See which worries you most.

First version: Easter Island is a small 63-square-mile patch of land — more than a thousand miles from the next inhabited spot in the Pacific Ocean. In A.D. 1200 (or thereabouts), a small group of Polynesians — it might have been a single family — made their way there, settled in and began to farm. When they arrived, the place was covered with trees — as many as 16 million of them, some towering 100 feet high.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:21 am
Fri December 6, 2013

How Important Is A Bee?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:37 am

This is an alarming story, not because it ends badly. It's alarming because it ends well. It shouldn't have, but it did, and biologists (and especially conservationists) now have a puzzle to ponder.

The story begins in central China, in an apple-growing region called Maoxian County, near the city of Chengdu. In the mid-1990s, the bees that regularly showed up there every spring suddenly didn't. Apple farmers, obviously, need bees. Bees dust their way through blossoms, moving from flower to flower, pollinating, which helps produce apples in September.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:14 am
Tue December 3, 2013

How To Keep The Dust Off Your White Pants With 7 Desk Fans

Copyright Heirs of Rube Goldberg

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:53 pm

Once upon a time, you could crack open a radio, a telephone, a lawnmower, even a car, take it apart and figure out how it worked. No more. Pretty much everything we use these days comes with computer chips, which you can't really take apart. (I mean, you can, but all you'll find inside are a bunch of 1's and 0's with no obvious logic.) So car mechanics can snap a new chip into an engine, wait till it whirs and watch the gears come to life, but do they know what's going on in there? For most of us, chips are "black boxes." They work, but we don't know why.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:24 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It's Not So Nice

YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:33 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:27 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

On Thanksgiving, Everybody Needs A Friend — And That Means Everybody

Blue_Cutler iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 5:08 am

Last December, a website called The Morning News asked me to describe the most important and unimportant events of my year. So I sent them a story that felt like both to me, something slight but at the same time deeply rich. Now that it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to post it here because it's about two girls who want the best for everybody — and that can get complicated.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:17 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Born Wet, Human Babies Are 75 Percent Water. Then Comes Drying

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:56 am

Look at this baby.

Lovely, no? Now think of this baby abstractly — as a sack of hundreds of millions of atoms. Here's the atomic formula for a new human being, arranged by elements, according to scientist Neil Shubin.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:04 am
Thu November 14, 2013

My Wine Won't Stop Crying — A Mystery In A Wineglass

Dan Quinn YouTube

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:23 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:33 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Falling Into The Sky And Other Tales Of Gravity

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:01 am

For most of us, gravity is the tug that pulls us home.

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